New Music Café to Feature Guest, Faculty, Alumni and Student Talent

March 5, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music will present a New Music Café concert on Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. at Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington). The concert is free and open to the public.

The New Music Café, as part of IWU’s New Music series, invites faculty and guest composers to share their work with the IWU community. This year’s featured composers include Bloomington native Edward Breitweiser; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign doctoral composer, who has taught recently at IWU, William Pearson; and IWU adjunct music instructor Kyle Shaw.

Breitweiser, returning to IWU for another New Music Café, specializes in electronic-based music, using laptops and self-made electronic devices to innovate new sounds for his compositions. His work has been featured locally, such as at the Illinois State University Galleries, as well as internationally at the Festival MusicAlp in France and the Network Music Festival in the United Kingdom. For the New Music Café, Breitweiser will narrate his work “Meditation: 2017.01.23-31,” performed by associate professor of Music Ilia Radoslavov and several IWU School of Music students: Daria Dodonova ’21 (violin), Kira Gurovich ’21 (cello), Katy Holub ’20 (percussion), Bailey Knowles ’19 (viola), Robby Kuntz ’18 (percussion) and Isabella Lu ’19 (violin).

Pearson is a composer, organist and teacher, who is currently finishing his DMA at the University of Illinois. Throughout his career, he has received numerous honors, including: a Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, a Presser Award, a Howard Hanson Scholarship, a Fay Stinson Craighead Memorial Award, and a Music and Performing Arts Fellowship at UIUC. Pearson will present “You can be oblivious to the sound for a long while,” a composition for piano and horn.

Shaw, an acoustic and electro-acoustic composer, has presented his work at SPLICE Institute, Electronic Music Midwest and the SEAMUS conference, among other events. His accolades include: Belvedere Chamber Music Festival Composition prize winner, finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and recipient of a Barlow Endowment commission. He and his wife Tess will perform his piano composition, entitled “Overcoming the Beast.”

Several pieces will also highlight the musical talents of IWU alumni: Jamie-Rose Guarrine ’00, who previously taught at IWU; her husband, cellist Karl Knapp ’00; bass-baritone Seth Keeton ’98; and pianist Robert Elfline ’97

For more information about the IWU New Music Series and the New Music Café, please contact Fern Rosetta Sherff professor of music David Vayo, Series coordinator at

By Rachel McCarthy '21