Thursday, May 2, 2024

June in Buffalo 2024: Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon will return to the University at Buffalo as a senior composer for the 2024 June in Buffalo Festival. Zohn-Muldoon held the prestigious visiting Slee Professorship for the UB Music Department in fall 2020 and is the current Chair of Composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  

Zohn-Muldoon spent his early music career performing and composing in Guadalajara, Mexico before relocating to the United States to study music at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Pennsylvania. His work has received international accolades and awards, including the Mozart Medal from the Austrian Embassy in Mexico, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Tanglewood Music Center, and Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte. In 2011, Zohn-Muldoon's scenic cantata Comala (2009) was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Music. Inspired by the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo (1917-1986), Comala captures his compositional style—vivid colors swirling with complex rhythms and contrasting moods, often spurred through his readings and personal introspection.

Below is a recording of the Center for 21st Century Music's first "Pan-Americana" concert on October 17, 2023. We had the tremendous pleasure of hosting Zohn-Muldoon, whose piece, Páramo (1999), concluded the program. During the interview with guest conductor Christian Baldini (1:34:44), Zohn-Muldoon describes his intense connection to literature and how this manifests within the music (The performance of Páramo follows the interview, beginning at 1:56:05).

Slee Sinfonietta's "Pan-Americana"
October 17, 2023

Zohn-Muldoon cites the performers realizing his works as crucial to his creative voice, leading to the establishment of Zohn Collective in 2017. His collaborators include Tony Arnold, Molly Barth, Stuart Gerber, Dieter Hennings, Hanna Hurwitz, Daniel Pesca, Paul Vaillancourt, Colin Stokes, and Tim Weiss.

Candelabra IV performed by Duo Damiana
Molly Barth, flute
Dieter Hennings, guitar

For more information and a complete list of his works, visit Zohn-Muldoon's website.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

With Great Anticipation: June in Buffalo 2024

 The 2024 June in Buffalo Festival promises a vibrant and provocative week of new music and new relationships. Senior composers Jonathan GoloveKarola ObermuellerHilda ParedesAmy Williams, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon will work with dynamic emerging composers (announcement forthcoming) throughout the week of June 9-15. The festival boasts a week of intense creative and scholarly work, including lectures, masterclasses, workshops, seminars, and public concerts featuring esteemed new music ensembles and individual performers. The Center looks forward to welcoming the Arditti Quartet, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Slee Sinfonietta, and Switch~ Ensemble, as well as vocal soloists Tiffany DuMouchelle (soprano) and Nicholas Isherwood (bass-baritone). 

The Center for 21st Century Music remains steadfast in its mission for June in Buffalo: to stimulate the production of new works, thereby expanding our collective understanding of music and challenging musical conventions. The care and intensity undergirding the festival bespeaks the University at Buffalo’s greater new music tradition, which includes numerous composers and music academics.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987)

The potentialities available to new music in Buffalo attracted Morton Feldman, an influential new music composer of the late 20th century. Feldman organized the inaugural June in Buffalo in 1976 and directed the proceeding four festivals. His former student, David Felder, whose legacy as a composer and pedagogue reverberates on university grounds to this day, revived the festival in 1986. The festival is now overseen by cellist-composer and University at Buffalo faculty member, Jonathan Golove. Throughout its history, June in Buffalo has presented us with both the grandeur of a multigenerational music tradition and the invigorating promise of new art, and this year will be no different.