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Chamber Music America offers support through Classical Commissioning Program

Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals, offers support to U.S.-based classical/contemporary ensembles, presenters and festivals for commissioning American composers to create new chamber works. CMA’s Classical Commissioning Program grants are made for commissioning fees, copying costs and ensemble rehearsal honoraria. Compositions must be written for small ensembles (two to 10 musicians) performing one to a part, and may represent a diverse musical spectrum, including contemporary art music, world music, and works that include electronics. Commission fees range from $5,000 to $20,000. Applicants must be Chamber Music America members at the Organization level. The new composition must be performed by the ensemble a minimum of three times in the U.S. Program guidelines, online application and FAQs can be downloaded at the CMA website, www.chamber-music.org. All CMA grant applications are now submitted online. Submissions must be received no later than Friday, April 1, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information, contact Susan Dadian, program director, CMA Classical/Contemporary (212) 242-2022, ext. 102. The Classical Commissioning Program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund. Via: Chamber Music America

Savvy Musician in ACTION names winners of Arts Venture Challenge and Chamber Showcase

The Savvy Musician in ACTION has announced the winners from its intensive entrepreneurial workshop and Arts Venture Challenge, plus the winner of the Chamber Showcase. Sixty participants from around the country pitched arts-based business ideas, voted on favorites, then formed teams and designed a venture from the ground up to compete for awards on the final day. Attendees completed assignments that examined innovation strategies, business models, competitive research, finance, marketing, and social media, allowing participants to develop transferrable skills directly applicable to their own careers and environments. Multiple art forms – music, dance, theatre, and visual art – were used to teach lessons in success. The teams had three days to develop their product or business and pitch it to three judges – Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Juliana Iarossi, professor at the Darla Moore School of Business, and Philippe Herndon, founder of Caroline Guitar Company. Arts Venture Challenge winners:

  • Top Arts Venture – Janet’s Band: a music hospice program
  • Runner Up and Audience Choice – impromptu: an app to sell discounted unsold event tickets
  • Best Exhibit – Music for Transformation: a music program for prisons
Arts-based businesses developed during the workshop:
  • Musique Unique: live arts experiences for brick and mortar retail stores
  • ARTSploration: mentoring program where high school musicians are paired with professional musicians
  • Wigglebug Box: subscription box of developmental toys for ages 0-3 year
  • Fire It Up!: stage production workshop for musicians
  • Sound Crawl: classical music bar crawl event
  • Musical Passages: a music program for refugee families in Utica, NY
Chamber Ensemble Competition Innovative event design and artistic excellence were the criteria for the Chamber Ensemble Competition, held in conjunction with The Savvy Musician in ACTION. Peter Ferry and Xuan (pictured above) took first place, and Cre.Art Project won second place and audience favorite. Among the prizes are professional management, a USC School of Music residency, and a performance on a Chamber Music America showcase concert in New York City. Michael Harley, artistic director of Southern Exposure New Music Series and coordinator of the chamber competition said, “The duo of Peter Ferry and Xuan, who began working together as students at the Eastman School of Music, represents a new performance paradigm for musician-artist collaboration: one that stretches the definition of "chamber music – what they do might better be called chamber arts.” Ferry is a percussionist who is also well versed in video and other multi-media platforms. Xuan is a video artist who, because of her training as a classical pianist, brings an unusual amount of musical insight to her video designs. Together, they create programs that unite music and video with extraordinary skill, humor and sophistication. Ferry is typically the main performer and Xuan the video designer. However, for a short portion of their prize-winning performance, which included site-specific video created in Columbia, they turned the tables: Xuan played piano, accompanied by a video designed by Ferry. Learn more about The Savvy Musician in ACTION at sc.edu/music/savvy. Learn more about the Chamber Ensemble Competition at sc.edu/music/chambercomp. Via: The Savvy Musician in ACTION

Savvy Musician in ACTION announces finalists of national Chamber Music Competition

Some of the country’s most innovative chamber music ensembles will be in Columbia competing for major prizes during USC’s innovative arts entrepreneurship workshop, The Savvy Musician in ACTION (SMIA). The Chamber Music Competition, sponsored by the University of South Carolina in collaboration with Chamber Music America, is the country’s only major chamber music competition in which the judging criteria includes both artistic excellence and innovative event design. The Chamber Music Showcase concert takes place June 4 during Columbia’s First Thursdays on Main event at Tapp’s Art Center from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The four finalists will compete for prizes including professional management, a NYC showcase concert, and a paid residency at the University of South Carolina. The showcase concert is free to attend. The competition’s four finalists, selected from a large field of applicants, will each play a 25-minute set during the showcase concert. In addition to reimagining the concert experience, the program highlights each group’s stellar musicianship and creative programming. The finalists: Cre.Art Project - Cre.Art Project is a chamber ensemble that works through multidisciplinary interaction gathering musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, writers, designers and acrobats from all over the world to create unique performances. Founded in 2006 by Guillermo Laporta and Tagore González , Cre.Art Project has produced shows at leading venues and festivals across Europe and America with a wide range of productions like the musical London the Show, the multimedia music series Visuality and the opera Noctum. Peter Ferry and Xuan - Peter Ferry, percussion soloist, and Xuan, video artist, redefine the modern duo by transcending the limits of traditional performance and collaboration. Through original interdisciplinary projects involving live video and musical performance, they explore new artistic territory through percussion’s lush sonorities and rhythmic vitality, and film’s intricately constructed animations and beautifully layered imagery, all of which left critics at the Rochester Fringe Festival calling the show “Breathtaking... all that such festivals are supposed to be: funny, boundary-pushing, thought-provoking.” (Democrat and Chronicle) Chicago Q - Named as one of the “leaders of the new school” by Symphony Magazine, Chicago Q Ensemble is a trio of equal creative partners who develop intimate, seamless performance works grounded in contemporary and classical chamber music. Their aesthetic approach is deliberately raw and stripped-down, leaving space for audiences to connect with the performance in a deeply personal way. The ensemble rejects the traditional image of the performer as mere interpreter, striving instead to emphasize individuality, vulnerability and risk-taking. District5 - Specializing in contemporary works and original transcriptions, District5 creates immersive and dramatic shows that depart from the standard concert format. By combining innovation with musical integrity, their imaginative interpretations seek to heighten the audience’s emotional connection to the music. With the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ROTARY Woodwind Quintet already to their credit, this emerging wind quintet continues to produce one-of-a-kind performances.