Posts Tagged ‘ composer

Ninth annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition
offers prizes, recognition for Missouri student composers

2013 C.O.M.P. winner HyunJun Yoo gets his award from Jeanne SInquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation

Whether it ends up being played on a synthesizer, a Stratocaster or by a symphony orchestra, every piece of music begins with an idea from a composer – and every composer needs a place to begin.

Helping young composers find that place is the purpose of the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.), an annual statewide competition now in its ninth year.

Sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, C.O.M.P. recognizes Missouri students in grades K-12 who compose original music in a variety of styles.

Information has been mailed this month to music teachers across the state inviting students to participate in the 2014 competition. The winning composers and their schools will be awarded cash prizes, and the winning compositions will be performed at the Creating Original Music Project’s New Music Festival on Saturday, April 19, 2014 on the Mizzou campus.

Students in grades K-5 may submit compositions in two categories, Songs With Words and Instrumental Pieces. For grades 6-8, the categories are Fine Art Music and Popular Music; and for grades 9-12, they are Fine Art Music, Popular Music, Jazz, and Other.

All entries must be original music written by the student, and only one entry per student is allowed. Arrangements of previously composed pieces or improvisation based on composed pieces will not be accepted.

Mentors and teachers are encouraged to offer support and critiques, though the submissions must be the students’ own original compositions. Music teachers and/or mentors may assist students in notating or recording the pieces, and each student who applies must have the signature and sponsorship of their school’s music teacher.

Only three submissions per category per school are allowed. It is the responsibility of the school music teacher(s) to decide which three pieces per category will be entered in the contest. The postmark deadline for submission of all compositions is January 10, 2014.

For more information about the Creating Original Music Project and an application for the 2014 competition, please visit the C.O.M.P website at

For students looking for additional guidance or feedback on their work, the Mizzou New Music Initiative also offers Composer Connection, a distance-learning program that gives aspiring composers a chance to talk with and receive instruction from a graduate student in composition at MU.

Students can e-mail works in progress and ask questions about composing, and receive suggestions and answers directly from the composer on call. The composer on call for the 2013-14 academic year is Justin Pounds, who can be reached by email at

Mizzou composers, Stephens College choreographers
team up for performances November 15-17

Next month, student choreographers and dancers at Stephens College will perform a recital of new works set to original music written especially for them by student composers from Mizzou.

The six Mizzou composers taking part in the project are Benedetto Colagiovanni, Shaun Gladney, Trey Makler, Haley Myers, Justin Pounds, and David Witter.

To select their collaborators, the composers and choreographers got together this past summer for what amounted to a creative speed-dating session. After Mizzou’s William Lackey and Stephens’ Carol Estey set the scene, each composer spent a few minutes talking with each choreographer, and then all the participants ranked their preferences in potential partners.

The works resulting from those collaborations will be presented as part of Stephens’ Senior Dance Concert the weekend of November 15 through November 17 at Macklanburg Theatre on the Stephens campus. You can read more about the project in this article from Stephens’ Janese Silvey:

(Photos by Stefan Freund.)

José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano wins 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have awarded the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize to José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano.

Martínez (pictured), a composer and percussionist currently studying for a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, submitted his orchestral work “Mutaciones I” to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2014 competition were:
* Warren Gooch, professor of music, theory and composition at Truman State University;
* Forrest Pierce, associate professor of composition at the University of Kansas; and
* Ingrid Stölzel, director of the International Center for Music at Park University.

Now in its ninth year, the Sinquefield Composition Prize is the top award for a composition student at Mizzou. As this year’s winner, Martínez now will have the opportunity to write an original work for Mizzou’s University Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, April 7, 2014 at the 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.

José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano was born in 1983 in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. He earned his diploma at the Conservatory of Music at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá in 2009. That same year, he received Colombia’s national composition prize for young composers from the National Ministry of Culture. His other significant awards include winning a Colombian national composition contest in 2011, and the National Cultural Prize from the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, which he received earlier this year for “Mutaciones I.”

Martinez was co-founder of the Bogotá conservatory’s Contemporary Music Ensemble and is music director for the percussion ensemble Ictu5. As a percussionist, he also won a national performance contest in 2004; has been a member of the percussion ensembles Contempo, Sinergia Ensamble, and Octopus; and for five years was timpanist for the Bogotá Symphonic Orchestra Foundation (FOSBO).

The other finalists for the 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Justin Pounds, Matthew Stiens, and Robert Strobel.

Fifth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 21-26, 2014

The Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will celebrate its fifth year in 2014, and composers Beat Furrer and Nico Muhly will be among those attending the party. Furrer and Muhly have been named guest composers for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s signature event, which will be held Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The 2014 MICF once again will present a series of public concerts featuring music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, will serve as resident ensemble.

Beat Furrer is a Swiss native who studied music in his home country and in Vienna before co-founding one of Europe’s leading contemporary music ensembles, Klangforum Wien, which he still conducts. He has written a variety of critically acclaimed works, including operas and musical theater, and has received numerous awards and honors for his music in Europe.

Since 1991, Furrer has served as professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts, and he has been guest professor in composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt since 2006. In 2004 Furrer was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Vienna, and in 2005 became a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

Nico Muhly was born in Vermont and earned a master’s in composition at Juilliard studying with Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. He also worked for Philip Glass as a MIDI programmer and editor for six years.

Muhly has composed a wide scope of work for ensembles, soloists and organizations including the American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony, countertenor Iestyn Davies, violinist Hilary Hahn, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Paris Opéra Ballet, soprano Jessica Rivera, and designer/illustrator Maira Kalman.

With the 2014 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 Furrer and Muhly and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of their work.

The application process for resident composers begins September 26, 2013, and the deadline for submitting an application is Friday, November 15, 2013. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project seeks
recent works for performance in March

The Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is looking for recent orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to be performed at a concert in March, 2014.

Now in its third year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort to spotlight the work of Missouri composers that involves the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. 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 – one from the High School category and three from the Open category – to be performed by the CCO at a concert in Columbia. 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 four works chosen will be performed by the CCO in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers St. 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.

The concert also will feature a performance of “American Sojourn,” by former Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) winner Kevin Hartnett, and the world premiere of the overture from Stefan Freund’s upcoming “Civil War Oratorio,” which was commissioned by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in honor of patron Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield.

Composers who wish to submit their work to MOCOP can find details on instrumentation and complete application materials online at Applications must be postmarked no later than December 13, 2013.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to open 2013-14 season
on Friday, October 11 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will open their 2013-14 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 11 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 include works by the acclaimed contemporary composers Daniel Asia and Nico Muhly, as well as the world premieres of four pieces written by composers affiliated with Mizzou.

Daniel Asia’s ”Breath in a Ram’s Horn” (2003) is a song cycle based on five poems by writer Paul Pines, described as “imbued with images of family and Judaism, and their intertwining…filled with the difficulties and anguish of a life as it is really lived.”

”I Know Where Everything Is,” written by Muhly in 2007 on commission from the Seattle Chamber Players, “is a cycle of chords in a pile. Each chord has a series of possible voicings, and a series of possible quick ornamentations,” which begin with the most moderate and progress through a series of variations to a vigorous conclusion.

“Rhetoric and Drama in Ahuan Tones,” a brand new work by Mizzou alumnus Patrick David Clark, is a musical manifestation of twilight colors, using soft, delicate sounds and establishing “a feeling of free space and suspended time.”

Completing the program will be three works composed this year by current Mizzou students. Matthew Stiens’ “Rituals of Ancient Voices” is “a musical depiction of a druidic ceremony as I saw it,” utilizing extreme registers of each instrument in the ensemble and unusual techniques. “#YOLO” by Trey Makler is described as “energetic and exciting, heavily influenced by rock and popular music,” while Justin Pounds’ “Electric Brain,” is ”a fast-paced piece focused on a series of mixed-meter grooves inspired by the progressive rock genre.”

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

The Mizzou New Music 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. As the repertory group for the Initiative, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

We end our series of profiles of the resident composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival with Jason Thorpe Buchanan, who’s currently working on his Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music, studying composition with Robert Morris and serving as a graduate TA at the Computer Music Center.

Buchanan began studying music at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA, later attending San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While working for his master’s degree at UNLV from 2008 to 2010, he taught courses in composition and music theory.

He has studied composition with Allan Schindler, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as additional studies with Takayoshi Suzuki and Brad Lubman in conducting, and at Darmstadt with Georges Aperghis, Brian Ferneyhough, and Raphaël Cendo.

Buchanan spent 2010-2011 living in Hamburg, Germany, where he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater as a visiting scholar. He studied with Peter Michael Hamel, Manfred Stahnke, Georg Hajdu, and Sascha Lino Lemke while conducting research and interviews in regard to compositional process and aesthetics.

Buchanan has received awards from ASCAP, ACF, MPE, the NEON and Brevard Music Festivals, UNLV, SJSU, the Eastman School of Music, the American Prize, and the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival. Recordings of his music are commercially available on the Melos Music label in the United States and the Windstream label in Japan.

He is the founder of Melos Music, a composer’s consortium for which he served as director from 2007-2012, as well as their annual New Music Concert series. During this past academic year, he served as assistant conductor for Eastman’s new music ensemble Musica Nova, as well as a board member of Ossia, coordinator for the Graduate Composers’ Sinfonietta, and co-founder/conductor of Eastman’s brand new Electroacoustic Initiative, the [Switch~ Ensemble].

You can see and hear Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s music being performed in various clips on his YouTube channel, and in the embedded video windows below.

Buchanan’s “Asymptotic Flux: First Study in Entropy,” performed in October 2012 at Eastman School of Music by the [Switch~ Ensemble], featuring Madison Greenstone, amplified bass clarinet; Lauren Cauley, amplified violin; Kelsey Farr, amplified viola; and Julia Nilsen, amplified cello.

“Amplified Box” Improvisation 1.0 (Study for Percussion Quartet) is an
improvisation with a homemade instrument built for Buchanan’s first percussion quartet.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Daniel Kellogg

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is pleased to welcome Daniel Kellogg as one of the two guest composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Kellogg originally is from Wilton, CT and has served since 2005 as assistant professor of composition at the University of Colorado, He has been lauded by the Washington Post as “one of the most exciting composers around – technically assured, fascinated by unusual sonic textures, unfailingly easy to listen to, yet far from simplistic.”

After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Kellogg earned a masters of music and a D.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. He was chosen as Young Concert Artists composer-in-residence in 2002, and also has served as composer-in-residence for the South Dakota Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, and the University of Connecticut.

Kellogg has had works premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Takács Quartet with the University of Colorado Wind Symphony, Aspen Chamber Orchestra; South Dakota Symphony, the United States Air Force Academy Band, and the choirs of Yale University.

His music has been performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and broadcast on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “St. Paul Sundays” among others.

Kellogg’s honors and awards include a Charles Ives Fellowship and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, six ASCAP Young Composer Awards, the BMI William Schuman Prize, and the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Award.

His extended work Divinium Mysterium was a highlight of eighth blackbird‘s 2004 album Beginnings, and will be performed by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26.

Here’s a time lapse video of Kellogg composing in his studio, with one hour compressed to 60 seconds.

Kellogg’s “Sim Shalom,” subtitled “A Hebrew Prayer for Peace,” sung by the combined choirs at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kellogg on his beginnings as a composer

Kellogg’s “Canticle of the Earth” for 14 Bassoons, in a world premiere performance recorded in February 2011 by the University of Colorado College of Music Bassoon Studio, directed by Yoshi Ishikawa. The ensemble, conducted by Allan McMurray, from left: Kent Hurd, Yahaira Nieves, Michael Christoph, Amanda Hoffer, Shih-han Chiu, Kaori Uno, Patty Fagan, Michelle Jones, Matt Cullen, Kristen Gogan, Brian Jack, Cody Dean, YoonJoo Hwang, and Ben Cefkin

Kellogg’s “Winter Lullaby: A Dirge” performed by Cornell University Glee Club and Choral Voices of Finland in April 2010 in Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.

An excerpt from the world premiere of Kellogg’s “O Greening Branch,” performed by the Wheaton College Symphonic Band and choirs at the 150th anniversary concert for the college in November 2010.