MENU
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--See recently completed projects by 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
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.

Ms. Harms has appeared as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and at June in BuffaloL.A. Internat'l New Music FestivalRadcliffe Inst.Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Wellesley Composer's ConferenceAmerican Academy in Rome, and Resonant Bodies Festival.
         __________________________

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 2012-13 season 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.

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

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 to be announced, and sure to bring wonderful surprises to your ears.

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


Orchestra

ECU SYMPHONY [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.]
______________________________________________________________

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.

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.

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

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 second 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.]
________________________________________________________________


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 school year brought Jim 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.]
__________________________________________________________________

Matthew Ricketts, composer

MATTHEW RICKETTS, composer [April 10-12, 2017] 

As the composer selected for a commission by ECU students, Matthew Ricketts visits us twice this season to begin the collaborative phase of his commission.  He will compose a piano concerto for Dr. Keiko Sekino and the ECU Symphony under the direction of Dr. Jorge Richter, to be delivered December, 2017, and premiered/recorded in the spring, 2018.


In Matthew's second visit (his first in November, 2016), he shares early sketches for his piano concerto.  Our students and pianist Keiko Sekino will read and record these sketches, and we'll all have an opportunity to exchange ideas, ask questions and be a part of the collaborative process!


Matthew Ricketts’s music has been featured on festivals and concerts in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Nebraska, New York, Austin, Paris and Boston, where his Double Concerto shared for first prize at the ALEA III International Composition Competition in 2007. Matthew is a the recipient of 7 prizes in the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Composers, a 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the 2015 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award.


[April 10, 2017 Reading @ A.J. Fletcher Rm 110, 12:00pm, free admission]
_________________________________________________________________

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 third 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.]
_________________________________________________________________

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

MICHAEL LOWENSTERN, bass clarinet [September 29, 2016]

MICHAEL LOWENSTERN, 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.

He serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School and the Juilliard School. His diverse awards range from a Webby in 2009 for Pepsi's "Dear Mr. President" campaign to Second Prize at the International Gaudeamus Contemporary Music Competition back in 1991.

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.]
______________________________________________________________________

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

__________________________________________________________

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 worked 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 9th annual Mikhashoff Trust Fund for New Music Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project with composer Zosha Di Castri.

Ms. Den Boer's time with the NewMusic Initiative will include:

Tuesday, Nov. 1
4pm (Recital Hall): Julia speaks to students about developing a career.

Wednesday, Nov. 2
3-5pm (Recital Hall): Julia reads and records works-in-progress by student composers

Thursday, November 3
2-4pm (Recital Hall): Piano Master Class with ECU piano students
7:30pm (Recital Hall): Concert including works by Michael Finnissy, Rebecca Saunders, Alvin Lucier, Henri Dutilleux, and a world premiere of a new work by Matthew Ricketts.


[November 3, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital, 7:30pm, free admission]
_________________________________________________________________

Matthew Ricketts, composer

MATTHEW RICKETTS, composer [November 2-5, 2016]

Matthew Ricketts’s music has been featured on festivals and concerts in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Nebraska, New York, Austin, Paris and Boston, where his Double Concerto shared for first prize at the ALEA III International Composition Competition in 2007. Matthew is a the recipient of 7 prizes in the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Composers, a 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the 2015 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award.

 Matthew’s music has been performed by the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, The Chiara String Quartet, sopranos Margot Rood, Ellen Wieser and Tony Arnold, JACK Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Yarn/Wire, the Esprit Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), Wet Ink, TAK, Ensemble Paramirabo, Pazzia Collective, Argento Ensemble, Ekmeles and many talented performers of his own generation.

 Recent festivals include participating in the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne's 2014 FORUM in Montreal, the 2015 Wellesley Composers Conference and a fellowship at the 2016 Aspen Music Festival. Upcoming commissions include a new piece for the OSM's organist Jean-Willy Kunz, pianist Julia Den Boer and Chartreuse Trio.

 In addition to composing, Matthew maintains an avid interest in poetry and prose and has contributed original text for multiple librettos, spoken word works, choral music and song cycles, including the opera Less Truth More Telling with music by Thierry Tidrow (Den Haag and Amsterdam, 2013) produced through the Dutch National Opera and the Royal Conservatory.

 

As the composer selected for a commission by ECU students, Matthew Ricketts visits us in November to begin the collaborative phase of his commission.  He will compose a piano concerto for Dr. Keiko Sekino and the ECU Symphony under the direction of Dr. Jorge Richter, to be delivered December, 2017, and premiered/recorded in the spring, 2018.

 This November, 2016 visit will be an opportunity for us to welcome Matthew into out community, for him to meet students, conductors, Dr. Sekino, teach classes, and work with student composers.  

 

Thursday, Nov. 3
12-1pm (rm 110): Matthew observes the ECU Wind Ensemble, Scott Carter, Dir.

1-2:30: Lunch with students & faculty

2:30: Matthew works one-one with student composers

7:30pm (Recital Hall): Recital by pianist Julia Den Boer including works by Michael Finnissy, Rebecca Saunders, Alvin Lucier, Henri Dutilleux, and a world premiere of a new work by Matthew Ricketts.

 

Friday, Nov. 4
8-10am (rm 216): Matthew speaks with freshman Music Theory classes

11-11:50am (rm 200): Speak about his own music in a seminar setting

12-1pm (rm 110): Matthew observes the ECU Orchestra in rehearsal, Jorge Richter, Dir.

1-2:30: Lunch with students & faculty

2:30: Matthew works one-one with composers

 

Saturday, Nov. 5
10am-12pm: 
Matthew observes the ECU Symphony Orch, Jorge Richter, Dir.

  


[November 3, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital, 7:30pm, free admission]
_________________________________________________________________

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.  We are proud to feature works by

Isaac Ward, Dallas Herndon, Julian Ward, Sarah Hemminger Johnson,
Brittany J. Green, Joshua Poyner, Blake Ryall, Kelly Hart, Daniel Peterson

See the concert program here
Can't get here? Access a live stream.

[November 11, 2016 Concert @ A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30pm, free admission.]
_____________________________________________________________________



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
______________________________________________________