Composer Chen Yi, who had been scheduled to be one of the distinguished guest composers later this month at the 2018 Mizzou International Composers Festival, has withdrawn from the festival due to medical reasons.
“We regret that Chen Yi is unable to participate in this year’s festival. She recently had surgery and though a full recovery is expected, it’s taking longer than originally anticipated,” said Stefan Freund, professor of composition and artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the MICF. “We hope she’ll be feeling better soon, and we’re very grateful to Bob Morris for being willing to come to Columbia on such short notice.”
Morris (pictured) was born in Cheltenham, England and received his musical education at the Eastman School and at the University of Michigan, where he earned his masters and doctoral degrees in composition and ethnomusicology.
He has taught at Eastman since 1980, serving as chair of the composition department from 1999 to 2005 and again from 2008 to 2011. Before his appointment at Eastman, Morris taught composition, electronic music, and music theory at the University of Hawaii; at Yale University, where he was chairman of the composition department and director of the Yale Electronic Music Studio; and at the University of Pittsburgh, where he directed the Computer and Electronic Studio.
Morris has composed more than 160 musical works, which have been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and recorded on labels including CRI, New World, Music Gallery Editions, Neuma, Music and Arts, Fanfare, Centaur, Open Space, Innova, Yank Gulch, Albany, and Attacca.
For MICF ticket buyers, the change in guest composers means that they’ll hear a slightly different program during the concert by Alarm Will Sound on Thursday, July 26 at the Missouri Theatre, as the festival’s resident ensemble will perform Morris’ “In Concert” in place of the Chen Yi work that had been announced previously. In addition, “Mountain Streams,” an electronic work composed by Morris, will be added to the program for the “Mizzou New Music” concert on Friday, July 27.
For the MICF’s seven resident composers, Morris’ participation in the festival will give them a chance to work with a composer and teacher who has written for many musical forms and types of media. Spanning the gap from academic to experimental, his compositions range from orchestral and chamber works to computer and improvisational music to works heavily influenced by non-Western music from Asia and the Middle East.
In addition to his music and teaching, Morris has written four books and more than 50 articles and reviews on subjects including musical analysis and aesthetics; compositional design; electronic and computer music; the Carnatic music of south India; and more.
During the MICF, he will give a public presentation about his music; teach the seven resident composers in individual and group sessions; and consult with Alarm Will Sound on the performance of “In Concert.”