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Discover This! 5 Pieces by Kaija Saariaho

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Kaija Saariaho

October 14, 1952 – Helsinki, Finland

“Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. She studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her studies and research at IRCAM have had a major influence on her music and her characteristically luxuriant and mysterious textures are often created by combining live music and electronics. Although much of her catalogue comprises chamber works, from the mid-nineties she has turned increasingly to larger forces and broader structures, such as the operas L’Amour de loin and Adriana Mater and the oratorio La Passion de Simone.” – from Music Sales Classical

Discover This! 5 Pieces by Robert Helps

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Robert Helps

September 23, 1928 – Passaic, NJ, USA
November 24, 2001 – Tampa, FL, USA

“Robert Helps is not only the pianist’s pianist and the composer’s composer, but he is the composer’s pianist and the pianist’s composer, for, since his teen-age performance of music that was deemed unperformable, he has played incomparably: compositions which other pianists could not or would not perform. The singular pianistic mastery which he brought to these performances moulds his own writing for piano, from which pianists have discovered resources of nuance, rhythmic subtlety, dynamic control, and sound which endow their own playing with a new sensitivity and sensibility. His chamber and orchestral compositions are not pianistic transcriptions, but the fresh realization of the same awareness in these non-pianistic media. He long has been a legend in his own time and he deserves it.” –  Tribute by Milton Babbitt (1996) Robert Helps Web Monument

“Robert Helps was Professor of Music at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was a recipient of awards in composition from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Ford, and many other foundations, and of a 1976 Academy Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters. His orchestral piece Adagio for Orchestra, which later became the middle movement of his Symphony No. 1, won a Fromm Foundation award and was premièred by Leopold Stokowski and the Symphony of the Air (formerly the NBC Symphony) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His Piano Concerto No. 1 was commissioned by the Thorne Music Fund and first performed by the composer with the Manhattan Conservatory orchestra. His Piano Concerto No. 2 was commissioned through the Ford Foundation by Richard Goode and performed by him with the Oakland (CA) Symphony.

Robert Helps served as professor of piano at the New England Conservatory, the San Francisco Conservatory, Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Manhattan School of Music. He was artist-in-residence (pianist) at the University of California-Davis in 1973. He was recorded extensively as pianist, composer, and pianist/composer on such labels as Victor, Columbia, Composers Recordings Inc., Deutsche Grammophon, New World, Desto, Son Nova, and GM Recordings. Many of his compositions, including his Symphony No. 1 (Naumburg Award) and Gossamer Noons for voice and orchestra, are recorded. He was very active as a solo and chamber music pianist throughout the United States. His major teachers were Abby Whiteside for piano, and Roger Sessions for composition, and he toured extensively with such internationally famous performers as Bethany Beardslee, Isidore Cohen, Rudolf Kolisch, Phyllis Curtin, soprano, and Aaron Copland, and for many years performed solo and chamber works, many of them world premières, for internationally known chamber music and contemporary music organizations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. His later concerts included memorial solo recitals of the music of renowned American composer Roger Sessions at both Harvard and Princeton Universities, an all-Ravel recital at Harvard, and a solo recital in Town Hall, NY.

His final compositions include Eventually the Carousel Begins, for two pianos, A Mixture of Time for guitar and piano, which had its première in San Francisco in June 1990 by Adam Holzman and the composer, The Altered Landscape (1992) for organ solo and Shall We Dance (1994) for piano solo, Piano Trio No. 2, and a piano quartet commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation. He died in 2001.” – from Naxos

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Sounds by the Sea – St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA

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Florida is known for some of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world! Pinellas County’s white sand beaches make for a perfect backdrop to fully experience sight and sound. At sunset on November 21/22 (depending on weather) The New Music Conflagration, Inc. invites you to gather on St. Pete Beach to watch the sunset while experiencing a virtual concert of music by living composers. Audience members are asked to register using the link below, bring their smartphones/web enabled devices and headphones in order to experience the concert. On the day of the performance, participants will be sent a link with the music, which will open for listening just before sunset. Join us for an interactive concert experience!

Sounds by the Sea
November 21, 2014
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA

About the composers:


Andrea Montalbano
(Italy, 1990), started to study the clarinet at 12 and graduated with honors at the Conservatory “A. Scontrino” of Trapani in 2009, in the clarinet class of M°G. Lumetta. In 2008 Andrea completed high school (Classical Lyceum)and attended masterclasses with Paolo Ravaglia, Richard Stoltzman, Andre Kerver, Calogero Palermo. In June 2011 qualified as clarinet teacher at the Conservatory of music “G. B. Martini” in Bologna. While studying to achieve the qualification as clarinet teacher, Andrea approached to composition, writing several pieces and realizing many works since that time. In 2014 Andrea studied music composition for film at Civic Music School “C. Abbado” in Milan with Sergio Miceli and Franco Piersanti.

Andrea is active in classical, jazz and contemporary music, and
collaborated with many composers and musicians to play premieres (“Essere è tempo”, by Mario Ruffini, at the Uffizi library in Florence, video in “Aristofane in Blue” by Maurizio Pisati at the Oscar Theatre in Milan, “I giorni della libertà” at the Comunale Theatre in Bologna, etc…).

Andrea’s compositions has been performed in many events and festivals: Cutting edge brass (Colchester New Music), Emufest 2013 (International Electroacoustic Music Festival), Leitmotiv 2012 (TempoReale), Adriatico Mediterraneo 2012, ICMC 2014, MUSLAB 2014, and more. His compositions have been awarded in National and International composer competitions and his work “Mirage”, for string quartet, is published by
Bèrben – edizioni musicali.

To know more about Andrea, visit his website:
andreamontalbano.blogspot.it


D. Edward Davis
(b. 1980) is a composer of electronic and acoustic music. His work often engages with the sounds of the environment, exploring processes and patterns inspired by nature. Recent performers of his work include violinist Mari Kimura, pianist Ingrid Lee, the Callithumpian Consort,
yMusic, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Wet Ink Ensemble. His compositions are featured on the Spectropol Records compilation Possible Worlds, Vol. 2, and on recent recordings by saxophonist Eric Honour and violinist Erik Carlson.

In 2014, Davis travelled to Düsseldorf to study with composer Antoine Beuger. He has participated in the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (2014), the EcoSono Institute in Anchorage, AK (2013), the nief-norf Summer Festival in Greenville, SC (2012-2014), and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice in Boston, MA (2012 and 2014),
and was selected as a Composer Fellow for the 2012 Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, CA.

Davis lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he is a PhD candidate at Duke University and studies with Scott Lindroth and John Supko. He also has degrees in composition from Brooklyn College and Northwestern University, and his former teachers include Michael Pisaro, David Grubbs, Amnon Wolman, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim.

More information at sound.warmsilence.org


Edward Ruchalski
has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Helen Boatwright, Syracuse’s Society for New Music, and dG Studios, among others. He has composed work upon request for the Buffalo Guitar Quartet, Robert Black, and Shiau-uen Ding. His compositions have been performed at Lincoln Center, Mass MOCA, Miller Theatre, the Festival of Miami, Harvard University, Kirk in the Hills in Detroit, the Everson Museum of Art, and elsewhere. Previous publications include essays on Paul Simon and Nick Lowe in the journal, Stone Canoe, as well as, interviews with Roberto Sierra and the Castellani-Andriaccio Duo in Soundboard Magazine and with poet Michael Burkard in Intersection. Ruchalski has also been the recipient of two Artist Grants from Syracuse’s Cultural Resources Council for his compositions using motorized string and percussion sculptures of his own design, and the recipient of a NYSCA AIE Grant for his work with students at Meachem Elementary School. Ruchalski’s composition, “Winter Light,” is included on the Innova recording Serendipity (2009), and to date, he has nine studio recordings available. Ruchalski lives with his wife, poet Elizabeth Twiddy, in Syracuse, NY, where he composes, writes, and teaches guitar lessons. He is the Professor of Practice in Music at Le Moyne College where he teaches music theory, history, composition and guitar.
Jordan Nobles Known for creating music filled with an “unearthly beauty” (Mondomagazine) that makes listeners want to “close (their) eyes and transcend into a cloud of music” (Discorder Magazine), Jordan Nobles has emerged as one of Canada’s finest composers.

Recently Jordan’s piece Simulacrum was nominated as ‘Classical Composition of the Year’ at the 2012 Western Canadian Music Awards. He was named the International Winner of the Sacra/Profana Composition Competition (San Diego) and has been selected from among thousands of entries to be performed in Wrocław, Poland at the International Society for Contemporary Music’s 2014 World Music Days. He has also won the Polyphonos Choir Composition Competition (Seattle), the Vancouver Bach Choir’s National Competition for Large Choirs (Vancouver), placed 2nd in the International Soli fan tutti Kompositionswettbewerbs (Darmstadt, Germany) and was a finalist in the C4 Choir Composition Competition (New York).

He continues to receive many National and International performances and commissions. Recent projects include a piano concerto for the Vancouver Symphony with pianist Corey Hamm, a chamber ensemble piece for Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble for their European tour, and music for the vertical dance company Aeriosa.

In April 2013, over 800 art students from Ontario created works of art inspired by the music of Jordan Nobles for Hamilton Symphony’s What Next? Festival of New Music which links visual art with music. His choir piece Still Life was performed by over 600 young singers at the Mass Participatory Musicking Festival (Hong Kong) and his string orchestra work Aurora was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s official entry at the UNESCO International Music Council’s International Rostrum of Composers in Lisbon, Portugal and also was selected for the ISCM Festival in Miami, Florida.

Jordan was named the Emerging Artist in music from the 2009 City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Awards. He is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.
www.jordannobles.com


Mark Nickel
, born Christopher Mark Nickel, is a Composer, Music Producer, and Technologist from Benedict, NE. Born in rural Nebraska and always in awe of it’s vast landscapes and grand skies, from an early age Mark Nickel sought to recreate such incredible beauty with sonic landscapes.

Beginning humbly with piano lessons and trombone lessons, Mark gradually began to explore the notes that were not on the page! This continued more fluidly when he began using Digital Audio Workstation software Logic. Since then he has used Ableton Live and MAX. Currently his interest has spread to the open source exploration of coding environment of SuperCollider.

Upon receiving a generous music scholarship, Mark Nickel, is currently studying music composition at the University of Nebraska under Dr. Kurt Knecht. Through this traditional music composition and concurrent music technology education, Mark continues to develop a deeper understanding of the powerful psychoacoustic effects of music. Just as academic challenges are an integral part of the growth of a young musician Mark also believes strongly that what he studies outside of the classroom is equally as important. Recently, Mark studied abroad in Germany at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg. Here he studied and explored the Musikinformatik (Music Informatics) program. Immersed in courses in SuperCollider, History of Live Electronic Music, Max/MSP, Arduino, and Klangsynthese (sound synthesis) and Transformation, he discovered a deeper passion for the Electronic Sonic Arts.

Whether through piano, trombone, or computer music, Mark tirelessly seeks to understand the harmonic/melodic meaning and scientific reasoning behind how and why music interacts so closely with the soul.


John Heins
’ Neo-romantic compositions have garnered considerable praise over the past three decades. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and Europe. In Canada, his Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon was featured at the International Double-Reed Convention. In 1992, the Sinfonisches Blasorchester Bern featured his Overture for Band on their European Tour. Also in 2000, the Aulos Blasorchester performed and recorded the Overture in Switzerland. One of his latest commissions, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, was premiered in 2003 in Washington D.C. In 2004, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony in Boston premiered another commission, Second Essay. Also, in 2004, Ballet Nouveau Colorado premiered his new ballet entitled The House of Alba. His Ballade for orchestra was recorded and recently released on a CD of new American music recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic, “Masterworks of the New Era, Vol.5”

The premiere of The Enchanted Mesa for Native American Flute and String Orchestra was given in February 2008 at Northwestern University by James Pellerite, former principal flutist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. His latest commission, Rhapsody for Piano and String Quartet, was premiered in Atlanta at the S.A.I. convention in August of 2012.

Heins received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Montana and a Master of Music degree in Composition and Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He studied composition with Donald O. Johnston, Cecil Effinger and Karel Husa. Heins has taught at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT; and he served as composer, arranger, pianist and clarinetist in the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific Northwest. He was chosen to be the 2001-2002 MTNA Commissioned Composer for the State of Colorado, and was the guest composer, lecturer and performer at the 2007 University of Montana Composer’s Showcase.


Nathan Corder
is an award winning composer and guitarist currently living in Tampa, FL. Nathan composes music of varying styles using a multitude of processes depending on the musical question at hand. Nathan’s works, ranging from chamber ensembles to interactive computer music, progressive rock, and noise, have been performed nationwide. Recently, Nathan’s works have been recognized at events such as the National Student Electronic Music Event at Georgia Southern University and the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) Conference at Wesleyan University. This year, Nathan was awarded the 2014 Allen Strange award from SEAMUS, and has been touring with his experimental rock bands, Jitters and Nude Tayne.
Celebrated for her “terrifying dynamic range,” cleanliness of sound, as well as unique sensitivity and ability to sculpt her performance for the acoustics of a space, Elizabeth A. Baker is a dramatic performer with an honest, near psychic connection to the music, which resounds with audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds. As a composer, her understanding of sonic space pairs with a unique eclectic voice, making for a spatial and auditory experience of music. As a pianist, Baker has studied with Steinway Artist Dr. Luis Sanchez and Jeff Donovick of St. Petersburg College and enjoys an active concert career with performances across the nation. Her advisors include world-renowned concert pianist Rebecca Penneys and composer Dr. Vernon Taranto. Emmy-award winning composer Larry Groupé has referred to her works as “Perfect.” In addition to her work as a performer-composer, Elizabeth has extensive technical training in the recording arts, live sound reinforcement, and was the recipient of the 2012 Best Production Award in Music Technology III at St. Petersburg College, where she studied closely under mastering engineer Dave Greenberg. Elizabeth is dedicated to promoting new music and has a passion for making rare concert works accessible to the general public.
Composer Melissa Grey’s projects include concert works, electroacoustic performances, installations, food and sound events, and collaborations with artists, architectural designers, and musicians. Recent works have been published by The MIT Press and featured at the National Gallery of Canada, Whitney Museum of American Art (with Antenna International), Electronic Music Midwest, Goethe-Institut Montréal, The Stone, Corridor at BolteLang, Radiauteur, Dorsky Gallery, Alphabet City Festivals 2010 AIR and 2009 WATER, Cinesonika: First International Film and Video Festival of Sound Design, Parsons The New School for Design, Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio, Reno Interdisciplinary Festival of New Media and others. Grey is currently Artistic Director and Curator of Circuit Bridges (Vox Novus), a monthly electroacoustic concert series presented in NYC and in communities around the world.


Paul Cowell
studied at the University of York and Stony Brook University, New York. He played percussion for many years, but after becoming more interested in Baroque music, switched to continuo playing. He is a composer and arranger living in London, and currently works for the British Government.


Madelyn Byrne
is an Associate Professor of Music at Palomar College where she has been on the faculty since 2000. She is an active composer of both acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Some recent pieces include Joyce Settings — Rain Has Fallen and Winds of May (for SATB choir with piano accompaniment, composed for the Palomar College Chamber Singers), In A Winter Landscape (for bass flute and computer, commissioned and recorded by Peter Sheridan for MOVE Records), Arrival (computer music with video art by Lily Glass, recorded to DVD for Everglade Records), and Northern Flight (for piano and computer, recorded by Peter Gach for Innova Records). Madelyn completed her DMA in Composition at The Graduate Center in 1999. Her composition teachers include Charles Dodge, John Corigliano, and David Olan. The compositions for her dissertation were done while she was a guest composer at Columbia University’s Computer Music Center.

Peter Michael von der Nahmer wrote his first provocative one act opera, Between Delusion and Reality, in tenth grade. This was followed by over a dozen new music theater works and numerous concert pieces. Peter Michael holds a BA in composition from the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, and an MA in music therapy from the University of Augsburg. In addition, he holds a certificate in Film Scoring from UCLA and in Music Pain entrainment from the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. Peter Michael is currently pursuing an MFA in Musical Theater Writing and Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, where he was awarded a two-year Tisch School of the Arts Departmental Fellowship. His music has received many awards, scholarships, and honors and has been performed world-wide. He is currently developing several new works for music and dance theater.www.petermichaelvondernahmer.com


Guillaume Chappez
is a young French musician, composer and sound artist. His work on sound/media (electroacoustic, audio design, sound installations, interactive and multi-media sets…), aims to express impressionnist and resolutely futuristic qualities that reach out to new musical and technological territories. Its works and compositions are shown internationally.