Posts Tagged ‘ Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Composers Festival Spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

One week from tonight, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will take the stage at the Missouri Theatre as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert of the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble is directed by 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 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinet.

(Mizzou alum and former MICF resident composer Patrick David Clark also made a valuable contribution to the group during the fall of 2013, directing the ensemble while Freund was on sabbatical to finish writing his Civil War Oratorio.)

For the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 25, the Ensemble will play “The Rising of the Moon,” a brand-new work by Mizzou faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney; “I know where everything is,” written in 2007 by MICF guest composer Nico Muhly; and “A Leaf on the Wind,” a new work by Justin Pounds, who’s currently pursuing his master’s in composition at Mizzou.

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 four new works by Mizzou composition students that were commissioned for a Forest Park Forever event in St. Louis. The four compositions – Pounds’ “A Leaf on the Wind”; “Elysium” by Trey Makler; “Structural Symbiosis” by Matt Stiens; and “Forest Park Rhapsody” by Benedetto Colagiovanni – were recorded for inclusion on a fundraising DVD planned for release by Forest Park Forever.

The Ensemble also has performed in recent years at the World Chess Hall of Fame, the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

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 hand-on experience in the process of developing new work. In the embedded audio players below, you can hear three examples of pieces that were written at Mizzou during the past year and given their first performances by the Ensemble.

Composition major Trey Makler’s “Southern Portraits” was created for this past year’s collaboration between MNMI and the Stephens College dance department. Guest musician: Sam Jennings (guitar).

“Inception, Conception, Create” by Luke Wayne Henderson, a Mizzou freshman studying for degrees in music education and composition.

“#YOLO” by Trey Makler

Mizzou composers, New Music Ensemble
develop new works inspired by Forest Park

Forest Park in St. Louis is the site of all sorts of musical performances, from the sounds of Broadway at the Muny to the St. Louis Symphony’s annual concert on Art Hill to the rock, pop and hip-hop of LouFest, and more.

Now, the park itself has become the subject of music, as four Mizzou students have been commissioned by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation to compose new works for the Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform at “The Sounds of Forest Park,” a private event next month for members of Forest Park Forever‘s Leffingwell Society.

In February, the four composers and associate professor Stefan Freund, who is supervising the project, toured Forest Park and visited the Jewel Box (pictured), which will be the site of the performance. Each of the four composers then focused on a specific aspect of the park.

Sophomore Benedetto Colagiovanni wrote “Forest Park Rhapsody” to recall the park’s history, while the natural world of trees, plants and animals helped inspire “Elysium,” composed by sophomore Trey Makler.

Matt Steins, a junior at Mizzou, used the park’s architecture as creative fuel for his piece “Structural Symbiosis,” and master’s candidate Justin Pounds’ “A Leaf on the Wind” is meant to evoke all the different activities enjoyed by visitors in search of “fun in the park.”

While the event next month at the Jewel Box is invitation-only, you can get a sneak preview of “The Sounds of Forest Park” compositions at the Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s concert at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday, April 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works
by Furrer, McKenney, and five student composers
on Sunday, April 27 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present their final on-campus concert of the 2013-14 academic year at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 27 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 program will include new works from five Mizzou students, plus music from Mizzou professor W. Thomas McKenney and from Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who will be one of two guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Furrer’s “Aer,” written for clarinet, cello, and piano, is described as “an exploration of breathy sounds created through extended techniques on the instruments,” while McKenney’s “The Rising of the Moon” is based on the Irish ballad of the same name by John Keegan Casey and recounts the battle between the United Irishmen and the British Army during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

“About the Others,” by graduate composition student José Martínez, was inspired by poet Octavio Paz’ “Sunstone” and incorporates lively percussion ostinatos surrounded by energetic rhythms in the instruments.

Completing the program will be four new works by Mizzou composition students that were commissioned for an upcoming Forest Park Forever member event in St. Louis: “Elysium” by Trey Makler; “Structural Symbiosis” by Matt Stiens; “A Leaf on the Wind” by Justin Pounds; and “Forest Park Rhapsody” by Benedetto Colagiovanni.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinet.

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

Mizzou International Composers Festival 2014 launch event
on Tuesday, April 22 at Ragtag Cinema to feature
live music, film, and a chat with composer Nico Muhly

The Mizzou International Composers Festival will launch ticket sales for 2014 with a FREE public event on Tuesday, April 22 at Ragtag Cinema featuring live music, refreshments, a film screening, and a live-by-Skype video chat with Nico Muhly, who will be a guest composer at this year’s festival.

Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., and single tickets and festival passes for the 2014 MICF will be on sale at special discounted prices throughout the event.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will perform at 5:45 p.m., followed a screening of the film “Choking Man,” an 2008 independently produced drama with a musical score composed by Muhly that also includes Mandy Patinkin and a pre-“Breaking Bad” Aaron Paul in supporting roles. (You can see the trailer for “Choking Man” in the embedded video window below.)

When the screening is over, Muhly will appear live via Skype to take questions and discuss his work with the audience.

Admission is free, but because seating is limited, tickets will be required. Distribution of free tickets for the event will begin at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 22 at the Ragtag box office, 10 Hitt St. in downtown Columbia. Each ticket admits one person, and includes one free beer or soda and one free small popcorn.

The 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival will take place Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia, with Muhly and Swiss national Beat Furrer as guest composers; Alarm Will Sound as resident ensemble; and eight resident composers selected from more than 200 applicants from around the world.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Fox, Cypret, Henderson, Hoercler and Herd on Sunday, March 9 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present their first concert of 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 9 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 program will include new works from four current Mizzou composition students plus one by the late Frederick Fox, former professor of composition at Indiana University.

Described as “a dark sonic fantasy” employing innovative instrumental techniques and creative percussion writing, “Devils Tramping Ground,” was written in 1991 by Fox, a jazz-influenced composer and teacher who in the mid-1970s founded the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

The other four works on the program will be premiere performances. “Lament for a Bird,” was written this year by Kay Cypret, a first year master’s student studying composition at Mizzou. It tells the story of the life and tragic death of a bird featuring lyric chorales and percussion that imitates gunshots.

“Inception, Conception, Create,” written in 2013 by Luke Henderson, was inspired by Oliver Sacks’ book “Musicophilia,” and portrays the process of composition from start to finish. Henderson is a freshman at Mizzou, studying for degrees in both music education and composition.

“Adventures in Anarchy,” a 2013 work by freshman composition major Erin Hoerchler, offers “a quick, wild ride featuring syncopated rhythms and explosive dynamics.”

Travis Herd’s “Meditation,” also composed in 2013, uses repetition and pantonality to create an ethereal and relaxed mood, interrupted by moments of dissonance. Herd is a junior music education major in his first year of composition studies.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.  They serve as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, working with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform five new works by student composers on Monday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s second concert of the 2013-14 season will take place at 7:30 p.m., Monday, December 2 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 program will include a new work from 2014 Sinquefield Composition Prize winner José Guillermo Martínez Rubiano, plus encore performances of four compositions written by Mizzou students for the recent collaboration between the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Stephens College dance department.

Martinez’ “Canciones de la Ausencia” (“Songs of Absence”) is a 2013 composition that evokes and explores different aspects of absence and longing. The three sections of the work are named after poems by the 20th century writers Xavier Villaurrútia (of Mexico), Jorge Gaitán Durán (Colombia), and Mariano Brull (Cuba).

The four works created for the Mizzou-Stephens collaboration also were all written in 2013.  Trey Makler’s “Southern Portraits” draws on influences including Aaron Copland and Bela Fleck in an effort to capture the essence of Okeechobee, Florida, hometown of choreographer LeeAnn Davis. “Phoenix,” by Haley Myers, was written for a dance choreographed by Samantha Bennett.  It deals with the theme of creation and destruction, and integrates imagery of the mythological bird that gives the work its title.

David Witter’s “Visions of Progression” was composed in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Samari Jackson Preston, and is meant to suggest a passing of seasons or journey under the watchful eye of a guiding spirit. “Blank Slate,” written by Shaun Gladney while working with choreographer Kramer Pruitt, “works to encapsulate the rise and fall of human emotions.”

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. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets. For this concert, the Ensemble will be augmented by guest performers Sam Jennings, guitar; Nathan Ward, tenor; and Shaun Gladney, percussion.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to open 2013-14 season
on Friday, October 11 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will open their 2013-14 season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 11 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 program will include works by the acclaimed contemporary composers Daniel Asia and Nico Muhly, as well as the world premieres of four pieces written by composers affiliated with Mizzou.

Daniel Asia’s ”Breath in a Ram’s Horn” (2003) is a song cycle based on five poems by writer Paul Pines, described as “imbued with images of family and Judaism, and their intertwining…filled with the difficulties and anguish of a life as it is really lived.”

”I Know Where Everything Is,” written by Muhly in 2007 on commission from the Seattle Chamber Players, “is a cycle of chords in a pile. Each chord has a series of possible voicings, and a series of possible quick ornamentations,” which begin with the most moderate and progress through a series of variations to a vigorous conclusion.

“Rhetoric and Drama in Ahuan Tones,” a brand new work by Mizzou alumnus Patrick David Clark, is a musical manifestation of twilight colors, using soft, delicate sounds and establishing “a feeling of free space and suspended time.”

Completing the program will be three works composed this year by current Mizzou students. Matthew Stiens’ “Rituals of Ancient Voices” is “a musical depiction of a druidic ceremony as I saw it,” utilizing extreme registers of each instrument in the ensemble and unusual techniques. “#YOLO” by Trey Makler is described as “energetic and exciting, heavily influenced by rock and popular music,” while Justin Pounds’ “Electric Brain,” is ”a fast-paced piece focused on a series of mixed-meter grooves inspired by the progressive rock genre.”

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 and associate professor. However, while Freund is on research leave this semester, Patrick David Clark is directing the group. Clark earned his master’s degree in conducting at Mizzou in 2012; was the winner of the 2011 Sinquefield Composition Prize; and also holds a bachelor’s in composition from Mizzou and a DMA in composition from Rice University.

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

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Although resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound understandably attracts a lot of attention during the Mizzou International Composers Festival, let’s not forget that the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre will showcase the Mizzou New Music Initiative’s “home team,” the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble is directed by 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 2012-13 are Rachel AuBuchon, piano; Stephanie Berg, clarinet; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; and Matthew Pierce, cello.

During the academic year, the Ensemble performs a series of concerts on campus, and they also play off campus as well. In May, they presented a standing-room-only performance at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, playing original music by Mizzou composers Joe Hills, Haley Myers, and Robert Strobel written in response to Beyond the Humanities, an exhibition of work by St. Louis artist Bill Smith.

They’ve also performed in recent years at the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

For Friday night’s Festival program, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play music by Mizzou composers W. Thomas McKenney and Paul Seitz and guest composers Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg.

The Kellogg work, Divinum Mysterium, is an extended five-movement piece commissioned in 2000 by the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird and based on the 13th century chant melody “Divinum Mysterium.” The Ensemble rehearsed Divinium Mysterium throughout the academic year, presenting individual movements at each of their on-campus concerts in preparation for performing the entire work at the Festival.

Each of those concerts also featured music from student composers at Mizzou, giving both composers and performers valuable hand-on experience in the process of developing new work. In the embedded audio players below, you can hear three examples of pieces that were written at Mizzou during the past year and given their first performances by the Ensemble.

“Reflections” by Trey Anthony Makler

“Penrose Staircase” by Matt Steins

“I’m Back at My Cliff” by Daniel Cox