2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival once again will include a number of events that are free of charge.

All the presentations by the Festival’s guest, resident and faculty composers are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 145 of the Fine Arts Building on the MU campus.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 21; and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22.

Guest composer Nico Muhly will discuss his work at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:15 p.m. by MU faculty composer Stefan Freund.

Then on Wednesday, July 23, guest composer Zhou Long will give his presentation at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney to follow at 8:30 p.m.

To get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Festival’s eight world premieres and other new works are being prepared for performance, you can see the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound in several rehearsals during the week that will be open to the public at no charge.

Open rehearsals will take place from 9:00 a.m to noon on Tuesday and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Missouri Theatre; and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 25 in Room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou International Composers Festival website.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Texu Kim

Texu Kim

A native of South Korea, 2014 MICF resident composer Texu Kim currently is pursuing a doctorate in composition with minors in electronic music and music theory at Indiana University, where he also serves as an associate instructor in music theory.

Before coming to the USA, Texu earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from Seoul National University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the same university, and in 1998 was a silver medal winner at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Melbourne, Australia.

In March, he was appointed composer-in-residence for the Korean Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, which will premiere two of his orchestral pieces in 2015. For the MICF, he’s written a new work called “Bounce” that will be performed by Alarm Will Sound, along with new works from the festival’s other resident composers, at the festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

Texu also is looking forward to upcoming performances of his work at the ACDA Cincinnati Regional Convention, Ensemble Reconsil’s Exploring World Festival, and at the AGO National Convention in Boston.

Previously, his music has been been performed by Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble TIMF, NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University, and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble. 

Texu’s awards and honors include the OSSIA New Music Composition Prize and Sang Yun International Composition Prize, as well as recognition from organizations such as the C4 Commissioning Competition, Gamma-UT Conference and Concert, Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School, ITongyeong International Music Festival, and Joong-Ang Music Concours. 

In addition to his contemporary compositions, his arrangements and orchestrations have been commissioned for and performed at events including the Innsbrook Music Festival and Piece & Piano Festival, and by groups such as Ensemble Mode and the Chamber Music Society of Kumho Art Hall.

His arrangements are featured on three albums by soprano Sumi Jo, and on recordings by harpist Jung Kwak, violinists Chee-Yun and Suyoen Kim, pianist Yeol-Eum Son, daegum (Korean traditional wind instrument) player Jeong-Seung Kim, and more. Texu also has written more than 50 songs for toddlers that were published by Bicycle Korea.

You can hear more of Texu Kim’s music in the embedded audio player and video windows below.

“Shake It!!” (2014), recorded January 21, 2014 at Indiana University’s Auer Hall.
Conducted by Texu Kim, featuring Heath White (flute), Mayu Isom (oboe), Nick Morandi (Bb clarinet, bass clarinet), Felipe Brito (trombone), Andreas Foivos Apostolou (piano), Augusta McKay Lodge (violin), Yoni Gertner (viola) and Timothée Berte-Renou (cello).

“Chopsaltok” (2012), premiered February 17, 2013 by Indiana University Symphonic Choir at Auer Hall, conducted by Jaeeun Kim and featuring Xie Zhizhong (tenor).

Composers Festival Spotlight: Ian Dicke

Ian Dicke

Resident composer Ian Dicke comes to this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival from the University of California, Riverside, where he just completed his first year as an assistant professor of digital composition.

A native of New Jersey, Ian earned degrees in music from the University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A), University of Michigan (M.M.), and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (B.M.). In addition to teaching and composing, he also helps run two presenting organizations, founding and curating the Outpost Concert Series in Riverside while also continuing to co-direct the annual music festival Fast Forward Austin.

Drawing inspiration from social-political culture and interactive technology, Ian has written music in a variety of genres integrating acoustic ensembles with cutting edge audio processing techniques. Called “refreshingly well-structured” by Feast of Music and “uncommonly memorable” by Sequenza 21, his music has been performed by ensembles and festivals around the world, including the New World Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, ISCM World New Music Days, and the Atlantic Coast Center Band Director’s Association.

Ian has received grants, awards, and recognition from the Fulbright Program, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New Music USA, New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, and BMI, among others. He has been an artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and at Art342, and spent the 2012-2013 academic year living in Sweden as a Fulbright scholar researching interactive musical interfaces and environments.

In addition to writing “86′d” to be performed at the 2014 MICF by Alarm Will Sound, Ian’s other recent projects include a new work for the Friction Quartet and an interactive electronics and video piece for the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

You can hear some of Ian Dicke’s music on his website and in the embedded videos below.

“Grand Central” (2012), recorded March 2, 2013 by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble; Nicole Paiement, conductor. Commissioned by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and scored for chamber orchestra, live audio processing, and video projections.

“Eight Oh Eight” (2011), performed by Dicke on September 27, 2013 at the Craft in America Study Center in Los Angeles.

“Assembly Lines” (2011), performed by the Boston New Music Initiative; Ray Daniels, conductor, on October 1, 2011

“Song of the Telegraph” (2010), performed by the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble, Albert T. Nguyen, Conductor.
l. Across the Wires; ll. Song of the Clouds; lll. Bluebird’s Halo

Composers Festival Spotlight: Holly Harrison

Holly Harrison

Holly Harrison is the first-ever MICF resident composer to come from Australia, where she was was born and raised, and currently is studying for a Doctorate of Creative Arts in Composition at the University of Western Sydney. She previously graduated from the University’s bachelor of music program with the University Medal for outstanding academic achievement.

Holly’s music is “driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock, and whimsical humour.” The first and last of those qualities certainly are reflected in the name of the piece she’s written for Alarm Will Sound to perform at the festival, which is called “Radishes and Strings.”

Another of Holly’s works, “Cabbages and Kings,” recently won first place at the 2014 Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, resulting in a commission to write a new piece for Orkest de Ereprijs for 2015. “Cabbages and Kings” also will be performed by Orkest de Ereprijs in September at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht.

Her honors and awards have included an Australia Postgraduate Award, three APRA Composition Awards, and the Marianne Rosenberg Musicology Prize. Holly received the Australia and Pacific Prize for the 2014 Zvi Zeitlin Memorial International Composers Competition, and in 2013 was the winner of the inaugural Pyeongchon Arts Hall International Chamber Music Composition Competition (South Korea).

Holly was selected for the 2013 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Composers Workshop here in the USA and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program. She also was the Australian representative for the Young Composers Competition at the 29th Asian Composers’ League Conference and Festival held in 2011 in Taiwan.

Her music has been performed in Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA by ensembles and soloists including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orkest de Ereprijs, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Minot Symphony Orchestra, Hwaum Chamber Orchestra, National Taiwan Normal University Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring’s Jason Noble, and Antonietta Loffredo. Holly currently is collaborating with The Riot Ensemble (UK) on a work for two percussionists.

You can hear some of Holly Harrison’s music in the SoundCloud player embedded below.

Holly Harrison on drums in a duo with guitarist Joey Tabua,
recorded in May 2013 at the Workshop Playhouse Theater.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Michael Schacter

Michael Schachter

Michael Schacter is one of eight resident composers at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, and comes to Columbia from Ann Arbor, MI, where he currently is working towards a Ph.D. in music theory and composition at the University of Michigan.

Originally from Massachusetts and an enthusiastic Red Sox fan, Michael is a pianist as well as a composer whose music draws from “an eclectic brew of influences including jazz and New Orleans, Renaissance polyphony, Jewish liturgy and klezmer, and South Indian classical music.”

He earned his BA in 2009 from Harvard, where he directed the Harvard Chamber Singers and founded and directed the Harvard Jazz Collective, performing in concerts and master classes with Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Roy Haynes, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and many others.

As a scholar, Michael’s research interests include the philosophy of music (especially aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics), pedagogy, early music, jazz, New Orleans music, and the classical music of South India. He spent the 2009-2010 academic year in Chennai, India, studying South Indian classical singing and vina playing. He returned there earlier this year to continue his research on melodic structures in South Indian classical music and work on a joint project transcribing and cataloging ragas with vina virtuoso Karaikudi S. Subramanian.

As a composer, Michael has received recognition from BMI, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum, and his orchestral work “Freylekhe Tanzen” was selected for the ill-fated 2013 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.

In 2013, the University of Michigan in partnership with the Gershwin family commissioned him to compose a mash-up of the University’s fight song “Hail to the Victors” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The resulting “Rhapsody in Maize and Blue” was premiered by Kenneth Kiesler and the University Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring singer Audra McDonald.

Other recent and upcoming projects include premieres with the New York Virtuoso Singers, the Vocal Essence Ensemble Singers, and the Aurea Silva Trio, as well as collaborations with Subramanian, the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, the Jameson Singers, bass-baritone Davone Tines, and saxophonist Eddie Goodman.

For the 2014 MICF, Michael has written a new work called “Five-Six-Seven-Eight,” that will be one of eight world premieres performed by resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound for the Festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

“The opportunity to write for an ensemble with the timbral palette of a full orchestra but the locked-in tightness of a Pro Tools session perhaps overly piqued my imagination, and I wanted to use this piece to explore a greater range of textures and ideas than one coherent movement could reasonably accommodate,” he said. “As such, the work consists of four miniatures, each between one and two minutes in length. The title, a reference to the common bandstand count-in, reflects the different dance-inspired characters of each miniature.”

You can hear more of Michael Schacter’s music on his website, and in the videos below.

The world premiere performance of “Three Wallace Stevens Songs”
on March 30, 2014 by The New York Virtuoso Singers

The final three minutes of “Oseh Shalom Bimromav,” winner of the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra’s Young Composer Competition, performed in May 2013 by the BCCO.

“II. Jig, for Cello and Piano” (2011) performed by Schachter (piano) and Pierre Derycz (cello) at 2012 Midwest Composers Symposium at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Zhou Long to serve as guest composer
for 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival;
Beat Furrer unable to attend for medical reasons

The Mizzou New Music Initiative announced today that Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who had been scheduled to be one of the guest composers later this month at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, will be unable to attend the festival due to medical reasons.

In place of Furrer, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, has agreed to serve as a guest composer for the 2014 MICF.

“We regret that Beat Furrer won’t be able to participate in this year’s festival, as his doctor has advised him not to travel, and we hope he’s feeling better soon,” said William J. Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “However, we feel extraordinarily fortunate that a composer of Zhou Long’s stature happened to have space in his schedule at this time, and we are most grateful that he has agreed to join us in Columbia on such short notice.”

Zhou (pictured) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011 for his first opera, Madame White Snake. Born in 1953 in China, he first came to the United States in 1985 to study music at Columbia University, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993.

He has taught at UMKC since 2001, and has received awards, fellowships and commissions from major organizations and musical ensembles all around the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Cary Trust, and the Copland Fund for Music.

For MICF ticket buyers, the change in guest composers means that they’ll hear a different program during the concert by Alarm Will Sound on Thursday, July 24 at the Missouri Theatre, as the festival’s resident ensemble will perform Zhou’s Bell Drum Towers in place of one of the Furrer compositions previously scheduled. That concert also will include music by Nico Muhly, the MICF’s other guest composer this year.

For the festival’s eight resident composers, Zhou’s participation in the festival will give them a chance to study and interact with a composer and teacher who has been recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West.

A pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms, Zhou served as music director for the presenting organization Music From China for more than a decade while living in New York. During the MICF, he will give a public presentation about his music; instruct and interact with the eight resident composers in individual and group sessions; and work with Alarm Will Sound on the performance of Bell Drum Towers.

To buy tickets for the Mizzou International Composers Festival online, or to see a complete listing of events, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound

It’s been a busy year for Alarm Will Sound since the last Mizzou International Composers Festival.

For starters, the MICF’s resident ensemble (pictured) recently completed a year-long residency at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing there four times during the 2013-14 presenting season.

The concerts at the Met included “Permanent Collection,” revisiting key works written for the sinfonietta throughout musical history, in October; an all-Steve Reich program in November; a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham in February; and “I Was Here I Was I,” a music and theater piece composed by Kate Soper with a libretto by Nigel Maister, in June.

AWS over the past year also presented their second season of performances in St. Louis, playing three different programs at the Sheldon Concert Hall and making their debut at the top rock venue The Pageant with music from Aphex Twin, Steve Reich and Tyondai Braxton.

As part of their effort to get more involved in St. Louis, members of Alarm Will Sound conducted an ongoing series of workshops with students at the Community Music School of Webster University, culminating with selected students from CMS joining AWS on stage to perform in season’s final concert at The Sheldon. The program’s eventual goal, according to AWS managing director Gavin Chuck, is to form a student ensemble  – sort of an “Alarm Will Sound Jr,” if you will – to give CMS students continuing opportunities to learn and perform music by living composers.

And as if all that weren’t enough, AWS also managed to travel to Europe twice, to perform last September at the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland, and in November to play at the Cresc Biennale in Frankfurt, Germany.

Other 2014 performances included a concert at NYC’s Carnegie Hall in June, featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Kate Moore, Kaki King, and Richard Ayres; and Alarm Will Sound’s Chicago debut over the Independence Day weekend in a concert at Millennium Park.

Last but certainly not least, AWS managed to make it to Columbia for the first time during the academic year, playing February 7 in a free concert at the Missouri Theatre.

Looking ahead, this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival once again will feature two performances by Alarm Will Sound at the Missouri Theatre.  On Thursday, July 24, they’ll present a program including music from 2014 guest composer Nico Muhly, John Adams’ “Scratchband,” and more.

Then for the Festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 26, AWS will will perform eight world premieres of works written especially for them by this year’s eight resident composers. Tickets for both concerts are on sale now.

For the latest from Alarm Will Sound, you can follow them on Twitter and/or “Like” them on Facebook.

You also can hear some of the music Alarm Will Sound has premiered at past Mizzou International Composers Festivals via SoundCloud. Audio files from 2010 are here; the tracks from 2011 are here; and 2012’s files are here.

Twinned: Alarm Will Sound/Dance Heginbotham
Recorded February 20, 2014 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alarm Will Sound at the Community Music School of Webster University

Ives “Ragtime Dance No. 4″
Recorded October 11, 2013 during the “Permanent Collection” performance at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Audio of the complete “Permanent Collection” concert

If you’re coming to Columbia…

If you’re planning coming to Columbia for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, you can get advance tickets online for all three concerts, which will be presented again this year at the Missouri Theatre:

Thursday, July 24: Alarm Will Sound
Friday, July 25: Mizzou New Music
Saturday, July 26: Eight World Premieres

Also, you may find these links useful for planning and/or during your visit:

Visitors information
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
University of Missouri Visitors Guide
Columbia Regional Airport
Vox Magazine’s guide to Columbia restaurants
City of Columbia official site
2013-2014 Columbia Missouri Visitor & Area Guide

Media
Columbia Tribune
Columbia Missourian
Columbia area radio stations
KOMU-TV (NBC)
KMIZ-TV (ABC)
KRCG-TV (CBS)
KMOS-TV (PBS)

National Weather Service forecast for Boone County, Missouri