Composers Festival spotlight: Peter Shin

For resident composer Peter Shin, the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival is more than just the chance to write a new work for the festival’s resident ensemble Alarm Will Sound. It’s also an opportunity to pay a visit to, and have his work performed in, his home state, for Shin originally is from Kansas City, MO, just a couple of hours west on I-70.

He recently has been splitting his time between coasts, studying for his master of musical arts degree at the Yale School of Music in New Haven, CT while also serving as a composer fellow of the Berkeley Symphony in California. Shin (pictured) previously earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California.

For the MICF, he has written a new work titled “dogwhistling,” which will be performed along with new music from the seven other resident composers by Alarm Will Sound at the festival’s grand finale concert on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

Shin describes himself as a composer whose music “navigates issues of national belonging, the co-opting and intermingling of disparate musical vernaculars, and the liminality between the two halves of his second-generation Korean-American identity.”  His works already have received positive attention on a national level, most notably from the New York Times, which in 2018 called him as “a composer to watch” and praised his music as “entirely fresh and personal.”

Shin’s works have been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall through the “First Music” Commission,; Walt Disney Concert Hall through the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Noon to Midnight” series; Chicago’s Symphony Center through the Civic Orchestra New Music Workshop; and at the Cabrillo Festival.

In addition to his piece for the MICF, Shin’s other recent projects include a commission for Roomful of Teeth through the American Composers Forum, which will be premiered next month in a concert at MASS MoCa in Massachusetts, and a chamber orchestra work for the Berkeley Symphony’s 2018-19 season.

His honors and awards include an American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Scholarship, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Fulbright Research Grant, Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship, Aspen Music Festival Fellowship, Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra International Call for Scores, and SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition in the Graduate Division, among others.

For more about Peter Shin, listen to the interview he did recently with KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program. You can hear some samples of his music in the embedded players below.

“Screaming Shapes” premiere performance on August 3, 2017 at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, CO, featuring Mehrdad Gholami (flute), Juan Olivares (bass clarinet), Seo Hee Min (violin), Richard Narroway (cello), and Tim Weiss (conductor) with fixed electronics featuring Corey Dundee (saxophone), Graycen Gardner (voice), Liya Khaimova (voice), and Nick Volpert (cello)

“Relapse” performed October 14, 2016 at the University of Southern California by the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Crockett