Posts Tagged ‘ Augusta Read Thomas

From the Grammy Awards to Mizzou with Third Coast Percussion

When Third Coast Percussion visits the University of Missouri next week, not only will they be coming directly from the Grammy Awards, they’ll actually be bringing a bit of Mizzou along with them.

The Chicago-based group is nominated for a Grammy this year in the category of “Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance” for their album Steve Reich, and they’ll also be performing at the Grammy “Premiere Ceremony” hosted by comedian Margaret Cho before the nationally televised portion of the awards gets underway on Sunday, February 12 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

When they get to Columbia the next day, the four members of TCP will be looking at a busy schedule, culminating in a concert on Friday, February 17 at the Missouri Theatre, but also including various other activities throughout the week, most notably a workshop presentation of a new piece they recently commissioned from a Mizzou alumnus.

José Martínez, who earned his master’s degree in composition from Mizzou in 2016, was selected by Third Coast Percussion to participate in their Emerging Composers Partnership for the 2016-17 season.

Now pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Texas, Martínez during his time in Columbia was the percussionist for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble; a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival; and the winner of the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the University’s highest honor for a composition student.

After being chosen by Third Coast Percussion for this year’s Emerging Composers Partnership, he took part in a series of workshops with the group as a prelude to writing a new piece to be premiered in a concert this spring in Chicago.

That commissioned composition, “Two Questions About Time,” will get its first official performance on Sunday, May 28 at the Chicago venue Constellation, but Mizzou students and curious Columbia listeners will be able to hear how it’s shaping up in a public open workshop session with TCP and Martínez from 10:00 a.m to noon on Thursday, February 16 in Room 112 of Loeb Hall.

Third Coast Percussion’s residency also will include a performance for students at Lee Elementary School and a masterclass with the MU Percussion Studio on Tuesday, February 14; a joint public performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 15 at the Student Center; and a reading session of new music by Mizzou student composers Jake Smucker, Trey Makler, and Aaron Mencher at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall.

Though TCP won’t be playing Martínez’ new work at their concert on Friday, the program nevertheless will have another connection to the Mizzou New Music Initiative, as it will include music by two former distinguished guest composers at the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The group will play “Resounding Earth, mvt. 2, Prayer,” written by Augusta Read Thomas, who was a guest at the 2014 MICF; and “Surface Tension,” by Donnacha Dennehy, who took part in the 2012 festival. Steve Reich’s 2009 “Mallet Quartet” and Glenn Kotche’s “Wild Sound, part 4,” written in 2014, will complete the evening.

Photo of José Martínez (center) with Third Coast Percussion via https://www.instagram.com/thirdcoastpercussion/.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Although resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound understandably attracts a lot of attention during the Mizzou International Composers Festival, let’s not forget that the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre will showcase the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s “home team,” the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble is directed by faculty composer and Alarm Will Sound member Stefan Freund. They serve as the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, collaborating with student, faculty and visiting composers throughout the year to perform a variety of new works.

The Ensemble’s members for 2012-13 are Rachel AuBuchon, piano; Stephanie Berg, clarinet; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; and Matthew Pierce, cello.

During the academic year, the Ensemble performs a series of concerts on campus, and they also play off campus as well. In May, they presented a standing-room-only performance at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, playing original music by Mizzou composers Joe Hills, Haley Myers, and Robert Strobel written in response to Beyond the Humanities, an exhibition of work by St. Louis artist Bill Smith.

They’ve also performed in recent years at the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

For Friday night’s Festival program, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play music by Mizzou composers W. Thomas McKenney and Paul Seitz and guest composers Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg.

The Kellogg work, Divinum Mysterium, is an extended five-movement piece commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird and based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.” The Ensemble rehearsed Divinium Mysterium throughout the academic year, presenting individual movements at each of their on-campus concerts in preparation for performing the entire work at the Festival.

Each of those concerts also featured music from student composers at Mizzou, giving both composers and performers valuable hand-on experience in the process of developing new work. In the embedded audio players below, you can hear three examples of pieces that were written at Mizzou during the past year and given their first performances by the Ensemble.

“Reflections” by Trey Anthony Makler

“Penrose Staircase” by Matt Steins

“I’m Back at My Cliff” by Daniel Cox

Mizzou International Composers Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge.

All the presentations by the Festival’s guest, resident and faculty composers are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 145 of the Fine Arts Building on the MU campus.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22 and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23.

Guest composer Augusta Read Thomas will discuss her work at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:30 p.m. by MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney.

Then on Wednesday, July 24, guest composer Daniel Kellogg will give his presentation at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer Stefan Freund to follow at 8:30 p.m.

If you’d like to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Festival’s eight world premieres and other new works are being prepared for performance, the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound will hold several rehearsals during the week that will be open to the public at no charge.

Open rehearsals will take place from 9:00 a.m to noon on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Missouri Theatre; and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and then again from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26 in Room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou International Composers Festival website.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Augusta Read Thomas

Augusta Read Thomas

It is a pleasure for everyone associated with the Mizzou New Music Intiative to welcome Augusta Read Thomas as one of the guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Thomas, 49, is University Professor of composition at the University of Chicago, and is only the 16th person ever to hold the title of University Professor. She was composer-in-residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from May 1997 through June 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle, one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. One of the most acclaimed composers of her generation, she has won praise for the dramatic, spontaneous quality of her work and her masterful use of instrumental color.

Born in Glen Cove, New York, Thomas studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

From 1993 to 2001, she was an assistant professor, then associate professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music. In 2001, she became Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University, serving there until 2006. In 2007-2008, Thomas was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Music in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

In addition to teaching in Chicago, she frequently undertakes short-term residencies in colleges, universities, and festivals across the United States and in Europe. For example, in March of this year Thomas served as guest composer for East Carolina University School of Music’s NewMusic@ECU Festival, and last month she was part of the composition faculty of June in Buffalo 2013. Both events featured masterclasses, workshops and performances of her works.

Also in March of this year, the Boston Symphony Orchestra premiered “Legend of the Phoenix,” a concerto written by Thomas on a commission from cellist Lynn Harrell and the BSO, and the third Thomas piece the BSO has premiered. For more about that work, check out the coverage from Boston’s NPR affiliate WBUR.

During her residency with the Chicago Symphony, Thomas premiered nine commissioned works, and also co-founded and curated the MusicNOW series. Her music has been championed by leading conductors including the CSO’s Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, Ludovic Morlot, and Xian Zhang.

Thomas has had works commissioned by leading ensembles and organizations around the world, including Chanticleer, NDR [German Radio] Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, National Symphony, Radio France and the BBC Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, London and Boston Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC, Utah Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the ASCAP Foundation.

In addition to the numerous commercial recordings of her music available on major record labels, Thomas has released five of her own albums independently.

In May 2009, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, considered the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States. Thomas has also been on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center since 2000, as well as on the boards and advisory boards of several chamber music groups.

You can hear samples of August Read Thomas’s music on her website. In the embedded video windows below, you can see and hear Thomas talking about her music and the creative process, as well as performances of several of her works.

“Earth Echoes,” a Franke Institute for the Humanities talk by Thomas on February 13, 2013 at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. Thomas discusses her creative process and topics including rhythm, counterpoint, harmony, text setting, motivic development, organic transformation, nuance, color, improvisation, spirit, and gestalt.

Thomas talks more about the creative process and the inspiration for her violin duet “Double Helix.”

Thomas’ composition “Of Paradise and Light for String Orchestra,” played by the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction Barbara Schubert on May 26. 2012.

Thomas’ “Cathedral Waterfall,” performed in June 2011 by pianist Nicolas Horvath

The University of Illinois New Music Ensemble plays Thomas’ second violin concerto “Carillon Sky.”

Percussionist Ruud Roelofsen playing Thomas’ “Silhouettes” at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels

Rachel Barton Pine introduces and performs “Caprice” in 2006. The piece was written by Thomas in 2004 as a wedding present for Rachel Barton Pine and Gregory Pine.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2013

Columbia, MO – After considering the largest number of applicants yet in the event’s four-year history, the University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative today announced the eight resident composers selected for next year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Formerly known as the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will take place Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27 in Columbia. The resident composers were chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 158 entries from across the USA and around the world, a new record for the event. Listed with their current places of residence, the selected composers are:

* Jason Thorpe Buchanan – Rochester, NY
* Ryan Chase – Bloomington, IN
* Andrew Davis – Austin, TX
* Eric Guinivan – Los Angeles, CA
* Elizabeth Kelly – Rochester, NY
* Wei-Chieh Lin – New York, NY
* Greg Simon – Ann Arbor, MI
* David Witter – Columbia, MO

As another indicator of its growing prestige and recognition both here and abroad, the 2013 MICF also attracted an event-record number of applications from outside the United States, including Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Greece, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Three of the eight composers selected have significant international ties. Wei-Chieh Lin was born in Taiwan; Elizabeth Kelly studied at the The Hague Royal Conservatory in The Netherlands; and Jason Thorpe Buchanan spent 2010-2011 living in Hamburg, Germany as a visiting scholar with a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater.

The University of Missouri is represented by David Witter, who recently earned a master’s degree in composition from Mizzou and is the winner of the 2013 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The 2013 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.

The Festival’s guest composers for 2013 will be Augusta Read Thomas , University Professor of composition at the University of Chicago and past composer-in-residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Daniel Kellogg , an assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado who has been called “one of the most exciting composers around” by the Washington Post.

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 Festival began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Thomas and Kellogg; 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 Festival and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Ryan Chase

Andrew Davis

Eric Guinivan

Elizabeth Kelly

Wei-Chieh Lin

Greg Simon

David Witter

Augusta Read Thomas, Daniel Kellogg named as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Continuing its emerging tradition of pairing an acknowledged master and a rising star, the Mizzou New Music Initiative has named Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg as guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Formerly known as the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, the MICF will be held from Monday, July 22, 2013 through Saturday, July 27 on the campus of the University of Missouri. As in the past, the 2013 Festival will feature a series of public concerts featuring music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble.

Thomas currently is professor of composition at the University of Chicago. She formerly taught at Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and served as composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2006. Thomas was called “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music” on the occasion of her induction in 2009 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has had her music performed by major orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and prizes for her compositions.

Kellogg is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the Yale School of Music. He currently works as assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado. Kellogg has been called “one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic,” by the Washington Post.

With the 2013 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the Festival through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the Festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Thomas and Kellogg; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

The deadline for submitting an application is November 1, 2012. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/application.html.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.