Columbia, MO – The Mizzou New Music Initiative on Wednesday announced that Swiss composer Beat Furrer, who had been scheduled to be one of the guest composers later this month at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival, will be unable to attend the festival due to medical reasons. In place of Furrer, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, has agreed to serve as a guest composer for the 2014 MICF. “We regret that Beat Furrer won’t be able to participate in this year’s festival, as his doctor has advised him not to travel, and we hope he’s feeling better soon,” said William J. Lackey, managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. “However, we feel extraordinarily fortunate that a composer of Zhou Long’s stature happened to have space in his schedule at this time, and we are most grateful that he has agreed to join us in Columbia on such short notice.” Zhou was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2011 for his first opera, Madame White Sake. Born in 1953 in China, he first came to the United States in 1985 to study music at Columbia University, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993. He has taught at UMKC since 2001, and has received awards, fellowships and commissions from major organizations and musical ensembles all around the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Cary Trust, and the Copland Fund for Music. For MICF ticket buyers, the change in guest composers means that they’ll hear a different program during the concert by Alarm Will Sound on Thursday, July 24 at the Missouri Theatre, as the festival’s resident ensemble will perform Zhou’s Bell Drum Towers in place of one of the Furrer compositions previously scheduled. That concert also will include music by Nico Muhly, the MICF’s other guest composer this year. For the festival’s eight resident composers, Zhou’s participation in the festival will give them a chance to study and interact with a composer and teacher who has been recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. A pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms, Zhou served as music director for the presenting organization Music From China for more than a decade while living in New York. During the MICF, he will give a public presentation about his music; instruct and interact with the eight resident composers in individual and group sessions; and work with Alarm Will Sound on the performance of Bell Drum Towers. Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2014, the Mizzou International Composers Festival (http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/) will take place starting Monday, July 21 through Saturday, July 26 in Columbia, MO. Already considered one of the most noteworthy contemporary music events in the Midwest, the MICF attracts attention from composers, musicians, music educators, and media around the world. The grand finale of the week will feature the world premieres of eight new works written by the festival’s resident composers and performed by the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound (http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/AWS.html). Festival passes good for admission to all three 2014 MICF concerts are on sale for $80 for the VIP package, which includes reserved premium seating; $40 for an adult general admission pass; or $20 for a student general admission pass. Single tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for students, and are all general admission. Tickets can be charged by phone using Visa, MasterCard or Discover by calling 573-882-3781.* To buy tickets online, or to see a complete listing of Mizzou International Composers Festival events, visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/. The Mizzou International Composers Festival is part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative (http://mizzounewmusic.missouri.edu/), an array of programs intended to position the University of Missouri’s School of Music as a leading center for music composition and new music. The programs of the Mizzou New Music Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, led by Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield (http://www.sinquefieldcharitablefoundation.com/). The MU Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitors Program and the Missouri Arts Council also have provided financial assistance for the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival. * A $2.00 service fee and Missouri sales tax of 7.35% already are included in the price of each ticket. An additional fee of $3.00 per ticket will be charged for online purchases.
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