BUFFALO, N.Y -- Since it was founded in 1975, June in Buffalo
has been a landmark on the new music scene, a gathering place for
musical visionaries and their works -- several generations of the
finest composers on the international scene.
This year is no exception. From June 4-10, an outstanding
selection of new composers, senior composition faculty, performance
ensembles and individual artists will convene in Buffalo to
participate in the distinguished annual conference and festival for
emerging composers of new music presented by the University at
Buffalo Department of Music and the UB Robert and Carol Morris
Center for 21st Century Music.
Look for Robert Beaser, David Felder, Julia Wolfe, Steven
Stucky, Fred Lehrdal, Louis Andreissen, Roberto Fabricciani, Elliot
Fisk, Brad Lubman, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, SIGNAL,
Ensemble Interface, New York New Music Ensemble and other top new
music ensembles, plus a host of emerging composers from around the
As it does every year, JIB, under the direction of David Felder,
long recognized as one of the outstanding composers of his
generation, will takes place after a rigorous selection process
involving 80 or so applicants who submitted their work for
consideration. Twenty-seven have been selected to work with the
festival's senior composers in workshops and master classes. They
will then have their music performed by the performance faculty and
ensembles in a series of public afternoon concerts.
An additional eight spectacular evening concerts focus on the
work of the senior composition faculty.
This year's senior composition faculty -- Felder, Andreissen,
Stucky, Wolfe, Lehrdal and Beaser -- are six globally recognized
and critically acclaimed composers, who, in addition to conducting
master classes and workshops, will lecture and present their work
in performance by top ensembles and individual artists.
The 2012 JIB resident performance ensembles will be the Buffalo
Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Interface, the Genkin
Philharmonic, SIGNAL, the Slee Sinfonettia, Ensemble Interface and
the UB Percussion Ensemble, each of which has a notable history of
new music performance. They too, will participate in workshops and
master classes as well as perform throughout the week, joined by
special guest performers.
The guest performers this year will be distinguished Italian
flautist and composer Roberto Fabricciani, inventor and performer
of the hyper-bass flute; guitar virtuoso Elliot Fisk, one of the
most adventurous and creative musicians performing today, and an
enthusiastic advocate of music in schools and active musician
involvement with the community; and Brad Lubman of the Eastman
School of Music, a widely recognized conductor/composer and a
frequent guest conductor of the world's leading ensembles.
Morton Feldman, a major composer of the late 20th century,
founded June in Buffalo in 1975 while Edgar Varese was chair of
music at UB. He directed it until 1979 when it ceased operation as
a new music festival. It was revived in 1986 by David Felder, the
university's Birge-Cary Chair of Music, who celebrated his 25th
year as artistic director of the festival in 2010. The festival has
been widely acclaimed by national and international musicians,
scholars and critics.
JIB 2012 updates, including concert program and additional
information on the performance and composition faculty, can be
found at http://www.music21c.org/index.php/june-in-buffalo.
Concert programs and audio excerpts from the 2011 and earlier JIB
festivals also are available for download at the site.
JIB 2012 Senior Faculty Biographies
David Felder is globally recognized as a leading composer
of his generation. He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and
Birge-Cary Chair of Composition in the UB Department of Music and
is the founding director the university's professional chamber
orchestra, the Slee Sinfonietta. He also has been director of the
Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at UB since
its founding in 2006 and was composer-in-residence with the Buffalo
Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992 to 1996.
He has won dozens of major awards for his work, which is often
featured at major international festivals for new music, and has
been widely commissioned by orchestras and ensembles here and
abroad. His highly energetic and often lyrical compositions
frequently combine music with video, electronics and acoustical
elements to create multimedia performance events and he has
collaborated with artists from other fields, including the late
poet Robert Creeley, filmmaker Elliot Caplan, video artist David
Stout and chorographer Mary Jan Eisenberg. An active teacher and
mentor, he has served as PhD dissertation advisor for more than 50
composers at UB, many of whom are actively teaching, composing and
performing internationally at leading institutions here and
Louis Andreissen, the 72-year-old unconventional Dutch
composer, is himself the son of a recognized pioneer of modern
Dutch music. He will participate in several days of the festival.
He is popular with young audiences (students have come from around
the world to study with him) and his work has made contemporary
Dutch music prominent throughout the world. He has been cited for
being "profoundly significant" and "anti-bourgeois," and has rocked
many a concert stage with his rebellious (or haunting) but always
One was inspired by Anais Nin's incestuous relationship with her
composer father, for instance, and another is based on Plato's
"Republic" and employs Greek scales and is sung in the original
Greek. His wonderfully varied and unusual compositions have been
described as "jazzy," "minimalist," "anti-minimalist," "troubled,"
"strange," "illuminating," "theatrical" (he has scored a number of
films) and "shocking," and he is said to pull no punches. Steven
Stucky, also on this year's June in Buffalo senior faculty,
described his composition "De Stijl" (The Style) as "Stravinsky
meets James Brown in Amsterdam and they smoke a joint."
Robert Beaser also is recognized as one of the most
accomplished creative musicians of his generation. He music is
"masterly…dazzlingly colorful, fearless of
gesture…beautifully fashioned and ingeniously constructed,"
according to Gramophone Magazine, and The New York Times compared
his lyrical gifts to those of the late, great Samuel Barber, a
prominent member of the pantheon of American musicians, who also
served as a member of the June in Buffalo faculty. Beaser is an
important figure in the "New Tonalism" school, whose hallmark is
emotional directness, and he has demonstrated a marked and widely
praised gift for vocal writing. His musical language been widely
cited as a synthesis of Western tradition and American vernacular.
He has won many, many major awards and his work has been performed
and commissioned widely in the U.S. and abroad.
Although he is highly regarded and has received much adulation
and a vast number of honors, distinctions and major commissions,
Fred Lehdahl is sometimes cited as one of the least known of
major American composers. He is also among the least doctrinaire in
that his compositions reflect a variety of sensibilities and forms.
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec wrote, "The deep,
fresh, inspired music of Fred Lerdahl is a beacon for listeners
making their way forward through the millenium's strange and
wonderful landscape of the imagination. Organic images express the
way in which Lerdahl's music seems so right as it unfolds in time,
giving the impression of inexorability." In addition to his
distinction as a composer of new music, Lehrdal's theoretical
writings are among the most important of the last half of the 20th
Steven Stucky is a 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
who, like the rest of this year's JIB faculty, is widely recognized
as one of the finest and most fascinating in his field. Widely and
highly acclaimed, he is one of the country's frequently performed
composers and has written commissioned works for many major
American orchestras and ensembles. He also is an active teacher and
mentor of young composers. Stucky has held endowed chairs at the
Eastman School of Music and the University of California, Berkeley,
and currently serves as Given Foundation Professor of Composition
at Cornell University. For 20 years he has been associated with the
Los Angeles Philharmonic where he is currently consulting composer
for new music. It is the longest relationship on record between a
composer and an American orchestra.
Julia Wolfe draws inspiration from the folk, classical and rock
genres, and brings a modern sensibility to each while tearing down
the walls between them.
She was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her work
"Steel Hammer," which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and written
for the Bang On A Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval. Her music is
distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that
pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the
audience. In the words of the Wall Street Journal, Wolfe has "long
inhabited a terrain of [her] own, a place where classical forms are
recharged by the repetitive patterns of minimalism and the driving
energy of rock."
Wolfe has written a major body of work for strings, from
quartets to full orchestra and has been critically praised as well
for her quartets and her ability to create vivid sonic images. The
titles of her compositions are intriguing: "Cruel Sister," inspired
by an English ballad about sisters' love rivalry; "My Beautiful
Scream," inspired by the idea of a slow motion scream; "Window of
Vulnerability," in which she creates a massive sonic universe of
dense textures and fragile windows; and "Girlfriend," which uses a
haunting audio landscape that consists of skidding cars and