School of Music celebrates opening of Sinquefield Music Center

The University of Missouri School of Music celebrated the opening of its new building, the Sinquefield Music Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Saturday, February 1.

The building (pictured) is named for lead donors Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, who contributed $10 million toward the $24 million total cost of design and construction. Located in the heart of campus on University Avenue, the 47,000 square foot facility includes dedicated spaces for vocal and instrumental ensemble performances, 26 practice rooms, and a recording studio large enough to fit an 18-piece jazz big band.

Attendees at the ceremony heard remarks from Dr. Sinquefield; University of Missouri chancellor Alexander Cartwright; College of Arts and Sciences dean Pat Okker; and the School of Music’s director, Dr. Julia Gaines, who called the new facility “a game changer” for the department, the university, the city of Columbia, and the state. After the program concluded, visitors had the opportunity to tour the building.

You can read the MU News Bureau’s coverage of the ribbon cutting and open house here, and an interview with Julia Gaines about what the opening of the Sinquefield Music Center means for the School of Music here. In addition, the bureau produced a video about the building, which can be seen in the embed window below.

The building and Saturday’s event prompted three stories in the Columbia Missourian, about the Sinquefields’ ongoing support of music at Mizzou, the efforts to get the building ready to open, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

More media attention came from a feature in the Columbia Daily Tribune, as well as national coverage from a story by the Associated Press.

Exterior photo of the Sinquefield Music Center by Dale Lloyd. Other photos by Bob Jacquin.

Quatuor Diotima to perform in two concerts, present world premiere during residency at University of Missouri

The internationally acclaimed group Quatuor Diotima is coming to the University of Missouri for a residency that will include two performances and the world premiere of a new commissioned work composed by Mizzou post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi.

Formed in 1996 by graduates of the Paris National Conservatory, Quatuor Diotima (pictured) is a string quartet that performs contemporary classical music and offers a fresh look at works by the great composers. The quartet’s members are violinists Yun-Peng Zhao and Constance Ronzatti, violist Franck Chevalier, and cellist Pierre Morlet.

They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 20 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus, presenting a program that will include music by Beethoven and Alban Berg in addition to Onishi’s “String Quartet No. 2,” which was written with a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

The quartet will conclude their residency with a concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, February 22 at First Baptist Church, 1112 E Broadway, performing works by Berg and Bartók and teaming up with Mizzou’s Esterhazy Quartet for the rarely heard Shostakovich Octet.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert, which is a co-presentation of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series, are $20 for general admission, $10 for students with ID, free for children under 12, and can be purchased online at https://www.odysseymissouri.org/tickets.html.

During their residency on campus, Quatuor Diotima also will read works by student composers; coach the members of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble; and make a recording of Onishi’s new quartet.

Named after a work by Italian avant garde composer Luigi Nono, Quatuor Diotima has toured the United States, Asia, Australia, and South America and performed at major European festivals and venues, such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Reina Sofia in Madrid, Cité de la musique in Paris, Wigmore Hall and SouthBank Centre in London, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and more.

Quatuor Diotima has worked with major composers including Pierre Boulez, Helmut Lachenmann, Toshio Hosokawa, and Brian Ferneyhough, and have commissioned new works from composers Gérard Pesson, Alberto Posadas, Oscar Bianchi, James Dillon, Miroslav Srnka, Rebecca Saunders, Pascal Dusapin, Tristan Murail, and more. They also have won several international competitions, and have recorded for NEOS, Kairos, Alpha Productions, ECM, and Naïve.

Aaron Perrine to visit Mizzou for residency, concert

Composer Aaron Perrine is coming to the University of Missouri in February for a residency and concert featuring the premiere of a new commissioned work he wrote for the Mizzou Wind Ensemble.

Perrine (pictured) will arrive in Columbia on Thursday, February 13. While he’s on campus, he’ll give lessons to composition students; make a presentation about his music; and coach the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band, which will perform two of his older works at a concert later in the month.

His visit will conclude with a performance by the Wind Ensemble and All-Juniors Honor Band at 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 17 at the Missouri Theatre, at which the Ensemble, directed by Brian Silvey, will present the world premiere of Perrine’s new work “Stained with Light.”

Aaron Perrine is a Minnesota native who holds degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota, Morris, and currently is on the faculty at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

He has composed music in a variety of genres, and is noted especially for his works for concert and symphonic bands, twice winning the American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award for his compositions “Only Light” in 2015 and “Pale Blue on Deep” in 2013.

Perrine’s music for winds has been featured at numerous national, regional, all-state, state conference, and honor band concerts, and his works for saxophone also have received many notable performances. He also is an active conductor who has worked with a variety of honor bands.

Missouri Composers Project selects four works for concert by Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir

Clockwise from top left: Jiyoun Chung, Dan Viggers, Robyne Sieh & David McCaulley

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2020 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its ninth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2020 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5 at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “New Elegance” by Dan Viggers, and the winning choral work is “My Beautiful One, Come with Me” by Jiyoun Chung.

Viggers is a St. Louis based composer who has a bachelor’s degree in composition from Bradley University and a Ph.D. in music theory from Washington University. His compositions include classical works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and vocalists; original works for musical theater; and electronic music released under the names Amadeus Vegas, Netizen, and Dotcom Davinci.

Jiyoun Chung is a pianist, composer and native of South Korea, where she received her degree in composition from Hanyang University. She moved to the USA in 2008, and since has earned master’s degrees in composition and piano performance from Illinois State University, and a doctor of musical arts in composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her music has been performed by orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists in concerts and at festivals in the United States, Asia and Europe.

The winning orchestral work in the “high school” category for 2020 is “’Till the End of Time” by David McCaulley. a junior at Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction, MO. His musical experiences include composing scores for the independent production company Light of Life Films, and creating a YouTube channel with videos analyzing music in popular films from “Star Wars” to “Batman” and more.

The winning choral work in the “high school” category is “Peace” by Robyne Sieh, a senior at Fort Zumwalt North High on O’Fallon, MO. She is a member of her school’s Panther Pride Marching Band, jazz band, and wind ensemble; takes private piano lessons, and participated in the Missouri Summer Composition Institute from 2017 to 2019. She also has been recognized as a Bach Scholar by the Bach Society of St. Louis; was a prize-winner in Mizzou’s 2018 Creating Original Music Project; and a finalist in the 2019 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

The Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Columbia Chamber Choir to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP intends to showcase emerging talent of Missouri and share it with the world.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

The Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

Bret Bohman named 2019 MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year

The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) has named Bret Bohman as the 2019 MTNA Distinguished Composer of Year.

Bohman (pictured) teaches courses in electronic music composition and music theory at the University of Missouri. He is a co-founder of the new music group Khemia Ensemble, and also records original electronic music under the name Bels Lontano. Bohman previously taught at the University of Michigan, where he received his doctorate.

The MTNA award is given to the composer of the most significant work from among all compositions commissioned during the year by the organization’s state affiliates, and represents “a significant, noteworthy recognition by your peers of your extraordinary skills as a composer.”

Bohman and his composition “Tides,” for clarinet and electronics, were selected by a panel of independent judges from among 30 works created in 2019. The judges for the year were Dr. Benjamin Krause, an Emmy nominated composer and winner of the 2018 MTNA Distinguished Composer of Year; Dr. Andrew Nishikawa, instructor at the Art Institutes in Houston, TX; and Cody Criswell, composer, percussionist and guitarist.

The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize and a performance of the winning work, which will feature Mizzou’s post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi as the clarinet soloist, during the 2020 MTNA National Conference, to be held March 21 – 25 in Chicago, IL.

 

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2020

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1 in Columbia, the eleventh annual MICF (http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/) will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Yu Kuwabara – Tokyo, Japan
* Pascal Le Boeuf – New York, NY
* Shuying Li – Boston, MA
* Celka Ojakangas – Los Angeles, CA
* DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez) – New York, NY
* Niko Schroeder – Columbia, MO
* Andrew Tholl – Los Angeles, CA
* Felipe Tovar-Henao – Bloomington, IN

The resident composers were chosen from among 346 entrants – a record for the MICF – from 24 countries. Four of them are originally from outside the US: Yu Kuwabara was born in Japan; Shuying Li is a native of China; and Felipe Tovar-Henao and DM R both are from Colombia.

Niko Schroeder, who will be in his second year of study for a masters in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Schroeder was the winner of the 2019 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer. Resident composer Celka Ojakangas also has a Missouri connection, as she was raised in Springfield and earned her bachelor’s degree at Drury University.

The 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events.

The Festival’s distinguished guest composers for 2020 will be Chen Yi and David T. Little. Chen is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the MICF began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Chen and Little; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give public presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the MICF and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival gets
record number of resident composer submissions

A total of 346 composers from around the world have applied for the eight resident composer spots at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival, a new record for the MICF.

Submissions were received from 24 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2020 MICF will be held Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1 on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, and will feature Chen Yi and David T. Little as distinguished guest composers and Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble. The eight resident composers selected to take part in the festival will be named in January.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works from Missouri, South America, and more on Sunday, November 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will offer new music from Missouri, South America, and more in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The concert is free and open to the public.

From close to home, the Ensemble (pictured) will perform the two winning works written for the 2019 Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM) Collegiate Composition Competition.

“Cadencia” was composed by Truman State University student Samuel Tillman, the 2019 winner in the undergraduate category winner, and “Hitt Street Harangue” is by Daniel Vega, a master’s student in composition at Mizzou and this year’s graduate winner. Both works were selected in a competitive judging process open to all student composers enrolled at MADSM member institutions.

The concert also will include two works from South American composers that will be featured when the Ensemble tours that continent in May, 2020. “I come from afar” was composed by Sofia Scheps, who teaches at the Escuela Universitaria de Música in Montevideo, Uruguay; and “Expansion” is by Patricia Martínez, a composer, pianist and professor of composition at the National University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the tour, both composers will host concerts by the Ensemble at their respective institutions.

In addition to those four compositions, assistant conductor Yoshi Onishi will lead the Ensemble in a performance of “Talea” by French composer Gérard Grisey. Considered a late-20th-century classic, it alternates “between ferocity and quietude,” so as to – in the composer’s words – “express two aspects or, more precisely, two auditory angles of a single phenomenon.”

Two more new pieces of music from Missouri will complete the program. “Love Is Love, The Pedro Zamora Story” was composed by Daniel Vega originally for a film soundtrack; and “Pentatonic Sonata” is by Harry Tyrer, a retired Mizzou engineering professor now studying composition with Mizzou’s Carolina Heredia.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2019-20 season are Daniel Fitzpatrick, piano; Stephen Landy, percussion; Ann Mozina, flute; Jordan Nielsen, percussion; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Andrew Wiele, clarinet. Mizzou New Music Initiative post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi serves as the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.