Posts Tagged ‘ Dan Visconti

Composers Festival spotlight: Dan Visconti

Dan Visconti

Dan Visconti, one of the two distinguished guest composers at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival, is known both for his music and for his work as a speaker, writer, and activist seeking “to address social issues through music by re-imagining the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.”

Visconti’s biography describes his compositions as “rooted in the improvisational energy and maverick spirit of rock, folk music, and other vernacular performance traditions,” and the Cleveland Plain Dealer has characterized his work as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.”

As a distinguished guest composer for the MICF, Visconti (pictured) will work with the eight resident composers and Alarm Will Sound, and give a public presentation on his music. The festival will include performances of two of his works – “Psychedelia,” a brand new piece composed for Alarm Will Sound that they’ll play during their concert on Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre, and “Fractured Jams,” which the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform on Friday, July 28.

Visconti recently completed three years as the California Symphony’s Young American Composer in Residence, during which he wrote works including “Tangle Eye,” a concerto for cello and orchestra inspired by folk recordings collected by Alan Lomax that debuted in May of this year, and 2016’s “Living Language,” a concerto for guitar and orchestra featuring Grammy-winning soloist Jason Vieaux.

Other recent projects include “Amplified Soul,” a showpiece written specifically for Venezuelan piano virtuoso Gabriela Martinez; “ANDY: A Popera,” an opera/cabaret hybrid commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and inspired by the life, work, and philosophy of pop artist Andy Warhol; and the interactive video game opera “Permadeath,” a collaboration with acclaimed Pulitzer-winning librettist Cerise Jacobs and director Michael Counts.

Visconti also has written commissioned works for the Kronos Quartet, Branford Marsalis, Eighth Blackbird, the JACK Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, Silkroad percussionist Shane Shanahan, soprano Lucy Shelton, and many others.

His honors include the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize, and awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress, Fromm Foundation, Naumburg Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to his composer residency with the California Symphony, he recently completed a multi-year residency with opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival as recipient of the Douglas Moore Fellowship in American Opera.

Visconti’s music has been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, London’s Barbican Theatre, and Sydney Opera House.

He currently serves as director of artistic programming at Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble, and works with young musicians at the ensemble’s annual Fresh Inc Festival on cultivating musical careers in line with their own unique vision and values. Visconti also recently was named artistic advisor at Astral Artists, a nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians.

A sought-after speaker on music and social topics, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the conference’s thirtieth anniversary. Other recent appearances include speeches at the Clinton School for Public Service, the National Archive, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and his writing also has appeared in NewMusicBox, ArtsJournal, Medium, The 21st-Century Musician, and Symphony magazine.

Dan Visconti was interviewed last week on KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program, and you can listen to that conversation here. For more, read his 2016 interview with 21cm.org, and watch the accompanying video of his talk about “Music and Community” at DePauw University.

You can hear samples of Visconti’s music on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“Lonesome Roads” performed in May 2017 by Fifth House Ensemble.

“Black Bend” from “Hitchhiker’s Tales,” performed by Sybarite5, with Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney (violins), Angela Pickett (viola), Laura Metcalf (cello), and Louis Levit (double bass), for the 2013 International Society of Double Bassists Convention at the Eastman School Of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

“Amplified Soul,” written for and performed by Gabriela Martinez on her first album.

“Fractured Jams,” recorded by Scharoun Ensemble Berlin.

Tickets for 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival go on sale Friday, May 26

Tickets for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, May 26.

Known as the region’s premier showcase for new works by top young composers, the MICF will take place this year from Monday, July 24 through Saturday, July 29 in Columbia, and will include three public concerts.

Returning for the eighth year as the festival’s resident ensemble, Alarm Will Sound will begin the weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

They’ll perform music from the 2017 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Georg Friedrich Haas and Dan Visconti, as well as works by Robert Sirota, Don Freund, and AWS violinist/guitarist Caleb Burhans.

Next, the “Mizzou New Music” concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre will feature performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and guest artists DRAX, with saxophonist Leo Saguiguit and percussionist Megan Arns, and cellist Eli Lara.

The grand finale of the week will showcase the world premieres of eight new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival VIP packages are $80, and include reserved premium seating at all three concerts; two drink tickets good at the Thursday and Friday performances; and admission to a VIP reception prior to the Saturday evening performance, featuring champagne and hors d’oeuvres with members of Alarm Will Sound and the composers.

Festival passes for all three concerts are $40 for an adult general admission pass, and $20 for a student general admission pass. Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

In addition to these three concerts, the MICF also will feature several free events, including open rehearsals and presentations by the participating composers. A complete schedule of those events will be released at a later date.

The eight resident composers were chosen from among more than 260 applicants from 25 different countries to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. They are:
* Clare Glackin, Los Angeles, CA
* Selim Göncü, Berkeley, CA
* Carolina Heredia, Ann Arbor, MI
* Christopher Mayo, Toronto, Canada
* Aaron Parker, Manchester, England
* Charles Peck, Ithaca, NY
* Amadeus Regucera, Oakland, CA
* Henry Breneman Stewart, Columbia, MO

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from distinguished guest composers George Friedrich Haas, a native of Austria and a professor of composition at Columbia University who is considered to be one of the major European composers of his generation; and Dan Visconti, a Chicago-based composer and concert programmer also known as an advocate for the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.

The resident composers also will take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of their work.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to present works
by Freund, Haas, Visconti, McKenney, and Heruth
on Monday, February 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s first performance of 2017 will include music from a visiting guest composer, new works written by a longtime faculty member and a Mizzou student, and a sneak preview of this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. General admission is $5 for the public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff.

Visiting the Mizzou campus for a guest composer residency that weekend will be Don Freund, professor of composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the father of University of Missouri professor and Mizzou New Music Initiative artistic director Stefan Freund. The Ensemble will perform the elder Freund’s 2013 work “Mixed Blood,” which combines Latin rhythms and a tango tune with sounds and structures of American contemporary art music.

The program also will feature “Their Rest Too is Related to Motion,” a new composition from W. Thomas “Tom” McKenney, professor emeritus and co-artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. Inspired by a piece of music that his daughter wrote for him while she was in grade school, McKenney adapted and expanded the tune’s basic musical elements into three movements, evoking the motions of ladybugs, whirligigs, and fireflies.

Mizzou’s student composers will be represented by Hans Heruth, a sophomore composition major and Sinquefield Scholar whose new work “To Decipher the Art” is a musical setting of a poem by Lee K. Acton. The piece was written especially for baritone Patrick Graham, who will perform it as a guest with the Ensemble.

Music from the two distinguished guest composers for this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival will complete the program.

Georg Friedrich Haas’ composition “aus freier Lust…verbunden” (“Bound … of free will”) is one of a series of works from 1996 in which each of the seven instrumental parts is simultaneously a solo piece, so that it can be played by any combination from solo performer to full ensemble. (The Ensemble will perform it as a quintet, using bass flute, bass clarinet, cello, and two percussionists.) Haas is a native of Austria and a professor of composition at Columbia University who is considered to be one of the major European composers of his generation.

Dan Visconti’s “Fractured Jams” is a “high modernist” work for violin, cello, clarinet, and percussion that was composed in 2007 and features the use of extended techniques. Visconti is a Chicago-based composer and concert programmer who also is known as an advocate for the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.

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, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Ensemble’s members for the 2016-17 season are Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Renan Leme, violin; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; and Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophone.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2017

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 24 through Saturday, July 29 in Columbia, the eighth annual MICF will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

* Clare Glackin, Los Angeles, CA
* Selim Göncü, Berkeley, CA
* Carolina Heredia, Ann Arbor, MI
* Christopher Mayo, Toronto, Canada
* Aaron Parker, Manchester, England
* Charles Peck, Ithaca, NY
* Amadeus Regucera, Oakland, CA
* Henry Breneman Stewart, Columbia, MO

The resident composers are chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted a record 261 entries from 25 different countries, also a record for the MICF. Applications were received from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

Four of the resident composers selected for 2017 are originally from outside the US, including Selim Göncü, who was born in Turkey; Carolina Heredia, a native of Argentina; Christopher Mayo, a Canadian; and Aaron Parker, who hails from England.

Henry Breneman Stewart, a graduate student working toward a master’s in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Stewart was the winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer.

The 2017 Mizzou International Composers 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 distinguished guest composers for 2017 will be George Friedrich Haas, a native of Austria and a professor of composition at Columbia University who is considered to be one of the major European composers of his generation; and Dan Visconti, a Chicago-based composer and concert programmer also known as an advocate for the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.

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 MICF began in 2010.

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

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 24 – 29;
applications for eight resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is now accepting applications for eight resident composers to take part in the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will be held Monday, July 24 through Saturday, July 29 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Georg Friedrich Haas and Dan Visconti will serve as the distinguished guest composers for the 2017 MICF, which will include three public concerts of contemporary music as well as workshops, master classes and other events.

As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will feature the world premieres of new works from each of the eight resident composers, with the acclaimed new music group 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.

Georg Friedrich Haas

A native of Austria, Haas is a professor of composition at Columbia University in New York City, and previously held dual professorships at the Hochschle für Musik in Basel, Switzerland, and the Kunstuniversität in Graz, Austria.

Considered to be one of the major European composers of his generation, Haas has received many national and international awards, including in 2007 the Grand Austrian State Prize for Music, the country’s highest artistic honor.

His compositions include operas, concertos, and a variety of chamber music, including seven string quartets, and his works have been performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world. One of Haas’ best-known compositions is “In Vain,” written in 2000 for a 24-piece chamber ensemble and praised as “a modern masterwork” by The New Yorker‘s influential music critic Alex Ross.

Dan Visconti

Visconti is a Chicago-based composer who currently serves as director of artistic programming at Fifth House Ensemble, a concert organization that presents innovative collaborative, educational, and interactive events. Known as an advocate for addressing social issues through music, he also is a sought-after speaker and writer on the subject of the arts as a form of cultural and civic service.

Visconti has earned numerous honors and commissions as a composer, and his works have been played by orchestras in the United States, Europe and Australia and by top interpreters of contemporary music including eighth blackbird, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and many others.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Monday, November 21, 2016. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.