Archive for November, 2020

Mizzou New Music Initiative presenting American Wild Ensemble
in free online concert on Thursday, December 10

The Mizzou New Music Initiative will present the American Wild Ensemble performing “The American Aviatrix” in a free online concert at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 10.

The program commemorates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment by honoring the achievements of American women aviators. It will celebrate the lives of two of these groundbreaking women, pilots Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, with world premiere performances of two new works, “Il n’y aura pas de regrets” by Mizzou assistant professor Carolina Heredia and “Livid Loneliness of Fear” by Ingrid Stölzel. The concert also will include a performance of “Solitude of Self,” composed in 2018 by Caroline Mallonee.

As part of the online event, viewers also will be able to see interviews with the composers before each work is performed, as well as an online discussion including the composers and performers following the concert.

The entire program will be available to view on the University of Missouri School of Music’s YouTube channel, the American Wild Ensemble’s YouTube channel, and the Facebook pages of Mizzou New Music and the American Wild Ensemble.

Formed in 2016 with a commissioning project inspired by American national parks, the American Wild Ensemble (pictured) celebrates American places, historic figures, and events by commissioning new works and performing them in site-inspired and site-specific locations. They have received support from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America for performances in both traditional and nontraditional venues across the country.

The group is led by flutist Emlyn Johnson and cellist Daniel Ketter, who both are faculty members at Missouri State University in Springfield. The ensemble also includes Mizzou assistant professor Megan Arns on percussion; Bill Kalinkos on clarinet; Sarah Peters on violin; and mezzo-soprano Ann Marie Wilcox-Daehn.

“The American Aviatrix” is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival
gets submissions from around the world

A total of 300 composers from around the world have applied for the four resident composer spots at the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Submissions were received from 24 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2021 MICF will be held Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31, and will feature Chen Yi and David T. Little as distinguished guest composers and Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble.

Depending on travel and regulatory conditions next summer, the festival may be held in person on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia; as a series of online events; or some combination of the two. That decision will be made as soon as there’s sufficient information to do so. In the meantime, the four resident composers selected to take part in the festival will be named in January.

Documentary scored by Mizzou alumni is a YouTube hit

Haley Myers, Tim Pilcher

A science documentary with a musical score by two Mizzou alumni has proved to be a major hit with online viewers, this month passing one million views on YouTube.

Living Soil, a documentary funded by the national not-for-profit Soil Health Institute, features music written by Haley Myers, a pianist and composer who graduated from Mizzou in 2016 with degrees in music and geography, plus additional works for solo guitar by Tim Pilcher, a musician and sound designer who earned his degree in Spanish at Mizzou.

The film is something of a family affair, as it was directed and shot by MU School of Journalism alumnus Chelsea Wright, who is Myers’ older sister, and co-produced by Chelsea’s husband Josh Wright, also an MU Journalism grad.  In addition, Rob Myers, who is NCR-SARE Regional Director of Extension Programs at Mizzou as well as Haley and Chelsea’s dad, served as a science advisor.

Adding to the local connection, parts of the film were shot in Columbia, including a scene in the soils lab at Mizzou’s Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources building and segments at nearby farms and the Columbia Farmers Market.

Released in November 2018, Living Soil is believed to be the most viewed video on soil health in the world, with a 97% “thumbs up” rating on YouTube.

Myers, who was a Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou, currently lives in Columbia and works as a composer, performer, accompanist, and teacher. She released Etudes, her first album of original solo piano music, in 2019, and now is working on a follow-up release.

She also collaborated with former MU piano instructor Paola Savvidou on the book At the Piano with Yoga, writing a series of introductory piano pieces that can be combined with yoga exercises to help avoid repetitive stress injury.

Pilcher also resides in Columbia, working as a musician, producer, and sound artist across multiple disciplines including podcasting, film, theater, dance, and multimedia performance and installations.

Duo Cortona, Evan Chambers doing virtual residencies for Mizzou

While the current pandemic-related restrictions may be limiting some in-person interactions, Mizzou students still are getting opportunities to work with and learn from composers and performers from throughout the world of new music.

For example, this month new music ensemble Duo Cortona and composer Evan Chambers both will take part in virtual residencies for MNMI.

Chambers (pictured, top left) is a professor of composition at the University of Michigan whose works have been performed by the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Memphis, New Hampshire, and Albany Symphonies, among others. Recordings of his music have been released by labels such as Albany Records, the Foundation Russolo-Pratella, Cambria, Clarinet Classics, Equilibrium, and Centaur.

During his residency, Chambers will give private lessons to composition students; make a presentation to this semester’s composition seminar; and coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in the performance of his work “longing for peace in the garden of lost children.,” which they’ll perform as part of the School of Music’s online “Monday Mashup” concert on Monday, November 16.

Duo Cortona, the husband and wife team of violinist Ari Streisfeld and mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway (pictured, bottom left), is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the creation of new works for their unique instrumentation. Both Streisfeld and Calloway are faculty members at the University of South Carolina School of Music.

Founded at and named for the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, Duo Cortona has done performances and residencies across the USA, including at the Resonant Bodies Festival; the SONiC Festival and The Stone, both in New York City; Contemporary Undercurrents of Song Project in Princeton, NJ; New Music on the Point in Vermont; the Southern Exposure Series for New Music; East Carolina New Music Initiative; University of Wisconsin; College of Charleston; and more.

During their residency for Mizzou, the duo will read and record new works from student composers Isabelle Borchardt, Ben Rouder, and Sam Whitty, with other composition students also observing the session. In addition, they’ll make a presentation to composition students on Friday, November 13, and record a concert on video that will be available for viewing online at a later date.

The concert will feature works by Evan Chambers and Mizzou professor Carolina Heredia, as well as pieces by Amadeus Regucera, who was a resident composer at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival; Robert Morris, a guest composer at the 2018 MICF; and Annika Socolofsky, who visited Mizzou for a residency in 2019.