Posts Tagged ‘ Mikkel Christensen

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 New Music Ensemble to perform works by Socolofsky, Kirsten, Dennehy, Christensen and Forte on Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform works by three visiting composers plus two world premieres by Mizzou students in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 24 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will feature “Don’t say a word,” a “feminist rager-lullaby” by Annika Socolofsky from 2017 that “invokes the fragility and fury of the female voice.” Socolofsky, a composer and singer who is a doctoral candidate and fellow in composition at Princeton University, will be visiting Mizzou for a residency that week, and will coach and perform with the Ensemble.

Also included on the program will be “World Under Glass No. 2,” composed in 2011 by Amy Beth Kirsten. The piece is inspired by the Distillation series of New York visual artist Thomas Doyle, who creates dark, disturbing miniature scenes displayed in vessels resembling over-sized snow globes. Kirsten will be one of the two distinguished guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Donnacha Dennehy, who will be the other distinguished guest composer at the 2019 MICF, will be represented by “The Blotting.” a work commissioned in 2004 by the Bath International Music Festival that’s described by the composer as being “quite rhythmically virtuosic in places, making use of manically interlocking hockets.”

Two new works by Mizzou students will complete the concert. “Ozymandias” by Ethan Forte, a junior composition major at Mizzou, “attempts to capture the vivid literary work by Percy Bysshe Shelley,” while “The Dream is More Than Process” by second-year master’s student Mikkel Christensen takes inspiration and its title from a lyric by rapper Kendrick Lamar.

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. They will be augmented for this performance by guest musicians Mitchell Goodman, euphonium; Tyler Hannsz, viola; Kassandra Ormsby, bassoon; and Aubrey Smith, soprano.

Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor, and will conduct the performances of “World Under Glass no. 2” and “The Blotting.”

Fall 2018 Student Composers Recital set for
Monday, November 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Fall 2018 edition of the University of Missouri School of Music’s Student Composers Recital will present new works written and performed by students at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will include:
“The Wooden Playground” by Nathan Andrzejewski
“Numbers” by Mikkel Christensen
“The Struggle of a Painter” by Zach Davis
“When Icarus fell it was Spring” by Aaron Mencher
“Duck Your Modernism” by Niko Schroeder
“The Exquisites” by Emily Shaw
“Stream of Consciousness” by Jack Snelling
“The Bounds of Tonality” by Harry Tryer

The concert also will feature a performance of “Exquisite Corpse I,” a collaborative work written by first-year composition students Nathan Andrejewski, Ross Dryer, Holden Franklin, Emily Shaw, Jack Snelling, Nathaniel Swan, and Harry Tryer under the supervision of assistant professor Carolina Heredia.

The concept of “Exquisite Corpse” is derived from the Surrealist parlor game of the same name, in which the first participant would write a phrase or make a sketch on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for their contribution.

As Heredia explains in the program notes, “Each student worked on a variation of the Happy Birthday song. The first collaborator wrote the introduction and passed on the last two bars only to the second collaborator. Then, the second collaborator repeated this action, and so on. At the end, our copyist and arranger took all the materials, put them together, and worked on the transitions to make them smoother.” The students dedicated the work to Dr. Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and presented it to him for his birthday on October 31.

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.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to read works by Mizzou composers
Mikkel Christensen, Ben Colagiovanni, and Libby Roberts

From left: Colagiovanni, Roberts, Christensen

Three University of Missouri student composers will have their works played this year by musicians with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as part of a joint educational venture between the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Student composers Mikkel Christensen, Ben Colagiovanni, and Libby Roberts were selected by SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New to write new works for a 40-piece chamber orchestra drawn from the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony.

The three works will be read, played and critiqued in a private session on Wednesday, October 31 in St. Louis. The composers then will get a chance to revise their music for a second, public reading by the same musicians at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at Powell Hall.

Colagiovanni is a senior from St. Louis working toward an undergraduate degree in composition at Mizzou, while Christensen, who’s from Lockhart, TX, and Roberts, a native of Philadelphia, PA, both are in their second year of study for a master’s degree. They are the second group of Mizzou composers to take part in the program, following Dustin Dunn, Aaron Mencher and Douglas Osmun in 2017-18.

“We’re very grateful to the St. Louis Symphony and Gemma New for the opportunity to give our students some practical experience working with an ensemble of world-class musicians,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition at the University of Missouri School of Music and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

“Because there are two sessions, this program is particularly valuable as a learning experience,” Freund said. “There are other programs that give young composers the chance to have their works read by a professional orchestra, but they provide just one chance to work with the musicians.”

“With the two-session format, our composers are able to hear their music played and get feedback directly from Gemma New and the musicians,” Freund said. “Then they can make revisions, and can hear the results of the changes they’ve made in the second session. It’s the sort of lesson that just can’t be delivered in a classroom.”

Christensen, Colagiovanni, and Roberts already are working on their compositions, Freund said, and are expected to deliver the first versions of their works to the Symphony in early October.

Celebrated as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, celebrating its 139th year in the 2018/2019 season. Widely considered one of the world’s finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève.

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

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will celebrate the spirit of creativity in technology and the arts with performances in Columbia and St. Louis of “Innovation Symphony,” a new collaborative, multi-part work by four Mizzou student composers.

“Innovation Symphony” will be previewed in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 23 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

The work’s official premiere will be presented by Venture Cafe St. Louis at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Cortex Innovation Community‘s @4240 building, located at 4240 Duncan Ave. in St. Louis.

The concert in Columbia is free and open to the public. Admission to the performance in St. Louis also is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP online at https://innovationsymphony.eventbrite.com/.

“Innovation Symphony” has four sections, each written by a different composer based on a specific aspect of the Cortex Innovation Community, and was composed specifically for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

The sections are “A Creative Meditation,” written by Libby Roberts, who’s in her first year of study for a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou and is the pianist for the Ensemble; “Breath of Life,” by Ethan Forte, a sophomore composition major at Mizzou; “Efficiency of Locomotion,” by Adam Cohen, also a sophomore composition major; and “Untitled (Room to Breathe)” by Mikkel Christensen, who’s also a first year master’s student in composition.

“Innovation Symphony” does more than explore innovation as a subject, as the composers also have deployed unusual, creative techniques and instruments in their scores. For example, Christensen’s segment uses wood and plastic percussion instruments custom-built by the composer, while Roberts’ work incorporates a high-tech form of audience participation. Her composition includes ambient sounds that audience members will be able to trigger during the performance from three Novation Launchpad Minis, which are push-button controllers designed specifically for electronic music.

Before the premiere in St. Louis, all four composers will be on hand for Venture Cafe St. Louis’ weekly “Thursday Gathering” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at Venture Cafe, 4240 Duncan Ave, to give a presentation about their works and compositional processes. That event also is free and open to the public, with no RSVP required.

Venture Cafe St. Louis is an organization dedicated to connecting innovators to make things happen. Cortex Innovation Community is a 200-acre innovation hub and technology district integrated into St. Louis’ historic Central West End and Forest Park Southeast residential neighborhoods.

Mikkel Christensen wins grand prize in ShoutHouse call for scores

Mizzou’s Mikkel Christensen has won the grand prize in a worldwide open call for scores from the ensemble ShoutHouse in New York City.

Christensen (pictured) is in his first year of work toward a master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, studying with Stefan Freund. A native of Lockhart, TX, he earned his undergraduate degree in music and technology at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.

Formed in 2012, ShoutHouse is a 14-member chamber orchestra of classical, hip-hop, and jazz musicians that describes their style as combining “the freedom and lyricism of jazz, the poetry of hip-hop, and the structures and textures of contemporary art music.”

They chose Chistensen’s work “Outsider” as the grand prize winner from among nearly 200 submissions, and will perform it at one of their concerts this year in New York, date and location to be announced.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble presenting “Words and Music”
and more on Sunday, December 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will premiere new works by seven different Mizzou composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is $5 for the general public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff with ID.

The full Ensemble (pictured) will present the premiere performances of “notfromme” by Mikkel Christensen, a first-year master’s student; “Night Blossoms,” by senior composition major Ben Colagiovanni; “If you have nothing nice to say [say it softly],” by Libby Roberts, also a first-year master’s student and the pianist for the Ensemble; and “Good Vibes,” by freshman composition major Nick Williams.

The concert also will feature four songs created this fall as part of “Words and Music,” a collaborative project between the School of Music and the Department of English.

Overseen by post-doctoral fellow Carolina Heredia and assistant teaching professor Julia Bentley from the School of Music, along with Gabriel Fried, assistant professor of English, the “Words and Music” project involved three teams, each including an MU student poet, composer, singer, and a Mizzou New Music Ensemble member.

The new works they created to be performed at this concert are:

“Katabasis,” with words by Mary Clare Agnew and music by Libby Roberts, which will be performed by Briana Bennett, mezzo-soprano, and Kelariz Keshavarz, flute;

“The Wanderer,” with words by Hannah Cajandig and music by Adam J. Cohen, a sophomore composition major, to be performed by soprano Morgan Owen and percussionist Brianna Trainor; and

“Transience,” with words by Bryn Bartel and music by sophomore composition major Ethan Forte, performed by Matt Ahn, baritone and Daniel Keeler, cello.

In addition, as an example for the students, Gabriel Fried and Carolina Heredia worked together to write “Schoolyard Blessing,” which will be performed at the concert by Julia Bentley with Libby Roberts on piano.