NUNC! 3

Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC! 3)

April 20-22, 2018

For the third time the Bienen School of Music with host its conference for new music, NUNC!  Performers, composers, musicologists, theorists, and new music enthusiasts in general are all welcome to come to the Evanston campus for three days of performances, lectures, masterclasses, and panel discussions. There is no conference fee for participants, and all events are free.

Call for Submissions

Composers, Performers, Musicologists, and Electronic Musicians are all encouraged to submit materials to be considered for the conference. The following calls for submissions are open for performers, composers, or musicologists who want to participate actively:

  • Scores
  • Performers
  • Electronics
  • Presentations

Call for Submissions: SUBMIT MATERIALS ONLINE (Deadline: November 15, 2017)


Concerts & Events

Commitment Today: On the Musically Political
A roundtable discussion with Seth Brodsky (University of Chicago), Fumi Okiji (Northwestern University), and Anne Shreffler (Harvard University). Ryan Dohoney, moderator.

Concerts
The conference will feature performances by the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, and others

(More information coming soon)

Faculty and Guests

Bienen School Faculty Participants

Guest Performers

Guest Composers

Guest Performer Biographies

Claire Chase

Claire Chase

Claire Chase is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator and advocate for new and experimental music. “Look out, world. Here comes a monster.” — American Record Guide

Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works for the flute in performances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and she has championed new music throughout the world by building organizations, forming alliances, pioneering commissioning initiatives and supporting educational programs that reach new audiences. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize.

Chase has released three celebrated solo albums, Aliento (2010), Terrestre (2012) and Density (2013), and in 2014 launched Density 2036, a 22-year commissioning project to create an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute between 2014 and 2036, the centenary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. She was the 2009 Grand Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and made her critically-acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2010. In 2015, Chase was honored with the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award.

Chase founded the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2001, described as the United States’ “foremost new-music ensemble” (The New Yorker), and is active as an ensemble member in ICE projects throughout the world. ICE has premiered more than 800 works since its inception and has spearheaded an artist-driven organizational model that earned the ensemble the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center in 2010 and the Ensemble of the Year Award in 2014 from Musical America Worldwide. In 2015, Chase was honored with the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award. The ensemble can be heard in dozens of recordings on the Tzadik, Mode, Naxos, Bridge, New Amsterdam, New Focus, Samadhi Sound and Nonesuch labels, as well as on its own online, streaming video library of live performances, DigitiCE.

A deeply committed educator, Claire has overseen the development and implementation of education programs such as The Listening Room (for K-6 school children with no musical background), EntICE (for middle-school and high-school youth orchestras in underserved areas of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles) and a wide variety of collegiate and pre-professional training programs. She is also the new co-artistic director, with her longtime collaborator Steven Schick, of the Summer Music Program at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. In 2014, Chase was named an inaugural Fellow at Project&: Cultural Production with Social Impact. With Project&, she will develop several large-scale new works from 2014-2018 exploring the relationship between language, ritual and music. In 2015, Chase was music director and soloist in Salvatore Sciarrino's Il Cerchio Tagliato dei Suoni for 104 flutes, for which the Los Angeles Times praised her as a "staggering virtuoso with the assurance of a rock star." She will lead several performances in 2016-17 of this immersive 60-minute piece fusing contemporary performance and community engagement.

Upcoming projects include solo tours in Asia, Australia and the Middle East, a residency with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, performances of Dai Fujikura's new flute concerto, and the release of a new double-album in collaboration with Meyer Sound Studios. At home in New York, she will perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center, as well as with ICE in community venues, public spaces, and elementary schools as part of the OpenICE initiative.

Chase grew up in Leucadia, CA with the childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player before she discovered the flute. She received her B.M. from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in the studio of Michel Debost. Her other principal teachers were John Fonville and Damian Bursill-Hall.

JACK Quartet

JACK Quartet

Deemed "superheroes of the new music world" (Boston Globe), the JACK Quartet is "the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment." (Washington Post) "They are a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us." (Toronto Star)

The recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA's Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Miller Theatre (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), IRCAM (France), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Suntory Hall (Japan), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), and Teatro Colón (Argentina).

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK is focused on new work, leading them to collaborate with composers John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Simon Steen-Andersen, Caroline Shaw, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Derek Bermel, Cenk Ergün, Roger Reynolds, Toby Twining, and Georg Friedrich Haas.

JACK operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and spread of new string quartet music. Dedicated to education, the quartet spends two weeks each summer teaching at New Music on the Point, a contemporary chamber music festival in Vermont for young performers and composers. JACK has a long-standing relationships with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program, where they teach and collaborate with students each fall, and the Boston University Center for New Music, where they visit each semester. Additionally, the quartet makes regular visits to schools including Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Washington.

Guest Composer Biographies

Derek Bermel

Derek BermelGrammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity.  Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Bermel is also Director of Copland House's emerging composers institute Cultivate, served as Composer-in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music, and enjoyed a four-year tenure as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton. Bermel has become recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series that spotlight the composer as performer. Alongside his international studies of ethnomusicology and orchestration, an ongoing engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language, in which the human voice and its myriad inflections play a primary role.

He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, La Jolla Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, eighth blackbird, Guarneri String Quartet, Music from Copland House and Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), violinist Midori, and electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans among others.  The Boston Globe wrote, "There doesn't seem to be anything that Bermel can't do with the clarinet." His many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, American Music Center's Trailblazer Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and Cary Trust; and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri. 

His discography features three critically-acclaimed discs: an all-Bermel orchestral recording that includes the Grammy-nominated performance of his clarinet concerto Voices, (BMOP/sound); Soul Garden, his small ensemble/solo music (New World/CRI); and his most recent disc, Canzonas Americanas, with Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe). Bermel recently made his Cabrillo Festival debut, conducting his Dust Dances, and served as composer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Festival. Recent and upcoming are appearances or premieres include the Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong-Kong; the Seattle Chamber Music Festival; Hyllos, his evening-length collaboration with The Veenfabriek and Asko | Schönberg Ensemble, which premiered the Netherlands; performances and recordings with the JACK quartet and Music from Copland House ensemble; and as soloist with the New Century Chamber Orchestra.

Simon Steen-Andersen

Simon Steen-AndersenSimon Steen-Andersen (b.1976) is a Berlin-based composer, performer and installation artist, working in the field between instrumental music, electronics, video and performance within settings ranging from symphony orchestra and chamber music (with and without multimedia) to stagings, solo performances and installations. The works from the last 6-7 years concentrates on integrating concrete elements in the music and emphasizing the physical and choreographic aspects of instrumental performance. The works often include amplified acoustic instruments in combination with sampler, video, simple everyday objects or homemade constructions.

Simon Steen-Andersen received numerous prizes and grants - latest the Nordic Council Music Prize and the SWR Orchestra Prize 2014, the Carl Nielsen Prize (DK) and the Kunstpreis Musik from Akademie der Kunste in Berlin 2013, the International Rostrum of Composers, the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm Residency 2010 and the Kranichsteiner Music Award 2008. Member of the German Academy of the Arts 2016. Works commissioned by ensembles, orchestras and festivals such as ensemble recherche, Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart, the SWR Orchestra, The Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, Ensemble Ascolta, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Oslo Sinfonietta, 2e2m, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Ultraschall, Wittener Days of New Chamber Music and ECLAT. Furthermore worked with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum Zurich, ICTUS, Arditti, London Sinfonietta, Intercontemporain, asamisimasa and NADAR.

Simon Steen-Andersen studied composition with Karl Aage Rasmussen, Mathias Spahlinger, Gabriel Valverde and Bent Sorensen in Aarhus, Freiburg, Buenos Aires and Copenhagen 1998-2006. Since 2008 Simon Steen-Andersen is a lecturer of composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2013-2014 he was visiting professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and in 2014-16 he was lecturer at the Darmstadt Sommer Courses.

Ashley Fure

Ashley FureAshley Fure is an American composer of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music as well as multimedia installation art. Her work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music making and the chaotic behaviors of raw acoustic matter. She holds a PhD in Music Composition from Harvard University and further degrees from IRCAM (Cursus 1 and 2), Oberlin Conservatory, and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Fure was a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at Columbia University in 2014 and joined the Dartmouth College Department of Music as an Assistant Professor of Sonic Arts in September 2015.  

Current projects include The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects, an immersive intermedia opera created with architect Adam Fure that will be premiered by ICE in Darmstadt 2016.  2016 will also welcome world premieres of Risen, a new work for orchestra and electronics commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Biennial, and Etudes from the Anthropocene, a septet that will premiere on February 4th, 2016 at a Miller Theater Composer’s Portrait devoted to Fure’s work.

Notable recent projects include Ply, a 55-minute electroacoustic ballet commissioned by IRCAM for the 2014 Manifeste Festival; Feed Forward, a sinfonietta commissioned by Klangforum Wien for the 2015 Impuls Festival; Albatross, for large ensemble and electronics, commissioned by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players for the 2014 Sweet Thunder Festival; and Something to Hunt, a septet commissioned for the 2014 Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkursen für Neue Musik. Her kinetic installationTripwire, created with visual artist Jean-Michel Albert, premiered at the 2012 Agora Festival in Paris and has since toured to BOZAR (Belgium), the International Digital Arts Biennale/Elektra (Montreal), Seconde Nature (Aix-en-Provence), Stereolux (Nantes), Nemo (Paris), l’Ososphère (Strasbourg), and Panorama (Tourcoing).

Winner of the 2014 Kranichsteiner Music Prize at Darmstadt, Fure also received the 2014 Busoni Prize from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship to France, a 2013 Impuls International Composition Prize, a 2012 Darmstadt Stipendienpreis, a 2012 Staubach Honorarium, a 2011 Jezek Prize, and a 2011 10-month residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude.


Questions? Contact newmusic@northwestern.edu