Composer Updates November 2017 Edition
We feel so fortunate to we've had the opportunity to get to know 42 composers through the FNMC Composition Contest between 2014 and 2016. This year, we’ll add nine new (and two returning) composers to the group. We’ve been able to feature 38 of the 42 in composer spotlights and we’ll begin featuring the 2017 composer very soon!
But, of course, their work doesn’t stop with their first composer spotlight! They are a very productive group of individuals and we thought it would be a great idea to check in with them and share their major activities since we featured them. Today, we share the first round of composer updates. We’re sure you’ll also be pleased to see that they are busy and achieving great success (and producing more works for flute!) There are lots of premieres, recordings, awards, new positions, and other exciting projects!
Oliver Caplan (Finalist 2014, My Elephant Cloud for Pierrot ensemble)
Oliver was recently appointed the Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble, a Boston-based ensemble which focuses on supporting the work of emerging composers. The Juventas New Music Ensemble also sponsors the Boston New Music Festival. A new album of his works, entitled You Are Not Alone, will be released December 12. The album includes several chamber works: Connect All. We All Connect for soprano, horn, and piano, Love Letters for flute, clarinet, 2 violins, viola, and cello, To the Sea for 2 violins, viola, and cello, and You Are Not Alone for violin, cello, and piano.
Nicole Chamberlain (second place 2014 French Quarter for flute quartet, honorable mention 2016 for Asphyxia for flute alone, finalist 2016 for Orion’s Belt for flute trio and Three Nine Line for flute and piano)
Nicole is very excited to announce the release of an album of her flute music through MSR Classics in January 2018. The album features flutists Matthew Angelo, Nicole herself (she is a flutist and composer!) and Dr. Mary Matthews (an FNMC member!) and pianist Jessica Niles. The album will include FNMC awarded pieces Asphyxia, Three-Nine Line, and Mintaka from Orion's Belt.
Her compositions have received several awards including:
She has several new commissions that will be premiered and made available by next year:
1. Death Whistle for solo piccolo commissioned by FNMC Vice-President Dr. Elizabeth Robinson
2. Acrophobia for flute/picc, flute, and soprano saxophone commissioned by FNMC member flutist Dr. Mary Matthews, flutist Matthew Angelo, and saxophonist Alyssa Hoffert.
2. Flute, Horn, and piano work commissioned by The Kitchen Sync (FNMC member Dr. Katherine Isbell Emeneth)
3. Contrabass flute work commissioned by Beth Devlin
4. Flute and Clarinet work commissioned by PM Woodwind Project
5. Solo Alto Flute work commissioned by Kelly Mollnow Wilson
6. Flute Choir Work commissioned by Charter Oak Flute Choir of Connecticut
7. Another HUGE work including flute soloists with string orchestra is a done deal, just waiting for signed contract before I can go public.
She also recently released several pieces for publication including: Capsaicin for two flutes and cello, Unity for solo flute, and Shenanigans for flute, clarinet, and bassoon.
Andrew Davis (finalist 2015, What’s Next for flute, bassoon, and piano)
Andrew shared with us that he has recently completed a new piece for orchestra entitled, Seek. You can listen to the entire work on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/andrewdavis33/seek. Seek features a significant piccolo solo which is really beautiful! He expertly employs the lower and mid-range of the piccolo, which is such a wonderful color and one we don't often get to hear in the context of the orchestra due to scoring challenges.
Paul Elwood (finalist 2014 Marfa Lights for flute duo (doubling piccolo and alto flute)
Like many of the other composers Paul has been busy writing new works, which have been premiered all around the word! Several of the works have also been recorded and will be available on commercially released discs in the next year.
Paul also has upcoming performances and lectures scheduled at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand (Nov. 20-24) and at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia (Nov. 25-28).
Charles Halka (honorable mention, chamber music 2016 Por la Fuerza las Tierras for Pierrot ensemble)
Charles’ Por la Fuerza las Tierras (HM 2016) is achieving wide acclaim! It was also named the winner of Division 1 of the 2017 Young Composer Competition. It has been performed all over the United States this fall including:
The Odessa Philharmonic will perform Scherzo, for orchestra, alongside works by Stravinsky and Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak on November 17, 2017 in Odessa, Ukraine at Philharmonic Hall, 7:00pm.
John Moody (honorable mention newly composed category 2016, Tutti Frutti for two Virtuoso Flutti)
John was so inspired by the success and support of Tutti Frutti that he’s decided to write another work for flute! He’s currently working on a five movement piece with the current title of Canzoni for Flute and Piano. He reports that it is different in style from Tutti Frutti, but we’re sure that we will love it too! He also recently completed a new work for orchestra, entitled Eclipse.
Xingzimin Pan (honorable mention 2014 for Kaidan for flute and piano)
Xing has been focusing on choral composition. His works are being widely performed in his native country of China as well as in the US, where he has lived for many years. He is currently a PHD candidate at in music composition the University of Utah. He shared some of his recent accomplishments with us!
Dandelion, for Children’s Choir, published by Fudan University Publishing House
The newly published choral work Dandelion has been performed frequently in different cities China, as well as the US, Hungary, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Future performances will be held in Canada, Poland and Taiwan within the next two years.
Bekah Simms (winner Newly Composed category in 2015 for a relic of adolescent heat for flute, cello, and piano)
Bekah was awarded the Canadian Music Centre's Toronto Emerging Composers Award in 2017, valued at $6000, it's one of the more substantial awards in the country for composition. She was also featured in Musicworks Magazine:https://www.musicworks.ca/sound-bite/bekah-simms’-music-discomfort. Bekah was also selected, through member vote, as the commissioned composer for the first FNMC Flute Artist competition. Her new work for flute and pre-recorded sound, Skinscapes, will be performed by all of the finalists on March 3, 2017.
Asha Srinivasan (winner 2014 for Dviraag for flute and cello)
Asha is pleased to announce a newly commissioned work by Pan Pacific Ensemble. The work will be recorded in January and released on Albany Records. We look forward to hearing it!
Dana Wilson (winner 2016 for The Conjurer for solo flute and chamber wind ensemble)
Dana limited his update to news about his flute and piccolo works. Fortunately, there’s a lot of good news to share! (The Conjurer was performed by Wendy Mehne at the NFA convention this past August. He has also produced a piano reduction that is now available for purchase and performance! There is also a recording available of Conjurer!
FNMC member Christie Beard performed his piece for piccolo and piano entitled, Whispers from another time, at the NFA convention and a recording is in the works! It’s a really lovely work we’re sure our many piccolo playing members will want to check out!
He’s also pleased to share that there is a transcription of his and longing to be the singing master of my soul, originally for flute and piano, for flute and harp; there’s also now a piccolo version of the work. The flute and harp version will be recorded in the spring.
Thank you to all of the composers for sharing these updates. We love to hear about their successes and look forward to hearing (and playing) their works!
Get to Know...Andrew Davis
It’s been such a pleasure to learn more about the background and inspiration of the FNMC Composition Contest finalist composers. This week, we’re pleased to share our Q&A with Andrew Davis, composer of What’s Next for flute, bassoon and piano.
Q&A with Andrew
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
The flute is one of the most, if not the most, versatile instruments. There are so many possibilities. Personally, I’m amazed at the range of character the instrument possesses. I think most people often think of the flute as a bright and brilliant instrument, which it certainly is; however, the low register of the flute is capable of haunting beauty. There’s a piece by this Danish composer, Hans Abrahamsen, called Winternacht that features an alto flute in its lowest register. It’s incredibly evocative. As composers, we are always searching for new modes of expression and the flute with its endless possibilities is a perfect conduit to that end.
Who are your favorite new music composers?
Composers listen to as much “new music” as anyone so it’s difficult to single out just a few. David Lang was a big inspiration to me when I was in college. I grew up listening to rock and jazz and his music offered particular elements of those genres in combination with a modern classical approach. It was a good foray into the world of “new music,” something I had not listened to until that point. Currently I have been listening to an Italian composer named Fausto Romitelli, who similarly explores elements of rock but in a much different way. So I guess you could say that I tend to be attracted to composers who are inspired by the music I grew up hearing.
Describe your musical background and activities
I grew up playing trombone in my local school bands and guitar in several rock bands and jazz combos. In the latter half of high school, I became more interested in improvisation on guitar. I was trying to learn to create my own guitar solos in the vein of Van Halen and Jimmy Page. Improvisation is a form of composition, so it did not take long before I started writing my own songs on paper. In college, I took an introductory composition class with this fantastic professor, Kathryn Alexander, and from then I was hooked. Currently, I am pursuing my doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in composition. Most of the music I am composing now tends to be for chamber groups, though recently I have become interested in electroacoustic music.
More About Andrew…
Andrew Davis is a composer, pianist, and electric guitarist in Philadelphia, PA who has written for a variety of media both acoustic and electroacoustic. Davis’ early experiences in music were in local concert bands where he played trombone and in rock bands where he played electric guitar. Fused with a strong background in popular music, his music seeks to explore a variety of different genres and musical aesthetics.
His works have been performed by groups such as the JACK Quartet, PRISM Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Daedalus Quartet, the Argento Ensemble, counter)induction, the Boston New Music Initiative, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Yale Concert Band, the Florida State Wind Ensemble, and the University of Texas New Music Ensemble. He has received honors from ASCAP, BMI, the Mizzou New Music International Composers Festival, Vox Novus, The Lyra Society, and ISCM-Texas among others. Additionally, his music has been heard at a variety of festivals including the Festival of New Music at FSU, the Manchester New Music Mini-Festival, New Music on the Point, and SEAMUS.
He earned a B.A. in music from Yale University graduating with honors and distinction in the major in 2009 as well as a M.M. in composition from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. Currently, he is pursuing his doctorate in composition at the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow.
Visit his website for more information: www.andrewdaviscomposer.com
If you like What’s Next? Check out these other works for flute…
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
Duration: 8 minutes
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, oboe, violin, viola, cello
Duration: 7 minutes
Sing Sweetly, Run Swiftly
Instrumentation: flute, violin, viola, cello, harp
Duration: 10 minutes
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.