Posts Tagged ‘ Alex Williams

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to present
benefit performance of “The Sound of Chess”

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be the featured performers in “The Sound of Chess,” a benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Kingside Diner, 4651 Maryland Ave in St Louis’ Central West End.

The Ensemble will perform three new works written by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess: “Love Your Enemy,” composed by Henry Stewart; “Caution” by Luke Henderson; and “The Endgame” by Alex Williams. The concert also will include a performance of “Illegal Cycles,” written in 2015 by Mizzou graduate student José Martínez.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Tickets for “The Sound of Chess” are $50 in advance from the St. Louis Chess Club website or $60 at the door, and include the concert, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary valet parking. For more information, contact events@worldchesshof.org.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble making moves
with compositions inspired by chess in concert
Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Three new works by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess will be given a “sneak preview” in a concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

All three pieces were composed for the Ensemble’s upcoming concert on Saturday, April 30 at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

“Love Your Enemy” is by Henry Breneman Stewart, a first-year master’s student majoring in composition and winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Capturing the tensions found in both the competition of chess and the expression of the arts, Stewart’s work contrasts loud, aggressive, figures with bittersweet melodic lines.

“Caution,” composed by Luke Henderson, was inspired by a Ben Franklin quote about chess. It features carnival-like marches and improvised sections that convey the excitement and delight resulting from being passionate about an interest, like chess. Henderson is a senior at Mizzou majoring in composition and music education. His work “Routine Android” had its premiere performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in March 2016 as part of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project.

Alex Williams’ “The Endgame” is a programmatic work based on the notion of chess as warfare. Opening with a saxophone “call to battle,” it depicts the violence of war with rugged mixed-meter melodies, which then give way to a mournful alto flute solo and the climax. Williams is a sophomore Sinquefield Scholar majoring in composition at Mizzou.

In addition to the three new chess-inspired works, the concert also will include “B&E (with aggravated assault)” by Oscar Bettison, who will be a distinguished guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival. Performed with guest musician Robbie Lawson on electric guitar, “B&E (with aggravated assault)” is described as “an unabashed heavy metal rock tune,” complete with double-bass drum pedal fills, shredding electric guitar, and wailing bass clarinet.

Rounding out the program will be a special performance of “Off Pist,” a “delightfully jazzy” work by the eclectic Swedish composer and bassist Svante Henryson; and a set by the Mizzou Creative Improvisation Ensemble, directed by Rich Pellegrin.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs positioning the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. In that capacity, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform
new works by visiting and student composers
Sunday, March 8 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play works by two visiting composers and three Mizzou students in their first concert of the new year at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 8 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus.

Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty, and staff with MU ID, $5 for the general public, with tickets available at the door.

The Ensemble (pictured) will perform “The Gargoyles of Notre Dame” by Andrew List, who will be visiting the Mizzou campus that week to work with them, as well as select movements of “The Companion Guide to Rome” by Andrew Norman, who will be one of two guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival in July.

List, a professor of composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, writes music in many different genres and has received numerous commissions and performances from professional music ensembles and solo artists in the United States and Europe.

Norman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He has won wide acclaim for his chamber and orchestral works, most recently “Play,” which was described as “a sprawling, engulfing, furiously unpredictable piece” by critic Alex Ross of The New Yorker.

The three student works to be performed are “Pulsar Phases” by senior composition major David Boullion, which combines his background in jazz with reference to classical music, funk and more; “Adrenaline” by freshman composition major Alex Williams, a work described as “a fast wild ride with unpredictable interruptions along the way”; and “Djole” by MNME clarinetist Jeremiah Rittel, which is inspired by West African drum music.

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 and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

In addition, at this concert Mizzou student Jaron Lester will serve as the Ensemble’s guest conductor for David Boullion’s “Pulsar Phases.”

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project chooses works
by Clark, Strobel and Williams for performance on Sunday, March 16

For a composer of orchestral music, getting a new work performed by a live orchestra represents not only the culmination of many hours of hard work but also the realization of a dream.

Now, three Missouri composers will see their work rewarded and hear their dreams realized, as the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of three orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert on Sunday, March 16 in Columbia.

The winning compositions were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). Each winner will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The works chosen for 2014 in the Open category are FE 700° C by Patrick David Clark and From the Book of the Dead by Robert Strobel. Clark, a native of St. Louis who now lives in Columbia, earned both a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s in composition from the University of Missouri. Strobel, also a resident of Columbia, is working on a master’s in composition at Mizzou.

The winning composition in the High School category is Firelight by Alex Williams, an 18-year-old senior at Neosho High School in Neosho.

The winners were selected through a blind judging process by John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, and Bruce Gordon, former orchestra manager for CCO.

All three winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 16 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers St. in Columbia.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students, and can be purchased in advance online at http://cco.missouri.org/ or at the door.

The concert also will include the Overture from Mizzou professor and CCO music director Stefan Freund’s forthcoming Civil War Oratorio; American Sojourn by Kevin Hartnett, a former winner in the statewide Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition for student composers; and Mutaciones I by Mizzou student José Martínez, which won the $6,000 National Prize for Culture in Martínez’ native country of Colombia.

Freund will conduct the orchestra’s performances of his Overture and of Martínez’ work, while Patrick Clark will conduct his own work and Robert Strobel’s composition. Brian Silvey, assistant professor of music education at Mizzou, will lead the performance of Hartnett’s American Sojourn, and MU junior Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will conduct Williams’ Firelight.

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 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community.

Patrick David Clark

Robert Strobel

Alex Williams