Posts Tagged ‘ Stefan Freund

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.

Mizzou composers’ collaboration with St. Louis Symphony
featured on HEC-TV’s “State of the Arts”

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s reading of new works by Mizzou composers is the subject of a feature story on the latest episode of HEC-TV’s program “State of the Arts.”

The feature by reporter Paul Schankman includes an exclusive look at the private reading session held on Wednesday, October 31 at Powell Hall in St. Louis,  as well as interviews with composers Mikkel Christensen, Ben Colagiovanni, and Libby Roberts, MNMI artistic director and Mizzou professor of composition Stefan Freund, and SLSO resident conductor Gemma New.  You can watch the story in the embedded video window below.

HEC-TV is a St. Louis-based producer of education, arts, and cultural television programming, which can be seen on Charter channel 989, KTVI 2.2, U-Verse channel 99 and on demand at www.hecmedia.org.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform music by Daugherty,
Sharlat and Donatoni on Monday, October 15 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble’s first concert of the 2018-19 season will feature works by two composers who are visiting the University of Missouri campus this fall, and more.

The Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 15 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the Mizzou campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert will include “Divertissement” by composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, who will be in Columbia the first week in October; and “Sinatra Shag” and “Jackie’s Song” by multiple Grammy Award winner Michael Daugherty, who’s visiting Mizzou for a residency on Monday, October 8 and Tuesday, October 9. Both Sharlat and Daugherty will spend time during their residencies coaching the Ensemble on the performances of their works.

“Divertissement,” written by Sharlat in 2006 for flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, showcases all four instruments in individual caprices, alternating with slow movements that provide contrast.

“Sinatra Shag” was composed by Daugherty in 1997. It’s one of a series of works inspired by the architecture and popular culture of Las Vegas in the 1960s, incorporating “chromatically ascending passages, swinging lounge instrumental riffs and swirling glisses…looped and layered virtuosically throughout the composition, like a multi-colored shag carpet.”

“Jackie’s Song,” also from 1997, is a work for solo cello that was written as the overture to Daughtery’s opera “Jackie O.”

“Arpége,” a piece from 1986 by Italian composer Franco Donatoni, will complete the program. The work is a series of linked vignettes, each at a different tempo, featuring colorful interplay among various instrumental combinations.

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 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. Post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki Onishi is the Ensemble’s assistant conductor.