Posts Tagged ‘ composer

Summer Festival Spotlight: Charlie Piper

Completing the international contingent at this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival is resident composer Charlie Piper, who’s from London, England. Born in 1982, Piper (pictured) completed his master’s degree with distinction at the Royal College of Music and currently is doing doctoral research at the Royal Academy of Music.

His awards include the 2006 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and the 2007 prize at the 13th International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn. Piper also was a New Music Associate at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge from 2008 to 2010.

Piper’s music has been has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and performed at the Cheltenham, Huddersfield, Gaudeamus, Bang-On-A-Can and Aix-en-Provence Festivals, the Barbican Hall, the South Bank Centre, the Roundhouse, The Wigmore Hall, King’s Place and Le Grand Théâtre de Provence. Performers have included the London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the London Sinfonietta, Sentieri Selvaggi, The Esbjerg Ensemble, the Orkest ‘de ereprijs’, CHROMA, the English National Ballet and individuals such as Rolf Hind, Brindley Sherratt, Xian Zhang, Laurence Cummings, François-Xavier Roth, Martyn Brabbins, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Pierre-André Valade.

His recent work has included premieres in New York and Milan; a short residency in Gotland, Sweden; three performances of The Twittering Machine by L’orchestre des jeunes de la Méditerranée; and the premieres of Insomniac, commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, and Borderland, commissioned by Britten Sinfonia and taken on tour to Brighton, Cambridge, Norwich and The Wigmore Hall.

Earlier this year, Piper was appointed associate composer for Music in the Round in Sheffield, for which he will work closely with the organization’s resident musicians Ensemble 360, composing at least one 12-15 minute piece per year, plus additional short works. Piper’s first composition for Music in the Round will premiere this fall, and as he continues with the organization, he also will give talks, participate in question and answer sessions, and run workshops and open rehearsals.

You can read a short interview with Charlie Piper about his recent work Insomniac here, and hear the piece in the embedded audio player below. Also, there are more samples of Piper’s music on his website.

Charlie Piper’s Insomniac, performed by the London Sinfonietta with conductor Martyn Brabbins

Summer Festival Spotlight: Stylianos Dimou

A native of Greece, resident composer Stylianos Dimou is helping to bring a bit of international perspective to the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

Dimou (pictured) has been studying music in the USA since last year, working toward an MA in composition with Professor Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He also was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Dimou started his music studies at the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, where he earned degrees in music harmony in May, 2005 and counterpoint in May, 2008, plus a diploma in accordion in June, 2010. He began studying composition in 2006 at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s department of music studies, and graduated in 2011 with a Master of Music degree in composition.

Most of his works to date have been presented in workshops and competitions in Greece and elsewhere abroad. He has collaborated with Greek musical organizations such as the dissonArt ensemble, the Greek Ensemble of Contemporary Music, Idee Fixe, and Orpheus Soloists (GR), as well as with ALEA III here in the USA, and others.

In April, Dimou’s piece Réflexions de nuages was performed by the Jenaer Philharmonic Orchestra and flute player Carin Levine at the Weimarer Spring Festival for Contemporary Music in Germany. Earlier this year, he also was one of the co-creators of “Room For Five,” a joint work devised with three other Eastman composers and visual artist Anna Schuleit for the 2012 Benson Forum on Creativity.

Dimou will have company from some fellow Eastmanites at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, as resident composer David Crowell, MU’s Stefan Freund, and many of the members of resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound are Eastman alums, and resident composer Ted Goldman is an assistant professor there. It will also give him a chance to renew his acquaintance with guest composer Steven Stucky, with whom he took a master class in composition last year.

You can hear samples of Stylianos Dimou’s music in the embedded player below.



Summer Festival Spotlight: Ted Goldman

Ted Goldman

Coming from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Ted Goldman should see at least a few familiar faces when he arrives in Columbia to serve as one of the resident composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. That’s because a number of participants in this year’s Festival have connections to Eastman, starting with MU’s Stefan Freund and most of the other members of Alarm Will Sound, who originally met while studying music at the famed conservatory in upstate New York.

Goldman (pictured), who’s an assistant professor of music theory at Eastman, also shares the conservatory connection with two of his fellow resident composers this year. David Crowell, profiled last week on this blog, is a graduate of Eastman, and Stylianos Dimou, who will be featured in this space tomorrow, currently is studying there for his master’s degree in composition.

Goldman’s compositions have received national and international recognition, including two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards; the Society for New Music’s Brian M. Israel Prize; the Hanson Young Composers Award, and many other awards. In addition to writing a new piece for Alarm Will Sound to perform at this year’s MNMSF, Goldman has been commissioned by the Banff Centre in Canada, The Norfolk New Music Festival, the Contrasts Quartet, and twice by the New Juilliard Ensemble.

In 2011, he traveled to Hong Kong for an event called “The Intimacy of Creativity – The Bright Sheng Partnership: Composers Meet Performers in Hong Kong,” where he was one of a group of participating composers that also included 2010 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival resident composer
Moon Young Ha.

A New York native, Goldman began his undergraduate studies in physics, and graduated summa cum laude with honors in music from Columbia University. Goldman then earned his MM and DMA in composition from The Juilliard School. For five years he was a radio host at WKCR-FM NY, and he also is active in the Music and Medicine Initiative, a collaboration between Juilliard and Cornell University. As a pianist, Goldman has performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Mannes International Keyboard Institute, and the Mannes Beethoven Institute. In addition to teaching at Eastman, Goldman has held positions as an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College and as a teaching fellow at Juilliard.

You can read a brief interview with Ted Goldman from 2011 here, and read more about him and his thoughts on music in his blog. In the embedded video windows below, you can see a presentation that Goldman gave about one of his scholarly interests, the music of Conlon Nancarrow. The third segment includes one of Goldman’s original compositions, written in Nancarrow’s style.

Ted Goldman on Conlon Nancarrow, part 1 – writing for player piano, and using ancient techniques (isorhythm) in modern music

Ted Goldman on Conlon Nancarrow, part 2 – More speed, more notes!, and recreating Nancarrow’s pianos, virtually

Ted Goldman on Conlon Nancarrow, part 3 – What Nancarrow would do if he had a sequencer, and an original composition in the style of Nancarrow

Summer Festival Spotlight: Asha Srinivasan

Born in Utah and brought up in India and the USA, Asha Srinivasan creates music that combines elements from two different cultures. An assistant professor of music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, Srinivasan (pictured) is one of eight resident composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

She is part of an musical extended family – her mother Lalitha is a professional singer of Indian film songs – and began taking voice lessons at age 6, learning the classical music of Southern India. As a adult composer blending Indian Carnatic ragas with Western concepts of form and progression, Srinivasan has earned numerous honors and awards for her music, including winning the BMI Foundation’s first Annual Women’s New Music Commission Competition in 2006.

She has had electronic pieces performed at ICMC, June in Buffalo, SEAMUS, Spark, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, Electronic Music Midwest, and The Women in New Music Festival, and won commissions from the Flute/Cello Commissioning Circle, Sequoia Chamber Players, clarinetist E. Michael Richards and others. Her original electro-acoustic opera, The Fallen Nutcracker, was premiered by Landless Theatre Company in Washington, D.C for a run of sixteen performances in 2003.

More recently, Srinivasan’s 2007 composition “By the River Savathi” was selected for a performance at the prestigious Orchestra of St. Lukes’ “Notable Women Festival – a Celebration of Women Composers”. In 2011, her Carnatic-influenced “Dviraag,” an eight-minute work for flute and cello, was selected by a jury of four composers from China, Thailand and the United States to be performed and recorded at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival.

Srinivasan got her B.A. in music from Goucher College, and M.Mus. in computer music composition and M.Mus. in music theory pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory. She then earned her D.M.A. in composition from University of Maryland, College Park. You can read more about (and by) her at Lawrence University’s composition blog, and hear two of her award-winning compositions in the embedded players below.

Asha Srinivasan’s Dviraag, as performed during the Thailand International Composition Festival 2011

Srinivasan’s Alone, Dancing, featuring flutist Laura Heinrichs, recorded March 2009 in Cambridge, MA. This composition won second prize in the Peabody Conservatory’s Prix d’Ete Competition in 2005.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Patrick Harlin

Resident composer Patrick Harlin comes to the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival from Ann Arbor, where he currently is working toward a doctoral degree in music composition from the University of Michigan.

Born in Salt Lake City and raised in Seattle, Harlin (pictured) has been composing and playing piano since age 8. He earned his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University, where he received the Ford Hill Piano Scholarship, the Western Washington Piano Department scholarship, and many other awards. Harlin then moved to Ann Arbor to study for his Master’s degree, which he completed last year.

Though classically trained, Harlin considers his love of jazz, electronic and modern music to be integral to his output as a composer. He also has a keen interest in acoustic ecology – the effect sound has on the environment – which has led to works that reflect natural processes and landscapes, formally and sonically.  He also recently guest lectured on acoustic ecology and the natural world at the University of Iowa.

In addition to his work as a composer and pianist, Harlin taught advanced aural skills to second year music majors at WWU, and has worked as a copyist and/or engraver for Samuel Adler, Michael Daugherty and Roger Briggs, including the engraving the piano reduction of Daugherty’s recent Grammy Award winning composition Deus ex Machina. He also maintains a private studio in Ann Arbor where he teaches music composition and piano to students of all ages and experience levels.

Also in Ann Arbor, Harlin recently won the Lightworks Film Festival award for best original score, and was featured in June on the news site AnnArbor.com. In the embedded players below, you can hear some samples of Patrick Harlin’s music, and there’s more audio of his work available on his SoundCloud page.

Patrick Harlin’s Landscapes, Movement Two

Harlin performs the third part of his piece Three American Sketches in May 2008 at Western Washington University.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Brian Ciach

A skilled pianist as well as a composer, Brian Ciach has created a wide variety of original music, from solo piano pieces to orchestral works to electronic music. As one of the resident composers for the 2102 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Ciach (pronounced “SIGH-ack”) has written a new piece for Alarm Will Sound called The Einstein Slide.

Inspired by a slice of Albert Einstein’s brain displayed in the Mütter Museum in Ciach’s home town of Philadelphia, the new work is puckishly termed “an appendix” to Collective Uncommon: Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities, which Ciach wrote in 2011 for his doctoral dissertation in music composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Ciach’s sly sensibilities also are on display in Blank Slate, another new work composed for the percussion quartet Square Peg Round Hole that is played entirely on “found” instruments and includes a movement called Vegetable Requiem.

An assistant professor of music theory and composition at Murray State University in Kentucky, Ciach (pictured) was selected earlier this year to be the first participant in the Subito Composer Fellowship program, developed in partnership with the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.

His music has been performed across the United States and in Germany and Italy by ensembles including The Minnesota Orchestra, the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the Percussion Ensembles of Indiana University and the University of Buffalo, and others.

Before receiving his doctorate from Indiana in May of this year, Ciach earned his Master’s degrees in composition and piano performance at Temple University. He previously has taught music at West Chester University, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Ball State University.

In the embedded video windows below, you can see and hear some examples of Brian Ciach’s music and watch do a presentation about Collective Uncommon.

Ciach performs his Two Berlin Preludes

Ciach’s A Quite Dream of a Place/Un posto da sogno (Venice), the first movement of his extended 2010 composition Road Trip. Recorded April 21, 2011 in Auer Hall at Indiana University by the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, directed by David Dzubay, and soprano Sharon Harms.

Ciach discusses Collective Uncommon

Patrick Clark on the YES Academy Concerts: 11 July 2012–Composers; Duhok, Iraq

Assuming the reaction of an audience is a barometer of the success of a concert, the closing concerts for the YES Academy 2012 in Duhok hit their intended marks quite well. As the inaugural composition teacher for the Academy I had a vested interest in the concert of works by the student composers and so it will be my main focus here.

One might have done well to bring earplugs to this concert, but not because the music was so loud. Rather because the applause was overwhelming. Of course the whistles of support by students are the most deadly of sounds, second only to the piccolo playing fortissimo at close range, and the air was filled with these at the final cadences of each composition.

The program included the works of seven young Iraqi composers and all were charged with the sounds and rhythms of the local traditional music. I may even find myself influenced in my own future compositions by the snake-charming lines of strings in octaves (most pieces were written for a string quartet plus any available complement—two and three to part). These pieces found their appeal through the recognizable conventions so often heard in Middle Eastern music. If we, from the West, might expect more experimentation in composition, and place a premium on originality, we must understand that the sense of community here in Iraq is yet a more highly valued attribute. It is also what can make a brand new arrangement by a homegrown YES Academy student of something familiar at times more appealing than a masterpiece by a composer from the West. But one should not forget that a great favorite of American audiences is Aaron Copland’s treatment of the Shaker tune “Simple Gifts” in Appalachian Spring.

The word “cocktail” came up several times after the program. I suppose it is something like a box of Whitman’s chocolates: you know something of the genre of taste, but the exact flavor is unpredictable—and that is why they can be more exciting than the morsel you already know.

PDC

Summer Festival Spotlight: Donnacha Dennehy

It is a privilege and a pleasure to have Donnacha Dennehy as one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.  Along with fellow guest composer Steven Stucky, Dennehy will instruct and mentor the Festival’s eight resident composers during their week in Columbia.

He’ll also oversee the world premiere of the first part of The Hunger,  a large work-in-progress that will be performed by resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound and the Festival’s guest artist, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, as part of the concert on Thursday, July 26.

Born in 1970 in Dublin, Dennehy is considered one of Ireland’s leading contemporary composers. He recently has earned worldwide acclaim for his 2011 album Grá Agus Bás, which made NPR Music’s list of Top 50 Albums of 2011 (in all genres), and was included in year-end best-of lists from critics Alex Ross and Paul Griffiths and in WNYC’s New Sounds top ten list of the year.

He has received commissions from musicians, ensembles and musical organizations from all over the UK, USA and Europe. Dennehy’s music has featured in festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can in New York, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, WNYC’s New Sounds Live, Sonic Evolutions Festival at Lincoln Center, EXPO, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, Fuse Leeds, the Saarbrucken Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the State of the Nation at the South Bank in London and the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam.

After studying abroad at the University of Illinois, IRCAM in France and in the Netherlands, in 1997 Dennehy returned to Dublin to found the Crash Ensemble, a renowned new music group that has premiered many of his best-known works.

You can hear Dennehy talk about the Crash Ensemble, Grá Agus Bás, and much more in this interview recorded in April, 2011 for NPR, and this one recorded the following month for radio station WNYC. In the embedded video windows below, you’ll find three samples of the Crash Ensemble playing Dennehy’s music, as well as a brief interview with him.

An excerpt from Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás, performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre by Crash Ensemble and Afro Celt Soundsystem’s Iarla Ó Lionáird

Crash Ensemble performing Dennehy’s Junk Box Fraud as part of their tenth anniversary show “Shindig”

Crash Ensemble and Iarla Ó Lionáird perform another Dennehy piece, Aisling Gheal

A 2010 interview with Dennehy, in which he discusses some recent compositions, working with texts and his interest in vocal music.