The project, which began in 1967 by Professor Emeritus Conrad De Jong, is the longest standing program of its kind within the United States, putting a national spotlight on the UW-RF Music Department. Every year, the student members of the Commissioned Composer Project select and commission a composer to write a piece of music for the student body, and arranges for that composer to come to the campus in the spring to interact with the students and take part in the premiere performance of that work.
Conrad De Jong is a highly acclaimed and accomplished composer of international renown. He has 30 published commissions to his credit and, since 1970, has received annual awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. In 1980 he was a featured composer at New Music America. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Town Hall in New York City, and on the Today Show. Internationally, his works have been performed in Canada, South America, Europe, Australia and Japan. One of his numerous commissions, Variations on the Spanish LaFolia, has been recorded by the Dorian Wind Quintet on its Summit Records CD, American Premiers.
As a teacher, he was especially proud of his students' work in composition and their performances with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls New Music Ensemble. He also takes great personal gratification from the establishment and continuation of the UW-RF Commissioned Composer Program.
Fang Man is a Chinese-born composer who resides in Irmo, South Carolina where she is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina. She previously held positions as a Composer-in-Residence and Assistant Professor of Music at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University, where she taught a graduate seminar on the music of Toru Takemitsu and Witold Lutoslawski. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts Degree and her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Cornell University. She was chosen to participate in the one-year Computer Music and Composition courses at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), Centre Pompidou, (Paris) where she studied composition.
Fang Man's original concert music has been performed worldwide by notable orchestras and ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra New Music Group under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestre de Lorraine (France), Minnesota Orchestra, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Music from China, among others.
She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, koussevitzky Foundation Commission, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Association Commission, an Underwood/ACO New Music Commission, Toru Takemitsu Award (Japan), Dolce Suono Ensemble Mahler-Schoenberg Project Commission, Prism Saxophone Quartet/Music From China Commission, Meet the Composer Commission, Bank of America Gallery Commission, the Darmstadt Stipend-Prize-Award, SACEM Scholarship (France), Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship, Centre Acanthes Bursary Award, Music from China Award, Olin and Sage Fellowships (Cornell University), Cecil Effinger Fellowships (University of Colorado- Boulder), AMC Composers Assistant Grant, ASCA Plus Award, among others. Her music has been performed at Carnegie Hall (New york), Walt Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Espace de Projection of IRCAM-Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Friedberg Concert Hall (Baltimore), Miller Theater of Columbia University (New York), Bank of America Tower (Seattle), Merkin Concert Hall (New York), Beijing Concert Hall, etc.
Fang Man is a member of the ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and the American Music Center.
47 Years of Commissioned Composers
2013 Fang Man
2012 Cort Lippe ~ Music for Octet and Computer
2011 Conrad DeJong ~ EARTHSONGS II
2010 Michael Colgrass ~ ZULULAND
2009 Julia Wolfe ~ GUARD MY TONGUE
2008 Mark Melllits ~ PRIME
2007 Lars Jansson ~ RIVER FALLS SUITE
2006 John Luther Adams ~ ...AND BELLS REMEMBERED...
2005 Stephen Paulus ~ JUBILATE!
2004 Michael Torke ~ FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
2003 Christian Wolff ~ PEACE MARCH 9
2002 Anthony Braxton ~ COMPOSITION NO. 307
2001 Pauline Oliveros ~ SOUND PATTERNS AND TROPES
2000 Jared Spears ~ LEGACY
1999 Judith Lang Zaimont ~ PARALLEL PLAY
1998 Fred Sturm ~ RIVERSCAPE
1997 Joseph Turrin ~ SOUNDINGS
1996 Conrad De Jong ~ EARTH SONGS
1995 Jennifer Higdon ~ WILD MAN DANCES
1994 David Revill ~ ORENDA
1993 James Fritschel ~ COME LET US SOUND WITH MELODY
1992 Lois V. Vierk ~ PLAIN OF SIX GLACIERS
1991 Mary Ellen Childs ~ IN EACH OTHER'S PRESENCE
1990 Joel Chadabe ~ JAM
1989 John Zorn ~ RUAN LINQYU
1988 Libby Larson ~ BAC
1987 Morton Feldman ~ FOR STEFAN WOLPE
1986 Harold Budd ~ ODD ANTHEMS AND STILL ROOMS
1985 Irwin Bazelon ~ FOURSCORE
1984 Fisher Tull ~ QUODLIBET
1983 Frederic Rzewski ~ SATYRICA
1982 Sydney Hodkinson ~ ALTE LIEBESLIEDER (Book III)
1981 Stephan Chatman ~ SCREAMS AND WHIMPERS
1980 Edwin London ~ PSALM OF THESE DAYS V
1979 Barbara Kolb ~ CHROMATIC FANTASY
1978 Richard Felciano ~ THE SEASONS
1977 John Cage ~ QUARTET
1976 Leslie Bassett ~ WIND MUSIC
1975 Henry Brant ~ A PLAN OF THE AIR
1974 William Albright ~ INTRODUCTION, PASSACAGLIA, AND RONDO CAPRICCIOSO
1973 Stephen Chambers ~ SKETCHY BLUE BOP AND TONE PRAYERS
1972 Mel Powell ~ SETTING
1971 Barney Childs ~ WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM'D
1970 Ross Lee Finney ~ THE REMORSELESS RUSH OF TIME
1969 Chou Wen-Chung ~ YUN
1968 Donald Erb ~ THREE PIECES
1967 Vincent Persichetti ~ CELEBRATION
Conrad De Jong, composer and professor emeritus, initiated the commissioned composer event in 1967 at the school's Spring Fine Arts Festival. De Jong's intention from the beginning was to ensure that contemporary trends in American music would become part of the repertoire of River Falls music students.
For more information. See the article" Bravo Maestro!" by Kevin Bertelsen, Director of Publications at UW-River Falls.
Several UWRF Commissioned Composers have been featured on the Minnesota Public Radio program American Mavericks.