Posts Tagged ‘ Stefan Freund

St. Louis Symphony to perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams”

Original music from Mizzou will be heard once again next year at Powell Hall in St. Louis, as the St. Louis Symphony’s announcement last Tuesday of their 2015-16 season schedule included the news that they’ll perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” as part of a concert on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Stefan Freund

Freund is associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Missouri and co-artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Memphis native also is a cellist and founding member of the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and is the music director and principal conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

“Cyrillic Dreams,” composed in 2008 with a commission from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, was inspired by Freund’s trip to Russia that year. It was premiered by the Columbia Civic Orchestra by the Columbia Civic Orchestra on March 24, 2009 in Vienna’s Minoritenkirche with the composer conducting, and subsequently has been played by orchestras including the Tennessee Tech University Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts.

The St. Louis Symphony will play Freund’s composition on a program that also includes well-known works such as Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The concert is part of the St. Louis Symphony’s new “Music You Know” series conducted by music director David Robertson, which aims to connect listeners to classical music by presenting “familiar tunes we’re certain you know, and others that you’ll long to hear again and again.” “Cyrillic Dreams” also is one of just eight works by living composers on the orchestra’s schedule next season.

“When I wrote “Cyrillic Dreams,” I imagined the rich acoustic of the three huge churches in Austria where the piece was to be performed,” said Freund. “I think it will sound equally glorious in the majestic setting of Powell Hall.”

Tickets for the St. Louis Symphony’s 2015-16 season are on sale now via their website at stlsymphony.org.

Missouri Composers Orchestra Project chooses works
by Zachary Cairns, Hans Heruth for performance on Saturday, March 7

The famous conductor James Levine once compared the orchestra to a “treasure chest,” but the relative scarcity of modern works on orchestral programs means that few contemporary composers ever get the chance to access those riches.

Zachary Cairns

Now, two more Missouri composers will receive that valuable opportunity, as the Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative have announced the selection of two orchestral works written by Missouri residents to be performed by the CCO at a concert on Saturday, March 7 in Columbia.

The winning compositions were chosen in a statewide competition conducted under the auspices of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP). Both winners will receive a $500 honorarium from MOCOP’s sponsor, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Hans Heruth

The work chosen for 2015 in the Open category is “Refracted Moonlight” by Zachary Cairns, an assistant professor of music theory at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Cairns earned a Ph.D. in theory from the Eastman School of Music, and an M.A. in theory and a B.S. in music education from Penn State University.

The winning composition in the High School category is “Impression on a Theme” by Hans Heruth, a senior at Liberty High School in Liberty, MO. A two-time winner in the University of Missouri’s statewide Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition for students in grades K-12, Heruth also is a violinist, pianist, and vocalist.

Both winning compositions will be performed by the Columbia Civic Orchestra as part of their annual concert of music by living composers at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7 at Broadway Christian Church, 2601 West Broadway in Columbia. Admission is free and open to the public.

Cairns’ work will be conducted by Patrick David Clark, a Mizzou alumnus and music director of the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra, while MU senior Grant Bradshaw, assistant conductor of the Missouri Symphony Society Conservatory, will take the baton for Heruth’s composition.

The concert also will include Bradshaw’s own work “Incandescent” and the premiere of Amy Leventhal’s “Mom and Me,” both conducted by CCO artistic director (and Mizzou professor) Stefan Freund; Mizzou alumna Katie Andres’ Horn Concertino, conducted by Mizzou graduate student Jaron Lester; and three new works sung by the Columbia Chorale Chamber Choir and conducted by Emily Edgington Andrews, the Chorale’s artistic director.

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 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project (MOCOP) is a collaborative effort by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the Columbia Civic Orchestra to bring attention to orchestral works written in the state of Missouri. By identifying composers of orchestral music and providing opportunities for the performance of their work, MOCOP strives to showcase the talent of Missouri and share it with the community.

Mizzou International Composers Festival gets
record number of resident composer applicants for 2015

With all the applications for 2015 submitted and logged, the Mizzou International Composers Festival has set another new record this year for the number of submissions from prospective resident composers.

The MICF got a total of 231 applications for the 2015 festival, including 82 returning applicants and 149 who applied for the first time.

Fifteen percent of the submissions came from outside the US, with applications arriving from composers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Last weekend, festival organizers met in St. Louis to review the submissions and decide which composers to invite for 2015. The working group included Mizzou New Music Initiative co-artistic directors Stefan Freund and W. Thomas McKenney and managing director William Lackey, as well as resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound‘s conductor/music director Alan Pierson and pianist John Orfe. They looked at applications, studied scores, listened to hours of music, and discussed it all extensively before compiling their final list.

The results of their deliberations will be revealed on Monday, January 5, when we announce publicly the names of the eight resident composers who will take part in the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

To stay current with all the latest news from the MICF and MNMI, keep watching this space. Also, please follow us on Twitter at @MizzouNewMusic, and “like” the Missouri New Music Facebook page.

Tom McKenney and Alan Pierson look at a score

MNMI managing director William Lackey coordinated the application process

John Orfe and Stefan Freund listen intently

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform new works from Missouri composers
and more on Sunday, December 7 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play their second concert of the academic year (and their final show of 2014)  at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 7 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The program will feature a turn-of-the-century piece from a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winning composer, plus four brand new works written right here in Missouri.

The prizewinner in question is Jennifer Higdon (pictured), the acclaimed contemporary composer whose major awards include a Pulitzer in 2010 for her Violin Concerto, and a Grammy that same year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto.

For this concert, the MNME will play Higdon’s “Celestial Hymns,” a work written in 2000 that further develops some of the material from a previous composition, “Blue Cathedral,” to evoke the details of stained glass within said cathedral.

Also on the program are three new works written by Mizzou composition majors: “Of Trickery and Toys,” by sophomore Erin Hoerchler; “The Pathless Woods,” by freshman Gus Knobbe; and “Nachtmusik” by junior Grant Bradshaw.

The concert will conclude with “Push/Pull,” written in 2013 and revised this year by Kansas City’s Nicholas Omiccioli, who was one of the resident composers at this past summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival.

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 and associate professor.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

The Ensemble serves as the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, an array of programs intended to position 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.

A look back at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival

Here’s a comprehensive look back at this year’s Mizzou International Composers Festival via news coverage and social media:

Columbia media previews 2014 MICF

With the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival starting today, the Columbia Daily Tribune had two stories in Sunday’s paper, plus another online, which together offer a thorough preview of the week’s events.

The Tribune‘s Aarik Danielsen interviewed managing director Billy Lackey and resident composer José Martínez for an overview of the festival, and also wrote separate articles about guest composer Nico Muhly and resident composer Nicholas Omiccioli.

Also last week, Mizzou professor, MICF co-artistic director and Alarm Will Sound cellist Stefan Freund appeared on KBIA’s “Radio Friends with Paul Pepper” to talk about the 2014 MICF. You can see and hear that conversation in the embedded video window below.

Also, if you’d like to get a look inside the program for the concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, you can download a PDF copy here.

Composers Festival Spotlight: Mizzou New Music Ensemble

Mizzou New Music Ensemble

One week from tonight, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble will take the stage at the Missouri Theatre as part of the “Mizzou New Music” concert of the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Comprised of graduate students on scholarship, the Ensemble is directed by faculty composer and Alarm Will Sound member Stefan Freund. They serve as the flagship group of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, collaborating with student, faculty and visiting composers throughout the year to perform a variety of new works.

The Ensemble’s members for the 2013-14 season are Rachel Czech, cello; Hsu Shun Jung, piano; Mary Jamerson, flute; Katherine Jones, violin; Ian McClaflin, percussion; Shawn Nemati-Baghestani, oboe; and Jeremiah Rittel, clarinet.

(Mizzou alum and former MICF resident composer Patrick David Clark also made a valuable contribution to the group during the fall of 2013, directing the ensemble while Freund was on sabbatical to finish writing his Civil War Oratorio.)

For the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 25, the Ensemble will play “The Rising of the Moon,” a brand-new work by Mizzou faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney; “I know where everything is,” written in 2007 by MICF guest composer Nico Muhly; and “A Leaf on the Wind,” a new work by Justin Pounds, who’s currently pursuing his master’s in composition at Mizzou.

During the academic year, the group performs a series of concerts on campus, and they also play off campus as well. Most recently, in May of this year they premiered four new works by Mizzou composition students that were commissioned for a Forest Park Forever event in St. Louis. The four compositions – Pounds’ “A Leaf on the Wind”; “Elysium” by Trey Makler; “Structural Symbiosis” by Matt Stiens; and “Forest Park Rhapsody” by Benedetto Colagiovanni – were recorded for inclusion on a fundraising DVD planned for release by Forest Park Forever.

The Ensemble also has performed in recent years at the World Chess Hall of Fame, the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Shoenberg Theatre at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Just about all of the Ensemble’s concerts, whether on campus or off, include music from student composers at Mizzou, giving both composers and performers valuable hand-on experience in the process of developing new work. In the embedded audio players below, you can hear three examples of pieces that were written at Mizzou during the past year and given their first performances by the Ensemble.

Composition major Trey Makler’s “Southern Portraits” was created for this past year’s collaboration between MNMI and the Stephens College dance department. Guest musician: Sam Jennings (guitar).

“Inception, Conception, Create” by Luke Wayne Henderson, a Mizzou freshman studying for degrees in music education and composition.

“#YOLO” by Trey Makler

2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival once again will include a number of events that are free of charge.

All the presentations by the Festival’s guest, resident and faculty composers are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 145 of the Fine Arts Building on the MU campus.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 21; and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22.

Guest composer Nico Muhly will discuss his work at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:15 p.m. by MU faculty composer Stefan Freund.

Then on Wednesday, July 23, guest composer Zhou Long will give his presentation at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney to follow at 8:30 p.m.

To get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Festival’s eight world premieres and other new works are being prepared for performance, you can see the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound in several rehearsals during the week that will be open to the public at no charge.

Open rehearsals will take place from 9:00 a.m to noon on Tuesday and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Missouri Theatre; and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 25 in Room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou International Composers Festival website.