VIDEO: Kentucky Opera’s “The Girl of the Golden West”

Young Artist Competition Results

1024px-Tailpieceandbridge

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Classical 90.5/PNC Wealth Management Young Artist Competition! See the results below and attend the free winner’s recital on Wednesday, November 26th at noon, on Lunchtime Classics. The first place, second place, and honorable mentions perform on the winner’s recital.

First Place

Aemin Kim (16), piano

Second Place

Tie
Emily Redden (17), soprano
Maxwell Thompson (16), marimba

Honorable Mentions

Colin Crothers (12), piano
Landys Guo (16), piano
Ted Kang (17), violin
Sarah Martel (13), piano
Megan Wang (14), piano
Clara Warford (16), harp
Christopher Zhou (18), clarinet

Junior Award

Kennan King (9), piano

Judges

Krista Wallace-Boaz
Michael Hill
Daniel Gilliam

GIVEAWAY: Jessye Norman at Kentucky Author Forum

jessye-norman

Jessye Norman will be speaking at the Kentucky Author Forum on Monday, and it’s SOLD OUT, but you can enter for a chance to win two tickets. Details below…
This contest is now closed! Thanks for entering and good luck!

New Music Festival Preview: Agata Zubel

agata3_fotoTomaszKulak

Editor’s Note: This post is part of series previewing the 2014 New Music Festival at the University of Louisville School of Music.

Agata Zubel (b. 1978) has been described as ‘a rarity’ in the world of musical composition. A native of Wrocław, Poland, she studied percussion and music theory at the Karol Szymanowski High School of Music. Her studies continued at the Karol Lipinski University of Music in composition under the tutelage of Jan Wichrowski as well as vocals with Danuta Paziuk-Zipser. She is an active performer, composer, and music professor at The Academy of Music in Wrocław. She formed a vocal and electronic ensemble with Cezary Duchnowski, and together they perform under the name ElettroVoce. She has won numerous awards for her compositions, including the Polityka Passport Award for classical music (2005). Agata Zubel has received a special award for the duo ElettroVoce at the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam, and First Prize at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music.

The listener might think of calling her style “percussive vocalism” – beatboxing comes to mind. She has created a musical language that places the process of sound production in a place of equal importance to the sounds themselves. Her music is full of surprising contrasts, such as the pairing of long, lyrical violin playing with shouting. Zubel is a gifted performer and often performs the vocal part to her own compositions. Sound collages are created by making syllabic vocal sounds, for example, purposeful stuttering to begin a phrase; continued by stretching out the process of making the word or phrase come out of her mouth, and resulting in an overall statement. Her timbral requirements are daunting for the vocalist: pops, clicks, hisses, growls, and moans are included as part of the text. Sometimes these vocal acrobatics are paired with electronics to create loops or reverberation. The sounds are often stacked in layers to create complex and fascinating webs during the climactic moments of her music. Although instruments are often used in her works, they tend to play a secondary role to the vocal line. Her music is at once sensual and unpredictable, dynamic and unforgettable.

Zubel will be featured as a visiting composer and performer on the University of Louisville School of Music’s 2014 New Music Festival. She will be performing her pieces Cascando and Parlando during the festival. The following week she returns with the Illinois Modern Ensemble to perform Not I based on the monologue by Samuel Beckett, winner of the top award at the 60th UNESCO International Composer’s Rostrum and 2014 “Polonica Nova” Prize.

Michelle Gilfert, Jon Hodge, Matt Wetmore and Samantha Holman contributed to this article. They are students of Dr. Rebecca Jemian, a member of the music theory faculty at the University of Louisville.

New Music Festival Preview: Paweł Hendrich

P. Hendrich 02 (photo by Bartek Sadowski) (1)

Editor’s Note: This post is part of series previewing the 2014 New Music Festival at the University of Louisville School of Music.

Polish composer Paweł Hendrich visits Louisville this November for two performances of his works at the University of Louisville’s 2014 New Music Festival. Hendrich has received commissions from such internationally acclaimed ensembles as Ensemble Intercontemporain and Ensemble Musikfabrik and his works have been performed internationally at major festivals. In 2007 Hendrich was one of thirteen composers accepted into a four-year composition program run by the European Krysztof Penderecki Music Center. Hendrich first studied composition with Grazyna Pstrokonska-Nawratil at the Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland. He later studied with University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award-winning composer and acclaimed professor of composition York Höller at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. Since 2008 he has been on the faculty of the K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland.

Paweł Hendrich’s music creates a rich, internally coherent and expressive sound universe. Often inspired by scientific discoveries, his musical language creates its own rules, which the composer has elaborately systemized and expanded, captivating the listener with its involving narration and visceral quality. Hendrich’s music often includes unique timbres, as modifications in the quality of the sound shape the structure of his music and create a sense of drive and momentum in his work. This exploration of timbre includes traditional means of playing instruments as well as an array of non-traditional techniques. Varying uses of electronics are also employed in his music to both highlight and expand the sonic possibilities of acoustic instruments.

The first performance of Hendrich’s music in Louisville will be on Thursday, November 6th, 8:00pm, at Uof L’s Rauch Planetarium. The program will showcase electronic and improvised music. Hendrich will perform with fellow composer Cezary Duchnowski as part of the duo Phonos ek Mechanes. Phonos ek Mechanes—whose name comes from Greek, meaning “sound from the machine”—creates music with computers that are controlled by typical instruments, such as piano, guitar and violin, in a type of electronic music performance they call “human electronics”. This type of performance allows the gestures of performing an acoustic instrument to control the electronic sounds being produced by the computer, opening up a wide array of sonic possibilities in the duo’s work.

Paweł Hendrich’s music will also be featured in the 2014 New Music Festival postlude concert, on November 14th at 8:00pm in UofL’s Comstock Hall. This special event will feature the Illinois Modern Ensemble, performing Emergon Alfa for large ensemble and electronics, alongside the works of fellow Polish composers Agata Zubel, Cezary Duchnowski, Ewa Trebacz and New Music festival director Krzysztof Wołek.

For more on Paweł Hendrich, please visit www.hendrich.pl. For more information about the University of Louisville’s 2014 New Music festival and event listings, please visit http://louisville.edu/music/newmusic

Justin Giarrusso, Andrew Maxbauer and Ian Schroeder contributed to this article. They are students of Dr. Rebecca Jemian, a member of the music theory faculty at the University of Louisville.