Vanguard brings Grammy-winners to UO

The Roomful of Teeth ensemble.

January 13, 2016—In Jan. and Feb. of 2016, the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance will offer Willamette Valley music-lovers the Vanguard Workshop and Concert Series, an opportunity to hear many of today's most highly acclaimed artists in contemporary music, performing locally and for low admission charges.

The Grammy-winning soprano Estelí Gomez will headline the festival, continuing her ongoing collaboration with festival founder and director Robert Kyr. Tickets for most paid events are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office at MacArthur Court, 541-346-4363.

Kyr is also the UO’s Philip H. Knight Professor of Music and head of the UO’s composition area.

"We are thrilled that Estelí is returning for her fourth residency with the Oregon Composers Forum,” says Kyr. “She is truly a member of our artistic community, both as a performer, and as a remarkable teacher and mentor who has inspired our students to create an entire repertoire of vocal chamber music—over thirty pieces for her as of 2016!"

"This year we are also extremely fortunate to have Roomful of Teeth at the UO during their West Coast Tour,” Kyr enthused. “They will do a one-day residency at the university, which will feature a reading session of six pieces composed for the ensemble by our students and a concert for our entire community.”

Esteli GomezPraised for her "clear, bright voice" (The New York Times) and "artistry that belies her young years" (Kansas City Metropolis), festival headliner Gomez is quickly gaining recognition as an inspired interpreter of early and contemporary repertoires. In January 2014, she was awarded a Grammy with the contemporary octet Roomful of Teeth for best chamber music/small ensemble performance, which has also been nominated for a Grammy in 2016 in the same category. In November 2011, she received first prize in the prestigious Canticum Gaudium International Early Music Vocal Competition in Poznan, Poland.

Gomez appears on Conspirare’s CD of Kyr’s “Songs of the Soul” and “The Cloud of Unknowing” (Harmonia Mundi). She currently travels and performs full-time, and is frequently an artist-in-residence in the composition area of the UO School of Music and Dance, as well as the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium in 2016.

“Both Estelí and Roomful of Teeth are featured on the Vanguard Workshop and Concert Series, which is structured as part of the UO’s composition curriculum,” notes Kyr. “All of the artists on this series, which I have directed since 1992, perform music created for them by our students, either in readings or in public performance.”

“This is a unique feature of the UO’s composition program, which offers young composers the opportunity to develop their art through creative interaction with performers of the highest caliber as an essential part of their education," Kyr concluded.

Festival Schedule

Wednesday, January 20
Estelí Gomez, Soprano
“Vocal Music Today: Eight Premieres by UO Composers”

8 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
$10 general admission, $8 students and seniors 
Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office, 541-346-4363. In advance of the Sunday, January 31 concert with her ensemble Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning soprano Gomez will present a recital in Beall Concert Hall of eight works composed especially for her by eight UO composers: Izabel Austin, Dan Daly, Emily Korzeniewski, Rebecca Larkin, Tao Li, Martin Quiroga, Aidan Ramsay, and Ramsey Sadaka. She will mentor these composers in a ten-day residency at the university, prior to her concert engagements of this repertoire at the UO and in Portland.

Tuesday, January 26
Oregon Composers Forum
“New Music for a New Year: Twelve Premieres”

7:30 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
Free admission
This free concert of the Oregon Composers Forum series will feature premieres of contemporary chamber music by ten UO composers: Izabel Austin, Alexander Bean, Tim Bloch, Makenna Carrico, Dan Daly, Michael Dekovich, Benjamin Penwell, Martin Quiroga, Aidan Ramsey, and Stephen Rawson.

Sunday, January 31
Roomful of Teeth
“Vocal Soundscapes, New Journeys”

7:30 p.m., Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
$10 general admission, $8 students and seniors
Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office, 541-346-4363. The hip, Grammy-winning vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, will present its West Coast Tour program--not to be missed! The ensemble features soprano Estelí Gomez among its nine members, who are dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions around the world, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques, and through an ongoing commissioning process, it forges a new repertoire without borders. The band gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts, where the singers have studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing with some of the world’s top performers and teachers. Roomful of Teeth won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2014 and has been nominated again this year in the same category for its latest incredible, ground-breaking recording, "Render."

Thursday, February 18

7:30 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
Free admission
Part of the UO Vanguard Concert Series for new and emerging artists.

Tuesday, February 23
Oregon Composers Forum

7:30 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
Free admission
This free concert of the Oregon Composers Forum concert series will feature premieres by undergraduate and graduate UO composers.