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2024 New Music Concert

Kerrytown Concert House
Ann Arbor, MI
Tuesday May 14, 2024
7:30pm

Featuring works by the winners and runners-up from our 2023 National Composition Competition and a world-premiere by Matthew Browne

Program:

Runners-Up:

Glow - Wenbin Lyu

I. Prelude

II. Lullaby

III. Finale

Business meeting (in an unmarked grave) - Rain Michael

Collapsing Dome - Yanchen Ye            

I. The Falling Sky

II. Requiem

what we carry - Nicole Knorr

I. here: in solace

II. departure

III. there: in sweetness

Winners:

If on a Winter’s Night a Saxophone Quartet - Ryan Galik    

I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

       

The Mind - Theodore Strich  

Commission:

Phantasiai - Matthew Browne

I. 94 Steps to the Brink

II. Radio Row

III. Highway Hypnosis

IV. Fever Dream

V. Cavatina

VI. Never Signed, Never Sent

 

The Composers

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Wenbin Lyu (DMA) is a Chinese composer based in Cincinnati. His compositions blend contemporary Western techniques with ancient Oriental culture, drawing inspiration from nature, science, and video games. His works have been featured at over 70 music festivals, such as Cabrillo, Tanglewood, NYCEMF, IRCAM, SEAMUS, and ICMC. He has collaborated with acclaimed ensembles, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Beijing Symphony, Eighth Blackbird, Akropolis Quintet, and Sandbox Percussion.

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Rain (they/them) is interested in subjective experiences around music performance and perception. Rain’s music—which pulls from their studies in psychology, linguistics, leadership, and cognitive science—has been performed by the Colorado Wind Ensemble, and HOCKET, ~Nois, Duo Cortona, and others at CU Boulder SoundWorks concerts. Their piece seeds to plant (in an unmarked grave) was selected for performance in the 2023 Nief-Norf Call-For-Scores. Rain’s current focuses surround aleatoric techniques, graphic scoring, and questions such as “How can I make one note groove?” (with saxophones!) and “How many keyboards can I fit on a stage?” (at least 10). Outside of music, they enjoy dancing, hanging with friends, and collecting stickers.

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Yanchen Ye is a rising young composer whose works have been performed across three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia. Ye explores the simplest beauties of lyrical tunes, tone colors, human bonding, and Mother Earth with sincerity and tonal sophistication. His works have distinct Asian influences, derived from his sentimental observations of the musical and geographical cultures in Asia. Wales Arts proclaimed his music as "moving from hushed harmonics to biting, Bartókian cross-rhythms, with a gamut of playful expressive devices in between." As praised by The National Ballet of China, "[Ye’s] music moves with [the audience's] hearts and has a sense of continuous blooming, complete with holding one breath throughout...it accurately responds to the demands of freedom, peace, purity, and nature in modernists' inner minds with its incredible use of modern compositional techniques." Widely commissioned, Ye's music has been performed by prestigious ensembles including the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, and the National Ballet of China Orchestra, among others. Most recently, he received two American Prize awards for his symphonic and chamber works. For more information, visit www.YanchenYe.com.

Nicole Knorr (b. 1999) is a composer, performer, and interdisciplinary artist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her work investigates transformation, change, and growth—often through the lens of the natural world. Her music has been described as having “remarkable command of melody” and is characterized by gleaming lyricism, sharp counterpoint, and a fundamental, underlying sense of whimsy. She is passionate about developing spaces for artists to share their work and collaborate across disciplines. During her time at the University of Michigan, Nicole developed Between the Lines, a concert series that brought composers, poets, and singers together for an evening of art song premieres. Additionally, during her undergraduate years, she co-founded and served as president of a composition collective, where students benefited from feedback exchanges and community-building composition challenges. Nicole earned her M.M. in Music Composition from the University of Michigan, and her B.M. in Voice Performance and Piano Performance from the University of North Florida. Her mentors include Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, Gary Smart, Joshua Tomlinson, and Mathew Fuerst.

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Theodore Strich grew up in Tempe, Arizona, where he discovered music by playing in a variety of classical and jazz groups as a flautist and saxophonist. He writes and plays music in a range of styles, including electronic and ambient, but has a continuing focus on modern classical and jazz. He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Originally from New Jersey, Ryan Galik is a composer who recently completed two master's degrees in music theory and composition at Michigan State. A saxophonist himself, his works for quartet represent the wide array of musical influences on his own playing and listening, from David Maslanka to Battle Trance. He will be headed to Rochester, NY this fall to start a PhD at the Eastman School of Music.

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Colorado-based composer Matt Browne (b. 1988) strives to create music that meets Sergei Diaghilev’s famous challenge to Jean Cocteau: “Astonish me!”, through incorporating such eclectic influences as the timbral imagination and playfulness of György Ligeti, the shocking and humorous polystylism of Alfred Schnittke, and the relentless rhythmic energy of Igor Stravinsky.  His music has been praised for its “unbridled humor” (New Music Box) and described as “witty” (The Strad) and “beautifully crafted and considered” (What’s On London). Dr. Browne has had the honor to collaborate with such ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Quartet, Albany Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. His music has received honors such as the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers award, and a BMI Student Composer award. He received his DMA from the University of Michigan. Previous teachers include Michael Daugherty and Carter Pann.

Address

415 N 4th Ave 

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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