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October 18, 2012

Acclaimed composer to headline ISU Contemporary Music Festival

TERRE HAUTE — Acclaimed composer Christopher Theofanidis will headline Indiana State University's 46th annual Contemporary Music Festival, which will run Oct. 24-26.

A notable event of its kind in the United States, the festival is constructed to be an educational event, combining outreach to public schools, educational sessions and performances. All events are free.

Other guests of this year's festival include bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, Indianapolis Chamber Players and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

"School children, university students and community members all have an opportunity to learn about a prominent, living, professional composer and to explore music being written today," said Kurt Fowler, artistic director for the festival."They explore the process of creating great works of music, discuss the importance of new music, and hear new music come alive in performance."

Theofanidis’ works  have been performed by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis and Detroit symphonies, and many others. He also has served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during its 2006-07 season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang.

In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, “The Here and Now,” based on the poetry of Rumi. His orchestral concert work, “Rainbow Body,” has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the last 10 years, having been performed by more than 100 orchestras around the world.

He has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony, and has just premiered and recorded his first with that orchestra. He has served as a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation's Leadership Program and is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. He teaches at Yale University.

Out of a total of 12 events, six concerts will be presented. Works of Theofanidis’ will be performed on each of the concerts including "Summer Voices" for violin and cello, "All Dreams Begin with the Horizon" for solo piano, "Concerto" for bassoon and chamber orchestra, "As Dancing is to Architecture" for orchestra, "I Wander the World in a Dream of My Own Making" for wind ensemble and "Sweet Like That" for wind ensemble.

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the festival orchestra-in-resident since 2007, will return to perform at this year's festival. The orchestra comprised of 34 professional musicians will be featured in the opening concert of the festival Wednesday, Oct. 24. Its involvement with the festival is part of their keeping with their mission to promote music composed for small orchestra through professional concert performances and educational programs.

During the festival, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra will premiere "Autobahn Beyond," the work of 2012 Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition winner Bin Li. Born in Fuzhou, China, Li is an emerging composer based in the United States. His music has been performed internationally in festivals and in various venues, such as the Aspen Music Festival, Neuen Synagoge (Berlin), Electronic Music Midwest, Buskirk-Chumley Theatre (Bloomington, Ind.), Electroacoustic Barn Dance, SoundCrawl, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His commissioned projects include “Lake 1B11” and “Cursive” for bassist James Sullivan, and “Compass 30º NE” for Ensemble Lunatik (Quebec City).

The Chamber Orchestra’s guest soloist will be Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann. His charismatic and entertaining performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of the leading solo instrumentalists around. In 2008 he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of David Chesky’s bassoon concerto.

As an avid educator, Kuuskmann teaches at the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program and Cornish College of Arts, and serves as the woodwind coach of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic based in Berlin. He is a founding member and solo bassoonist of the New York City based Absolute Ensemble. In 2011 Kuuskmann along with the Berlin Philharmonic virtuosos, oboist Christoph Hartmann and pianist, Hendrik Heilmann, founded the Mann Trio.

The second group of featured artists participating in the festival this year is the Indianapolis Chamber Players. Members of the trio include Davis Brooks, violin; Minju Choi, piano and Kurt Fowler, cello.

Since its inception in 1967, the Contemporary Music Festival has hosted some of the most important composers of contemporary classical music including 18 Pulitzer Prize winners. It is one of the longest running contemporary music festivals in the nation.

To see a complete schedule of events, visit www.indstate.edu/music/cmf/.

Admission to all events is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the School of Music at 812-237-2771.

Festival Schedule Highlights

Wednesday, Oct. 24

7:30 p.m. Concert: Indianapolis Chamber Players

Featuring Davis Brooks, violin, Minju Choi, piano, Kurt Fowler, cello

Recital Hall, Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts

Thursday, Oct. 25

10:30 a.m. Concert: ISU Student Performers/Composers Recital

Recital Hall, Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts

2:30 p.m. Session:  Guest Artist: Martin Kuuskmann, bassoon

Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 159

7:30 p.m. Concert: The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

Tilson Auditorium, Tirey Hall

Friday, Oct. 26

10:30 a.m. Concert: Faculty Chamber Recital

Recital Hall, Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts

1:30 p.m. Music Now Recital

Recital Hall, Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts

7:30 p.m. Concert: Final Showcase Concert (student ensembles and faculty)

Tilson Auditorium, Tirey Hall

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