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...Dana Wilson
Dana Wilson was named the winner of the Newly Composed Category in 2016 for his work for solo flute and chamber ensemble (ob, 3 cl, bcl, bsn, hn, tpt, tb, pf, perc, db), entitled The Conjurer. This lovely flute concerto in two movements was inspired by the world’s shamanic traditions. Commissioned by a consortium of flutists and wind ensembles, The Conjurer received its first performance in April 2015 by Gabe Southard. The Conjurer is included on a disc of his flute music entitled “The Conjurer: Chamber Music for Flute by Dana Wilson” featuring his colleague at Ithaca College, Wendy Herbener Mehne. She will perform The Conjurer at the 2017 NFA Convention on the New Flute Solos Concert at 1:00 PM on Saturday August 12, 2017. Another of Dana’s works will also be performed; FNMC member Christine Erlander Beard will present the NFA Premiere of Whispers from Another Time for piccolo and piano on the Piccolo Recital II (10:00 Sunday, August 13, 2017).
We’re hoping to catch up with Dana at the convention and feature him in a Facebook live interview talking about The Conjurer and Whispers from Another Time, but in the meantime, we wanted to ensure that he was featured!
Q&A with Dana…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
The flute has so many colors and textures, and is able to move from one to another in such a seemingly effortless way, thus providing depth and drama to a given passage or gesture.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
I’ve been composing a long time but only came to the flute in recent years in terms of
commissions and lots of performances. (I’m so grateful to all the flutists in the world who are eager to explore new works!) I started my musical life as a jazz pianist and so a good deal of that aesthetic and its musical elements creep into my music. Maybe as a result of that, I’m drawn to the range of color and articulation that the flute provides.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
Think of all the sounds in the world—from birdcalls to violent storms—and how the flute can explore each so effectively, often jumping dramatically from one to another. Be open to the incredible fluidity that the flute allows music and musical drama to project.
More About Dana…
The works of Dana Wilson have been commissioned and performed by such diverse ensembles as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Formosa String Quartet, Xaimen Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dallas Wind Symphony, Voices of Change, Netherlands Wind Ensemble and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. He has received grants from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and Meet the Composer. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, East Asia and Australia, and appear on over 30 record labels. Dana Wilson holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music and is Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus at the Ithaca College School of Music. He has written about his compositional process in A Composer’s Insight and Composers on Composing for Band, and is co-author of Contemporary Choral Arranging, published by Simon and Schuster.
If You Liked The Conjurer...
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion
All Our Yesterdays
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, horn, violin, cello, piano, and percussion
Instrumentation: flute and piano
And longing to be…
Instrumentation: flute and piano or harp
Breathing the Water
Instrumentation: flute and guitar
Dancing with the Devil
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, and piano
Instrumentation: alto flute and guitar
Instrumentation: wind quintet
Pu Em Remu
Instrumentation: flute and percussion
Shallow Streams, Deep Rivers
Instrumentation: flute, horn, and piano
Sing to me of the Night
Instrumentation: flute, guitar, and cello
Whispers from Another Time
Instrumentation: piccolo and piano
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.