Posts Tagged ‘ Amy Beth Kirsten

A look back at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Amy Beth Kirsten

Amy Beth Kirsten occupies a unique place in Mizzou International Composers Festival history, returning in 2019 as a distinguished guest composer after having been one of the eight resident composers at the very first MICF (then called the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival) in 2010.

Kirsten is the only composer to take part in the festival in both capacities, and to celebrate her return, the 2019 MICF will feature the world premiere of excerpts from a major new composition of hers.

Selected parts of “Jacob in Chains,” an evening-length, music-driven theatrical work commissioned by Alarm Will Sound and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, will be performed for the first time anywhere as part of AWS’ concert on Thursday, July 25 at the Missouri Theatre. In addition, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform Kirsten’s “World Under Glass No. 2” at the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

Recognized with artist fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, Amy Beth Kirsten grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City and Chicago; was educated at Roosevelt University (MM) and the Peabody Institute (DMA); and now lives in New Haven, CT.

A member of the composition faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College since 2017, she also teaches music composition privately and, for the past eight years, at the HighSCORE summer festival in Pavia, Italy. Kirsten previously served on the faculty of the Peabody Institute from 2015 to 2017, and she has been a guest lecturer at institutions including the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (U.K.), Yale University, Princeton University, Curtis Institute, Cornell University, and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

The expansive nature of “Jacob in Chains” is in keeping with Kirsten’s aesthetic, which is “characterized by an abiding interest in exploring theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation…Her body of work fuses music, language, voice, and theatre and often considers musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices as equal vehicles of expression.”

Kirsten’s major works in recent years include “Savior,” a collaboration between her own ensemble, HOWL, and musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, that was premiered in 2018 for the 20th anniversary of the CSO’s MusicNOW series; “QUIXOTE,” a 90-minute theatrical work inspired by Cervantes’ epic novel, created with director/designer Mark DeChiazza and HOWL and staged in 2017 at Montclair State University in New Jersey; and “Colombine’s Paradise Theatre,” an evening-length work commissioned and produced by the multi-Grammy-winning eighth blackbird that opened the 2014-15 seasons of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and New York’s Miller Theatre, selling out both venues.

She also has written and composed fully-staged theatrical works and traditional concert works for HOWL, the New World Symphony, Peak Performances, American Composers Orchestra, and many others. Most recently, over the past year she has composed solo and chamber works for Mike Compitello (percussion), the Dutch singer/composer Bec Plexus (voice and percussion), New Thread Quartet (saxophones), and Don Berman (piano).

For more about Amy Beth Kirsten, read the Chicago Tribune‘s story from 2018 about the premiere of “Savior”, and the interview with her published around that same time on the CSO’s “Songs and Stories” website. You can hear some samples of her music in the embedded players below.

“World Under Glass No. 2,” performed by Equilibrium, featuring Nicole Parks (violin), Mike Avitabile (flute), Stephen Marotto (cello), and Mike Williams (percussion), conducted by Matt Sharrock

“Pirouette On A Moon Sliver,” recorded October 31, 2017, performed by Emma Resmini

“the crowd examines QUIXOTE to find a cause of his madness,” recorded in March 2017 at Montclair State University,  performed by HOWL, featuring Jonny Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney ( percussion), with Lindsay Kesselman (soprano), Hai-Ting Chinn (mezzo-soprano) and Kirsten Sollek (contralto)

“Drink Me,” performed by Alarm Will Sound on July 18, 2010 at the Missouri Theatre

2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival complete schedule

Here is the complete schedule of events for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Celebrating its tenth year in 2019, the MICF begins on Monday, July 22 and continues through Saturday, July 27. All festival events listed are free and open to the public, with general admission seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Events will take place at the Fine Arts Building and Loeb Hall on the campus of the University of Missouri; at the Missouri Theatre, Cafe Berlin, and two “pop-up” locations in downtown Columbia; and at the Firestone Baars Chapel on the campus of Stephens College.

Monday, July 22

9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Resident Composer Presentations:
Chelsea Komschlies, inti figgis-vizueta and Peter Shin
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound – Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th Street

6:00 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.
Resident Composer Presentations:
Theo Chandler, Nicole Murphy and Aaron Mencher
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus

Tuesday, July 23

9:30 a.m. – 10:55 p.m.
Resident Composer Presentations:
Charles Halka and Kristina Wolfe
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“0150719 by reference”
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Audio installation by Kenneth Kirschner and Daniel Neumann.

7:00 PM
Daniel Neumann, Guest Artist Presentation
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Wednesday, July 24

2:10 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound – Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“0150719 by reference”
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Audio installation by Kenneth Kirschner and Daniel Neumann.

7:00 p.m.
Amy Beth Kirsten, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus

8:15 p.m.
Donnacha Dennehy, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the Mizzou campus

Thursday, July 25

1:00 p.m.
Khemia Ensemble “Pop-Up Concert #1”
Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream, 21 S 9th Street

Khemia Ensemble members Elizabeth Robinson (flute), Thiago Ancelmo de Souza (clarinet), Er-Gene Kahng (violin), and Amy Petrongelli (soprano) perform works by Lembit Beecher, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ellen Harrison, Bruno Mantovani and Bjarne Brustad.

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“0150719 by reference”
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Audio installation by Kenneth Kirschner and Daniel Neumann.

7:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street

The festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound and guest artist Richard Crawford will perform the world premiere of “Jacob In Chains,” a new work written specifically for the festival by MICF distinguished guest composer Amy Beth Kirsten. AWS also will perform the concert version of distinguished guest composer Donnacha Dennehy’s “The Hunger” with guest artists Kate Manley and Iarla O’Lionard, and “Con/Influences” by Mizzou professor of composition, MNMI artistic director, and AWS cellist Stefan Freund.

9:30 p.m.
Bels Lontano
Cafe Berlin, 220 North 10th Street

Original electronic music by Mizzou composers and MICF resident composers. Presented in association with Dismal Niche.

Friday, July 26

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound – Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Loeb Hall 201 on the Mizzou campus

1:00 p.m.
Khemia Ensemble “Pop-Up Concert #2”
Uprise Bakery, 10 Hitt Street

Khemia Ensemble percussionists Chelsea Tinsler Jones and Shane Jones perform music by Andy Akiho, John Cage, Tom Johnson, and Tim Peterson.

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound – Open Rehearsal with Resident Composers
Loeb Hall 201 on the Mizzou campus

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
“0150719 by reference”
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Audio installation by Kenneth Kirschner and Daniel Neumann.

7:30 p.m.
Mizzou New Music
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street

This concert showcases the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, performing music by distinguished guest composers Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten and Mizzou student composer Jack Snelling. In addition, faculty duo DRAX will perform a work by Mizzou assistant professor of composition Carolina Heredia, and Mizzou Percussion will perform music by Kirsten, Annika Socolofsky, and 2019 MICF resident composer inti figgis-vizueta.

9:30 p.m.
Eli Keszler
Firestone Baars Chapel, 1306 East Walnut Street

Solo performance of original works for percussion and electronics. Presented in association with Dismal Niche.

Saturday, July 27

11:00 a.m.
Khemia Ensemble
Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus

Multimedia chamber group Khemia Ensemble, featuring Mizzou faculty members Carolina Heredia, Bret Bohman, and Eli Lara, will perform a program of works by composers including Heredia, Bohman, Andy Akiho, Chris Cerrone, Daniel Fawcett, Patricia Martinez, Emma O’Halloran, and 2019 MICF resident composer inti figgis-vizueta.

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
“0150719 by reference”
Missouri Theatre – Second Floor Lobby, 203 South 9th Street

Audio installation by Kenneth Kirschner and Daniel Neumann.

7:30 p.m.
Eight World Premieres performed by Alarm Will Sound
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street

The grand finale concert features the world premieres of eight works created specifically for the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound by the festival’s resident composers:

* Theo Chandler – “Familiar Punchlines”
* inti figgis-vizueta – “braiding on golden stoops”
* Charles Halka – “Fever Dream”
* Chelsea Komschlies – “Hexactinellida”
* Aaron Mencher – “Haworthia”
* Nicole Murphy – “Dust”
* Peter Shin – “dogwhistling”
* Kristina Wolfe – “A Curation of Finds”

Composers Festival spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Occupying their usual spot in the festival lineup, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be performing during the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival as part of Friday night’s “Mizzou New Music” concert at the Missouri Theatre.

Their portion of the evening’s program will include works by the MICF’s two distinguished guest composers – “The Blotting” by Donnacha Dennehy and “World Under Glass No. 2” by Amy Beth Kirsten – as well as music by Mizzou student Jack Snelling.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the MICF. The Ensemble serves as the repertory group for MNMI, working with faculty, students, and visiting composers, and giving public performances on campus and in the community.

In addition to presenting several concerts each year in Columbia, the Ensemble also has performed programs of works by Mizzou composers at the Contemporary Art Museum – St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, Forest Park, the World Chess Hall of Fame, Cortex Innovation Community, and more.

The Ensemble’s current members are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Libby Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets. They will be augmented for this performance by Mizzou graduate student Tyler Hannsz on viola. MNMI’s post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi serves as the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.

You can hear some past performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble using the embedded player below.

2019 MICF in the media

With this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival fast approaching, MNMI has been working to get the word out via local media.

For starters, the “Mizzou Music” radio program, heard at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evenings on Columbia’s classical music station KMUC, has been airing a series of interviews with participants in this year’s MICF.

Composers interviewed by host Aaron Hay so far include Peter Shin, Nicole Murphy, Inti Viggis-Vizueta, Donnacha Dennehy, Chelsea Komschlies, Kristina Wolfe, Theo Chandler and Mizzou’s own Aaron Mencher.

Still to come are interviews with Charles Halka, Amy Beth Kirsten, and MNMI managing director Jacob Gotlib. All the interviews are or will be archived on KMUC’s website.

Meanwhile, MNMI artistic director and Mizzou composition professor Stefan Freund was interviewed for Columbia Access Television by Elise Bucheit of the Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs. You can see their conversation about the MICF in the video embed below:

Lastly, if you’d like to get a “sneak peek” at this year’s MICF, you can take a look inside the official program through the embedded window below. (To enlarge to full-page size, click the icon in the middle of the window.)

2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival adding
more concerts, offering free admission to all events

Khemia Ensemble

For its tenth year, the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) in 2019 is adding five more concerts and an audio installation, and is making all MICF events free and open to the public.

Presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27 in Columbia, the MICF once again will feature three evening concerts at the Missouri Theatre.

Resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound will perform on Thursday, July 25, followed by “Mizzou New Music” on Friday, July 26 and “Eight World Premieres” on Saturday, July 27. All three of those concerts, which in past years have been ticketed events, will be free this year.

The new events for 2019, also all free and open to the public, will include post-concert performances at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Cafe Berlin, 220 N. 10th St. (about eight blocks from the Missouri Theatre).

From left: Bels Lontano, Eli Keszler

Thursday’s performance will feature Bels Lontano playing electronic works by Mizzou student composers and MICF resident composers. On Friday, the MICF will team with Columbia community arts organization Dismal Niche to present a performance by percussionist and composer Eli Keszler.

The other three concerts added for the festival’s tenth year involve Khemia Ensemble, the group led by Mizzou assistant professor of composition Carolina Heredia and her husband Bret Bohman, who’s also a composer and adjunct faculty member.

Musicians from the ensemble will present informal “pop-up” concerts at 1:00 p.m. Thursday on 9th St. near Sparky’s Ice Cream, 21 S. 9th St, and at 1:00 p.m. Friday at Uprise Bakery, 10 Hitt St. The full Khemia Ensemble then will perform in a matinee concert at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus.

Lastly, a sound installation by Alarm Will Sound audio engineer and technical director Daniel Neumann and musician Kenneth Kirschner will be running in the second floor lobby of the Missouri Theatre throughout the festival. As yet untitled, the installation will feature eight channels of audio delivering algorithm-generated soundscapes based on samples of extended instrumental techniques performed by members of Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the festival’s website at http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

The culmination of the MICF is Saturday’s concert featuring world premieres of new works written by each of the festival’s eight resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound. The resident composers for 2019 are:

* Theophilus Chandler, Houston TX
* Inti Figgis-Vizueta, Brooklyn NY
* Charles Halka, Bellingham WA
* Chelsea Komschlies, Philadelphia PA
* Aaron Mencher, Columbia MO
* Nicole Murphy, Brisbane, Australia
* Peter Shin, New Haven CT
* Kristina Wolfe, Huddersfield, UK

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten 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 is the founder of the Irish new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. He previously was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012. Kirsten is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the festival’s website at http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Socolofsky, Kirsten, Dennehy, Christensen and Forte on Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform works by three visiting composers plus two world premieres by Mizzou students in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will feature “Don’t say a word,” a “feminist rager-lullaby” by Annika Socolofsky from 2017 that “invokes the fragility and fury of the female voice.” Socolofsky, a composer and singer who is a doctoral candidate and fellow in composition at Princeton University, will be visiting Mizzou for a residency that week, and will coach and perform with the Ensemble.

Also included on the program will be “World Under Glass No. 2,” composed in 2011 by Amy Beth Kirsten. The piece is inspired by the Distillation series of New York visual artist Thomas Doyle, who creates dark, disturbing miniature scenes displayed in vessels resembling over-sized snow globes. Kirsten will be one of the two distinguished guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Donnacha Dennehy, who will be the other distinguished guest composer at the 2019 MICF, will be represented by “The Blotting.” a work commissioned in 2004 by the Bath International Music Festival that’s described by the composer as being “quite rhythmically virtuosic in places, making use of manically interlocking hockets.”

Two new works by Mizzou students will complete the concert. “Ozymandias” by Ethan Forte, a junior composition major at Mizzou, “attempts to capture the vivid literary work by Percy Bysshe Shelley,” while “The Dream is More Than Process” by second-year master’s student Mikkel Christensen takes inspiration and its title from a lyric by rapper Kendrick Lamar.

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, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets. They will be augmented for this performance by guest musicians Mitchell Goodman, euphonium; Tyler Hannsz, viola; Kassandra Ormsby, bassoon; and Aubrey Smith, soprano.

Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor, and will conduct the performances of “World Under Glass no. 2” and “The Blotting.”

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2019

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27 in Columbia, the tenth annual MICF will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Theophilus Chandler, Houston TX
* Inti Figgis-Vizueta, Brooklyn NY
* Charles Halka, Bellingham WA
* Chelsea Komschlies, Philadelphia PA
* Aaron Mencher, Columbia MO
* Nicole Murphy, Brisbane, Australia
* Peter Shin, New Haven CT
* Kristina Wolfe, Huddersfield, UK

Two of the resident composers are originally from outside the US. Nicole Murphy is a native of Sydney, Australia, while Inti Figgis-Vizueta, though raised in Washington DC, was born in Dublin, Ireland.

Aaron Mencher, a senior composition major at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Mencher was the winner of the 2018 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer. Resident composer Peter Shin also has a Missouri connection, as he was born and raised in Kansas City.

The 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events.

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten 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, who is considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, is the founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. He previously was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012.

Kirsten is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her works explore theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation through music, language, voice, and theatre. She was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the MICF began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Dennehy and Kirsten; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give public presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the MICF and Alarm Will Sound.

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