The 2024 edition of the Mizzou International Composers Festival is set to take place from July 22-27 at the University of Missouri and select Columbia locations.

Presented by the Mizzou New Music Initiative, the festival includes several public concerts, world premiere performances, appearances by Distinguished Guest Composers George Lewis and Mary Kouyoumdjian, and a concert in which acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound will perform works by eight Resident Composers invited to the festival.

Here is the 2024 MICF schedule:

Wednesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m.: Dismal Niche and Landlocked Opera present an opera premiere by Felix Jarrar and a performance by experimental harpist and composer Zeena Parkins at the Black Box Theatre of Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School, 1208 Locust Street.

Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.: Alarm Will Sound will perform Kouyoumdjian’s “Paper Pianos,” Lewis’s “Arcades” and “The Deformation of Mastery,” Andrew Norman’s “Try,” and “Instrumentation Variations,” a piece celebrating the festival’s 15th MICF, by MNMI Artistic Director Stefan Freund.

Friday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.: Performances by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and University of Missouri School of Music faculty at the Sinquefield Music Center’s Sheryl Crow Hall, 1101 University Avenue.

Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.: Alarm Will Sound will perform eight new works by Resident Composers at the Missouri Theatre.

“We are very excited to welcome so many accomplished composers to the 2024 MICF, especially Distinguished Guest Composers George Lewis and Mary Kouyoumdjian,” Freund said. “Works from composers of various backgrounds and perspectives will be presented throughout the week, continuing the festival’s tradition of providing an incredibly broad overview of the music of today while providing a preview of the music of tomorrow.”

Distinguished Guest Composers

George Lewis is an American composer, musicologist, and trombonist. He is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music and Area Chair in Composition at Columbia University. Lewis’s central areas of scholarship include the history and criticism of experimental music, computer music, interactive media, and improvisation, particularly as these areas become entangled with the dynamics of race, gender, and decolonization. Recent compositions include “Celebration,” “The Faculty of Sensing” and “Tightrope.”

Mary Kouyoumdjian is a composer and documentarian with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family ​directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new. A strong believer in freedom of speech and the arts as an amplifier of expression, her compositional work often integrates recorded testimonies with resilient individuals and field recordings of place to invite empathy by humanizing complex experiences around social and political conflict. Her work “Paper Pianos” was a finalist for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in music.

During the festival, Lewis and Kouyoumdjian will lead workshops and give private lessons to the Resident Composers.

Resident Composers

The Resident Composers chosen for the festival and the titles of their compositions are Lila Meretzky, “DINNER”; Mahbod Shirvani, “Sounds for Nothing”; Benjamin Scheuer, “Trittbrettfahrer”; Claire Hu, “the growing pull of your softening hand”; Lukáš Janata, “GRAAL”; Liu Yingting, “Kill a Cow!”; Davor Vincze, “Ashes”; and ess whiteley, “Machine Spectre.”

Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. They have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of London and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.”


All events can be livestreamed at Mizzou New Music Initiative Facebook

MU School of Music YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@mizzoumusic

The film “An Act of Worship,” for which Kouyoumdjian composed the music, will be screened at Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt Street, on Sunday, July 21 at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m.


Interviews with MNMI Artistic Director Stefan Freund (freunds@missouri.edu) and MNMI Managing Director Andrea Luque Karam (andrea.luquekaram@missouri.edu) are available upon request.

For further information about MICF, the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and the University of Missouri School of Music, visit newmusic.missouri.edu/micf

To stay up to date with all MNMI announcements, follow them on Instagram and Facebook: @MizzouNewMusic

The Mizzou New Music Initiative brings together an array of programs positioning the University of Missouri School of Music as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music. The Initiative is the direct result of the generous support of Dr. Jeanne and Mr. Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

For more about the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Sinquefield-Charitable-Foundation-982998805057705