Monday, December 12, 2022

Announcing June in Buffalo 2023 Call for Applications!

The Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music and the June in Buffalo Festival announce the June in Buffalo 2023 call for applications! June in Buffalo 2023 will be fully in-person and take place at the University at Buffalo campus, beginning on Tuesday, June 6, and ending on Sunday, June 11. Please read our tribute to our Artistic Director David Felder, who restarted and reconceptualized the June in Buffalo Festival in 1986, and grew the Festival to become a hub for high-quality and virtuosic contemporary music workshops, lectures, masterclasses, events, and concerts. We extend our gratitude for his leadership of the Festival for 37 years and wish him a healthy and happy retirement. 

This year our Senior Composers will be Ann Cleare, new June in Buffalo Artistic Director Jonathan GoloveRobert HP PlatzMathew Rosenblum, and Melinda Wagner. Our resident ensembles will be the Arditti QuartetBuffalo Philharmonic OrchestraSlee SinfoniettaSwitch~  Ensemble, and Talujon Percussion Ensemble.  

Information on how to apply, and access to the application portal can be found here. Processing fee and application materials must be received by Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Looking forward to seeing everyone in June! 

Irvine Arditti, Brad Lubman, and Ensemble Signal perform David Felder's Jeu de Tarot at June in Buffalo 2019

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Announcing Artistic Director David Felder's retirement!

The Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music and the June in Buffalo Festival announce the retirement of longtime Artistic Director, Dr. David Felder. David is stepping down from these positions in conjunction with his upcoming retirement as faculty member at the University at Buffalo, where since 1990 he has held the titles of SUNY Distinguished Professor and Birge-Cary Endowed Chair in Music. Felder’s contributions to contemporary music cannot be overstated, in light both of his internationally recognized status as a composer, and of his tireless work as a mentor, programmer, and builder of structures in support of his avowed mission of promoting contemporary music of the highest quality.  

David and Eileen Felder with fellow composer Charles Wuorinen
Following the completion of his Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California at San Diego, Felder taught for several years at Cal State Long Beach, before joining the music department at the University at Buffalo in the Fall of 1985. During his first year in Buffalo, he restarted and reconceptualized the June in Buffalo Festival, which was founded by Morton Feldman in 1975 and ran until 1980. 

Of the many changes that Felder would implement, chief among them was the addition of performances of participant composer works. Whereas in the past, the festival had been focused on the works and ideas of the senior composers, under Felder’s directorship, participant composers now had their works rehearsed, workshopped, performed, and recorded. It is surely no exaggeration to say that many generations of composers have received important feedback from colleagues, peers, and performers, as well as significant exposure for their work, at June in Buffalo. Indeed, David Felder’s support of and advocacy for developing composers can be seen as the defining feature of his work as UB Professor. As a teacher, he has mentored and supervised over 80 Ph.D. composition students from all over the world that have traveled to Buffalo to study with him, with a pedagogical focus on guiding student composers to the self-discovery of an authentic individual creative voice during their degree programs.

In addition to directing the June in Buffalo Festival, in 1996 Felder formed the Slee Sinfonietta, an ensemble comprising virtuosic musicians from the UB music department and around the world. As Artistic Director of the Sinfonietta, he has masterminded nearly three decades of brilliant and innovative programs, featuring conductors and soloists of the first rank and bringing significant, yet most often underperformed repertoire to the public. Additionally, Felder has fostered relationships with ensembles from across the US and Europe, perhaps most notably the Arditti Quartet, with whom the Center has enjoyed a relationship unique among American institutions. The growing vitality and recognition of the resultant relationships, programming, concerts, and innovative music events led to the success of Felder’s efforts to create the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at the University at Buffalo in 2006, and he has served as the Center’s Artistic Director since its inception. 

David Felder hosting a masterclass at
the University at Buffalo
From 2015 through 2020 he was Co-Director and Co-Founder of a program created and supervised at the request of the UB Provost entitled the Creative Arts Initiative, an innovative artist residency program that brought highly accomplished international artists in a wide variety of disciplines to Western New York for the purpose of creating and presenting new work.

An abbreviated list of the recognition his work as a composer has received includes a Guggenheim Award, numerous fellowships and commissions from the National Endowment from the Arts, two New York State Arts Council awards, two Koussevitsky commissions, two Fromm Foundation fellowships, two awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, two commissions from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, three years as composer-in-residence with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and much more.

David Felder's Netivot, in collaboration with video artist Elliot Caplan, performed by the Arditti Quartet

His scores are published by Project Schott New York, and Theodor Presser, and his multiple composer portrait CDs have been released on Albany, Bridge, Coviello, BMOP/Sound, Mode, and EMF. 

Felder’s compositional output is wide-ranging, including the monumental gesamtkunstwerk and vocal tour de force, Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux; orchestral works such as Die Dämmerungen, A Pressure Triggering Dreams, and Six Poems from Neruda’s Alturas…; concerto-style works such as Jeu de Tarot and Jeu de Tarot 2, Tweener, and Inner Sky; three string quartets; works involving technological elaboration such as the Crossfire series, video collaborations including the Shamayim series, smaller chamber works and solos, works for electronic sound, and many others. By maintaining a unique compositional voice across a diverse array of genres and instrumental forces, Felder’s many contributions to contemporary music repertoire mirror his innovations as a programmer, community and network-builder, and his creative vision for the Center for 21st Century Music, the June in Buffalo Festival, and the Slee Sinfonietta, realized over a 37 year period. Writings, reviews, and discussions of the content, style, aesthetic, and complexity of his musical compositions are plentiful and can be found on his personal website,, where one can also listen to his works, purchase his recordings, or contact his publishers. 

Jeu de Tarot, performed by Ensemble Signal with Brad Lubman conducting, Irvine Arditti soloist

We extend our gratitude to this prolific composer of international renown for his incredibly significant contribution to contemporary music in Buffalo, the US, and throughout the world. His successor in the roles of Festival and Center Director is Dr. Jonathan Golove, who offers congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of Dr. Felder’s retirement, and also his deepest personal thanks to David for his long-standing mentorship and support.