Mizzou New Music Initiative in the media

While new posts here have been scarce of late, there’s been plenty of activity involving the Initiative, including this year’s C.O.M.P. competition and preparations for the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival. There also has been some media coverage this month of the Initiative and some of the people involved in it:

* The St. Louis based cable channel HEC-TV featured the New Music Initiative in the March edition of its program State of The Arts. The report features footage of past C.O.M.P. winner Nick Funke, the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and Alarm Will Sound, as well as comments from Mizzou’s Robert Shay, W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund and from Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. You can see the episode of State of the Arts here; the segment on the Mizzou New Music Initiative starts at about the 20:00 mark.

* And speaking of Jeanne Sinquefield, she was interviewed earlier this month on St. Louis community ratio station KDHX, talking about C.O.M.P., the Summer Festival, the Initiative and her own musical background. You can listen to that interview here.

* Last but certainly not least, the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound was the subject of not one, but two articles in the New York Times about the premiere this month of their new multi-media work “1969.” The piece is based on the notion of a proposed collaboration between Stockhausen and the Beatles (once alleged to have been proposed in the titular year, but since debunked). The Times‘ Allan Kozinn wrote a preview story here, and Steve Smith reviewed the concert here, calling it “a swirling, heady meditation on the intersection of experimental and commercial spheres, and of social and aesthetic agendas.”

Smith also singled out Mizzou’s Stefan Freund for some specific praise: “Tying up its strands and implications neatly, “1969” ended with a premiere: “Swimming,” by Stefan Freund, an Alarm Will Sound cellist. As if to confirm the prescience of the genre clashes put forth by Lennon, Stockhausen, Berio and Bernstein, Mr. Freund’s appealing work combined and transformed motifs heard throughout the evening. Its seamless integration, curiously, also called to mind a more familiar tradition: the old-fashioned operatic overture.”