Presented in conjunction with the three-day Mizzou Improvisation Project conference happening that week, the program will feature a joint performance with the Rich Pellegrin Quintet. Pellegrin, a jazz pianist and composer, is an assistant professor of music theory at Mizzou. The two groups will collaborate on his 2012 work “Down,” which incorporates improvisation as well as composed material.
Improvisation also is a major part of “Four Spaces,” a 2012 work by Paul Steinbeck that uses a graphic score and requires the performers to work together with the conductor to develop musical ideas and create different sonic textures and colors. Steinbeck, a bassist and composer, is an assistant professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Ensemble also will perform “Loki,” composed this year by Luke Henderson, a senior in music education and composition at Mizzou. Named after the Norse god of trickery, the work surprises the listener with elements of jazz, klezmer, reggae, and Irish jigs.
Rounding out the program are Mischa Zupko’s “Source of Breath, Source of Life,” a 2007 work commissioned for the new music ensemble eighth blackbird that comments on the conflicts between industry and a sustainable environment; and “Rotae Passionis,” a 1982 composition by Pulitzer Prize winner Christopher Rouse that musically depicts the Stations of the Cross from the Biblical story of Christ’s crucifixion.
The seven-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 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.