Archive for September, 2021

Mizzou New Music Ensemble opens 2021-22 season with live performance at Sinquefield Music Center on October 10, 2021

Members of the 2021-22 Mizzou New Music Ensemble with Artistic Director Yoshiaki Onishi (third from front) and Stefan Freund, Artistic Directoe of MNMI (fifth from front)

For the first time since March, 2020, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform in front of a live audience! The concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, and will take place on the University of Missouri Campus at the Sinquefield Music Center (SMC 132). The concert is free and open to the public. For those unable to attend in person, the concert will be livestreamed on the MNMI Facebook Page and the University of Missouri School of Music YouTube channel.

For their first concert of 2021-22 season, the Ensemble (pictured) will open the program with a performance of The Quarry by Robyne Sieh, a second-year undergraduate composer from St. Louis studying at the University of Missouri. The Ensemble will also play Ngelemen by Fernando Zappino Vidal and Matutino/vespertino by fellow Argentinian Ernesto Bojanich Zahnd — both composers at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, hometown of Carolina Heredia, Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Missouri, and the Assistant Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI).

These works are part of a collaborative program between Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and the MNMI that will continue with performances of additional works by Cordoba-based composers at the December 5th concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble. The first movement of Come Round by prominent American composer Jacob Druckman, will conclude the performance.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri School of Music graduate students under the direction of Mizzou New Music Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow Yoshiaki Onishi, who was recently appointed as the Ensemble’s Artistic Director.

The members of the 2021-22 Mizzou New Music Ensemble are: Valentina Arango Sánchez, flute; Andrew Wiele, clarinet; Johanny Veiga Barbosa, violin; Andy Lewis, violoncello; Jordan Nielsen, percussion; Stephen Landy, percussion; Eve Werger, piano and Daniel Fitzpatrick, piano.

PLEASE NOTE: Temporary mask requirements on campus have been extended through Oct. 15. All students, faculty, staff and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — are required to wear masks in classrooms, while entering and exiting classrooms, as well as other meeting spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Dean Minderman (1957-2021)

Dean Minderman at the piano
Dean Minderman performing at the Big Muddy Blues Festival in St. Louis, 2018

We at the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the MU School of Music are saddened to learn of Dean C. Minderman’s passing. Dean was the voice of this blog and our Twitter profile for the last 11 years, and as part of Slay & Associates’s team, worked tirelessly to promote MNMI’s activities. If you’ve ever been a visiting composer or performer at Mizzou, or if you’re a student or faculty composer who’s won an award or participated in an opportunity, Dean has written about you. If you’re a writer, journalist, or media outlet in Missouri who’s ever covered our events, you learned about them through Dean. When MNMI embarked on an exciting collaboration with the St. Louis Symphony, the HEC Network in St. Louis aired a segment featuring interviews with our composers — all thanks to Dean. 

“My collaboration with Dean was crucial since my very first week at Mizzou,” says MNMI Managing Director Jacob Gotlib. “He cared about his work so deeply, and over the years taught me what it means to care that much as well. I didn’t understand what an ‘eye for detail’ really meant until I worked with Dean — he never let anything past him, and continually pushed me to be the best I could be.”

“As a graduate of Mizzou, Dean was a perfect fit for spreading the word about the wonderful opportunities of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. He took deep pride in seeing our success and sharing it with the world. We will deeply miss his contributions to Mizzou New Music and to the St. Louis jazz scene,” says Stefan Freund, MNMI Artistic Director.

“We are so appreciative of Dean’s work for our School. He always made us look and sound good and was a stickler for excellence. I’m thankful we were able to work with him and be the subject of his great writing for so many years,” says Julia Gaines, Director of the MU School of Music.

A graduate of Mizzou’s prestigious journalism program (BM 1979), Dean maintained great affection for his alma mater throughout his life. His first contact with new music came from an electronic music course he took with Emeritus Professor of Composition W. Tom McKenney. Dean combined his love of writing and music, writing myriad articles for the St. Louis Riverfront Times, NewMusicBox, and numerous other publications. His first love, however, was jazz and blues — Dean was a staple of the jazz and blues scene in his native St. Louis, playing piano and keys in multiple bands. His most significant contribution to his city’s musical scene was St. Louis Jazz Notes, a blog he maintained for over 16 years that chronicled upcoming events and rising artists, both in St. Louis and nationally. 

Dean’s impact on the Mizzou New Music Initiative — and his efforts to bring the world’s ears, eyes, and words to our activities — has been tremendous. We miss him dearly. If you would like to share any thoughts or stories about Dean, please leave them in the comments below.