New Music News Wire
- IAJE Ceases Operations and Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Keeril Makan and Kurt Rohde are Going to Rome
- Schott Signs Douglas J. Cuomo
- Dutch-based Imagem Music Buys Boosey & Hawkes for £126 million
- Christopher Young to Receive Kirk Award at BMI Film & Television Awards
- ASCAP Concert Music Awards to Honor Corigliano, Falletta, Jennings & Lang
- Anne Manson Receives Gold Debut Award for Conducting Vanessa
- ASCAP Launches Composers’ Bill of Rights
- Bebe Barron (1925-2008)
- Walking to Raise Money for Commissioning Funds
The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) closed its office on April 18, 2008, and has ceased operations. Chuck Owen, president of IAJE’s board of directors, announced that the IAJE Board has voted to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Law. According to an official statement by Owen posted on the homepage of IAJE’s website, which will remain online during this process:
In the next few days, a Kansas bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee to oversee all ongoing aspects of the association. This includes the ability to examine IAJE’s financial records and mount an independent inquiry into the causes of its financial downfall as well as disposing of the remaining assets of the association with proceeds distributed to creditors in accordance with Kansas and Federal law. The board will no longer be involved in operation of the organization and will at some point resign. IAJE as it presently stands will no longer exist.
Approximately a week after filing, all potential creditors of the association will receive notice of the association’s filing from the court. Members who desire additional information regarding the petition, including a complete listing of association assets and liabilities, may retrieve this, as it is a public document, through normal court procedures.
While ultimately not able to skirt the financial land mines placed in its path, I want to assure you the IAJE Board has acted responsibly, ethically, and with a sense of urgency ever since it was blindsided last fall with the discovery of the extent of the accumulated association debt. Since that time, the board slashed spending, set specific performance targets for the Executive Director, sought outside consultations, and enlisted the services of several past-presidents and strategic association partners in attempts to raise funds – sadly, with minimal success.
In the online statement, Owen additionally states that “years of dependence upon the [IAJE's annual] conference as a primary (but unreliable) revenue stream and the launch of a well-intentioned capital campaign (the Campaign for Jazz), which generated a meager response but required considerable expenditures in advance of contributions, drove the association into insolvency.” Attendance for the IAJE’s January 2008 conference in Toronto was the lowest in ten years. The 2009 IAJE International Conference in Seattle has been cancelled. However, there has been some discussion of mounting a regional conference in its place. At the moment, Lou Fischer, U.S. board representative, is fielding inquiries.
While the IAJE includes numerous regional chapters and affiliated associations, these organizations are either separate corporate entitles or voluntary associations with their own boards, constitutions, and bylaws. Therefore IAJE views them as completely independent entities, and their operations will hopefully be unaffected by these developments. However, the trustee and the court will make this determination, and it is anticipated that the trustee may request certain information from the chapters in this regard.
In the closing paragraphs of his statement, Owen acknowledges that “the opportunities, impact, and work of this association are too vital to simply disappear…[I]t is clear the mission of IAJE still resonates and its advocacy is needed today more than ever. We must, therefore, look at this as an opportunity to refocus the mission, scope, programs, and vision of IAJE (or whatever succeeds it) to better meet the needs of our members and the jazz community not only today but looking toward the future….Our efforts and our passion, should be to collectively rally the community to recognize the importance IAJE has had and continues to have in the life and development of jazz and jazz education—seeking new strategic partnerships, new government structures, and a revitalized mission that embraces current needs.”
Founded in the United States in 1968 as the National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE), the organization was originally formed to ensure the inclusion of jazz in music education programs at all levels and to build respect for, and awareness of, the art form. NAJE grew quickly to over 1,000 members and began publishing a quarterly Jazz Educators Journal. With the launch of its first annual conference in December 1973 in Chicago, NAJE continued to expanded its programs to include scholarships, an approved festivals program, and a network of state units and voluntary leaders. A portion of each member’s dues were rebated to their state unit to nurture the health of jazz education programs on the local and regional levels. By the mid-1980s, NAJE boasted over 4,000 members and expanded its program offerings to include publications, talent recognition programs, and several annual commissions. In 1989, NAJE changed its name to the International Association of Jazz Educators, to more accurately reflect its global membership, which had grown to 5,500 in 25 countries. In the 1990s, IAJE created a series of new programs including the Teacher Training Institute, the Artist Outreach Network, and Sisters in Jazz. The IAJE Annual Conference also saw significant expansion during this period and grew to attract in excess of 6,000 people from all facets of the global jazz community. In 2001, IAJE changed its name once again, this time to the International Association for Jazz Education, which was more inclusive of the association’s membership of over 8,000 in 42 countries.
Composers Keeril Makan and Kurt Rohde are among the 2008 Rome Prize winners. The prize, awarded annually to 15 emerging artists (working in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design, Historic Preservation and Conservation, Literature, Musical Composition, or Visual Arts) and 15 scholars (working in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and early Modern, or Modern Italian Studies), consists of a nine-month residency at the American Academy in Rome. Jurors for the 2008 Rome Prize for music composition were composers Fred Lerdahl, Donald Crockett, Lee Hyla, Harold Meltzer, and Melinda Wagner.
Keeril Makan (b. 1972), awarded the Luciano Berio Rome Prize, plans to create three new works while at the Academy: Hover for electric guitar and orchestra; a trio for flute, viola, and harp; and Tracker, a chamber opera. According to Makan, Tracker “questions the assumption that if systems of nature can be technologically replicated the result will be positive universal progress, independent of the cultural and political climate in which the technology was conceived.” Makan has previously been in residence at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, on a Fulbright grant, and spent two years in Paris through the George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California. He has received commissions from the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, and Carnegie Hall, and his music has been featured on the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, the MATA Festival in New York, and at the Gaudeamus Festival in the Netherlands. Originally trained as a violinist, Makan has a B.A. in religion and a B.M. in composition from Oberlin and a Ph.D. in music from the University of California at Berkeley. He currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is professor of music, Music and Theater Arts Section, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The first CD devoted exclusively to his music will be released on Tzadik in June 2008.
Kurt Rohde (b. 1966), awarded the Elliott Carter Rome Prize, plans to compose two new works while in residence: a Violin Concertino, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for New Music Composition, for violinist Axel Strauss and members of the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; and a new 20-30 minute ballet, commissioned by the New Century Chamber Orchestra, featuring choreography by dancer Alison Salzinger. Rohde stated that for both works, he expects “to continue the musical approach I have been developing over the last decade, which includes intricate textures, interlocking rhythms, fragmented melodic lines, and hovering harmonies.” A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as the Charles Ives Fellowship and the Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rohde has received commissions from the San Francisco-based choral group Volti, the Cypress String Quartet, and the New York-based ensemble Sequitur, for whom he will write a piano concerto for Sara Laimon which will premiere in Fall 2008. Rohde currently resides in San Francisco and is an assistant professor of music composition at UC Davis. He is also an active violist and the co-director of the Empyrean Ensemble. Mondovibe Records has issued a CD featuring three of his compositions.
Established in 1894 and chartered by an Act of Congress in 1905, the American Academy in Rome is a center that sustains independent artistic pursuits and humanistic studies. It is situated on the Janiculum, Rome’s highest hill. Fellowship winners come to Rome to refine and expand their own professional, artistic, or scholarly aptitudes, drawing on their colleagues’ erudition and experience, as well as on the inestimable resources of the Italian capital, Europe, and the Mediterranean. The Academy offers the opportunity to examine firsthand the source of Western humanistic heritage and to engage in a dialogue with Rome’s culture. Time spent at the Academy allows residents to enter into informed discourse with this past and to draw upon it for their individual explorations. The Academy’s Rome Prize winners, the core of a residential community of up to 100 people at any given time, are at the center of a multi-disciplinary environment, where artists and scholars are encouraged to work collegially within and across disciplines. The Academy community also includes invited Residents and international Affiliated Fellows. The scale of the Academy is small, which tends to help counteract the isolation that many experience during their creative careers. The annual application deadline is November 1 (deadline extension until November 15, for an additional fee).
Composer Douglas J. Cuomo has been signed to an exclusive publishing contract with Schott Helicon (BMI). An award-winning composer for theatre, film, and television, Cuomo has also created a wide range of work for concert performance including Arjuna’s Dilemma, a 70-minute staged oratorio based on the Bhagavad Gita and the poetry of Kabir, and the Kyrie movement for And on Earth, Peace, a Mass setting commissioned by the vocal ensemble Chanticleer and premiered by the group at the Metropolitan Museum in April 2007.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1958, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and Amherst, Massachusetts, Douglas Cuomo began playing the trumpet in grade school and switched to guitar at the age of 12. While still in high school he studied with jazz greats Max Roach and Archie Shepp at the University of Massachusetts. He began his professional musical career at the age of 18, touring the country with a Las Vegas show band. He alternated years of college with years on the road as a guitarist, studying jazz, world music, and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Miami (Coral Gables) with a degree in jazz performance. Upon graduating, he immediately moved to New York and began to tour with jazz singer Arthur Prysock and his brother Red, and to record with pop and jazz acts. After two years on the road as a jazz guitarist, Cuomo decided to focus on composition and returned to New York City.
Cuomo’s first work to garner significant public notice was Atomic Opera, which was performed at the Ohio Theatre in downtown New York City. Other theatrical credits include fifteen productions for Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre—among them The Women, Design For Living, Hamlet, The Visit, and the Tony-Award winning Anna Christie. He has composed the scores for nine independent films, including Revolution #9, The Terrorist, and most recently, Crazy Love, whose soundtrack features pianist Billy Childs and trumpeter Chris Botti. His television credits include the music for Homicide: Life on the Street, NOW with Bill Moyers, and the title theme for Sex and the City.
Arjuna’s Dilemma, Cuomo’s most ambitious work to date, incorporates an Indian vocalist, a classically-trained tenor, a four-member female chorus, a tabla player, an improvising tenor saxophonist, and a ten-piece chamber ensemble. A 2008/09 tour of Arjuna’s Dilemma will include three performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2008 Next Wave Festival (November 5, 7, and 8). Other upcoming projects include a solo cello work for Maya Beiser, which will be premiered as part of an evening-length program titled “Provenance” at the Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut, with subsequent performances at the Ravinia Festival and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Cuomo has just completed a new choral work, Fortune, which will receive its world premiere at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre in a performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York on April 27.
HgCapital, the European sector-focused private equity investor, announced on April 11 that it has agreed to sell Boosey & Hawkes, the leading classical music publishing and rights group, to Imagem Music, the music publishing fund of All Pensions Group (APG) and CP Masters BV and one of Europe’s leading independent music publishers, for a consideration of approximately £126 million. The acquisition is a long-term strategic investment for Imagem Music, which also recently acquired various music catalogues from Universal Music Group, such as Zomba UK, Rondor UK, 19 Music, and the greatest part of the BBC catalogue.
Ronald Wuijster, head of Strategy and Research of APG Investments, said: “We view this transaction as a great add-on to our recent acquisition of certain catalogues with popular music content from Universal (UMG). This acquisition of the largest classical music rights catalogue in the world greatly diversifies our portfolio and strengthens our position.”
The sale of Boosey & Hawkes completes a successful four-year investment for HgCapital and represents a significant return following its original acquisition of Boosey & Hawkes, then a public company, for £75 million in December 2003. During that time the firm supported Boosey & Hawkes’ management in executing a transformation of the business from a traditional classical music publisher into a 21st-century music rights group. The company has outsourced a number of non-core activities such as printing and distribution and developed a series of new revenue streams. In particular it has developed a strong presence in the market for music in advertising and film, where revenues are currently growing at approximately 30% per annum. In 2003, Boosey & Hawkes made earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) of approximately £3.3 million; by 2007 the company achieved earnings of £6.8 million.
Boosey & Hawkes controls the rights to more than 116,000 musical compositions, including the works of Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, and Aaron Copland. Among its roster of living American composers are: John Adams, Elliott Carter, David Del Tredici, Barbara Kolb, Steven Mackey, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Ned Rorem, and Christopher Rouse. In recent years, Boosey & Hawkes has moved into new areas such as jazz, signing composer/performers Chick Corea, David Benoit, Andrew Hill, Paquito D’Rivera, and Wynton Marsalis. The existing management team led by John Minch, the chief executive, will be retained.
Composer Christopher Young will receive the Richard Kirk Award for outstanding career achievement at BMI’s annual Film & Television Awards on May 21 in Los Angeles. Staged at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the black-tie, invitation-only dinner will also honor the composers of the past year’s top-grossing films, top-rated prime-time network television series, and highest-ranking cable network programs.
Named in honor of former BMI Vice President and film & television department founder Richard Kirk, the Richard Kirk Award is bestowed on composers who have made significant contributions to the realm of film and television. As the 2008 honoree, Christopher Young joins an elite list of peers that includes George S. Clinton, Jerry Goldsmith, Thomas Newman, Michael Kamen, Danny Elfman, Alan Menken, and John Williams.
Christopher Young’s numerous scores include the soundtracks for the films Hellraiser, Species, Ghost Rider, The Grudge, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Copycat, Entrapment, Wonder Boys, Rounders, Swordfish, Spiderman 3, and Golden Globe nominee The Shipping News. The New Jersey native and UCLA Film School alumnus has also created many scores for television, earning two Emmy nominations for Last Flight Out and Norma Jean & Marilyn. A dedicated mentor, Young has taught classes at USC, served as an advisor for the Sundance Institute Film Composers Lab, and created an innovative residential development to house aspiring composers in Los Angeles. He describes his progressive two-pronged approach to composition as the exploration of contemporary music’s abstract ideas and the infinite pursuit of “the great American tune.”
John Corigliano, JoAnn Falletta, Joseph Jennings, and David Lang will be honored at the ninth annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards. ASCAP composer member, radio host, and performer Peter Schickele will host the invitation-only event on May 22, 2008, at The Times Center in New York City. Among the evening’s presenters will be David Del Tredici, Heather Hitchens, Melinda Wagner, Sebastian Currier, Jennifer Higdon, Stephen Paulus, Paul Lansky, Doug Wood, and Steven Burke.
The award citations are as follows:
John Corigliano: (Aaron Copland Award) In celebration of his 70th year, ASCAP presents the Aaron Copland Award to distinguished member, John Corigliano, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, the Academy Award for Best Film Score, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, mentor, teacher, friend and exemplary musical citizen.
Joseph Jennings: ASCAP celebrates the 30th Anniversary year of Chanticleer by honoring its distinguished member, composer, arranger, Chanticleer Music Director Joseph Jennings, for his dedication to the enrichment of the vocal repertory and his advocacy for the music of our time.
JoAnn Falletta: ASCAP honors JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony as conductor, communicator, recording artist, audience builder, champion of American composers and distinguished musical citizen, whose career-long advocacy for American composers has made her a leading force for the music of our time.
David Lang: Recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music for The Little Match Girl Passion.
At the 2008 ASCAP Concert Music Awards, recipients of the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards will also be presented and congratulated.
Conductor Anne Manson received the 2008 Richard F. Gold Debut Award in a ceremony at New York’s Carlyle Hotel on April 15. The Richard F. Gold Debut, originally established by Rita and Herbert Gold in 1975, was renamed in 1985 in memory of their son Richard, who was a member of the City Opera’s administrative staff. Each year, the Richard F. Gold Debut Award is presented to an artist making a debut at the New York City Opera. The winner is chosen from a list of nominees that is prepared in advance. Manson made her debut conducting Samuel Barber’s opera Vanessa.
In addition to Vanessa at New York City Opera, other recent conducting highlights focusing on American repertoire include Philip Glass’s Orphée at Glimmerglass Opera during the 2007 Glimmerglass Opera season, plus Scott Wheeler’s Democracy and Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liasons, both at the Washington National Opera.
Manson is one of only three women to have been appointed music director of a leading American symphony orchestra—the Kansas City Symphony—which she directed from 1999 to 2003. She launched her career in 1988 as music director of the London-based Mecklenburgh Opera, where, over a span of eight years, she programmed operas ranging from Mozart to 20th-century rarities, while commissioning world premieres from numerous composers.
To remind the public, members of the music industry, and United States legislators of the central role and rights of those who conceive and create music, ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has officially launched a “Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers.” This awareness-building initiative centers around ten core principles, including “We have the right to be compensated for the use of our creative works, and share in the revenues that they generate,” and “We have the right to license our works and control the ways in which they are used.” (The ASCAP website has posted the full text of the Bill.)
According to ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman, “Given the many issues surrounding the music industry today, it can be all too easy to overlook the source of it all—individual songwriters, lyricists, and composers. Our goal is to remind lawmakers, the general public, and music creators themselves of the rights that are inherent in their art.” The rights enumerated in this bill are “already inherent in the act of music creation and protected by U.S. copyright law” but “are increasingly under threat as competing interests argue over the future of the business of music—and as growing numbers of individuals bypass payment altogether to illegally share music online.”
The “Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers” was unveiled during ASCAP’s “I Create Music” Week at the 25th Annual Pop Music Awards held on April 9 and was also introduced to attendees of the third-annual ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO (April 10-12). In just a few days, more than 500 signatures were collected including: Lionel Richie, Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson, Justin Timberlake, Desmond Child, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Chamillionaire, Keri Hilson, Johnta Austin, and John Rzeznik. These signatures served as the kick-off to a grassroots campaign that, over the next few months, will collect signatures and support from both established and aspiring songwriters, lyricists, and composers from all genres of musical composition. Those who wish to add their support to the bill can sign it electronically at the Bill of Rights page on the ASCAP website.
As part of this initiative, ASCAP has also published a text on the relevance and importance of music copyright protection, titled “Music Copyright in the Digital Age: A Position Paper” which may be viewed and downloaded.
Electronic music pioneer Bebe Barron, the first secretary for SEAMUS who is best remembered for co-creating the electronic music score for the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) and assisting John Cage in the creation of William’s Mix, died on April 20, 2008, of natural causes.
Barron was born Charlotte Wind in Minneapolis on June 16, 1925. She received a master’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, but while at UMN she studied musical composition with Roque Cordero. She also spent a year studying composition and ethnomusicology at the University of Mexico. After moving to New York City in 1947, she continued her composition studies with Wallingford Riegger and Henry Cowell and married Louis Barron (1920-1989).
Receiving a tape recorder as a wedding present, the Barrons began experimenting with the manipulation of recorded sound material in 1948, preceding the tape experiments of Leuning and Ussachevsky and prior to Pierre Schaeffer’s switch from disks to tape in his development of musique concrete. In 1949, the Barrons established a private electronic music studio. They built their own circuits with vacuum tubes designed to generate specific pitches and timbres.
According to electronic composer Barry Schrader:
The Barrons recorded the sounds from the amplification of these circuits and this formed the basis of their working library. They also employed tape manipulation techniques as part of their compositional procedures. The sound qualities of these various amplified tube circuits and the tape manipulations that they underwent formed the musical language that the Barrons created in their studio. Unlike some of the work being done elsewhere, the Barrons’ music reveals long phrases, often stated in tape-delayed rhythms, with the stark finesse of the tube circuit timbres. They created a style that was uniquely their own yet married to the technology they were using.
The Barrons’ earliest finished work, Heavenly Menagerie (1951) does not seem to have survived in a complete form. But their score for Ian Hugo’s film Bells of Atlantis (1952), based on a poem by Anaïs Nin, who appears on screen, does exist on the film sound track. This may be the earliest extant work of the Barrons and presages what was to come with Forbidden Planet, the music for which was composed in 1955, the film being released the next year.
Forbidden Planet was the first commercial film to use only electronic music, and the score for the movie displays an attitude towards film scoring that was different from anything that had happened before. The score of Forbidden Planet breaks down the traditional line between music and sound effects since the Barrons’ electronic material is used for both. This not only creates a new type of unity in the film sound world, but also allows for a continuum between these two areas that the Barrons exploit in various ways. At some points it’s actually impossible to say whether or not what you’re hearing is music, sound effect, or both. In doing this, they foreshadowed by decades the now common role of the sound designer in modern film and video.
Since the score for Forbidden Planet did not involve performances by musicians, the Musicians Union forced MGM to title the score “electronic tonalities” instead of “music”. The Barrons, who were also summarily denied membership in the union, never scored another film for Hollywood. But during the 1950s, the Barrons created many other tape works for theatre and independent film. In addition, their studio was where John Cage created his first work for magnetic tape, Williams Mix, which was created with their assistance. Tape works by Earle Brown and Morton Feldman were also created in the Barrons’ studio. According to Schrader, “As a studio for the creation of their own and other composers’ works, the Barrons’ studio served as a functioning center for electro-acoustic music at a time when there was no institutional support of the medium in the United States. It’s curious, then, that for many years the Barrons, their studio, and their works were largely overlooked by composers and historians in the field.”
In 1962, the Barrons relocated to Los Angeles. Although they divorced in 1970, they continued to compose together until the Louis Barron’s death in 1989. Among the works they created in those years are Time Machine (1970), Space Boy (1971), More Than Human (1974), Cannabis (1975), The Circe Circuit (1982), and Elegy for a Dying Planet (1982). Bebe also continued to compose on her own, and her final composition, Mixed Emotions (2000), was composed in the CREATE studios of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In November 1984, Bebe Barron joined with nine other composers in a meeting at CalArts to form the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) and in 1985 she became the first secretary of the organization and also served on its board of directors. In 1997, Bebe was presented the SEAMUS Award for the Barrons life work in the field of electro-acoustic music.
Bebe’s last public appearance was on January 12, 2008, at an event held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, celebrating the work of her good friend, Anaïs Nin. Bebe was too ill to speak in public at this point, but she agreed to be interviewed for a video piece that was shown at the event. Bebe Barron is survived by her second husband, screen writer Leonard Neubauer, whom she married in 1973, and her son, Adam.
On May 18, 2008, over 1000 music lovers are expected to participate in the 5th annual Walk for Music, a short 2-mile loop through the Back Bay Fens, Boston’s Emerald Necklace park in the heart of the Fenway Cultural District. The program, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts and Grail Technology Group, was created to celebrate and fund community-based music-making and thus far has raised over $300,000 for almost 100 music programs. Among the 2008 participants is pianist Sarah Bob who hopes to raise $2,000 toward a commission from Michael Gandolfi for a new composition that will receive its premiere on the New Gallery Concert Series.
(Compiled and edited by Frank J. Oteri)