New Music for the 21st Century
February 13, 2015
New Music for the 21st Century
> POSTCARD: The Gibichungs
> REVIEW: Strength in Small Numbers
> Romanian Reflections
> Vox Novus Festival Romania
> Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame:CLASSIGARD with Cornelia Petroiu,
Vox Novus Calendar
> Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame with Kenyon Wilson
> Composer Opportunites on Music Avatar
New Music for the 21st Century
The Gibichungs

The Gibichungs

When the Dinklaker West Middle School Choir voted to stage W.R. Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” for Music and Craft Day, the principal worried that the Bühnenfestspiel would bankrupt his little school. After all, a typical production featured a massive orchestra; a costumed chorus of Valkyries, Rhinemaidens, Norns, and Neidings; two dozen prima donnas; and a huge catering bill. Luckily, guidance counselor Jerry Pringler had written a downsized 45-minute version of “The Ring” that merely called for a handful of Gibichungs —or “girls in ugly dresses”—with rings. Even better, after the performance, the rings were raffled off, along with a commemorative Siegfried weasel puppet, which helped the Dinklaker production to actually make money!

David Gunn

For 10½ years, David Gunn co-hosted the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award-winning radio show, Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar. The show is archived at Gunn's own website,, contains numerous recordings and scores of his compositions. Gunn is also a writer and humorist, and examples of both can also be found on his website. He lives simultaneously in Barre, Vermont.

New Music for the 21st Century
The New Thread Quartet

Strength in Small Numbers
January 11 Concert Review

It’s no coincidence that a great deal of chamber music is composed for quartets and trios: This lends itself to instrumental cohesion, yet allows for endless possibilities in harmonic, dynamic, and melodic variety. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe put it, a musical quartet is “four rational people conversing.” This interplay is in full gear at the January 11 Composer’s Voice concert at Jan Hus Church, a small-ensemble set featuring distinct instruments: saxophone, cello, violin, and piano.

First up is Adam Matlock’s mysteriously titled “8/5/15\19\14\15\14/4 – 2,” which is more clearly subtitled, “3 mvmts, various styles.” This is performed by First Construction, a trio with Zach Herchen on saxophone, Danica Borisavljevic on piano, and Mark Chung on violin. The set opens mysteriously, with dissonant long notes by the sax and violin set off by incongruous chords on the piano. This gives way to a lively exchange of minor piano chords against dancing lines by the others, at odds and then in tandem. A piano interlude sets up a new melody motif that’s echoed and elaborated upon, as the three voices come together to end the first movement — just in time to break apart for the second one. This section features a bantering of sonic sprinkles, the violin in high-pitched squiggles, the sax in fluttering blips and the piano in ice-pick chords and light trickles. The melodic motif from the first movement reappears just often enough to ground the flights of fancy. The trio begins the third segment in a burst of chaos, then the piano emerges like sun peeking through clouds with a roiling new melody. After a quick round-robin, the trio breaks an into orchestrated march of triplets and an idiosyncratic series of solos — ending in a suspended buildup that stops just short of the resolving major chord. It’s a paradoxical display of teamwork and tension between individual voices.

This dynamic continues in the next performance, Joseph Bohigian’s “Quartet,” performed by two members of New Thread Quartet—Zach Herchen on alto saxophone and Geoffrey Landman on soprano sax — and two guests: Sam Chernoff and Liz Benoit Crew, both on cello. Here chugging staccato notes on the cellos are answered by fluttering lines from the saxes, with building tension that breaks as the pitch rises, settling into long, sustained chords that merge the four voices. In the subdued mid-section, the strings play reassuring tones that shift into sliding, rubbery squeals, while the saxes alternate between percussive key pops and energetic trills. The final section is a flurry of staccato bursts and shifting triads, the four instruments congealing to build to a final resonant chord.

Next up is the CV trademark “Fifteen Minutes of Fame,” with 15 one-minute pieces curated and played on saxophones by the New Thread Quartet: Geoffrey Landman on soprano sax, Kristen McKeon on alto, Erin Rogers on tenor, and Zach Herchen on bass. This set’s a study in wild contrasts: the cacophonous experimental noises of Silvia Pepe’s “Fading glares” followed by the more melodious musings and chord clusters in Ivan Tangkulung’s “Menyan (Incense)”; the chugging energy and click-to-a-stop finish of Masatora Goya’s “I Took the A Train” giving way to the breathy moans and high warbles of Paolo Pecin’s “Darvaze”; the building tension and Pollock-painting splatters of Maxwell Tfirn’s “The Conception of Chaos” followed by the reassuring chords and quiet uncertainty of Blair Whittington’s “Threads.” To close the set, Hanan Hadzajlic’s “VRI,” a lively mix of sputters and dancing runs, leads into Keane Southard’s “1267 Notes,” in which the saxes busily take off in four directions with competing melodies, before synching up for a climactic flurry.

The New Thread Quartet then performs the afternoon’s final segment: Roberto Kalb’s “Ryden Scenes,” another study of moods that resembles a seasonal cycle. In part one, “The Creatrix,” a playful to-and-fro shifts to long, deep chords, jumping counterpoints, and then a marching rumble that builds and resolves like a four-way flowering. Part two, “Rose,” is more meditative and melancholy, but sonorous nonetheless. In the third part, “Night Visit,” the players starts with an eerie dissonance, break into quick, competing runs like scurrying animals, then return to the eerie chords before ending on a piercing high note. And part four, “Piano Player,” begins with rueful tones and lines that ebb and flow, then shifts into a jaunty section like a ragtime tune gone haywire, building to a rousing climax before settling to finish in a classic minor-to-major-chord resolution. Thus ends an afternoon in which no musical mood is left unturned.


New Music for the 21st Century
 Vox Novus Festival Romania

Romanian Reflections

Liana Alexandra and I began collaborating with Vox Novus and Robert Voisey’s 60x60 in 2003. Vox Novus is an extraordinary organization and its projects are extremely important for the field of new music.

In 2011, after the tragic death of Liana Alexandra, I took the initiative to organize the "Vox Novus Festival Romania" in her memory. Organized under the patronage of Robert Voisey, Director and Founder of Vox Novus and the very precious help of Composer's Voice Artistic Director Douglas DaSilva, I thought that this initiative will contribute substantially to the musical exchanges between the US and Romania. This initiative would also symbolize the continuity of our cooperation (Liana Alexandra and me) with the prodigious American organization, Vox Novus. The "Vox Novus Romania Festival" symbolizes the democracy and the American culture in Romania.

I have coordinated two editions of "Vox Novus Romania Festival" (2011 and 2015), as well as, dozens of concerts at the National University of Music Bucharest where I am University Professor. I have organized concerts at the "George Enescu" National Philharmony, the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company, and the prestigious George Enescu International Festival - 2013.

Producing the festival has not always been easy, I often faced challenges and hardships. Romania needs to know what is the creative spirit of the American music. And this is Vox Novus! Now “Vox Novus Festival Romania” is an essential event in my country. - Serban Nichifor

The first concert of the Vox Novus Festival Romania (my initiative - at the second edition) was on January 14, 2015 - curator University Professor Doctor Serban Nichifor, National University of Music Bucharest:

Vox Novus (USA) & National University of Music Bucharest (Romania), "George Enescu" Concert Hall: - SABIN DRAGOI – CATALIN STEFANESCU-PATRASCU: Trei dansuri populare romanesti (Hodoroaga, Zdranganita, Cimpoiasul),

Alma Boiangiu & Victor Caplescu (guitars) 00:00:00 ; - AMERICAN HYMNS: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing; Israel, Israel, God Is Calling; The Spirit of God, James Brundage (piano, guitar, voice), Johathan Harper (voice), Eduard Antal (organ) 00:04:49 ; - ROBERT VOISEY: Lament And Sorrow In Memory of Liana Alexandra 00:17:08 ; - LIANA ALEXANDRA: Incantations III 00:23:19 ; - DAVID MORNEAU: Green Is For Grow 00:34:51 ; - DOUGLAS DaSILVA: Liana 00:39:01 ; - SERBAN NICHIFOR: Amazing Grace Echo 00:42:29 , Serban Nichifor (cello); - ANDREI TANASESCU: Sonata No 2 for piano "Transilvanian Resonances", Andrei Tanasescu (piano) 00:45:39 ; - A. G. WEINBERGER: Retoricon, Serban Nichifor (cello) & Andrei Tanasescu (piano) 00:54:31 ; - J. S. BACH: Sonata No 3 for violin and piano, Tudorel Iordache & Iolanta Eremie (violins), Eduard Antal (organ) 01:02:23 ; - W. A. MOZART: Sonata for violin and piano K. 380, Loredana Visan (violin) & Valentin Tarcovnicu (piano) 01:26:15

Watch on YouTube at

Serban Nichifor

Serban Nichifor, born in Bucharest, Romania. He received his Doctorate in Musicology at National University of Music, Bucharest. He is the Vice-president of the Romania-Belgium, cellist of the Duo Intermedia and co-director of the Nuova Musica Consonate - Living Music Foundation Inc. Festival. He is presently a professor at the National University of Music, Bucharest.

New Music for the 21st Century

The third installment of the Vox Novus Festival Romania curated by Serban Nichifor will take place this weekend. The performance will take place in the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest on Sunday, February 14, 2015 7:00pm.

Works featured include: Drake Mabry's Silent Durations XXVII, Douglas DaSilva's Evora (Romanian Premiere) and Gerald Glynn – Corona (World Premiere)

Also the World Premiere Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: CLASSIGARD with Cornelia Petroiu will be presented.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: CLASSIGARD with Cornelia Petroiu

February 14, 2015
Monday at 7:00pm

Vox Novus called for one-minute pieces composed for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: CLASSIGARD with Cornelia Petroiu, solo viola to be premiered on February 14, 2015 for Studio Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest, Romania.

CLASSIGARD: From classical to avant-garde music: switching abruptly from one style to another; surprisingly unstable music. Each piece can incorporate different styles or stay within one specific style, thereby leaving the performer to blend the music into the set of 15 in the CLASSIGARD style!

Fifteen_Minutes-of-Fame with Cornelia Petroiu

Cornelia Petroiu has been inspiring composers of various tendencies and countries, who wrote for her over 100 works. She is fully dedicated to exploring the sonorities of her viola, and one may hear the concretizing of her musical research by listening to her 10 CDs. She graduated the Music Conservatory in Bucharest and deepened her musical studies at Interlochen-Michigan and Weimar-Germany. Later on, in Paris-CIFAP, she became familiar to Pro Tools software, as a sound editor.

Always passioned by the chamber music, she was the founder of Brio, Pro Musica and FlautArchi quartets, in divers instrumental combinations. Classical music performer at the beginning, she became totally involved in the contemporary music. She is both founder and member of the Trio Alto (viola, saxophone and piano), with over 40 world premieres dedicated to it, up to now. She takes regularly part in international contemporary music festivals: Musica Electronica Nova (Wroclaw), as the soniste of the Meta-Duo, the Internationl Conference and the Spectral Music Festival (Istanbul), Meridian, SIMN, Acousmania (Bucharest), Capitales Sonores (Paris), 2 Days and 2 Nights of New Music (Odessa), etc. Cornelia Petroiu is extending the sphere of the musical expression by recording and post-producing herself most of her instrumental performances.

Works selected for this Fifteen Minutes of Fame include:
Pencil by Dawid Boverhoff, Distortion on Stamitz by Héctor Oltra Garcia, April Rain by Nathan Kelly, Lánt î nghêi by Tyler Kline, Monomer by Travis Kneisly, Minute Meditation by Grisha Krivchenia, Fleeting Vision by Michael Lanci, Stumbled by Christine Lee, I'm Sick of Avant Garde by Robert Lopez, Just thinking out loud by Steven Harry Markowitz, Putere by Hinse Mutter, arabesque by Giorgos Papamitrou, Indecision by José Jesus de Azevedo Souza, Serial Triller by Jean-Pierre Vial, and Wondering Thought by Chace Williams

Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: CLASSIGARD with Cornelia Petroiu
February 14, 2015
Studio Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum
Romanian Athenaeum
Strada Benjamin Franklin 1-3
Bucharest, Romania

New Music for the 21st Century

Vox Novus Calendar

Calendar of Vox Novus Events
New Music for the 21st Century
Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame with Kenyon Wilson

Kenyou Wilson received so many good submissions for his May 2014 recital, that he wanted to include fifteen more for his next conference recital. The following 15 composers selected for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame is to be premiered on March 19, 2015 at the Southeast Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee

Works selected for this Fifteen Minutes of Fame include:
Not Quite a Lament by Peter Allen,
Chesapeake Alarum by Greg Bartholomew,
Con dolcezza by Inna Buganina,
Sunshine by Ryan Deems,
A Short Showcase by Cara Giovanetti,
15 by Kyle B. Jones,
Drawing a Triangle with Four Sides by David Meckler,
Deep Thoughts by Ken Paoli,
Andantino by Jody John Ramey,
Stolen Melodie by Bob Siebert,
Tulonga by Juan Maria Solare,
Tuba-duba-du-ba by Ananda Sukarlan,
Courage by Ruben Toledo,
True Bass by Blair Whittington,
and Petrushkita by Justin Writer

Fifteen_Minutes-of-Fame with Kenyon Wilson

Kenyon Wilson is the Associate Professor of Low Brass and Music Theory at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He currently serves on the board of directors for the International Tuba/Euphonium Association. Prior teaching positions include Central Michigan University, Valdosta State University in Georgia, and the Baku Music Academy in Azerbaijan where he served as a Lecturing Fulbright Scholar.

Dr. Wilson holds positions as principal tubist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in Alabama and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra in Georgia. He has performed solo recitals in Canada, Japan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia in addition to presenting recitals in thirty-six states in the USA. He has soloed with the Augusta Symphony, Waco Symphony, Queen City Brass Band, Clinch River Brass Band, Blasmusik Texas Brass Band, and the Asahikawa Symphonic Band in Japan.

More information is available at

New Music for the 21st Century

Music Avatar


Music Avatar is a great new way to upload works for composer opportunities hassle free! You will be able to submit, update, and modify your submission all the way up to the deadline date of the opportunity.

New Music for the 21st Century
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