Posts Tagged ‘ composer

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.

Spotlight on Christopher Dietz

Here’s another in our series of brief profiles of the eight resident composers who will be part of the inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival:

The music of Milwaukee native Christopher Dietz (pictured) has been recognized with honors and awards from the Camargo Foundation, the Banff Centre, Copland House, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions and Composer Institute and several other institutions.

Dietz earned a Ph.D. in Composition and Theory from the University of Michigan, as well as degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Wisconsin.  He currently is a visiting assistant professor at the Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, OH. Recent commissions include works for the Mellon Foundation, the Toledo Symphony and the Utah Arts Festival Orchestra.

His music also has been performed by the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, the Palomar Ensemble, TACTUS Ensemble, and many others.

In addition to being part of the Mizzou New Music Summer Fesitval, Deitz this year also was selected to participate in the Etchings Festival of Contemporary Music in Auvillar, France, and in the Society of Composers Inc. National Conference this November.

There are a few sample recordings of Dietz’ music online. His work Gharra,  commissioned by the Utah Arts Festival Orchestra in 2007 and since performed by three more orchestras, can be heard online here (if you have Apple QuickTime).

Also, percussionist Matthew Peters has put online .mp3 files of his performances of two solo marimba pieces composed by Dietz, “King of the Logs” and “The Peters Variations.”  Lastly, a very short excerpt of Deitz’ piece “De Profundis,” composed for and recorded by the Toledo Clarinets, can be heard here.

Spotlight on Francisco Cortez-Alvarez

The inaugural Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will feature the world premieres of new works from eight resident composers selected to be part of the event from a group of more than 120 applicants from around the world. Here’s the first in a series of brief profiles of those composers:

Pianist/composer Francisco Cortes-Alvarez (pictured) was born in Mexico City and received a degree in music composition with honorific mention and the Gabino Barreda Medal from the National School of Music (ENM), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

He currently is pursuing  a master’s of music degree in composition at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Cortez-Alvarez received two consecutive Susan & Ford Schumann grants to study with Steven Stucky (2005) and George Tsontakis (2006) at the Aspen Musical Festival and School.  He also has participated in workshops with composer Mario Davidovsky and the Cassatt String Quartet, and from 2006 to 2007 served as resident composer for the ONIX Ensemble in Mexico.

His music has been performed in Mexico, the United States, Canada and France by soloists, ensembles and orchestras including the Cassatt String Quartet, Ensamble 3, the Cuarteto Extremo, Tumben Paax, Trio Coghlan, Mexico’s National Symphonic Orchestra, the Aspen Sinfonia Orchestra, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra, and the Carlos Chávez Young Orchestra.

You can hear a recording of his composition “Lepedpteros” on his MySpace page.