The Mizzou New Music Initiative announced today that Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who had been scheduled to be one of the guest composers later this month at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, will be unable to attend the festival due to medical reasons.
In place of Furrer, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, has agreed to serve as a guest composer for the 2014 MICF.
“We regret that Beat Furrer won’t be able to participate in this year’s festival, as his doctor has advised him not to travel, and we hope he’s feeling better soon,” said William J. Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “However, we feel extraordinarily fortunate that a composer of Zhou Long’s stature happened to have space in his schedule at this time, and we are most grateful that he has agreed to join us in Columbia on such short notice.”
Zhou (pictured) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011 for his first opera, Madame White Snake. Born in 1953 in China, he first came to the United States in 1985 to study music at Columbia University, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993.
He has taught at UMKC since 2001, and has received awards, fellowships and commissions from major organizations and musical ensembles all around the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Cary Trust, and the Copland Fund for Music.
For MICF ticket buyers, the change in guest composers means that they’ll hear a different program during the concert by Alarm Will Sound on Thursday, July 24 at the Missouri Theatre, as the festival’s resident ensemble will perform Zhou’s Bell Drum Towers in place of one of the Furrer compositions previously scheduled. That concert also will include music by Nico Muhly, the MICF’s other guest composer this year.
For the festival’s eight resident composers, Zhou’s participation in the festival will give them a chance to study and interact with a composer and teacher who has been recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West.
A pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms, Zhou served as music director for the presenting organization Music From China for more than a decade while living in New York. During the MICF, he will give a public presentation about his music; instruct and interact with the eight resident composers in individual and group sessions; and work with Alarm Will Sound on the performance of Bell Drum Towers.
To buy tickets for the Mizzou International Composers Festival online, or to see a complete listing of events, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.