Posts Tagged ‘ Amy Beth Kirsten

Tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 22-27, 2019; applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, 2019 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten (pictured) will return to the MICF to serve as the two distinguished guest composers for 2019, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Dennehy was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012, while Kirsten was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the eight resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 16, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, Donnacha Dennehy is the founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. His music has been featured at festivals and venues around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican in London, and many others.

In recent years, Dennehy has concentrated especially on large-scale musico-dramatic works, including his first opera “The Last Hotel,” which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015; “The Second Violinist,” which won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera and premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival; and the docu-opera “The Hunger,” which was performed as a work-in-progress at the 2012 MICF, subsequently co-produced in completed form by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre St. Louis, and presented at BAM in New York.

The full concert version of “The Hunger” will be performed during the 2019 MICF by Alarm Will Sound and guest soloists Kate Manley and Iarla O’Lionaird as part of AWS’ Thursday night concert. That concert also will include a performance of part of a new operatic work-in-progress that Kirsten is composing for Alarm Will Sound.

Educated at Roosevelt University and the Peabody Institute, Amy Beth Kirsten currently lives in New Haven, CT and is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her work explores theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation, fusing music, language, voice, and theatre, with musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices often considered as equal vehicles of expression.

She has written and composed fully-staged theatrical works as well as traditional concert works for her own ensemble, HOWL, musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, eighth blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, and others.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

MICF alumni win commissions from Barlow Endowment, Chamber Music America

Clockwise from top left: Cuong, Peck, Stark, McLosky

As this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival was ending, news broke that several MICF alumni have won commissions in annual competitions sponsored by the Barlow Endowment and by Chamber Music America.

This year’s winners of general commissions from the Barlow Endowment include past MICF resident composers Viet Cuong (MICF 2018), Charles Peck (MICF 2017), and Christopher Stark (MICF 2015). In addition, Lansing McLoskey, who visited the Mizzou campus as a guest composer in 2015, also won a Barlow commission for 2018.

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition was established in 1983 at Brigham Young University, and makes annual awards in support of the Barlow Prize, general commissions, commissions for composers from the Church of Latter Day Saints, and education grants.

From left: Takuma Itoh, Amy Beth Kirsten

Meanwhile, Chamber Music America this week announced the 2018 awards from its major grant programs, including the classical commissioning program, which for 2018 will include grants to former MICF resident composers Takuma Itoh (MICF 2016) and Amy Beth Kirsten (MICF 2010).

CMA’s classical commissioning program provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music.

Congratulations to all!

Kirsten, Podgursky win commissions from Harvard’s Fromm Foundation

Congratulations to Amy Beth Kirsten and Jeremy Podgursky, both resident composers at the inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival in 2010, for winning $10,000 commissions this year from Harvard University’s Fromm Music Foundation.

The Fromm Music Foundation has been located at Harvard since 1972, and has commissioned more than 300 new compositions and their performances, as well as sponsoring hundreds of new music concerts and concert series. Kirsten and Podgursky are among 12 winners of commissions this year.

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival resident composers earn new honors

Several of the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident composers recently have received additional honors for their work.

Clint Needham (pictured), who was one of the resident composers for the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, was awarded the prestigious Barlow Prize for 2011. A total of 170 composers from around the world applied for this award, which carries a $12,000 commission to write a new work for woodwind quintet.

In addition, three resident composers were recognized among the 15 members of the last round of competition for the new music ensemble eighth blackbird‘s composition competition. Yotam Haber, who took part in the 2011 festival, and Amy Beth Kirsten and Jeremy Podgursky. who both were resident composers at the inaugural festival in 2010, were selected from among more than 500 composers who applied.

Spotlight on Amy Beth Kirsten

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, Amy Beth Kirsten grew up in Kansas City and Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Jazz Studies from Benedictine University and a master’s degree in Composition from Chicago College of Performing Arts.

She currently lives and works in New Haven, CT, and graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in May 2010 with a doctorate in music composition.

Kirsten was honored in 2009 to have the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, read her new orchestra piece “The Girl He Drew.” In 2009 she also held a Creative Arts residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy; was a finalist for the 2009 Rome Prize in Musical Composition; and held summer composition fellowships at the Norfolk New Music Workshop and Bang on a Can Summer Festival.

Previously, Kirsten was chosen to participate in the American Composers Orchestra’s 16th Annual Underwood New Music Readings and won the 2006-07 Volti Choral Arts Lab Commissioning and Residency competition in San Francisco. She also recently was named a 2010 Composer Fellow for the Music10 New Music Festival in Switzerland with 8th Blackbird.

In addition to participating in the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Kirsten has another recent Missouri connection. Previously, she was commissioned by Missouri Verses and Voices to create a musical setting for “Hall of Waters” by Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen, which had its debut performance in February 2010 at the Capitol in Jefferson City.

Before moving to the East Coast, Kirsten was a regular fixture on the Chicago singer/songwriter scene, performing at such venues as Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, Quenchers Saloon, The Subterranean, Katerina’s, and Uncommon Ground. She got her start as a singer by studying the great improvisors of jazz, and continues to use the skills developed in her jazz training as a tool in her work as a composer of contemporary concert music.

To hear samples of Amy Beth Kirsten’s music, you can visit her website.

In the embedded video window below, you can see a performance of part one of Kirsten’s composition “Little Falling Red,” which was written for Norfolk New Music Workshop. (For more about the piece, see Kirsten’s comments to NYC classical music radio station WQXR here.) The video was made July 3, 2009, and features soprano Alice Teyssier and the Norfolk New Music Ensemble, withe Sarunas Jankauskas, clarinet; Jennifer Griggs, trombone; Chun-Chien Chuang, violin; Brian Ellingson, double bass; Julia Den Boer, piano; and Ian Rosenbaum, percussion.