Posts Tagged ‘ Oscar Bettison

A look back at the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival…

Composers Festival spotlight: Oscar Bettison

As one of two distinguished guest composers at the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival,
Oscar Bettison will give a public presentation on his music; mentor and teach the eight resident composers; and work with Alarm Will Sound, who will perform his chamber concerto “Livre des Sauvages” as part of Thursday night’s concert at the Missouri Theatre.

A member of the composition faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University since 2009, Bettison originally is from Jersey, UK. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the Royal College of Music in London, then studied for three years at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague before completing his Ph.D at Princeton University.

As a composer, Bettison is noted for his use of found and “junk” percussion and other examples of what he calls “Cinderella instruments” – “instruments that really shouldn’t be the belle-of-the-ball but I make them so” – as well as for using electric instruments more common to rock music than classical.

His works have been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles and soloists around the world. Recent commissions include the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, musikFabrik, Tanglewood Music Center, Talea Ensemble, Slagwerk Den Haag, So Percussion, Bang on a Can All-Stars and the New York Philharmonic‘s 2014 Biennial.

Bettison won the the very first BBC Young Composer of the Year Prize in 1993, and has gone on to earn numerous other awards and honors including a Chamber Music America Commissioning Award in 2013; the Yvar Mikhashoff Commissioning Fund Prize in 2009; and more, as well as fellowships to both the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals.

His music has been featured on several recordings, including in 2010 a full-length album, “O Death,” featuring the evening-long work of that name performed by Ensemble Klang; and “B&E (with aggravated assault)”, performed by NEWSPEAK on New Amsterdam Records.

For more about Oscar Bettison, read the profile of him published in 2013 by Johns Hopkins Magazine, and his 2009 interview with CompositionToday.com.

You can hear samples of Bettison’s music on his SoundCloud page. In the embedded media players below, you can see a brief video profile of Bettison, produced by the Peabody Conservatory, and
a video interview in which he talks about “Livre des Sauvages,” plus performances of two of Bettison’s works.

Oscar Bettison talks about life as a composer and finding inspiration through teaching. See him give lessons to students at the Peabody Conservatory and listen in as he rehearses his piece “Apart,” written for So Percussion.

Oscar Bettison talks about his chamber concerto, Livre des Sauvages.

The East Coast premiere of Bettison’s “An Inventory of Remnants,”
performed by Choo Choo Hu (piano, percussion) during the New Music Gathering 2016, at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD.

“Vamp (movement 2)”, performed by Ensemble Offspring, with Lamorna Nightingale (piccolo), Claire Edwardes (percussion), and Jason Noble (clarinet), on March 18, 2014 at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival
schedule of events and ticket information

Here’s the complete schedule of events and information on how to get tickets for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The 2016 MICF begins on Monday, July 25 and continues through Saturday, July 30.

Festival events will be held at the Fine Arts Building and Loeb Hall on the University of Missouri campus and at the Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia, including:

Monday, July 25

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Matthew Browne, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145 on the MU campus
Open to the Public

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Takuma Itoh, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wang Lu, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Ryan Lindveit, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Trey Makler, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wang A Mao, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

Tuesday, July 26

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Open to the Public

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Daniel Silliman, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Mary Kouyoumdjian, Resident Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

7:00 p.m.
Oscar Bettison, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

8:15 p.m.
Julia Bentley with Erin Gee, Guest Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

Wednesday, July 27

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal
Missouri Theatre
Open to the Public

7:00 p.m.
Erin Gee, Distinguished Guest Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

8:30 p.m.
Stefan Freund, Mizzou Faculty Composer Presentation
Fine Arts Building Room 145
Open to the Public

Thursday, July 28

7:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Tickets are $18 adults, $10 students

This concert features the festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound playing music by 2016 MICF distinguished guest composers Oscar Bettison and Erin Gee. AWS also will perform works by Mizzou student and former MICF resident composer José Martínez, and by AWS cellist and co-founder Stefan Freund, who is associate professor of composition at Mizzou and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Friday, July 29

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal
Loeb Hall 201 on the MU campus
Open to the Public

2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Alarm Will Sound Open Rehearsal
Loeb Hall 201
Open to the Public

7:30 p.m.
Mizzou New Music
Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
$18 adults/ $10 students

This concert features the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, plus guest performing artists Missouri Saxophone Quartet, violinist Julie Rosenfeld and pianist Peter Miyamoto.

Saturday, July 30

7:30 p.m.
Eight World Premieres
performed by Alarm Will Sound

Missouri Theatre, 203 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
$18 adults/ $10 students

More than 220 composers from around the world submitted their portfolios to the festival, and eight were selected. The grand finale concert features the world premieres of eight works composed specifically for the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound by the MICF’s resident composers:

* 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

Tickets

Festival passes good for admission to all three concerts are on sale for $80 for the VIP package, which includes reserved premium seating and other benefits; $40 for adults; and $20 for students.

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, go to http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Box Office Hours and Location

Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St, Columbia, MO, 65211
Regular business hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Hours during Mizzou International Composers Festival concert days:
Thursday, July 28: 9:00 AM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)
Friday, July 29: 9:00 AM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)
Saturday, July 30: 5:00 PM – Performance Intermission (approx. 8:30 PM)

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 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 International Composers Festival announces resident composers for 2016

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has selected eight resident composers to participate in the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF).

Presented annually since 2010 by MNMI and the University of Missouri School of Music, the MICF in just six years has become the Midwest’s top summer showcase for intriguing new music by composers from around the world.

The seventh edition of the festival, scheduled for Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 in Columbia, will feature world premieres of eight new works written by this year’s selected composers. Listed with their current places of residence, 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

The eight resident composers are chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 229 entries from 18 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The resident composers bringing international perspectives to Mizzou this year will include Takuma Itoh, who’s originally from Japan, grew up in California, and now is assistant professor of music at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

The 2016 group also includes two natives of China now living in the US: Wang Lu, who did her graduate studies at Columbia University and now is an assistant professor of music at Brown University in Rhode Island; and Wang A Mao, who earned her master’s degree and currently is working on a doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Trey Makler, a native of Farmington, MO now in his senior year of work toward a bachelor’s degree in composition at Mizzou, will represent the University of Missouri. Makler was the winner of the 2015 Sinquefield Composition Prize, the university’s highest honor for a student composer, and also has served as a production coordinator for the past two years of the MICF.

The 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes, and other events.

The Festival’s distinguished guest composers for 2016 will be 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 compositions using non-traditional vocal techniques.

The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the MICF began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Bettison and Gee; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give public presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the MICF and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival
gets applications from 18 countries

The numbers have been tallied, and the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) has received submissions from a total of 229 individuals hoping to be among the fest’s eight resident composers, including 129 who applied for the first time.

The 2016 MICF will take place from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 in Columbia.

Resident composer submissions were received from a total of 18 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Each resident composer will write a new work for the festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, which will be premiered during the grand finale concert on Saturday, July 30 at the Missouri Theatre.

Resident composers also will get composition lessons from distinguished guest composers Oscar Bettison and Erin Gee and from Mizzou faculty members, and each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of his or her work.

The eight resident composers selected for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be announced in January.

Erin Gee to serve as distinguished guest composer
for 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival

The Mizzou New Music Initiative announced today that Erin Gee will be a distinguished guest composer at the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), scheduled for Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Currently an assistant professor of music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Gee (pictured) is known for her series of compositions entitled “Mouthpieces,” which “use non-traditional vocal techniques, devoid of semantic language, to construct intricate and subtle patterns of a diverse array of vocal sounds.”

Her works are taught in the composition and musicology programs of universities such as MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Smith College, and Mills College, and she has lectured at Harvard, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth and Wellesley.

Gee’s awards for composition include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, the 2008 Rome Prize, the 2015 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and more. She has written works on commission for the Zurich Opera House, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, American Composers Orchestra, and many others, and in January 2014 she was cited by Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, as being one of the most influential composer-vocalists of the 21st century.

Next July in Columbia, she’ll join British/American composer Oscar Bettison, who was named in September as the MICF’s other distinguished guest composer for 2016.

The MICF features three public concerts of music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. As in years past, Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will present the world premieres of new works from each of eight resident composers, with the acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the Festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Bettison, Gee, and Mizzou faculty, and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of his or her work.

The deadline for submitting an application is 5:00 p.m. Central time, Monday, November 23, 2015. For more information or to apply to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.