UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
The Commissioned Composer Project, begun in 1967 by Professor Emeritus Conrad De Jong, is the longest standing program of its kind in the United States, putting a national spotlight on the UW-River Falls Music Department. Each year, 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 UWRF Commissioned Composer Program.
UW-River Falls hosts the longest running collegiate Commissioned Composer Project in the US. Founded by Conrad De Jong, we celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 with Amy Williams, composer.
Students participate in all aspects of the Commissioned Composer Project. Guided by adviser Patti Cudd, the composers visit campus and share a new work created for the UWRF Music Department. Students of this organization meet on a regular basis to plan, prepare, and host the week-long residency in spring semester. Join this group of creative thinkers who make a difference in the world of music.
The University of Wisconsin - River Falls welcomes composer and veena virtuoso Nirmala Rajasekar to Abbott Concert Hall in the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. for UWRF's 54th Commissioned Composer Concert. The concert is free and open to the public. Rajasekar is on campus March 17 - 19, 2020, for a three-day residency. She will also present a Commissioned Composer lecture-presentation on March 19 at 3:00 PM, in Kleinpell Fine Arts 129, where she will discuss her new composition.
Nirmala Rajasekar began her training in veena at age 6 in Chennai from well known practitioners such as Sri Deva Kottai Narayana Iyengar and Smt. Kamala Aswathama. After moving to Bangalore, she learned at the Gana Mandira School in Basavangudi Smt. G Chennama and Smt. E. P. Alamelu.??
She began her career as a soloist at age 13. Later in Chennai, she was guided by the revered veena vidushi the late Smt.Kalpakam Swaminathan. Nirmala has trained with her for nearly 30 years.Her vocal Gurus are Sri B.Sitarama Sarma and Prof T.R. Subramanyam.?? Her music has been described as 'Sublime', 'creative and innovative yet seeped in traditional values', ' masterful and soulful'.
Nirmala has performed in many world renowned venues such as the United Nations and Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA; Ted Mann concert Hall, Minneapolis, MN; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN; BBC, London, England; Kongresshaus, Zurich, Switzerland; Musee Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland; Bali, Indonesia; Music Academy, Chennai, India; Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, India; Chembur Fine Arts, Mumbai, India; Bangalore Gayana Samaja, India and the Ravindra Kalakshethra, Bangalore, India.
She is the artistic director of the school Naadha Rasa (Essence of Tone), Center for Music. Performances of her ensemble have been seen and heard at many venues in the USA and on radio and television. Nirmala travels around the world teaching and performing Carnatic Music vocally and on her veena She is an active collaborator and has written and performed with many disciplines including western classical music, jazz, chinese music, poetry and dance. Several awards and honors have been given to Nirmala as recognition for her many contributions to the music world and passionate spreading of the veena and Carnatic music.
FFI: Nirmala Rajasekar
2020 Nirmala Rajasekar
2019 Alan Ferber
2018 Young Jo Lee
2017 Jocelyn Hagen ~CROWN OF WEEDS
2016 Amy Williams ~ MISE-EN-SCENE
2015 Mark Applebaum ~ CLICKTRACK
2014 Guy Klucevsek ~ LITTLE BIG TOP (SUITE)
2013 Fang Man ~ CONCERTO FOR PIANO, PERCUSSION AND WIND INSTRUMENTS
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 UW-River Falls music students.
For more information, view "Bravo Maestro!"
UW-River Falls is celebrating the 53rd year of the Commissioned Composer Project by hosting Nirmala Rajasekar for a three-day residency March 17-19. The 54th Commissioned Composer Concert is Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Abbott Concert Hall in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. The public is invited to attend this free concert.