Posts Tagged ‘ composer

MNMI in the media: Stephanie Berg, Donovan Tousignant, eighth blackbird

The Mizzou New Music Initiative continues to make news on campus, in Columbia, and throughout the state of Missouri and the world of music.

Most recently, two young composers associated with the MNMI were featured in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Stephanie Berg, a graduate student who’s a member of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and a past winner of the Sinquefield Composition Prize, was profiled by the Tribune‘s Jill Renae Hicks in a story on February 19. Berg will be one of the resident composers at this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, to be held July 23-28 in Columbia.

Undergraduate Donovan Tousignant, whose composition “Sleeper: Dreamer pt. 2” was performed in concert earlier this year by the Ensemble, also was profiled by Hicks for the Tribune on March 4. You can read that article online here.

Meanwhile, this week’s residency and concert by the touring ensemble eighth blackbird was the subject of another story by Hicks, also published on March 4.

Local NBC affiliate KOMU also visited campus on Wednesday, March 7 for a report on eighth blackbird’s coaching session with the members of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Columbia celebrates contemporary composers with four visionary events in March

For the past two years, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival has brought visionary composers and musicians to Columbia in July for a week of concerts and workshops. Now the Mizzou New Music Initiative, will team up in March with the Columbia Civic Orchestra and Odyssey Chamber Music Series to present another week of performances focusing on the future of music.

“4C: Columbia Celebrates Contemporary Composers” will take place from Sunday, March 4 through Saturday, March 10. The week will feature concerts by four different ensembles, including the Columbia debut of the Grammy Award winning new music group eighth blackbird (pictured).

“4C” also will include the debut of this year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize commission, written by Mizzou student Michael E. Anderson and performed by the University Philharmonic Orchestra. The week will conclude with a special concert by the Columbia Civic Orchestra, playing four new works selected through the new Missouri Composers Orchestra Project. The schedule for the week is:

Sunday, March 4: The Mizzou New Music Ensemble performs a program including music by Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon and the world premiere of a new piece by MU professor W. Thomas McKenney.
* 8:00 p.m. at Whitmore Recital Hall on the MU campus.
* Admission is free to Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation at the door for the public.

Monday, March 5: The University of Missouri Chancellor’s Concert features the University Philharmonic Orchestra with the premiere of this year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize commission by Michael E. Anderson.
* 7:30 p.m. at the Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th St..
* Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for Mizzou students.

Friday, March 9: The internationally acclaimed touring ensemble eighth blackbird makes its Columbia debut in a concert co-presented by the MU School of Music and Odyssey Chamber Music Series.
* 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway.
* Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for students, children under 12 free.

eighth blackbird is a Chicago-based sextet that “combines the finesse of a string quartet with the energy of a rock band and the riskiness of a storefront theater company. Its musical aerobatics delight, provoke and entertain audiences around the world.” They have collaborated with numerous contemporary composers and released four recordings, including strange imaginary animals (2006), which won two Grammy Awards. Their most recent CD Lonely Motel: Music from Slide is nominated for four Grammy Awards.

The Odyssey Chamber Music Series is “committed to presenting masterpieces of chamber music repertoire that span over four centuries, in mixed ensembles of all instruments. Odyssey hopes to cultivate interest in quality classical music performances through innovative programming involving professional local performers as well as guest artists from outside the community. The organization also hopes to educate audiences and the next generation of performers through program notes, pre-concert lectures, and student performances.”

Saturday, March 10: The Columbia Civic Orchestra plays works selected through the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project, including “Euphoria Overture” by Michael Blackwood, “This Is the Garden” by Joseph Eidson, “Menuet Macabre” by Warren Gooch; and “The Tragedy of the Hero” by Edward Crouse.
* 7:00 p.m. at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium.
* Free and open to the public.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) 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 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project is a joint venture of the CCO and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, sponsored by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation and intended to encourage the performance of contemporary orchestral works written by Missouri natives or composers living in the state.

Tickets for the Chancellor’s Concert may be purchased in advance from http://www.concertseries.org/ or at the door. Tickets for eighth blackbird are on sale now at http://www.odysseymissouri.org/tickets.html and also will be on sale at the door.

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project selects four winning new works

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of four orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert in March. The works were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). The winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The three works chosen in the Open category are “Euphoria Overture” by Michael Blackwood, who lives in Florissant and teaches orchestra for the Rockwood School District; “This Is the Garden” by Joseph Eidson, a Jefferson City native now residing in New Cumberland, PA and teaching music at Bucknell University; and “Menuet Macabre” by Warren Gooch, professor of music theory and composition at Truman State University in Kirksville. The winning composition in the High School category is “The Tragedy of the Hero” by Edward Crouse, a sophomore at Jefferson City High School.

The winners were selected by judges John Cheetham, professor emeritus of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Bruce Gordon, orchestra manager for CCO. The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to composer Michael Strausbaugh for his piece “Erebus,” and a Special Mention to Ryan Jesperson for “I. Jest.”

The four winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of a concert of new music by Missouri composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 10 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers Street in Columbia. The program also will include recent orchestral compositions by two University of Missouri students, Stephanie Berg’s “Distraction” and Patrick Clark’s “Ptolemy’s Carousel.”

Six different conductors will lead the six pieces, with CCO music director Stefan Freund conducting Berg’s work and Patrick Clark conducting his own piece. Also wielding the baton will be Rob Shay, director of the MU School of Music (Blackwood); MU symphonic band director Brian Silvey (Eidson); Alex Blanton, director of Philharmonia Columbia (Gooch); and Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory (Crouse).

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.

Edward Crouse

Joseph Eidson

Warren Gooch

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident composers will bring diversity to 2012 event

From a London-based composer pursuing a doctorate at the Royal Academy of Music, to a Greek studying music in upstate New York, to a Kansas City native working towards her Master’s degree at Mizzou, the resident composers selected for this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival are perhaps the most diverse group yet in the event’s three-year history.

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative today announced the eight resident composers selected for the 2012 Festival, which will take place Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia. Chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 144 entries from all over the world – including Israel, France, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Russia, England, Thailand, Canada and China – they are:

* Stephanie Berg – Columbia, MO
* Brian Ciach – Bloomington, IN
* David Crowell – New York, NY
* Stylianos Dimou – Rochester, NY
* Ted Goldman – Rochester, NY
* Patrick Harlin – Ann Arbor, MI
* Charlie Piper – London, England
* Asha Srinivasan – Appleton, WI

Three of the composers selected have significant international ties: Piper, a native and current resident of London; Dimou, who was born and raised in Greece; and Srinivasan, who was born in the United States but lived in India as a child. Mizzou is represented in the group by Stephanie Berg, a graduate student working toward a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition, and winner of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer 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 2012 will be Steven Stucky, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for composition and professor at Cornell University; and Donnacha Dennehy, a native of Dublin who is one of the leading contemporary composers in Ireland. 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 Festival began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Stucky and Dennehy; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the Festival and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://newmusicsummerfestival.missouri.edu/.

Stephanie Berg

Brian Ciach

David Crowell

Stylianos Dimou

Ted Goldman

Ted Goldman

Patrick Harlin

Charlie Piper

Asha Srinivasan

Stephanie Berg wins statewide composition competition

University of Missouri graduate student Stephanie Berg (pictured) has won this year’s award in the “Young Artist” category of the Missouri State Division of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition.

Berg, who is pursuing a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition at Mizzou, was recognized for her piece “Of Air Sweet and Water Deep.” The work was composed in 2010 for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and premiered at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis as part of a tribute to the Garden’s President Emeritus, Dr. Peter Raven.

“Of Air Sweet and Water Deep” now will be entered in the national MTNA composition competition, which offers a first place prize of $3,000, plus a performance at the Winners Concert during the 2012 MTNA National Conference, March 24–28 in New York City.

A native of Parkville, Missouri and graduate of Park Hill South High School, Berg earned her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Mizzou in 2008. She was the recipient of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize, which resulted in the commissioned work Motive and Reflection for full orchestra.

In addition to her work as a composer, she performs in the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the University Philharmonic, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra, playing B flat, A, E flat, and bass clarinets. Berg also has served for three years as project manager for the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s Creating Original Music Program (C.O.M.P.).

Kirsten, Podgursky win commissions from Harvard’s Fromm Foundation

Congratulations to Amy Beth Kirsten and Jeremy Podgursky, both resident composers at the inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival in 2010, for winning $10,000 commissions this year from Harvard University’s Fromm Music Foundation.

The Fromm Music Foundation has been located at Harvard since 1972, and has commissioned more than 300 new compositions and their performances, as well as sponsoring hundreds of new music concerts and concert series. Kirsten and Podgursky are among 12 winners of commissions this year.

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project seeks recent works for performance in March

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative are looking for recent orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to perform at a concert in March, 2012.

To inaugurate the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project, a new program sponsored by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the CCO will present a concert of six recent works by Missouri composers at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 10 at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, 901 Rogers Street in Columbia.

Four of the works presented at the concert will be selected through a competitive process – one from the High School category and three from the Open 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 composer whose work is selected will be awarded a $500 honorarium, and must be present for the concert and the dress rehearsal, which will take place the afternoon of March 10 in Launer Auditorium.

Details on instrumentation and complete application materials are available online at http://mizzounewmusic.missouri.edu/project.html. Applications must be postmarked no later than December 15, 2011. For more information, interested composers also may contact Jonathan Kuuskoski of University of Missouri School of Music via email at kuuskoskij@missouri.edu.

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. For more information, visit their website at http://cco.missouri.org/.

Michael E. Anderson wins 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize

Michael E. Anderson

Mizzou senior Michael E. Anderson is the winner of the 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative are pleased to announce that Michael E. Anderson (pictured) is the winner of the 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

Anderson, a Mizzou senior, submitted his piece “At the Mercy of the Forest” to the competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

The adjudicators for the 2012 competition were Warren Gooch, professor of music theory and composition at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO; Martin Kennedy, assistant professor of composition and theory at Washington University in St. Louis; and Renee Waters, coordinator of music theory and professor of music at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO.

As winner of the 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize, Anderson now will have the opportunity to write an original work for Mizzou’s University Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere on Monday, March 5, 2012 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.

Michael Anderson currently is working on a bachelor of music degree in composition at Mizzou, studying with W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund. A native of Platte City, MO and graduate of Platte County R-3 High School, Anderson also was a finalist for last year’s Sinquefield Composition Prize with his piece “Dendrocnide.”

His works have been performed by ensembles including the Rezound! Handbell Choir, the KC Vibrations Handbell Choir, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the MU Saxophone Ensemble, and various other chamber groups. In addition to composing, Anderson performs as a saxophonist in the University of Missouri’s Wind Ensemble, and is a member of the Columbia Handbell Ensemble and the Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

The other finalists for the 2012 Sinquefield Composition Prize were Grant Fonda, Joe Hills and David Witter. We congratulate all four composers on this notable achievement!