Posts Tagged ‘ David T. Little

Composers Festival spotlight: David T. Little

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is pleased to welcome David T. Little as one of the two distinguished guest composers for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Called “one of the most imaginative young composers” by The New Yorker, he has been recognized particularly for his operas “Dog Days,” “JFK,” and “Vinkensport” (with librettos by Royce Vavrek), and “Soldier Songs,” which have been widely acclaimed, “prov[ing] beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future,” according to the New York Times.

Little (pictured) holds degrees from Susquehanna University (2001), University of Michigan (2002), and Princeton University (PhD, 2011), where his research explored the intersection of music and politics.

He has served previously as executive director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and currently chairs the composition program at Mannes—The New School.

As a distinguished guest composer for the MICF, Little will give individual composition lessons to the resident composers; make a public presentation on his music; and consult with the groups who will be playing his music at the festival.

He’ll have two works performed at the 2021 MICF. Vocalist Karim Sulayman and resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound will debut the first part of Little’s new opera “What Belongs to You,” as part of the “World Premieres I” concert on Tuesday, July 27; and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform his “descanso (waiting)” during the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Wednesday, July 28.

In addition to “What Belongs to You,” Little currently is composing a new solo cello work for virtuoso Matt Haimovitz, and also is developing a new work commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater.

Other recent works include “hold my tongue,” performed at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam; “the earthen lack” for London Sinfonietta; “Ghostlight—ritual for six players,” presented by Eighth Blackbird at the Kennedy Center; “AGENCY” for Kronos Quartet; “and dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet” for The Crossing; and “Black Lodge” for Beth Morrison Projects.

Little’s music has been presented by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, Holland Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, BAM Next Wave, and Opéra de Montréal.

From 2014–2017, he was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam, Innova, Sono Luminus, Centaur, and National Sawdust Tracks labels.

Little has received awards and recognition from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, the Harvey Gaul Competition, BMI, and ASCAP.

You can hear some samples of David T. Little’s music on his SoundCLoud page and in the embedded players below.

“It Is Time/I Have A Rendezvous” from “JFK,” performed by Laura Krumm (Jackie), Heather Johnson (Jaqueline O), Jessica Jones (Clara) and Djordge Nesic (music director, piano):

“Two Marines” from “Soldier Songs,” performed by Christopher Burchett (baritone), Zac Ballard (boy), and Newspeak. conducted by Todd Reynolds, during the 2013 Prototype Festival at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City.

A salon concert featuring the operatic works of David T. Little, performed by Lauren Flanigan, Lauren Worsham, Christopher Burchett, and David Adam Moore.

“Creators in Concert,” produced in 2015 by Opera America.

Mizzou International Composers Festival to return
July 26-31 with nine world premieres and more

After a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic forced last-minute changes in programming, the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) is back in 2021 in a more familiar form.

Presented Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31 by the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) and the University of Missouri School of Music, the twelfth annual MICF will showcase the world premieres of new works from nine resident composers and more, with all four concerts streamed online for free. The schedule of performances is:

Tuesday, July 27: “World Premieres I,” featuring resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound performing new works by three of the festival’s resident composers, plus the premiere of an excerpt from distinguished guest composer David T. Little’s monodrama “What Belongs to You,” featuring singer Karim Sulayman.

Wednesday, July 28: “Mizzou New Music,” featuring the Mizzou New Music Ensemble playing music by David Little and Chen Yi, and Khemia Ensemble premiering new works by Stefan Freund, Phillip Sink, and Nina Shekhar.

Friday, July 30: “Entry Points of Empathy,” a world premiere multi-media event with music composed by inti figgis-vizueta, Carolina Heredia, Tanner Porter, Annika Socolofsky, and Nina Shekhar, performed by Mizzou faculty and guests, plus video interludes and live graphics by Xuan Zhang.

Saturday, July 31: “World Premieres II,” featuring Alarm Will Sound performing new works from six resident composers, plus the American premiere of Stefan Freund’s arrangement of “Sparkle” by distinguished guest composer Chen Yi.

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and can be viewed on the Mizzou New Music Facebook page and on the University of Missouri School of Music YouTube channel.

The concerts on Tuesday and Saturday will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the festival’s nine resident composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

(Four of the composers – Alcocer, Fitzpatrick, Mortilla and Shekar – were newly selected this year to participate in the 2021 MICF; the other five originally were chosen for the 2020 MICF, but their works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured. Three more composers chosen in 2020 were unable to participate this year, but will be invited to be part of a future festival.)

The MICF’s distinguished guest composers for 2021 are Chen Yi and David T. Little. Chen is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from Chen and Little and take part via Zoom in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. The resident composers also will give public presentations online about their music, and after the premiere performances, will receive professional live recordings of their new works.

For more information on the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival, including a complete schedule of events, times, and dates, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2021

Clockwise from top left: Ana Paola Santillán Alcocer, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Paul Mortilla & Nina Shekhar

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected four resident composers to participate in the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music from Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31 in Columbia, the twelfth 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:

* Ana Paola Santillán Alcocer – Mexico City, Mexico
* Daniel Fitzpatrick – Columbia, MO
* Paul Mortilla – Coral Gables, FL
* Nina Shekhar – Princeton, NJ

These four composers will be featured in the 2021 MICF along with the eight composers who were chosen for the 2020 festival, but whose works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured as an online event.

Those composers are Yu Kuwabara (Tokyo, Japan), Pascal Le Boeuf (New York, NY), Shuying Li (Spokane, WA), Celka Ojakangas (Los Angeles, CA), DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez) (New York, NY), Niko Schroeder (Columbia, MO), Andrew Tholl (Los Angeles, CA), and Felipe Tovar-Henao (Bloomington, IN).

The premieres of the new works from all 12 composers will be presented during festival week in two concerts, six per concert, along with music by the distinguished guest composers. However, because the COVID pandemic makes future conditions difficult to predict, MNMI will have several contingent plans for the 2021 MICF if safety concerns, University policy, or state or local laws make it impossible to present the festival “in-person” on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Those plans may include (but are not limited to) an online-only festival, a limited in-person experience, or some combination of online and in-person activities, such as additional concerts featuring music from the guest composers and other contemporary creators, workshops, master classes, and other events.

The Festival’s distinguished guest composers for 2021 will be Chen Yi and David T. Little. Chen is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

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 resident composers will receive composition lessons from Chen and Little and, if conditions permit, take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. The composers also will give public presentation on their music, and after the premiere performance, will receive professional live recordings of their new works.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival
gets submissions from around the world

A total of 300 composers from around the world have applied for the four resident composer spots at the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Submissions were received from 24 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2021 MICF will be held Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31, and will feature Chen Yi and David T. Little as distinguished guest composers and Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble.

Depending on travel and regulatory conditions next summer, the festival may be held in person on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia; as a series of online events; or some combination of the two. That decision will be made as soon as there’s sufficient information to do so. In the meantime, the four resident composers selected to take part in the festival will be named in January.

Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 26 – 31, 2021;
applications for resident composers now open

The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will take place starting Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31.

Reprising their roles from the online-only 2020 edition of the MICF, Chen Yi and David T. Little (pictured) will serve as the festival’s two distinguished guest composers for 2021, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Little also has written a new commissioned work specifically for the festival.

The week-long MICF will feature concerts of music from contemporary composers, along with workshops, master classes, and other events. Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s 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 take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.

For 2021, MNMI will select four resident composers to take part in the festival. These four composers will be featured along with the eight composers who were chosen for the 2020 MICF, but whose works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured as an online event.

Because the COVID pandemic makes future conditions difficult to predict, MNMI will have several contingent plans for the 2021 MICF if safety concerns, University policy, or state or local laws make it impossible to present the festival “in-person” on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Those plans may include (but are not limited to) an online-only festival, a limited in-person experience, or some combination of online and in-person activities.

The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 11:59 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 20, 2020. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

Chen Yi is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.

Along with many orchestral works, Chen has written numerous choral works and pieces of chamber music, including works written for traditional Chinese instruments. A violinist as well as a composer, Chen Yi earned bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University.

Chen received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Ensembles and soloists commissioning her work have included the Cleveland Orchestra, Mira Wang and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Seattle Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma and the Pacific Symphony, Evelyn Glennie and the Singapore Symphony, the Women’s Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.

Chen’s music has been recorded and released on more than 20 different labels, including New Albion, CRI, Angel, Koch International Classics, Delos, New World, and Naxos.

David T. Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

Little’s music has been presented by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, Holland Festival, and Opéra de Montréal, with upcoming engagements at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. He is the founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, and recordings of his music can be heard on labels including New Amsterdam, Innova, Sono Luminus, Centaur, and National Sawdust Tracks.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates, and venues for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

A look back at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival online

Mizzou International Composers Festival going online for 2020,
will take place Monday, July 27 – Saturday, August 1

Clockwise from top: Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Responding to the restrictions on live events imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mizzou International Composers Festival is going online for 2020.

The 11th annual edition of the MICF is set for Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, with events streamed online from the Facebook pages of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and resident ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Khemia Ensemble, and from the YouTube channels of the University of Missouri School of Music, Alarm Will Sound, and Khemia Ensemble.

At 9:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 31, the MICF will present “Under Twilight,” a multimedia event curated by Mizzou professor Carolina Heredia that will take place both online and for an in-person, “drive-in” audience.

For the “drive-in” audience in the parking lot of the Sinquefield Music Center on the Mizzou campus, videos will be projected on an array of special outdoor 3D screens, while accompanying music is simulcast on radio station KMUC (90.5 FM). At the same time, the online audience will be able to see the program via Facebook and YouTube.

“Under Twilight” will include music and video by Maria Chavez and Flying Lotus, with soundtracks recorded by the composers; and a work by Joel Thompson, with music recorded by Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Choir, conducted by Eugene Rogers.

The evening also will include pieces by former MICF distinguished guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and former resident composer Charlie Piper, as recorded by Alarm Will Sound; a work by Melissa Dunphy, recorded by Khemia Ensemble; and compositions from Carolina Heredia and Mizzou senior Ben Dawson, recorded by the composers and Mizzou students.

Then at 8:00 p.m. CDT Saturday, August 1, the festival’s finale will feature members of Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing a concert program including works by famed composers Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, plus new music from Mizzou student Daniel Fitzpatrick and 2020 master’s graduate Niko Schroeder.

Alarm Will Sound will perform Monk’s “Anthem,” which also is the first work in their new series VIDEO CHAT VARIATIONS, showcasing remotely performed new works that respond to the quirks of video chat platforms.

Also on Saturday, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present Fitzpatrick’s “Ancient Echoes,” a concertino for banjo and ensemble that features the composer as banjo soloist; and the Khemia Ensemble, led by MU faculty composer Carolina Heredia, will present the world premiere of Schroeder’s “Moves” for ensemble and video.

The final piece on the program will feature members of all three groups coming together to perform Oliveros’ “Buffalo Jam,” which is scored with text instructions for any number and instrumentation of performers. The musicians, who were dispersed across the country, rehearsed and recorded the performance using the Jamulus platform, which enables transmission of audio with virtually no latency.

Along with the performances, Saturday’s event also will include interviews with the composers and a post-concert discussion open to audience members. The discussion will be led by Mizzou professor and MNMI and MICF artistic director Stefan Freund, Alarm Will Sound artistic director and conductor Alan Pierson, and Mizzou professor and Khemia Ensemble executive director Carolina Heredia.

Both Friday and Saturday night’s events are free and open to the public, but audience members are asked to register in advance using Eventbrite. To register for Friday’s event, either to view the event online or to “drive in” in person, go to https://micf2020undertwilight.eventbrite.com.To register for Saturday, go to https://micf2020finaleconcert.eventbrite.com.

In addition to the two weekend events, the festival also will include public online presentations from the eight resident composers and two distinguished guest composers who had been announced previously as participants in the 2020 MICF. All of the composer presentations will be available for public viewing online via the Mizzou New Music Initiative Facebook page.

Resident composers Pascal Le Boeuf, DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez), Niko Schroeder, and Celka Ojakangas will make individual presentations on their music starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT Monday, July 27, with Felipe Tovar-Henao, Shuying Li, Andrew Tholl, and Yu Kuwabara presenting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 28.

Distinguished guest composers David T. Little and Chen Yi will be the final presenters, starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 29.

A complete schedule of events, times and dates for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the MICF website at https://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to preview music from upcoming tour of South America and more on Monday, March 9 at Sinquefield Music Center

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present a preview of music from their upcoming tour of South America and more in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 9 at the Sinquefield Music Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The concert is free and open to the public.

For their first concert of 2020 and their first public performance at the new Sinquefield Music Center, the Ensemble (pictured) will play two new works written by Mizzou graduate composition students, “Cataretê” by Luis Hermano Bezerra and “Ancient Echoes” by Daniel Fitzpatrick. Both pieces were composed specifically for the Ensemble’s upcoming tour of South America in late May and early June.

In addition, the Ensemble will present three works by South American composers that they will play during the tour: “Luna más negra” by Jose Halac of Argentina; “Sin Muerte” by Vladimir Guicheff Bogacz of Uruguay; and “Y vos, Por Salvarte, También Gritaste,” by Brazil’s German Gras, who was Luis Hemano Bezerra’s undergraduate composition teacher at the Universidade Estadual do Ceará in Fortaleza.

The concert also will feature music from the two distinguished guest composers for this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival, as the Ensemble will play Chen Yi’s “Near Distance” and David T. Little’s “Descanso (waiting).”

Rounding out the program will be a second performance of “Construction,” composed by Mizzou graduate student Niko Schroeder for the grand opening of the Sinquefield Music Center in February.

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 2019-20 season are Daniel Fitzpatrick, piano; Stephen Landy, percussion; Ann Mozina, flute; Jordan Nielsen, percussion; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Andrew Wiele, clarinet. Mizzou New Music Initiative post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi serves as the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.