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School of Music
17th NewMusic Initiative

To engage our community in all phases of new music's culture:

Visiting artists (listed below, here) are deeply involved with the creation and dissemination of new musical ideas. Guests will work with our community in:

  • Instrumental/vocal Master Classes
  • Workshops for composers
  • Seminars on commissioning new work
  • Reading, recording and critique of student composers' music

Each year we will:

  • Commission a new work--Recently projects by James Mobberley, Travis Alford and Aaron Brooks!
  • Host a NewMusic Initiative-commissioned composer who is writing for our forces
  • Rehearse and Premiere a NewMusic Initiative-commissioned piece
  • Encourage conversation about choices made by audiences, performers, and composers
  • Rehearse and create an archival recording of a NewMusic Initiative-commissioned piece

Contact us NewMusic@ecu.edu to be a part of

  • Come meet our guest artists (workshops, Master Classes)
  • Listen and share programs (critical discussions)
  • Post-concert receptions

Quick Links

2016 - 2017
Schedule of Events

DETAILS HERE

September 29, 2016 @ 7:30pm
Michael Lowenstern, bass clarinet solo
October 23-25, 2016 @ 7:30pm
ECU Opera Theatre
Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts
November 3, 2016 @ 7:30pm
Julia Den Boer, piano
November 11, 2016 @ 7:30pm
Premiere Performances
NewMusic by ECU student composers
January 26, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Sharon Harms, soprano &
Steven Beck, piano
February 16, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Frequencies a NewMusic Ensemble
March 4, 2017 @ 7:30pm
East Carolina University Orchestra
Jorge Richter, Director
at Wright Auditorium
March 18, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Meridian Arts Ensemble
Brass Quintet & Percussion
April 1, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Premiere Performances
NewMusic by ECU student composers
April 2, 2017 @ 7:30pm
ECU Sinfonietta, Scott Carter, dir
World Premiere, NCNMI Commission
by Jim Mobberley
April 20, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Premiere Performances
NewMusic by ECU student composers

2016-2017 Schedule of Events

clicktrianglefor details

Michael Lowenstern, bass clarinet (9/29/16)

MICHAEL LOWENSTERN, bass clarinet
[September 29, 2016]

A cross between Eric Dolphy, Meat Beat Manifesto, NPR's This American Life, The Gap Band and Igor Stravinsky, MICHAEL LOWENSTERN 's sound defies definition; it's ClassicoFunkTronica.

On stage, Michael brings not only his formidable skill and finesse on the bass clarinet, but also his sense of humor, a deep appreciation for pop culture, an enthusiasm which can only be called infections and, well, cool toys. His shows employ computers, props and electronic gizmos, and Michael brings everything from consumer electronics, to a WiCoder (combination EWI and vocoder - way too cool!), to a few harmonicas and the occasional piece of home-made electric gear, assuming it wasn't confiscated by the TSA.

Michael has written music for concert, film, dance and various other new media over the span of his 23-year career. Actively involved with technology in sound and music, Michael has been a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music, having created or performed over a hundred works for bass clarinet and electronics. His collaborations have included remixes for the landmark recording In C Remixed (featured on NPR's RadioLab), Michael Gordon's video opera Chaos and various dance works with David Lang. To date he can be heard on over fifty CDs, including five solo recordings of his own.

Michael travels regularly as a guest lecturer at universities around the country. A former faculty member of New York University, he is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Widely considered one of the finest bass clarinetists in the world, has performed, recorded and toured as a soloist and with ensembles of every variety. Michael has written music for concert, film, dance and various other new media over the span of his 23-year career. His collaborations have included remixes for the landmark recording "In C Remixed" (featured on NPR's RadioLab), Michael Gordon's video opera "Chaos" and various dance works with David Lang. To date he can be heard on over fifty CDs, including five solo recordings of his own.

Arms Out (2014)
Stomp (2013)
Little Bit (2014)
Ariel's Hands (2006)
Lost in Translation (2011)
What'd I Say (2012)
Sort of Not So (2010)
♦My Mouth (2009)
♦Drift (2005)

Michael travels regularly as a guest lecturer at university around the country. A former faculty member of New York University, he is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Lowenstern's time with the NewMusic Initiative will include:

Wednesday, Sept. 28
6pm (rm 105): Michael works with clarinetists in a Master Class setting

Thursday, Sept. 29
1pm (rm 110): "How music school prepares you for almost any career--even a musical one."
7:30pm (A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall): CONCERT! 

Friday, September 30
11am (Recital Hall): Michael reads and records works-in-progress by student composers
2pm (Rm 200): more about Michael's musical ideas and creative process.

[September 29, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Four Saints in Three Acts

FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS [October 23-25, 2016]

Words by Gertrude Stein
Music by Virgil Thomson (composed 1927-28; premiered 1934)
Presented with ECU Opera Theatre
James Franklin, conductor
John Kramar, stage director
Eric Stellrecht, musical direction/chorus master
Jeffery Phipps, costume design
Erica Bolick, choreographer
Matthew Scully, set design
Scott Skiba, lighting design

Starring Caroline Miller, Christopher Short, Grace Ashley, Amanda Whitmore, Skylar McKee, Gina Marie Falk, Johnathon Spell, and James Taylor

Tickets $20.00 (General Admission), $15.00 (Faculty/Staff/Seniors), $5.00 (Student) Tickets are available at the door, or by calling the Central Ticket Office: Phone: 1-800-328-2787 (locally 328-4788)

[October 23-25, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm]
tickets available through ECU Arts

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Julia Den Boer, piano (11/3/16)

JULIA DEN BOER, piano [November 3, 2016]

French-American pianist JULIA DEN BOER is a strong advocate of contemporary music. Based in New York city, she performs internationally and has commissioned and premiered numerous works. She is committed to exploring and pushing her instrument’s boundaries through close collaboration with composers and has had the opportunity to work with some of the most prominent composers of our time such as Heinz Holliger, Philippe Leroux, Ned Rorem, Martin Matalon and Kaija Saariaho.

Julia is a recipient of the Solti Foundation award, was awarded the Prix Mention Speciale Maurice Ohana at the 2012 International Orleans Competition, and won the ninth annual Mikhashoff Trust Fund for New Music Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project with composer Zosha Di Castri

Recent and upcoming performances include concerts at Unerhörte Musik in Berlin, the CMC in Toronto, a program of commissions for piano and electronics for Live@CIRMMT in Montreal, Columbia Composers Concert at Issue Project Room, Matrix at the SWR in Freiburg, New Music Concerts in Toronto, MATA Festival, the International Computer Music Conference, the Klangspuren Festival in Austria, Poets Out Loud at Lincoln Center, and Manifeste at IRCAM.

Her performances have been broadcasted on Q2, CBC Radio 2, the SWR and France Musique.

Julia is a native of Lyon, France and holds a doctorate of musical arts from SUNY Stony Brook University where she studied with Gilbert Kalish. She is on faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music and holds the position of music director at the Church of the Ascension in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Julia's November 3 program will include:

  • Michael Finnissy, Folklore I (1994)
  • Rebecca Saunders, Crimson (2006)
  • Matthew Ricketts, new piece (2016) (world premiere)
  • Liza Lim, The Four Seasons (2008) 
  • Lewis Nielson, Juke Preludes (2003)
[November 3, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital, 7:30pm, free admission]
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PREMIERE PERFORMANCES [November 11, 2016]

ECU School of Music performers focus their talents on the music of ECU composers in these first ever public performances--world premiere performances. The first of three concerts each year dedicated to the newest ideas of these developing young composers. Can't get here? Access a live stream here. Program to be announced.

[November 11, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Sharon Harms, sop & Steven Beck, pno

SHARON HARMS, soprano & STEVEN BECK, piano
[January 26, 2017]

Praised as "superb," "luscious-toned," "extraordinarily precise and expressive," and "dramatically committed and not averse to risk" by the New York Times, SHARON HARMS is known for fearless performances and passionate interpretations of works new and old for the recital, concert, and operatic stage.

Sharon has premiered the music of some of today's leading and up-and-coming composers and her repertoire spans a versatile spectrum of periods and styles. A wide array of collaborations have put Ms. Harms in venues around the world. She is a member of the Argento Ensemble and has sung with Alter Ego EnsembleBaroque Band of ChicagoCenter for Contemporary OperaDa Capo Chamber Players, East Coast Contemporary EnsembleEnsemble Mise-enEnsemble RechercheEnsemble SignalMET Opera Chamber OrchestraNew Chamber BalletNew DramatistsNew Fromm Players, Notre Dame Sacred Music Orchestra, Orchestra of the League of Composers, Pacifica QuartetPueblo Symphony Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Slee SinfoniettaSouthwest Chamber Ensemble, and Third Coast Percussion

Ms. Harms has appeared as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and as a guest artist at June in BuffaloLos Angeles International New Music FestivalRadcliffe InstituteInstitute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Wellesley Composer's Conference & Chamber Music WorkshopsAmerican Academy in Rome, and Resonant Bodies Festival

Recording projects include a 2013 Latin Grammy nomination for Gabriela Ortiz' Aroma Foliado with Southwest Chamber Ensemble, and a CD of new vocal works by Louis Karchin with Da Capo Chamber Players on Bridge Records. She will also be featured on various forthcoming recordings of new pieces by William Bolcom, John EatonJesse JonesLowell Liebermann, and Charles Wuorninen.

Recent highlights include the premiere of John Eaton's The End of It with Eighth Blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet, Mendelssohn's Elijah with baritone Nathan Gunn and the Notre Dame Sacred Music program, and Sharon's Carnegie Hall debut in Charles Wuorinen's cantata It Happens Like This with the MET Chamber Ensemble under James Levine. 

Ms. Harms studied at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with Carol Vaness. During her time there she was the inaugural recipient of the Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship made possible by the generous gifts of the Georgina Joshi Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University.
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American pianist STEVEN BECK continues to garner impressive acclaim for his performances and recordings worldwide. Praised by the New Yorker as “one of the city’s finest young pianists”, a recent New York concert by Mr. Beck was described as “exemplary” and “deeply satisfying” by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times.

Highlights of the recents seasons include the American premiere of a piano etude by Charles Wuorinen, recordings of Carter’s late piano works for Bridge Records’ Carter series, and an appearance as soloist on the New York Philharmonic’s “Symphonic Sondheim” concert this spring. In addition, he again performed on the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series, and repeated his annual performance of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” on Christmas Eve at the Barge; this has become a New York institution.

In the words of New York Times critic Allan Kozinn, Mr. Beck is “an eloquent and persuasive performer of contemporary works”; he has worked with Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Charles Wuorinen, George Crumb, George Perle, and Poul Ruders, and performed with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the Metropolis Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Da Capo Chamber Players.  He is a member of the Talea Ensemble and the Knights. He is also a member of Quattro Mani, a piano duo specializing in contemporary music.

An eminent recording artist, Mr. Beck’s discography includes world premiere recordings of newly discovered works by Beethoven on Monument Records and a recording of Elliott Carter’s “Double Concerto” on Albany Records (this was described as “impressive” by Gramophone), as well as solo works by Louis Karchin and Andy Laster. The debut CD of his chamber ensemble “Pleasure is the Law” was released on Boston Records in 2009.

Mr. Beck made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has toured Japan as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Other orchestras with which he has appeared include the New Juilliard Ensemble (under David Robertson) and the Virginia Symphony. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Miller Theater, as well as on WNYC; summer appearances have been at the Aspen Music Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. He has performed as a musician with the New York City Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and appeared as an orchestral musician with the New York Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra, as well as performing with the Pacifica and Manhattan string quartets.
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This evening's program:
Warble me now, for joy of Lilac-time (1943), by Elliot Carter
Du (1951), by Milton Babbitt
songs from The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (2005), by Brad Mehldau
Palladium (2016), by Edward Jacobs [WORLD PREMIERE]
Apparition (1979), by George Crumb

[January 26, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Stranded Silver

FREQUENCIES [February 16, 2017]

Frequencies is an ensemble created and directed entirely by students. These remarkable members of the ECU School of Music's community make programming decisions, form ensembles, rehearse and prepare works for performance. Frequencies is music's future blooming before our ears. Come hear what drives the next generation's musical interests and passions! 

Program includes Terry Riley's In C, Alban Berg's Die Nachtigall, Steve Snowden's Long Distance, Edgard Varese's Density 21.5, Casey Cangelosi's Etude in E Minor and Sleight of and Evil Hand.

[February 16, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Orchestra

ECU SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA [March 4, 2017]

Jorge Richter, director in a program featuring the winner of our 12th Annual Orchestral Composition Competition; as well as Beethoven's Prometheus Overture, Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Overture-Fantasy, and Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen, with guest soloist Jami Rhodes.

[March 4, 2017 Concert @ Wright Auditorium, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Meridian Arts Ensemble [3/18/17]

MERIDIAN ARTS ENSEMBLE [March 18, 2017]

The MERIDIAN ARTS ENSEMBLE, a sextet comprised of five brass players and a percussionist, is America’s leading brass group exploring the music of today. Founded in 1987, with nine commercial CD releases, over fifty premieres, and performances on four continents and in forty-nine states, Meridian’s exciting and ambitious musical approach has changed the face of classical music.

A former ensemble-in-residence at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, the ensemble began its career looking away from academic music and toward the American vernacular. Meridian’s arrangements of the music of Frank Zappa brought critical and popular acclaim, interviews on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and performances in concert halls and rock clubs. Commissions from Milton Babbitt, Elliott Sharp, Tania Leon, Su Lian Tan, Mark Applebaum, Hermeto Pascoal, Nick Didkovsky, David Sanford, The Common Sense Composers’ Collective, Stephen Barber, John Halle, and Kirk Nurock have created a balanced and broad ranging repertoire for brass and percussion that peers into every corner of today’s musical experience.

Meridian’s catalog of nine CDs on the Channel Classics label, in addition to more recent releases on 8bells and innova, represents an equally broad look at the music of today. From an album of Baroque and Renaissance music to the latest release exploring the MAE’s commissioned music, Meridian’s discs have garnered critical acclaim and a large and passionate popular following. 

Meridian Arts Ensemble has succeeded in bringing classical music to popular audiences. Consistently attracting a diverse audience base, the ensemble has worked tirelessly to keep the traditions of classical music alive, to spread the appeal of these traditions, and to revisit these traditions from a contemporary sensibility.

Friday, March 17
11am (Recital Hall): MAE reads and records works-in-progress by student composers
2-4pm: Master Classes

Tim Leopold, Josef Burgstaller, Trumpet, rm 136
Daniel Grabois, Horn, rm 200
Mark Hetzler, Trombone, rm 306
Raymond Stewart, Tuba, rm 265

3-5pm: John Ferrari, Percussion, rm 110

Saturday, March 18

7:30pm (Recital Hall): Concert including works by Coperario, Grabois, Jacobs, Forsythe, Maggio, and Byrd. 

[March 18, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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PREMIERE PERFORMANCES [April 1, 2017]

ECU School of Music performers focus their talents on the music of ECU composers in these first ever public performances--world premiere performances. The first of three concerts each year dedicated to the newest ideas of these developing young composers. Can't get here? Access a live stream here. Program to be announced.

[April 1, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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Jim Mobberley, composer

ECU SINFONIETTA [April 2, 2017]

Directed by Scott Carter, the ECU Sinfonietta was formed to collaborate with, and premiere and record a NewMusic Initiative Commission by JAMES MOBBERLEY. Mobberley was chosen during the fall '14 semester by students who researched hundreds of composers before making their selection. During the spring '15 semester students learned about the commissioning process, and negotiating contract terms. The '15-'16 brought him to campus in the fall to hear our ensembles, and in the spring to share and hear initial sketches of his work.  

We're excited to receive the complete work this fall ('16), and this NewMusic Initiative Commission will be premiered on this April 2 concert, directed by Scott Carter. Other works on the program will soon be announced.

[April 2, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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PREMIERE PERFORMANCES [April 20, 2017]

ECU School of Music performers focus their talents on the music of ECU composers in these first ever public performances--world premiere performances. The first of three concerts each year dedicated to the newest ideas of these developing young composers. Can't get here? Access a live stream here. Program to be announced.

[April 20, 2017 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
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BECOME A SPONSOR!

Come hear how new ideas are initiated, and celebrate our
17th ANNUAL EXPLORATION OF THE SOUNDS OF OUR TIME
There are concerts, Master Classes with visiting performers and composers,
readings of student composers' works, receptions, discussions and more!
For additional information or to become a sponsor, contact:
  Edward Jacobs, Founder & Director of the NC NewMusic Initiative, at
NewMusic@ecu.edu 252-328-4280
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