Born and raised in Austin, Travis Weller came up playing violin and listening to all sorts of music, eventually gravitating to sounds and instruments that were well outside the norm. We’ve talked about composition, performance, and curation, but I’d never taken the time to speak with him about the instruments he builds. To remedy that, we sat down and talked about three of his creations: The Owl, The Skiffs, and The Steel Bells.
The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition has awarded Narong Prangcharoen the $15,000 2013 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for wind ensemble. In addition, grants to nine other composers totaling $60K were announced, as well as a $10K commission for a Chinese composer in partnership with the Beijing Modern Music Festival.
The conference is among the old guard of summer composer institutes and will celebrate its 70th anniversary next summer. Headed by Mario Davidovsky for nearly 40 years, the primary goal of the conference is to provide emerging composers with an opportunity to work with some of the best players from New York and Boston and to have their works performed and professionally recorded.
What was most striking about the PARMA Festival was its diversity; diversity within musical styles and event types, its combination of local, national, and international artists, and also its audience, which included a wide variety of locals–even some passersby who happened to see a poster on the street.
A $150,000 Mellon grant enables the American Lyric Theater to expand its Composer Librettist Development Program from an annually offered 10-month period to a comprehensive three-year artist mentorship cycle. Plus newly acquired videoconferencing equipment ensures that composers and librettists from around the country can participate.
Pianist Sarah Cahill’s engaging solo recital last Friday included an advance look at a program of music by Henry Cowell she’s planning to perform at San Quentin State Prison next month. Though nearly all of the Music@Menlo’s programming is traditionally in the Bach/Beethoven/Brahms vein, one concert this year’s stood out for its programming of Nancarrow, Cage, Reich, and other 20th-century composers.