St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to read works by Mizzou composers
Hans Bridger Heruth, Ethan Forte, and Daniel Vega

From left: Heruth, Forte, Vega

Three University of Missouri student composers will have their works played by musicians with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this year as part of a joint educational venture between the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Student composers Hans Bridger Heruth, Ethan Forte, and Daniel Vega (pictured) were selected by SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New to write new works for a 40-piece chamber orchestra drawn from the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony.

The three works will be read, played, and critiqued in a private session on Tuesday, October 1 in St. Louis. The composers then will get a chance to revise their music for a second, public reading by the same musicians at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at Powell Hall.

Heruth, a senior, and Forte, a junior, are working toward their undergraduate degrees in composition at Mizzou, while Vega is in his second year of study for a master’s degree. They are the third group of Mizzou composers to take part in the program, which began in 2017. They will deliver the first versions of their works to the Symphony in early September.

“Given that the mission of the Mizzou New Music Initiative is to make Missouri a center for composition, we’re very pleased to be able to collaborate with one of the state’s most prestigious musical organizations,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition at the University of Missouri School of Music and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “We’re grateful to the St. Louis Symphony and Gemma New for these opportunities to give our students some practical experience working with an ensemble of world-class musicians.”

The two-session format makes this program particularly valuable, Freund said. “Our composers are able to hear their music played, get immediate feedback directly from the conductor and musicians, and make revisions. Then they can hear the results of the changes they’ve made in the second session, which makes for a learning experience that can’t be duplicated in a classroom.”

Acclaimed as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, celebrating its 140th year in the 2019/2020 season. Widely considered one of the world’s finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with new Music Director Stéphane Denève.

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