Composition Student Presents New Work at International Conference in Netherlands

Composition doctoral candidate Mike Lukaszuk recently traveled to Utrecht, Netherlands to present an original piece at the 42nd International Computer Music Conference, an annual event that connects computer music practitioners from around the world in a series of presentations and concerts of new music.

The International Computer Music Conference was recently held in Utrecht, Netherlands. Photo provided by Mike Lukaszuk.

The International Computer Music Conference was recently held in Utrecht, Netherlands. Photo provided by Mike Lukaszuk.

Lukaszuk is in his third year at CCM, where he studies with composition professor Mara Helmuth. At the conference, he not only had the opportunity to present his new electronic music piece Przypadek, but also learned about new music and techniques from international musicians. Lukaszuk said he was fortunate to be included in the same concert as the conference’s keynote speaker, Ake Parmerud — an influential electronic musician.

“Attending these kinds of events is an extremely effective way to improve yourself,” Lukaszuk said. “You really get a sense of the standard that the top people in the field are working at and then can challenge yourself to aspire to that same level in your own music.”

“I think that the experience of attending and sharing my music with the many wonderful performers and researchers allowed me to get a sense of the direction I wish to take with my work.”

Przypadek is a Polish word for something that happens by chance, which is a reflection of the aspect of “randomness” that Lukaszuk incorporated into the music. “I feel that the use of randomness can fill a piece with a strong sense of mystery, but also a kind of relatable quality since our lives are often unavoidably affected by luck, coincidence and other forces beyond our own control,” he said. “So although the piece might sound quite calculated there’s a lot of  random selection — within a controlled framework — going on behind the scenes deciding various subtle details.”

In his music, Lukaszuk often blends real-world acoustic sounds with computer-generated sounds and uses a variety of studio techniques to create new, abstract material. You can listen to an excerpt from Przypadek here:

To listen to the full version of Przypadek, visit Lukaszuk’s website: http://www.michaellukaszuk.com/

Lukaszuk also had the chance to hear new music. One piece that stood out to him was Starboard by Canadian composer David Berezan. He said that Berezan created a powerful sound by juxtaposing elements of melody and noise. Lukaszuk described the piece as “beautiful without being excessively sentimental.”

He hopes to incorporate what he learned at the conference into the Cincinnati Composers Laptop Orchestra Project (CiCLOP), a group formed at CCM in 2011 that is directed by Lukaszuk.

“I like the idea of developing and using tools that make this kind of music more accessible to people regardless of their skill level with music technology and expanding the notion of what can be considered a musical instrument.”

Mike Lukaszuk

Mike Lukaszuk

About Mike Lukaszuk
Michael Lukaszuk (b.1989) is a Canadian composer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently in the third year of a DMA in Composition at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music where he studies with Mara Helmuth. Michael holds degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Western Ontario. His music has been performed at events such as the International Computer Music Conference, the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, the SEAMUS National Conference, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest and New Music Edmonton’s Now Hear This Festival of New Music. In 2015, Michael received first prize in the SOCAN Foundation’s Hugh Le Caine Awards for electroacoustic music. While much of his recent output consists of fixed electronic works, improvisation with electronic and computer music instruments is an important part of his creative practice. Michael is the director of the Cincinnati Composers Laptop Orchestra Project (CiCLOP). He is particularly interested in designing  new musical instruments that allow users with any level of experience to create and perform electronic and computer music.

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CCM Welcomes Acclaimed Director Emma Griffin to its Opera Faculty

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

Please join us in welcoming Emma Griffin to CCM’s Department of Opera! Photography by Heather Phelps-Lipton.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of stage director Emma Griffin to the faculty of CCM’s Department of Opera. Griffin joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Music in Opera/Directing beginning in August of 2014.

Lauded by the New York Times for her “intelligent staging,” Griffin earned her BFA in Theatre from New York University in 1994 and has served as adjunct faculty in directing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1999.

She is the Artistic Director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater. Highlights with Salt include Stage Door where she was awarded a FringeNYC Excellence Award for Best Director, Rinne Groff’s Inky, The Cherry Orchard and Conquest of the Universe.

Griffin has also directed work at theaters such as Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor’s Express, Virginia Stage and Williamstown Theater Festival.

She is a frequent collaborator on new music and theater pieces, including Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts, which received an “Outstanding Performance Art Production” at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards and Thirteen Near Death Experiences; Susan Bernfield and Rachel Peters’ Stretch, a fantasia; and Phil Kline’s Out Cold & Zippo Songs at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.

Griffin’s opera credits include The Cunning Little Vixen and Wozzeck at the Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theater; I Capuleti e i Montecchi, The Rake’s Progress, Postcard from Morocco and The Magic Flute at Curtis Opera Theater; and Les Mamelles de Tirésias and The Cunning Little Vixen at Juilliard Opera. The New York Observer hailed her production of The Cunning Little Vixen as one of the “Top 10 Performances of 2013.”

Griffin is currently developing the performance piece Backstage Door with playwright Sybil Kempson and The Three Christs, a new work by composer Corey Dargel for the NEWSPEAK ensemble.

Learn more about CCM’s accomplished faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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CCM Presents Contemporary American Masterpiece ‘El Niño’ in Concert This Sunday, March 2

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This Sunday, March 2, CCM’s American Voices Concert Series proudly presents John Adams’ El Niño in concert.

According to the Wall Street Journal this stunning oratorio, “capture[s] the intimacy, mystery and apocalyptic nature of the Nativity story in a thoroughly contemporary idiom, fusing [Adams’] well-known minimalist style with a rich blend of text in English, Spanish, and Latin for an effect ultimately as timeless as the story itself.”

According to the New York Times, “John Adams’ celebration of the Nativity bears so many gifts that the senses stagger under the load.”

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. Tickets are on sale now.

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LISTEN: WVXU Previews CCM’s Concert Production of John Adams’ ‘El Nino’

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WVXU contributor Anne Arenstein recently spoke with CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers about our upcoming concert production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ American oratorio El Niño.

You can listen to audio of the full interview here.

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael ManiaciEric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance.

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CCM’s American Voices Concert Series Proudly Presents John Adams’ ‘El Niño’ on March 2

"Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa'Ti Xicana" painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

“Mujer de Mucha Enagua, Pa’Ti Xicana” painting courtesy of Yreina D. Cervántez; Serigraph (SHG), 1999

The CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir proudly present a stirring rendition of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams’ El Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. CCM welcomes guest artists Michael Maniaci, Eric Jurenas and Steven Rickards for this performance. CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers conducts.

“John Adams’ El Niño is a joyous composition,” says Rivers. The text of El Niño retells the traditional biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Although this composition is about a specific event, the true subject is larger and widely relate-able: the inexhaustible miracle of birth. “The opening movement of El Niño pulsates with repetitive, engaging rhythms,” Rivers explains. “The strong rhythmic drive of the opening sets the stage for the unfolding of the work.”

A piece told in three languages, El Niño was originally a co-commission by four major arts organizations: the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center in New York City and the Barbican Center in London. It was created to be performed as either an oratorio or a staged production. CCM will be presenting the work as an oratorio.

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CCM Alumna Profiled by ‘Opera News’ Magazine

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Congratulations to CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (DMA, 2012) on her profile in the August issue of Opera News.

Classical music critic Kyle MacMillan interviewed Jolley about the North American New Opera Workshop, or NANOWorks, which she co-founded last year.

NANOWorks is based in Cincinnati, MacMillan observes, “partly because Jolley and her collaborators live there and partly because of the rich pool of vocal talent there, due to the presence of the respected University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”

You can read the entire article online here.

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CCM Announces 2013-14 Mainstage Concert Series Schedule

CCM Philharmonia

Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM is pleased to announce initial details on its 2013-14 Mainstage Series of concert performances. Encompassing more than 40 different concerts, this series begins with a production of Verdi’s grand opera Don Carlos on Sept. 22 and concludes with the annual concerto competition-winners concert on April 11.

The internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet will present a complete tour of Beethoven’s string quartets as part of CCM’s upcoming season, with six concerts scheduled for January, February and March.

CCM’s 2013-14 concert series also features a rare staged performance of Bach’s St. John Passion presented in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts, a year-long Britten Centennial Celebration, a jazz tribute to the Rolling Stones, a concert dedicated to Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday, a performance of John Adams’ opera-oratorio El Niño and much more.

Several popular concert productions are also returning, including the annual Feast of Carols, Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite featuring CCM’s Jazz Ensembles and Musical Theatre Dancers, the annual PRISM concert and the latest installment of Pianopalooza.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Please see individual event information for single-ticket prices and ordering information.

New subscription and flex ticket packages go on sale Monday, June 17, 2013. Single tickets go on sale beginning Monday, Sept. 9.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

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ON SALE NOW: Subscription and Flex Ticket Packages For CCM’s 2013-14 Season

CCM presents a "must-see" series of performing arts events in 2013-14. Subscription and flex ticket packages are on sale now!

CCM presents a “must-see” series of performing arts events in 2013-14. Subscription and flex ticket packages are on sale now!

Subscriptions and flex ticket packages for what the Cincinnati Enquirer has dubbed CCM’s 2013-14 “mega-season” go on sale at 12 noon today!

Featuring over 50 major concerts and theatre arts productions, CCM’s 2013-14 season spans the spectrum of the performing arts.

Learn more about our Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance here.

Learn more about our schedule of Chamber Music, Choral, Jazz, Orchestral, Winds and Special Event Concerts here.

Secure your seats before these must-see performances sell out!

For more information, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu. You can also visit us online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.

Download a copy of our 2013-14 Season-at-a-Glance now!

Stay tuned to this site for more information about the exciting things we have planned for 2013-14!

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CCM Presents Acclaimed Flutist Molly Alicia Barth and Guitarist Dieter Hennings In Concert This Week

CCM’s Guest Artist Series proudly presents Grammy Award-winning flutist (and CCM alumna) Molly Alicia Barth and acclaimed guitarist Dieter Hennings in concert at 8 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Tickets to this performance are free. Reservations are not required.

Barth and Hennings’ Jan. 24 performance is scheduled to include a performance of CCM Associate Professor of Composition Michael Fiday‘s Five Haiku for alto flute and guitar, along with Philippe Hurel’s Loops, Juan Trigos’ From Partita, André Jolivet’s Ascèses, Herbet Vazquez’s El jardín del pasaje púrpura, David Lang’s Vent, Jean Micahel Damase’s Quatre Facettes and Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea.

Grammy Award-winning flutist Molly Alicia Barth.

Grammy Award-winning flutist Molly Alicia Barth.

About Molly Alicia Barth
Described as “ferociously talented” by The Oregonian, Grammy-Award winning flutist Molly Alicia Barth is an active solo, chamber and orchestral musician, specializing in the music of today. As a founding member of the new music sextet eighth blackbird, Barth toured extensively throughout the world, recorded four CDs with Cedille Records, won a 2008 Grammy (“Best Chamber Music Performance”) and was granted the 2000 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, first prize at the 1998 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the 1998/2000/2002 CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, first prize at the 1997 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and first prize at the 1996 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

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