Posts Tagged ‘ Alarm Will Sound

A nod from Nonesuch

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival and resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound are mentioned today in a journal entry on the website of AWS’ record company, Nonesuch, which is known for its support for adventurous music of all sorts.

You can read the item here.

Alarm Will Sound profiled in Columbia Missourian

Alarm Will Sound is the subject of a short feature story written by Emily Lynn for today’s Vox magazine, the arts and entertainment section of the Columbia Missourian. AWS is the Festival’s resident ensemble this year, performing in both the opening concert this past Monday and in the finale coming up on Sunday.

You can read the Missourian article online here.

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge and open to the public.

For those who’d like to get an inside look at how brand new compositions are prepared for performance, our resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured) will hold several open rehearsals during the week.

Here’s the schedule of open rehearsals and their locations:

Tuesday, July 13: 1:45 p.m – 5:00 p.m, Loeb Hall 201
Wednesday, July 14: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Loeb Hall 201
Thursday, July 15: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Loeb Hall 201
Friday, July 16: 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts

Presentations by the Festival’s resident and faculty composers also will be open to the public. They’ll take place from 8:45 AM – 12:15 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Fine Arts Building‘s Room 145.  MU associate professor Stefan Fruend’s presentation at 7:30 p.m. Saturday also will take place in Fine Arts 145, and is open to the public.

In addition, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, several members of Alarm Will Sound will present a free lecture and recital titled “Composers as Performers”; and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, members of Alarm Will Sound will give a free presentation on extended instrumental techniques. Both of these events will take place at Whitmore Recital Hall, which is located in the Fine Arts Building.

Spotlight on Stefan Freund

Cellist and composer Stefan Freund is a big part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. As associate professor of composition and music theory, Freund teaches young composers at Mizzou and directs the Creating Original Music Project (COMP). He’ll be busy during the inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, too, both as a teacher and as a performer with Alarm Will Sound, the Fest’s resident ensemble.

A native of Memphis, TN, Freund received a BM with High Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music and an MM and a DMA from the Eastman School of Music. His primary composition teachers included Pulitzer Prize winners Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner as well as Augusta Read Thomas, Frederick Fox, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, and Don Freund, his father. He studied cello with Steven Doane, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Peter Spurbeck and others.

Freund is the recipient of numerous prizes, including multiple awards from BMI and  ASCAP, a Music Merit Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Howard Hanson Prize. He was selected as the 2004 Music Teachers National Association-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year, and in 2006 was awarded the MU Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award.

Freund also has received many commissions as a composer, and his music has been performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, NPR’s St. Paul Sunday Morning, the National Gallery of Art, the Aspen Music Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Glinka Hall (St. Petersburg), Queen’s Hall (DK), the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, and other concert halls in Austria, Germany, and Greece. His works have been recorded on the Innova, Crystal, and Centaur labels.

As a cellist, Freund has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, the Hermitage Theatre (RU), the Muzikgebouw (ND), the World Financial Center, and Miller Theatre.  He has recorded on the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, and I Virtuosi labels as well as Sweetspot Music DVD.

Previously an assistant professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, Freund also has served as a faculty member of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and presently is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

For more about Freund, check out “The next sound: A new initiative supports aspiring composers, ” a feature story written by Dale Smith for the summer 2010 issue of Mizzou magazine.

In the first embedded video window below, you can see and hear Freund conducting the Columbia Civic Orchestra in a performance of his composition “Cyrillic Dream,” created in 2009 and inspired by a visit to Russia and the omnipresence there of the Cyrillic alphabet.  In the second window, you can check out Freund and Alarm Will Sound performing their rendition of “Revolution 9” by the Beatles in July 2009 at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

Spotlight on Alarm Will Sound

The inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival is fortunate to have Alarm Will Sound (pictured) as our resident ensemble.

They’ll kick off the festival with a concert at the Missouri Theater and Center for the Arts on Monday, July 12, and will work with our eight emerging composers throughout the week, culminating in the world premiere of their new works at the concluding concert on Sunday, July 18.

Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the London Financial Times and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle.  The New York Times says Alarm Will Sound is “the future of classical music” and “the very model of a modern music chamber band,” and ASCAP recognized their contributions to new music with a 2006 Concert Music Award for “the virtuosity, passion and commitment with which they perform and champion the repertory for the 21st century.”

Alarm Will Sound’s repertoire includes European and American works “from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced.”  They work closely with contemporary composers, which makes them especially well suited for their role working with emerging composers at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

The group has commissioned and premiered pieces by Steve Reich, David Lang, Anthony Gatto, Cenk Ergün, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Gordon, Augusta Read Thomas, Stefan Freund, Wolfgang Rihm, Payton MacDonald, John Orfe, Gavin Chuck, Dennis DeSantis and Caleb Burhans.

Alarm Will Sound can be heard on four recordings, including Acoustica, which features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin; Reich at the Roxy, a surround-sound DVD/CD recording of a live concert of music by Steve Reich performed in the famed New York nightclub; and their most recent release, 2009’s a/rhythmia. You can hear samples from those recordings here.

The 20 members of Alarm Will Sound began playing together while studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York,  combining their diverse experience in composition, improvisation, jazz and popular styles, early music, and world musics.

Their connection to the University of Missouri is cellist and composer Stefan Freund (pictured), who serves as Associate Professor, Composition & Music Theory and as a faculty member for the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The other members of Alarm Will Sound are Miles Brown (bass),  Caleb Burhans (violin, viola, voice, electric guitar, composer),  Gavin Chuck (managing director, composer), Michael Clayville (trombone), Michael Harley (bassoon, voice, keyboards),  Bill Kalinkos (clarinet, sax), Jackie Leclair (oboe), Payton MacDonald (percussion, tabla, composer),  Nigel Maister (staging director),  Matt Marks (horn, keyboards, electronics), Courtney Orlando (violin, voice, keyboards, accordion), John Orfe (keyboards, composer), Alan Pierson (artistic director, conductor, keyboards), Jason Price (trumpet, cracklebox, electronics), John Pickford Richards (viola, accordion), Elisabeth Stimpert (clarinet, sax),  Chris Thompson (percussion) and Jason Varvaro (production manager).  You can read more about each member of the ensemble on the Alarm Will Sound website.

Before they come to Columbia in July, Alarm Will Sound will perform in two concerts at The Barbican in London.  On June 24, the group performs at Wilton’s Music Hall, the world’s oldest music hall, playing electronica by Aphex Twin and Autechre, the Beatles’ iconic experimental tape work, Revolution 9, and John Orfe’s Chamber Symphony.  On June 25, the group will perform The Getty Address at the Barbican with indie-rockers Dirty Projectors.

You can see and hear a couple of Alarm Will Sound performances –  and get a sense of their impressive and eclectic musical range – in the embedded video windows below. The first clip is their rendition of  “Four” by the electronic music act Aphex Twin (aka Richard James), arranged by Jessica Johnson and Payton MacDonald, and performed on  July 22, 2009.  Below that, there’s a performance of maverick composer Conlon Nancarrow‘s “Player Piano Study No. 2A,”  arranged by Gavin Chuck and recorded November 19, 2008 at the Moscow Art November Festival.