Archive for August, 2021

Stefan Freund wins commission from Barlow Endowment

University of Missouri professor of composition and Mizzou New Music Initiative artistic director Stefan Freund has won a commission for 2021 from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

Freund (pictured) was one of 9 composers selected from among 259 applications this year to the Endowment’s General and LDS commissioning programs, which will award grants totaling $60,000 to the winners.

The Barlow Endowment was established in September 1983 through a gift from Milton A. and Gloria Barlow to Brigham Young University for the purpose of “engendering and supporting excellence in musical composition through the university and the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications.”

The Endowment hosts an international composition competition every year, receiving applications from around the world. The application are reviewed by a panel of musicians, who select the winners that will be commissioned to compose new works during the next year.

Freund will use his $6,000 grant to write a new work for Splinter Reeds, who will premiere the piece as part of a residency at Mizzou planned for 2023.

This is the second year in a row that a Mizzou faculty member has won a major commission from the Barlow Endowment. In 2020, assistant professor Carolina Heredia was awarded a grant which she used
to write a new work for Duo Axis, featuring flutist Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu.

Several other composers with Mizzou connections also won commissions this year from the Endowment. Texu Kim, a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, was awarded the $12,000 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for sinfonietta that will be premiered in 2023-24 by Alarm Will Sound, London Sinfonietta, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Also winning Barlow commissions for 2021 are David Biedenbender, who was a resident composer at the 2011 MICF; Wang Lu, a resident composer for the 2016 festival; and Lansing McCloskey, who visited the Mizzou campus as a guest composer in 2015.

The judging panel included Neil Thornock, Chen Yi, Ben Sabey, Benjamin Taylor and Miguel Del Aguila of the Endowment’s Board of Advisors, plus guest judges Tania León, Kristin Kuster, Lisa DeSpain, and Chance Thomas.

Mizzou composer, musicians featured in
PBS special celebrating Missouri’s bicentennial

A new work written by a Mizzou composer and performed by MU faculty members will be featured in “Show Me the Music: A Celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial,” a television special that will air beginning this week on PBS affiliates in Missouri.

“Waterways” was written on commission specifically for the bicentennial project by Stefan Freund (pictured), who is MNMI’s artistic director and professor of composition at Mizzou. The work then was performed and recorded in May at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis by MU faculty members Alice Dade (flute), Eli Lara (cello), Julie Rosenfeld (violin), and Wes Warnhoff (clarinet).

Their performance will be seen as part of the “Show Me the Music…” special, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Missouri becoming the 24th state to enter the Union on August 10, 1821. The program features what producers call “a kaleidoscope of many of Missouri’s musical genres,” including blues, rock, bluegrass, ragtime, and jazz, performed by musicians from around the state.

In addition to the Mizzou faculty ensemble, other performers include jazz pianist Peter Martin with his trio, augmented by saxophonist Bobby Watson and trumpeter Keyon Harrold; St. Louis vocalist Anita Jackson; ragtime pianist Royce Martin; bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent and her band, The Rage; and fiddler Howard Marshall and friends.

“Show Me the Music…” will premiere at 7:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, August 9 on St. Louis’ Nine Network, followed by multiple repeat broadcasts on all four of Missouri’s PBS affiliates continuing through September 4.

The first airing on Kansas City’s KCPT and mid-Missouri’s KMOS, which covers Columbia, Jefferson City, Warrensburg, and Sedalia, will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 12, with Ozarks Public Television‘s first broadcast set for 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 13. (For a complete schedule, please consult your local listings.)

After the broadcast premiere, in addition to repeat airings on all four stations, “Show Me the Music…” also will be available for viewing online via The Sheldon’s website.

“Show Me the Music…” was created in partnership by the Missouri Arts Council; The Sheldon; Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee; JPL Development LLC; Sinquefield Charitable Foundation; St. Louis Cardinals; and the Budds Center for American Music at the University of Missouri.