Posts Tagged ‘ Steven Stucky

“Conversations with Composers” podcast – Episode 101

The Mizzou New Music Initiative’s “Conversations With Composers” podcasts offer an inside perspective from the composers who took part in the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, featuring candid discussions of their work, backgrounds, influences and processes; their experiences during the Festival; and much more.

Episode 101 features guest composer Steven Stucky talking with resident composers Stylianos Dimou, Ted Goldman and Patrick Harlin. Check it out in the embedded player below:

More Mizzou New Music Summer Festival press coverage

As the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival has progressed this week, we’ve seen some more coverage of the Festival in the press and online:

* The Kansas City Star had a feature story about resident composer Stephanie Berg, who grew up in the KC suburb of Parkville.

* The Columbia Daily Tribune‘s Art Axis blog published interviews that reporter Aarik Danielsen conducted with guest composers Donnacha Dennehy and Steven Stucky.

* Violist Nadio Sirota, who’s a substitute player this week with the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound, has written about her experience for the website of NYC’s classical music radio station WQXR.

* Nonesuch Records, which has released recordings by both Alarm Will Sound and Donna Dennehy, mentioned the MNMSF in the weekly news wrap-up on their website. (Scroll down to see.)

Meanwhile, resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound has posted on their Facebook page some photo sets offering a behind-the-scenes look at the first three days of the Festival:
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 1
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 2
Alarm Will Sound at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival – Day 3

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival to include free events

In addition to the ticketed concerts at the Missouri Theatre, the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival includes a number of events that are free of charge and open to the public.

At 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 23, guest composer Steven Stucky will present a master class with the vocal ensemble Voices of Prometheus at McKee Auditorium on the MU Campus.

Presentations by the Festival’s guest resident and faculty composers also will be open to the public. All the composer presentations will take place in the Fine Arts Building’s Room 145.

The resident composers will give presentations on their work from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. and 1:45 – 3:50 p.m. on Monday, and from 9:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Guest composer Donnacha Dennehy will offer his presentation at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed at 8:30 p.m. by MU faculty composer Stefan Freund. Then on Wednesday evening, Steven Stucky will present at 7:00 p.m., with MU faculty composer W. Thomas McKenney discussing his work at 8:30 p.m..

If you’d like to get a close-up look at how new compositions are prepared for performance, the Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound (pictured) will hold several open rehearsals during the week. Here’s the schedule of open rehearsals, which will be held in room 201 of Loeb Hall on the MU campus.

Tuesday, July 24:
12:45 p.m – 4:00 p.m – Resident composers
4:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m – Steven Stucky

Wednesday, July 25:
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Steven Stucky
10:45 a.m. – 12 15 p.m.- Donnacha Dennehy
1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

Friday, July 27:
9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Resident composers
1:45 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.- Resident composers

For a complete schedule of events, please see the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival website.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Alarm Will Sound

Continuing with our series of posts focusing on various participants in the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, today we shine out spotlight on Alarm Will Sound.

As the resident ensemble for the Festival, AWS plays an essential role in bringing to life the new works created by the resident composers. Not many groups would be willing or able to take on the challenge of premiering eight new pieces in one night with limited rehearsal time, but Alarm Will Sound has accomplished the task each year of the MNMSF with consummate skill and panache.

Former in 2001 by former students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Alarm Will Sound (pictured) is a 20-member ensemble “dedicated to the creation, performance, and recording of today’s music. It is an advocate for innovative work by established and emerging composers, especially works that incorporate theatrical and multimedia elements by choreographers, visual artists, designers, and directors. It fosters the education and professional development of young musicians through residencies, master classes, readings and workshops. With the goal of cultivating a diverse and sophisticated audience, the ensemble brings intelligence and a sense of adventure to the rich variety of musical expression in the contemporary world.” You can read a detailed history of the group here.

Alarm Will Sound is connected to the University of Missouri School of Music via Stefan Freund, associate professor of composition and music theory at Mizzou who’s also the cellist for AWS. They’ve been the resident ensemble for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival since its inception, and maintain an active touring schedule throughout the year.

For example, since appearing in Columbia last summer, they’ve had a variety of musical adventures, starting with a trip to Europe in the fall of 2011 to give concerts in Poland and Italy. During the 2011-12 academic year, AWS performed in New York City, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington state. Most recently, they’ve been involved in a series of multimedia presentations of John Cage’s “Song Books” in Ireland, the Netherlands and, this coming weekend, back in New York.

This year in Columbia, in addition to premiering eight new pieces at the Festival’s finale on Saturday, July 28, Alarm Will Sound also will perform a completely different program on Thursday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre. That concert will feature works by Oliver Knussen and Caleb Burhans, as well as pieces written by the 2012 Festival’s guest composers Steven Stucky and Donnacha Dennehy.

AWS will perform Stucky’s Etudes, a concerto for recorded and orchestra featuring Erin Lesser as soloist, as well what are being described as “scenes from Hunger, a work in progress” by Dennehy that will spotlight guest artist, mezzo-soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird.

Down below, you can see and hear Alarm Will Sound in action in some of videos posted recently to their YouTube channel.

You also can hear most of the music they’ve premiered at the past two Mizzou New Music Festivals via SoundCloud. Audio files from the 2010 MNMSF are here, while the tracks from 2011 are here.

Alarm Will Sound plays Caleb Burhans’ oh ye of little faith… (do you know where your children are?)

Aphex Twin’s “Cliffs,” arranged by Caleb Burhans with staging by Nigel Maister. Recorded March 28, 2012 at Bowling Green State University.

A Song for Wade (This is Not That Song), composed by Matt Marks with lyrics by Royce Vavrek.

Summer Festival Spotlight: Steven Stucky

Guest composers play an important part at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, teaching and mentoring the resident composers, and we are most fortunate to have Steven Stucky as one of our guest composers for the 2012 MNMSF.

Called by BMI “a towering figure in contemporary classical music,” Stucky (pictured) perhaps is best known for his Second Concerto for Orchestra, which was commissioned and premiered in 2004 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2005. He is a professor of music at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1980, and also maintains a busy schedule as a conductor, writer and lecturer.

For more than 20 years, Stucky enjoyed the longest relationship on record between a composer and an American orchestra, serving as Composer-in-Residence and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also has written commissioned pieces for many other American orchestras, as well as for many other ensembles and for soloists including pianist Emanuel Ax, baritone Sanford Sylvan, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and cellist Elinor Frey.

Stucky also was co-artistic director, conductor, and one of the co-founders of Ensemble X, a new music group of Cornell and Ithaca College faculty members that performed from 1997 to 2006.

More recently, in February 2012 his orchestral work Silent Spring received both its world and New York premieres by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he currently serves as Composer of the Year. Later this year, Stucky’s Son et lumière will be performed by both the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

You can view some scores of Stucky’s music at the website of his publisher, the Theodor Presser Company. The embedded video windows below feature three recent performances of Stucky compositions for small ensembles, followed by a pre-concert talk that Stucky gave earlier this year before the premiere of Silent Spring.

The LA Piano Quartet (Xak Bjerken, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; and Steven Doane, cello) performs Steven Stucky’s Piano Quartet:

Trio América (Penélope Quesada, flute; Kevin Ames, saxophone; and
Liz Ames, piano) performs Stucky’s composition Varianti:

A student percussion ensemble plays Stucky’s piece Refrains:

Steven Stucky speaks before the world premiere of Silent Spring:

Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident composers will bring diversity to 2012 event

From a London-based composer pursuing a doctorate at the Royal Academy of Music, to a Greek studying music in upstate New York, to a Kansas City native working towards her Master’s degree at Mizzou, the resident composers selected for this year’s Mizzou New Music Summer Festival are perhaps the most diverse group yet in the event’s three-year history.

The University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative today announced the eight resident composers selected for the 2012 Festival, which will take place Monday, July 23 through Saturday, July 28 in Columbia. Chosen through a portfolio application process that this year attracted 144 entries from all over the world – including Israel, France, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Russia, England, Thailand, Canada and China – they are:

* Stephanie Berg – Columbia, MO
* Brian Ciach – Bloomington, IN
* David Crowell – New York, NY
* Stylianos Dimou – Rochester, NY
* Ted Goldman – Rochester, NY
* Patrick Harlin – Ann Arbor, MI
* Charlie Piper – London, England
* Asha Srinivasan – Appleton, WI

Three of the composers selected have significant international ties: Piper, a native and current resident of London; Dimou, who was born and raised in Greece; and Srinivasan, who was born in the United States but lived in India as a child. Mizzou is represented in the group by Stephanie Berg, a graduate student working toward a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and composition, and winner of the 2009 Sinquefield Composition Prize.

The 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will include a series of public concerts featuring music from the resident composers and other contemporary creators, as well as workshops, master classes and other events. The Festival’s guest composers for 2012 will be Steven Stucky, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for composition and professor at Cornell University; and Donnacha Dennehy, a native of Dublin who is one of the leading contemporary composers in Ireland. The acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, once again will serve as resident ensemble, as they have since the Festival began in 2010.

During the festival, the eight resident composers will receive composition lessons from Stucky and Dennehy; take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound; give presentations on their music; and receive a premiere performance and professional live recording of a new work created specifically for the Festival and Alarm Will Sound.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit

Stephanie Berg

Brian Ciach

David Crowell

Stylianos Dimou

Ted Goldman

Ted Goldman

Patrick Harlin

Charlie Piper

Asha Srinivasan