Composers on Campus series spotlights new music at UNT

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 21:32

DENTON (UNT), Texas – The University of North Texas College of Music continues its mission to cultivate new music this spring with the Composers on Campus series, which brings a number of world-class guest composers to campus for performances of their works, in addition to showcasing faculty talent. 

The diverse group of guests includes Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner, intermedia artist Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, jazz arranger Claus Raible and leading opera composer Jake Heggie.

“While the composition division regularly invites new music specialists to campus — including not only composers, but performers, technologists, and scholars — this semester will be busier than usual, with more than a dozen composers scheduled to visit UNT,” said Joseph Klein, chair of the Division of Composition Studies. “Some of these guest composers will be here for activities in other areas such as jazz and symphony orchestra, but composition students always benefit from their presence on campus.  In fact, such collaborative opportunities strengthen the entire community of musicians in the College of Music.” 

The Composers on Campus series kicks off at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Yehudi Wyner, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his piano concerto Chiavo in Mano, visits UNT for a free concert of his chamber music in Voertman Hall in the UNT Music Building. Included on the program will be Wyner’s Dances of Atonement, with violinist Emanuel Borok and Wyner himself at the piano, and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Horn Trio, performed by William Scharnberg on horn, Chuong Vu on violin and Steven Harlos at the piano.

Jazz saxophone faculty member Brad Leali offers a fresh take on gospel with Gospel Meets Jazz: A Black History Celebration at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, in Voertman Hall. The free concert will be performed by the Brad Leali Jazz Orchestra with Leali on saxophone and guest arranger Claus Raible on piano, together with a gospel choir organized by vocal jazz faculty Jennifer Barnes.

UNT’s Center for Experimental Music & Intermedia presents Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, director of the Intermedia Performance Lab at Stanford University, in a free concert of his own interactive works at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (MEIT) in the Music Building.  Kapuscinski will utilize the MEIT’s electronic Bösendorfer MIDI piano, 16-speaker surround sound system and three large projection screens to create an immersive multimedia experience.

A free concert features the music of new composition faculty member Panayiotis Kokoras at 8 p.m. Monday, March 4 in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater. The program will primarily consist of works for solo instrumentalists and electronics. The music of Kokoras has been commissioned by institutions and festivals worldwide, from Harvard University to the Netherlands, and his compositions have received over 50 distinctions and prizes in international competitions.

The UNT Wind Symphony continues its legacy of performing new works for wind band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in a program featuring New York Philharmonic acting principal clarinetist Mark Nuccio as guest soloist. Baylor University composition professor Scott McAllister will be in attendance for Nuccio’s performance of his rock-and-roll inspired piece Black Dog.  Nuccio will also be featured as soloist on Leonard Bernstein’s jazzy Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs.  UNT composition alumnus Kevin Walczyk will be on hand for a performance of his Symphony No. 2 “Epitaphs Unwritten,” nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2011. Conductor Eugene Migliaro Corporon leads the Wind Symphony in this performance in Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, non-UNT students, children, UNT faculty/staff/retirees and groups of 10+; and free for UNT students (UNT student ID required). Purchase online at or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.

The Composers on Campus series culminates with the highly-anticipated premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 in Winspear Hall. Heggie is composing this new concert work for UNT, with faculty tenor soloist Richard Croft, the UNT Symphony Orchestra, and the Grand Chorus under the direction of David Itkin. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, non-UNT students, children, UNT faculty/staff/retirees and groups of 10+; and free for UNT students (UNT student ID required). Purchase online at or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.


About the UNT College of Music

The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,500 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensembles and pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world’s finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.


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