new music festival

19th Annual New Music Festival: The Composer-Improviser in the 21st Century
Dr. Pamela Madsen, Artistic Director
February 26-March 1, 2020


Brightwork newmusic

Wednesday, February 26 at 8pm
Meng Concert Hall

Tickets: $10 / $8 Titan Discount


Mathew Rosenblum: Falling
Eric Moe: They Sang But Had Nor Human Tunes Nor Human Words
Federico Garcia-De Castro: Un re in ascolto ii
Pamela Madsen:  From Oratorio for the Earth: The Consecrating Mother, Journey to the Land of the Moon
Chris Cerrone: The Night Mare BWNM with CSUF New Music Ensemble 


Brightwork Ensemble: Sara Andon, flute; Yuri Inoo, Percussion; Aron Kallay, piano; Brian Walsh, clarinet; Maggie Parkins, cello; Sarah Thornblade, violin
Special Guests:  Anthony Parnther, conductor; Mak Grgic, guitar; Dustin Donahue, percussion; Stacey Frasier, voice; Faith Jensen-Ismay, dance

Brightwork newmusic was founded in 2013 by pianist Aron Kallay. The mission of the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation is to enliven and expand contemporary classical music with a focus on West Coast composers and performers. The members of our in-house ensemble, Brightwork, are among the best chamber musicians in the world. The ensemble strives to find new and exciting ways to connect with audiences in the United States and abroad by presenting friendly and exciting concerts in both traditional and non-traditional spaces. Our flagship concert series Tuesday @ Monk Space presents world-class musicians along with the most promising up-and-coming local, national, and international musicians. Through our educational outreach program, Project Beacon, we work closely with young musicians and composers across Southern California. Our goal is to empower the next generation of artists through residencies with youth orchestras and universities, student composer readings, masterclasses, and workshops

with Kinds of Kings 

Thursday, February 27 at 8pm
Meng Concert Hall

Susanna Hancock-Hiatus (2019)

Cassie Wieland: Gossamer (2019)

Maria Kaoutzan-A Shore to a Shore (2019)

Shelley Washington-Big Talk (2016)

Gemma Peacocke-Dwalm (2018)

Pauline Oliveros-Thirteen Changes (1986)

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kinds of kings

~Nois is a Chicago-based saxophone quartet that defies categorization by working between the boundary of contemporary classical music and experimental improvisation. Founded in 2016, ~Nois (pronounced "noise") has quickly emerged as one of the premier young ensembles in the United States. Known for their “masterclass-level demonstrations of precise articulations and glowing legatos” (I Care if You Listen), “truly innovative musicianship,” and “raw creativity” (Cacophony Magazine), ~Nois has been awarded prizes at prestigious chamber music competitions including the Second Prize in the Open Division of the 2018 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition and the Silver Medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

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Founded in 2017, US-based composer collective Kinds of Kings is a group of four multifaceted composers committed to building a positive and supportive community around the creation and experience of new music. The collective is focussed on amplifying and advocating for the voices of historically-marginalized people and producing immersive and inclusive work.

Kinds of Kings is Gemma Peacocke (New Zealand/Brooklyn NY), Shelley Washington (United States/Princeton NJ), Maria Kaoutzani (Cyprus/Chicago IL), and Susanna Hancock (United States/Lexington KY). 

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New Music Ensemble

with Anthony Davis
guest composer-improviser in residence

Friday, February 28 at 8pm
Meng Concert Hall

Anthony Davis: You have the Right to Remain Silent, Of Blues and Dreams 

Anthony Braxton: #56

Meredith Monk: Earth Seen from Above from ATLAS

Oliveros: Approaches and Departures 

Pamela Madsen: Big Basin: Song of the Redwood Trees/A California Song! (2012/2020) 

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new music ensemble

Opera News has called Anthony Davis, “A National Treasure,” for his pioneering work in opera.  His music has made an important contribution not only in opera, but in chamber, choral and orchestral music. He has been on the cutting edge of improvised music and Jazz for over four decades. Anthony Davis continues to explore new avenues of expression while retaining a distinctly original voice. Mr. Davis has composed eight operas.X: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X with a libretto by Thulani Davis, had its world premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986. A recording of the opera was released in 1992 on the Gramavision label and earned a Grammy nomination for music composition. UNDER THE DOUBLE MOON, with a libretto by Deborah Atherton, premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 1989 and TANIA, an opera based on the kidnapping of Patty Hearst with a libretto by Michael John La Chiusa, premiered at the American Music Theater Festival. A new opera THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE based on the trial and tribulations of the Central Park Five with a libretto by Richard Wesley was performed on June 15, 22 & 23rd 2019 with Long Beach Opera at the Warner Grand Theater in Los Angeles.      As a pianist, Anthony Davis continues to perform in solo piano concerts in the United States and Europe. He has also performed in duo with bassist Mark Dresser, trumpet master Wadada Leo Smith and flautist Nicole Mitchell. He has appeared as a regular member of the Golden Quartet nd Quintet with Wadada Leo Smith including the recordings Ten Freedom Summers and America’s National Parks.

CSUF New Music Ensemble, under the direction of  Dr. Pamela Madsen  focuses on the instruction in the techniques of contemporary concert music, and preparation of small group performances of contemporary instrumental, vocal and electroacoustic chamber music literature from the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. We study and perform a wide range of repertoire from the contemporary period: from, experimental, atonal, to extended tonal, minimalism, post-minimalism, post-modernism to multi-media collaboration, film music, deep listening and improvisational forms in an attempt to explore both the repertoire and performance practice in New Music. Students improve through rehearsal, learning new techniques and through engagement with guest composers and performers and practice strategies to develop critical evaluation of their own performances. Weekly rehearsal and coaching sessions are set up for each individual small chamber music group on a to be determined basis. At times, the chamber music group members themselves will be asked to create, arrange, or improvise scores, and engage in improvisatory practices.

Composer/Improviser Symposium

Curated by Charles Sharp

Saturday, February 29 from 11am-6pm
Recital Hall

with guest artists The Present Quartet,
CSUF Improvisation Group,
and Festival Guest Artists, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, and Michael Dessen

11 AM CSUF Deep Listening Ensemble 

12 PM CSUF Improvisation Group

1 PM Lunch Break

2 PM The Present Quartet

3 PM Michael Dessen

3:45 PM Coffee Break

4 PM Mark Dresser 

4:45 PM Anthony Davis 

composer forum

The Present Quartet: Ellen Burr, Anne LeBaron, Jeff Scwhartz, and Charles Sharp spontaneously and collaboratively compose music as the Present Quartet. Their collective resume is an encyclopedia of creative music, from Muhal Richard Abrams, Derek Bailey, Karen Borca, Bobby Bradford, Glenn Branca, and Anthony Braxton through Andrea Centazzo, Vinny Golia, Peter Kowald, Don Preston, Adam Rudolph, and onwards, with supplements for work in contemporary and traditional classical music, rock, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic music. Their musical work beyond performance encompasses composition, teaching, writing, radio DJing, and concert production. 

anthony davis

Anthony Davis, composer, pianist

with guest artists Mark Dresser, bass
and Michael Dessen, trombone
Saturday, February 29th 8pm | Meng Concert Hall


Maelstrom 1 & 2 (2015) Anthony Davis & Mark Dresser

Whose Life? (1983) Anthony Davis & Mark Dresser

Lady of the Mirrors (1979) Michael Dessen, Anthony Davis & Mark Dresser

Goddess Variations (2005) Solo Piano

The Central Park Five Suite Michael Dessen, Mark Dresser & Anthony Davis

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University Symphony Orchestra  

with Guest Concertmaster Aimèe Kresto

Sunday, March 1 at 3pm
Meng Concert Hall

Copland: Fanfare for a Common Man
Artie Shaw: Concerto for Clarinet
Leonard Bernstein: On the Town (Three Dance Episodes)
Brahms: Symphony no. 1

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symphony orchestra

The University Symphony Orchestra, directed by    Kimo Furumoto , is dedicated to the training of outstanding instrumentalists in the performance of a wide range of styles in the orchestral repertoire. They have performed with national and international artists, from Composer-Conductor Rob Kapilow and his "What Makes It Great?" series at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Richard Stoltzman to Deborah Voigt, and in addition to their regular concert series, the orchestra collaborates with university choruses, Opera Theatre, CSUF faculty-artists, internationally renowned guest artists and local performing arts groups. Students are regularly presented with numerous opportunities to study orchestral repertoire in master class settings with faculty artists, regional professional orchestra musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra as well as internationally acclaimed performers and teachers including Yo-yo Ma, Talich Quartet, Fredell Lack, the Turtle Island String Quartet, St. Petersburg Quartet and many others.