Jacobs composers at 2015 SCI National Conference

Freund.smallerDon Freund, professor of composition, was the featured guest composer at the Florida Contemporary Music Festival and the University of Florida (UF) School of Music hosting of the Society of Composers, Inc. 50th Anniversary National Conference November 12-14.

Included on the program were performances of his “Fanfare of Celebration and Commemoration” for six trumpets, “Jug Blues and Fat Pickin’” (Symphonic Band), “O Fortuna” (Women’s Chorus), “Jubilate Deo” (chorus and organ), and “Hard Cells” (UF Symphony Orchestra). Freund performed on the Casio in his “Passages” for alto saxophone, horn, and Casio CZ101.

Jacobs School composition alumni having works at the festival were David Heuser, Christopher Cook, Sam Wells, Texu Kim, and Jason Bahr. Jacobs piano alumna Mary Hellman was a “Special Artist,” performing several works by conference composers, including Christopher Cook’s “Rocket” for piano and electronics.

Kim was represented by the commissioned work he won as winner of the SCI/ASCAP student competition. Eric Fegan, a current master’s student, also won an SCI/ASCAP commission. Both Kim’s and Fegan’s works were premiered by the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet (which includes Jacobs alumnus Steve Stusek).


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Concerts to feature composers from four universities

By Brooke McAfee

Musicians from four universities in the Midwest will collaborate in two days of concerts to present the work of student composers at the Midwest Composer’s Symposium, presented by the Jacobs School of Music.

“The whole idea is to make a connection, to share the composing experience and to make the Midwest area become a unity,” IU professor of composition P.Q. Phan said.

The event features performers and composers from IU, University of Cincinnati, University of Iowa and University of Michigan. The concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
Saturday in Auer Hall.

The Midwest Composer’s Symposium began in 1948, and the host school rotates each year.

The event includes performances by the New Music Ensemble, the Brass Choir, NOTUS: Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, the Wind Ensemble, the Percussion Ensemble and the Chamber Orchestra.

David Dzubay, director of the New Music Ensemble and chair of the composition department, said he is excited the performers, composers and faculty work together.

“It’s a terrific chance for students and faculty to get together and for student composers and performers to make new friends,” Dzubay said.

Phan, an organizer of the symposium, said it is helpful for student composers. The compositions are usually 
premiered at the event.

“This is a luxurious opportunity in a way, because when a student writes for an orchestra the student can’t necessarily get an ensemble to play it for them,” Phan said.

Not only does the event demonstrate the different styles of each university, but it also has a variety of students from the music school, including undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students, Phan said.

Although the Midwest Composer’s Symposium features performances from each university, it is not a competition, Phan said.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is to hear what artists from other schools can offer,” Phan said. “We encourage each other to know each other as friends and learn from each other.”

The collaboration allows for the students and faculty to have a fresh viewpoint and to compare and contrast, Phan said, so they can understand what they can and
cannot do yet.

The symposium also allows musicians to improve by performing new music, Phan said.

“They learn how to dissect a new piece better,” Phan said. “For performers, when they play a traditional composition, they tend to replicate it by ear, but with a new piece, it’s like, ‘Hey, I’ve never heard this thing before.’”

Phan said the participation of so many large ensembles is one of the most incredible things about IU, because each ensemble wants the university to be a good host and represent what the music school can do.

“It’s so important, not only because of its history, but because of its possibility to make a wonderful relationship among universities in the same area,” Phan said. “It’s so important because it’s the only time that our students can get a peek of what other universities are doing.”

© Indiana Daily Student 2015

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Doctoral student Phillip Sink wins 2015 Hermitage Prize

Phillip Sink (left) with Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage.

Phillip Sink (left) with Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage.

The Hermitage Artist Retreat continued its partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) in Aspen, Colo., and awarded this year’s Hermitage Prize to up-and-coming composer Phillip Sink during the festival’s composers’ showcase.

First awarded in 2013, the prize is given to a promising composer who is enrolled as a composition student at the AMFS. Selected by a jury of contemporary composers and administration at the AMFS, Sink will receive a six-week residency at the Hermitage’s campus in Englewood, Fla., as well as a $1,000 prize.

Read the news release.

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David Dzubay wins 2015 Sackler Composition Prize

Dzubay_DavidProfessor David Dzubay, chair of the Composition Department, has been named the recipient of the 11th Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize presented by the University of Connecticut (UConn), a $25,000 award to compose a new work for a specific area of musical arts that will be performed by UConn students and faculty and recorded.

Read the news release.

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Works by three Jacobs students presented at SONiC Festival

Works by Melody Eotvos, Jeremy Podgursky, and Texu Kim–all Jacobs  grad students in composition–will be presented at the SONiC Festival in New York City October 15-23, 2015. The festival, produced by the American Composers Orchestra, features twenty-first century music by more than 60 composers age 40 and under.

In addition, Kim has been commissioned to write a new piece for the National Orchestra of Korea, which features traditional Korean instruments, for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its founding.

Kim was recently composer-in-residence for the Korean Symphony Orchestra.

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Wallinga, Ko (MM ’12), and Grafe (BM ’11) Win 2015 BMI Student Composer Awards

Current student, Patricia Wallinga, and alumni Tonia Ko (MM, 2012) and Max Grafe (BM, 2011) have been named winners in the 63rd annual BMI Student Composer Awards, a competition open to young classical composers throughout the Western Hemisphere. Renowned American composer and permanent Chair of the Student Composer Awards, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, BMI President and CEO and Honorary Chair of the BMI Foundation Mike O’Neill, and BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick, announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a private ceremony held on May 18, 2015, at the J. W. Marriott Essex House Hotel in New York City.

In addition, Max Grafe was named a co-winner of the William Schuman Prize for best score.

Read more…
Above: Pictured are the 2015 BMI Student Composer Award winners: (Front, L-R) Avik Sarkar (Carlos Surinach Prize), Tonia Ko, Joseph Meland, Benjamin P. Wenzelberg; (Back, L-R) Patricia Wallinga, Matthew Aaron Browne, Daniel Silliman (William Schuman Prize), Max Michael Grafe (William Schuman Prize), and Thomas Kotcheff. Photo by Melissa Dispenza

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Festival featuring New Music and Art from Australia

Prof. David Ward-Steinman with the assistance of Alumna Melody Eötvös (DM ’14) will be presenting a mini-Australian Music Festival at the Jacobs School
of Music on the 25th & 26th March 2015.  Guest Artists include pianist
Bernadette Harvey from Sydney, and Composer-Clarinetist-Visual Artist Dr. Brigid
Burke from Melbourne, Australia.

The main event, a chamber
music concert, will take place on the 25th March at 8pm in Auer Hall
highlighting Burke and Harvey, with additional performances by David
Ward-Steinman.  An IU student percussion quartet will also be presenting Nigel
Westlake’s Omphalo Centric Lecture.  The concert location will also feature
indigenous and modern Australian Art from the collection of David and Patrice

On Thursday afternoon, 26th March, at 4pm in Ford
Hall Brigid Burke will also present a lecture on performance processes through
the composition/improvisation of interactive works and exploring cross art forms
in live performance through a strategy of layering to represent complexity of
images we see and sounds we hear.

For more information and updates on these events visit https://australiannewmusicabroad.wordpress.com/upcoming-concert-new-music-and-art-from-australia/

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Video game music composition guru Chance Thomas at Jacobs School of Music Feb. 16

Thomas_Chance.2015SP.webcal.RAW“Composing music for video games is one of the top-10 fastest growing jobs in America.” (USA TODAY, Geekwire)

That’s music to the ears of composition students. But only those who speak its singularly sophisticated scoring language will earn the opportunity to compete for these jobs.

For interested students and members of the public alike, the IU Jacobs School of Music is opening the door to opportunity at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, in Sweeney Hall. The Jacobs School’s Center for Electronic and Computer Music in collaboration with the IU Media School is hosting blockbuster video game composer, educator, and entrepreneur Chance Thomas for a one-night only event, “Composing Music for Games: The Art, Tech, and Commerce of Video Game Scoring.”

This special free guest lecture will offer students an extraordinary opportunity to learn vital music design principles, revolutionary adaptive scoring techniques, and powerful entrepreneurial strategies from one of the game industry’s most innovative and successful composers.

How does music change seamlessly to follow the action in DOTA 2? Come and learn how. What is the single most powerful piece of technology available to video game composers today? Come and find out. What should every composer take into every single business pitch?  Come and discover answers to all these questions and many more as we delve into the complex and fascinating world of music scoring for games!

The Sweeney Hall lecture will be followed by a one-hour question and answer session in Simon Music M242.

This event is funded in part by the Sweetwater Computer Music Lecture Series.

About Thomas

Thomas helps students and professionals navigate the intersection of music scoring, technology, and business. His music has underscored blockbuster commercial success and critical acclaim, including an Oscar, an Emmy, and billions of dollars in video game and film sales worldwide.

Last year, four million people bought Chance’s original music score for the DOTA 2 compendium. His top video game credits include Lord of the Rings Online, James Cameron’s Avatar, Heroes of Might and Magic, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and many more.

His music can be heard on hit television shows like Pawn Stars, The Bachelorette, and America’s Most Wanted. His movie scores include the Academy Award-winning animated short film The ChubbChubbs! from Columbia Pictures.

Chance is a director of the Game Audio Network Guild and serves on several advisory boards. His business interests range across studios, publishing, and audio services, successfully supporting an active composing career spanning more than 20 years.

Read more about Thomas.

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Corey Rubin winner of 2015 NOTUS Student Composition Contest

RubinCorey Rubin has been named the winner of this year’s NOTUS Choral Composition Contest. Rubin’s prize-winning work is After-Glow for mixed chorus a cappella.

A second-year graduate student, he is pursuing a Master of Music in Composition at the Jacobs School, and his teachers have included Claude Baker, Don Freund, and Sven-David Sandström. He is a member of NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and will sing in the premiere of his work during the ensemble’s April 24 concert at 8 p.m. in Auer Hall.

Rubin says of the work: “After-Glow contains a setting of a poem by the English poet Ivor Gurney, who wrote ‘After-Glow’ during his time as a soldier in World War I.  … In the poem, Gurney wanders out into the night and, admiring the moon, is overcome by nostalgia as he imagines an eventual reunion with his absent friend, complete with vivid sunset and the music of Bach.”

The April concert, titled Refracted Requiem, will also feature world-premiere works of two Jacobs School faculty members, P. Q. Phan’s A Vietnamese Requiem and Dominick DiOrio’s Stravinsky Refracted, both for ensembles of instruments and voices.

Two honorable mentions were given: Paul Mortilla’s O Magnum Mysterium and Maxwell Ramage’s We’ll to the woods no more.

The contest is an initiative of DiOrio, choral conducting faculty member and conductor of NOTUS. The annual competition is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students at the Jacobs School of Music.

Judges for the competition included Executive Associate Dean and Professor of Composition Eugene O’Brien; Director of Opera Choruses Walter Huff, and Associate Professor of Organ Bruce Neswick. DiOrio did not take part in the judging panel. The submission of scores was anonymous and the judges did not see names or identifying information until after final decisions were made.

Rubin (b. 1983) previously earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition degree from Cleveland State University in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he studied with Andrew Rindfleisch and Greg D’Alessio. His music has been presented across the United States and Europe, most recently at the 2014 highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy, and the 2014 Zodiac Festival in Valdeblore, France. In February 2014, his work After the Dazzle of Day, for chorus, wind ensemble, and string, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City by high school musicians from Duxbury, Mass.

Rubin’s works have been recorded professionally by such artists as violinist Rolf Schulte, pianist Geoffrey Burleson, clarinetist Pat O’Keefe, and cellist David Russell. In 2012, his Broken Pearls, for string orchestra, won him the Young and Emerging Composers Competition of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and in 2010, he won the Commission Competition of the NO EXIT New Music Ensemble, for which he composed the string trio Skin and Bones. Rubin’s music has also been performed by the Ensemble Dal Niente, Slee Sinfonietta, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Janus Trio, and Genkin Philharmonic. He was a longtime member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and an occasional contributor of crossword puzzles to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

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Elizabeth Ogonek (BM ’09) Selected by Riccardo Muti as CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence

Elizabeth Ogonek

Elizabeth Ogonek (BM ’09) has been selected by Riccardo Muti for the position of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composers-in-Residence.  Ogonek and one other composer, Samuel Adams, will hold a three year term with the CSO beginning with the 2015/2016 year.

Throughout their composer-in-residence tenure, Adams and Ogonek will receive commissions for works to be programmed on the CSO’s subscription and MusicNOW series. Muti will lead the CSO in a CSO-commissioned work by Ogonek during the 2015/16 season. Adams’ first commissioned work will be scheduled for the following season.

They also will curate the CSO’s four-concert MusicNOW series, introduced in 1998 to explore today’s contemporary music scene through interactive programs. The dates next season for the Monday-night series are Nov. 23 and March 7, May 9 and June 6, 2016, all presented at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

For more on Elizabeth Ogonek click here: http://elizabeth-ogonek.com/bio.html

For the CSO article click here: http://csosoundsandstories.org/muti-selects-adams-and-ogonek-as-next-cso-composers-in-residence/


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