Tuesday, May 25, 2021

June in Buffalo 2021 Senior Composer: Stefano Gervasoni

We are very excited to announce that Stefano Gervasoni will join us as a senior composer for this year's June in Buffalo. Born in Bergamo in 1962, Stefano Gervasoni began studying composition in 1980 on the advice of Luigi Nono: this encounter, as well as others with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Helmut Lachenmann, turned out to be decisive for his career. After attending the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, where he studied with Luca Lombardi, Niccolò Castiglioni and Azio Corghi, Stefano Gervasoni met György Ligeti in Hungary in 1990, and then, in 1992, he attended the IRCAM Course in Composition and in Computer Music in Paris. The first three years in France launched Gervasoni's international career that eventually led him to be artist-in-residence at Villa Medici in Rome for the 1995-96 biennium.

Stefano Gervasoni has established himself as one of the most important Italian composers of his generation. His commissions include such prestigious institutions as the WDR, the SWR, the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, the Münchner Kammerorchester, the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Radio France, IRCAM, the Casa da Musica in Porto, the Festival Archipel in Geneva, the Divertimento Ensemble in Milan, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva, the Maerzmusik festival in Berlin, the Ars Musica Bruxelles, the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, the French Ministry of Culture, Milan Teatro alla Scala and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. His catalogue – which includes chamber and vocal music, concertos, works for orchestra, for ensemble and the opera Limbus-Limbo – is published by Ricordi and by Suvini Zerboni.

A winner of numerous prizes, including the recent "Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation Award" (2018) and Premio della Critica Musicale "Franco Abbiati" (2010), his work has allowed him to be a grant-holder at the Fondation des Treilles in Paris (1994) and at the DAAD in Berlin (2006) and composer-in-residence at Villa Médicis in Rome as fellow at the Académie de France for the years 1995-96 and at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec during the period 2008-2010. He has also been invited to teach at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, on the courses organised by the Fondation Royaumont (Paris), at Toho University in Tokyo, at the Festival International de Campos do Jordão in Brazil, at the Conservatory in Shanghai, at Columbia University (New York), at Harvard University (Boston) and at Takefu International Music Festival. He has been composer-in-residence at Lausanne Conservatoire (2005) and at Yellow Barn Summer Academy (Vermont, 2016). Moreover, he has been visiting professor at ESMUC in Barcelona for the 2012-13 academic year.

His disc Antiterra, featureing the pieces An, Animato, Antiterra, Least Bee, Godspell, and Epicadenza, was recently released in France by Aeon and bears witness to “a sonic world of great wealth, subtlety, refinement, expressive but also organic, that immediately captures one’s attention” (Philippe Albèra). Other recordings include the Harmonia Mundi CD in the series Musiqu Française d’Aujourd’hui (Ensemble Contrechamps), the Stradivarius CD by Divertimento Ensemble and the CD Dir-in dir released in Germany by Winter und Winter. From 2006 Stefano Gervasoni has held a regular teaching position as professor of composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. The musicologist Philippe Albèra wrote a substantial book on Stefano Gervasoni's work, Stefano Gervasoni. Le parti pris des sons, published in 2015 by Editions Contrechamps (Geneva). His last CD, entitled pas perdu has been released in 2018 by Winter & Winter.

June in Buffalo Senior Composer: Augusta Read Thomas

We are delighted to announce that Augusta Read Thomas will be a June in Buffalo senior composer for 2021. The music of Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964 in New York) is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful. She has been championed by such luminaries as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Boulez, Eschenbach, Salonen, Maazel, Ozawa, and Knussen, and was described by The American Academy of Arts and Letters as “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music."

In 2016, Augusta Read Thomas founded the University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Composition. The Center comprises ten integrated entities: annual concert series featuring the Grossman Ensemble, CHIME, visiting ensembles, distinguished guest composers, performances, recordings, research, student-led projects, workshops and postdoctoral fellowships.

Recent and upcoming commissions include those from the Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera and other opera companies, PEAK Performances at Montclair State University and the Martha Graham Dance Company, The Cathedral Choral Society of Washington D.C., The Indianapolis Symphony, Tanglewood, The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony, Boston Symphony, the Utah Symphony, Wigmore Hall in London, JACK quartet, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Chicago Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, the Danish Chamber Players, Notre Dame University, Janet Sung, Lorelei Vocal Ensemble, and the Fromm Foundation.

Thomas has the distinction of having her work performed more frequently in 2013-2014 than any other living ASCAP composer, according to statistics from the performing rights organization (New York Times). Her discography includes 88 commercially recorded CDs.

Her recent piece for wordless soprano and string quartet, Plea for Peace (embedded below), was commissioned by The University of Chicago for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Chicago Pile-1. The meditative, drawn out sustains of the quartet weave a gentle counterpoint around an increasingly urgent vocal to a beautiful and inevitable climax.


June in Buffalo 2021 Senior Composer: Robert H.P. Platz

June in Buffalo is very pleased to announce that the composer and conductor Robert HP Platz will be among our senior composers this festival.  Platz was born in Baden-Baden in 1951, and studied music theory, piano and conducting in Freiburg / Breisgau. He studied composition with Wolfgang Fortner and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne, and later completed his conducting training with Francis Travis in Freiburg. Platz' various collaborations ahve variously taken him to the United Stated, Paris and Japan.  From 1989, Platz’ compositions have been part of a journal-like all-encompassing cycle that continues in associative leaps, distributions in space, and a polyphony of forms.

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.

Platz has lectured and taught in many European countries as well as the USA, Mexico, Israel, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan; 1986-1996 and again in 2002 lecturer at the Darmstadt summer courses. From 1990 onwards, Platz led a composition class at the Maastricht University of Music, combined with a seminar on the performance practice of new music. Since October 2013, Platz has held a professorship for composition and ensemble management for new music at the Musikhochschule Würzburg. From 2000 to 2007, Platz was artistic director of the Schreyahner Herbst festival. Since October 2013, Platz has held a professorship for composition and ensemble management for new music at the Musikhochschule Würzburg.

The Steingraeber piano manufacturer has been building the first midi grand piano with permanently installed transducers according to Platz’ specifications since 2016. Since 2005 the composer has been a member of the Bureau du Directeur of the Henri Pousseur Electronic Studio, Liège. Numerous CDs document the compositional and conducting work of Robert HP Platz. His portrait CD Mauro Lanza with the Ensemble Alternance was awarded by the Académie Charles Cros, his first Hosokawa CD with NEOS received the Clef d'Or as "Best CD of the year 2009".

A disc of Platz solo flute works, Più di un sogno, was released in Feburary of this year, with flutist Roberto Fabbriciani.

June in Buffalo 2021 Senior Composer: Hilda Paredes

We are pleased to announced that Hilda Paredes will be working with students at this year’s June in Buffalo Festival as one of a number of  senior composers and guest lecturers. Hilda Paredes was born in Tehuacan, Puebla in 1957 and is currently based in London, England. While it is fundementally European on the surface, Mexican and pre-colonial culture runs as a deep background thread through much of her work.  At the same time, many of her means for manipulating rhythm and structure have been influenced by her interest in the music of India.

Firmly established as one of the leading Mexican composers of her generation, Hilda Paredes has been based in London for 35 years. Musicians, singers and conductors frequently praise the perfect balance she achieves between brilliant compositional technique and a keen sensibility for the particular instruments and individuals for whom she writes.

The versatility of her work is manifest in a catalogue that includes a wide range of electroacoustic works created at IRCAM, at SWR Experimentalstudio and at CIRM, where the electronics of her widely celebrated chamber opera Harriet, Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman, were created. Harriet is based on poetry by Mayra Santos-Febres and a selection of dialogues by Lex Bohlmeijer,  and tells the story of Harriet Tubman, who escaped her childhood of slavery and helped others to freedom via the Underground Railroad, a network of safe routes to the free states. After the premiere at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Dutch critic, Joep Stapel, placed Harriet as the number one Best Classical Music of 2018. In 2019, Paredes was awarded a prestigious Ivors Composer Award for this work. 

While there is a testimony of constant collaboration with Mexican poets and artists in her works, she also draws inspiration from music and cultures from around the world. Her music has been acclaimed by the critics for the refinement of her craft, marked by the intensity of the relationship between time, dramatic force and poetic approach. 

 In addition to this award, Paredes has been honoured with a number of international accolades, including the PRS for Music Foundation, J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller, Fund for Culture Mexico/USA, and the Fellowship from Sistema Nacional de Creadores (FONCA) in Mexico.

Hilda Paredes’ music has been commissioned and performed by many prestigious ensembles, orchestras and soloists including Trio Arbós, Arditti Quartet, Aventure, Collegium Novum Zurich, Contrechamps, Court Circuit, Ensemble Intercontemporain, L’Instant donné, Hilliard Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Signal, Grup Instrumental de Valencia, ICE, London Sinfonietta, Lontano, The New Julliard Ensemble, Neue Vocalsolisten, Plural Ensemble, Psappha, Ensemble Phoenix Basle, MDi Ensemble, Orchestra di l’Arena de Verona, RTE, OFUNAM, Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, amongst many others.

Her works have been presented by such prominent international festivals and venues as the Wigmore Hall, Huddersfield Contemporary Music and Edinburgh Festivals in the UK; Eclat and Ultraschall in Germany; Festival D’Automne a Paris, Musica and Octobre en Normandie in France; Wien Modern and Klangspuren in Austria; Akiyoshidai and Takefu Music Festivals in Japan; Archipel in Switzerland; De Ijsbreker Chamber Music Festival in Amsterdam; Warsaw Autumn in Poland; Ultima in Oslo; Melbourne International Music Festival in Australia; June in Buffalo, the Composer Portraits Series at Miller Theatre NY, and Festival of Arts and Ideas in the USA, Ars Musica in Bruxelles; Festival de Alicante, Festival de Música Religiosa de Cuenca and ENSEMS Festival in Spain; and Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico.

June in Buffalo 2021 Participants

Congratulations to the selected participants for June in Buffalo 2021, who will be joining the festival remotely this year! 

The participants and selected works are:

Jia Yi Lee (Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University) - orbit for flute doubling alto, piano, violin, viola and cello.

Matías Homar (University at Buffalo) - Nus Ga Eid for flute, percussion violin, viola and cello.

Joel Kirk (University at Buffalo) - always update status for flute doubling piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and glockenspiel.

Kunal Gala (Berklee College of Music) - Currents for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

Nicolas Chuaqui (Eastman School of Music) - The Windowed Present for clarinet, violin, cello, piano

Edgar Girtain (University at Buffalo) - For Aurora No. 3 for Piccolo/Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion and piano  

Zhuosheng Jin (McGill University)  - Departure Pulse (August Story) for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello

Owen Eddy (Berklee College of Music) - self and efficacy for flute and piano

Sean Klink (Western Illinois University) - winds across water for crotales, marimba and piano

Sameer Ramchandran (Rutgers University) - Le jardin des ombres for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, percussion, two violins, viola, cello and contrabass.

Patricia Morehead (North Bay Symphony Orchestra) - Sounds and Sighs for John for oboe d’amore doubling oboe and electronics

Emanuele Savagnone
(Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim) - Forme della luce nello spazio for Clarinet in A,  piano, two violins and cello

Jonathan Rainous (University at Buffalo) - Rapture 1 -  Exuberance for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello.

Treya Nash
(University of North Carolina at Greensboro) - Nothing Motorized for clarinet, violin and percussion.

Parker Callister (Eastman School of Music) - crawl for amplified violin and piano.

Xuesi Xu (Florida State University)  - wreckage for bass flute, piano and contrabass.

Tyler Adamthwaite (University at Buffalo) - Stone Pierrot for baritone, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.

Ryan Carraher    (University of Washington) - we also shape shift at a distance for baritone, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.

Lihuen Sirvent (University at Buffalo) - pyrrhic victory for solo violin

John Aulich (University at Buffalo) - slacken tired shrouds for string quartet

James Falzone (University at Buffalo) - String Quartet No. 3 - A Curving Abacus for string quartet

Alex Buehler (University at Buffalo) - Wateriness for string quartet

Axel Retif (CIEM/West London College) - Jo-Ha-Kyu for string quartet

Tsu-Yao Yang (Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon) - Bleu II for string quartet

Sofía Rocha (University of Missouri-Kansas City) - Standing Waves for string quartet

June in Buffalo 2021 Senior Composer: Jeffrey Mumford

We are very pleased to welcome Jeffrey Mumford as one of our June in Buffalo Senior Composers. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1955, Jeffrey Mumford has received numerous fellowships, grants, awards and commissions. His music has been performed extensively, by major orchestras, soloists, and ensembles, both in the United States and abroad, including London, Paris, Reykjavik, Vienna, The Hague, Russia and Lithuania.

Mumford’s music is appraised for the mesmerizing beauty of his orchestrations, shifting cloud-like and pointillistic textures, and unfolding layered lines. His highly evocative, almost painterly music is influenced by a broad and eclectic range of musicians, from Elliott Carter to Sarah Vaughan.  His current projects include for Clare, a new work for solo piano commissioned by pianist Clare Longendyke) as part of her project entitled "UnRaveled", a project responding to and reimagining Ravel's piano music, and a CD of recent concerti.

His most notable commissions include those from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Library of Congress (co-commission), the BBC Philharmonic, the San Antonio, Chicago & National Symphonies (National Symphony twice), Washington Performing Arts, the Network for New Music, ‘cellist Mariel Roberts, the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (through New Music USA), Duo Harpverk (Iceland), the Sphinx Consortium, the Cincinnati Symphony (twice), the VERGE Ensemble /National Gallery of Art/Contemporary Music Forum, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Nancy Ruyle Dodge Charitable Trust, the Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA, Cincinnati radio station WGUC, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, and the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress.

A notable new recording is two Elliott carter tributes by pianist Pina Napolitano as part of her new critically acclaimed CD "Tempo e Tempi" (Odradek Records ODCCDR378). Mumford has taught at the Washington Conservatory of Music, served as Artist-in-Residence at Bowling Green State University, and served as assistant professor of composition and Composer-in-Residence at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He is currently Distinguished Professor at Lorain County Community College in Northern Ohio.