News & Events

2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival


Tickets for the 2016 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) are on sale.

Hailed as “a vibrant inferno of creative energy” by the internationally syndicated radio program “Relevant Tones,” and praised for offering “kinetic excitement” by the hometown Columbia Daily Tribune, the MICF will take place this year from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30 in Columbia, and will include three public concerts of new music by living composers.

Alarm Will Sound will return for the seventh year as the festival’s resident ensemble, and will begin the weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St. in downtown Columbia.

We will perform music from the 2016 MICF’s distinguished guest composers, Oscar Bettison and Erin Gee, and a work by Stefan Freund, who is an associate professor at Mizzou, artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and AWS cellist.

The grand finale of the week will showcase the world premieres of eight new works, written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by Alarm Will Sound at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 30 at the Missouri Theatre.

Festival VIP packages are $80, and include reserved premium seating at all three concerts; two drink tickets good at the Thursday and Friday performances; and admission to a VIP reception prior to the Saturday evening performance, featuring champagne and hors d’oeuvres with members of Alarm Will Sound and the composers.

Festival passes for all three concerts are $40 for an adult general admission pass, and $20 for a student general admission pass.

Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 1-573-882-3781. To buy tickets online, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.

Features

Alarm Will Sound presents Modernists


Terror is often the first response to unfamiliarity, and some of the boldest forays into the unfamiliar have launched under the banner of Modernism. Listening to new sounds can be akin to watching a horror movie—with ears covered rather than eyes—but given time, what was once disturbing can become intriguing.

Alarm Will Sound ventures into the outer reaches of propriety on Modernists. The album is bookended by tributes to two masterworks of modern recorded sound that have been arranged for the ensemble: “Revolution 9” by The Beatles (arranged by Matt Marks) and “Poème électronique” by Edgard Varèse (arranged by Evan Hause). Each piece is strange and otherworldly in its own way, with a provocative history of upsetting as many, if not more, listeners than they have won over.

The 23-piece band led by Alan Pierson, AWS Artistic Director, also performs work written for the ensemble by Wolfgang Rihm, Charles Wuorinen, AWS pianist John Orfe, and Augusta Read Thomas (whose “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour” features vocal performances by Kirsten Sollek and Caleb Burhans).

As the Denver Post has noted, “Alarm Will Sound has grabbed the future of classical music and made it now—merging styles, erasing boundaries, championing experimentation and obviously having fun along the way.” This joyful and adventurous spirit fuels the beating heart of the Modernists album.

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Featured Recording

Patrick David Clark’s Ptolemy’s Carousel

This is our world premiere performance at the Mizzou International Composers Festival in 2011.

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Member Spotlight

Caleb Burhans

Caleb Burhans

Caleb almost went to Indiana University for college but he decided on Eastman partly because he didn’t like that IU had the highest-paid basketball coach in the country. His life could have turned out pretty differently if Bobby Knight made a little less money back in the late 90s. But Eastman it was.

As a 17-year old, Caleb had a thing for Ligeti’s music so he emailed Alan before he got to Eastman to ask for an audition with Ossia to play on their Ligeti concert. He was late to the first rehearsal because he was getting his nose pierced, but he soon became a regular. Just before graduating, he terrified his conservative grandmother by telling her he wanted to move to NYC to live paycheck to paycheck as a freelance musician. Now he’s doing exactly that (although maybe not living quite paycheck to paycheck) as a freelance violinist, violist, countertenor, composer, and improviser.

Caleb started singing in a boys’ choir at age 9 then quickly picked up several instruments. At 10, he wrote his first piano piece in C major. The only early composition he’ll live up to now is a piece for 2 violins that he wrote on his first day back to school as a high school sophomore called What a Shame. It was quite a shame that summer was over.

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