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Miller Theatre Presents Composer Portrait of Rand Steiger Tonight

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2013-14 Composer Portraits series with electronic music innovator RAND STEIGER, featuring: Peter Evans, trumpet; MILLER PUCKETTE and RAND STEIGER, electronics; INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE; and STEVEN SCHICK, conductor.

The concert is set for tonight, November 7, 2013, 8:00 p.m. at the Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $20-$30 • Students with valid ID: $12-$18.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "I am very excited to be able to present the music of visionary composer Rand Steiger as part of this season's Composer Portraits series. As a veteran of the computer music scene, Steiger's masterful understanding of composition for both orchestral and electronic instruments has led him to create a body of work that is simultaneously enchanting and thought-provoking. Miller Theatre is especially grateful for the opportunity to present the world premiere of Steiger's Coalescense Cycle, which, when played by the remarkably talented International Contemporary Ensemble, is sure to make for a truly memorable evening."

Miller Theatre's "ever-intriguing" (The New Yorker) signature series continues to celebrate the best contemporary composers from around the globe-emerging and established-with evening-length musical profiles. This season, all seven composers will participate in onstage discussions during their Portraits.

Currently composer-in-residence at San Diego's Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology), Rand Steiger has been fascinated by the intersection of classical music and technology throughout his career. A former resident artist at IRCAM, Steiger is particularly interested in combining live orchestral instruments and real-time electronics. His new set of works for ICE includes six pieces, each featuring different instruments from the ensemble paired with electronics.

Though Steiger has resided in California for 33 years, he has local roots here in New York City. He grew up in Queens, attended the High School of Music and Art, and later the Manhattan School of Music. This Miller Theatre Composer Portrait is a homecoming of sorts for him.

Composer Portraits
Thursday, November 7, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Rand Steiger
?Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th street)

Coalescence Cycle (2012/13) - world premiere
Cyclone, for clarinet and electronics
Concatenation, for bassoon and electronics
Light on Water, for flute, piano, and electronics
Template for Improvising Trumpeter and Ensemble
Joust, for flute, bassoon, and electronics
Coalescence, for 13 instruments and electronics

Peter Evans, trumpet
Miller Puckette and Rand Steiger, electronics
International Contemporary Ensemble
Steven Schick, conductor

Rand Steiger: Rand Steiger's music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, Ensemble Intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, NYNME, Prism Quartet, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Southbank Sinfonia, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Talea Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Composer Fellow. Soloists he has composed for include Matthew Barley, Maya Beiser, Claire Chase, Daniel Druckman, Alan Feinberg, George Lewis, Susan Narucki, and Steven Schick.

Throughout his career, Steiger has been deeply involved in computer music research. He has held three residencies at IRCAM, and has enjoyed a long fruitful collaboration with Miller Puckette, the leading computer music researcher of his generation. Steiger is currently Composer-in-Residence at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Many of Steiger's works combine orchestral instruments with real-time digital audio signal processing and spatialization. They also propose a hybrid approach to just and equal-tempered tuning, exploring the delicate perceptual cusp between a harmony and a timbre that occurs when tones are precisely tuned. Some examples of works deploying these techniques include: Ecosphere, developed during residencies at Ircam and premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; Résonateur, composed for the Ensemble Sospeso to commemorate the 80th birthday of Pierre Boulez; Traversing, written for cellist Mathew Barley and the Southbank Sinfonia; and Cryosphere, premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York.

He is currently working on the Coalescence Cycle, a set of new works for instruments and electronics to be premiered in New York by the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2013, followed by the Earth Cycle for orchestra and electronics to be premiered by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2014.

Steiger is also active as a conductor specializing of contemporary works. He has conducted the Arditti Quartet, Aspen Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, La Jolla Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New York New Music Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (Switzerland), and the California EAR Unit, of which he was the founding artistic director. Among his recordings as conductor are operas by Hilda Paredes and Anthony Davis, and works by Abrams, Carter, LeBaron, Lewis, Osborn, Reynolds, Stockhausen, Subotnick, Xenakis and Wadada Leo Smith. He has also conducted many premieres, including works of Andriessen, Babbitt, Boulez, Brant, Carter, Ferneyhough, Harvey, Kernis, LeBaron, Newton, Nono, Read-Thomas, Reynolds, Riley, Rudders, Rzewski, Saariaho, Scelsi, Subotnick, Wolfe, Takemitsu, Tavener, and Tuur.

His compositions and performances are recorded on the Centaur, CRI, Crystal, Einstein, EMF, Koch, Mode, New Albion, New Dynamic, New World and Nonesuch labels. A new portrait CD will be released by the Talea Ensemble on New World in 2013.

After serving on the Faculty of California Institute of the Arts from 1982 through 1987, Steiger joined the Music Department at U.C. San Diego. In 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.

International Contemporary Ensemble: The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as "one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music," is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century.

Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions, the majority of these new works by emerging composers, in venues ranging from alternate spaces to concert halls around the world. The ensemble received the American Music Center's Trailblazer Award in 2010 for its contributions to the field, and received the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming in 2005 and in 2010. ICE is Ensemble-in-Residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through 2013. The ICE musicians also serve as Artists-in-Residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival of Lincoln Center through 2013, curating and performing chamber music programs that juxtapose new and old music.

ICE has released acclaimed albums on the Nonesuch, Kairos, Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik, New Focus, and New Amsterdam labels, with several forthcoming releases on Mode Records. Recent and upcoming highlights include headline performances at the Lincoln Center Festival, Musica Nova Helsinki, Wien Modern, Acht Brücken Music for Cologne, La Cité de la Musique (Paris), and tours of Japan, Brazil and France. ICE has worked closely with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Matthias Pintscher, John Adams, and Susanna Mälkki.

With leading support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICE launched ICElab in early 2011. This new program places teams of ICE musicians in close collaboration with six emerging composers each year to develop works that push the boundaries of musical exploration. ICElab projects will be featured in more than one hundred performances from 2011-2014 and documented online through DigitICE, a new online venue, and ICE's blog.

ICE's commitment to build a diverse, engaged audience for the music of our time has inspired The Listening Room, a new educational initiative for public schools without in-house arts curricula. Using team-based composition and graphic notation, ICE musicians lead students in the creation of new musical works, nurturing collaborative creative skills and building an appreciation for musical experimentation.

Steven Schick: Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For thirty-five years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, "red fish blue fish."

Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of "Roots and Rhizomes," a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Among his acclaimed publications are a book, "The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams," and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

Composer Portraits Series: Single tickets: $20-$35 • Series season tickets: $66-$98 for any four concerts; $116-$172 for all seven. All concerts begin at 8:00 PM.


Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977)
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Roger Reynolds (b. 1934)
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unsuk Chin (b. 1961)
Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jean-Baptiste Barrière (b. 1958)
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Liza Lim (b. 1966)
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall. Directions and information is available online at or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.

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