School of Music's Jeffery Meyer, Director of Orchestras, conducts and teaches at Alia Musica in Pittsburg

09/22/2013

Contributed by Jenny Stockdale

Jeffery Meyer, Director of Orchestras, conducted and taught at the Alia Musica Conductor's Festival in Pittsburgh, PA in early September. 

Alia Musica was created in 2006 by 11 young Pittsburg-based composers. Since then, it has produced nearly 50 premieres of music by emergent composers of the Pittsburgh area, including both members and guests.

The Conductors Festival as an initiative was inaugurated in 2011, when renowned new-music conductor Cliff Colnot (International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony MusicNOW series) led a field of four emerging conductors, in rehearsals and performances of six Pittsburgh compositions.   The festival was a unique opportunity for both composers and conductors to work with a professional ensemble, build connections, and present their work publicly.  

"I don't know anywhere else in Europe or the U.S., where both areas [composition and conducting] concurrently have been addressed," Colnot said, "It's very powerful."

This year, Meyer was among five conductors from Pittsburgh and abroad, invited by the organization to participate in a week of rehearsals, which culminated in a public concert on Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at PNC Hall (Duquesne University).

Visiting maestros Jeffery Meyer (Ithaca College and St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic) and Walter Morales (Edgewood Symphony, Pittsburgh's Undercroft Opera) were joined by emerging conductors Jacob Kallman (University of Madison-Wisconsin), JJ Pearse (Bowling Green University), and CMU graduate Daniel Curtis (CMU contemporary ensemble).

Commenting on the experience, Meyer said, "This is a unique and interesting contemporary music festival, in the way it endeavors to both bring world premiere performances to audiences in Pittsburgh as well as create an environment where talented young conductors can cut their teeth on new, never-performed works within a supportive mentorship environment." 

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