New Music Cafe to Feature Compositions by Alumni

Oct. 28, 2014

David Wolff '95

Continuing the celebration of the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music’s sesquicentennial, the New Music Café will feature works by alumni composers David Wolff ’95, Peter Gilbert ’98 and Eric Malmquist ’07. The event will be held Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, and all three alumni composers plan to attend.

The program will include: “Fête,” “The Song of Ruth,” “Mutagenesis” and “A Celebratory Farewell” by Wolff; “By the Lonely Traveller’s Call” and “Si doulcement ma fait Amours doloir” (“If one has courage, it is no sorrow to invent songs”) by Gilbert; and “Piano Sonata” by Malmquist.

With works ranging from the experimental to the familiar, the Minnesota-based Wolff draws from classical, jazz, ethnic and popular traditions in his music. The award-winning composer’s works have been performed internationally by a range of ensembles and organizations. In 1995, Wolff founded Deer Grove Press, which offers music copyist and engraving services to a variety of music professionals and organizations.

At Illinois Wesleyan, Wolff earned a bachelor of music in composition. He later earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Peter Gilbert ’98

An internationally recognized artist, Gilbert’s compositions combine traditional instrument writing with elements of improvisation, live-performed electronics and other media. Gilbert, who has held multiple artist residencies, has been honored by the Barlow Foundation, the Russolo Foundation and the Washington International Composers Competition, among others. He is now an assistant professor of composition and a director of the composition program at the University of New Mexico.

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan, Gilbert earned a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a doctoral degree from Harvard University.

Chicago-based composer Malmquist’s work is drawn from modern styles and the influence of historical themes and early music. He is the founder of Singers On New Ground (S O N G), a group of performers dedicated to contemporary American art song by established and emerging American composers. Mamlquist’s compositions have been written for and performed by local and national ensembles, including brass chamber music group Gaudete Brass Quintet, and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. The Chicago Composers Orchestra and The Newberry Consort, an early music ensemble in Chicago, have commissioned his work.

Eric Malmquist '07

After earning a bachelor of music degree in music composition at Illinois Wesleyan, Malmquist earned a master’s degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Faculty performers include Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory David Vayo (piano), Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Robert Mangialardi (baritone), Visiting Assistant Professor Lisa Nelson (viola), Adjunct Faculty Lu Witzig (piano) and Adjunct Faculty Joy Doran (piano). Vayo also directs the New Music Series.

Student performers include: Shaun Schaefers '16 (trumpet), Matt Capone ’18 (trumpet), Adam Wax '18 (horn), Andy Seidel ’15 (bass trombone), Andrew Smelser ’15 (bass clarinet), Joseph Bakke '16 (percussion), Robert Kuntz '18 (percussion), Eric Novak '15 (oboe), Jeremy Gruner '16 (trumpet), Michelle Riechers ’16 (flugelhorn), Keziah Cobden ’17 (horn), Zachary Siegel ’15 (trombone) and Michael Olson ’17 (tuba).

By Tia Patsavas ’16