Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform three world premieres Monday, December 5 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble (pictured) will continue its 2011-12 season with a concert at 8:00 p.m., December 5 at Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission to the concert is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The concert will feature three world premieres by composers associated with Mizzou, plus works from modern masters Steven Stucky and John Adams. Adams, known for his pioneering minimalist composition “Shaker Loops” and the operas Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic, is the composer of “Christian Zeal and Activity,” a 1973 work that slowly deconstructs a traditional New England hymn.

Stucky, a professor at Cornell University and the 2005 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music, will be one of the guest composers for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, to be held July 23-28 in Columbia. For the December 5 concert, the Ensemble will perform his 1998 piece “ad parnassum,” which offers an exploration of color and timbre.

Mizzou freshman Haley Myers, who is studying composition on a full Sinquefield scholarship, contributed “Motivic Motivations,” a 2011 piece that, as the name suggests, concentrates on motivic development. David Witter, who this year will complete a Master’s degree in composition at Mizzou, will direct the Ensemble in a performance of his new work “Soundpainting,” a series of gestures that create sound.

Rounding out the program will be “Let There Be Light,” a bright depiction of the story of the creation composed in 2011 by Kyung Soon Chang, a visiting scholar at Mizzou and adjunct professor of music education and composition at Chonbuk National University in Seoul, South Korea.

The six-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2011-12 season are Stephanie Berg, clarinets; Ryan Borden, percussion; Young Kim, flutes; Matthew Pierce, cello; David Snow, violin; and Renata Tavernard, piano.

As the repertory group for the Mizzou New Music Initiative, they work with faculty, students and visiting composers, and give public performances on campus and in the community. The Ensemble will present two more concerts this academic year at Whitmore Recital Hall, on Sunday, March 4, and Monday, April 16.