Archive for July 16th, 2019

Composers Festival spotlight: Peter Shin

For resident composer Peter Shin, the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is more than just the chance to write a new work for the festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound. It’s also an opportunity to pay a visit to, and have his work performed in, his home state, for Shin originally is from Kansas City, MO, just a couple of hours west on I-70.

He recently has been splitting his time between coasts, studying for his master of musical arts degree at the Yale School of Music in New Haven, CT while also serving as a composer fellow of the Berkeley Symphony in California. Shin (pictured) previously earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California.

For the MICF, he has written a new work titled “dogwhistling,” which will be performed along with new music from the seven other resident composers by Alarm Will Sound at the festival’s grand finale concert on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

Shin describes himself as a composer whose music “navigates issues of national belonging, the co-opting and intermingling of disparate musical vernaculars, and the liminality between the two halves of his second-generation Korean-American identity.”  His works already have received positive attention on a national level, most notably from the New York Times, which in 2018 called him as “a composer to watch” and praised his music as “entirely fresh and personal.”

Shin’s works have been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall through the “First Music” Commission,; Walt Disney Concert Hall through the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Noon to Midnight” series; Chicago’s Symphony Center through the Civic Orchestra New Music Workshop; and at the Cabrillo Festival.

In addition to his piece for the MICF, Shin’s other recent projects include a commission for Roomful of Teeth through the American Composers Forum, which will be premiered next month in a concert at MASS MoCa in Massachusetts, and a chamber orchestra work for the Berkeley Symphony’s 2018-19 season.

His honors and awards include an American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Scholarship, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Fulbright Research Grant, Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship, Aspen Music Festival Fellowship, Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra International Call for Scores, and SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition in the Graduate Division, among others.

For more about Peter Shin, listen to the interview he did recently with KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program. You can hear some samples of his music in the embedded players below.

“Screaming Shapes” premiere performance on August 3, 2017 at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, CO, featuring Mehrdad Gholami (flute), Juan Olivares (bass clarinet), Seo Hee Min (violin), Richard Narroway (cello), and Tim Weiss (conductor) with fixed electronics featuring Corey Dundee (saxophone), Graycen Gardner (voice), Liya Khaimova (voice), and Nick Volpert (cello)

“Relapse” performed October 14, 2016 at the University of Southern California by the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Crockett

Composers Festival spotlight: Khemia Ensemble

Khemia Ensemble will play a prominent role during their Mizzou International Composers Festival debut this year, presenting three performances featuring works by a total of 16 different composers.

Founded and led by University of Missouri School of Music faculty members Carolina Heredia and Bret Bohman, and including Mizzou assistant professor of cello Eli Lara, Khemia (pictured) is “a contemporary chamber ensemble focused on championing the works of living composers through vivid, multimedia performances.”

Members of Khemia will be featured in two afternoon “pop-up” concerts in downtown Columbia, on Thursday, July 25 outside Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream and on Friday, July 26 near Uprise Bakery, with the entire group set to perform in a matinee concert on Saturday, July 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus.

Over the course of the three performances, they’ll play music by Heredia, Bowman, and 2019 MICF resident composer inti figgis-vizueta, as well as Andy Akiho, Lembit Beecher, Bjarne Brustad, John Cage, Chris Cerrone, Daniel Fawcett, Ellen Harrison, Tom Johnson, Bruno Mantovani, Patricia Martinez, Emma O’Halloran, Tim Peterson, and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

With an original lineup of musicians featuring members from four different countries – Argentina, Brazil, China, and the United States – Khemia brings diverse approaches to the music of a variety of living composers and to their stated mission, which is to “foster collaborations among the arts by working closely with designers, visual artists, and writers as well as incorporating poetic, visual, and interactive elements in our performances.”

The ensemble’s collective interest in multimedia led to the creation several years ago of “Khemia Lights,” an installation devised in a collaboration between Bret Bohman and Intermedio, a Cincinnati-based sound and visual production company. Employing “audio-visual technology that responds live to the rhythm and intensity of the music we are performing, creating an exciting multi-sensory experience for the audience,” the lighting system has been used as part of interactive concerts in Cincinnati, Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Khemia Ensemble has been featured in venues and festivals such as National Sawdust, Strange Beautiful Music in Detroit, the third annual New Music Gathering, Latin IS America at Michigan State University and the Biennial New Music Festival at the National University of Cordoba.

They also have had residencies at University of Michigan, Tufts University, Michigan State University, the National University of Bogota and the National University of Cordoba, as well as two consecutive years at Avaloch Farms.

You can check out recordings of some past Khemia Ensemble performances in the embedded players below.

“Negative Image/Fragil,” composed by Carolina Heredia and Natali Herrera, recorded May 3, 2018 at National Sawdust in New York City

“Visual Abstract” by Pierre Jalbert, recorded in September 2017 at Strange Beautiful Music X in Detroit, MI

“Ear, Skin, and Bone Riddles (excerpt)” by Marcus Balter, recorded in September 2016 at Distler Hall, Tufts University, in Medford, MA, featuring Amy Petrongelli (soprano), Lauren Pulcipher (violin), and Horacio Contreras (cello)