MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 23, 2014) — The Minnesota Orchestra performs new orchestral works by seven of today’s top emerging composers in its seventh Future Classics concert, the first since January 2012, played under the baton of Music Director Osmo Vänskä.
The concert, held on Friday, January 16, is the capstone of the 12th Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, co-presented with the American Composers Forum; the program has consistently earned national recognition. The 2015 Institute is the first to be presented under the leadership of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, who succeeds the program’s founding director, Aaron Jay Kernis. All seven featured composers will be present to introduce their music at the concert, which will be hosted by Fred Child, who hosts American Public Media’sPerformance Today.
“This will be an evening of compelling music by seven emerging composers with unique visions and voices,” says Puts, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera Silent Night, which was commissioned by the Minnesota Opera. “Osmo Vänskä, a true friend of today’s composers, will conduct each score and work closely with the composers in orchestral rehearsals and private one-on-one sessions. The Composer Institute earned a reputation of great prestige under the leadership of Aaron Jay Kernis, and I’m delighted and honored to share my own ideas and experience as the program enters a new era.”
The concert is performed at the Minnesota Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, January 16, at 8 p.m., with tickets priced at $20 for adults, and $12 for students and youth ages 6 to 17. Individual tickets and subscription packages for all 2014-15 season concerts are available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, see the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
Career breakthroughs for seven emerging talents
The program’s seven featured composers represent four nationalities and reside throughout the U.S. and Sweden, and their works encompass a variety of musical styles. Collectively, they have studied at some of the nation’s top music schools, including the Juilliard School, Indiana University, Yale University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. One composer, Matthew Peterson, has strong Minnesota ties, having studied at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Three of the new works are receiving their world premiere performances at the Future Classics concert, while the others are receiving their first performance by a major American orchestra.
In addition to Matthew Peterson, a native of North Dakota, the composer participants are Canadian-born Kati Agócs, Latvian-born Eugene Birman, South Korean-born Texu Kim, New York native Loren Loiacono, California native Evan Meier and Massachusetts native Michael Schachter.
Compser-in-Residence of Korean Symphony Orchestra as well as Ensemble 212, Texu Kim’s works have been performed by Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Tongyeong International Music Festival, AGO National Convention, ACDA Regional Conference, etc. His music has earned awards and honors from SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition, the American Prize, OSSIA NEW MUSIC Composition Competition, C4 Commissioning Competition, Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, Isang Yun International Composition Prize, and Joong-Ang Music Concours.
Mr. Kim’s arrangement works also have been performed widely, as in the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, in Piece & Piano Festival, by New York Classical Players. He participated as arranger in albums of sopranos Sumi Jo, Youngok Shin, Violist Richard Yongjae O’neill, Harpist Jung Kwak, Daegum player Jeong-Seung Kim, violinists Suyoen Kim and Chee-Yun, pianist Yeol-Eum Son, etc.
Texu is pursuing a doctorate in composition at the Indiana University and holds previous degrees from Seoul National University. In 1998, he won a silver medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad.
Agócs’ Perpetual Summer is scored for orchestra and a sextet of solo strings, together engaged in a dialogue that recalls a Baroque concerto grosso. Birman’s Manifesto explores paradoxical concepts and “the sound of the surreal,” built around musical material reminiscent of a folk song. Kim’s Splash!! is a colorful work filled with surprising turns, summoning images of children playing with water balloons and a dancing fountain. Loiacono’s Stalks, Hounds takes a brief musical gesture from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe and continually transforms the motif from a familiar form to “a place that is claustrophobic and alien.” Evan Meier’s Fire Music has a form that “behaves like a kind of conflagration,” with musical sparks that ignite, spread, transform and trail off, like dying embers. Peterson’s Hyperborea is inspired by the mythical realm of ancient Greek legend, and by the sea and sky of the composer’s home near Sweden’s Baltic coast. Schachter’s Freylekhe Tanzen, whose title means “joyous dances” in Yiddish, is described by the composer as “a love letter to the liturgical and folk music of European jewry,” with a slow dance giving way to a lively Klezmer finale.
Music Director Osmo Vänskä’s commitment lends additional prestige to event
In 2006 Osmo Vänskä expanded the then-five-year-old Composer Institute to include an evening Future Classics concert showcasing the composers and works selected for the week-long program. In addition to rehearsing and conducting the concert, he meets individually with all seven composers for private instruction sessions during the Institute.
“The Composer Institute is very important for the Orchestra, for me, for new music and for our audiences,” says Vänskä. “Sometimes we forget that every piece was once new, and I think it’s our responsibility to take care of today’s music.”
Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute enters 12th year
The Orchestra’s annual Composer Institute, co-presented with the American Composers Forum in cooperation with Subito Music Corporation, is an acclaimed professional training program for emerging symphonic composers that includes five days of seminars, rehearsals, tutoring sessions and other events. Directed for the first time by composer Kevin Puts, the Composer Institute is now in its 12th season.
“The American Composers Forum is committed to nurturing the talent of living composers, and through the Composer Institute, we help ensure that the future of new orchestral music is vibrant and strong,” says American Composers Forum President John Nuechterlein. The St. Paul-based organization manages the Institute’s score submission process, brings word of the program to its large body of constituents and offers advice and resources, continually helping to fine-tune and expand the program.
As in 2012, the Orchestra is partnering with Subito Music Corporation to offer the Subito Composer Fellowship, a one-year publisher’s mentoring program that will be awarded to one of the 2015 Composer Institute participants. The fellowship will offer professional promotional efforts for the composer’s work that is featured on the Future Classics concert, and the chosen composer will cultivate a working knowledge of today’s classical music publishing industry through on-site, hands-on training. In addition, Subito Music Corporation is printing all 2015 Composer Institute scores and parts pro bono.
The Composer Institute is an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s “Perfect Pitch” program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched during the 1995-96 season in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. Perfect Pitch was reformulated in 2001 as the Composer Institute, as the program’s focus broadened and national participation was invited.
Many of the 106 composers who have taken part in Perfect Pitch and the Composer Institute in previous years have gone on to receive major commissions, prizes, grants and other opportunities, and several participants have had works played by the Orchestra at subsequent concerts, most recently Polina Nazaykinskaya, whose Winter Bells was offered on the classical subscription series in November 2014.
“The week at the Composer Institute was one of the best weeks in my life,” says Ming-Hsiu Yen, a 2008 Institute participant. “The first-rate music education system in the United States is what brought me here from Taiwan, and the conservatory training that I received has been invaluable in making me a better musician. There has been nothing, however, that could compare to what I learned in a week at the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.”
The Institute’s seminars bring composers directly in contact with professionals who can offer guidance in areas not typically explored in classroom settings, including aspects of building a career as a composer, legal issues, public speaking and self-publishing music. In addition, Minnesota Orchestra musicians will offer practical guidance on writing for specific instruments and sections of the orchestra.
The 2015 Composer Institute’s seminar presenters include John Nuechterlein and Craig Carnahan of the American Composers Forum; Frank J. Oteri of New Music USA; attorney James Kendrick of Kendrick Law and The Copland Fund; Andrea Shada of the University of Minnesota, who will present on public speaking; music publisher Bill Holab of Bill Holab Music; Fred Child of American Public Media; Minnesota Orchestral Artistic Advisor Asadour Santourian; and Minnesota Orchestra musicians including Roger Frisch, Kathy Kienzle and Brian Mount. Most sessions are open to members of the American Composers Forum, and registration information is available at composersforum.org. A complete schedule of the week’s events is provided at the conclusion of this release.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concert
Friday, January 16, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Fred Child, host
KATI AGÓCS Perpetual Summer
EUGENE BIRMAN Manifesto
TEXU KIM Splash!!
LOREN LOIACONO Stalks, Hounds
EVAN MEIER Fire Music
MATTHEW PETERSON Hyperborea
MICHAEL SCHACHTER Freylekhe Tanzen
Tickets: $20 (adults); $12 (youth ages 6 to 17 and students)
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visitminnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/ subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
Published prices include a non-discountable facility fee that ranges from $2 to $5 per ticket. For single ticket purchases, there are no service charges for in-person transactions. There is a $6 service charge per transaction for all phone, fax or mail orders. Save $1 by purchasing tickets online or by having the Orchestra e-mail your tickets. (This charge is waived for subscribers and group purchasers ordering by phone, mail or in person.) Subscription packages are subject to a one-time $8 processing fee. No refunds. Some fees and restrictions may apply to ticket exchanges. All sales are final. All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2014-15 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
2015 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Schedule
Monday, January 12, 2015
9 a.m. Composer Institute Introduction—Kevin Puts, Kevin Smith and Mele Willis*
10:15-11:45 a.m. Upper Strings Seminar—Roger Frisch, associate concertmaster, Minnesota Orchestra
12 noon-2 p.m. Lunch and Introduction to the American Composers Forum—John Nuechterlein, president, and Craig Carnahan, vice president of programs, American Composers Forum*
2:30-3:45 p.m. Public Speaking Seminar—Andrea Shada, professor of communication studies, University of Minnesota
4:45-6:15 p.m. Brass Seminar
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
9-10:30 a.m. Session with Kevin Puts*
1:00-1:30 p.m. Media Training—Fred Child, host, American Public Radio’s Performance Today*
1:30-3 p.m. Percussion Seminar— Brian Mount, principal percussion, Minnesota Orchestra
3:30-5 p.m. Harp Seminar—Kathy Kienzle, principal harp, Minnesota Orchestra
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
9-10:30 a.m. Mentoring Sessions with Kevin Puts*
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Career-Building Seminar—Kevin Puts and Asadour Santourian, Minnesota Orchestra artistic advisor
1:30-3 p.m. Lower Strings Seminar
3:30-5 p.m. Career-Building Seminar—Kevin Puts and Frank J. Oteri, composer advocate, New Music USA
5:30-7 p.m. Legal 101 Seminar—James M. Kendrick, attorney, Alter & Kendrick, LLP; secretary and a director of The Copland Fund
Thursday, January 15, 2015
9-9:40 a.m. Composer Meetings with Osmo Vänskä*
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä
12:45-1:15 p.m. Composer Meetings with Osmo Vänskä*
1:35-3:35 p.m. Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä
3:45-4:30 p.m. Minnesota Public Radio interviews*
7-8:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception—for composers, guests and donors*
Friday, January 16, 2015
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä
12:45-2 p.m. Feedback sessions with Osmo Vänskä*
3-4:30 p.m. Coffee with Steve Culbertson, founder and president, and Deborah Horne, promotion director, Subito Music Corporation*
7 p.m. Meeting with Fred Child*
8 p.m. Future Classics Concert—Osmo Vänskä, conductor; Fred Child, host
Post-concert Q&A and Reception
All Composer Institute events are held at Orchestra Hall. Schedule is subject to change.
* Event is open to Future Classics composers only.