Posts Tagged ‘ Stefan Freund

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works by Boulez, Higdon, Martínez, and Heredia in concert Sunday, October 6 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will begin their 2019-20 season with a concert featuring works by two modern masters, a Mizzou alumnus, and a current Mizzou faculty member.

The Ensemble (pictured) will perform music by Pierre Boulez, Jennifer Higdon, José Martínez, and Carolina Heredia at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 6 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The concert is free and open to the public.

As the name suggests, Boulez’s “Dérive 1” is derived from two of his other compositions, “Messagesquisse” and “Répons,” the latter of which in turn was created as a re-elaboration of musical ideas from “Éclat/Multiples.” This working method was typical of Boulez, who was known for producing new material by extending or transforming existing pieces.

Higdon’s “Zaka” has been called “an energetic and tightly focused work that uses string instruments in percussive and unorthodox ways,” and was praised by the Sacramento Bee as “a fantastic sprint full of irresistible Stravinskian energy and rhythmic drive.”

Martínez, who earned his master’s degree in composition from Mizzou in 2016, describes his piece “Illegal Cycles” as “an attempt to contaminate salsa with some noise, yet at the same time, to look for the groove in the fine-art sound of the freely improvised music” and “a natural product of our post-postmodern world, where the artistic boundaries between genres are happily long gone.”

“Ius in Bello” (Latin for “law of war”) was inspired by the socio-political confrontations in Venezuela that began in 2014. Heredia, a native of Argentina and an assistant professor of composition at Mizzou, calls the work “my response to the violent repression executed by the government against civilian protesters,” explaining that it “engages with dream-like sections in which color-saturated imagery of a perfect future is tinted with crispy dissonances.”

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, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2019-20 season are Daniel Fitzpatrick, piano; Stephen Landy, percussion; Ann Mozina, flute; Jordan Nielsen, percussion; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Andrew Wiele, clarinet. Mizzou New Music Initiative post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi serves as the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to read works by Mizzou composers
Hans Bridger Heruth, Ethan Forte, and Daniel Vega

From left: Heruth, Forte, Vega

Three University of Missouri student composers will have their works played by musicians with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this year as part of a joint educational venture between the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Student composers Hans Bridger Heruth, Ethan Forte, and Daniel Vega (pictured) were selected by SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New to write new works for a 40-piece chamber orchestra drawn from the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony.

The three works will be read, played, and critiqued in a private session on Tuesday, October 1 in St. Louis. The composers then will get a chance to revise their music for a second, public reading by the same musicians at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at Powell Hall.

Heruth, a senior, and Forte, a junior, are working toward their undergraduate degrees in composition at Mizzou, while Vega is in his second year of study for a master’s degree. They are the third group of Mizzou composers to take part in the program, which began in 2017. They will deliver the first versions of their works to the Symphony in early September.

“Given that the mission of the Mizzou New Music Initiative is to make Missouri a center for composition, we’re very pleased to be able to collaborate with one of the state’s most prestigious musical organizations,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition at the University of Missouri School of Music and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “We’re grateful to the St. Louis Symphony and Gemma New for these opportunities to give our students some practical experience working with an ensemble of world-class musicians.”

The two-session format makes this program particularly valuable, Freund said. “Our composers are able to hear their music played, get immediate feedback directly from the conductor and musicians, and make revisions. Then they can hear the results of the changes they’ve made in the second session, which makes for a learning experience that can’t be duplicated in a classroom.”

Acclaimed as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, celebrating its 140th year in the 2019/2020 season. Widely considered one of the world’s finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with new Music Director Stéphane Denève.

A look back at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Composers Festival spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Occupying their usual spot in the festival lineup, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will be performing during the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival as part of Friday night’s “Mizzou New Music” concert at the Missouri Theatre.

Their portion of the evening’s program will include works by the MICF’s two distinguished guest composers – “The Blotting” by Donnacha Dennehy and “World Under Glass No. 2” by Amy Beth Kirsten – as well as music by Mizzou student Jack Snelling.

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the MICF. The Ensemble serves as the repertory group for MNMI, working with faculty, students, and visiting composers, and giving public performances on campus and in the community.

In addition to presenting several concerts each year in Columbia, the Ensemble also has performed programs of works by Mizzou composers at the Contemporary Art Museum – St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, Forest Park, the World Chess Hall of Fame, Cortex Innovation Community, and more.

The Ensemble’s current members are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Libby Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets. They will be augmented for this performance by Mizzou graduate student Tyler Hannsz on viola. MNMI’s post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi serves as the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.

You can hear some past performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble using the embedded player below.

2019 MICF in the media

With this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival fast approaching, MNMI has been working to get the word out via local media.

For starters, the “Mizzou Music” radio program, heard at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evenings on Columbia’s classical music station KMUC, has been airing a series of interviews with participants in this year’s MICF.

Composers interviewed by host Aaron Hay so far include Peter Shin, Nicole Murphy, Inti Viggis-Vizueta, Donnacha Dennehy, Chelsea Komschlies, Kristina Wolfe, Theo Chandler and Mizzou’s own Aaron Mencher.

Still to come are interviews with Charles Halka, Amy Beth Kirsten, and MNMI managing director Jacob Gotlib. All the interviews are or will be archived on KMUC’s website.

Meanwhile, MNMI artistic director and Mizzou composition professor Stefan Freund was interviewed for Columbia Access Television by Elise Bucheit of the Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs. You can see their conversation about the MICF in the video embed below:

Lastly, if you’d like to get a “sneak peek” at this year’s MICF, you can take a look inside the official program through the embedded window below. (To enlarge to full-page size, click the icon in the middle of the window.)

Mizzou New Music Ensemble featured
on new album from jazz pianist Rich Pellegrin

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble is featured on Down, the new album by jazz pianist and former Mizzou faculty member Rich Pellegrin that recently was released on the OA2 Records label.

Recorded in 2014 in Seattle, WA and Columbia, MO, the album is Pellegrin’s third as a bandleader for the label. It includes seven tracks of his original music, with the Ensemble performing on the album’s two-part finale, augmenting Pellegrin’s quintet for an “extended alternate version” of the title composition.

The Mizzou musicians on the recording are Erin Spencer (flute), Jeremiah Rittel (clarinet), Britney Stutz (violin), Korin Wahl (viola), Rachel Czech (cello), José Martinez (percussion), and Taylor Burkhardt (percussion), conducted by Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Released on February 6, the album already has received favorable notices from the press, with AllAboutJazz.com’s Dan McClenaghan praising the Ensemble’s contribution, saying that the group “helps create a rich, expansive and beautifully-textured sound experience.”

Down is available from online retailers including Amazon and iTunes and from the OA2 Records website.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works
from MADSM competition, Mizzou and more
on Sunday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will perform four new student works plus two pieces from acclaimed contemporary composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 2 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Two of the student works were selected for the performance through the first-ever Collegiate Composition Competition co-sponsored this year by the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM).

Ryan Jeschke, a senior composition major at Truman State University, won the MADSM competition’s undergraduate division with “Gunkanjima.” named for an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan that for nearly a century was a densely populated center for coal mining, then completely abandoned in the 1970s. The Ensemble will perform the work’s first movement, “The Shamisen.”

Daniel Vega, a first-year master’s student in composition at Mizzou, was the MADSM competition winner in the graduate division for “Natales,” which draws inspiration from the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

The other two student works were written by University of Missouri undergraduates. “Starry Night” by Ben Dawson, a junior working toward a composition degree at Mizzou, depicts “a cloudy, lonely night” with teasing fragments of a melody that is fully revealed at the end, while “A Dance Through Desire” by Holden Franklin, a freshman composition major, evokes feelings of a missed connection following a brief encounter.

Completing the program will be “à propos,” a work in four parts by French composer Fabien Lévy that was inspired by Arte Povera, an Italian artistic movement of the 1960s; and “Rising Tide,” written in 2015 by Nina C. Young, who will visit the Mizzou campus on November 30 and coach the Ensemble in preparation for the performance.

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, conductor, professor of composition, and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2018-19 season are Hannah Hutchins, percussion; Ann Mozina, flutes; Pedro Ramiro, violin; Elisabeth Roberts, piano; Brianna Trainor, percussion; Cameron Tubbs, cello; and Austin Wright, clarinets, augmented for this performance by guest musicians Kassandra Ormsby, bassoon; and Morgan Owen, viola. Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor, and will conduct the performance of “à propos” at this concert.

Fall 2018 Student Composers Recital set for
Monday, November 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Fall 2018 edition of the University of Missouri School of Music’s Student Composers Recital will present new works written and performed by students at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will include:
“The Wooden Playground” by Nathan Andrzejewski
“Numbers” by Mikkel Christensen
“The Struggle of a Painter” by Zach Davis
“When Icarus fell it was Spring” by Aaron Mencher
“Duck Your Modernism” by Niko Schroeder
“The Exquisites” by Emily Shaw
“Stream of Consciousness” by Jack Snelling
“The Bounds of Tonality” by Harry Tryer

The concert also will feature a performance of “Exquisite Corpse I,” a collaborative work written by first-year composition students Nathan Andrejewski, Ross Dryer, Holden Franklin, Emily Shaw, Jack Snelling, Nathaniel Swan, and Harry Tryer under the supervision of assistant professor Carolina Heredia.

The concept of “Exquisite Corpse” is derived from the Surrealist parlor game of the same name, in which the first participant would write a phrase or make a sketch on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for their contribution.

As Heredia explains in the program notes, “Each student worked on a variation of the Happy Birthday song. The first collaborator wrote the introduction and passed on the last two bars only to the second collaborator. Then, the second collaborator repeated this action, and so on. At the end, our copyist and arranger took all the materials, put them together, and worked on the transitions to make them smoother.” The students dedicated the work to Dr. Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and presented it to him for his birthday on October 31.