Posts Tagged ‘ Stefan Freund

Stefan Freund wins commission from Barlow Endowment

University of Missouri professor of composition and Mizzou New Music Initiative artistic director Stefan Freund has won a commission for 2021 from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.

Freund (pictured) was one of 9 composers selected from among 259 applications this year to the Endowment’s General and LDS commissioning programs, which will award grants totaling $60,000 to the winners.

The Barlow Endowment was established in September 1983 through a gift from Milton A. and Gloria Barlow to Brigham Young University for the purpose of “engendering and supporting excellence in musical composition through the university and the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications.”

The Endowment hosts an international composition competition every year, receiving applications from around the world. The application are reviewed by a panel of musicians, who select the winners that will be commissioned to compose new works during the next year.

Freund will use his $6,000 grant to write a new work for Splinter Reeds, who will premiere the piece as part of a residency at Mizzou planned for 2023.

This is the second year in a row that a Mizzou faculty member has won a major commission from the Barlow Endowment. In 2020, assistant professor Carolina Heredia was awarded a grant which she used
to write a new work for Duo Axis, featuring flutist Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu.

Several other composers with Mizzou connections also won commissions this year from the Endowment. Texu Kim, a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, was awarded the $12,000 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for sinfonietta that will be premiered in 2023-24 by Alarm Will Sound, London Sinfonietta, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Also winning Barlow commissions for 2021 are David Biedenbender, who was a resident composer at the 2011 MICF; Wang Lu, a resident composer for the 2016 festival; and Lansing McCloskey, who visited the Mizzou campus as a guest composer in 2015.

The judging panel included Neil Thornock, Chen Yi, Ben Sabey, Benjamin Taylor and Miguel Del Aguila of the Endowment’s Board of Advisors, plus guest judges Tania León, Kristin Kuster, Lisa DeSpain, and Chance Thomas.

Mizzou composer, musicians featured in
PBS special celebrating Missouri’s bicentennial

A new work written by a Mizzou composer and performed by MU faculty members will be featured in “Show Me the Music: A Celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial,” a television special that will air beginning this week on PBS affiliates in Missouri.

“Waterways” was written on commission specifically for the bicentennial project by Stefan Freund (pictured), who is MNMI’s artistic director and professor of composition at Mizzou. The work then was performed and recorded in May at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis by MU faculty members Alice Dade (flute), Eli Lara (cello), Julie Rosenfeld (violin), and Wes Warnhoff (clarinet).

Their performance will be seen as part of the “Show Me the Music…” special, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Missouri becoming the 24th state to enter the Union on August 10, 1821. The program features what producers call “a kaleidoscope of many of Missouri’s musical genres,” including blues, rock, bluegrass, ragtime, and jazz, performed by musicians from around the state.

In addition to the Mizzou faculty ensemble, other performers include jazz pianist Peter Martin with his trio, augmented by saxophonist Bobby Watson and trumpeter Keyon Harrold; St. Louis vocalist Anita Jackson; ragtime pianist Royce Martin; bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent and her band, The Rage; and fiddler Howard Marshall and friends.

“Show Me the Music…” will premiere at 7:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, August 9 on St. Louis’ Nine Network, followed by multiple repeat broadcasts on all four of Missouri’s PBS affiliates continuing through September 4.

The first airing on Kansas City’s KCPT and mid-Missouri’s KMOS, which covers Columbia, Jefferson City, Warrensburg, and Sedalia, will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 12, with Ozarks Public Television‘s first broadcast set for 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 13. (For a complete schedule, please consult your local listings.)

After the broadcast premiere, in addition to repeat airings on all four stations, “Show Me the Music…” also will be available for viewing online via The Sheldon’s website.

“Show Me the Music…” was created in partnership by the Missouri Arts Council; The Sheldon; Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee; JPL Development LLC; Sinquefield Charitable Foundation; St. Louis Cardinals; and the Budds Center for American Music at the University of Missouri.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble featured on new recording

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble is featured on Black Pierrot, a new album by Mizzou’s University Singers that is being released this week on the Centaur Records label.

The album (pictured) is described as “a program of great choral works, including one work from the 1500s, works from the 20th Century,” plus the title track, which is performed by the Singers and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, directed by Stefan Freund.

It’s the world premiere recording of this new work, which was commissioned from composer William Averitt by R. Paul Crabb, director of choral activities at Mizzou, with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Averitt’s “Black Pierrot” is based on seven poems by Langston Hughes, each incorporated into a movement of the work. It was premiered by the University Singers and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble in a concert in March 2017 at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

The Ensemble’s members for that year were Victoria Hargrove, clarinet; Daniel Keeler, cello; Kelariz Keshavarz, flute; Renan Leme, violin; Rebecca McDaniel, percussion; Gyumi Rha, piano; and Panagiotis Skyftas, saxophone.

Founded in 1976, Centaur is one of the oldest and largest independent classical labels in the U.S. Their recordings are available as physical CDs in major markets throughout the world and from select online retailers. Digital downloads are available through iTunes and many other download sites, and streams are available through Spotify, YouTube, and other streaming services.

Mizzou International Composers Festival to return
July 26-31 with nine world premieres and more

After a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic forced last-minute changes in programming, the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) is back in 2021 in a more familiar form.

Presented Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31 by the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) and the University of Missouri School of Music, the twelfth annual MICF will showcase the world premieres of new works from nine resident composers and more, with all four concerts streamed online for free. The schedule of performances is:

Tuesday, July 27: “World Premieres I,” featuring resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound performing new works by three of the festival’s resident composers, plus the premiere of an excerpt from distinguished guest composer David T. Little’s monodrama “What Belongs to You,” featuring singer Karim Sulayman.

Wednesday, July 28: “Mizzou New Music,” featuring the Mizzou New Music Ensemble playing music by David Little and Chen Yi, and Khemia Ensemble premiering new works by Stefan Freund, Phillip Sink, and Nina Shekhar.

Friday, July 30: “Entry Points of Empathy,” a world premiere multi-media event with music composed by inti figgis-vizueta, Carolina Heredia, Tanner Porter, Annika Socolofsky, and Nina Shekhar, performed by Mizzou faculty and guests, plus video interludes and live graphics by Xuan Zhang.

Saturday, July 31: “World Premieres II,” featuring Alarm Will Sound performing new works from six resident composers, plus the American premiere of Stefan Freund’s arrangement of “Sparkle” by distinguished guest composer Chen Yi.

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and can be viewed on the Mizzou New Music Facebook page and on the University of Missouri School of Music YouTube channel.

The concerts on Tuesday and Saturday will feature world premieres of new works written by each of the festival’s nine resident composers. Listed with their current places of residence, they are:

(Four of the composers – Alcocer, Fitzpatrick, Mortilla and Shekar – were newly selected this year to participate in the 2021 MICF; the other five originally were chosen for the 2020 MICF, but their works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured. Three more composers chosen in 2020 were unable to participate this year, but will be invited to be part of a future festival.)

The MICF’s distinguished guest composers for 2021 are Chen Yi and David T. Little. Chen 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.

Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.

During the festival, the resident composers will receive composition lessons from Chen and Little and take part via Zoom in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. The resident composers also will give public presentations online about their music, and after the premiere performances, will receive professional live recordings of their new works.

For more information on the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival, including a complete schedule of events, times, and dates, please visit

Springfield Symphony to perform Stefan Freund’s
“Ragfare” in concerts on Saturday, May 8

The Springfield Symphony will perform “Ragfare,” a work written by University of Missouri professor of composition Stefan Freund, in a pair of concerts on Saturday, May 8 at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts in Springfield, MO.

Freund (pictured), who’s also a cellist, conductor, and the artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, originally composed “Ragfare” for the Columbia Civic Orchestra to play at the reopening in 2008 of the renovated Missouri Theatre in Columbia.

Inspired for the occasion by the music of Scott Joplin, Freund says that he “wanted to write a piece that would celebrate the rich musical heritage of Missouri.” The music that resulted offers “ragtime-style figures, like syncopated tunes and octave-leap ostinatos, in the context of a fanfare.”

Since premiering in 2008, “Ragfare” was revisited by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in 2018, and also has been performed by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra (2009), and by members of the St. Louis and Kansas City symphonies at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville (2015).

The upcoming performance of “Ragfare” by the Springfield Symphony will be as part of a program titled “Locally Grown” that also will feature arrangements of Joplin works including “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues March,” the folk song “Frankie and Johnny,” “The Missouri Waltz,” and more.

Kyle Pickett, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct, with ragtime pianist and storyteller Gary Ellison serving as featured soloist.

The program will be presented at 2:00 p.m. for the general public, and again at 7:30 p.m. for season ticket holders and as a livestream online.

For tickets to the 2:00 p.m. performance, please visit To purchase access to the livestream at 7:30 p.m., go to

Mizzou International Composers Festival going online for 2020,
will take place Monday, July 27 – Saturday, August 1

Clockwise from top: Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Responding to the restrictions on live events imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mizzou International Composers Festival is going online for 2020.

The 11th annual edition of the MICF is set for Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, with events streamed online from the Facebook pages of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and resident ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Khemia Ensemble, and from the YouTube channels of the University of Missouri School of Music, Alarm Will Sound, and Khemia Ensemble.

At 9:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 31, the MICF will present “Under Twilight,” a multimedia event curated by Mizzou professor Carolina Heredia that will take place both online and for an in-person, “drive-in” audience.

For the “drive-in” audience in the parking lot of the Sinquefield Music Center on the Mizzou campus, videos will be projected on an array of special outdoor 3D screens, while accompanying music is simulcast on radio station KMUC (90.5 FM). At the same time, the online audience will be able to see the program via Facebook and YouTube.

“Under Twilight” will include music and video by Maria Chavez and Flying Lotus, with soundtracks recorded by the composers; and a work by Joel Thompson, with music recorded by Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Choir, conducted by Eugene Rogers.

The evening also will include pieces by former MICF distinguished guest composer Donnacha Dennehy and former resident composer Charlie Piper, as recorded by Alarm Will Sound; a work by Melissa Dunphy, recorded by Khemia Ensemble; and compositions from Carolina Heredia and Mizzou senior Ben Dawson, recorded by the composers and Mizzou students.

Then at 8:00 p.m. CDT Saturday, August 1, the festival’s finale will feature members of Alarm Will Sound, Khemia Ensemble, and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble performing a concert program including works by famed composers Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, plus new music from Mizzou student Daniel Fitzpatrick and 2020 master’s graduate Niko Schroeder.

Alarm Will Sound will perform Monk’s “Anthem,” which also is the first work in their new series VIDEO CHAT VARIATIONS, showcasing remotely performed new works that respond to the quirks of video chat platforms.

Also on Saturday, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present Fitzpatrick’s “Ancient Echoes,” a concertino for banjo and ensemble that features the composer as banjo soloist; and the Khemia Ensemble, led by MU faculty composer Carolina Heredia, will present the world premiere of Schroeder’s “Moves” for ensemble and video.

The final piece on the program will feature members of all three groups coming together to perform Oliveros’ “Buffalo Jam,” which is scored with text instructions for any number and instrumentation of performers. The musicians, who were dispersed across the country, rehearsed and recorded the performance using the Jamulus platform, which enables transmission of audio with virtually no latency.

Along with the performances, Saturday’s event also will include interviews with the composers and a post-concert discussion open to audience members. The discussion will be led by Mizzou professor and MNMI and MICF artistic director Stefan Freund, Alarm Will Sound artistic director and conductor Alan Pierson, and Mizzou professor and Khemia Ensemble executive director Carolina Heredia.

Both Friday and Saturday night’s events are free and open to the public, but audience members are asked to register in advance using Eventbrite. To register for Friday’s event, either to view the event online or to “drive in” in person, go to register for Saturday, go to

In addition to the two weekend events, the festival also will include public online presentations from the eight resident composers and two distinguished guest composers who had been announced previously as participants in the 2020 MICF. All of the composer presentations will be available for public viewing online via the Mizzou New Music Initiative Facebook page.

Resident composers Pascal Le Boeuf, DM R (Diana M. Rodriguez), Niko Schroeder, and Celka Ojakangas will make individual presentations on their music starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT Monday, July 27, with Felipe Tovar-Henao, Shuying Li, Andrew Tholl, and Yu Kuwabara presenting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 28.

Distinguished guest composers David T. Little and Chen Yi will be the final presenters, starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 29.

A complete schedule of events, times and dates for the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be available on the MICF website at

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to preview music from upcoming tour of South America and more on Monday, March 9 at Sinquefield Music Center

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will present a preview of music from their upcoming tour of South America and more in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 9 at the Sinquefield Music Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The concert is free and open to the public.

For their first concert of 2020 and their first public performance at the new Sinquefield Music Center, the Ensemble (pictured) will play two new works written by Mizzou graduate composition students, “Cataretê” by Luis Hermano Bezerra and “Ancient Echoes” by Daniel Fitzpatrick. Both pieces were composed specifically for the Ensemble’s upcoming tour of South America in late May and early June.

In addition, the Ensemble will present three works by South American composers that they will play during the tour: “Luna más negra” by Jose Halac of Argentina; “Sin Muerte” by Vladimir Guicheff Bogacz of Uruguay; and “Y vos, Por Salvarte, También Gritaste,” by Brazil’s German Gras, who was Luis Hemano Bezerra’s undergraduate composition teacher at the Universidade Estadual do Ceará in Fortaleza.

The concert also will feature music from the two distinguished guest composers for this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival, as the Ensemble will play Chen Yi’s “Near Distance” and David T. Little’s “Descanso (waiting).”

Rounding out the program will be a second performance of “Construction,” composed by Mizzou graduate student Niko Schroeder for the grand opening of the Sinquefield Music Center in February.

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.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble hitting the road in May
for concert in Texas, tour of South America

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will hit the road this spring to perform a concert in Fort Worth, TX, followed by a tour of South America that will take them to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay.

The journey will begin with a performance at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Ft. Worth, TX, where the Ensemble (pictured) will perform a program of new works created by Mizzou composition students in response to images from the museum’s collection.

Junior composition major Ben Dawson’s piece is inspired by the Carter Museum’s collection of 19th Century Landscapes, while freshman composition majors Isabelle Borchardt, Camden Hernandez and Sam Whitty have based their respective works on the collections devoted to Contemporary American Creativity, Western Living – Sculptures and Paintings, and 20th Century Modern Abstractions.

Admission to the concert is free, but reservations are required and can be made starting Wednesday, April 1 via the museum’s website at

Later in the month, the Ensemble will travel to South America for a tour from Monday, May 18 through Friday, June 5 that will include three residencies with concerts in Argentina, plus residencies and concerts in Brazil, Peru and Uruguay.

All six concerts will feature a core program of works by Mizzou faculty members Stefan Freund and Carolina Heredia, Mizzou composition alumnus José Martínez, and current graduate students Luis Hermano Bezerra and Daniel Fitzpatrick.

Those works include a new arrangement of Freund’s “St. Louis Reds,” Heredia’s “Ius in Bello,” and Martinez’s “Illegal Cycles,” as well as two pieces composed specifically for the tour, Bezerra’s “Cataretê” and Fitzpatrick’s “Ancient Echoes.” In addition, each concert on the tour will feature a work by a local composer associated with the host institution.

The Ensemble’s first stop will be from Monday, May 18 through Wednesday, May 20 at the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where their concert will include a performance of Patricia Martínez’s “Expansion.”

Next, from Thursday, May 21 through Saturday, May 23, they’ll be at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina, and performing “Luna más negra” by José Halac.

From there, it’s back to Buenos Aires on Monday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 26, where they will reprise Martinez’s work as part of their performance at the Conservatorio Superior de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Then, on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29, the Ensemble will be in residence at the Escuela Universitaria de Música in Montevideo, Uruguay, with Vladimir Guicheff Bogacz’s “Sin muerte” and Sofia Scheps’ “I come from afar” as part of their concert program.

Traveling on to Brazil, their next stop will be from Sunday, May 31 through Tuesday, June 2 at the Universidade Estadual do Ceará in Fortaleza, where they will perform “Y vos, por salvarte, también gritaste…” by German Gras, who was Luis Bezerra’s composition teacher for his undergraduate degree.

The final residency of the tour will be on Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5 at the Universidad Nacional de Música in Lima, Peru, with the Ensemble performing José Sosaya’s “Girasol mágico gran brote” during their concert there.

At each location, the Mizzou composers also will give presentations about their work, and the Ensemble will do reading sessions of pieces written by composition students at each university.

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.