Posts Tagged ‘ Christopher Weiss

A look back at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Here’s a comprehensive look back at this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival via news coverage and social media:

More media mention MICF

Media attention for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival continued into the week of the fest, with St. Louis magazine publishing a preview story, including quotes from guest composers Zhou Long and Nico Muhly, online on Wednesday.

Then on Thursday, the Columbia Missourian ran their story about the festival, while a separate feature in the accompanying Vox Magazine focused on three of this year’s resident composers.

On Friday, the festival was featured in a report on the morning newscast of local NBC affiliate KOMU.

As for the photo accompanying this post, it’s not from the news media, but rather was shot by Christopher Weiss on Tuesday night when he and his fellow resident composers went out for dinner at Chim’s Thai Kitchen and encountered themselves, in poster form, on the restaurant’s front door.

From left, that’s Nick Omiccioli, Holly Harrison, Ian Dicke, Michael Schacter, Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Texu Kim and José Martínez. Weiss, while not visible in the photo, can be found on Twitter at @weisscomposer.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Christopher Weiss

Christopher Weiss

2014 MICF resident composer Christopher Weiss may have been born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and grown up in the northeast, but as it turns out, his musical beginnings have a connection to the Show-Me State.

His paternal grandfather, a fisheries biologist here in Missouri, was an amateur violin-maker who enjoyed experimenting by constructing violins using unconventional woods. When Christopher was five, his grandfather presented him with a handmade, one-quarter-size violin, and he began taking his first music lessons.

Christopher taught himself to play the piano at age 12, and first developed an interest in composing during high school, going on to earn degrees from Rollins College in Florida and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

For the MICF, Christopher has written a new work called “Colors of the Waking Earth,” which will be performed by Alarm Will Sound as part of the festival’s grand finale concert next Saturday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre.

In other recent performances, Act II of his opera “In a Mirror, Darkly” was presented in May as part of the Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers series of new works, with Tyson Deaton conducting; and his work “Three New Hampshire Postcards,” was performed earlier this year for a Rutgers University faculty recital by Bart Feller (flute), Rebecca Young (viola) and Stacey Shames (harp).

Christopher’s music has been hailed by the New York Times as “wonderfully fluid [with a] cinematic grasp of mood and lighting.” He has received commissions and performances from the Huntsville Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, the Boston Chamber Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony, the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, the Columbia Orchestra, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. He has been Composer-in-Residence at Twickenham Fest and Young Composer-in-Residence at Music from Angel Fire.

His opera “In a Mirror, Darkly,” written with librettist S. O’Duinn Magee, was awarded a Domenic J. Pellicciotti Prize by SUNY Potsdam. Excerpts from the opera have been performed by the New York City Opera at their VOX showcase; at the John Duffy Composer Institute as part of the Virginia Arts Festival; and by the Fort Worth Opera, and will be presented by the Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra in November at SUNY Potsdam.

Christopher has been in residence at Yaddo, the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. He was a recipient of a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, and was the youngest competitor ever to win the Jacksonville Symphony’s “Fresh Ink” competition. His music has been played on many local radio stations and was featured on American Public Media’s “Performance Today.”

Christopher also is active as a professional music copyist and publisher and has produced scores for G. Schirmer, the Washington National Opera, the Spoleto Festival USA, the Huntsville Symphony, and composers Marvin Hamlisch and Torrie Zito, among others. He also works as a freelance arranger for choirs, orchestras, and other performing organizations.

You can learn more about Christopher Weiss and hear samples of his music at his website.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2014

With resident composers originally from Australia, Colombia, South Korea, Taiwan, and across the USA, the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will bring a world of music to mid-Missouri next year.

Scheduled for Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia, the fifth annual MICF will present world premieres of new works from eight resident composers who were announced today by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Ian Dicke, Riverside, CA
* Holly Harrison, Sydney, Australia
* Texu Kim, Bloomington, IN
* José Martínez, Columbia, MO
* Nicholas Omiccioli, Kansas City, MO
* Michael Lee Schachter, Ann Arbor, MI
* Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, Urbana, IL
* Christopher Weiss, Ann Arbor, MI

The eight resident composers were chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 215 entries from around the world, a new record for the MICF.

Four of them were born outside the USA. The University of Missouri will be represented by José Martínez, who is a native of Colombia working on a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou and the winner of the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The other international representatives among the resident composers will include Australia’s Holly Harrison, a candidate for the Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney; Texu Kim, who’s originally from South Korea and currently is studying for his doctorate in composition at Indiana University; and Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, a native of Taiwan currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Illinois.

The group also includes another Missouri resident, Nicholas Omiccioli, an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City who currently is a resident with the Charlotte Street Urban Culture Project in Kansas City and production coordinator of newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

The 2014 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 2014 will be Beat Furrer, professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna; and Nico Muhly, a Juilliard graduate and protégé of Phillip Glass known for composing an eclectic range of works for classical and pop musicians, ballet, opera, and more.

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 Furrer and Muhly; 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 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit

Ian Dicke

Holly Harrison

Texu Kim

José Martínez

Nicholas Omiccioli

Michael Lee Schachter

Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang

Christopher Weiss