Contemporary Music Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary

November 2 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State University department of music will present its 40th Contemporary Music Festival Nov. 8-10.

Augusta Read Thomas
The premier event of its kind in the United States, the ISU Contemporary Music Festival attracts an audience from throughout the world. With the exception of the Louisville Orchestra concert Nov. 10, all events are free and open to the public.

This year's principal guest composer will be Augusta Read Thomas. Other guests include The Louisville Orchestra, composer Karim Al-Zand and The Callisto Ensemble.

Read Thomas has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997 and, until 2008, Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, on which she has served for the past five years. This year Thomas resigned from her position as the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University to devote her time exclusively to composition. At the age of 33, she received tenure from the Eastman School. Her work is currently published by G. Schirmer Inc. She studied at Northwestern University, Yale University and at the Royal Academy of Music.

The festival begins with the 40th Anniversary Showcase concert 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 in Tilson Auditorium, featuring ISU student and faculty performers.

The Callisto Ensemble will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 in the Recital Hall of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, located at the corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets.

Callisto Ensemble
Founded in 2003, the Callisto Ensemble erases boundaries between antique and modern music. The ensemble members, violinists Stefan Hersh and Robert Waters, violist Roger Chase, and cellist Julian Hersh, bring contemporary music to life alongside passionate performances of standard masterpieces. The Ensemble released a CD of chamber works of Augusta Read Thomas on the Helicon Label during their 2005-2006 season.

The Callisto Ensemble is also committed to growing and educating a new generation of listeners. Under its program "Callisto for Kids," the ensemble presents inner-city educational concerts that introduce young people to the languages of classical music and provokes students to think about what music and the arts can mean in their lives.

The award-winning Louisville Orchestra, returning for the 20th year as orchestra-in-residence, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 in Tilson Auditorium. The orchestra has received several ASCAP awards and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, among other venues.

Tickets are still available for this concert, which is part of the ISU Convocation Series. Tickets are available from the Hulman Center ticket office. Tickets are $17.50 for the general public and $12.50 for senior citizens and non-ISU students. ISU students are admitted free with a valid student ID. Contact the Hulman Center box office at (812) 237-3737 for more information.

Houston composer Karim Al-Zand will participate in the festival as the Contemporary Music Festival/Louisville Orchestra composition contest winner.

Karim Al-Zand
The Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival/Louisville Orchestra Composition Competition was established to recognize outstanding composers of orchestral music. Al-Zand will be invited to attend a performance of the winning composition by The Louisville Orchestra as part of the festival in addition to speaking about his music.

His composition, "The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad," was influenced by the book "Thousand and One Nights" (or 'Arabian Nights' as it's more popularly known) and the stories of the mythical mariner Sindbad the Sailor.

Al-Zand's music has been performed in the US, Canada and Europe. He has been the recipient of several national awards and prizes, including the prestigious Sackler Composition Prize and the ArtSong Prize. Al-Zand, an assistant professor at Rice University?s Shepard School of Music, is also a founding member and vice-president of Musiqa, Houston's contemporary music group, which presents concerts featuring new and classic repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Other festival activities include a recital by ISU student composers/performers at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 in the Recital Hall, located at the corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets, and sessions with the different festival guests. A Festival Chamber Music Recital will be performed at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10 in the Recital Hall. A panel discussion featuring the festival guests will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 10 in room 159 of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The ISU Contemporary Music Festival gives students a glimpse into the lives of professional composers and performers; to promote the work of up and coming composers; and to present new music to the public. Since 1967, more than 175 established and emerging composers-including 17 winners of the Pulitzer Prize and four winners of the Grawemeyer Award-have participated in the Festival.

For more information, contact the ISU music department at (812) 237-2772 or go to .


Wednesday, Nov. 8

7:30 PM Festival Opening Concert
40th Anniversary Showcase
Tilson Auditorium

Post-concert Reception (all welcome)
Heritage Lounge


Thursday, Nov. 9

9 AM Session: Augusta Read Thomas
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 159

10:30 AM ISU Student Performers/Composers Recital
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Recital Hall

2 PM Session: Karim Al-Zand
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 159

3:30 PM Session: Notion Music Composition and Notation Software
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 159

7:30 PM Concert: Callisto Ensemble
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Recital Hall

Post-concert Reception (all welcome)
Center for Performing and Fine Arts Lobby


Friday, Nov. 10

9 AM Performance Masterclasses with members of Callisto Ensemble
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 150, 159, 161, Recital Hall

10:30 AM Festival Chamber Music Recital
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Recital Hall

2 PM Session: Panel Discussion with Guests
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Room 150

3:30 PM Music Now Recital
Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Recital Hall

6:30 PM Concert Comments
Heritage Ballroom

7:30 PM Concert: The Louisville Orchestra
Tilson Auditorium

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Contact: Kurt Fowler, Contemporary Music Festival Chair, (812) 237-2743, or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783,

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The Indiana State University department of music will present its 40th Contemporary Music Festival Nov. 8-10.

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