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Festival To Feature Student, Faculty Compositions

April 11, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Music from Sam Houston State University student and faculty composers will be among the works presented during the 51st annual Contemporary Music Festival Friday and Saturday (April 19-20) in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

composing musicThe festival will tune up on Friday with a student composer masterclass, led by guest composer Mark Applebaum, from 1-3 p.m. in Music Building Room 219. It will be followed that evening by a recital featuring new student works beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall, during which the winner of the Phi Mu Alpha Fisher Tull Composition Award will be announced.

Saturday’s events include a showcase concert, highlighting the works of SHSU faculty composers and performed by faculty musicians, beginning at 1 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall; and a lecture by Applebaum beginning at 3 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall.

The festival will culminate on Saturday evening when the SHSU Percussion Group will perform “The Music of Mark Applebaum,” beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall.

“This year's festival will have something to offer the musical tastes of anyone who might wish to attend,” said Kyle Kindred, assistant professor of music. “Beyond the usual 'concert stage' performances, there are many theatrical and engaging works to be presented.

“In the tradition of our great annual festival, you will see the students and faculty at SHSU taking great joy in making new and innovative music right here on our campus," he said.

Applebaum, an associate professor of composition and theory at Stanford University, is known for his "out-of-the-box" approaches to composition, sometimes including the use of every day materials as musical instruments, earning him the nickname "The mad scientist of music." Applebaum is a featured guest on the TEDtalk series.

His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with notable premieres at the Darmstadt summer sessions.

He also has received commissions from Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Fromm Foundation, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Vienna Modern Festival, Antwerp’s Champ D’Action, Festival ADEvantgarde in Munich, Zeitgeist, MANUFACTURE (Tokyo), the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Jerome Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, among others.

In 1997 Applebaum received the American Music Center’s Stephen Albert Award and an artist residency fellowship at the Villa Montalvo artist colony in Northern California.

Applebaum is also active as a jazz pianist and builds electroacoustic instruments out of junk, hardware, and found objects for use as both compositional and improvisational tools. His music can be heard on recordings on the Innova, Tzadik, Capstone, and SEAMUS labels.

He received his doctorate in composition from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough.

Admission for festival events is free, except the Saturday night percussion group performance, for which tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for SHSU students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased through the PAC box office at 936.294.2339 or tickets@shsu.edu.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.



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