Mizzou New Music Ensemble opens 2012-13 season with concert on Monday, October 15 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will open their 2012-13 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 15 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

For the season opener, the Ensemble (pictured) will perform five recent pieces by composers associated with the University, along with two parts of Daniel Kellogg’s extended work Divinum Mysterium. Kellogg, an associate professor of music at the University of Colorado, will be one of the guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Penrose Staircase, written in 2012 by Mizzou sophomore percussion major Matthew Stiens, is a soundscape of a mathematically inspired drawing by M.C. Escher.

Source and Refraction was composed in 2004 by Patrick David Clark, who graduated from Mizzou in May, 2012 with a master’s degree in conducting. It’s described as “a thoughtful, soft piece for piano, cello, violin, and guitar, wherein the piano is the source. The other instruments color, or refract the piano’s melody.” For this piece, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest musician Paulo Oliveira on guitar.

Bhairava, a 2012 composition by Justin Alexander Pounds, explores the Eastern sounds of India through a modern lens. Pounds is a senior studying composition at Mizzou.

Dan Cox’s I’m back at my cliff, also written in 2012, is a musical depiction of the Native American tradition of a “vision quest.” Cox graduated from Mizzou in May, 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in music.

pendulum and present was composed by Michael Ward, a senior pursuing a degree in vocal performance at Mizzou. The 2012 work is “a study on time featuring rigid and mechanical rhythmic motives.”

The concert will conclude with the prelude and first movement of Daniel Kellogg’s Divinum Mysterium. Commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird, the five-movement work is based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.” With Patrick David Clark conducting, the Ensemble will play different parts of the work at each of their concerts this year in preparation for a full performance during the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The six-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students and recent alumni under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2012-13 season are Rachel AuBuchon, piano; Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Mary Jamerson, flutes; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; and Matthew Pierce, cello. As the repertory group for the Initiative, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Sinquefield Charitable Foundation commissions new works from Mizzou composers to celebrate The Sheldon’s 100th anniversary

The famous German composer Robert Schumann once said, “In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.” While that may be true, getting that new composition performed and heard once it is written can be another matter entirely. For an emerging composer writing music inspired by the classical tradition, performance opportunities can be few and far between.

To give some of those composers a chance to be heard, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Sheldon Concert Hall and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation have joined forces to commission a series of new works to commemorate The Sheldon’s centennial. Five composers associated with the University of Missouri will create new short works to be performed at five different concerts at The Sheldon during the hall’s historic 100th year.

Stefan Freund

The first piece comes from Mizzou music professor Stefan Freund, who has written a string quartet to be performed by St. Louis Symphony concertmaster David Halen and three of his SLSO colleagues as part of The Sheldon’s centennial gala on Thursday, October 11. The piece will be accompanied by a slideshow of 100 photographs taken to celebrate the hall’s 100th anniversary.

“One of the goals of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation is to find and grow composers,” said Jeanne Sinquefield. “This new Sinquefield inititative of working with The Sheldon and Mizzou composers is a perfect musical storm.”

The other four commissioned compositions, which range in length from five to seven minutes, will be played during subsequent concerts during the 2012-13 season.

Stephanie Berg

On Friday, November 9, the ArtSounds benefit featuring singer Sylvia McNair and pianist Kevin Cole will include a new work for piano and clarinet written by Stephanie Berg, a Kansas City native who earned her master’s in music from Mizzou earlier this year. Berg’s piece will underscore a slide show of 200 celebrity caricatures by Al Hirschfeld, the famed artist and St. Louis native whose work currently is the subject of a major exhibit in the Sheldon Art Galleries.

Patrick David Clark

Then on Tuesday February 5 and Wednesday, February 6, 2013, pianist Peter Henderson will perform a new work by composer Patrick David Clark as part of The Sheldon Coffee Concerts “Piano Classics” program. Clark, who grew up in St. Louis, earned his undergraduate degree at Mizzou, and just received his master’s degree in conducting from the University earlier this year.

Next, Mizzou undergrad Grant Bradshaw will perform his new composition for piano as part of the “Pianopalooza” concert featuring Peter Henderson, Alla Voskoboynikova, Daniel Schene and Martin Kennedy on Wednesday, February 27. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, currently is studying viola and composition at the University, and also is assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory.

Michael E. Anderson

Michael E. Anderson

The fifth and final work in the series is a composition for brass quintet by Michael Anderson, which will be performed by the Clarion Brass on April 10, 2013 as part of their “Springtime Brass Spectacular.” Anderson, who grew up in Platte City, MO, was the 2012 recipient of the University of Missouri’s Sinquefield Composition Prize and graduated from Mizzou in May with a degree in composition.

All five works will be recorded so they can be shared later online here on the Mizzou New Music Initiative website, as well as on the Sheldon’s website.

Augusta Read Thomas, Daniel Kellogg named as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Continuing its emerging tradition of pairing an acknowledged master and a rising star, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has named Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Formerly known as the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, the MICF will be held from Monday, July 22, 2013 through Saturday, July 27 on the campus of the University of Missouri. As in the past, the 2013 Festival will feature a series of public concerts featuring music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble.

Thomas currently is professor of composition at the University of Chicago. She formerly taught at Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and served as composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2006. Thomas was called “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music” on the occasion of her induction in 2009 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has had her music performed by major orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and prizes for her compositions.

Kellogg is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the Yale School of Music. He currently works as assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado. Kellogg has been called “one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic,” by the Washington Post.

With the 2013 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the Festival through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the Festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Thomas and Kellogg; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

The deadline for submitting an application is November 1, 2012. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/application.html.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou New Music Initiative’s summer event gets a new name:
Mizzou International Composers Festival

With applicants coming from dozens of countries on five different continents, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival already has attracted significant international attention in its first three years.

The composers from abroad who have been selected to participate clearly have influenced the Festival’s musical direction. They also have helped to spread the word about the event much farther and faster than originally anticipated. In a nod to these welcome developments, the event now will be known as the Mizzou International Composers Festival, effective immediately.

Though the name has changed, the format will remain essentially the same. The 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will take place from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27. It will be a week of activities and concerts, ending with a grand finale featuring world premieres of new works written by eight resident composers.

The new name simply reflects the experiences of the event’s first three years, said William Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “The international composers who have visited Columbia over the past three years have made exciting and substantive contributions to the event. We are increasing our efforts to attract even more resident composer applicants from outside the US,’ he said.

“Calling it a ‘composers festival’ places further emphasis on the vision of the New Music Initiative and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation: to spotlight the work of the eight emerging resident composers and celebrate the careers of two veteran guest composers,” Lackey added. “This is one of our signature events in the ongoing effort to make Columbia a center for composers, and we wanted the new name to make that clear.”

“Conversations with Composers” podcast – Episode 103

Here’s the third installment in our series of “Conversations With Composers” podcasts recorded at this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. Episode 103 is the second and final part of a conversation including guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and resident composers Stephanie Berg, Brian Ciach, Charlie Piper and Asha Srinivasan. Give it a listen using the embedded player below:

“Conversations with Composers” podcast – Episode 102

Here’s another installment in our series of “Conversations With Composers” podcasts. Recorded during the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, episode 102 is the first part of a conversation among guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and resident composers Stephanie Berg, Brian Ciach, Charlie Piper and Asha Srinivasan. You can hear it in the embedded player below:

“Conversations with Composers” podcast – Episode 101

The Mizzou New Music Initiative’s “Conversations With Composers” podcasts offer an inside perspective from the composers who took part in the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, featuring candid discussions of their work, backgrounds, influences and processes; their experiences during the Festival; and much more.

Episode 101 features guest composer Steven Stucky talking with resident composers Stylianos Dimou, Ted Goldman and Patrick Harlin. Check it out in the embedded player below:

More Mizzou New Music Summer Festival press coverage

As the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival has progressed this week, we’ve seen some more coverage of the Festival in the press and online:

* The Kansas City Star had a feature story about resident composer Stephanie Berg, who grew up in the KC suburb of Parkville.

* The Columbia Daily Tribune‘s Art Axis blog published interviews that reporter Aarik Danielsen conducted with guest composers Donnacha Dennehy and Steven Stucky.

* Violist Nadio Sirota, who’s a substitute player this week with the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, has written about her experience for the website of NYC’s classical music radio station WQXR.

* Nonesuch Records, which has released recordings by both Alarm Will Sound and Donna Dennehy, mentioned the MNMSF in the weekly news wrap-up on their website. (Scroll down to see.)

Meanwhile, resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound has posted on their Facebook page some photo sets offering a behind-the-scenes look at the first three days of the Festival:
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 1
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 2
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 3