Posts Tagged ‘ Mizzou New Music Ensemble

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.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform music by Chen Yi and David Maslanka, plus new student works on Monday, October 12 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform music written by two upcoming composers-in-residence in a concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 12 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty and staff with ID, $5 for the general public.

The concert will feature performances of “Out of This World” by David Maslanka, a work inspired by the poets Seamus Heaney and Czeslaw Milosz, and “Sparkle” by Chen Yi, described by its composer as “bright” and “nimble.”

Maslanka, a Montana resident and freelance composer known particularly for his music for winds, has written more than 130 published works and served on the faculties of universities including Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. He will be in residence at Mizzou from October 13 through October 15, working with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, Missouri Quintet, and University wind ensembles.

Chen, a native of China who currently is a professor of composition at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music. She will be in residence at Mizzou from October 24 to October 26, working with the Ensemble and the University Singers.

The concert also will include two premieres by Mizzou composition students. “Titan Arum” by junior Luke Henderson is a three-movement concerto for trumpet and chamber ensemble written for graduate trumpeter Adam Matejek, who will join the Ensemble as a guest performer for this concert. It reveals the influence of Sumatran music as it depicts the growth, blooming, and withering of the Sumatran “corpse flower” that give the piece its name.

“Illegal Cycles” was written by master’s student José Martínez for the chamber orchestra wildUp as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Next on Grand” National Composers Intensive. The work features grooves from traditional Latin American music, and now has been rearranged in a version for chamber ensemble for this premiere performance.

Rounding out the program will be encore performances of recent Mizzou graduate Grant Bradshaw’s “Colors of Nature” and master’s student Kay Cypret’s “Predator,” two works composed for the Ensemble’s concert in May, 2015 at the St. Louis Zoo. Bradshaw, a violist as well as a composer and conductor, will join the Ensemble as a guest performer on both works.

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.

In addition to the guest musicians mentioned previously, bassist Sam Copeland will augment the Ensemble in this concert for their performance of “Sparkle,” which will be conducted by Mizzou senior Travis Herd.

Photo of Mizzou New Music Ensemble by Gene Royer.

A ‘behind-the-scenes” look at the Mizzou New Music Ensemble

In conjunction with their concert last Sunday, April 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble staged a “Twitter takeover,” offering followers a behind-the-scenes look at their preparations for the show. You can see what happened in the slideshow below…

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform new works
inspired by St. Louis Zoo in concert on Friday, May 8

The Living World at the St. Louis Zoo

In the latest in an ongoing series of concerts featuring newly commissioned, site-specific works, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 8 in The Living World at the St. Louis Zoo. The concert is free and open to the public.

The program will include three new compositions from University of Missouri students inspired by the Zoo and commissioned specifically for the occasion by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

“Predators” is by Kaylene Cypret, a graduate student working on a master’s in composition and orchestral conducting, and “evokes the spirit of birds of prey by imitating moments of hunting, flight, communication and curiosity.”

“Colors of Nature,” composed by Grant Bradshaw, a senior studying composition and viola, develops musical representations of the hues of various types of plant life found on the Zoo grounds, and then combines them into new sonic colors.

“Rhapsody in Zoo,” by sophomore composition major Erin Hoerchler, starts with rock beats and jazz harmonies and develops a theme through several reprises to showcase the individual musicians in turn, as well as the entire group.

The concert will be the latest in a series that began in 2010 and has included performances of new works written by Mizzou students specifically for the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden, Sheldon Concert Hall, Forest Park Forever, and the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

As an opening number, the Ensemble also will play “Djole” by Jeremiah Rittel, the group’s clarinetist. Based on a rhythm from Sierra Leone, the work re-imagines music originally played by indigenous drummers and combines it with new material for an ensemble of Western “classical” instruments.

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 and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to highlight works
by Hans Abrahamsen, Andrew Norman in concert
on Sunday, April 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will highlight works from the two guest composers for this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) in a concert at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 26 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The concert will feature performances of “Zwei Schneetänze,” two works by Dutch composer Hans Abrahamsen from 1985 that foreshadow his extended tour-de-force “Schnee,” and four movements of “The Companion Guide to Rome,” written by Andrew Norman in 2010 as a musical evocation of Roman landmarks.

Abrahamsen is one of Europe’s leading composers and a member of the “New Simplicity” movement. His major awards include the Carl Nielsen Prize and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize, and his works been performed by European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic. Norman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and currently is composer in residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia.

Both men will be guest composers at the 2015 MICF, which will take place from Monday, July 20 through Saturday July 25 in Columbia.

The April 26 concert also will include a 2012 piece written by a former resident composer for the MICF, as well as two brand new, poetically inspired works from Mizzou composition students.

David Biedenbender’s “Grit” is described as “an aggressive work dedicated to the composer’s sister-in-law’s battle with cancer.” Biedenbender, who was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival and now teaches composition at Boise State University, will be in the audience for this performance.

“The Year 1861” by Mizzou freshman Dustin Dunn was inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name about the Civil War, while junior Trey Makler’s “Sonette an Orpheus” is a “colorful and vibrant” setting of a Ranier Maria Rilke sonnet. Makler’s composition will be conducted by Mizzou junior Travis Herd, and features a guest performance by baritone Sam Wright.

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 and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform
new works by visiting and student composers
Sunday, March 8 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play works by two visiting composers and three Mizzou students in their first concert of the new year at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 8 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus.

Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty, and staff with MU ID, $5 for the general public, with tickets available at the door.

The Ensemble (pictured) will perform “The Gargoyles of Notre Dame” by Andrew List, who will be visiting the Mizzou campus that week to work with them, as well as select movements of “The Companion Guide to Rome” by Andrew Norman, who will be one of two guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival in July.

List, a professor of composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, writes music in many different genres and has received numerous commissions and performances from professional music ensembles and solo artists in the United States and Europe.

Norman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He has won wide acclaim for his chamber and orchestral works, most recently “Play,” which was described as “a sprawling, engulfing, furiously unpredictable piece” by critic Alex Ross of The New Yorker.

The three student works to be performed are “Pulsar Phases” by senior composition major David Boullion, which combines his background in jazz with reference to classical music, funk and more; “Adrenaline” by freshman composition major Alex Williams, a work described as “a fast wild ride with unpredictable interruptions along the way”; and “Djole” by MNME clarinetist Jeremiah Rittel, which is inspired by West African drum music.

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 and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

In addition, at this concert Mizzou student Jaron Lester will serve as the Ensemble’s guest conductor for David Boullion’s “Pulsar Phases.”