Posts Tagged ‘ Mizzou New Music Ensemble

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.

Composer Jonathan Newman to visit Mizzou for residency

Photo by Peace Gardiner SavetzComposer Jonathan Newman is coming to Columbia this month for a residency at the School of Music.

Newman (pictured), who is director of composition and coordinator of new music at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA,  will visit Mizzou from Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27.

While he’s on campus, his activities will include coaching the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in rehearsal; giving composition lessons and a presentation on his works; and attending the concert by the Mizzou Wind Ensemble on Friday at the Missouri Theatre.

Wind and educational ensembles around the world frequently perform Newman’s music, and the Mizzou Wind Ensemble’s concert will include one of his best-known compositions, “Blow It Up, Start Again,” as well as “Avenue X” and “As the scent of spring rain…”

Trained as a pianist, trombonist, and singer, Newman creates music informed by an upbringing performing in orchestras, singing in jazz choirs, playing in marching bands, and accompanying himself in talent shows, incorporating pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into otherwise classical models.

Born in 1972, he received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds degrees from Boston University’s School for the Arts and from The Juilliard School, where his collaborative works for dance enjoyed multiple performances at The Juilliard Theater, Alice Tully Hall, P.S. 122, and Dance Theater Workshop.

Newman’s music has been performed by orchestras worldwide, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2015 BBC Proms, and many others.

In 2016 he was appointed composer-in-residence for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, which originally commissioned “Blow It Up, Start Again” in 2011 and performed four of his works, including the newly commissioned “Meridian,” during their 2016-17 season. Other recent projects include a re-imagined Mass for The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; a large-scale work commissioned by the Florida State University Wind Orchestra; “Prayers of Steel” for Chicago’s Gaudete Brass, and, with playwright Gary Winter, an opera based on the 1962 cult horror film Carnival of Souls.

Newman also has a connection to the Mizzou International Composers Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, having transcribed and arranged “Logan Rock With” and “Fingerbib” for their 2005 album Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin on Cantaloupe Records.

His works have been recorded on labels such as Avian, BCM, Brain Music, Cantaloupe, Cedille, Klavier, Mark Custom, Naxos, Potenza, and Summit Records. Newman also is a founding member of the composer consortium BCM International, which has released two albums.

You can hear some of Jonathan Newman’s music in the embedded players below and on his SoundCloud page.

“Blow It Up, Start Again,” a transcription with performance by the Florida State University Wind Orchestra, conducted by Richard Clary, recorded April 15, 2013 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall in Tallahassee FL

“Stereo Action,” recorded by the Texas A&M-Commerce Percussion Ensemble at the 2010 PASIC in Indianapolis, IN

“My Hands Are A City,” as performed by the University Of Georgia Wind Ensemble, conducted by John Lynch, on their album “Millennium Canons: Looking Forward, Looking Back”

Kuang-Hao Huang to visit Mizzou for residency, concerts on February 24 & 25

Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang is coming to Mizzou later this month for a four-day residency that will include public performances on Saturday, February 24 and Sunday, February 25.

Huang (pictured) will perform with Mizzou faculty mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley in a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, presenting works by Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler, and Olivier Messiaen.

Then at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, Huang will accompany Mizzou students singing and performing in an all-Messiaen concert of chamber music.

Both performances will take place in Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus. Admission to Saturday’s concert is $5 for the general public, free to Mizzou students, staff and faculty with ID. Sunday’s concert is free and open to the public.

While he’s in Columbia, Huang also will give a talk to Mizzou student composers about contemporary piano techniques on Thursday, February 22 and coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in a rehearsal on Friday, February 23.

Known as an advocate of new music, Huang has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Notably, he gave the world premiere performances of solo works by Louis Andriessen and 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival distinguished guest composer Chen Yi at Weill Hall in New York City as part of Carnegie Hall’s “Millennium Piano Book” project.

Huang also has premiered numerous ensemble works, including pieces by Jacob Bancks, Mason Bates, Kyong Mee Choi, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg, James Matheson, and Laura Schwendinger.

His collaborative projects include membership in the Fulcrum Point New Music Project and work with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Composer Perspectives series, MusicNOW and CUBE Ensemble.
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Born in Wisconsin, Huang has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Northwestern University. He currently lives in the Chicago area, where he teaches as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago.

In addition to teaching at the university level, Huang has presented educational outreach programs throughout the Chicago Public Schools on behalf of the International Music Foundation, and for a decade coordinated the piano program at Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute. He also has served as artistic director of Make Music Chicago, a day-long, citywide, DIY music festival held at the summer solstice that “celebrates the musician in us all.”

When in his home city, he performs in concerts and radio broadcasts with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. Huang also has been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians; has performed with the Avalon, Chicago, Spektral and Vermeer String Quartets; and can be heard in recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels.

You can hear two examples of Huang and Julia Bentley performing works by contemporary composers in the embedded audio players below.

“Southern Harmony, 6. WINTER” by Jacob Bancks, performed by Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano, and Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

David Dies’ setting of Rilke’s “An die Musik,” premiered at Roosevelt University in Chicago by Julia Bentley and Kuang-Hao Huang

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.

Composer Steven Snowden visiting Mizzou for residency from October 1-3

Composer Steven Snowden will visit the Mizzou campus next week for a residency starting Sunday, October 1 and culminating in a “Composer Portrait” concert of his works at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 3 at Whitmore Recital Hall.

The concert will include Mizzou faculty ensemble DRAX performing the world premieres of “Where are Our Mothers” and “We Don’t Have Enough Time,” two new works commissioned from Snowden with support from the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

While on campus, Snowden (pictured) also will give a presentation to composition students about his music, and will coach the Mizzou New Music Ensemble on the performance of his work “Matilda,” which they’ll play at their concert on October 16 at Whitmore.

A native Missourian, Snowden grew up in the Ozarks and earned his undergraduate degree in music at Missouri State University.  After subsequently getting a master’s degree in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a doctorate from the University of Texas, he now is a freelance composer based in Boston.

This won’t be his first visit back to his home state in a professional capacity – he was one of the eight resident composers chosen for the 2011 Mizzou International Composers Festival – but he’ll be especially busy this trip, book-ending his residency in Columbia with stops on the campuses of his alma mater in Springfield and Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.

Though he’s received extensive training as a composer, Snowden nevertheless cites vernacular music like bluegrass, folk, and rock as key influences. “It’s really important to me that someone who doesn’t come from a background of listening to classical music can still be intrigued and drawn into the music that I write,” Snowden told the Columbia Daily Tribune‘s Aarik Danielsen in 2011. “Because of that, I strive to incorporate many possible perspectives of listening that can appeal to the uninitiated as well as seasoned analytical listeners. Hopefully, that also makes for music that can endure multiple hearings in which new details and levels of understanding can continually be discovered.”

Snowden’s works have been performed at venues and festivals throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and he has earned honors and awards from the American Composers Forum’s national composition contest, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Awards, New Music USA, and many others.

Other notable accomplishments include helping to found and direct the Fast Forward Austin Music Festival in Texas (with another former MICF resident composer, Ian Dicke, from the 2014 fest), and serving in 2012 and 2013 as a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, researching the implementation of motion tracking technology as a means to facilitate collaboration between music and dance. Snowden also was a visiting professor and composer in residence in 2013-14 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

You can hear samples of Steven Snowden’s music in the embedded player below and on his SoundCloud page.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble playing works
by Mizzou composers past and present
on Monday, October 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble‘s first concert of the 2017-18 season will feature music from two Mizzou alumni, one new faculty member, and more.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 16 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus. Admission is $5 for the general public, free for Mizzou faculty, students and staff with ID.

Works to be performed will include “Lus in Bello” by Carolina Heredia, who this fall joined the University of Missouri faculty as the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s new postdoctoral fellow. Heredia first composed the piece in 2014 for the acclaimed new music group JACK Quartet, and in 2016 revised the arrangement for the Khemia Ensemble, the group she founded while a graduate student at the University of Michigan.

Also on the program are two pieces by recent Mizzou alumni. “Spherodendron” is by Haley Myers, who graduated in 2015 with a BM in composition. Inspired by the work of artist Bill Smith, it was written in 2013 specifically for a concert at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

“Naturally Synthetic” was premiered in 2012 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and was written by Joe Hills, who earned his master’s degree in composition from Mizzou in 2013.

In addition, Mizzou faculty mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley will join the Ensemble as guest artist for a performance of Steven Snowden‘s “Matilda.” Written in 2010 for soprano and mixed chamber ensemble, the piece incorporates the text of “Matilda Who Told Lies, and was Burned to Death,” a satirical children’s poem by the early 20th century writer Hilaire Belloc.

Snowden is a freelance composer based in Boston who was a resident composer at the 2011 Mizzou International Composers Festival. He’s returning to Mizzou for a guest composer residency in October, which will include a “Composer Portrait” concert of his music on Tuesday, October 3.

Completing the evening, the Ensemble will perform “Damn,” a 1998 work for amplified clarinet and four percussionists composed by John Mackey. Mackey, who lives in Massachusetts and is known particularly for his works for wind ensemble and concert band, visited the Mizzou campus for a residency in 2012.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) 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 2017-18 season are Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Libby Roberts, piano; and Brianna Trainor, percussion.

Composers Festival spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be the featured performers in the Mizzou International Composers Festival‘s “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble (pictured) is directed by professor of composition, faculty composer, and Alarm Will Sound member Stefan Freund. They serve as the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, collaborating with student, faculty, and visiting composers throughout the year to perform a variety of new works.

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.

For the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 28, the Ensemble will play works by both of this year’s distinguished guest composers, performing Dan Visconti’s “Fractured Jams” and Georg Friedrich Haas’ “…aus freier Lust…verbunden”.

During the academic year, the group performs a series of concerts on campus, and they also play off campus as well. Most recently, in May of this year they premiered “Eclipse Symphony,” a suite of four new works written by Mizzou students to commemorate the upcoming solar eclipse, in a performance at the St. Louis Science Center’s McDonnell Planetarium.

The Ensemble also has performed at the World Chess Hall of Fame, the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo’s Living World, and in St. Louis’ Forest Park as part of a benefit for Forest Park Forever.

Just about all of the Ensemble’s concerts, whether on campus or off, include music from student composers at Mizzou, giving both composers and performers valuable hands-on experience in the process of developing new work.

In the embedded audio player below, you can hear some samples of the Ensemble performing music from various student, faculty and visiting composers.

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.