University of Texas Hosts Sixth Visiting Composers Series


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The 2000-2001 Visiting Composers’ Series at the University of Texas will bring an impressive roster of composers to the school’s Austin campus for four-day residencies, during which School of Music students, faculty, and guest artists will perform their music. The composers will present public forums on their music, master classes for UT student composers, and attend rehearsals and concerts of their works by the New Music Ensemble, UT Wind Ensemble, UT Symphony Orchestra, UT Jazz Orchestra, and UT Choruses.

Since its inception in 1995, the Visiting Composers’ Series has attracted national attention for being one of few programs that bring together diverse performance groups on a monthly basis to perform major works of today’s leading composers. “Most people bring composers in for one performance, a lecture — we hit them over the head with performances,” commented series director Dan Welcher. “[When] Corigliano [visited], every school ensemble played a piece.”

These concerts have introduced to Texas audiences such works as Joseph Schwantner‘s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra and John Corigliano‘s A Dylan Thomas Trilogy for soloists, double chorus, and large orchestra. Other composers who have participated in the series include John Harbison, Jonathan Jones, Thea Musgrave, Joan Tower, and William Craft.

Welcher feels that the Visiting Composer Series plays an important role in bringing new music to Austin. “Several new music groups have sprung up and died [in recent years],” he explained. “There is a lot of community support, people come to it who don’t come to other events on campus.”

All concerts are free and open to the public. Funding for the series comes from the Meyerson Endowed Professorship. The money from this Professorship covers the visiting composers’ fees, travel and accommodation expenses.