Adding to the prestige of the 48th Annual John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium at The University of New Mexico (UNM), the UNM John Donald Robb Musical Trust announces the upcoming 2019 Society of Composers, Inc. National Conference on Mar. 28-31, 2019, as part of the Composer’s Symposium.

Since 2013, Co-Artistic Directors Karola Obermüller and Peter Gilbert – who joined UNM’s Music Department in 2010 to teach composition, and soon took over running the Symposium from its long-time director Chris Shultis – have strived to turn this music festival into a diverse and inclusive endeavor that serves the UNM community as much as the residents of New Mexico. All concerts and events are free and open to the public.

2019 JDR Symposium

The 2019 Symposium will present works by more than 50 national and international composers, including the 2018 John Donald Robb Commission Competition winner, Kyong Mee Choi. A composer, organist, painter, and visual artist, Choi is the recipient of numerous international prizes and honors, and is currently associate professor of Music Composition at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Featured ensembles for the 2019 Symposium include the Arditti Quartet (Irvine Arditti, Ashot Sarkissjan, Ralf Ehlers and Lucas Fels) and Sound Icon.

The Arditti Quartet enjoys a worldwide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th-century music. Many hundreds of string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. Many of these works have left a permanent mark on 20th-century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history.

World premieres of quartets by composers such as Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Harrison Birtwistle, Benjamin Britten, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Chaya Czernowin, Violeta Dinescu, Julio Estrada, Brian Ferneyhough, Dai Fujikura, Sofia Gubaidulina, Giancarlo Guerrero, Jonathan Harvey, Toshio Hosokawa, Liza Lim, Bruno Maderna, Flo Menezes, Isabel Mundry, Olga Neuwirth, Hilda Paredes, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Octavio Vazquez, Jennifer Walshe, and more, show the wide range of music in the Arditti Quartet’s repertoire.

Sound Icon Sound Icon is a Boston-based sinfonietta committed to world-class performances of the most compelling music of the past few decades. As one of only a few American ensembles performing large-scale, avant-garde works, Sound Icon has emerged as a leader in its field, regularly working with the most prominent composers and performers of today. Sound Icon’s pursuits are rooted in the belief that live performances of progressive music should provide an experience unlike any other, and that novel, masterful music continues to be produced by today’s composers.

Led by conductor and artistic director Jeffrey Means, Sound Icon has quickly become established as a leading artistic force in Boston, performing challenging, cutting-edge contemporary repertoire for sinfonietta that is rarely heard live in the United States. Sound Icon has worked with prominent composers such as Pierluigi Billone, Liza Lim, and Salvatore Sciarrino, and many others.

Founded in 2011, Sound Icon has since established relationships with local cultural institutions such as the Boston University Center for New Music, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and Northeastern University, creating cross-institutional collaborations that support truly exciting events. In addition to live concerts, Sound Icon frequently holds workshops with young composers and instrumentalists as part of collaborative academic residencies.

The full Symposium schedule will be available online at Robb Musical Trust and on schedule posters that will be available at the Symposium.

For more information, contact: Eva Lipton-Ormand, program specialist, UNM Robb Trust