Posts Tagged ‘ composer

Spotlight on Edie Hill

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

The most experienced among the 2010 Festival’s eight resident composers, New York City native Edie Hill (pictured) earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition and piano performance at Bennington College, where she studied with Vivian Fine. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota with principal composition teacher Lloyd Ultan, and also has studied extensively with Libby Larsen.

Currently, Hill serves as composer-in-residence at The Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minn. and lives in Minneapolis, where she also works as a freelance composer.

From solo to orchestra, epigram to epic, her music has been presented by Lincoln Center in New York City, LA County Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Cape May Festival (NJ) and the Downtown Arts Festival (NYC). Hill was a McKnight Artist Fellow in 1996, 2001 and 2006, a Bush Artist Fellow in 1999 and 2007, and has won grants from the Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America and the Argosy Foundation.

You can hear samples of Edie Hill’s music on her website, MySpace page and Facebook page.  And for even more about Hill, check out this profile of her published in 2006 by Mpls/St. Paul magazine.

In the first video window embedded below, there’s a short video feature about Hill and a work she created last year for the Twin Cities Women’s Choir. The second clip shows flautist Linda Chatterton performing “Harvest Moon and Tide,” the second part of a five-movement solo flute work written for her by Hill. The complete piece, “This Floating World,” is inspired by the imagery of five haiku poems.

Spotlight on Martin Bresnick

We are honored to have Martin Bresnick as one of the guest composers and instructors who will work with the eight resident composers taking part in the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

Bresnick (pictured) was born in New York City and educated at the High School of Music and Art, the University of Hartford, Stanford University, and the Akademie für Musik in Vienna. His principal teachers of composition included György Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem.

He is presently Professor of Composition and Coordinator of the Composition Department at the Yale School of Music, and also has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Stanford University and as a visiting professor or guest lecturer at many other institutions.

Bresnick’s compositions cover a wide range of instrumentation, from chamber music to symphonic compositions and computer music. His orchestral music and chamber music have been performed by major symphony orchestras and ensembles throughout the US, Europe and Asia, and heard at numerous major festivals.

The recipient of dozens of prizes and commissions during his long and distinguished career, Bresnick also has written music for films, two of which, Arthur & Lillie (1975) and The Day After Trinity (1981), were nominated for Academy Awards in the documentary category.

His music has been recorded by Cantaloupe Records, Composers Recordings Incorporated, Centaur, New World Records, Artifact Music and Albany Records and is published by Carl Fischer Music (NY), Bote and Bock, Berlin and CommonMuse Music Publishers, New Haven. The most recent recording of Bresnick’s music, Every Thing Must Go, came out in June on Albany Records.

Bresnick’s notable students include Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe (co-founders of Bang on a Can), Evan Ziporyn, Kevin Puts, Marc Mellits, Christopher Theofanidis, Carlos Sanchez-Guiterrez and Michael Torke. “We do look at him as our guru,” says Lang of his former teacher. “He’s a really inspiring person.”

On a personal note, Bresnick is married to pianist Lisa Moore, who’s a guest performer at the 2010 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. (You can see a short video here of a joint interview that Bresnick and Moore did in 2008 for the website New Music Box.)

For more about Bresnick, read this profile written in 2007 by the New York Times‘ Anne Midgette for the Yale Alumni Magazine. For more on his compositional process, check out this interview with Bresnick, in which Bresnick discusses his work “Grace,” a concerto for two marimbas and orchestra written for marimbist Robert Van Sice.

In the first embedded video window below, you can see and hear an excerpt of Moore and Third Coast Percussion performing Bresnick’s multi-media work “Caprichos Enfaticos” in a concert on February 14, 2010 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Below that, there’s a 2010 performance of the first movement of “Grace” by percussionists Brad Meyer and Ben Stiers, accompanied by pianist Beth Ellen Rosenbaum playing a reduction of the orchestral parts.

Spotlight on Zhou Juan

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

A native of Sichuan, China, Zhou Juan (pictured) was raised in Kelamayi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Composition, studying with Guo Wenjing.

In 2007 she was named the first Edgar Snow Scholar from CCOM and began doctoral studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with Zhou Long, Paul Rudy, Chen Yi and James Mobberly, ultimately earning her degree in May 2010.

In addition to winning numerous awards for her music in China, Zhou has received the Staunton Music Festival Emerging Composer Award and is a two-time winner of UMKC Chamber Composition Competition. She also has won commissions and fellowships from the Nieuw Ensemble, Kansas City Electronic Music & Arts Alliance, New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, Virginia Arts Festival, California Summer Music, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Arts, Chinese Education Ministry, Viacom-Sumner M. Redstone Scholarship, Bao Steel Education Award, Fu Chengxian Commemorate Scholarship Foundation and Edgar Snow Foundation.

Zhou’s music has been performed in Beijing, Hong Kong, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. You can hear samples of some of her compositions on her website. (Note: An embedded music player will start when the page loads.)

The video in the embedded window below features one of Zhou’s works performed in 2008 by ADORNO Ensemble as part of their program ScoreXchange, an online workshop for young composers. (The members of Adorno Ensemble offer follow-up comments for the composer here, providing some interesting insights into the process of developing a new composition.)

Spotlight on Jeremy Podgursky

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Jeremy Podgursky (pictured) is a composer and performer of acoustic and electro-acoustic concert music who originally is from Louisville, KY. He currently lives in Bloomington, IN, where he has a Jacobs School of Music doctoral fellowship (D.M.) at Indiana University. Podgursky has studied acoustic composition with Don Freund, Steve Rouse and Marc Satterwhite, and electronic music with John Gibson and Alicyn Warren.

After completing his masters degree, Podgursky taught music theory, aural skills and private composition lessons at the University of Louisville, as well as after-school composition programs in Louisville area public high schools.

In addition to his interest in concert music, Podgursky says he has “a love/hate relationship with rock ‘n’ roll,” and finds himself “writing and singing his own songs at the most inopportune times.” His rock band The Pennies has shared stages with many leading indie rock acts, toured in the United States and Europe, and has issued four CDs.

You can hear samples of Podgursky’s concert music on his website and on his MySpace page.

As part of the paper’s coverage of the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Podgursky was profiled in last Sunday’s Columbia Daily Tribune by staff writer Aarik Danielsen, and you can read that story online here. (A complete transcript of the interview is available here.)

For more, go here to see and hear Podgursky and fellow composer Derek Bermel (one of the guest composers at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival) discussing the first reading of Podgursky’s piece Our Bliss, It Comes in Waves at the Earshot festival in Denver, CO.

Spotlight on Derek Bermel

The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival is privileged to have Derek Bermel (pictured) as one of the guest composers and instructors working with our eight resident composers this year.

Described by the Toronto Star as an “eclectic with wide open ears” and by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “one of America’s finest young composers”, Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity. His works draw from a rich variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, blues, folk, and gospel.

From 2006 to 2009 Bermel was Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, and Saint Louis Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri String Quartet, Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (U.K.), Figura (Denmark), violinist Midori, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianists Christopher Taylor and Andy Russo, among others.

Bermel’s awards include the Alpert Award in the Arts, the Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center, the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lili Boulanger Award, commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri.

A clarinetist as well as a composer, Bermel performed in 2008 as soloist alongside Wynton Marsalis in his Migration Series, a work commissioned by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and ACO. He also appeared as clarinet soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in conductor/composer John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons, and as soloist in his own concerto Voices at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. The Philharmonia Orchestra also produced an all-Bermel concert as part of its Music of Today series at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Other recent highlights include the Pittsburgh Symphony’s premiere of The Good Life for chorus and orchestra, and two premieres at Carnegie Hall: a Koussevitzky Commission for ACO conducted by Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, and as soloist in the world premiere of Fang Man’s clarinet concerto.

In 2009, Bermel served as composer-in-residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Voices, a disc of his orchestral music on the BMOPsound label, was hailed as “magnificent” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bermel’s music is published by Peermusic (Americas & Asia) and Faber Music (Europe/Australia).

You can listen to recorded excerpts of a number of Bermel’s compositions on his website. For more on Derek Bermel, read this profile, written before a concert with American Composers Orchestra, and this interview with Composition Today,

In the first embedded video window below, you can see and hear Bermel performing “Voices” at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. The second video clip shows a performance of Bermel’s “Tied Shifts” by the new music ensemble eighth blackbird.

Spotlight on Paul Dooley

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Paul M. Dooley (pictured) is a composer, pianist, and percussionist currently working for his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan, where he is the Graduate Student Instructor in Electronic Music.

He was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA and began composing music at age 12. His work today is inspired by dance, nature and travel, and has earned praise from famed composer Steve Reich, who said Dooley has “clearly learned how to deal with the orchestra,” and the Omaha World-Herald, which wrote that his music “shimmered beautifully.”

“El Mirador” (2010), about Paul’s travels to ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala, was named the winner of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble’s American Composers Competition, which resulted in a commission for that group. Dooley’s composition “Dani’s Dance” (2007) received a 2008 Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and “Encaenia” (2008) was featured in a master class with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. His orchestral work Pomo Canyon Air (2005) has been performed by five different orchestras and read by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Dooley also earned a degree in music composition and a second bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Southern California. Recent awards include a fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival and commissions from the Michigan Music Teachers Association and members of the San Francisco Ballet. You can hear samples of many of Dooley’s compositions and see copies of his scores on his website.

You can see performances of two of Dooley’s works in the embedded video windows below. The first clip shows part one of his composition “Pagoda” (2010), as performed by vibraphonist Samuel Livingston and the Yersinia Saxophone Quartet, with Robert Young, soprano sax; Zachary Stern, alto sax; Joseph Girard, tenor sax; and Daniel Blumenthal, baritone sax. (Part two can be seen here.)

In the second window, you can see cellist Paul Dywer performing the first movement of  “Gradus,” a composition for solo cello in seven movements. Originally commissioned by the Michigan Music Teachers Association and written especially for Dwyer, it was first performed at the MMTA State Conference in October 2009, and received the BMI Student Composer Award in 2010. (You also can watch online videos of Dwyer playing movements no. 2, 5, 6 and 7.)

Spotlight on Amy Beth Kirsten

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, Amy Beth Kirsten grew up in Kansas City and Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Jazz Studies from Benedictine University and a master’s degree in Composition from Chicago College of Performing Arts.

She currently lives and works in New Haven, CT, and graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in May 2010 with a doctorate in music composition.

Kirsten was honored in 2009 to have the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, read her new orchestra piece “The Girl He Drew.” In 2009 she also held a Creative Arts residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy; was a finalist for the 2009 Rome Prize in Musical Composition; and held summer composition fellowships at the Norfolk New Music Workshop and Bang on a Can Summer Festival.

Previously, Kirsten was chosen to participate in the American Composers Orchestra’s 16th Annual Underwood New Music Readings and won the 2006-07 Volti Choral Arts Lab Commissioning and Residency competition in San Francisco. She also recently was named a 2010 Composer Fellow for the Music10 New Music Festival in Switzerland with 8th Blackbird.

In addition to participating in the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, Kirsten has another recent Missouri connection. Previously, she was commissioned by Missouri Verses and Voices to create a musical setting for “Hall of Waters” by Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen, which had its debut performance in February 2010 at the Capitol in Jefferson City.

Before moving to the East Coast, Kirsten was a regular fixture on the Chicago singer/songwriter scene, performing at such venues as Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, Quenchers Saloon, The Subterranean, Katerina’s, and Uncommon Ground. She got her start as a singer by studying the great improvisors of jazz, and continues to use the skills developed in her jazz training as a tool in her work as a composer of contemporary concert music.

To hear samples of Amy Beth Kirsten’s music, you can visit her website.

In the embedded video window below, you can see a performance of part one of Kirsten’s composition “Little Falling Red,” which was written for Norfolk New Music Workshop. (For more about the piece, see Kirsten’s comments to NYC classical music radio station WQXR here.) The video was made July 3, 2009, and features soprano Alice Teyssier and the Norfolk New Music Ensemble, withe Sarunas Jankauskas, clarinet; Jennifer Griggs, trombone; Chun-Chien Chuang, violin; Brian Ellingson, double bass; Julia Den Boer, piano; and Ian Rosenbaum, percussion.

Spotlight on Moon Young Ha

Here’s another in our series of profiles of the resident composers taking part in this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

Moon Young Ha (pictured) combines classical instruments, video and electronics to create ethereal contemporary concert music.

His work has been presented at festivals and concerts in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States, including the International Computer Music Conference, Bang on a Can Marathon, Vilniaus Veidai Festival, NoiseFloor Festival, KoMA Festival, the Society of Composers Inc. conference and others.

Recently,  Ha has collaborated with visual artist/composer Dennis Miller, and his music also has been performed by the LOOS Ensemble, Eric Mandat, Florida International University Symphony Orchestra and the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble. Ha also is the founder of MEANS, a contemporary music ensemble that performs new music by young composers.

He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and this fall he will be starting his Ph.D in Music Composition/Theory at New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science. You can hear some samples of Moon Young Ha’s music on his website.

Also, you can see two performances of Ha’s music in the embedded video windows below. The first clip is from 2008, and shows Ha conducting a “pickup choir” of fellow University of Illinois students in a performance of “Wild Nights,” a musical setting composed by Ha for an Emily Dickinson poem.

The second clip is a performance of Ha’s composition “The Island,” recorded in June, 2009 at Etchings: A New Festival for Contemporary Music in Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France. Once again, Ha conducts his own composition, as played by The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), featuring Beth Wiemann, clarinet; Florence Cooke, violin; and James Barralet, cello.