Composition News

DMA Candidate Christopher Trapani Wins 2016-2017 Rome Prize

The Department of Music warmly congratulates DMA candidate Christopher Trapani who has been awarded a 2016-17 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.

The Rome Prize is "awarded to about thirty emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their working lives." Mr. Trapani is the second Columbia DMA student to win the Rome Prize in as many years.

Learn more about Mr. Trapani and his music at:

http://christophertrapani.com/

A composer with a genuine international trajectory, Christopher Trapani maintains an active career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Continental Europe. Commissions have come from the BBC, the JACK Quartet, and Radio France, and his works have been recently heard at Carnegie Hall, the Southbank Centre, IRCAM, and Wigmore Hall.

Christopher’s music synthesizes disparate influences, weaving both American and European stylistic strands into a personal aesthetic that defies easy classification. Snippets of Delta Blues, Appalachian folk, dance band foxtrots, and Turkish makam can be heard alongside spectral swells and meandering canons. As in Christopher’s hometown of New Orleans, diverse traditions coexist and intermingle, swirled into a rich melting pot. Consonance is a central preoccupation; microtonality and just intonation are often employed. Timbral explorations are also manifold, from experiments with a wide range of mutes and preparations to an unusual instrumentarium, with scorings that call for electric guitar, dulcimer, qanûn, stroh violin, and retuned autoharps. Several of Christopher’s compositions bear the mark of his training in literature, influenced by novelists and poets including Thomas Pynchon, Geoff Dyer, and C. P. Cavafy. Many recent works also incorporate an idiosyncratic use of electronics, expanding the possibilities of color, pitch, and timing beyond the acoustic realm.

Christopher was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where he studied composition with Bernard Rands and poetry under Helen Vendler. He spent most of his twenties overseas: a year in London, working on a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson; a year in Istanbul, studying microtonality in Ottoman music on a Fulbright grant; and seven years in Paris, where he studied with Philippe Leroux and worked at IRCAM, both on the composition cursus and later on a musical research residency.

Christopher is currently based in New York City, where he has worked on a doctorate at Columbia University, studying with Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, and George Lewis.

Christopher is the winner of the 2016 Rome Prize, as well as the 2007 Gaudeamus Prize, the first American in over 30 years to win the international young composers’ award. Other recent honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015), a nomination for a British Composers Award (2014), and a grant from the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) towards a new piece for ICE and Ensemble L’Itinéraire. He has also won the Julius F. Ježek Prize (2013), three Morton Gould Young Composers Awards from ASCAP (2005, 2006, and the Leo Kaplan Award in 2009), and a BMI Student Composer Award (2006). His scores have been performed by ICTUS, Ensemble Modern, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Ensemble L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ensemble Mosaik, Talea Ensemble, Argento Ensemble, Wet Ink, Earplay, Yarn/Wire, Atlas Ensemble, pianists Sergey Schepkin and Marilyn Nonken, and the American Composers Orchestra.

tIn March 2011, Christopher was featured in a portrait concert on the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series at the Royal Festival Hall in London. His music has also been programmed in international festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, Musica Nova Helsinki, and IRCAM’s festival Agora. He has held residencies at Copland House (New York), Récollets (Paris), and Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), and was a 2013-15 fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart).

Recent and upcoming projects include a commission for the Quatuor Béla and GRAME in Lyon, a new orchestral work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a commission for orchestra and electronics (IRCAM) for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Festival Présences 2015, and a new work for Ensemble Modern for the 2015 cresc… Biennial for Modern Music in Frankfurt.

Sound Arts MFA Shows (Spring 2016)

Coming up: the Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show and the Spring Exhibition of Sound Arts MFA First-Years' Works. More information below:

Continuing Effect: Sound Arts MFA Thesis Show

Saturday, April 23–Saturday, May 7, 2016
Closing Reception: May 7, 2016, 5–7 pm
Basilica Hudson Back Gallery
110 S. Front Street
Hudson, NY 12534

Installed in Basilica’s Back Gallery, this special exhibition presents thesis works from the Sound Arts MFA program. Alice Emily Baird, Cameron Fraser, Chatori Shimizu, and Frank Spigner formally and conceptually address concepts relating to reverberation through interactive, responsive, and kinetic sculpture and installation. Continuing Effect is curated by Wave Farm.

http://arts.columbia.edu/events/spring-2016/Continuing_Effect

Spring Exhibition: First-Year Works from the 2016 Columbia University School of the Arts Sound Arts MFA Program

Friday, April 22, 2016, 6-8 pm
Central Booking Offline
21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002
April 23–May 2, 2016
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12–6 pm

Please join us for the Opening Reception. Works by Ashley Grier, Dani Dobkin, Geronimo Mercado.

http://arts.columbia.edu/events/spring-2016/offline

Three DMA Alumni Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 175 Fellowships this year, three of whom are Composition DMA alumni from our very own department:

Edmund Campion (DMA, Composition, 1993)

Anthony Cheung (DMA, Composition, 2010)

Bryan Jacobs (DMA, Composition, 2015)

Congratulations to all three composers on their well-deserved fellowships!

Zosha Di Castri's "Near Mute Force" Premieres in Toronto

On April 7, Professor Zosha Di Castri's piece "Near Mute Force," a setting of an adapted text by Rivka Galchen, for two sopranos, viola, piano, and drumset, commissioned by the Women's Musical Club of Toronto, will be premiered in Dannthology, a concert featuring violist Steven Dann taking place in Toronto. Read the Toronto Star's write-up about the upcoming concert here.

Courtney Bryan (DMA Composition 2014) Performances, Spring 2016

Courtney Bryan (DMA Composition 2014) will be participating in a number of performances this spring. More detailed information below -- if you're in the area, check these concerts out!

Friday, March 25, 10:30am/11:45am
Relation: A Performance Residency by Vijay Iyer
I. "Songs of Laughing, Smiling, and Crying" for solo piano and recorded sound
II. Courtney Bryan and Brandee Younger, originals and music of Alice Coltrane
The MET Breuer Lobby Gallery of The Metropolitan Museum of New York
http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-live-arts/vijay-iyer-met-br...

Friday, March 25, 7:30pm
Counterpoint: Classical Music and Nina Simone
Courtney Bryan and Eun Lee
Online concert and discussion
Fundraiser for #SingHerName concert, see link:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/singhername#/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1564305780564073/

Thursday, March 31, 8:00pm event (with 7:00pm reception)
HER (in honor of): a performance and discussion
Paul Robeson Center for the Arts
102 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
HER (in honor of): a performance and discussion, co-sponsored by the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton University Department of African American Studies and Princeton University Department of Music, will include a live performance byHER (in honor of) -- vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, harpist Brandee Younger, pianist Courtney Bryan, bassist Mimi Jones, and drummer Kimberly Thompson -- and a discussion with the musicians on the history of women in jazz and related contemporary issues, to be moderated by journalist, Rajul Punjabi.
http://artscouncilofprinceton.org/

Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8 at 7:30pm/9:00pm
(Courtney will perform April 8 at 9:00pm, "A Presence" for solo piano and recorded sound)
Fromm Players at Harvard University
Creative Music Convergences, curated by Vijay Iyer
John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Department of Music
Harvard University, Cambridge MA
FREE and OPEN TO ALL! No tickets required. First come, first seated.
http://frommfoundation.fas.harvard.edu/fromm-players-at-harvard

Review of Georg Friedrich Haas' "American Immersion" Concert

Last week, Professor Georg Friedrich Haas' work was performed by JACK Quartet and the Talea Ensemble in an event for the Austrian Cultural Forum. The two concerts were part of an event entitled "American Immersion," held at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City. The concert garnered multiple glowing reviews by MusicalAmerica's Daniel Stephen Johnson (whose review can be read here) and the New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim (whose review can be read here). Congratulations, Professor Haas!

Image: Soprano Tony Arnold with Talea Ensemble; copyright Richard Termine, NYT.

Daniel Lazour Among Winners of 2016 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater

Daniel Lazour, a recent graduate of Columbia College who finished his degree in music this past December, is among the recipients of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, administered by the Academy of Arts and Letters, for the musical We Live in Cairo, which he wrote with his brother, Patrick Lazour. We Live in Cairo "tells the story of six student revolutionaries coming of age in today's Middle East, who confront the past in their search for freedom. Young men and women, armed with laptops and cameras, guitars and spray paint cans, inspire millions to take to the streets of Cairo to overthrow their president, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak."

For more information, please see Playbill's announcement: http://www.playbill.com/article/hadestown-a-modern-day-twist-on-the-orph... Congratulations, Daniel!

Columbia Music Scholarship Conference (Saturday, February 27)

Columbia Music Scholarship Conference (CMSC) 2016

The eleventh annual Columbia Music Scholarship Conference (CMSC) will be held at Columbia University on Saturday, February 27, 2016.

CMSC is a conference organized and staffed by the graduate students of the Department of Music at Columbia University.

Keynote Speaker
Professor Alexander Rehding (Harvard University)

"Piano, Monochord, Siren: Studying Music 1999 – 1518 – 1834"

Full details at the conference website!

Columbia Composers 2015-2016 Concert Season Announced

Please mark your calendars for the Columbia Composers 2015-16 concert season:

Saturday, December 5th, 2015 at 8:00 PM: Electroacoustic works

at Prentis Hall (3rd floor), 632 W. 125th Street

Featuring works by MFA students Danielle Dobkin, Chatori Shimizu, Geronimo Mercado, and Frank Spigner, and DMA students Sam Yulsman, Ryan Pratt, and Martin Heindl, with special guests Carrie Frey (viola), Chris Pitsiokos (saxophone), William Cepeda (conch shell), Dana Malseptic (synthesizer), and Nathan Bellott (saxophone)

Friday, March 11th, 2016 at 8:00 PM: Ekmeles and Yarn/Wire

at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W 37th St

Featuring works by Christopher Trapani, Yair Klartag, Martin Heindl, Matthew Ricketts, Ashkan Behzadi, Bill Doughery, and Shih-Wei Lo

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 at 8:00 PM: Mivos Quartet and Loadbang

at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway

Featuring works by Tyshawn Sorey, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Paul Clift, John Rot, Stylianos Dimou, Onur Yildirim, and Sam Yulsman

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at 8:00 PM: Wet Ink (Large Ensemble and Band)

at St. Peter's Church, 346 W 20th St

Featuring works by David Bird, Sky Macklay, Ryan Pratt, Taylor Brook, Roberto Toscano, Alec Hall, and Nina C. Young

More information about the Columbia Composers' concerts can be found on their website.

Professor Zosha Di Castri Wins 2016 Yvar Mikhashoff Trust Competition

Professor Zosha Di Castri and pianist Julia Den Boer have won the 2016 Yvar Mikhashoff Trust competition, whose goal is "to encourage the composition and performance of new works for solo piano reflecting and continuing the legacy of the distinguished American pianist, Yvar Mikhashoff" (http://www.mikhashofftrust.org/).

Professor Di Castri will be collaborating with Dr. Den Boer next year to write a new work for solo piano that will be premiered at the Banff Center for the Arts. Congratulations, Professor Di Castri!

Columbia Sounds Concerts in Paris

Columbia Sounds: A New Concert Series at Columbia Global Centers | Paris

At Columbia Global Centers | Paris, the Department of Music offers a new concert series featuring Department faculty, students, and alumni. Held at Reid Hall (4, rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris), the performances will be free of charge.

Columbiana, on February 15, 2016, at 7 pm, will present the cellist Anssi Karttunen and the violinist Marina Chiche. The program includes music of Edmund Campion, Tan Dun, Fred Lerdahl, Bryan Jacobs, Taylor Brook, Zosha Di Castri, Yoshiaki Onishi, Pablo Ortiz, Nina C. Young, Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, and Henri Dutilleux. Karttunen, widely praised as the most distinguished cellist performing new music today, has collaborated extensively with Columbia composers of several generations. After the concert, Karttunen will join Nina C. Young (Columbia DMA student and Fellow of the American Academy in Rome) in a conversation about the Creative Dialogue project that gave rise to several of the works on the program.

Ensemble Pamplemousse: This is the Uplifting Part, on March 15, 2016, at 7 pm, will feature the composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse in a program of experimental new music by the collective’s members, including prominent Columbia DMA alumni Natacha Diels and Bryan Jacobs. Diels, now Assistant Professor of Composition at UC San Diego, founded the Ensemble in New York in 2003. Each of the Pamplemousse members specializes in a unique aspect of composition, from micro-detailed instrumental writing to experimental theatre with electronics to electro-mechanical musical robotics. Their performances combine weirdness and beauty with pop culture and classical virtuosity. After the concert, the musicians will discuss their work in conversation with Susan Boynton (Chair, Department of Music and organizer of the series).

Event Sponsors: Columbia Global Centers | Europe; Department of Music, Columbia University; Office of Global Programs, Columbia University; Alice M. Ditson Fund

George Lewis' Afterword Streamed on BBC Radio 3

The live (audio) recording of George Lewis's new opera Afterword, performed in the Lawrence Batley Theater as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2015, is being streamed on the BBC Radio 3 site, as part of its “Hear and Now” series.

The opera, Afterword, celebrates the work of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a pioneering collective of musicians that took root in Chicago in 1965.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06r432b#play

Joelle Lamarre (soprano)

Julian Terrell Otis (tenor)

Gwendolyn Brown (contralto)

International Contemporary Ensemble

David Fulmer (conductor)

Sean Griffin (director)

(Pictured: Julian Terrell Otis, Gwendolyn Brown, and Joelle Lamarre -- copyright Ross Karre and I Care If You Listen, 2015)

George Lewis Delivers President's Endowed Plenary at American Musicological Society Annual Meeting

Prof. George Lewis (Case Professor of American Music) gave the President's Endowed Plenary Address at the 2015 meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) to a capacity crowd. The lecture, entitled “Putting Scholarship into (Art) Practice: Four Cases," was described in the AMS program as follows:

“This talk troubles the bright line separating creative work from academic research, through an examination of four cases from my own work as a composer and interactive artist. The works themselves are diverse in content and affect, and range from computer music performance and interactive installations to opera. Each of these works, however, was developed through a combination of ethnographic method, historical and archival work, analysis of musical practice, and critical examination. The results are serving in turn as the impetus for my musicological writing—on the works themselves, on histories of larger networks of musical practice that these works draw upon, and on still larger socio-technological networks and practices that all of us encounter every day. Thus, the talk affirms the fact that the world continues to draw critically important lessons from music—often cryptically, and despite an ongoing and deleterious trope that portrays music as peripheral to American intellectual life. In staunch opposition to this trope, musicologist Jann Pasler has proposed that ‘music can serve as a critical tool, activating and developing multiple layers of awareness... I invite the reader to listen for music’s resonance in the world and, through music, to help us imagine our future.’ My talk makes common cause with Professor Pasler’s view, echoing philosopher Pierre Hadot’s understanding that ‘in philosophy, we are not dealing with the mere creation of a work of art: the goal is rather to transform ourselves.’”

Congratulations to Prof. Lewis!

DMA Alumna Courtney Bryan Appointed Assistant Professor at Tulane University

We are proud to announce that Dr. Courtney Bryan (2014, DMA Music Composition) has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University's Newcomb Department of Music beginning in Fall 2016, after she completes a second appointment as Postdoctorate Research Associate at Princeton University's Department of African-American Studies (2015-16). During this academic year, she will research the music of Alice Coltrane, write a commissioned piece for the ensemble, Duo Noire, and continue working on various compositions and performances. Congratulations, Dr. Bryan! http://www.courtneybryan.com

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