Posts Tagged ‘ Amy Beth Kirsten

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.