5 Young Composers

Free Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert features five up-and-coming composers.

By - Nov 2nd, 2015 04:06 pm
Daniel Allas, Young Woo Yoo, Saad Haddad, Gity Razaz, and Patrick O'Malley.

Daniel Allas, Young Woo Yoo, Saad Haddad, Gity Razaz, and Patrick O’Malley.

In the concert bargain of the month, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will offer a free public concert at the University of Milwaukee Zelazo Center this Wednesday evening, November 4th. The concert marks the culmination of the third annual Composer Institute sponsored by the American Composers Forum, the Milwaukee Symphony and the University of Milwaukee.

The five young selected composers may be beginning their careers but each has written more than 10 works and all have been honored for other compositions before this competition. Although written recently, each of the featured works has already been premiered. Most can be previewed on-line.

Suite Before Dawn by Daniel Allas introduces its subject in gentle fragments. “His music also formulates new ways of contextualizing sound, imbuing aural messages with complex meaning through the intersection of musical form and compositional subjects (musical and/or extramusical).”

Honbul (Re-creation from Above) by Young Woo Yoo “relates to the Buddhist concept of re-incarnation and life flowing in and out of beings. The composition makes liberal use of contemporary techniques in an evocative, thoughtful and spiritual work of modern nuance, drama and orchestral impact.”

Kaman Fantasy by Saad Haddad “takes its name from ‘kamanjah,’ the Arabic word for ‘violin.’  The piece is an exploration of the Arabic ‘maqamat’ (sets of scales) and rhythms in a Western classical context.  The music embraces both traditions, often swaying back and forth between Arabic and Western idioms.”

In The Midst of Flux…, A Tone Poem by Gity Razaz introduces “a series of disruptive yet motivic sound events – lush melodies, bombastic and dry rhythmic screams, and chamber-like orchestrated passages – are born out of a startling bell-like chord.”

Even in Paradise… (After ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’) by Patrick O’Malley “opens with atmospheric sounds made by the strings playing unpitched material behind the bridge … Against that, simple triadic gestures (the ‘life-blood’ of tonal harmony) begin to pop out of the murk. Eventually, the music breaks into a fast, playful mood completely opposite to the introduction, exploring a variety of moods and colors.”

Although UW-Milwaukee has appended “Unruly Music” to the event title, these works are not “bleeding edge” contemporary music. The selections may explore 21st century compositional techniques, but they all reflect the spirit of Debussy. The works are impressionistic, often gentle; exploring bright orchestral colors. Several effectively use tuned percussion – tubular bells or light piano support.

Expect a glimpse into future standard repertoire given a sensitive reading by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Guest conductor Stephen Schick has the credentials to provide guidance and appropriate interpretation of these new works. He has championed contemporary music for forty years – commissioning or premiering more than 150 new works. A Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and Artistic Director of the La Jolla Symphony, Schick has been involved in many elite contemporary music ensembles. Most recently he serves as Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

The concert begins at 8:00 P.M. at the Helene Zelazo Center at 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.. Although the concert is free, ticket reservations are required. Arrange for tickets online.  (Please note that when you select the “hold at box office option” when purchasing your tickets, they will be available at Will Call at the Zelazo Center. Tickets will NOT be available for sale or will call pick up at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts box office.)

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