Yoshiaki Onishi to receive 2018 Fromm Commission

Mizzou New Music Initiative post-doctoral fellow Yoshiaki “Yoshi” Onishi has been named a recipient of a 2018 Fromm Commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.

Founded by Paul Fromm, a major patron of contemporary music who lived from 1906 to 1987, the Fromm Music Foundation is now in its 62nd year, having been located at Harvard for the past 42. Since the 1950s, it has commissioned more than 300 new compositions and their performances, and has sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series, including the annual Fromm Contemporary Music Series at Harvard.

The annual Fromm Commissions represent one of the principal ways that the foundation “seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.” In addition to receiving a commissioning fee, composers also may get a subsidy for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.

Onishi (pictured), who began his two-year fellowship with the Fall 2018 semester, is teaching composition and ear training classes at Mizzou. He also serves as assistant conductor of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, as well as assisting with various MNMI projects, and his fellowship includes a major research project to be completed with the next two years.

In all, there are fourteen recipients of Fromm Commissions this year, including four others with a Mizzou connection: Oscar Bettison, who was a distinguished guest composer at the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival; Igor Santos, a resident composer at the 2018 MICF; Carl Schimmel, who attended Alarm Will Sound’s performance of his “Chamber Symphony” and gave a presentation at the 2015 MICF; and Nina C. Young, who will visit the Mizzou campus for a residency this November.