Posts Tagged ‘ Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Tickets for 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival go on sale Friday, June 3

Alarm Will Sound

Tickets for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, June 3.

Hailed as “a vibrant inferno of creative energy” by the internationally syndicated radio program “Relevant Tones,” and praised for offering “kinetic excitement” by the hometown Columbia Daily Tribune, the MICF will take place this year from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 in Columbia, and will include three public concerts of new music by living composers.

Returning for the seventh year as the festival’s resident ensemble, Alarm Will Sound will begin the weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

They’ll perform music from the 2016 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Oscar Bettison and Erin Gee, and a work by Stefan Freund, who is an associate professor at Mizzou, artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and cellist for Alarm Will Sound.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Next, the “Mizzou New Music” concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 29 at the Missouri Theatre will feature performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and guest artists Missouri Saxophone Quartet, violinist Julie Rosenfeld, and pianist Peter Miyamoto. The concert will feature music from Bettison, Gee, Freund, Mizzou student composer Jose Martinez, and more.

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 30 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 220 applicants from across the USA and around the world to participate in the festival and create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. They are:

* Matthew Browne, Ann Arbor, MI
* Takuma Itoh, Honolulu, HI
* Mary Kouyoumdjian, Brooklyn, NY
* Ryan Lindveit, Los Angeles, CA
* Trey Makler, Columbia, MO
* Daniel Silliman, Princeton, NJ
* Wang A Mao, Kansas City, MO
* Wang Lu, Providence, RI

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from distinguished guest composers Oscar Bettison, a British/American composer who has served on the composition faculty of Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute since 2009; and Erin Gee, an assistant professor of music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who is known for her works using non-traditional vocal techniques.

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
benefit performance of “The Sound of Chess”

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be the featured performers in “The Sound of Chess,” a benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Kingside Diner, 4651 Maryland Ave in St Louis’ Central West End.

The Ensemble will perform three new works written by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess: “Love Your Enemy,” composed by Henry Stewart; “Caution” by Luke Henderson; and “The Endgame” by Alex Williams. The concert also will include a performance of “Illegal Cycles,” written in 2015 by Mizzou graduate student José Martínez.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Tickets for “The Sound of Chess” are $50 in advance from the St. Louis Chess Club website or $60 at the door, and include the concert, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary valet parking. For more information, contact events@worldchesshof.org.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble making moves
with compositions inspired by chess in concert
Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall

Three new works by Mizzou student composers inspired by the game of chess will be given a “sneak preview” in a concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

All three pieces were composed for the Ensemble’s upcoming concert on Saturday, April 30 at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

“Love Your Enemy” is by Henry Breneman Stewart, a first-year master’s student majoring in composition and winner of the 2016 Sinquefield Composition Prize. Capturing the tensions found in both the competition of chess and the expression of the arts, Stewart’s work contrasts loud, aggressive, figures with bittersweet melodic lines.

“Caution,” composed by Luke Henderson, was inspired by a Ben Franklin quote about chess. It features carnival-like marches and improvised sections that convey the excitement and delight resulting from being passionate about an interest, like chess. Henderson is a senior at Mizzou majoring in composition and music education. His work “Routine Android” had its premiere performance by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in March 2016 as part of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project.

Alex Williams’ “The Endgame” is a programmatic work based on the notion of chess as warfare. Opening with a saxophone “call to battle,” it depicts the violence of war with rugged mixed-meter melodies, which then give way to a mournful alto flute solo and the climax. Williams is a sophomore Sinquefield Scholar majoring in composition at Mizzou.

In addition to the three new chess-inspired works, the concert also will include “B&E (with aggravated assault)” by Oscar Bettison, who will be a distinguished guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival. Performed with guest musician Robbie Lawson on electric guitar, “B&E (with aggravated assault)” is described as “an unabashed heavy metal rock tune,” complete with double-bass drum pedal fills, shredding electric guitar, and wailing bass clarinet.

Rounding out the program will be a special performance of “Off Pist,” a “delightfully jazzy” work by the eclectic Swedish composer and bassist Svante Henryson; and a set by the Mizzou Creative Improvisation Ensemble, directed by Rich Pellegrin.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs positioning the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. In that capacity, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works
by four award-winning composers
Tuesday, March 22 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play works from four award-winning composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

The program will include two pieces from composers visiting Mizzou this year and two from undergraduate students majoring in composition at the university.

“Rhapsodies” by David Liptak is a three-movement work from 1992 that showcases contrasting timbral colors in the ensemble. Liptak, a composition professor at the Eastman School of Music and winner of a 2013 Koussevitzky Music Foundation commission, was in residence last month at Mizzou and worked with the Ensemble to help them prepare for this performance.

“Mouthpiece: Segment of the 4th Letter,” written in 2007 by Erin Gee, uses an unusual collection of instruments and techniques to create a foreign world of breathy sounds. Gee, who teaches at the University of Illinois, won a 2015 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and will serve as a distinguished guest composer at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

“Of Stained Glass and Hymnody” was composed in 2015 by Dustin Dunn, a sophomore Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou and winner of the Springfield Symphony’s 2016 Missouri Composition Competition. Using chimes and vibraphone to emulate church bells, Dunn’s work mixes hymn-like melodies with fast flourishes to create a fantasy of sounds associated with churches.

“Forest Park Rhapsody” was written in 2014 by Benedetto Colagiovanni, a junior Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou, for a benefit for the St. Louis not-for-profit organization Forest Park Forever. The work offers a musical evocation of the park’s history from its 19th century beginnings to the present day, and was Colagiovanni’s winning submission for the “Young Artist” award in the 2016 Music Teachers National Association’s composition competition.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martinez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin. For this performance, the Ensemble will be joined by guest musicians Trey Makler, oboe; and Mike Peiffer, viola.

Ben Colagiovanni wins “Young Artist” award
in MTNA national composition competition

The University of Missouri’s Ben Colagiovanni is the national winner of the “Young Artist” award in this year’s Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition.

Colagiovanni (pictured) currently is a senior at Mizzou pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition. He was recognized for “Forest Park Rhapsody,” one of four works originally commissioned in 2014 by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform at an event for Forest Park Forever’s Leffingwell Society.

As a winner of the competition, Colagiovanni will receive a first place prize of $3,000, and “Forest Park Rhapsody” will be performed at the 2016 MTNA National Conference, which takes place April 2 through April 6 in San Antonio, TX.

A native of St. Louis and graduate of Clayton High School, Colagiovanni was a two-time winner in Mizzou’s statewide Creating Original Music Project (COMP) before enrolling at the university with a full-tuition Sinquefield Scholarship to study composition.

The Music Teachers National Association was founded in 1876 to advance the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. The organization currently has nearly 22,000 members and more than 500 local affiliates in 50 states, and each year conducts several different competitions for student musicians and composers.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble, Exit 128 Orchestra
to perform Sunday, December 6 at Missouri Theatre

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will join forces with the Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra to present “Electric New Music” at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 6 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th St. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

The first half of the concert will feature Exit 128, a student-run ensemble conducted by music director and Mizzou senior Travis Herd. They’ll perform three selections, starting with “Assembly Lines” by Ian Dicke, who was a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival Resident Composer and is assistant professor of digital composition at the University of California, Riverside.

Next, guest artist Roberto Maggio will join Exit 128 to perform an arrangement of Robert Schumann’s “Drei Romanzen, Op. 94.” Maggio is professor of flute at the Conservatory of Music in Avellino, Italy, and will be visiting Mizzou that week.

Exit 128 will conclude their set with Joseph Meland’s “FAUVE,” a work for rock band and chamber orchestra that won a 2015 BMI Student Composer Award. Meland, who attends the University of Illinois, wrote the piece for the Illinois Modern Ensemble, and this performance will feature his rock band, Feral States.

In the second half of the concert, Roberto Maggio will augment the Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) for three selections, starting with Louis Andriessen “Workers Union,” a 1975 composition that gives performers specific rhythms without specific pitches, allowing them to choose their own notes.

After that, they’ll perform “Poetry for Ensemble” a new work by clarinetist Jeremiah Rittel that consists of three text-based pieces whose words and direction inspire the ensemble to improvise.

Next, it’s a new arrangement of “Mentis Modus” written specifically for the Ensemble by its composer, Italian pianist Giuseppe Di Bianco. The three-part work, originally composed in 1995, features rhythmic sections evoking marches and tangoes surrounding a calm, dream-like center.

The concert will conclude with “Rhapsody in Zoo,” written by Mizzou junior Erin Höerchler for the Ensemble’s performance in May at the St. Louis Zoo. Inspired by jazz and Gershwin, it features a rock beat underpinning rambunctious clarinet musings, flirtatious flute solos, a sentimental string section, and a stylized piano solo. Guest musicians Ryan Wall, flutes, and Grant Bradshaw, viola, will join the Ensemble for this finale.

The eight-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2015-16 season are Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophones; Erin Spencer, flute; and Britney Stutz, violin.

The members of the Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra are Tyler Martin, flute; Trey Makler, oboe; Devin Kaveler, clarinets; Anthony Hasek, bassoon; Ryan McFall, horn; Adam Matejek, trumpet; Andrew Meyer, trombone; Kyle Bauche, percussion; Ross Dryer, piano; Xiaoxiao Du and Nichole Morrison, violins; Catherine Sandstedt, viola; Rachel Czech, cello; Massimo Montalbano, bass; Travis Herd, artistic director; and Rachel Hill, managing director.

Photo of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble by Gene Royer.

University Singers to premiere new work by Chen Yi

This weekend, the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music will have the honor of welcoming Chen Yi for a brief residency on the MU campus and a world premiere.

Chen (pictured) currently 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.

While she’s at Mizzou, Chen will give a presentation her works at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in room 146 of the Fine Arts Building, and take in the world premiere of her new composition “The Beautiful West Lake” during a concert by the University Singers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at First Baptist Church.

The work was commissioned by the University of Missouri School of Music specifically for R. Paul Crabb and the University Singers with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. The lyric is taken from the poem “The West Lake,” written during the Song Dynasty in 1073 by the Chinese poet Su Dong-po (1037-1101).

Chen’s program notes describe “The Beautiful West Lake” like this:

“The shining waves in the lake, and the drizzling rains on the hills from a colorful landscape of the West Lake. It is presented by simple pentatonic melodies, with cluster harmonies and a pattern of reciting nonsense syllables in the background in my choral piece. The sound and voices in the music convey the feeling of enjoying the nature, which symbolizes the beauty in Southeast China, whose presence is just so natural and perfect.”

Following the concert, Chen will wrap up her visit on Monday by leading a morning coaching session at Loeb Hall with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

A violinist as well as a composer, she received bachelor and masters degrees in music composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University.

Chen is the recipient of 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. She has received
fellowships and commissions from organizations including the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Koussevitzky, Fromm, Ford, Roche, and Rockefeller foundations; Meet The Composer, Chamber Music America;, the BBC Proms; the China National Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center Festival, and Carnegie Hall.

Ensembles and soloists commissioning her work have included the Cleveland Orchestra, Mira Wang and the Sächsische 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, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

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

Also of note is that her husband is Zhou Long, also a professor of composition at UMKC’s conservatory, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for music, and one of two distinguished guest composers at the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

For more about Chen Yi, you can read this 2001 interview with Minnesota Public Radio and this interview conducted at the 2005 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and listen to this interview she did in 2012 with NYC radio station WQXR.

You can see and hear some samples of her works in the embedded videos below.

“Prospect Overture” for orchestra, commissioned by the China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and premiered by the China National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, on December 31, 2008 at the CNCPA.

“Chinese Ancient Dances” for clarinet and piano, performed by Divan Consort on September 27, 2012 at CSU Fullerton’s Meng Hall.

“Distance can’t keep us two apart,” a 2012 work commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association Endowment and performed here by Montclair State University Singers, conducted by Dr. Heather Buchanan, on February 17, 2012 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, in Providence, RI.

Composer David Maslanka to visit Mizzou

Although the Mizzou International Composers Festival represents the largest gathering of composers taking place each year in Columbia, the School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative also are pleased to be able to host individual composers for short-term residencies during the school year.

Composer David Maslanka (pictured) will be in residence at Mizzou next week, and he’ll have a busy schedule while he’s visiting Columbia.

On Tuesday, October 13, Maslanka will present a seminar for composition students, and that evening, the Missouri Quintet will perform a concert including one of his works at 7:30 p.m. at Whitmore Recital Hall.

On Wednesday, Maslanka will have a coaching session with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, who will be performing one of his works this season, and on Thursday, he’ll take part in a School of Music convocation at 3:00 p.m. at Whitmore Hall.

Maslanka’s visit will be capped by a concert at 7:30 pm. Thursday at the Missouri Theatre, featuring performances of his music by Mizzou’s Symphonic Band, University Band, and Wind Ensemble.

Born in 1943 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, David Maslanka is known particularly for his compositions for winds, a number of which have become staples of band repertoire. Among his more than 130 works are forty pieces for wind ensemble, including seven symphonies, fifteen concertos, a Mass, and many concert pieces. His chamber music includes four wind quintets, five saxophone quartets, and many works for solo instrument and piano. In addition, he has written a variety of orchestral and choral pieces.

His education includes undergraduate work at the Oberlin College Conservatory, a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and masters and doctoral studies in composition at Michigan State University.

Maslanka served for more than 20 years on the faculty at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York, and also has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and State University of New York at Geneseo.

Now a freelance composer who has worked solely on commission since 1990, Maslanka currently lives in Missoula, Montana. His compositions are published by Maslanka Press, Carl Fischer, Kjos Music, Marimba Productions, and OU Percussion Press. They have been recorded on labels including Albany, Reference Recordings, BIS (Sweden), Naxos, Cambria, CRI, Mark, Novisse, AUR, Cafua (Japan), Brain Music (Japan), Barking Dog, and Klavier.

For more about David Maslanka, check out this interview from back in 1998, and his interview with The Musicalist podcast, recorded in May 2014.

You can see and hear some performances of Maslanka’s music in the embedded videos below.

“Symphony No. 4,” performed by the United States Navy Concert Band, guest conducted by Mallory Thompson, on September 19, 2010 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, VA.

“Requiem,” performed by the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, conducted by Dominic Talanca, on November 21, 2013 at Winspear Hall, University of North Texas.

“Hell’s Gate” for alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and wind ensemble, performed in 2012 by members of Zzyzx Quartet and the Arizona State University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Gary Hill.