Posts Tagged ‘ Charles Halka

A look back at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Charles Halka

Resident composer Charles Halka comes to the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival having already done a good deal of world traveling in his composing and teaching career.

Originally from Tulsa, OK, Halka (pictured) currently is an assistant professor of composition and theory at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. He earned a doctor of musical arts degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, TX, and holds degrees in both piano and composition from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD.

Overseas, he also has studied at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, and privately with Samuel Adler through the FUBiS program in Berlin.

Halka’s works include acoustic and electronic music for concert, dance, and opera. They have been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Foro Internacional de Música Nueva.

For the MICF, he has written a new work titled “Fever Dream,” which will be performed along with new music from the seven other resident composers by Alarm Will Sound as part of the festival’s “Eight World Premieres” grand finale on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

Noteworthy ensembles that have performed his music include the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra led by Marin Alsop, Mivos Quartet, the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra, the Lviv Philharmonic, Odessa Philharmonic, counter)induction, Callithumpian Consort, Volti, ÓNIX Ensamble in Mexico, PRO ARTE eNsemble in Russia, the chamber choirs Aquarius in Belgium and Jauna Muzika in Lithuania, and more.

As a U.S. Fulbright grantee, Halka spent 2008-09 in Vilnius, Lithuania, researching Lithuanian music and writing an opera in collaboration with director and librettist Marija Simona Šimulynaitė. The opera, “Julius,” was premiered in 2010 in Vilnius, and a choral excerpt, “Dipukų Rauda,” was performed at the ISCM World Music Days 2012 in Belgium.

Other significant works include “Round and Round,” premiered in 2011 at the Library of Congress, then revised and premiered again in 2013 in Hong Kong at the Intimacy of Creativity partnership led by composer Bright Sheng; “And Jill Came Tumbling After,” a chamber opera  with a libretto by John Grimmett, written for the Baltic Chamber Opera Theater and selected for Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers showcase; and “Imaginary Spaces,” a dance and percussion project created in collaboration with Houston’s Frame Dance Productions with support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Halka’s honors include a Barlow Endowment general commission awarded this year, the Copland House residency award in 2015, and many others. He has completed residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the M.K. Sarbievijus Cultural Center in Kražiai, Lithuania, and in Houston, with both Musiqa (2014-15) and the Foundation for Modern Music (2011-14).

For more about Charles Halka, listen to the interview he did recently for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and check out the interviews he did in 2017 with the Flute New Music Consortium and the podcast Lexical Tones. You can hear some of his music via the embedded players below.

“Scherzo,” recorded August 18, 2018 by the Lviv Philharmonic, conducted by Taras Krysa

“Por la fuerza las tierras,” recorded September 9, 2016 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, performed by Ónix Ensamble

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”

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 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/.