Tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 22-27, 2019; applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, 2019 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten (pictured) will return to the MICF to serve as the two distinguished guest composers for 2019, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Dennehy was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012, while Kirsten was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the eight resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 16, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, Donnacha Dennehy is the founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. His music has been featured at festivals and venues around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican in London, and many others.

In recent years, Dennehy has concentrated especially on large-scale musico-dramatic works, including his first opera “The Last Hotel,” which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015; “The Second Violinist,” which won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera and premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival; and the docu-opera “The Hunger,” which was performed as a work-in-progress at the 2012 MICF, subsequently co-produced in completed form by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre St. Louis, and presented at BAM in New York.

The full concert version of “The Hunger” will be performed during the 2019 MICF by Alarm Will Sound and guest soloists Kate Manley and Iarla O’Lionaird as part of AWS’ Thursday night concert. That concert also will include a performance of part of a new operatic work-in-progress that Kirsten is composing for Alarm Will Sound.

Educated at Roosevelt University and the Peabody Institute, Amy Beth Kirsten currently lives in New Haven, CT and is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her work explores theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation, fusing music, language, voice, and theatre, with musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices often considered as equal vehicles of expression.

She has written and composed fully-staged theatrical works as well as traditional concert works for her own ensemble, HOWL, musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, eighth blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, and others.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

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