Posts Tagged ‘ composers

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to debut “Influences Symphony”
with performances in St. Louis and Columbia

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will explore the influence of various styles of music created in Missouri with performances in Columbia and St. Louis of “Influences Symphony,” a new collaborative, multi-part work by four Mizzou student composers.

“Influences Symphony” will be premiered in a concert at 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave. in St. Louis, with an encore performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

The concert in Columbia is free and open to the public. General admission to the performance at the World Chess Hall of Fame is $20, which includes one free drink and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, or $10 for WCHOF members, seniors, and military. Advance tickets can be purchased at http://bit.ly/MizzouNME.

“Influences Symphony” has four sections, each inspired by a different style of music, and was composed specifically for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The performance will begin with “A Bucket and a Rag” by freshman composition major Holden Franklin, which acknowledges the influence of Scott Joplin and others in “a comedic ragtime piece about a group of friends cleaning the floors.”

Next is sophomore composition major Ben Rouder’s “Missouri,” which draws inspiration from the folk song “Shenandoah.” That’s followed by “the girl in the pines” by Emily Shaw, a freshman composition major who describes it as “an ode to Missouri’s classic rock…heavily influenced by the music of Chuck Berry.”

The final section is “City Swing” by freshman composition major Jack Snelling, which reflects his interest in jazz. as exemplified by Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Clark Terry and other giants of the genre with Missouri roots.

The concert in Columbia also will include two more new works by Mizzou composers. “Warm-up No. 1: Tuning Exercise” by Niko Schroeder, who’s in his first year of study for a master’s degree in composition, brings the audience inside the process of tuning and “directs the players through each stage of listening: ideation, self-assessment, and then the consideration of others.” The final piece, “you,oranyone” by second-year master’s student Mikkel Christensen, is a “musical, motivic, and emotional sequel” to his earlier work “notfromme.”

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to building awareness of the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened in September 2011 at 4652 Maryland Avenue in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis after moving from previous locations in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Florida.

The WCHOF is housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business, featuring World Chess Hall of Fame inductees, United States Chess Hall of Fame inductees selected by the U.S. Chess Trust, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess. The WCHOF partners with the Saint Louis Chess Club to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national and international audiences.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets.

Mizzou seeks high school students for Missouri Summer Composition Institute

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is looking for Missouri high school students interested in music composition to attend the 2019 Missouri Summer Composition Institute, which will be held from Sunday, June 16 through Saturday, June 22 on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

Known informally as “COMP Camp,” after MNMI’s annual Creating Original Music Project contest for student composers, the Institute is open to students entering grades 9-12 and entering college freshman.

The week-long program offers young composers from across the state the opportunity to receive composition lessons from MU faculty, learn from and interact with other creative minds, and compose a new work to be premiered at the end of the week by the camp’s resident ensemble.

The program also is an outstanding value, as the fee is just $100 and includes all instruction and activities, plus six nights in a double room in one of Mizzou’s newest, air-conditioned residence halls and meals.

A total of up to 16 student composers – eight advanced and eight intermediate – will be selected to participate. All current and former Creating Original Music Project contest winners of high school age receive a full scholarship to the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, and additional scholarships are available based on financial need.

The application deadline is Monday, April 22. Applicants must complete the online application form and submit a score and a recording of a representative composition, plus a list of completed works.

Materials can be emailed to MNMI managing director Jacob Gotlib at gotlibj@missouri.edu, or sent by postal mail to: COMP Camp c/o Jacob Gotlib, 138 Fine Arts Building, University of Missouri School of Music, Columbia, MO 65211.

For more information, visit the COMP Camp website, or contact Jacob Gotlib via email at gotlibj@missouri.edu or by phone at 573-884-9478.

Missouri Composers Project selects four works for concert
by Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir
on Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church

Clockwise from top left: Olivia Bennett, Gwanyu Cao, Ben Rouder, Ed Frazier Davis

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2019 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its eighth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2019 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at First Baptist Church, 1112 East Broadway in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “Social Justice Warrior” by Ben Rouder, and there are two winning choral works, “O Magnum Mysterium” by Ed Frazier Davis and “Swallow (Kazakh Folk Song)” by Guanyu Cao.

Rouder, who’s originally from Columbia, is a sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou. Davis, a Chicago native now living in Kansas City, studied at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, while Cao, who grew up in Wuhan, China, currently is a visiting scholar at UMKC.

The winning orchestral work in the “high school” category for 2019 is “Imagination” by Olivia Bennett, a home-schooled junior from Nixa, MO. Bennett previously won the MOCOP competition for an orchestral work in the “high school” category in 2017, and also is a four-time award winner in Mizzou’s annual Creating Original Music Project (COMP) competition for Missouri students in grades K-12.

The Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Columbia Chamber Choir to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP intends to showcase emerging talent of Missouri and share it with the world.

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 Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

Mizzou composers’ collaboration with St. Louis Symphony
featured on HEC-TV’s “State of the Arts”

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s reading of new works by Mizzou composers is the subject of a feature story on the latest episode of HEC-TV’s program “State of the Arts.”

The feature by reporter Paul Schankman includes an exclusive look at the private reading session held on Wednesday, October 31 at Powell Hall in St. Louis,  as well as interviews with composers Mikkel Christensen, Ben Colagiovanni, and Libby Roberts, MNMI artistic director and Mizzou professor of composition Stefan Freund, and SLSO resident conductor Gemma New.  You can watch the story in the embedded video window below.

HEC-TV is a St. Louis-based producer of education, arts, and cultural television programming, which can be seen on Charter channel 989, KTVI 2.2, U-Verse channel 99 and on demand at www.hecmedia.org.

Tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 22-27, 2019; applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the tenth annual Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, 2019 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, Donnacha Dennehy and Amy Beth Kirsten (pictured) will return to the MICF to serve as the two distinguished guest composers for 2019, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Dennehy was a guest composer at the MICF in 2012, while Kirsten was part of the festival’s first group of resident composers in 2010.

The MICF features three public concerts of 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 eight resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 16, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Considered one of Ireland’s top living composers, Donnacha Dennehy is the founder of the new music group Crash Ensemble and an associate professor of music at Princeton University. His music has been featured at festivals and venues around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican in London, and many others.

In recent years, Dennehy has concentrated especially on large-scale musico-dramatic works, including his first opera “The Last Hotel,” which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015; “The Second Violinist,” which won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera and premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival; and the docu-opera “The Hunger,” which was performed as a work-in-progress at the 2012 MICF, subsequently co-produced in completed form by Alarm Will Sound and Opera Theatre St. Louis, and presented at BAM in New York.

The full concert version of “The Hunger” will be performed during the 2019 MICF by Alarm Will Sound and guest soloists Kate Manley and Iarla O’Lionaird as part of AWS’ Thursday night concert. That concert also will include a performance of part of a new operatic work-in-progress that Kirsten is composing for Alarm Will Sound.

Educated at Roosevelt University and the Peabody Institute, Amy Beth Kirsten currently lives in New Haven, CT and is a member of the composition faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her work explores theatrical elements of creation, performance, and presentation, fusing music, language, voice, and theatre, with musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices often considered as equal vehicles of expression.

She has written and composed fully-staged theatrical works as well as traditional concert works for her own ensemble, HOWL, musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, eighth blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, and others.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

MICF alumni win commissions from Barlow Endowment, Chamber Music America

Clockwise from top left: Cuong, Peck, Stark, McLosky

As this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival was ending, news broke that several MICF alumni have won commissions in annual competitions sponsored by the Barlow Endowment and by Chamber Music America.

This year’s winners of general commissions from the Barlow Endowment include past MICF resident composers Viet Cuong (MICF 2018), Charles Peck (MICF 2017), and Christopher Stark (MICF 2015). In addition, Lansing McLoskey, who visited the Mizzou campus as a guest composer in 2015, also won a Barlow commission for 2018.

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition was established in 1983 at Brigham Young University, and makes annual awards in support of the Barlow Prize, general commissions, commissions for composers from the Church of Latter Day Saints, and education grants.

From left: Takuma Itoh, Amy Beth Kirsten

Meanwhile, Chamber Music America this week announced the 2018 awards from its major grant programs, including the classical commissioning program, which for 2018 will include grants to former MICF resident composers Takuma Itoh (MICF 2016) and Amy Beth Kirsten (MICF 2010).

CMA’s classical commissioning program provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music.

Congratulations to all!