Archive for July 19th, 2017

Robert Sirota to discuss “Three Nocturnes” in pre-concert talk on Thursday, July 27

Composer Robert Sirota will discuss his new work “Three Nocturnes” in a pre-concert talk before Alarm Will Sound’s world premiere performance of it for the Mizzou International Composers Festival on Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre. Sirota’s talk will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Sirota (pictured) will be joined by artist Simon Dinnerstein, whose drawings “Night,” “Night Scene I,” and “Purple Haze” provided inspiration for “Three Nocturnes”; and Alex Barker, director of Mizzou’s Museum of Art & Archaeology, where the exhibition “The Lasting World – Simon Dinnerstein and the Fulbright Triptych” will be presented starting July 25 through December 22.

A native New Yorker who now splits his time between New York City and Maine, Robert Sirota has been called “a quintessentially American composer” by ClassicalLite. Over the past 40 years, his chamber, orchestral, and liturgical works have been performed all over the world, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, and many others.

As a teacher, he served as director of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, chairman of the department of music and performing arts professions at New York University, director of Boston University’s school of music, and from 2005 to 2012, president of Manhattan School of Music. Sirota’s “Three Nocturnes” was commissioned by Alarm Will Sound specifically for the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Admission to the pre-concert talk is included in the ticket price for the concert. Single tickets for all Mizzou International Composers Festival concerts are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit

Composers Festival spotlight: Eli Lara

Cellist Eli Lara will make her Mizzou International Composers Festival debut this year, performing as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, November 28 at the Missouri Theatre.

Lara (pictured) joined the Mizzou faculty last fall as assistant professor of cello and the newest member of the Esterhazy Quartet.

For the MICF, she’ll perform a program of works dedicated to iconic Swiss conductor Paul Sacher, including “Trois Strophes sur le Nom de Sacher” by Henri Dutilleux, and several pieces composed as part of the “Mystery Variations” project celebrating the 50th birthday of Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen.

As an ensemble and solo musician, Lara has performed across North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. She is co-founder of Trio Séléné and was formerly cellist of the Calla Quartet and the Franklin String Quartet.

Lara has worked with many contemporary composers, including Fernando Buide, Krzystof Penderecki, Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, and Jeffrey Wood. She has performed and/or premiered new works in numerous concerts and festivals including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and Summergarden at the New York MoMA.

She is a graduate of Yale University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and an M.M. in cello performance. As a recipient of a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship, Lara then completed her D.M.A. at The Juilliard School

Before coming to Mizzou, Lara taught at Austin Peay State University in Nashville, where she also performed as co-principal of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, guest principal of the Paducah Symphony, and in the Nashville Opera Orchestra.

While in the Nashville area, she also worked frequently as a studio musician, recording with Willie Nelson on his album For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price, as well as performing on video game soundtracks for Insomniac, Oculus Rift, and Electronic Arts (including Madden 16).

Lara also has been heard on NPR, at major venues such as New York’s Alice Tully Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall and at festivals including Birdfoot, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota, Banff, and Festival Pablo Casals (France).

Shortly after moving to Columbia last year, Lara was a guest on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can hear that interview here.

Trio Séléné, featuring Eli Lara (cello), Mingzhe Wang (clarinet), and Ilya Poletaev (piano), performs Fauré’s “Clarinet Trio, op. 120” in February 2017 at Austin Peay State University’s Mabry Hall.