Posts Tagged ‘ composer

Mizzou International Composers Festival gets
record number of resident composer applicants for 2015

With all the applications for 2015 submitted and logged, the Mizzou International Composers Festival has set another new record this year for the number of submissions from prospective resident composers.

The MICF got a total of 231 applications for the 2015 festival, including 82 returning applicants and 149 who applied for the first time.

Fifteen percent of the submissions came from outside the US, with applications arriving from composers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Last weekend, festival organizers met in St. Louis to review the submissions and decide which composers to invite for 2015. The working group included Mizzou New Music Initiative co-artistic directors Stefan Freund and W. Thomas McKenney and managing director William Lackey, as well as resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound’s conductor/music director Alan Pierson and pianist John Orfe. They looked at applications, studied scores, listened to hours of music, and discussed it all extensively before compiling their final list.

The results of their deliberations will be revealed on Monday, January 5, when we announce publicly the names of the eight resident composers who will take part in the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

To stay current with all the latest news from the MICF and MNMI, keep watching this space. Also, please follow us on Twitter at @MizzouNewMusic, and “like” the Missouri New Music Facebook page.

Tom McKenney and Alan Pierson look at a score

MNMI managing director William Lackey coordinated the application process

John Orfe and Stefan Freund listen intently

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project
2015 entry deadline extended to Monday, December 15

The Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) deadline for 2015 submissions has been extended until Monday, December 15.

Now in its fourth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community

Each year, works are selected through a competitive, blind judging process to be performed by the CCO at a concert in Columbia. This year, one work will be chosen in the Open category, and one in the High School category. The compositions must be written for symphony orchestra and can be up to 10 minutes in duration. The works also must have been composed within the past 10 years, while the composer was living in Missouri.

Each selected composer will be awarded a $500 honorarium, and the works chosen will be performed by the CCO in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7, 2015 at at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

Composers who wish to submit their work to MOCOP can find details on instrumentation and complete application materials online at http://mizzounewmusic.missouri.edu/project.html. Applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 15, 2014.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform new works from Missouri composers
and more on Sunday, December 7 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play their second concert of the academic year (and their final show of 2014)  at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 7 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will feature a turn-of-the-century piece from a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winning composer, plus four brand new works written right here in Missouri.

The prizewinner in question is Jennifer Higdon (pictured), the acclaimed contemporary composer whose major awards include a Pulitzer in 2010 for her Violin Concerto, and a Grammy that same year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto.

For this concert, the MNME will play Higdon’s “Celestial Hymns,” a work written in 2000 that further develops some of the material from a previous composition, “Blue Cathedral,” to evoke the details of stained glass within said cathedral.

Also on the program are three new works written by Mizzou composition majors: “Of Trickery and Toys,” by sophomore Erin Hoerchler; “The Pathless Woods,” by freshman Gus Knobbe; and “Nachtmusik” by junior Grant Bradshaw.

The concert will conclude with “Push/Pull,” written in 2013 and revised this year by Kansas City’s Nicholas Omiccioli, who was one of the resident composers at this past summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

The Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. In that capacity, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

MNMI alumni in the news

Several Mizzou composition alumni have been in the news this fall:

* Grant Fonda, who earned his master’s degree at Mizzou in 2012, was featured as a “composer to watch” as part of ASCAP’s “Composer Spotlight.”

Fonda (pictured) was selected earlier this year to take part in the the organization’s Film Scoring Workshop in Los Angeles.

* Michael Anderson, who graduated and won the Sinquefield Composition Prize in 2012, had a new work, “The Heart of A Land” premiered by the combined forces of the Parkville Symphonic Band and the Platte City Community Band at their joint concert on October 26. A native of Platte City, Anderson wrote the piece on commission for the concert celebrating the 175th anniversary of Platte County.

* Stephanie Berg, who’s originally from Parkville, also had a piece on the same concert, as the Parkville Symphonic Band played her work “Pick Up Your Sword and Follow Me!” The band also will play Berg’s “Summoning Fire” at their spring concert on April 12.

Berg, who earned her master’s degree in 2013, currently is finishing up an original score for a theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol!” that will run from December 12 through December 21 at  the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO. She also learned recently that the Quincy (IL) Symphony Orchestra Association will be performing her work “Ravish and Mayhem” as part of a concert on April 18.

And if all that weren’t enough, the DDG Trio has scheduled several performances of Berg’s woodwind trio “The Featherlight Ballet.”  They’ll play the work in Conway, AR on a concert series called “Under the Dome” on January 25; at Harding University on February 12; and as part of the Arkansas Symphony’s chamber series River Rhapsodies on March 3. You can hear their recording of the piece in the embedded SoundCloud player below.

Mizzou composers, Stephens College choreographers
collaborating again for concerts on November 14, 15 & 16

Composers from the Mizzou New Music Initiative are working once again with choreographers and dancers from Stephens College to create original music for this year’s Senior Dance Concert at Stephens.

The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, and at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, November 16 at the Macklanburg Playhouse, 100 Willis Ave on the Stephens campus.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for students and seniors, and can be purchased in advance at the Macklanburg Playhouse box office; by calling 573-876-7199; or at the door.

Renewing the collaboration between MNMI and Stephens that began in the 2013-14 academic year, the concert will feature dances choreographed by Stephens students to three original works by Mizzou composers.

Stephens seniors Kyla Ranney and Jessie Burgess have created choreography for two pieces written by Erin Hoerchler, a sophomore composition major at Mizzou, and MU graduate student Kaylene Cypret has composed music for senior Alexis Collins’ dance.

For Stephens’ graduating dance majors, the Senior Dance Concert performances represent the culmination of their personal dance experiences, and the collaboration with Mizzou affords them the rare opportunity to perform with live musical accompaniment, provided by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

The seven-member Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola. Joining them for the performances at Stephens will be two guest musicians from Mizzou, violinist Graham Woodland and clarinetist Travis Herd.

“The composers and performers of the Mizzou New Music Initiative are truly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Stephens’ choreographers and dancers,” said William Lackey, assistant teaching professor of composition and managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “As a teacher, I always want to provide young composers with opportunities that will push them artistically.”

2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 20 – 25;
Hans Abrahamsen, Andrew Norman named as guest composers

The 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will be held Monday, July 20 through Saturday, July 25 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, and will feature Hans Abrahamsen and Andrew Norman as guest composers.

The 2015 MICF will include a series of public concerts presenting music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events.

Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will feature the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers, with the acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

Hans Abrahamsen

Hans Abrahamsen was born in Copenhagen and attended the Royal Danish Academy of Music. A published composer beginning at age 16, Abrahamsen in the early part of his career was considered part of the “New Simplicity” movement that began in the mid-1960s as a reaction to the perceived over-complexity of avant-garde music. Some of his best-known early works include “Winternacht” (1976-78); “Nacht und Trompeten” (1981); and “Zwei Schneetänze” (1985).

Befriending and studying with György Ligeti during the 1980s, Abrahamsen received the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1989 and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1998. After a hiatus from composing, he re-emerged in the new century with a series of major compositions including the extended chamber work “Schnee” (2008), a Double Concerto for violin, piano and strings (2010-11); and “Let me tell you,” for soprano and orchestra, premiered in 2013 by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman is a Los Angeles-based composer and teacher at the USC Thornton School of Music. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Yale, Norman “draws on an eclectic mix of instrumental sounds, notational practices, and non-linear narrative structures.” His work has been noted by the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors” and by the Los Angeles Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit.

Norman has been the recipient of numerous commissions, prizes and awards, and his symphonic works have been performed by orchestras including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. His chamber music has been featured in the Wordless Music Series at Le Poisson Rouge and at the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Green Umbrella Series, and the Aspen Music Festival.

With the 2015 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the MICF through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the week of the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Abrahamsen and Norman and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of his or her work.

The application process for resident composers begins Thursday, October 23, 2014, and the deadline for submitting an application is Monday, November 24, 2014. To help composers save on printing and mailing costs, the MICF this year has moved to an online application process. 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 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou composer Trey Makler wins 2015 Sinquefield Composition Prize

Trey Makler

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2015 Sinquefield Composition Prize to Trey Makler.

Makler, a junior from Farmington, MO, is studying composition at Mizzou with W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund. He submitted “Elysium,” a work for chamber ensemble, to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2015 competition were Mara Gibson, associate teaching professor, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance ; Eric Honour, professor of music and director of the Center for Music Technology, University of Central Missouri; and Nick Omiccioli, composer.

Now in its tenth year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou. As this year’s winner, Makler now will have the opportunity to write an original work for Mizzou’s University Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, April 13, 2015 at the annual Chancellor’s Concert in Columbia. With the commission, he also receives a cash prize for the production of the score and parts, and will have his work recorded.

In addition to “Elysium,” written for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and performed this summer at an event for Forest Park Forever, Makler has had several other notable premieres and commissions in his young career. They include a collaboration with choreographer LeeAnn Davis; second prize in the 2014 Mizzou Collaborative Arts Initiative; and a commission from the Sheldon Concert Hall, with the support of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, for a new work for violin and piano to be premiered in February 2015 at The Sheldon.

As an oboist, Makler performs with the University of Missouri Wind Ensemble and Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as in various other ensembles and chamber groups on campus and in the community of Columbia. He currently is vice-president of the Mizzou Composer’s Guild and president of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity.

The other finalists for the 2015 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Kaylene Cypret, Justin Pounds, and Matthew Stiens.

The Sinquefield Composition Prize competition is part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. The Initiative is the direct result of the generous support of Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform collaborative concert
with Rich Pellegrin Quintet on Friday, October 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Rich Pellegrin

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform their first concert of the 2014-15 academic year at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 24 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

Presented in conjunction with the three-day Mizzou Improvisation Project conference happening that week, the program will feature a joint performance with the Rich Pellegrin Quintet. Pellegrin, a jazz pianist and composer, is an assistant professor of music theory at Mizzou. The two groups will collaborate on his 2012 work “Down,” which incorporates improvisation as well as composed material.

Improvisation also is a major part of “Four Spaces,” a 2012 work by Paul Steinbeck that uses a graphic score and requires the performers to work together with the conductor to develop musical ideas and create different sonic textures and colors. Steinbeck, a bassist and composer, is an assistant professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Ensemble also will perform “Loki,” composed this year by Luke Henderson, a senior in music education and composition at Mizzou. Named after the Norse god of trickery, the work surprises the listener with elements of jazz, klezmer, reggae, and Irish jigs.

Rounding out the program are Mischa Zupko’s “Source of Breath, Source of Life,” a 2007 work commissioned for the new music ensemble eighth blackbird that comments on the conflicts between industry and a sustainable environment; and “Rotae Passionis,” a 1982 composition by Pulitzer Prize winner Christopher Rouse that musically depicts the Stations of the Cross from the Biblical story of Christ’s crucifixion.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.