Composers Bios and About the Commissioned Works
Aaron J. Kirschner
Aaron J. Kirschner is a composer, theorist, clarinetist, and conductor based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His music has been presented throughout the United States, Italy, Finland, Canada, by members of the JACK Quartet, the Utah Symphony, the Des Moines Symphony, and the American Modern Ensemble, among others. He has won numerous awards and commissions, and in August of 2014 was Artist-in-Residence at the Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, Finland.
Dr. Kirschner’s theoretical research has been presented at the 2014 Society for Music Theory annual meeting, as well as at the Rocky Mountain regional SMT meeting and West Coast Conference on Music Theory and Analysis. His dissertation focuses on empirical modeling of impulse structures in the music of the New Complexity. To this end, his research formalizes a definition and four-dimensional model of sub-meter as an entity independent of traditional notions of rhythm and meter. In addition to his work on rhythm and meter, Dr. Kirschner has extensively explored hyper-transformational theories of late twentieth/twenty-first century American modernism.
As a performer, Dr. Kirschner is a strong advocate for new music and appears regularly as a clarinetist, bass clarinetist, and conductor. Since making his soloist debut in 2010 with the Boston New Music Initiative, he has premiered dozens of new works throughout the country.
Dr. Kirschner holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Utah, a Masters of Music in composition from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance from the University of Iowa. He is currently a member of the music theory faculty at Utah Valley University
My Piano Quartet, composed in the fall of 2019 for the NEXT Ensemble's 2020 Ways of Seeing series, was my last major composition of the decade and, in many ways, a personal reflection on much of my writing of the last ten years. Decidedly simple in thematic material, all of the music is created through variations and re-readings of a single six-note descending melody. In addition to many processes original to this work, I also explored transformations of this melody through the lens of many of my other major works of the past decade. The combinations of these re-readings (some as short as a single chord, others minutes long) results in music in both constant development and self-reflection.
Igor Iachimciuc (b. 1968, Edinets, Republic of Moldova) began to study the cimbalom (string-percussion instrument) at age ten at a children's music school. Later, while studying the cimbalom at the Musicescu Academy of Music, he won 3rd and later 1st prizes at the National Competition "Barbu Lautaru". He has also studied guitar and piano. In 1983 he began to study composition at the College of Music in Chisinau, Moldova, where his characteristic folk music influence emerged. He continued his studies at the Academy of Music, composing works ranging from folk, jazz, classical, to new music for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, choir, and symphony orchestra. In 2001 he moved to the US and began his music composition Ph.D. work at the University of Utah. Mr. Iachimciuc's awards include 1st prize in composition at the Silver Chrysanthemum National Competition and being named the most promising young composer in Moldova, as well as the 2003 Wayne Peterson's Prize in Music Composition. In 2004 he has been awarded a prestigious Robertson's scholarship. Igor Iachimciuc's works have been purchased by the National RTV Company and performed by various Moldavian ensembles, as well as by San Francisco's Earplay New Music Ensemble, Flexible Music, Canyonlands, New York New Music Ensemble, Salty Crickets and Salt Lake Symphony. Mr. Iachimciuc’s commissions include Utah Arts Festival, Intermezzo Chamber Music Series, Concertino, Ars Poetica, Chicago Bass ensemble, Velocity 2, Forward Four, Univox, Moldovian Chamber Choir and individual performers from Moldova, Spain, Belarus, and US. Igor’s music can be heard on Centaur Records and CD Baby, as well as on various social media accounts. Igor’s coral cycle Spells is considered to be ‘a revolution in Moldovan academic music’ by the musicologist Natalia Chiciuc. Dr. Iachimciuc is currently an Adjunct Professor of Composition and the Director of the New Music Ensemble at the University of Utah.
Dragoi Metaphors is a tribute to the legendary Romanian folk violinist Ion Dragoi. His unique interpretation of folk music influenced generations of musicians. I attempted to take a closer look at Dragoi’s music world by amplifying some of the most characteristic musical gestures. In some instances the main harmonic background is maintained, but in other places the harmony is a result of an intense melodic embellishment. I also felt the need to preserve some of the typical rhythmic patterns common in Romanian music like Batuta, Hora, and Doina, but other times the rhythm is more fluent.
Each of the seven movements can be described as a free improvisation on folk songs performed by Dragoi. Addressing the “20/20: Ways of Seeing” theme I wanted to explore one possible way to capture the musical canvas of the present time by reinterpreting musical gestures from the past.
"Un Bello Amanecer"
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Alfonso Tenreiro received his musical training in Composition, Choral Conducting and Organ from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was Assistant Instructor in his field.
In his music, Alfonso Tenreiro synthesizes both modern and traditional musical tendencies in a very personal style. He not only uses atonal, polyrhythmic and polytonal techniques proper of the 20th Century Composers, but also effectively incorporates traditional elements from Classicism and Romanticism, as well as brush strokes of folkloric origin.
Tenreiro’s compositions have been performed and recorded in Venezuela and the United States. His work Guri was recorded in the CD Venezuelan Classics of the 20th Century by the Caracas Symphony Orchestra in 1989. Another CD, Tenreiro by Riazuelo, was recorded in 1992 also by the Caracas Symphony Orchestra containing a collection of some of his symphonic works: Aluminum from Caroní, Concertino for Harp and Strings, Memories of the Centaur, Fountains, and Image of Light.
His works have also been performed by the Utah Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony and Chamber Orchestra Ogden. They have been awarded by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), Indiana University, Friends and Enemies of New Music, Contemporary Record Society, the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Arts Festival. These works have also received recognition from the World Harp Congress, Bowling Green University (Ohio) and the American Composers Orchestra.
Tenreiro has received a number of symphonic commissions including those from the Utah Arts Festival, New York Youth Symphony, Columbus Pro Musica Symphony, Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir, Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal and Caracas Symphonietta. Several commissions have also been funded by the Venezuelan Government and others by private individuals.
Alfonso Tenreiro is the Music Director at Saint Joseph Catholic High School (Ogden), Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary School (Ogden), Saint Florence Catholic Church (Huntsville) and Holy Family Catholic Church (for Saturday Masses). He also continues his activities as a professional Composer, his compositions being performed locally by Chamber Orchestra Ogden and Next Ensemble, and enjoys cooking and spending quality time with his family.
Un Bello Amanecer
To me, the commission theme (2020: Ways of Seeing) evokes a future. A future which is neither immediate nor timely. It is a future longed for, a future that we hope for and cannot seem to attain: a future living in Peace and Harmony. The theme 2020 recalls that perfect future, both in time and vision.
Un Bello Amanecer, which means "A Beautiful Sunrise," evokes the longing for Peace and Harmony. Musically speaking, the piece incorporates the richness of Venezuelan folk music and Western Classical tradition. The listener will be able to perceive this through melodious themes and the way these are rhythmically accompanied.
“Expressions of Joy and Sadness”
Esther Megargel received a Master’s degree in composition from BYU in 2013. She writes for large and small instrumental ensembles and choirs. She has awards from Mu Phi Epsilon, the LDS Church, and BYU’s Vera Hinckley Mayhew award. So far, she has received two commissions, one as Composer of the Year by Oregon Music Teacher’s Association. A second commission was awarded by Utah Valley University’s Elder Quest. Her works have been performed by church and community choirs, including Salt Lake Choral Artists, and chamber ensembles, including BYU’s Orpheus Winds, and ensembles drawn from the Utah Symphony and University of Utah. She is published by Lorenz Publishing Company, Jackman Music Corporation, Modern Music Methods, and Hymns Today. She also teaches composition to high school and adult students. She is nationally certified by Music Teachers’ National Association, and two of her students have won State Composition awards.
“Expressions of Joy and Sadness”
is closely connected to one of my unpublished choral works, because I work best when my melodic and harmonic material is vocally conceived. The three movements are motivically related. The first is entitled “Unfolding,” a reference to the great work we can accomplish as human beings when we communicate musically. Movement Two is entitled “Elegy.” It has reference to a poem by Emily Dickinson on the death of a child. There are programmatic elements, such as the slow breathing, the bells tolling and the angels wings. Here is the quote:
She died—this was the way she died. And when her breath was done
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun—
Her little figure at the gate The angels must have spied, Since I could never find her Upon the mortal side.
The last movement is entitled “Rejoicing,” providing a respite from grief, and hope for the future. My style is mildly contemporary, with flashes of color and some less common harmonic materials.