Eminent Composer Augusta Read Thomas Appointed University Professor

At this writing our new University Professor of Composition, Augusta Read Thomas, has just had the world premiere of her University of Chicago-commissioned violin duo double helix played to immense acclaim at the dedication ceremony of the new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. What an honor for us!

Legendary Composer Sofia Gubaidulina Awarded Honorary Doctorate

In June of 2011 the Department was deeply honored and tremendously excited to be able to sponsor the first honorary doctorate ever given to a composer or indeed any creative artist. The recipient of the degree was the magnificent Russian-Tatar composer Sofia Gubaidulina, a shining light among today’s composers, who was gracious enough to make […]

Carl, Robert (Ph.D. 1983)

Robert Carl’s Simic Songs a set of four-voice madrigals on poems of Charles Simic (former US Poet Laureate), was premiered at Wesleyan University on September 14, 2008, with the poet in attendance and reading the texts. Robert’s Symphony No. 4, “The Ladder” was premiered on February 20, 2009 at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. […]

Fried, Philip (Ph.D. 1985)

Philip Fried spent the summer as composer in residence to Opera Bob, a new company in the Twin Cities.  He composed two arias for their Minnesota Fringe Festival show: “Secrets Revealed:  Opera Bob Opens his Drawers.”  Philip has been commissioned to compose a one act opera for the company as well as the company’s theme […]

Lee, Eun Young

Eun Young Lee’s Somewhere, a commissioned work by the 2009 NEON festival for the Max Di Julio Prize for Music Composition, was premiered at the Nevada Encounters of New Music (N.E.O.N.). Her piece, a quiet way, was published in the SCI Journal of Music Scores (Vol. 42) and was released in the SCI CD series, […]

Bancks, Jacob

Jacob Bancks composed Ruach for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, which won the Department of Music’s composition competition and was performed by the SPCO at its March, 2009 concert. Jacob was the featured composer at Southern Illinois University’s Outside the Box festival.  He was also commissioned to compose a work for the Tanglewood Festival, which […]

Ptaszynska, Marta

A new production of Marta Ptaszynska’s children’s opera Mister Marimba was premiered by the Cracow Opera on September 20, 2008 with 18 performances this season. The opera will stay in the repertory for the 2009-10 season.  Her work for 70 percussionists, commissioned by the Poznan Philharmonic, was premiered with tremendous success on December 15,2009 at […]

Ran, Shulamit

Two new compositions by Shulamit Ran received major premieres this past year. The Show Goes On, her Clarinet Concerto, commissioned by “Clarinet Days” in Israel, was performed in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in December 2008 by the Buchman-Mehta Orchestra of the Tel Aviv Academy of Music. Lyre of Orpheus, a string sextet commissioned by the […]

Suzuki, Kotoka

Kotoka Suzuki spent most of her sabbatical year in Berlin, Germany, where she completed several projects. Her new electro-acoustic composition for surround sound, Epiphyllum Oxypetalum, was premiered at the Ultraschall Music Festival in Berlin, Germany. This work will be broadcast by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) in July and receive a North American premiere at the International […]

Start, Elizabeth (Ph.D. 1992)

Elizabeth Start is the executive director for the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music; cellist, Elgin (IL) Symphony and Kalamazoo Symphony; and free-lance composer. Elizabeth recently received a Kalamazoo Artist Development Initiative grant through the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo to write two pieces in 2009-10, one of which will feature Italian mandolin virtuoso Carlo Aonzo. […]

Silvio Bonaccorsi Barbato (M.A. 1995), 1959 – 2009

A graduate student in music history and prominent conductor, the Italian-Brazilian Silvio Bonaccorsi Barbato, died at age 50 on board Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it crashed into the Atlantic off the coast of Fernando de Noronha on June 1. During the mid-1990s Silvio had studied with Philip Gossett […]