Archive for October, 2018

Mizzou’s Creating Original Music Project (COMP) offers
awards, cash prizes for Missouri student composers

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is inviting young composers from all across Missouri to take part in the 2019 Creating Original Music Project (COMP).

Now in its 14th year, COMP is an annual statewide competition sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. COMP showcases new, original music from Missouri student composers and songwriters in grades K-12, offering positive recognition and prizes, performance and educational opportunities, and more.

Both the winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Winners in high school also are eligible for scholarships to attend the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, which will take place June 16-22, 2019 on the Mizzou campus.

Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Jazz, and Pop Music/Other. All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Both notated pieces and music made electronically are eligible. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.

Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.

Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest. All entries must be submitted online by Sunday, January 13, 2019.

For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and how to submit an application for the 2019 competition, please visit the COMP website at https://mizzounewmusic.missouri.edu/comp.

For students looking for more guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.

Students can e-mail works in progress, ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2018-19 academic year is Mikkel Christensen, who can be reached by email at mcfgr@mail.missouri.edu.

Mizzou welcoming composer Andrew List for residency next week

The School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative will welcome composer Andrew List to Columbia for a residency next Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26.

While he’s on campus, List, who’s a professor of composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, will make a presentation on his music; give private composition lessons; and work with the University’s Percussion Ensemble, which will perform his work “Night Wanderings” as part of the “Percussion Extravaganza” concert on Thursday night at the Missouri Theatre.

A longtime Bostonian, List (pictured) earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the New England Conservatory and his doctorate in composition at Boston University. He writes music for a variety of instrumentations and genres, including works for orchestra, string quartet, soloists, and various chamber ensembles, as well as vocal and choral music, opera, and music for children.

He has received commissions and performances from many ensembles and soloists in North and South America and in Europe, including the Boston Classical Orchestra, Zodiac Trio, Alea III, Esterhazy Quartet, Interensemble, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, North-South Consonance, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Concordia String Trio, Turtle Island String Quartet, pianists George Lopez and Winston Choi, cellist Emmanuel Feldman, and soprano Lisa Saffer.

Recordings of his music include releases by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Eva Szekely as violin soloist, on the Albany label; by MONTAGE Music Society on MSR Classics; and Zodiac Trio on Blue Griffin.

List has won numerous awards and honors, and is the composer-in-residence at the Zodiac Music Academy and Festival in Valdeblor, Côte d’Azur, France, where he presents a composition class each summer. He also was the first American ever to serve as a composer-in-residence for the city of Amsterdam. Sponsored by the city, the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst foundation, and the American Embassy in The Hague, he spent eight months there presenting concerts of his music and that of other American composers, as well as lectures and workshops at major conservatories throughout the Netherlands.

Tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 22-27, 2019; applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, 2019 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten (pictured) will return to the MICF to serve as the two distinguished guest composers for 2019, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Dennehy was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012, while Kirsten was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the eight resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 16, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, Donnacha Dennehy is the founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. His music has been featured at festivals and venues around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican in London, and many others.

In recent years, Dennehy has concentrated especially on large-scale musico-dramatic works, including his first opera “The Last Hotel,” which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015; “The Second Violinist,” which won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera and premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival; and the docu-opera “The Hunger,” which was performed as a work-in-progress at the 2012 MICF, subsequently co-produced in completed form by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre St. Louis, and presented at BAM in New York.

The full concert version of “The Hunger” will be performed during the 2019 MICF by Alarm Will Sound and guest soloists Kate Manley and Iarla O’Lionaird as part of AWS’ Thursday night concert. That concert also will include a performance of part of a new operatic work-in-progress that Kirsten is composing for Alarm Will Sound.

Educated at Roosevelt University and the Peabody Institute, Amy Beth Kirsten currently lives in New Haven, CT and is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her work explores theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation, fusing music, language, voice, and theatre, with musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices often considered as equal vehicles of expression.

She has written and composed fully-staged theatrical works as well as traditional concert works for her own ensemble, HOWL, musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, eighth blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, and others.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Yoshiaki Onishi to receive 2018 Fromm Commission

Mizzou New Music Initiative post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki “Yoshi” Onishi has been named a recipient of a 2018 Fromm Commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.

Founded by Paul Fromm, a major patron of contemporary music who lived from 1906 to 1987, the Fromm Music Foundation is now in its 62nd year, having been located at Harvard for the past 42. Since the 1950s, it has commissioned more than 300 new compositions and their performances, and has sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series, including the annual Fromm Contemporary Music Series at Harvard.

The annual Fromm Commissions represent one of the principal ways that the foundation “seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.” In addition to receiving a commissioning fee, composers also may get a subsidy for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.

Onishi (pictured), who began his two-year fellowship with the Fall 2018 semester, is teaching composition and ear training classes at Mizzou. He also serves as assistant conductor of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, as well as assisting with various MNMI projects, and his fellowship includes a major research project to be completed with the next two years.

In all, there are fourteen recipients of Fromm Commissions this year, including four others with a Mizzou connection: Oscar Bettison, who was a distinguished guest composer at the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival; Igor Santos, a resident composer at the 2018 MICF; Carl Schimmel, who attended Alarm Will Sound’s performance of his “Chamber Symphony” and gave a presentation at the 2015 MICF; and Nina C. Young, who will visit the Mizzou campus for a residency this November.

Show Me Opera to premiere Hans Bridger Heruth’s
“A Certain Madness” on Friday, November 9

Show Me Opera will premiere “A Certain Madness,” a new chamber opera by Mizzou senior Hans Bridger Heruth, on Friday, November 9 at the Rhynsburger Theatre.

Tickets for the performance, which also will include selected scenes from a wide range of operatic repertoire, are $5 and can be purchased online or at the door.

Heruth (pictured) wrote both the score and the libretto for “A Certain Madness,” which tells a new story based on the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

“After the brutal murder of one of Watson’s dearest friends, Sherlock attempts to solve the case with the help of an unlikely ally – a medium!,” says the plot description. “As Sherlock prods the family with questions and the Medium contacts the spirit world for answers, tension rises as the pair grows closer to solving the case and unmasking the perpetrator of this heinous crime!”

The performance will feature singers Marques Jerrell Ruff, Connor Cochran, Aubrey Smith, Madison Claire Page, Savon Hayes, and Martha Allen. Mizzou assistant professor and director of orchestral activities Barry Ford will conduct the ensemble, which includes flute, oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, piano, four violins, two violas, two cellos, and bass.

The Show-Me Opera, directed by Christine Seitz, is a troupe of motivated solo singers who are involved in the opera workshop and opera production courses. These courses are open to undergraduate and graduate students by audition and focus on the study, preparation, and performance of selected operatic or musical theatre works. They perform a variety of opera and musical scenes in the fall semester and presents a fully staged opera production (in collaboration with the University Philharmonic), and a program of staged arias and duets in the spring semester.

Niko Schroeder wins 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize

Photo by SnoStudios PhotographyThe University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Niko Schroeder.

Schroeder (pictured) is in his first year of study for a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou. He submitted “genealogy I,” a work written for piano, violin, and cello, to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2019 competition were Emily Koh, assistant professor of composition at the University of Georgia; Sky Macklay, assistant professor of music at Valparaiso University; and David Werfelmann, assistant professor of music theory and composition at Webster University.

Now in its 14th year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou.

As this year’s winner, Schroeder now will be commissioned to write an original work for the University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Barry Ford, which will premiere it as part of the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. With the commission, Schroeder also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts, and will have his work professionally recorded.

Originally from Waverly, IA, Schroeder earned his bachelor of arts degree from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.

While he was a student there, he served as sound engineer and student manager for the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble and won several awards, including “Composer of the Year” for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years; the 2017 Concerto Competition; and the Glenn A. Niemeyer Award, the highest distinction for student contributions to the university.

A performer as well as a composer and engineer, Schroeder has toured with rock and contemporary classical ensembles and regularly performs with his polka band, the Bierkeller Boys.

The other finalists for the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Dustin Dunn and Ben Rouder.