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Institute for New Music

Jump to Current Voices in Composition: Lecture Series

student showcaseStudent New Music Showcase

Tuesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

The Institute for New Music presents its annual showcase, giving Bienen School performance majors an opportunity to present contemporary solo and chamber works in a concert setting. An diverse program featuring Bienen students performing the music of Murail, Sciarrino, Messiaen, Mazzoli, Fuentes,Thomalla, Larsen and more!

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Eighth BlackbirdEighth Blackbird Lecture/Demonstration

Thursday, April 6, 4:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

The Chicago-based, four-time Grammy-winning ensemble performs and speaks about their music. Admission is free.

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Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet

Sunday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

The quartet will offer a performance of new works by Bienen School student composers Jose Arellano, Nicholas Cline, Sam Scranton, Luis Fernando Amaya Muoz, Ethan David Boxley, Liza Sobel, Craig Davis Pinson, and  Austin Joseph Busch.

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Claire Chase

Claire Chase

Thursday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

Flutist and new music entrepreneur Claire Chase will be on campus for her third year as an artist in residence at the Institute for New Music. Chase will coach student ensembles and composers, jointly teach a course with Hans Thomalla and perform the newest installment of her Density 2036 project.

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Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble

Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
Donald Nally and Benjamin Bolter, conductors

The two ensembles collaborate in the second of a series of concerts commemorating the late composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. In his 2010 Song/Play/Company, simplicity emerges out of seeming chaos as the English Renaissance composer John Dowland’s “Flow, My Tears” slowly comes into focus. In the masterful Ad Cor (To the Heart)—Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s last major work, written for conductor Donald Nally—individual movements address the wounded heart, the joyful heart, and the mocking heart before the three perspectives come together in the organic finale.

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FlutistStudent New Music Showcase

Tuesday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Regenstein Master Class Room

An Institute for New Music showcase giving Bienen School performance majors an opportunity to present solo and chamber works in a concert setting.

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Flute studentContemporary Music Ensemble

Friday, May 5, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
Alan Pierson and Taichi Fukumura, conductors

Joon Park, new work
Tyler Kramlich, new work
Frank Zappa, Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat 
Edgard Varèse, Intégrales 

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FonemaFonema Consort

Wednesday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

The group’s program features works composed by Bienen School students. Admission is free.

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Alan PiersonNorthwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble

Friday, May 26, 7:30 p.m.
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
Victor Yampolsky, Alan Pierson, and Ben Bolter, conductors; Taimur Sullivan, saxophone

Augusta Read Thomas, Hemke Concerto: Prisms of Light for saxophone and orchestra
Edgard Varèse, Amériques 
Frank Zappa, Pedro’s Dowry: yes, that’s right 

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BCEBienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble

Friday, May 26, 10:00 p.m.
Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall
Donald Nally and Kevin Vondrak, conductors

Music by Kevin Puts and Arvo Pärt as well as John Tavener’s prayerful Svyati for cello and choir.

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Millennium ParkContemporary Music Ensemble and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra: Zappa and Varèse

Sunday May 28, 6:30 p.m.
Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Alan Pierson, Ben Bolter, and Taichi Fukumura, conductors

Composer Edgard Varèse’s emphasis on timbre, rhythm, and emerging technologies inspired a multitude of musicians who came of age during the 1960s and ’70s, among them guitarist and composer Frank Zappa. The Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble celebrate the spirit of experimentation that united the two composers with a program featuring Zappa as a “virtual emcee” in recordings discussing his Varèse experiences. The Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble is featured in Varèse’s Ionisation.

Frank Zappa, Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat and Pedro’s Dowry: yes, that’s right 
Edgard Varèse, Ionisation, Intégrales, and Amériques

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Current Voices in Composition: Lecture Series

The Institute for New Music presents a series of composers speaking about their work, techniques, and compositional influences. All events take place at 5 p.m. in RCMA LL-121 and are free and open to the public.

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman

Friday, November 18

Andrew Norman (b. 1979) is a Los Angeles-based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Andrew’s work draws on an eclectic mix of sounds and notational practices from both the avant-garde and classical traditions. He is increasingly interested in story-telling in music, and specifically in the ways non-linear, narrative-scrambling techniques from other time-based media might intersect with traditional symphonic forms. His distinctive, often fragmented and highly energetic voice has been cited in the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors,” in the Boston Globe for its “staggering imagination,” and in the L.A. Times for its “audacious” spirit and “Chaplinesque” wit.

Enno Poppe

Enno Poppe

Thursday, December 1

Enno Poppe was born on December 30, 1969, in Hemer, Germany. He studied conducting and composition at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin with Friedrich Goldmann and Gösta Neuwirth, among others. Additionally, he studied sound synthesis and algorithmic composition at the Technische Universität Berlin and at the ZKM Karlsruhe. As a conductor, Enno Poppe regularly performs with Klangforum Wien, Ensemble musikFabrik and Ensemble Resonanz. Since 1998 he also is the chief conductor of ensemble mosaik. Enno Poppe taught composition at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, at Darmstädter Ferienkursen für Neue Musik and at Impuls Akademie (Graz).

Stacy Garrop

Stacy Garrop

Tuesday, January 10

Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. Stacy shares stories by taking audiences on sonic journeys – some simple and beautiful, while others are complicated and dark – depending on the needs and dramatic shape of the story.

Stacy is currently on a journey that is redefining her personal narrative. After teaching composition full-time at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University from 2000-2016, she stepped down from her position to become a freelance composer. As she makes this transition, she will be collaborating with a number of performers and organizations, including Anima Singers, Boston Choral Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Gaudete Brass Quintet, and the Carthage College Wind Ensemble. She will also be composing a new viola concerto for Michael Hall and both the Bandung Philharmonic (Indonesia) and Baroque on Beaver Music Festival, as well as writing a new work for tenor saxophone and piano for a consortium of fifteen saxophonists.

Stacy has received numerous awards and grants including a Fromm Music Foundation Grant, three Barlow Endowment commissions, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award, Boston Choral Ensemble Competition Contest, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s Harvey Gaul Composition Competition, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, Sorel Medallion Choral Composition Competition, and competitions sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and the New England Philharmonic. She has participated in reading session programs sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute), and Dale Warland Singers.

Sam Pluta

Sam Pluta

Tuesday, February 14

Sam Pluta is a New York City-based composer, laptop improviser, electronics performer, and sound artist. Though his work has a wide breadth, his central focus is on the laptop as a performance instrument capable of sharing the stage with groups ranging from new music ensembles to world-class instrumental improvisers. By creating unique interactions of electronics, instruments, and sonic spaces, Pluta's vibrant musical universe fuses the traditionally separate sound worlds of acoustic instruments and electronics, creating sonic spaces which envelop the audience and resulting in a music focused on visceral interaction of instrumental performers with reactive computerized sound worlds.

Seung-WonSeung-Won Oh

Tuesday, February 21

Seung-Won (Seung-Ah) Oh, a native of Korea, is an acclaimed composer who was described as "a name to remember" in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant. The same publication described her music as "exciting in which you can experience a great variety of timbre and organic development", and "refined and sharply cut."

The recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, Oh's music has been performed throughout Europe, North America and Asia by ensembles including Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea, Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan), Ensemble Aleph (France), Ensemble Chronophonie (Germany), Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, Doelen Ensemble, the Atlas ensemble, the Nieuw Ensemble, Hexnut Ensemble, Orkest de Ereprijs, Orkest de Volharding (The Netherlands), New York New Music Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet and Flexible Music among others.

Oh's awards include the Toonzetters award for best contemporary music in the Netherlands, both first prize and the audience prize at the 3rd Seoul International Competition for Composers, the prestigious creative arts residency at the Bellagio Center in Italy given by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is also a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship by John Simon Guggenheim Memorial foundation and the Barlow endowment for music composition.

Oh studied at Ewha Womans University (BA, MM), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (doctoral study), Brandeis University (MA, PhD) and The Royal Conservatory of the Hague (MM). She has previously taught at Brandeis University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Florida at Gainesville and Oberlin conservatory of Music and joined DePaul's faculty as Assistant Professor of Composition, in fall 2011.

Alex Mincek

Alex Mincek

Tuesday, March 28

Alex Mincek (b. 1975) is a New York-based composer and performer. He studied composition with Tristan Murail and Fred Lerdahl at Columbia University (DMA) and with Nils Vigeland at the Manhattan School of Music (MA). He is currently the saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and artistic director of the Wet Ink Ensemble, a group dedicated to contemporary music, which he founded in 1998. Mincek's music has been programmed at venues and international festivals including Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, the Strasbourg Musica Festival, Festival Présences of Radio France, Festival Archipel in Geneve, Voix Nouvelles at the Abbaye de Royaumont in Paris, Festival des Musiques Démesurées in Clermont-Ferrand, the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD), Unerhörte Musik in Berlin, the Contempuls Festival in Prague, and the Ostrava New Music Days.

Joshua FinebergJoshua Fineberg

Tuesday, April 4

American composer Joshua Fineberg began his musical studies at the age of five; they have included – in addition to composition – violin, guitar, piano, harpsichord and conducting. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Morris Moshe Cotel where he won first prize in the bi-annual Virginia Carty de Lillo Composition Competition. In 1991, he moved to Paris and studied with Tristan Murail. The following year he was selected by the IRCAM/Ensemble InterContemporain reading panel for the course in composition and musical technologies. He worked for several years as a free-lance composer in Europe and as a consultant researcher at IRCAM, then, in the Fall of 1997, he returned to the US to pursue a doctorate in musical composition at Columbia University, which he completed in May 1999. After teaching at Columbia for a year, he went to Harvard University where he taught for seven years and was the John L. Loeb Associate Professor for the Humanities. In September 2007, Fineberg left Harvard to assume a professorship in composition and the directorship of the electronic music studios at Boston University. In 2012 he became the founding director of the Boston University Center for New Music. Beginning in 2015 he has shared his time between Berlin and the United States. He has won numerous national and international prizes and scholarships and is published by Editions Max Eschig and Gérard Billaudot Editeur.

In 2011, Fineberg was named an Artist Fellow of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and in 2016 he was named a Chévalier de l’ordre des arts et lettres by France. Fineberg’s works are widely performed in the US, Europe and Asia. A monographic CD of his music recorded by the Ensemble Court-Circuit was released in 2002 as a part of Unviersal France’s Accord/Una Corda collection, another CD recorded by the Ensemble FA was released by Mode Records in June 2009 and in 2012 a CD with his complete works for Piano, performed by Marilyn Nonken, was released by Divine Art/Métier. A new CD of his works is currently being prepared for release in 2017, also by Divine Art/Métier. Major projects include an ‘imaginary opera’ based on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita for actor, dancers, video, ensemble and electronics realized in collaboration with JOJI; Speaking in Tongues, a concerto written for Les Percussions de Strasbourg’s 50th anniversary tour, Objets trouvé written for the ensemble Court-circuit and La Quintina for sting quartet and electronics written for the Arditti Quartet and premiered at the Ultraschall festival in Berlin that marked the first co-realization between the ExperimentalStudio in Freiburg and IRCAM in Paris. He is currently writing and evening length immersive musical theater work for Chicago’s Dal Niente Ensemble which will be premiered in June 2017.

Besides his compositional and pedagogical activities, Joshua Fineberg actively collaborates with music psychologists and computer scientists in music perception research and helps develop tools for computer assisted composition, acoustic analysis and sound modification. He has been involved in working with performing ensembles and as producer for recordings of many ensembles and soloists. Joshua Fineberg is also the issue editor for two issues of The Contemporary Music Review on “Spectral Music” (Vol. 19 pt. 2 & 3) and for a double-issue featuring the collected writings of Tristan Murail in English (Vol. 24 pt. 2&3). From 2003-2009, he served as the US Editor for The Contemporary Music Review, where he still serves on the editorial board. His book Classical Music, Why Bother? was published by Routledge Press in 2006.

Joshua Fineberg’s music has been described as a music of paradoxes: at once turbulent and contemplative, simultaneously active and reflective. The sound world is colorful and seemingly decorative, yet rigorously constructed and the consequence of careful acoustic observation and research. Fineberg belongs to the second generation of composers influenced by the so-called ‘spectral’ school of Frenchmen Gerard Grisey and Tristan Murail. In his music, however, the relationship between acoustical models and the resultant music is more elusive and sophisticated. Fineberg considers the use of models fundamental to his entire compositional approach. They may be poetic models as much as concrete technical ones – indeed the two may be directly related to each other.