Composers Festival spotlight: Trey Makler

Originally from Farmington, Missouri, Trey Makler
is Mizzou’s representative among this year’s group of eight resident composers at the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Makler (pictured) just completed his senior year in Columbia, earning his bachelor’s degree studying composition with Stefan Freund and oboe with Dan Willett. While an undergraduate, he has served as vice-president of the Mizzou Composers Guild and president of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity, and he’s also quite familiar with the MICF, having been a production coordinator for the festival for the past three years.

An avid collaborator, Makler has worked with dancers, writers, and visual artists on a variety of interdisciplinary projects. He performs as an oboist with various ensembles in the Columbia area, including the Exit 128 contemporary chamber orchestra, of which he is a founding member; the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble and Philharmonic Orchestra; and others.

In addition to “Long String of Molecules,” the work Makler has written for Alarm Will Sound to premiere at the 2016 MICF, he also recently composed a piece for flute and guitar for this summer’s Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, and completed work this year on “Hatrack,” a one-act chamber opera with libretto by Katie Kull.

Based on an essay by Herbert Asbury about the oppressive religious culture of rural Missouri in the early 20th century, “Hatrack” was premiered by Exit 128 in May 2016 at the Missouri Theatre.

Makler was the winner of the 2015 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the top award given to a student composer at Mizzou. He used the resulting commission to write “whatever we lose” for the University Philharmonic, and the work then was premiered at the 2015 Chancellor’s Arts Showcase. Also in 2015, Makler’s “die Sonette an Orpheus” was winner of the annual Boston New Music Initiative Young Composers Competition. It was premiered at the Arlington Center for the Arts in April of this year.

Makler also has written commissioned works for the Sheldon Concert Hall and others, including “Elysium,” composed for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and premiered in 2014 at an event for Forest Park Forever in St. Louis.

For more about Trey Makler, you can listen to the interview he did in May of this year on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and read this 2014 profile of him in the Columbia Daily Tribune. You can hear Trey Makler’s music on his SoundCloud page and in the embedded media players below.

The world premiere of “Hatrack,” with music by Trey Makler and libretto by Katie Kull, performed by Exit 128 and conducted by Travis Herd on May 5, 2016 at the Missouri Theatre.

“I remember everything,” recorded at the 2015 Charlotte New Music Festival’s Dance Co-Lab concert.

“It Was There All Along,” premiered by Andrew Cuneo (bassoon) and Peter Henderson (piano) in February 2016 at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis.

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