Monday, November 9, 2020

Guest composer Ann Cleare

We very excited that the esteemed composer Ann Cleare will join us in the coming weeks to discuss her recent work and host a masterclass with graduate students. Ann Cleare is an Irish composer working in the areas of concert music, opera, extended sonic environments, and hybrid instrumental design. Her work explores the static and sculptural nature of sound, probing the extremities of timbre, texture, colour, and form. She creates highly psychological and corporeal sonic spaces that encourage a listener to contemplate the complexity of the lives we exist within, exploring poetries of communication, transformation, and perception.  

Her recent projects have focused on creating experiential environments where sound is given a visual as well as sonic dimension, such works include eyam i-v, a series of five attacca pieces, centred around clarinet and flute writing in various solo, ensemble, electronic, and orchestral settings, spanning just over two hours of music that is continuously transformed in shape, time, and motion around the listener; rinn, a time travel chamber opera involving a multichannel sonic sculpture that the singers and actors wear, interact with, and are amplified by; spatially choreographed chamber pieces such as I should live in wires for leaving you behind, anchor me to the land, and on magnetic fields; a newly-designed instrument that a musician simultaneously wears and plays in eöl; surface stations, multi-layered theatre involving the staging of extended brass instruments, vocal ensemble, and visuals.

Ann Cleare will host a masterclass on Novebember 23rd, and give a lecture to Buffalo PhD students on November 25th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Visiting artist Elliot Caplan


We are happy to announce that the Emmy-award winning filmmaker Elliot Caplan, famed for his work with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and John Cage will be giving a lecture to graduate composition students on Friday November 6th. Caplan served as the filmmaker-in-residence for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. His work in documentary, art filmmaking, and performance with choreographer Cunningham, composer John Cage video artist Nam June Paik and filmmaker Bruce Baillie is internationally recognized.  Caplan’s films and videos are in museum and film collections throughout the world. Caplan received an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Cultural and Historical Programming” for his work on the PBS Network. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Film and video retrospectives have been presented in Portugal, Holland, Japan and the United States. He has taught courses, lectured and been in residence at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad including co-direction with Michael Kidd and Stanley Donen of the Dance/Film/Video Workshop at the Sundance Institute. In 1996, Caplan founded Picture Start Films to facilitate his artistic work.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Guest composer James Romig

We are very pleased to welcome the composer James Romig back to Buffalo since last his last visit in 2012. He was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music, responds to an increasingly fragmented and accelerated world by creating highly isomorphic works that evolve slowly and reveal themselves gradually. Endeavoring to reflect the fragile intricacy of the natural world, his compositional designs exert influence on both small-scale iteration and large-scale structure, obscuring boundaries between form and content. Critics have described his music as “rapturous, slow-moving beauty” (San Francisco Chronicle), "developing with the naturalness of breathing" (The New Yorker), and “profoundly meditative... haunting” (The Wire). He is a two-time Copland House award recipient and has served as artist-in-residence at numerous national parks including Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Petrified Forest. Recordings have been released by New World Records, Navona, Blue Griffin, and Perspectives of New Music. His scores are published exclusively by Parallax Music Press.
Romig's music combines the systematic, rigerous pitch processes and complex harominic languages often found in the tradition of American Serialism, including that of his former teachers Charles Wuorinen and Milton Babbitt with the minimalist, repetitious soundworlds of the New York minimalists.

On Friday, November 6th, James Romig will give a talk introducing his large-scale piano piece Still and host a masterclass with several of the University at Buffalo PhD composition students.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 29 -- University at Buffalo PhD Composers Livestream Concert!


On Thursday, October 29th, at 7:30 pm EDT, the Century for 21st Century Music will livestream a concert of University at Buffalo PhD composers performing their own works from Lippes Concert Hall

The program will include:

Edgar Girtain, 4 improvisations for Solo Piano, performed by Eric Huebner

Tyler Adamthwaite, Where I go to be alone, for solo violin, performed by the composer

Matias Homar, Landó, for electronic guitar and live processes, performed by the composer

John Aulich, Skr, for electronics and vocals, performed by the composer

Livestream the concert here:

You can read a little more about each composer, and others at UB, on a blogpost from earlier this year here. As always, Center for 21st Century Music livestream concerts at the University at Buffalo are free and require no online ticket or password. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

September 29th! June in Buffalo Recap Concert livestream


June in Buffalo Recap Concert!
September 29th at 7:30 pm EDT

Friday, September 11, 2020

Guest speaker Alejandro Lavanderos

The esteemed Chiléan flautist Alejandro Lavanderos will introduce his long-running Antara project to Buffalo's PhD students on September 25th. The Antara ensemble aim to bring their deep knowledge and familiarity with precolumbian instruments and open them to new possibilities in close collaboration with composers. As part of his presentation, Lavanderos will demonstrate the sound and playing techniques of various Latin American flutes and discuss recent projects.

Lavenderos has performed internationally (France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay), and more than 40 works by Chilean and foreign composers have been dedicated to him. He has been instrumental in renewing the repertoire and use of the flute in his country, and a pioneer in the incorporation of traditional instruments systematized in contemporary musical creation. He has recorded the CDs "Resonances, works by Chilean composers for flute and piano", "Antara, new music of America", "Antara, the textures of sound" and is preparing the edition of the CD selected by the 2014 NATIONAL MUSIC FUND from the Chilean government "Music Americanas for flute" by Latin American composers.

Lavanderos is the artistic director of the Festival “Presences de las Musicas Actuales de América Latina”, of the “Forum de la Fluuta” meetings, of the Chiloé Music Festival and of the “Flautas de América” festival. He chairs the Chilean Music Council - CIM, the RICMA Music Research and Creation Network of America, and is executive secretary of the COMTA Music Council of the Three Americas. He is currently a professor of the Music School of the University of Valparaíso, of the flute chair of the Institute of Music of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, of the National Conservatory of Music CNDM.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

June in Buffalo 2020 Participants

Congratulations to the 16 selected participant composers who will be joining the remote June in Buffalo Festival this year (more about the remote festival here)! 

This year's participant composers and their compositions are:

Yifan Guo (Mannes School of Music at The New School): Wanderer in May for the Arditti Quartet

Daniel Gostelow (University at Buffalo): New work for String Quartet

Jack Herscowitz (Middlebury College): “For There They Were…” for the Arditti Quartet

Matias Homar (University at Buffalo): New Work for Guitar, Bassoon, and Cello

Zhouseheng Jin (McGill University): A Piece of Watermelon for Soprano, Flute (C and Bass), Clarinet (B-flat and Bass), Percussion, Piano, Violin, and Cello

Scott Kehoe (Peabody Conservatory): New Work for Guitar, Bassoon, and Cello

Oliver Kwapis (Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University): Approach to Zion for solo Piano

Young Jun Lee (Berklee College): Revelation for the Arditti Quartet

Jonathan Newmark (University of Cincinnati): Excerpts for Haber’s Law for Soprano, Baritone, and Piano

Sameer Ramchandran (Rutgers University): Le jardin des ombres for Oboe, B-flat Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn in F, Percussion, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass

Axel Retif ( London College of Music) Sombre el nombre de mi padre for Flute, B-Flat Clarinet, Horn in F, Bassoon, 2 Violin, Viola, and Cello

Brian Simalchik (Hart School of Music at the University of Hartford): Overlooks for Flute, B-flat Clarinet, Vibraphone, Piano, Viola, and Cello

Ka Shu (Kenneth) Tam (University at Buffalo): New Work for Guitar, Bassoon, and Cello

Daniel De Togni (University of Oregon) Turn for Violin and Piano

Xuesi Xu (Florida State University): Red Winter for the Arditti Quartet

Tengyue Zhang (Mannes School of Music at The New School): Meaning in Absurd for Flute, B-flat Clarinet, Piano, Violin, and Cello

Monday, April 27, 2020

June in Buffalo 2020 Announcement

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. We at the University at Buffalo had our scheduled spring break occur shortly after during March 16 – 20. When classes resumed on Monday, March 23, we began engaging in distance and remote learning. Since then, all music events at the University at Buffalo have been cancelled or held remotely, and teachers, students, and administrators have been working remotely from home.

Musicians, composers, and ensembles, are witnessing their concerts, premieres, and other music events cancelled. With these cancellations come tremendous disappointment, loss of income, stress, stalls in professional development, and demotivating time-lags in the realization of musical ideas and projects.

We at the June in Buffalo Festival are creating a remote version of the festival where no travel will be necessary, and all of the participant composers can participate without leaving their home. They will be invited to coach, via Zoom, one of the several rehearsals of their work, as well as receive a high-quality stereo recording of their work. There won’t be any concerts, audiences, or gatherings of more than ten people.

Each of these rehearsals and recordings will involve no more than ten people gathering together in the hall, and all of the musicians and staff will remain at least six feet apart, and adopt social distancing measures and safety precautions. Some rehearsals and recordings may happen outside of the June 1 – 7 festival dates, dependent upon health and safety conditions.

We are encouraged to announce that 16 participant composers from around the world will be joining us remotely for the festival. In addition to the rehearsals, and the high-quality stereo recording they will receive, the participant composers will also have one-on-one lessons with each of the senior composers, and have exclusive access to their two-hour lectures.

The June in Buffalo 2020 senior composers making a successful remote festival possible are: David Felder, Hilda Paredes, Robert HP Platz, Roger Reynolds, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. More announcements and updates will be made as we approach June in Buffalo 2020.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Mourning Charles Wuorinen

We are mourning the recent passing of Charles Wourinen, frequent honored guest at the University at Buffalo Center for 21st Century Music and the June in Buffalo Festival. Wourinen was an exceedingly rare musician with an exceptional ability to also perform and conduct complex contemporary music, making his role as an advocate for his work, and that of his colleagues, authoritative and invaluable. 

Wuorinen with conductor Brad Lubman
during his 80th birthday portrait concert

Throughout his long career, Wuorinen has been a frequent guest at UB. Charles served as guest professor for several years in the early 1990’s, commuting to Buffalo from NYC and his New Jersey farm for several semesters. He has served as a senior composer at numerous June in Buffalo festivals, from the early days of the Festival in the 1970s all the way through to 2015. In turn, the festival has had the opportunity to present many of Wuorinen’s works over the years, including large-scale works such as the complete Fenton Songs (performed by Ensemble Surplus in 2006), the orchestral Microsymphony (performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic in 2007), and the cantata It Happens Like This (performed by the Slee Sinfonietta in 2013). Building on this long-standing relationship, the State University of New York awarded Wuorinen an honorary doctorate during the 2013 June in Buffalo Festival, where an honorary ceremonial was followed by a portrait concert. Further, an 80th birthday concert was produced by the Slee Sinfonietta featuring Ensemble Signal, and conductor Brad Lubman, only a few short years ago.

Charles Wuorinen conducting and rehearsing at June in Buffalo 2013

Wourinen has had many, many works featured at the June in Buffalo Festival, since its reincarnation in June, 1986, under David Felder’s direction, and he has been invited to the festival numerous times as a senior composer, dating back to the performance of his String Sextet (1989) on June 5, 1991. His orchestral piece Bamboula Squared (1984) was performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under his baton in 1993 and many other compositions were performed throughout the years by both Ensemble Signal and the Slee Sinfonietta. Other works performed by the BPO at June in Buffalo include Microsymphony, Bamboula Beach, and a premiere of a version of The River of Light (CW conducting) among others.

As an example, Wourinen's second attendance at the June in Buffalo Festival was in 1992 where his chamber ensemble piece On Alligators was performed. He returned to the festival in 1993 and 1994 with performances of his orchestral piece Bamboula Squared and Sonata for Violin and Piano by pianist Margaret Kampmeier and violinist Curtis Macomber respectively. In 2006, during a visit, Wourinen's Epithalamium was performed by trumpeters Nelson and Levine, and in 2008, during another visit, his compositions The Blue Bamboula, performed by pianist Alan Feinberg, and Spin 5, were both featured on a concert.

In April 2011, a Slee Sinfonietta concert was dedicated to the works of Charles Wourinen. His works Salve Regina: John Bull, Metagong, Fifty Fifty, and Canzona were all programmed on the concert and performed by the contemporary music specialists that comprise the Slee Sinfonietta. Fifty Fifty featured pianists Eric Huebner and Stephen Gosling, who were later joined by percussionists Tom Kolor and Daniel Druckman for Metagong. In April 2018, for his 80th birthday, Wourinen gave a lecture at a concert of his works presented by Ensemble Signal. Ensemble Signal was joined by soloist Eric Huebner on their performance of Megalith, violin soloist Olivia de Prato on Spin 5, and oboe soloist Jacqueline Leclair on Iridule.

Charles Wourinen applauding the Slee Sinfonietta and Ensemble Signal
after the performance of Megalith at his 80th birthday portrait concert

Other works performed at June in Buffalo – and this is not by any means an exhaustive list, include: Archaeopteryx, Percussion Symphony, Hyperion, On Alligators, Ashberyana
His lectures at June were legendary; unforgettable events that live in the memories of those fortunate enough to be in attendance.

In the next concert season, we’ll offer a performance of his most recent Second Percussion Symphony, and hoist a martini in tribute to this lion of post-war American composers. We shall not ever see his like again… and he will be sorely missed.

David Felder and Charles Wuorinen
at the Buffalo Marriott in 2018



Monday, April 6, 2020

June in Buffalo Senior Composer Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds will be working with students at this year’s June in Buffalo Festival as one of three senior composers and guest lecturers. Roger Reynolds is a composer, writer, producer and mentor, pioneer in sound spatialization, intermedia, and algorithmic concepts, is an inveterate synthesizer of diverse capacities and perspectives. His notorious (1961) composition, The Emperor of Ice Cream, which uses graphic notation to depict performer location on a stage, was widely imitated. In fact, Reynolds’s work often arises out of text or visual images. His Pulitzer prize-winning composition, Whispers Out of Time, for string orchestra muses on a poem by John Ashbery. The recent FLiGHT project (2012-16) arose out of a collection of texts and images stretching from Plato’s time to that of the astronauts. Projects with individual performers and ensembles, theater directors, choreographers, and scientists have provoked challenging inter-personal collaborations. He has been, for decades, a sought-after mentor at UC San Diego.

Reynolds’s body of work demonstrates how seamlessly test, electroacoustic resources, and novel presentation strategies can be melded with live instrumental and vocal performance. Sanctuary (2003-2007) for percussion quartet and real-time computer processing arose from interactions with Steven Schick. About it, Gramophone writes: Reynolds goes right inside sound. … Here’s the most outstandingly original view of percussion since Varèse’s ‘Ionisation’”. A recent cycle of duos, SHAREDSPACE, for solo instrumentalist and real-time computer musician includes Shifting/Drifting (with violinist Irvine Arditti). The Strad notes: This is music that demands close attention, but repays it with startlingly abundant invention, delivered with cool authority. In addition to continuing musical composition, Reynolds’s current projects include an innovative collection of texts and images, PASSAGE, and a collaborative book exploring Xenakis’s creative ways as exemplified in a Desert House he designed for Karen and Roger Reynolds.

Reynolds envisions his own path as entailing the principled weaving together of threads from tradition with novel provocations originating outside music. The elements (wind, fire, water) have spoken in his works beginning with the vocal storm in VOICESPACE I: Still (1975) and continuing in Versions/Stages and The Red Act AriasMythic themes are also frequently drawn upon. Reading about and research in psychoacoustics have affected his outlook. Research in the Sacher Foundation’s Collections resulted in publications about Varèse’s conceptualization of “space”: “The Last Word is Imagination: Parts I and II”. His long friendships with Cage, Nancarrow, Takemitsu and Xenakis also inform his outlook in procedural and personal ways. Reynolds conceives of composition as “a process of illumination”, a path toward (occasional) clarity in turbulent times. He seeks the satisfaction of proposing and experiencing unexpected connections, of bringing the elevating capacity of music into public spaces, of engaging with other arts and artists to discover new amalgamations of sensation and insight that can “improve the human experience”.

Monday, March 30, 2020

June in Buffalo Senoir Composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon will be working with students at this year’s June in Buffalo Festival as one of three senior composers and guest lecturers.Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon was born in Guadalajara, México, in 1962. Literature inspires many of his compositions, such as the extended song cycle Songtree, on poetry by Raúl Aceves and William Shakespeare, the miniature opera NiñoPolilla, on a libretto by Juan Trigos senior, and the scenic cantata Comala, based on the novel Pedro Páramo, by the great Mexican author Juan RulfoComala was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.

Ricardo’s compositional voice is also shaped by a steady collaboration with the particular group of musicians for whom he writes, including TonyArnold, Molly Barth, Stuart Gerber, Dieter Hennings, Hanna Hurwitz, Daniel Pesca, Paul Vaillancourt, Colin Stokes, and Tim Weiss, among others. This artistic affinity brought many of these musicians together to co-found with Ricardo the ensemble Zohn Collective in 2017. Ricardo has also collaborated across artistic disciplines, with cartoonist José Ignacio Solórzano (Jis), writer / performer Deidre Huckabay. songwriter Alfredo Sánchez, PUSH Physical Theater, Garth Fagan Dance, and puppet company La Coperacha.
His works have been performed internationally, and supported by the American Academy of Arts and LettersKoussevitzky Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Barlow EndowmentGuggenheim Foundation, and México’s Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, among other institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Recordings of his music have been released on the Bridge, Oberlin Music, Verso, CRI, Quindecim, Innova, Ravello, New Focus, and Tempus labels. He studied at the University of California, San Diego (BA, 1986), and at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, 1993), where his principal teacher was George Crumb. He is currently Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music, having previously taught at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and the Escuela de Música, Universidad de Guanajuato.

Monday, March 23, 2020

June in Buffalo 2020 Senior Composer Hilda Paredes

Hilda Paredes will be working with students at this year’s June in Buffalo Festival as one of three senior composers and guest lecturers. Hilda has been firmly established as one of the leading Mexican composers of her generation, she has made her home in London since 1979 and her music is now performed widely around the world.

As an active participant in master classes at Dartington Summer School, studied with Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and Richard Rodney Bennett. After graduating at the Guildhall School of Music, she obtained her Master of Arts at City University in London and completed her PhD at Manchester University.

Her collaboration with choreographers led her to receive the Music for Dance Award from the ArtsCouncil of Great Britain in 1988.

After taking part at the Garden Venture Opera Project in Dartington, she completed her first chamber opera The seventh seed, released by Mode Records.

She continues to be involved in the musical life of her native country, having taught at the University in Mexico City and several other music institutions and was also a radio producer of new music.

She has been recipient of important awards, such as the Arts Council of Great Britain fellowship for composers; the Rockefeller, Fund for Culture Mexico/USA and the J.S. GuggenheimFellowship in the USA and is currently beneficiary of the Sistema Nacional deCreadores, (FONCA) in Mexico.

As a freelance lecturer, Hilda has taught composition and lectured at Manchester University, the University of San Diego California, University of Buffalo and other prestigious Universities in the US, at Centre Acanthes in France and in 2007 was appointed the Darius Milhuad Visiting Professor at Mills College in the US. In 2011, she has been visiting professor at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya en Barcelona.

Her second chamber opera El Palacio Imaginado, commissioned by Musik der Jahrhunderte, EnglishNational Opera and the Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, was premiered with much acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

Recently completed works include La tierra de la miel, a collaborative opera project commissioned by Susan Narucki and premiered in 2013 at UCSD. More recently she completed her third string quartet Bitácora capilar premiered at Milton Court Theatre in London and a shorter version of this work Hacia una bitácora capilar which was premiered in May at the Festival Tage fur Neue Musik in Witten , both written and premiered at the celebrations for the Arditti String Quartet fortieth anniversary.

Monday, March 16, 2020

June in Buffalo 2020 Senior Composer Robert H.P. Platz

Robert HP Platz will be working with students at this year’s June in Buffalo Festival as one of three senior composers and guest lecturers. Robert HP Platz was born in Baden-Baden in 1951. In 1970 he began to study music theory, piano and conducting in Freiburg / Breisgau. He studied composition with Wolfgang Fortner and musicology with Elmar Budde, as well as parapsychology with Hans Bender. In 1973 he moved to Cologne to study with Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 1977 he completed his conductor training with Francis Travis in Freiburg.

In 1978 and 1979, Platz received a scholarship from the Heinrich Strobel Foundation of Southwest Radio and then lived for a long time in the United States and Paris. In 1980 he attended a computer course for composers at the Paris IRCAM. This is where the tape for his piece Chlebnicov for chamber ensemble and tape (1980) was created, which was premiered at the Brussels IGNM festival in 1981.

From 1980 to 2001, Platz in Cologne directed the Cologne Ensemble he founded. Composers such as Scelsi, Xenakis, Kagel, Hosokawa, Sylvano Bussotti and Klaus Huber wrote for the ensemble, which specializes in contemporary music. With guest conductors, Platz worked with ensembles and orchestras such as the Ensemble Modern, the Klangforum and the Vienna series, the German Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the WDR, the two SWR Symphony Orchestras Freiburg / Baden-Baden and Stuttgart, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of the NDR Hannover, and the Lower Rhine Symphoners, the Orchester Philharmonique du Luxembourg or the Bavarian State Opera.

In 1989/90 there was space in the Schreyahn artists' yard , where the multi-part work SCHREYAHN for violoncello solo, flute, trumpet, soprano, two pianos and wind instruments. In 1990, at the invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation, he spent a few weeks as a composer in residence at Villa Serbelloni. A longer stay in Japan followed two years later. In 1996/98, up down strange charm was commissioned by the festival in Akiyoshidai, the Schömerhaus Klosterneuburg (Vienna Modern) and the WDR (overall premiere in Witten).

Since 1990, Platz has had a composition class at the Maastricht University of Music, combined with a seminar on performance practice in new music. Since 2000 he has been artistic director of the Schreyahner Herbst festival, and since 2005 member of the Bureau du Directeur of the electronic studio Center de Recherche et Formation Musicale de WallonieCRFMW, Liège.

Robert HP Platz lives in Cologne.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Guest Composer Marcos Balter

On Friday March, 27 guest composer Marcos Balter will be presenting his recent work as well as giving masterclasses to the PhD Music Composition students at the University at Buffalo.

Marcos Balter has been praised by The Chicago Tribune as “minutely crafted” and “utterly lovely,” The New York Times as “whimsical” and “surreal,” and The Washington Post as “dark and deeply poetic,” the music of composer Marcos Balter (b.1974, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is at once emotionally visceral and intellectually complex, primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance.
Recent performances include a Miller Theater Composer Portrait in 2018 and appearances at Carnegie Hall, Köln Philharmonie, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, ArtLab at Harvard University, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, Teatro Amazonas, Sala São Paulo, Park Avenue Armory, Teatro de Madrid, Bâtiment de Forces Motrices de Genève, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Recent festival appearances include those at Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Acht Brücken, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Aspen, Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and Banff Music Festival.
Past honors include fellowships from the John SimonGuggenheim Foundation, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Tanglewood Music Center (Leonard Bernstein Fellow) as well as commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Music Now, Meet the Composer, Fromm Foundationat Harvard, The Holland/America Music Society, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His works are published by PSNY (Schott), and commercial recordings of his music are available through New Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recording, Parlour Tapes+, and Navona Records.
Highlights in 2019-2020 include guest residencies at Stanford University, Harvard University, University at Buffalo, University of California San Diego, Yellow Barn, and Egelsholm Castle, a new work for countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo and the Shanghai Quartet commissioned by the Phillips Collection and Chamber Music America, a new work for cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Conor Hanick commissioned by the 92Y, the release of flutist Claire Chase’s live recording of “Pan” at Meyer Sound Studio, and performances by theJACK Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Constelation Chor, nois saxophone quartet, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony’s Soundbox Series, and others.
Recent collaborators include the rock band Deerhoof, dj King Britt and Alarm Will Sound, yMusic and Paul Simon, Orquestra Experimental da Amazonas Filarmonica, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and conductors Susanna Malkki, Steven Schick, and Karina Canellakis.
Having previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Northwestern University, Lawrence University, Columbia University, and Columbia College Chicago, he is currently an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Montclair State University and a guest scholar at the University of Pennsylvania (Fall 2019). He currently lives in New York City.

Marcos Balter: Descent from Parnassus (2012) from ICE on Vimeo.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Guest Composer Timothy McCormack

Timothy McCormack (1984) writes haptic, viscous music which makes audible the tactile, physical relationship between a performer and their instrument. Sometimes ecstatic, sometimes hermetic, his music embeds pitch within dense walls of noise to create strangely affecting sonic ecologies which alter one’s perception of time.

He has been commissioned by ensembles and organizations such as the ELISION Ensemble, Ensemblekollektiv Berlin, Klangforum Wien, the JACK Quartet, musikFabrik, Curious Chamber Players, the [Switch~ Ensemble], the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, the impuls Festival, and ON – Neue Musik Köln. His music has also been performed by Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Dal Niente, the TaleaEnsemble, Ensemble Nikel, and ensemble mosaik, and programmed on the MATA, Wien Modern, Darmstadt, Huddersfield, Maerzmusik, and TRANSIT festivals. He has forthcoming releases of his work on the Kairos and Huddersfield Contemporary Records labels.
                photo: Manu Theobald                   

McCormack is the recipient of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Composers’ Prize (2018). He won the Impuls International Composition Competition (2019) which resulted in a new work for Vienna’s Klangforum Wien. He was also awarded the George Arthur Knight Prize (2014) for his piece you actually are evaporating, as well as the John Green Fellowship (2017) for his “demonstrated talent and promise as a composer,” both from Harvard University.
On Friday, February 14th, Dr. McCormack will host a masterclass with several of the University at Buffalo PhD composition students and will present a lecture on his current composition interests and projects.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Recent Graduate Student Professional Activities

Graduate composers at the University of Buffalo pursue many professional opportunities both at UB and outside of the university. We would like to celebrate the achievements of our current and former UB graduate composers by sharing their recent accomplishments.

Recent UB graduate Igor Marques performed his PhD Dissertation, Noturno (2018), with contemporary music ensemble Elision. A recording of the performance can be found here. Dr. Marques is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University at Buffalo where he continues to compose and focus on teaching and research.

Alex Huddleston’s string quartet, I found a few configuartions//some stripes, was performed by the Mivos Quartet and was the winner of the 2018 Kanter Prize. Alex has received several commissions including from percussionist Steve Solook entitled how quickly for forget An Adolescence for drum set and a commission from trombonist Juna Winston for his duo project “Blechtrommell” for trombone and percussion. Huddleston is a music critic for Cambridge University Press’s TEMPO and has had several works presented as topics in lecture settings at UB, particularly of note was his work ThePreservation III in Musicologist Seth Brodsky’s lecture “Is there
music after analysis”.

John Aulich has had several opportunities to work with contemporary music ensemble Elision. He composed a piece for lap-steel, Uilleann pipes, and double bass for Elision which was workshopped last summer and received a request from Elision to compose them a second piece for bass clarinet, bassoon, cello, trombone, and saxophone. This new piece will be premiered May 2nd in Melbourne at the Melbourne Recital Center which will be attended by John for the performance and a recording session.

In May 2019 Ka Shu Tam’s work, Beyond the Frontier of the Great Wall for SATB Youth Choir was premiered in Hong Kong and will be commercially published this year. Tam also had a work premiered in June 2019 by the Arditti Quartet during the Bilkent Composition Academy in Ankara, Turkey entitled …IntoDirt…. This coming April 2020 Tam’s string trio, Flux, will be premiered in Christchurch, New Zealand during the International Society for Contemporary Music and Asian Composers’ League Conference.

Edgar Girtain IV was appointed Director of La Casa de las Artes for the Universidad Austral de Chile in Puerto Montt in June where he conducts the Symphonic and Chamber Choirs, and maintains a piano and composition studio. In October, Edgar premiered a four hand piano concerto with Ximena Vasquez on a concert featuring several new works by North American composers. Edgar’s choir toured Schubert’s G Major Mass with a full string orchestra and in January Edgar will be doing some educational programs with a local wind band and performing several premieres with ensemble Nucleo Experimentacion Sonora Chiloe directed by Alejandro Lavanderos.

Jessie Downs's current focus is composing and producing her new opera The Second Sight. The opera's first performances will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo on June 27th 2020 at 7pm, and June 28th 2020 at 2pm. In 2019, Jessie was awarded both a Dissertation Fellowship and a Mark Diamond Fund award to help support this project. Additional fundraising is underway. In November, a piano transcription of a scene from the opera's third act – Diskana’s Lament - was commissioned by and premiered as a musical offering at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo. Jessie was a participant in the 2019 June in Buffalo Festival, and her ensemble - the Sotto Voce Vocal Collective - presented performances of her opera's second scene as well as a new mass by Brien Henderson. In April, her 2016 duet for piccolo and prepared piano, shadow a thing, was performed on a UCSD graduate student recital featuring Michael Matsuno. Jessie also continues performing regularly as a soprano soloist. Recent performances include Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," Hensel's "For the Feast of St. Cecilia;" scenes from Verdi's Rigoletto (as Gilda) and La Traviata (as Violetta) presented on programs hosted by UUCB, Buffalo Master Choral, and Nickel City Opera; and the soprano duet from Alex Huddleston's "The Sonnets" with Julia Anne Cordani for the 2019 MUGSA symposium.

During the fall semester, Joel Kirk, wrote a piece - "Titration" - for the Yarn/Wire Ensemble which was workshopped and recorded by them during their residency at the University at Buffalo in November. He has also been working on an acousmatic piece for electronics and multimedia - "Rust" - with visual artist Eloise Shaw which will be completed in the coming months. Joel is currently writing a string quartet for the Arditti Quartet’s Buffalo residency in April and is also in talks with the UK-based Leyland Brass Band towards writing a piece for them to perform later in 2020.

Ruixing Wang is a classical music composer and also works as a pop music producer. Recently he has been collaborating with local Buffalo musician Carly Beth to create an original pop song. Back View was recently published in Chinese media and has over 500 thousand online plays and downloads.

Alex Buehler conducted a performance of his work Z/28 for 16-piece trombone choir at the International Trombone Festival in Muncie, IN, in July 2019. In October, his work Obsolescense for open instrumentation and improvised electronics was performed by composer/violinist Dr. Andrew May at CEMIcircles International Electronic and Experimental Music Festival 2019. Recently Alex was commissioned by the Amorsima String Trio as a part of their new music miniatures concert series which will take place in June 2020.

In Fall 2019, Su Lee’s dissertation composition "Die Radikalen Tasten", a concerto for organ with keyboard ensemble, written specifically on our own tremendous Fisk Op.95 organ at UB, received attention for the innovative and radical aspects of its organ repertoire. It was premiered at her dissertation fundraiser concert with the support of the Mark Diamond Research Fund and generous donations from the Buffalo/WNY community. An audience of approximately 150 attended. (A recording is available on YouTube). After successfully completing her defense, she is expecting to receive her PhD in composition in February 2020.

Matias Homar has performed in a tour of Argentina in June and July with the Imaymana Duo and was a special guest speaker at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata for the composition department and also gave a workshop in composition for the IV Jornadas Musicales de Formacion Instrumental y Vocal in Salta, Argentina. Homar also completed new works Dans av Hjerter fra Nord for the Norwegian group Current Sax and Metamorphosis for Ensemble Mise-En. This year he is recording and producing Imaymana Duo’s 2nd CD to be released in July and writing a new work for Ensemble Mise-En and the ECI Ensemble to be premiered in August in La Plata, Argentina.

Tyler Adamthwaite is a Presidential Scholar at the University at Buffalo and a graduate of both Colorado State University and Brandeis University in Buffalo. In the Fall of 2019 he had a recent composition workshopped and recorded by New York-based Ensemble Mise-En.

Tomek Arnold received the 2019 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his work Non-AggressiveMusic Deterrent in May. In September 2019 his composition Are you a Vineyard? was premiered by the Mivos Quartet at the Academie Voix Nouvelles in Royaumont Abbey.