Archive for July 18th, 2019

Composers Festival spotlight: inti figgis-vizueta

Resident composer inti figgis-vizueta this year will achieve an historic trifecta of sorts in the annals of the Mizzou International Composers Festival, as they will be the first resident composer to have three of their works played by three different ensembles in a single year at the MICF.

Like the seven other resident composers, figgis-vizueta (pictured) has written a new piece for Alarm Will Sound, who will perform their “braiding on golden stoops” as one of the eight world premieres presented in the grand finale concert on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

In addition, Mizzou Percussion will play figgis-vizueta’s “To give you form and breath” as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre; and Khemia Ensemble will perform their “Openwork, knotted object // Trellis in bloom // Recipe for lightning” at the matinee concert on Saturday, July 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall.

inti figgis-vizueta  – they use the lower case and non-gendered pronouns – was born in Dublin, Ireland; raised in Washington, DC; and now is based in Brooklyn, NY. When not composing, they work as a curator for Score Follower.​

figgis-vizueta writes music that “focuses on combinations of various notational schemata, disparate and overlaid sonic plans, and collaborative unlearning of dominant vernaculars. She/they often write magically real musics through the lens of personal identities, braiding a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with Andean heritage and a deep connection to land(s).”

They have received numerous awards, most recently winning National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition, and getting a chance to participate in the the American Composers Orchestra’s 2019 Underwood New Music Readings.  They also have won calls for scores from organizations and festivals such as West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Verdant Vibes, N/A Ensemble, UnTwelve, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and 113 Collective.

figgis-vizuata’s music has been played by ensembles including loadbang, PUBLIQuartet, Hypercube, RTE Contempo String Quartet, Balance Campaign, the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony, the SJSU Wind Ensemble, and more. They also actively freelance as a composer, with recent commissions including new works for clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich, trumpeter Kate Amrine, countertenor Luke Paulino, and the duo Mazumal.

They were featured at the New Music Gathering as a panelist in 2017 and as a composer in 2018, as well as at the New Latin Wave Festival 2018.

For more about inti figgis-vizueta, listen to their interview recorded a few weeks ago for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and read their interview from earlier this year published by (conducted by 2014 MICF distinguished guest composer Nico Muhly) and their “5 Questions” interview on I Care If You Listen (answering queries posed by 2018 MICF resident composer Gemma Peacocke).

“Symphony for the Body,” performed October 29, 2017 by Boston Conservatory Composer’s Orchestra

“Placemaking,” performed in 2018 by Boston Conservatory Composer’s Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mark Powell

Composers Festival spotlight: Chelsea Komschlies

Fittingly for an international festival located in the heartland of the USA, 2019 MICF resident composer Chelsea Komschlies is a native Midwesterner whose music has been performed in eleven countries on four continents around the world.

The daughter of an artist, Komschlies grew up in Appleton, WI creating and loving all sorts of visual art, and still enjoys drawing, digital painting, and creating hand-sculpted jewelry. She often uses real or imagined images as inspiration for her works, hoping that listeners will “make deep, instinctual associations with her music, be they emotional, visual, or otherwise abstract.”

She recently completed a post-graduate artist diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and this fall will begin studies for a doctoral degree in composition at McGill University.

Komschlies (pictured) previously earned her master of music degree in composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA.

For the Mizzou International Composers Festival,  she has written a new work called “Hexactinellida,” which will be performed along with world premieres from the other seven resident composers by Alarm Will Sound as part of the festival’s grand finale concert on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

In addition to the piece she’s written for the MICF, her recent projects include a work for organ, harpsichord, and orchestra, premiered by the Curtis Institute in 2018; an extended-reality collaboration with Drexel University game design and software engineer students using the Microsoft Hololens; and “Nunc Dimittis,” an oratorio for voices and period instruments commissioned by the Bach Festival of Philadelphia and premiered in February of this year.

Komschlies’ other commissions include creating works for Rock School for Dance Education and One Book, One Philadelphia, and a distinguished composition fellow commission from the Cortona Sessions for New Music.

Her music has been performed at events such as the Ravinia Festival and the finale concert of Make Music Chicago, and she has received fellowships from programs including the Aspen Music Festival, Copland House, the Fontainebleau School (where Nadia Boulanger once taught), the Fresh Inc Festival, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, and a number of other festivals in the U.S. and abroad.

For more about Chelsea Komschlies, listen to her interview broadcast a few weeks back on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program.  You can hear some of her music in the embedded players below.

“Steam,” recorded November 4, 2017 at Bread & Salt in San Diego, CA, featuring Beth Ross Buckley (flute) and Sheryl Renk (clarinet)

“Borealis”, world premiere performance recorded April 6, 2018 at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, PA, featuring Emma Resmini (flute), Julian Tello (viola), and Lena Goodson (bass)