ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The FSU College of Music is pleased to present the 20th biennial Festival of New Music, a series of lectures, masterclasses, and concerts featuring a variety of exciting new works for various ensembles, Feb. 3-5, 2022.
This year’s program, featuring composer/performer Pamela Z and musicians from the International Contemporary Ensemble, includes works by more than 20 contemporary composers worldwide. These featured guest artists will collaborate with College of Music faculty and students to on two of the Festival’s six concerts – the guest artist concert on Friday, February 4, and the closing concert on Saturday, February 5 – and will present multiple masterclasses and lectures to College of Music students over the course of the Festival.
CONCERT SCHEDULE & PROGRAM NOTES
Thursday, February 3, 2022
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Opening Concert - 7:30PM Opperman Music Hall
Monte Taylor, Sigil II: Amistad (2019)
Andrew Gaffey, saxophone
Monte Taylor, live electronics
Sigil II: Amistad reflects on the themes of multiculturalism depicted in José Parlá’s Amistad América. Navigating various computer-generated soundscapes, the saxophone struggles to maintain its identity amongst the chaos of many competing spectra. Over time, the various spectra coalesce into a lush, harmonious texture composed of many complex grains of sound. Over the course this transformation, the saxophonist’s role as a soloist begins to fade, as the saxophone dissolves into the various spectra.
Sigil II: Amistad is the second in a series of pieces inspired by the practice of sigil making. In chaos magic, sigils are symbols created by the magician to manifest a will or desire. This is usually accomplished by writing down one’s will as a single sentence or phrase, deconstructing it into its individual glyphs, and then rearranging them into a symbol that holds meaning only to the magician.
Monte Taylor (b.1991) is a composer, guitarist, and improviser based in Austin, TX, and the 2nd place recipient of the 2020 KLANG! International Electroacoustic Composition Competition. His works have been performed on festivals including Australian Percussion Gathering, Charlotte New Music Festival, Electric LaTex Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, Florida Electro-Acoustic Student Festival, Florida International Toy Piano Festival, Kansas City Art Institute’s ArtSounds, National Student Electronic Music Event, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, SCI Regional and National Student Conferences, SEAMUS National Conference, SPLICE Institute, TUTTI Festival, and UTEMS Electro-Acousitc Recital Series, by ensembles including Bent Frequency, Compositum Musicae Novae, Frost Electronic Music Ensemble, Passepartout Duo, and the University of Texas New Music Ensemble.
Vera Ivanova, 6 Fugitive Memories (2015)
David Kalhous, piano
These short miniatures represent six dedications to composers who have anniversaries in 2016, when this cycle to be premiered by the pianist Nadia Shpachenko, who recorded these pieces with Reference Recordings on “Quotations and Homages” CD album (FR-726, released on April 6, 2018). I decided to remove my compositional style and instead recall through quotations and allusions the pieces of composers to whom each miniature is dedicated.
Vera Ivanova teaches at Chapman University (Associate Professor of Music, Music Theory and Composition Department). She graduated from Moscow Conservatory (BM and MM), Guildhall School in London (MM), and Eastman School (Ph.D.) with degrees in music composition. Her compositions have been performed worldwide and received many national and international awards.
Her music is available in print from Universal Edition and Theodore Front Music Literature, Inc., SCI Journal of Music Scores (vol. 45), on CD's from Ablaze Records (Millennial Masters series, Vol. 2), Quartz Music, Ltd., PARMA Recordings (SCI CD series, No. 27), Musiques & Recherches (Métamorphoses 2004), Centaur Records (CRC 3056), and on her website at: www.veraivanova.com.
Jennifer Bellor, Amethyst Sunset (2019)
Matthew Calderon and Vivian Anderson, pianos
Mike Glaze and Abby McNulty, percussion
Amethyst Sunset was inspired by a photo of a gorgeous amethyst sunset on the Whitney Mesa Trail in Henderson, Nevada. The piece was commissioned by pianists Olga Shupyatskaya and Futaba Niekawa for premiere July 23, 2019 at the Eastman School of Music Summer faculty series. It was featured on Bellor's album "Reflections at Dusk" and was described as "noir" by Jazz Weekly, and the "interlocking patterns of the piano and percussion resulting in a sparkling, stately dynamo" (textura).
Described as "evocative" (Jazz Weekly), "lyrical," and "mesmerizing" (textura), the music of Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor has been presented by Washington National Opera, American Composers Orchestra, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Transient Canvas, ShoutHouse, Clocks in Motion, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, Eastman Saxophone Project, Elevate Ensemble, and many others in the US and abroad. Her album “Reflections at Dusk,” released by Innova Recordings showcases instrumental music inspired by the Nevada sunsets. The album has been described as “crepuscular,” “mystical,” and “magical.” Textura stated, “She's also that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication.” Born and raised in Northern NY, Bellor earned a PhD at Eastman School of Music, a M.M. at Syracuse University, and a B.A. at Cornell University. She is on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Ingrid Stölzel, Leonardo Saw the Spring (2019)
Karen Large, flute
Deloise Lima, piano
Many of my compositions have been inspired by poetry. Many poets in turn have been inspired by visual art, creating what is called ekphrastic poetry in which vivid and often dramatic descriptions of visual works of art form the basis of the poetry. To have both, the poetic interpretation and the visual art upon which it was based, created another inspirational layer to my creative process. Leonardo Saw the Spring takes as its inspiration the ekphrastic poem “Drawing of Roses and Violets” which in turn was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Studies of Flowers. The poem was published in 1892 as part of a collection of thirty-one poems depicting paintings exhibited in European art galleries. The collection entitled “Sight and Song” was published by Michael Field which was the joint pseudonym of collaborative poets Katherine Harris Bradley and Edith Emma Cooper.
Composer Ingrid Stölzel has been described as having “a gift for melody” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “evoking a sense of longing” that creates “a reflective and serene soundscape that makes you want to curl up on your windowsill to re-listen on a rainy day” (I Care If You Listen). Stölzel’s compositions have been commissioned by leading soloists and ensembles, and performed in concert halls and festivals worldwide. Her music has been recognized in numerous competitions, including the Ettelson Composer's Award, Red Note Competition and Avalon International Competition. Stölzel teaches composition at the University of Kansas School of Music.
Jee Seo, Four Pieces (2017)
Shannon Thomas, violin
Pamela Ryan, viola
Four Pieces might be hailed as an ‘ordinary’ work but I feel that I have changed from it. First of all, it freed me from the perfectionism (or an inferiority complex), but most importantly, it helped me to realize that I do not compose musical works, but rather, I am like a secretary who transcribes notes on manuscript paper. It took more than ten years until I suddenly realized this, but I believe that I arrived along the fastest route.
Frankly, this work went a totally different direction than where I first planned. Maybe because of my strong will and high standards, I was getting stressed out and hesitating more than normal. I sighed many times and this piece is my journey employing those sighs as a compass. Let me introduce the keywords for each piece: Sigh, Fever, Groove, and Song. I thought that I was just following along with the music, going where the composition took me, but now I realize that each piece is my self-portrait.
Jee Seo was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1985. His music has been performed in Europe, North and South America and Asia. He has been collaborating on a wide range of projects with artists, dancers and filmmakers, and his collaborative music videos have been screened at the 31th Girona Film Festival GIFF (Girona, Spain), ECHOFLUXX 18, 19 International Festival of Experimental Film, Music, Dance and Poetry (Prague, CZ), 10th Gujarat International Film Festival (Gujarat, India) and The Psychedelic and Transpersonal Film and Music Festival (New York, NY).
Jee graduated from the College of Music Chung-Ang University in South Korea and then studied for a Master of Music in Composition at Manhattan School of Music in New York with President’s Award, and had a residency at the Isang Yun Haus in Berlin. He is currently studying at The Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland.
Piotr Szewczyk, Dopamine Rush (2019)
Corinne Stillwell and Madeline Miller, violins
Dopamine Rush for Two Violins was composed for the 2019 Progressive Classical Music Award in Mannheim, Germany, held by The Twiolins, and won the 1st Prize in an audience vote.
In this piece both violins are equals and trade back and forth musical material. The energetic opening section leads to a meditative, improvisatory middle section with a slow groove. The energy ramps up again with a transition to a recapitulation of the opening material and an explosive coda. Both violins frequently use various extended techniques throughout the piece, including percussive effects.
Piotr Szewczyk, Polish-born violinist and composer has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony first violin section since 2007. He is also a violinist and composer-in-residence of the Bold City Contemporary Ensemble and the creator of the Violin Futura Project.
As a composer, Szewczyk has received awards from The Progressive Classical Music Award, The American Prize, Project Trio Competition, Flute New Music Consortium Competition, American Modern Ensemble, Third Millennium Ensemble, American Composers Forum, Society of Composers, and others. His music was performed by Atlanta Chamber Players, Trio Solis, Alias Ensemble, Dover Quartet, Carpe Diem String Quartet, Vega Quartet, Sybarite 5, Juventas Ensemble, The Twiolins, UF New Music Ensemble, New World Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, FSU Orchestra and others. His music was released on Navona Records and other labels. Dr. Szewczyk holds the degrees of D.M. from FSU, B.M. and double M.M. in violin and composition from UC-CCM.
Friday, February 4, 2022
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Morning Matinee - 11:15AM - Dohnányi Recital Hall
Badie Khaleghian, Tahirih the Pure (2018)
Caroline Owen, piano
Tahirih The Pure narrates the heroic journey of Tahirih, a prominent figure in 19th-century Middle Eastern history and Baha’i faith, who inspired women of Persia to reject their oppressed status. This work is commissioned by Liza Stepanova in 2017 to be premiered at San Francisco’s Center for New Music. The first movement, “The Day of Alast,” is inspired by Tahirih’s revolutionary interpretation and adaptation of Islamic ideology in her mystical poetry. The second movement, “Unchained,” is the manifestation of Tahirih’s free spirit, and how it led her to start the biggest movement of women's rights in the 19th century. The third movement, “Badasht,” portrays the conference of Badasht where she challenged notions of equality for women and unveiled her hijab. In mid-1852 she was executed in secret on account of her faith and her unveiling. The Coda is my visualization of Tahirih in the last minutes before her assassination where she peacefully chants and prays.
The music of Iranian-American composer Badie Khaleghian has been called “well-crafted, attractive modern score” (ARTSATL). His compositions are wide-ranging in influence and inspiration, encompassing solo, chamber, orchestral, and electro-acoustic works. Khaleghian’s music is influenced by his Middle Eastern background, his social justice activism, and his passion for collaboration. His recent works explore the idea of defining self-identity through close collaboration with musicians, artists, and scientists. Khaleghian’s music has been performed in Iran, United States, Austria, Italy, and Canada. Due to his religious background, he was banned from public higher education in Iran, but he studied, taught, and created music major for persecuted Bahá’ís in Iran. In 2014 he came to the US as a religious refugee. In the US, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music composition from the University of Georgia and starting his doctorate degree in composition at Rice University.
Hanee Park, Stagger, staggered, had staggered (2020)
Gene Waldron, contrabass
This work for solo double bass is inspired by the staggering motion in the opening section of the fourth movement of Brahms Symphony No. 3. Beyond the tonal-based staggering melodic pattern in Brahms, a wide range of musical elements switches back and forth in this piece. Stagger, staggered, had staggered conveys not only the staggering motion itself in a different non-tonal language but also the time that goes backward in this order: when it staggers, staggered, and had staggered. It means the journey to the past memory that used to be having staggered as well as the mortality of memory, which as a result, builds unsteadiness and uncertainty, and transcends the time from the present to the past.
As a composer and arranger originally from South Korea, Hanee Park (1989) has been exploring how music engages with culture, history, literature, philosophy, and other arts in order to pursue her belief that music must go beyond music. Park is currently pursuing a DMA in composition under Clifton Callender at Florida State University where she is the recipient of the Ellen Taffe Zwilich Fellowship. She studied with Ju Hee Chung at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, and Stacy Garrop and Kyong Mee Choi at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL, where she worked as a teaching assistant. Her compositions have received many performances, including the Bent Frequency at CNMF, Composers Who Brunch series, and The Rocking Chair series.
Mikel Kuehn, Dancing in the Ether (2020)
Dancing in the Ether is a fixed media Ambisonic work composed of synthesized sounds that explore three dimensional sonic space. While the narrative for the piece is abstract, the synthetic sounds are designed to play on references to “real world” sounds, perhaps conjuring occasional déjà vu moments for the listener.
The music of American composer Mikel Kuehn has been described as having “sensuous phrases... producing an effect of high abstraction turning into decadence,” by New York Times critic Paul Griffiths. A 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, he has received awards, grants, and residencies from ASCAP, BMI, the Barlow Endowment, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the League of Composers/ISCM, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His works have been commissioned by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flexible Music, the International Contemporary Ensemble, violist John Graham, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, cellist Craig Hultgren, guitarist Dan Lippel, Perspectives of New Music, pianist Marilyn Nonken, Selmer Paris, and the Spektral Quartet, among others. Kuehn holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of North Texas. In November of 2016, New Focus Recordings released Objet/Shadow, a portrait CD of Kuehn's music.
Pascal Le Boeuf, Media Control (2017)
Samantha Donnell, flute
Kelli Ray, clarinet
Miranda Rojas, violin
Giancarlo Ortiz, cello
In the age of post-truth politics and alternative facts, it is hard to deny that mass media plays a role in manipulating our collective imagined reality. To quote the New York Times, “How can we still be speaking of “facts” when they no longer provide us with a reality that we all agree on? The problem is that the experts and agencies involved in producing facts have multiplied, and many are now for hire. If you really want to find an expert willing to endorse a fact, and have sufficient money or political clout behind you, you probably can.” The title Media Control refers to a Noam Chomsky book published in 2002. According to the audio liner notes “[Media Control] addresses wartime propaganda and opinion control by asserting two models of democracy—one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. Media Control is an invaluable primer on the secret workings of disinformation in democratic societies."
Described as "sleek, new" and "hyper-fluent" by the New York Times, Pascal Le Boeuf is a Grammy-nominated composer, jazz pianist, and electronic artist whose works range from modern improvised music to hybridizing chamber music with production-based technology.
Recent projects include commercial recordings and videos by JACK Quartet, Hub New Music, Barbora Kolářová, Shattered Glass, Jessica Meyer, Nick Photinos, “Empty Promise” with Four/Ten Media, Sarah Goldfeather and Robby Bowen, and “Mirror Image” with Bec Plexus featuring Ian Chang (of Son Lux).
As a keyboardist, Pascal performed as support for D’Angelo’s Black Messiah US tour and Clean Bandit’s Rather Be tour with Australian pop artist Meg Mac. He actively tours with Le Boeuf Brothers, Friction Quartet, and his piano trio "Pascal's Triangle" featuring bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Justin Brown. He is a Ph.D. candidate and Naumburg Doctoral Fellow in music composition at Princeton University.
Polymorphia Concert - 2:00PM - Opperman Music Hall
Paul Novak, glimmersongs (2020)
Chloe Tordi, flute
Hunter Robertson, clarinet
Minyoung Rho, piano
Claudia Holm, violin
Bella Schwerin, cello
glimmersongs unfolds in a delicate, dream-like atmosphere, rippling like light reflected on water. From the resonance of the highest range of the piano, the strings emerge like piercing glints of light. From this fused sound, the ensemble begins to crack apart: instruments pass around runs and musical lines in fierce orchestrational games, and a rhythmic, angular music punctuates the ends of phrases. Despite its textural variety, the piece is motivically minimal, using only two tiny musical cells: a sudden crescendo on a sustained note, and a 5-note line that tumbles downwards. From these two cells, the work organically grows from a ghostly, pale outline into a colorful dance. glimmersongs was commissioned by the Society of Composers, Inc. and ASCAP for the Texas New Music Ensemble in Spring 2020.
Rejecting grandiose narratives, the music of Paul Novak is driven by a love of small things: miniature forms, delicate soundscapes, and condensed ideas. His compositions, which explore the subtleties of instrumental color and draw influence from literature, art, and poetry, have been performed by the Austin Symphony, Orlando Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, NYO-USA, American Composers Orchestra, and Amaranth and Rosco Quartets, among others.
Novak was selected for the 2020 Underwood Commission for a new work to be premiered in Carnegie Hall by the American Composers Orchestra, and has also received recent commissions from KINETIC, ASCAP and SCI, and Boston New Music Initiative, among others. His music has been selected for numerous awards, most recently from the ASCAP Foundation, Tribeca New Music, and Texas Young Composer Competition. Novak recently graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and in the fall will begin his PhD at the University of Chicago.
Kevin Day, Dancing Fire II (2020)
Chloe Tordi, flute
Jorge Luiz De Oliveria, guitar
Adam Ravain, piano
Aric Lee, cello
Dancing Fire II is a chamber quartet piece with a latin influence that depicts unbridled energy and intensity of sound. The title comes from a 2016 composition of mine written for concert band called Dancing Fire, a piece that also depicts this same energy in a different way. There is also a painting by Irina Sztukowski with the same title that has inspired me to write this composition.
For this iteration of Dancing Fire, I wanted to take this concept from the 2016 band piece and go deeper into it; freeing myself from any constraints and challenging myself to go beyond the way that I normally compose music.
This work was composed for Ensemble Dal Niente, as a part of the 2020 DePaul University Summer New Music Residency Program.
Kevin Day (b. 1996) is a composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and native of Arlington, Texas. Day is currently attending the University of Georgia working on his Master of Music in Music Composition Degree. He currently studies with composer Peter Van Zandt Lane and conductor Cynthia Johnston Turner. He has also worked with and has been mentored by distinguished composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, William Owens, Julie Giroux, Marcos Balter, Anthony Cheung, Matthew Evan Taylor, and Valerie Coleman.
A winner of the BMI Student Composer Award, Day has composed over 150 compositions and has received numerous performances across the U.S., Austria, Austraila, Taiwan, and South Africa, as well as commissions for a wide variety of new works. Kevin Day currently serves as the Composer-In-Residence of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra for their 2019-2021 seasons. His works are published through Murphy Music Press, Cimmaron Music, and Kevin Day Music.
Matthew Ramage, Tempus Fugit (2020)
Hunter Robertson, clarinet
Tina Hsieh, piano
Claudia Holm, violin
Bella Schwerin, cello
Tempus Fugit is a latin phrase which comes from Virgil’s Georgics. In the poem he writes: “Sed fugit intera, fugit inreparabile tempus” which, translated to English by James Rhoades, means “Fast flies meanwhile the irreparable hour.” Though this piece is quite a bit shorter than an irreparable hour, there are many references to the passage of time. 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, a pattern that repeats day after day also repeats bar after bar in the music…
But don’t take this piece too seriously. As the old adage goes: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
Dr. Matthew Ramage (b. 1992) is a composer, educator, pianist and horn player from Harleysville, Pennsylvania. Matthew holds a D.M. in Music Theory and Composition from Florida State University, a M.M. in Composition from Bowling Green State University and a B.S. in Music Education, as well as a B.A. in Horn Performance, Theory and Composition from Lebanon Valley College. He has studied composition with Dr. Robert Lau, Dr. Scott Eggert, Dr. Justin Morell, Dr. Mikel Kuehn, Dr. Marilyn Shrude, Dr. Christopher Dietz, Dr. Stephen Montague, and Dr. Liliya Ugay. Matthew has also taught courses in Music Theory and Composition as an adjunct professor at Lebanon Valley College, Bowling Green State University, and Florida State University. The FSU Philharmonia was scheduled to perform his orchestra piece In The Waiting in April of 2020. Other recent performances include his Variations on a Scottish Folk Tune for viola and piano and his piece Tempus Fugit for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, which was recorded by the Unheard-of Project. His pieces Alone for alto saxophone and fixed media and Angular Discourse for saxophone quartet were performed during the North American Saxophone Alliance 2020 Biennial Conference at Arizona State University.
Chihchun Chi-sun Lee, Dance Fusion (2012)
Julia Sills, flute
Dana Alwald, clarinet
Brandon Banks, piano
Mackenzie Nies, violin
Bella Schwerin, cello
Dance Fusion is a reference to several new and old dances from five different continents:
I. Moombahton: New dance genre invented November, 2011 in Washington D.C.
II. Taiwanese aboriginal dance music
III. African dance (drum dance: diembe fola)
IV. Australian aboriginal dance music (didgeridoo)/Maori Kapa haka, New Zealand
V. Bulgarian folk music: Slavic tradition
Taiwanese-American composer, Chihchun Chi-sun Lee’s works were described as “exploring a variety of offbeat textures and unusual techniques” by Gramophone and “eastern techniques blended with sophisticated modern writing style” by “Amadeus” Il mensile della grande musica. Lee has received honors including winning the Brandenburg Symphony International Composition Competition and receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Theodore Front Prize from IAWM, and ISCM/ League of Composers Competition. She has received commissions from Boston Symphony Orchestra, Harvard Fromm Music Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Korea, and Taiwan National Chinese Orchestra, just to name a few. Her music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers, and various international festivals and broadcasts worldwide.
Annika Socolofsky, Don’t Say a Word (2017)
Sahoko Timpone, mezzo-soprano
Karen Large, flute; Jonathan Holden, clarinet
Austin Pelella, percussion; Iris Cheng, piano
Ben Sung, violin; Giancarlo Ortiz, cello
When I look around myself for an idea, when I feel as though I have nothing to work with, when I feel as though I am nothing, when I've been made to feel that I am nothing, I look to the strong women that surround me for inspiration. Women's stories are tales of strength, perseverance, fire, and drive. And as the tides of history churn, gaining momentum, it's no longer dangerous to declare that now it's our turn--the women's turn.
The text for this piece is: "Hush now, baby. Don't say a word. Now it's time for the women's turn."
Annika Socolofsky is a US composer and avant folk vocalist. Her music erupts from the power and nuance of the human voice and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral and operatic works to unaccompanied folk ballads. Annika writes extensively for her own voice with chamber ensemble, including composing a growing repertoire of “feminist rager-lullabies” titled Don’t say a word, which serves to confront centuries of damaging lessons taught to young children by retelling old lullaby texts for a new, queer era.
As a composer, Annika has collaborated with artists such as the Rochester Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Dogs of Desire, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, So Percussion, Beth Morrison Projects, and sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, among
others. Annika is a 2020 Gaudeamus nominee and recipient of a Fromm Foundation Commission. She is incoming Assistant Professor of Composition at University of Colorado Boulder.
Nicholas Bentz, Compressor (2019)
Chloe Tordi, flute
Hunter Robertson, clarinet
James Popper, trumpet
Mackenzie Nies, violin
Jacob Grice, viola
Samantha Schroeder, cello
Compressor is a piece that looks at the way material reacts when parameters become forcefully constricted. The piece revolves around a game of textural upheaval between two gestures. As each gesture develops, it accrues rust and begins to become compressed in one parameter or another until the process ushers in the opposing material. This back-and-forth continues until the piece bucks its own programming and begins to expand, rather than compress. Compressor was written for yMusic.
Composer-performer Nick Bentz seeks to cultivate relationships across time and space through his fascination with historical objects and cultural throughlines. Nicholas has written for the Charleston Symphony, Occasional Symphony, yMusic, and SONAR New Music Ensemble, and has had his music played by the Jacksonville Symphony, USC Symphony, and the Peabody Modern Orchestra. Winner of the 2020 Tribeca Young Composer's Competition, Nick was the recipient of an EarShot New Music Reading through American Composer’s Orchestra and the Sadye J. Moss Prize from the University of Southern California. Nick received a master’s in composition from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s from the Peabody Conservatory. His mentors include Donald Crockett, Ted Hearne, Andrew Norman, Kevin Puts. Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, and Felipe Lara.
Brian Junttila, Concertino for Saxophone (2020)
Dawson Coleman, saxophone
Julia Sills, flute
Renzo DeCarlo, clarinet
Adam Ravain, piano
Mackenzie Nies and Cesar Paredes, violins
Jacob Grice, viola
Samantha Schroeder, cello
Gene Waldron, contrabass
Michael Creighton - Conductor
Concertino for Saxophone and Chamber Ensemble is written for a dear friend, colleague, and saxophonist from my undergraduate studies, Joseph McNure. We both appreciate similar aspects in music, timbre and texture being two of the most essential to understand for this piece, and he has wanted to me to write a piece for saxophone that really peers into the possibilities of those musical characteristics.
Each movement is based on a single motive that gets manipulated until it is almost unrecognizable. The first movement has an intimate chorale at the beginning, which I like to call the “Hymn.” The harmonies constructing the hymn become the progression for the center of the piece, which moves with a stillness. The stillness starts to gain energy, forcing the hymn to return to a climactic point and after this moment, it is laid to rest the same way it began, soft and solemn. The second movement has a much shorter and quicker motive, exhibited by only the first five notes in the piano.
Brian Junttila, residing in Tallahassee, Florida, is a composer and trombonist whose musical goal is to hold a semblance of tradition while pushing through the modern era. A few ways he has been continuing to realize this goal is by writing for unusual ensembles created by combining typical ones, picking culturally relevant texts for his vocal music, and collaborating with dancers and visual artists to create multi-disciplinary art. He recently attained his B.M. in Composition from James Madison University (’19) where he studied composition with Eric Guinivan and Jason Haney, and is continuing his education in the Fall pursuing an M.M. in Composition at Florida State University. His music has been performed by the Austin Peay State University Wind Ensemble, the James Madison University Wind Symphony, and other ensembles at the institution. It has also been performed at the Brevard Music Center, National Association for Music Education Conference, and the Virginia X Exchange Conference.
Pamela Z and FSU Composers - 7:30PM - Opperman Music Hall
Liliya Ugay, Spread. Flowers. (2020)
Corinne Stillwell, violin
Evan Jones, cello
Liliya Ugay, piano
As I was working on this piece, COVID-19 hit the United States, causing the cancellation of live arts and in-person education. Many of my friends who worked as freelance musicians lost their sources of income and had to go through painful struggles to make ends meet. My family and I could have been in the same situation of fear, uncertainty, disappointment, and insecurity. Instead, I was fortunate to have a wonderful full-time job, and, despite the cancellation of my performances, to be in a safe and secure position. The form of the piece is derived from the sketch I drew while imagining how the virus is spreading, and how its spikes are flattening into our hopes and flowers as we honor the ones we lost.The first half reflects on the situation in the world, while the second - my gratitude to the people who support me, to Florida State University College of Music, and, specifically, to Patricia Flowers for her inspiring service to this institution. I am sincerely thankful for trusting me the responsibilities that bring me so much joy and inspiration alongside safety and security.
Spread. Flowers. was commissioned for the event in honor of the retirement of the former Dean of FSU College of Music Patricia Flowers. It was scheduled to be premiered in Carnegie Hall in May 2020 and then in 2021, but both times the concert was canceled due to the pandemic. It was premiered by Trio Riva at the FSU College of Music Opperman Hall in June 2021.
Described as "particularly evocative," "fluid and theatrical... the music [that] makes its case with immediacy" as well as both "assertive and steely," and "lovely, supple writing", music by Liliya Ugay has been performed in many countries around the globe. Ugay has collaborated with the Washington National Opera, American Lyric Theater, Nashville Symphony, Albany Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Yale Philharmonia, Norfolk Festival Choir, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Molinari Quartet, Victory Players, Omnibus ensemble, and Paul Neubauer among others. Her compositions have been featured at the Aspen, Norfolk, Cultivate, MIFA, American Composers, Chelsea, New York Electroacoustic Music, June in Buffalo, and Darmstadt New Music festivals, as well as the 52nd Venice Biennale. She has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Yale University, and the Woodruff Foundation; in 2019 she was a finalist for the Rome Prize. As a pianist she promoted the music of repressed Soviet composers in her concert series Silenced Voices. Originally from Uzbekistan, Liliya serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at the Florida State University. She holds degrees from Yale; among her mentors are Aaron Kernis, Martin Bresnick, and David Lang.
Clifton Callender, Dear Matafele Peinam (2020)
Phyllis Pancella, mezzo-soprano
Minyoung Rho, piano
Several years ago, I fell into despair after hearing a report about millennials questioning the wisdom, even morality, of having children given the climate crisis and projections of the type of world their children would inherit. Se]ng aside the merits of such arguments, the discussion struck at the heart of my own anxieties raising two children who are aware that their entire lives will be affected unpredictably by climate change. Succumbing to these fears, I was plagued with insomnia, joyless, and felt physically ill at my own daily contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.
Looking beyond scientific articles and the news, I turned to artistic responses to the crisis and discovered the work of the Marshall Islander poet, spoken-word artist, and climate activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner. “Dear Matafele Peinam” was written for and first performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 UN Secretary- General’s Climate Summit. Written to her then seven-month-old daughter, the poem addresses climate change in general and the specific and urgent threat to the Marshall Islands and similar island countries through the lens of the most intimate of relationships—a parent seeking to protect their child.
Clifton Callender is Professor of Composition at Florida State University and has studied at the University of Chicago, Peabody Conservatory, Tulane University, and King’s College, London. His works are recorded on the Capstone, New Ariel, and Navona labels. Recent commissions include Chain Reactions, for the 75th commemoration of Chicago Pile 1 (the first nuclear reactor), Canonic Offerings and Hungarian Jazz, for the Bridges Conference on the Arts and Mathematics, gegenschein, for Piotr Szewczyk’s Violin Futura project, and Reasons to Learne to Sing, for the 50th Anniversary of the College Music Society. A recent composer in residence at Copland House, his music has been recognized by and performed at Third Practice, the Spark Festival, the American Composers Orchestra, SEAMUS, Forecast Music, Composers Inc., Studio 300, the Florida Electracoustic Music Festival, the International Festival of Electroacoustic Music “Primavera en La Habana,” NACUSA Young Composers Competition, the Northern Arizona University Centennial Composition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conferences, the World Harp Congress in Copenhagen and the ppIANISSIMO festival in Bulgaria. Recent works include a focus on the climate crisis, including a setting of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s poem for the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, Dear Matafele Peinam, and a new work for solo piano and electronics, Meditations on a Warming Planet. Also active in music theory, Callender has published in Science, Perspectives of New Music, Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, and Intégral and serves on the editorial boards of Perspectives of New Music and the Journal of Mathematics and Music, for which he served as Co-Editor-in-Chief.
Text for Dear Matafele Peinam:
dear matafele peinam,
you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles
you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha
you are thighs that are thunder and shrieks that are lightning
so excited for bananas, hugs and
our morning walks past the lagoon
dear matafele peinam,
i want to tell you about that lagoon
that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise
men say that one day
that lagoon will devour you
they say it will gnaw at the shoreline
chew at the roots of your breadfruit trees
gulp down rows of your seawalls
and crunch your island’s shattered bones
they say you, your daughter
and your granddaughter, too
will wander rootless
with only a passport to call home
dear matafele peinam,
mommy promises you
will come and devour you
no greedy whale of a company sharking through political seas
no backwater bullying of businesses with broken morals
no blindfolded bureaucracies gonna push
this mother ocean over
no one’s drowning, baby
no one’s moving
no one’s losing
no one’s gonna become
a climate change refugee
or should i say
no one else
to the carteret islanders of papua new guinea
and to the taro islanders of the solomon islands
i take this moment
to apologize to you
we are drawing the line here
because baby we are going to fight
your mommy daddy
bubu jimma your country and president too
we will all fight
and even though there are those
hidden behind platinum titles
who like to pretend
that we don’t exist
that the marshall islands
and typhoon haiyan in the philippines
and floods of pakistan, algeria, colombia
and all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and tidalwaves
there are those
who see us
hands reaching out
fists raising up
and we are
canoes blocking coal ships
the radiance of solar villages
the rich clean soil of the farmer’s past
petitions blooming from teenage fingertips
families biking, recycling, reusing,
engineers dreaming, designing, building,
artists painting, dancing, writing
and we are spreading the word
and there are thousands out on the street
marching with signs
hand in hand
chanting for change NOW
and they’re marching for you, baby
they’re marching for us
because we deserve to do more than just
dear matafele peinam,
you are eyes heavy
with drowsy weight
so just close those eyes, baby
and sleep in peace
because we won’t let you down
works for solo voice, electronics, and video
Quatre Couches (2015)
Flare Stains (2010)
Unknown Person (from Baggage Allowance, 2010)
Other Rooms (2018)
All works composed and performed by Pamela Z © Last Letter Miusic (ASCAP)
Quatre Couches is a sonic trifle, tiramisu, or mille-feuille – juxtaposing four contrasting layers and manually toying with them – mixing them and moving them around on the plate until they all melt away. Flare Stains is a sonic poem on the residue left by emergency flares. Typewriter uses voice, processing, and typewriter samples (triggered with a gesture controller). Declaratives combines live and sampled text fragments, which are further fragmented and layered through delay and granulation processes. The text samples were originally created for a six-channel sound installation in an exhibition called “The Art of Artist Statement.” Syrinx is named for the avian vocal organ. In this little extract from my longer 2004 sound work, a birdsong is pitch-shifted and consequently stretched until its individual notes are slow enough and low enough to be accurately produced by a human voice.
In Badagada, one of my early digital delay pieces, the syllables "ba-da-ga-da-ga-da-ga-da-ga" are layered in multiple delay lines to form a harmonic, rhythmic accompaniment to a melody sung in English. Unknown Person is an excerpt from Baggage Allowance, an intermedia work that scans and inventories the belongings (and memories) we all cart around. Pool is a short episode from Memory Trace, a full evening solo performance work exploring various aspects of memory. Other Rooms is constructed from samples of the speaking voice of Paul David Young taken from an interview I recorded as part of the process of making my performance work, Memory Trace.
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist working primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. Her solo works combine extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. She has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Bang on a Can All Stars, Ethel, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her interdisciplinary performance works have been presented at venues including The Kitchen (NY), YBCA (SF), and REDCAT (LA), and her installations have been presented at such exhibition spaces as the Whitney (NY) and the Krannert (IL). Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Dak’Art (Sénégal) and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She’s a recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, United States Artists, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Guggenheim, the Doris Duke, and American Academy of Arts and Letters. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. www.pamelaz.com
Saturday, February 5, 2022
View Saturday's Schedule and Program Notes
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Afternoon Matinee - 1:00PM Dohnányi Recital Hall
Chaz Underriner, Moving (1) (2019)
Brenna Wiinanen, flute
Jared Cummings, tenor saxophone
Angel Andres, violin
Stephanie Archer, piano
digital audio and video
Moving (1) was commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble and was premiered on April 24, 2019 in the Second Stage Theatre at Stetson University.
Moving (1) is the first in a series of works that are focused on the sensations of travel and moving through space. This piece explores the connections between acoustic beating and physical movement, often by creating counterpoint between visual and sonic beating patterns.
Chaz Underriner (b. 1987 in Texas, USA) is a composer, intermedia artist and performer based in DeLand, Florida where he is an Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University. Chaz’s work explores the representation of reality in art, especially landscape, through the juxtaposition of video projections, audio recordings and live performers.
Chaz’s work has been programmed both nationally and internationally at festivals and venues such as Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composer’s Intensive, the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Scotland), the International Computer Music Conference, and the Impuls Festival (Austria).
As an engineer, composer, and performer, Chaz’s work has been released on Edition Wandelweiser Records, Slubmusic, New World Records, Fleur du Son, Task Records, Sedimental Records, and Delos.
Kirsten Volness, desangramiento (2016)
Luiz Barrionuevo, viola
desangramiento was commissioned by the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival and Sam Kelder, and inspired by the tragic feeling one has when receiving horrible news, as though all the blood has suddenly left one’s body and an immense implosion of emptiness has taken its place. This image came to mind after reading that 65 million people have been displaced by violence, primarily in the Middle East and Africa (2016 UNHCR report) and another 45.8 million are enslaved around the world (Global Slavery Index 2016). The suffering we cause one another is astounding.
Kirsten Volness is an electro/acoustic composer and pianist whose music is inspired by nature, myth, science, and environmental and sociopolitical issues. She has received commissions from the BMI Foundation, ASCAP/SEAMUS, Hotel Elefant, NOW Ensemble, Transient Canvas, and Experiential Orchestra. She performs with Hotel Elefant and Verdant Vibes, a new music collective she co-founded in 2015. Recipient of the MacColl Johnson and RISCA Fellowships, Kirsten was 2017 composer-in-residence at the Music Mansion creating the First Fridays concert series, and later served on the board as Secretary. She collaborates with Meridian Project on multimedia performances exploring astrophysics, writes and performs operas with homeless advocacy group Tenderloin Opera Company, and is an affiliate artist of Sleeping Weazel. Kirsten earned composition degrees from Universities of Michigan (MM, DMA) and Minnesota (BA) and is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Reed College. • kirstenvolness.com
Geli Li, Two People (2017)
Thomas Roggio and Ben Sung, violins
The tone element of Two People, derives from Mei Hua San Nong, an old Chinese song. Although the song is relatively ancient, I wish to, however, create something new in this piece and search for some different sounds. In addition, what I pondered in my mind while I was composing it, was a better way to explain the relation of the duet between two violins. But as soon as I completed my work, it dawned on me that these two musical instruments are actually able to, somehow, communicate with each other as if they were human-beings, perhaps together with some body languages. Sometimes, they are melancholic, whereas sometimes they are passionate and happy. Even though, no matter how integrated their conversation sounds to be, they are, on earth, two individuals.
Geli Li (b.1992) is a composer and pianist who straddle both Eastern cultures and Western cultures, and explores the intersection and relationship of literature, philosophy and other arts to shape personal musical vocabulary.
Her music has been performed internationally in concert by leading artists including Chamber orchestra-Jahrhundert xx Österreich, NOMAD Tokyo, Altiusin quartet, Chamber orchestra -Klangforum Wien, Berlin Zafraan Ensemble, Beijing Modern Ensemble, China Broadcast Traditional Orchestra, Central Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and ChinaYouth Symphony Orchestra.
Geli earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in composition at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, studying with Wenchen QIN, Weiya HAO and Xinmin LUO. She also studied at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg as the selected exchange student for one year with Elmar Lampson. Geli will begin her doctorate in composition at the University of Texas at Austin beginning Fall 2020.
Lansing McLoskey, The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time (2020)
Freddie Powell, piccolo
Darrian Lee, violin
Ying-Chen Kuo, piano
Darci Wright, percussion
The title of the piece is a quote by Noam Chomsky, from an interview published on July 12, 2019. Chomsky was speaking about climate change, but when I read it I was immediately struck by the fact that the quote can be extrapolated and applied to just about everything going on in our nation and world today, from politics, socio-economics, and international military conflicts to the global rise of racism, nationalism, anti-semitism, gender and sectarian violence.
Throughout much of the piece the ensemble plays in different spheres; not just in terms of physical space, but also in different meters and tempos. What emerges slowly over the course of time is that the heart of the piece is a virtuosic percussion solo; the percussion becomes the voice of Chomsky -- and all of us -- basically saying "Wake the %@&# up! There isn't much time!"
The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time was written for [Switch~ Ensemble].
Lansing McLoskey’s music has been performed in 21 countries on six continents, and has won more than two dozen awards including two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the 2016 American Prize, the 2016 Robert Avalon Int’l Composition Prize, and the 2018 Copland House Award. Most recently his oratorio Zealot Canticles won a 2019 Grammy, and he was a 2019 Bogliasco Fellow. He has been commissioned by the Fromm Foundation, NEA, Barlow Endowment, Meet The Composer, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Int’l Joint Wind Quintet Project, and numerous ensembles. Recent commissions a full-length opera for Guerilla Opera; The Copland House; Kammerkoret NOVA (Norway); ensemberlino vocale (Berlin); Berlin PianoPercussion; and Passepartout Duo (Berlin). Professor at the Frost School of Music, his music is released on 17 CDs on Albany, WergoSchallplatten, Innova, Centaur, TAWO Classics, Capstone, Tantara, Equilibrium, and Beauport Classics. McLoskey is an avid cyclist, surfer, & skateboarder.
International Contemporary Ensemble and Pamela Z - 7:30PM Opperman Music Hall
Mario Diaz de Leon, Mysterium (2016)
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, flute
Joshua Nathan Rubin, clarinet and electronics design
Rebekah Heller, bassoon; Ross Karre, electronics
Mysterium was written for Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin, and Rebekah Heller, in celebration of a collaborative history dating back to 2006. As such, it is a synthesis of several styles I’ve explored since we began working together, thematically inspired by the evocation of supernatural phenomena and religious ritual (mysteries). These include archaic modal melody with florid ornamentation, the blending of analog synthesizers and acoustic instruments through overlapping fluctuations of pitch and noise, spectral transformations, and echoes of religious-themed modernism in the tradition of Klang-era Stockhausen. I chose the title in tribute to its myriad historical associations, which include the Eleusinian Mysteries, the liturgical chant O Magnum Mysterium, and C.G. Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis, a treatise on his extensive study of alchemy.
The rhythmic figure heard in the opening melody is derived from the “sat-nam” chant of kundalini yoga, which roughly translates to “truth is my name.” The long sustained tones on “nam” are ornamented with melodic flourishes inspired by Algerian gasba flute music, alongside the colorful noise of Ciat-Lonbarde and Moog synthesizers. Following this introduction, an incantatory bassoon solo emerges, summoning a primal feeling of longing. The full dynamism of the trio unfolds in response, balancing ethereal passages with tight unison gestures. The remainder of the piece carves pathways through a series of ritualistic vision states, and concludes with a transformation of the C spectrum, using graphic notation to guide performers in “sounding the beyond”.
Mario Diaz de Leon’s Mysterium was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble, in honor of Jonathan Harris.
Mario Diaz de Leon is an acclaimed composer and performer, whose work encompasses modern classical music, experimental electronic music, extreme metal, and creative improvised music. His classical works are noted for their bold combination of acoustic instruments and electronics, and are documented on four full length recordings. Working extensively with NYC based collaborators including International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea, TAK Ensemble, and Mivos Quartet, his music has been celebrated over the last decade for its “hallucinatory intensity” (New York Times), “snarling exuberance” (Pitchfork), “helter-skelter, electronically enhanced cadenzas” (New Yorker Magazine), and coupling of “crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex” (Wire Magazine). His most recent album, entitled “Cycle and Reveal” was released by Denovali in September of 2019.
His works and performances have been presented at venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Sacrum Profanum Festival (Poland), San Francisco Symphony SoundBox, Donaufestival (Austria), CTM Festival (Berlin), Chicago Symphony Center, Hakuju Hall (Tokyo), Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Southbank Centre (London), Venice Biennale, Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Musica Nova Helsinki (Finland), National Gallery of Art (DC), Ojai Music Festival (California), Roulette (Brooklyn), and The Kitchen (NYC). He has worked with the Denovali record label since 2012, and his scores are published by Project Schott New York.
Diaz de Leon holds a doctorate from Columbia University, where his principal teachers included George Lewis and Fabien Lévy. He received his BM in TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts) from Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied under Randy Coleman, Lewis Nielson, Gary Lee Nelson, and Tom Lopez. From 2015-18, he continued at Columbia as Core Lecturer in Music Humanities, while also teaching at the Computer Music Center. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology. http://mariodiazdeleon.com/
Brittany J. Green, Intersections
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, flute
Michelle Farah, oboe; Joshua Nathan Rubin, clarinet
Erin Rogers, saxophone; Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Intersections is a concept piece that explores the finite yet infinite ways in which our paths cross with one another, a notion that is evermore present as we navigate what it means to connect virtually and remain socially distant in the midst of a global pandemic. The piece has no set beginning or ending, just a cycle of intersected musical lines to be interpreted at the performers will. Written deliberately without stems, clefs, or accidentals, performers are free to translate the pitches presented as they wish. Players may start anywhere on the score and may play from left to right or right to left, so long as each subsequent part is connected to the previous.
Brittany J. Green (b. 1991) is a North Carolina-based composer, creative, and educator. Described as “cinematic in the best sense” and “searing” (Chicago Classical Review), Brittany’s music is centered around facilitating collaborative, intimate musical spaces that ignite visceral responses. The intersection between sound, movement, and text serves as the focal point of these musical spaces, often questioning and redefining the relationships between these three elements. Her music has been featured at concerts and festivals throughout the United States and Canada, including the Society of Composers National Conference, New York City Electronic Music Festival, SPLICE Institute, the West Fork New Music Festival, Music by Women Festival, and Electroacoustic Barn Dance Festival. Recent projects include collaborations with the JACK Quartet,, Mind on Fire, Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio, and an artist residency with TimeSlips. Brittany is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Music Composition as a Dean’s Graduate fellow at Duke University. http://www.brittanyjgreen.com/
Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Sequences (2015)
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, flute
Joshua Nathan Rubin, clarinet; Erin Rogers, saxophone
Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Composed for the International Contemporary Ensemble for the iceCOMMONS Project and the New York Public Library.
Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) is an Icelandic composer whose "seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and "striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her "one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). "Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke "a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive "combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). It is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, her "confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) has garnered her the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award, and Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award and Martin E. Segal Award.
Anna’s music is frequently performed internationally and has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Yarn/Wire, The Crossing, the Bavarian Radio Choir, Münchener Kammerorchester, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Avanti Chamber Ensemble, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, CAPUT Ensemble, Oslo Philharmonic, and Either/Or Ensemble. In April 2018, Esa-Pekka Salonen led the New York Philharmonic in the premiere of Anna’s work METACOSMOS. The work received its European premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert in January 2019, and its UK premiere at the BBC Proms 2019, conducted by Edward Gardner. Anna’s symphony-scale AION was premiered by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in May 2019, conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing. Her most recent orchestral work CATAMORPHOSIS was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and Kirill Petrenko in January 2021.
Her music has been featured at several major venues and music festivals, including portrait concerts at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC's Miller Theatre, the Leading International Composers series at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Big Ears Festival, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn's National Sawdust, London's Spitalfields Music Festival, Münchener Kammerorchester's Nachtmusic der Moderne series, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra's Point Festival. Other venues include the BBC Proms, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Lucerne Summer Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, Helsinki's Musica Nova Festival, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Anna holds a PhD (2011) from the University of California in San Diego. She is currently based in the London area.
Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Firing Squad (2018)
Michelle Farah, oboe
Deborah Bish, clarinet
Joshua Nathan Rubin, bass clarinet
Erin Rogers, saxophone
Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Ross Karre, electronics
"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” · One Hundred Years of Solitude The compelling opening of Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece, constructs an intense moment of reflection on the past by digging into a childhood memory while facing a firing squad: his first encounter with ice. The technique of constructing such an intense moment that is reflecting on the past was uniquely inspiring to me. Firing Squad is structurally inspired by this sentence, exploring the intense moment of confronting death and expanding the moment into all possible feelings and memories one might go through before saying farewell to life.
Described as "stark" by WNPR and "darkly lyrical" by the New York Times, a winner of the Second International Hildegard commission award and a 2019 recipient of Opera America's Discovery Grant, Niloufar Nourbakhsh's music has been performed at numerous festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. A founding member and co-director of Iranian Female Composers Association, Nourbakhsh is a strong advocate of music education and equal opportunities. She is currently a Teaching Artist at Brooklyn Music School, an adjunct faculty at Molloy College, and a co-director of Peabody Conservatory Laptop Ensemble. Niloufar holds a doctoral degree from Stony Brook University and regularly performs with her Ensemble Decipher. https://niloufarnourbakhsh.com/
Pamela Z - Featured Composer
About Burgin String Quartet
Founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and the Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor of Composition Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Burgin Quartet’s mission, since its inception, has been to celebrate string quartet music by students and faculty at the College of Music at Florida State University. The quartet aims to inspire innovative use of the long-standing string quartet tradition while nurturing meaningful relationships between young composers and performers.
Four Movements (2003)
I. Three Loops
II. Gradual Quartet
Greg Sauer, cello
Pamela Z, live electronics
This work was commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Lukes for their "Second Helpings" series at the DIA Center in New York. It was composed for cello and electronics (three long delay lines and granular synthesis executed in MAX MSP Software on a Powerbook). In its premiere at the DIA Center (Chelsea) in New York, it was performed by the Orchestra's principal Cellist, Myron Lutzke on Cello and Pamela Z on electronics. It has subsequently been played by cellist Mimi Yu (with Pamela Z on electronics) at the Juilliard School's annual "Focus!" Festival
Twenty Answers (2008)
International Contemporary Ensemble, Pamela Z and Minyoung Rho
Twenty Answers is a work for 8 or more (or less) players and a magic oracle. As it was commissioned by the Empyrean Ensemble, its parts have been created with their instrumentation in mind (flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano and percussion) combined with the instrument of the composer (voice and electronics), but it can easily be adapted to any group of instruments. A work of ever-shifting melodic and rhythmic fragments– the piece nods to the memory of Cage with its heavy reliance on “chance operations” and its employment of silence and listening. Each player’s part consists of twenty events– the order and content of which are determined by answers generated by a fortune-telling device (the "Magic 8 Ball"). The idea for the piece came as an outgrowth of Ms. Z’s recent work exploring the binaries of “Yes and No” and the intriguing methods people have devised for divining answers to “Yes and No” questions. This piece received its premiere by the Empyrean Ensemble at UC Davis in January of 2008. It has also been performed by Canyonlands Ensemble at the University of Utah at SLC.
The Unraveling (2019)
II. Lord I'm One
Pamela Z, voice and live electronics
Megumi Terry and Thomas Roggio, violins
Luiz Barrionuevo, viola; Aric Lee, cello
In the first movement of The Unraveling, I couldn’t resist the instinct to do something related to my penchant for sampling, layering, looping, and fragmentation. I’m essentially using the string quartet as a human sample-playback device – creating their phrases and motifs from chopped-up, layered, and looped fragments of the dulcimer accompaniment for All I Want on Joni Mitchell’s Blue album. The second movement is a kind of “broken record” riff on an old folk standard made popular by Peter Paul and Mary. The third movement is a slightly skewed lesson in a common finger-picking style, and the final movement is a wistful reminiscence of my busking days during my early visits to the San Francisco, where I eventually relocated
Epilogue Concert - To be performed at a later date
Concert of festival works to be performed at a later date due to the pandemic.
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Timothy Kramer, Open Borders (2018)
Crisha Joyner, flute
Marissa Stanfill, clarinet
Benjamin Crook, piano
Erika Chinander, violin
Jenna Bachmann, cello
Will Whitehead, conductor
Open borders create interesting languages, intriguing cuisine, and rich artistic cultures. They also invite cross-collaboration and help create friends and allies. Open Borders was written for the Onix Ensemble of Mexico and in response to the political solutions of closing borders. It presents different musical ideas that seem to come from different origins. The piece starts with a ritornello—a short melodic pattern that repeats throughout the work—that regularly recurs in the piano. This singular idea is the core “DNA” of the work and all the music in the piece is cut from it. Through a variety of contrapuntal treatments on this line, a rich tapestry of music unfolds: an odd, exotic tune; a jagged blues progression; a Latin groove; a small minimalist whirlpool; a soft, tender melody; a flashy piano cadenza; and an angular, lively presto. On the return of the opening material, the different types of music find their shared origin.
Timothy Kramer's works have been performed widely by major symphony orchestras, chamber groups and university ensembles. He has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the MacDowell Colony, Meet the Composer, BMI, ASCAP, and the AGO, and commissions from the San Antonio International Piano Competition, the Midwest Clinic, the Utah Arts Festival, and the Detroit Chamber Winds, among others. His degrees are from Pacific Lutheran University (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA) and he was a Fulbright Scholar to Germany. He taught at Trinity University in San Antonio for 19 years, where he also founded CASA (Composers Alliance of San Antonio). In 2010 he moved to Illinois College and was named the Edward Capps Professor of Humanities. His works are published by Southern Music, Earnestly Music, Hinshaw, and Selah and are recorded on Calcante, North/South, Capstone, and Parma, who recently released a CD of all his orchestral music with the Janáček Philharmonic.
Aaron Spotts, City Electric (2018)
Connor Croasmun and Maggie Watts, clarinets
Trey Burke, bass clarinet
City Electric, commissioned by the Ambassador Trio in 2018, drew much of its inspiration from two sources. The first was derived from a "bucket list" of material that I wanted to include in the piece. The second came from advice a mentor once gave me: that I not rely so heavily on typical, prefabricated formal structures, but be free and dynamic with the overall musical shaping. The title and movement names stem from my impression of the music's character, and are intended to enhance the listener’s experience and connection with the piece.
Aaron Spotts (b.1980) is an educator and composer living in Florida, creating contemporary classical, electro-acoustic, improvisatory, and popular music. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Florida State University. Recent highlights include: his orchestral work, Sketch Book, being chosen as a finalist in the Tampa Bay Symphony’s 3rd Annual Call for Scores Competition and the Chelsea Symphony’s Composition Competition; Life for Life receiving honorable mention in the 2019-2020 American Prize orchestra division; being named a finalist in the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra’s 2019-2020 concert season; a commission from The Ambassador Trio premiered at the 2018 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference in Vancouver, B.C.; Inter- being selected by the Chicago Ensemble for their “Discover America IX” competition; and the performance of his electric string quartet, The Light Through the Trees, in Washington DC. More info at www.aaronspottsmusic.com.
Dan Trueman, Trio (2019)
IV. Keening Machine
Tommaso Bruno, violin
Amber Den Exter, cello
Liliya Ugay, bitKlavier
LECTURES & MASTERCLASSES
Thursday - Saturday
View the many learning opportunities at the Festival of New Music
|Pamela Z Composition Masterclass||Wednesday, February 2||4:30pm - 6:00pm||Lindsay Recital Hall|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Composition Readings||Thursday, February 3||11:00am - 1:00pm||Dohnányi Recital Hall|
|Pamela Z presentation: Performing and Composing with Electronics||Friday, February 4||12:15pm - 1:45pm||Lindsay Recital Hall|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Presentation:
"Forming a Chamber Ensemble and Community Engagement"
|Saturday, February 5||9:00am - 10:00am||Dohnányi Recital Hall|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Instrumental MasterClass:
Flute - Isabel Lepanto Gleicher
|Saturday, February 5||10:30am - 12:00pm||Dohnányi Recital Hall|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Instrumental MasterClass: Bassoon- Rebekah Heller||Saturday, February 5||10:30am - 12:00pm||HMU 114|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Instrumental MasterClass: Clarinet- Joshua Nathan Rubin||Saturday, February 5||10:30am - 12:00pm||WES 060|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Instrumental MasterClass: Oboe- Michelle Farah||Saturday, February 5||10:30am - 12:00pm||HMU 105|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Instrumental MasterClass: Saxophone- Erin Rogers||Saturday, February 5||10:30am - 12:00pm||Lindsay Recital Hall|
|International Contemporary Ensemble Interactive Session on Extended Techniques and Improvisation||Saturday, February 5||2:30pm - 4:00pm||HMU 114, HMU 105|
|Pre-Concert Chat: International Contemporary Ensemble, Pamela Z and Liliya Ugay||Saturday, February 5||6:15pm - 7:15pm||Lindsay Recital Hall|
PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL