Posts Tagged ‘ Stefan Freund

Missouri Composers Project selects four works for concert by Columbia Civic Orchestra, Columbia Chamber Choir

Clockwise from top left: Jiyoun Chung, Dan Viggers, Robyne Sieh & David McCaulley

The Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI) has announced the selection of four winners in the 2020 Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) competition.

Now in its ninth year, MOCOP is a collaborative effort involving MNMI, the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO), the Columbia Chamber Choir, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. Composers from all over Missouri are invited each year to submit orchestral and choral works for potential performance, with winners selected in two age categories, “open” and “high school.”

All four winners of the 2020 competition will receive a $500 honorarium from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and the CCO and the Chamber Choir will perform their compositions in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5 at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St in Columbia. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

In the “open” categories, this year’s winning orchestral composition is “New Elegance” by Dan Viggers, and the winning choral work is “My Beautiful One, Come with Me” by Jiyoun Chung.

Viggers is a St. Louis based composer who has a bachelor’s degree in composition from Bradley University and a Ph.D. in music theory from Washington University. His compositions include classical works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and vocalists; original works for musical theater; and electronic music released under the names Amadeus Vegas, Netizen, and Dotcom Davinci.

Jiyoun Chung is a pianist, composer and native of South Korea, where she received her degree in composition from Hanyang University. She moved to the USA in 2008, and since has earned master’s degrees in composition and piano performance from Illinois State University, and a doctor of musical arts in composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her music has been performed by orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists in concerts and at festivals in the United States, Asia and Europe.

The winning orchestral work in the “high school” category for 2020 is “’Till the End of Time” by David McCaulley. a junior at Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction, MO. His musical experiences include composing scores for the independent production company Light of Life Films, and creating a YouTube channel with videos analyzing music in popular films from “Star Wars” to “Batman” and more.

The winning choral work in the “high school” category is “Peace” by Robyne Sieh, a senior at Fort Zumwalt North High on O’Fallon, MO. She is a member of her school’s Panther Pride Marching Band, jazz band, and wind ensemble; takes private piano lessons, and participated in the Missouri Summer Composition Institute from 2017 to 2019. She also has been recognized as a Bach Scholar by the Bach Society of St. Louis; was a prize-winner in Mizzou’s 2018 Creating Original Music Project; and a finalist in the 2019 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

The Missouri Composers Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Columbia Chamber Choir to bring attention to new large ensemble works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP intends to showcase emerging talent of Missouri and share it with the world.

The Columbia Civic Orchestra is a volunteer group located in Columbia, Missouri, dedicated to providing enjoyment for its members and audiences with the presentation and preservation of high-quality symphonic music.

The Columbia Chamber Choir in a subset of the Columbia Chorale, which works to promote choral music of the highest artistic quality and to stimulate a greater community understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of choral music by presenting programs appealing to a wide cross-section of Missouri residents and visitors.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform works from Missouri, South America, and more on Sunday, November 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will offer new music from Missouri, South America, and more in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 17 at Whitmore Recital Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The concert is free and open to the public.

From close to home, the Ensemble (pictured) will perform the two winning works written for the 2019 Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music (MADSM) Collegiate Composition Competition.

“Cadencia” was composed by Truman State University student Samuel Tillman, the 2019 winner in the undergraduate category winner, and “Hitt Street Harangue” is by Daniel Vega, a master’s student in composition at Mizzou and this year’s graduate winner. Both works were selected in a competitive judging process open to all student composers enrolled at MADSM member institutions.

The concert also will include two works from South American composers that will be featured when the Ensemble tours that continent in May, 2020. “I come from afar” was composed by Sofia Scheps, who teaches at the Escuela Universitaria de Música in Montevideo, Uruguay; and “Expansion” is by Patricia Martínez, a composer, pianist and professor of composition at the National University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the tour, both composers will host concerts by the Ensemble at their respective institutions.

In addition to those four compositions, assistant conductor Yoshi Onishi will lead the Ensemble in a performance of “Talea” by French composer Gérard Grisey. Considered a late-20th-century classic, it alternates “between ferocity and quietude,” so as to – in the composer’s words – “express two aspects or, more precisely, two auditory angles of a single phenomenon.”

Two more new pieces of music from Missouri will complete the program. “Love Is Love, The Pedro Zamora Story” was composed by Daniel Vega originally for a film soundtrack; and “Pentatonic Sonata” is by Harry Tyrer, a retired Mizzou engineering professor now studying composition with Mizzou’s Carolina Heredia.

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 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.