Release Date: April 12, 2012
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 world.
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 abroad.
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 eventful compositions.
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 century.
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 breaking glass.