Composition Division News

The following is a listing of recent accomplishments and activities by students, alumni, and faculty of the UNT composition program. Items are listed in reverse chronological order and may be filtered using the menus below:

  • Landscape Series: 1 by alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) is one of five works selected (out of 288 submissions from composers in 36 countries) as a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Gaudeamus Award in Composition. His work will receive a performance at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2017, at which time the award winner will be announced.

  • Alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University, beginning in the fall of 2017.

  • Alumnus composer Ben Johansen (PhD 2012) has been appointed Lecturer in Composition/Music Technology at Baylor University, beginning in the fall of 2017.

  • Doctoral composer Zach Thomas's composition efflux was selected from among more than 1100 submissions for performance at the Mise-En Music Festival 2017 in New York City, 20-25 June 2017.

  • Nothing in the Nothingness, an opera by alumnus composer Daniel Zajicek, was one of eight works selected for performance in Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers 2017 program on 4-5 May 2017. As part of the performance, Daniel and his librettist, John Grimmett, will be in residence at Fort Worth Opera for a week of rehearsals and workshopping.

  • Eight UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2017 Conference at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, 20-22 April 2017: faculty composers Andrew May and Jon Nelson; student composers Miguel Espinel, Timothy Harenda and Michael Smith; and alumni composers Elainie Lillios, Jon Anderson, and Eli Fieldsteel. Also performing at the conference is faculty flutist Elizabeth McNutt.

  • Graduate composers Michael Smith, Jacob Thiede, Bihe Wen, and Jinghong Zhang will have works presented and performed at the National Student Electronic Music Event (NSEME 2017), 10-11 March 2017 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Faculty Composer Andrew May’s composition Abstraction with Reference has been selected for performance on 10 March 2017 in the Open Space Festival of New Music at the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO).

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was recently selected as a composer fellow for the 2017 Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong. Daniel will be working in collaboration with Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, co-founder/associate artistic director of the New York Festival of Song, Michael Barrett, acclaimed tenor Jonathan Blalock, and internationally renowned composer and artistic director of IC 2017 Bright Sheng on performances of his cycle, Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016).

  • Electroacoustic works Contemplating Larry by alumna composer Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) and Regression by graduate composer Bihe Wen were two of thirteen prizewinners selected from a pool of 109 composers from 25 different countries in the Concours de Composition Acousmatique Métamorphoses 2016. The prizewinning works are included on the CD recording Métamorphoses 2016, released in February 2017.

  • Doctoral composer Michael Smith has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Composer Commission Competition for his work Ictus.

  • Faculty composer Joseph Klein has been named as one of two 2016-17 Faculty Fellows from the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Klein will use his fellowship in the spring of 2017 to complete his large-scale modular chamber work, An Unaware Cosmos, to be premiered at UNT in January 2018.

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer has been selected as one of three finalists in the Lyra Society's Costello Competition for Composition for his solo harp piece Night in Arcturus Stream. As a finalist, Shafer will compose a new work for solo harp with a chance to win a $1000 prize, a world premiere at the Curtis Institute of Music's Field Concert Hall in May 2017, and a publishing contract with Fatrock Ink Music Publishers.

  • Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016) by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was premiered on 28 November 2016 at Romania's Festivalul Internațional Craiova Muzicală, commissioned and premiered by soprano Veronica Anușca and pianist Mihai Murariu.

  • Guitar Construction #2: Progressive Fracture, a work by alumnus composer Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009), was selected for performance at several venues in 2016, including the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (13-19 June), the VU Symposium (Park City, UT, 5-7 July), Sound and Music Computing Conference (Hamburg, Germany, 31 August - 3 September), Electronic Music Midwest (Chicago, IL, 13-15 October), and Diffrazioni Multimedia Festival (Florence, Italy, 21-27 November).

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was one of three winners of the 2017 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. Daniel will receive a $1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that the choral ensemble The Esoterics will premiere at the POLYPHONOS Concert in October of 2017. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

  • Andrew May's Ada for electric violin and computer was one of nine works (out of 114 submissions) selected for the 2016 SEAMUS Interactions CD.

  • Graduate composer Bihe Wen's composition Regression was selected as a finalist in MÉTAMORPHOSES 2016. The program will take place on 19 October 2016, during the international festival "L'ESPACE DU SON" in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Graduate composer Christopher Poovey will have his piece Dripstone, for baritone saxophone and stereo fixed media,​ performed on 15 October 2016 at the Jayu Theater in the Seoul Arts Center as part of the 2016 Seoul International Computer Music Festival.

  • Doctoral composer Michael Smith has recently had his work Ictus (2-channel fixed media) selected for performance at numerous events in 2016, including the Bowling Green Graduate Student Conference, the National Student Electronic Music Event (N_SEME), Electronic Music Midwest (EMM), Ars Electronica @ Forum Wallis, and at the Open Circuit Electronic Music and Video Art Showcase, where he was selected as a finalist in their electroacoustic competition.