The Mizzou New Music Initiative is accepting applications for resident composers to take part in the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF), which will take place starting Monday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31.
Reprising their roles from the online-only 2020 edition of the MICF, Chen Yi and David T. Little (pictured) will serve as the festival’s two distinguished guest composers for 2021, teaching and consulting with the resident composers and ensemble. Little also has written a new commissioned work specifically for the festival.
The week-long MICF will feature concerts of music from contemporary composers, along with workshops, master classes, and other events. Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia will present the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s resident composers, with Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.
The resident composers are selected for the MICF each year through an online portfolio application process. During the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from the distinguished guest composers and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a professional live recording of their work.
For 2021, MNMI will select four resident composers to take part in the festival. These four composers will be featured along with the eight composers who were chosen for the 2020 MICF, but whose works could not be premiered when COVID-related restrictions forced the festival to be reconfigured as an online event.
Because the COVID pandemic makes future conditions difficult to predict, MNMI will have several contingent plans for the 2021 MICF if safety concerns, University policy, or state or local laws make it impossible to present the festival “in-person” on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Those plans may include (but are not limited to) an online-only festival, a limited in-person experience, or some combination of online and in-person activities.
The deadline to apply to become a resident composer for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival is 11:59 p.m. Central time, Friday, November 20, 2020. For more information or to submit an application, please visit https://app.getacceptd.com/mizzou.
Chen Yi is a distinguished professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Si Ji” (“Four Seasons”), she was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and is known as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries.
Along with many orchestral works, Chen has written numerous choral works and pieces of chamber music, including works written for traditional Chinese instruments. A violinist as well as a composer, Chen Yi earned bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University.
Chen received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2005. Ensembles and soloists commissioning her work have included the Cleveland Orchestra, Mira Wang and the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Seattle Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma and the Pacific Symphony, Evelyn Glennie and the Singapore Symphony, the Women’s Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.
Chen’s music has been recorded and released on more than 20 different labels, including New Albion, CRI, Angel, Koch International Classics, Delos, New World, and Naxos.
David T. Little currently chairs the composition program at Mannes – The New School in New York City. He previously served as Executive Director of MATA and on the board of directors at Chamber Music America, and from 2014–2017 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group.
Little’s music has been presented by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, Holland Festival, and Opéra de Montréal, with upcoming engagements at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. He is the founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, and recordings of his music can be heard on labels including New Amsterdam, Innova, Sono Luminus, Centaur, and National Sawdust Tracks.
A complete schedule of events, times, dates, and venues for the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.