Posts Tagged ‘ Derek Bermel

Composers Festival spotlight: Conrad Winslow

Even before coming to Columbia for the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival, resident composer Conrad Winslow has been all over these United States.

As his professional bio puts it, “Extended childhood road-trips through the continental United States and a residential stint in Hawaii have taught him to look wide.” Raised in Homer, Alaska and now based in Brooklyn, Winslow earned his undergraduate degree in music from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

He subsequently moved to the Northeast, earning an M.M. degree in film scoring from New York University and a master’s degree in composition from the Juilliard School, where he studied with John Corigliano.

Informed by his travels and by “watching his parents chop down trees and build a log cabin home in the woods,” Winslow’s music has been lauded for its “harmonic thorniness and rhythmic vitality” by the New York Times and described as a “scenic, boisterous and bumpy ride” by the Albany Times Union.

He has earned honors and awards from ASCAP, New Music USA, the American Composers Forum and The Jerome Fund, and more. Winslow also has written instrumental music on commission from Carnegie Hall, the American Composers Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, Bala Brass, and Gaudete Brass (who recorded his work for Cedille Records), and others.

His most recent commissions include works for bassoonists Rebekah Heller and Adrian Morejon, under the auspices of the International Double Reed Society, and Cadillac Moon Ensemble; and a ballet score for choreographer Justin Peck.

Winslow’s orchestral work “Joint Account” will receive a world premiere performance from the American Composers Orchestra in October at Carnegie Hall as part of the SONiC Festival, curated by former MICF distinguished guest composers Derek Bermel and Anna Clyne.

You can hear samples of Conrad Winslow’s music in the embedded SoundCloud and YouTube players below.

“Two Riddles” for two bassoons, performed by Rebekah Heller and Adrian Morejon on August 6, 2014 at SubCulture, NYC.

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.