"New Music, New Works" at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

This Sunday, May 2, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Mizzou New Music Initiative will present “New Music, New Works,” the world premiere of three original compositions created by University of Missouri composition students Stephanie Berg, Michael Strausbaugh, and David Witter and performed by the University of Missouri New Music Ensemble.

The Ensemble is part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, sponsored by the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and is directed by Stefan Freund, associate professor of music theory and composition. Each composer created his or her piece in response to a work of art by the artists featured in the Contemporary’s Great Rivers Biennial 2010: Martin Brief, Sarah Frost, and Cameron Fuller.

“New Music, New Works” also will includes a performance of “1 8 3 9,” a composition by University of Missouri faculty member Paul Seitz that features a movement inspired by the artist Cezanne, and an excerpt from Olivier Messiaen’s seminal work, “Quartet for the End of Time.”

The “New Music, New Works” concert begins at 2:00 p.m., Sunday May 2 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Blvd. (at Spring), St. Louis, MO, 63108. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to amakeever@camstl.org, or call (314) 535-0770 x311. A reception will precede the concert.

The “New Music, New Works” program is just one of the events sponsored by the Mizzou New Music Initiative. This summer, the first-ever Mizzou New Music Summer Festival will be held July 12-18 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. The festival will bring to campus eight composers from around the world, selected through a portfolio application process, to compose a work that will be performed by the genre-bending, award-winning ensemble Alarm Will Sound.

The selected composers will receive instruction from composers Martin Bresnick and Derek Bermel; participate in workshops with Alarm Will Sound and master classes; and receive a professional live recording and the premiere performance of their work. Pianist Lisa Moore, the festival's resident performing artist, will give an evening recital and workshop, and University of Missouri composition faculty members Dr. W. Thomas McKenney and Dr. Stefan Freund, Alarm Will Sound's cellist, will give presentations on their music. The festival will conclude with the world premiere of the eight works composed for Alarm Will Sound by the festival’s resident composers on Sunday, July 18 at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts.

The Mizzou New Music Initiative brings together a diverse array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. The Initiative is the direct result of the generous support of Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. The Sinquefields’ vision is to create an incubator for the composition and performance of new music, and to position Missouri as a major center for the music of tomorrow.

For more about the Mizzou New Music Initiative, please visit http://music.missouri.edu/newmusicinitiative.html.

For more about the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, please visit http://www.contemporarystl.org/.