Monday, September 21, 2015

A Busy Summer for UB Composers...

Summer is always a busy and exciting time for UB graduate composers, with many of them participating in conferences, festivals, and seminars in the US and abroad, and having their works performed by some of the most skilled performers in the field.  This past summer was no different, as you can see below:

Weijun Chen had two pieces which received multiple performances this summer.  First, his string quartet, Canoe, was performed by the Rhythm Method quartet at New York's Mise-En Music Festival in June.  As a student composer at this year's Aspen Music Festival and School, Weijun heard an orchestral adaptation of the piece performed twice (in July, and a few weeks later in August).  In addition, his Memos, for pierrot and percussion, was premiered at June in Buffalo by the New York New Music Ensemble, and was performed again at Aspen by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

Matthew Chamberlain
Also at June in Buffalo, Matthew Chamberlain saw the premiere of his brass quintet, Three Family Photos, by the Meridian Arts Ensemble.  In addition, his string trio, Photo, was premiered by Chartreuse, with performances in Buffalo, Chicago, and New York.  Also a skilled conductor of new music, Matthew conducted at a JiB Performance Institute concert, leading a number of performers in Jacob Druckman's Come Round.  He also participated in a weeklong master course with world-renowned conductor Péter Eötvös in Budapest, where he performed Philippe Manoury’s piano concerto, Passacaille pour Tokyo.

Colin Tucker curated and produced Decay/Reverberate, a four-day festival of site-specific sound works created for presentation at Silo City, a group of historic vacant grain elevators in Buffalo.  The event included performances, installations, and guided listening activities, each of which engaged with the acoustic, social, and historical implications of the site.  Part of the Null Point series, a Buffalo-based platform for experimental arts founded by Colin, the festival featured performances by several artists associated with UB, including composers/sound artists Matt Sargent, Daniel Bassin, and Tom Stoll, and performers Zane Merritt, Crossfire Percussion (Bob Fullex and Jason Bauers), and John Bacon.  Read more about the event here, and check out Matt Sargent's Tide (10+1 Basses), a piece premiered at the event by bassist Zachary Rowden, below:

"I am grateful for the Center for 21st Century Music's financial support of the event," says Colin, who is currently planning a similar event at the same site for next spring.  Colin was also a fellow in the Summer Academy for Young Composers at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, where he studied with Chaya Czernowin, Ming Tsao, and Rebecca Saunders.  At Schloss, Colin presented a lecture on his work, and his engulfed, constrained in a widening gap was performed by friends of the Center, Ensemble SurPlus.

Colin also curated, organized, and performed on Null Point's Virtuosities, a concert program which toured the American midwest, playing eight cities in nine days.  The program featured two of Colin's pieces, distances swarming and encompassing, for prepared electric guitar and the audio installation, voice-dross, in addition to North American premieres of works by Joseph Kudirka, and Eva-Maria Houben.  While on tour, the ensemble was featured on Muddle Instead of Music, a weekly radio show directed by recent UB graduate, Jacob Gotlib.  A video summarizing the tour's stop at Cincinnati's Experimental Music at the Library series, can be seen below:

The two other composers featured on the Null Point tour were Zane Merritt and Ethan Hayden.  In addition to performing Colin's distances swarming and encompassing, Merritt performed his own solo electric guitar work, Double Etude Gizmo Mechanism Device Machine class alpha, set 1, number A, for guitar and fixed media electronics.  Ethan performed his "…ce dangereux supplément…", for voice and electronics, on the Null Point tour, and a version of the same piece with animated projections was performed by the composer at the international E-Poetry festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  This weekend, Ethan will perform the piece at the International Computer Music Conference in Denton, TX.

Dimitar Pentchev wrote, directed, and produced Gleams, an evening-length work featuring live piano, two singer-actors, dancer, and live video projection.  The piece saw three June performances at Toronto's Array Space.  "It is based on my own poetry," Dimitar explains, "and it was produced without any outside help."  An excerpt of the work can be seen below.

Esin Gündüz
ritüellerin yakınlığı (the proximity of rituals), Esin Gündüz's piece for two violas and recorded voice was premiered earlier this month by violists Yuri Gandelsman and Tuba Özkan.  The work was commissioned by the former's viola masterclass at Mersin State Conservatory in South Turkey.  She will soon see the premiere of cura, a new composition for violin, 'cello, and voice, which she will perform with UB's Yuki Numata and Jonathan Golove at the October 11th concert by Friends of Vienna—an organization at which Esin has been composer-in-residence for the past year.

Finally, Roberto Azaretto attended the 2015 MusicArte Festival in Panamá City, where Impasse, his 2011 duo for clarinet and 'cello was premiered by Gleb Kanasevich and Cody Green.

We should also congratulate the composers who, last spring, graduated with their PhDs:  Megan Grace Beugger, Jacob Gotlib, Clint Haycraft, Nathan Heidelberger, and Chun Ting Pang.  We couldn't be more thrilled for them and we know they're already up to new and exciting things!

As the Fall semester begins, each of these composers will begin composing new works and starting new projects, we can't wait to see what's next for them this year!