The Department of Music at the University of California, Davis,
and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
present the Taproot New Music FestivalJanuary
28–February 2, 2020.
Comprised of vocalists Liz Pearse (soprano), Kayleigh Butcher
(mezzo soprano), Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano), and Carrie
Henneman Shaw (soprano), Quince thrives on unique musical
challenges and genre-bending contemporary repertoire.
The twice-Grammy nominated Spektral Quartet actively pursues a
vivid conversation between exhilarating works of the traditional
repertoire and those written this decade, this year, or this
week. Spektral Quartet includes Clara Lyon (violin), Maeve
Feinberg (violin), Doyle Armbrust (viola), and Russell Rolen
UC Davis Music Professor Mika Pelo, director
Ensemble-in-residence at UC Davis, the Empyrean Ensemble presents
engaging, thought-provoking, eclectic programs, enabling
audiences to experience new musical sensations delivered with
high artistry by its seven extraordinary core players—the finest
new music performers in California.
The Taproot New Music Festival is now accepting
applications for participating composers. The festival will take
place on the campus of the University of California, Davis,
during the week of January 27, 2020, and will culminate in
weekend performances (January 28–February 2, 2020). Between six
to eight selected visiting composers will travel to Davis
for the festival, during which they’ll have new pieces performed,
and will participate in seminars and workshops facilitated by the
visiting ensembles and UC Davis composition faculty. The festival
will feature Spektral Quartet and Quince Ensemble as visiting
artists. In addition, two resident ensembles will perform: the
Empyrean Ensemble (Mika Pelo, director) and the UC Davis Symphony
Orchestra (Christian Baldini, music director). The Taproot
New Music Festival is a collaboration between the Robert and
Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and the UC Davis
Department of Music.
The festival provides composers from different backgrounds an
opportunity to create new music, and to work in partnership with
some of the most exciting musicians currently active on the
national scene. We aim to make the festival open and inclusive.
There’s no age limit, no application fee, no charge for tuition,
and our online application process means that composers don’t
have to mail hard copies. African/Black, Latinx, Asian/South
Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern, Native American, women, and gender
non-conforming composers are strongly encouraged to apply.
Composers can use the
application form to indicate which ensemble or ensembles
they’d like to collaborate with. You may apply to one, two, or
all three of the categories (see below), but please note that if
selected, composers will write only one new piece for the
festival. Please don’t mail us any supporting materials. You can
see our FAQ page for more details.
A. Quince Ensemble
Between two to three composers will each compose one new
work for members of Quince. The new work can be a duo, trio, or
treble vocal quartet. Note that Quince’s performers include three
sopranos and one mezzo soprano (not SSAA). Please include in your
application music that shows your ability to write for
voice. Duration: 5–7 minutes.
B. Spektral Quartet
Between two to three composers will each write one new piece
for Spektral Quartet. Please include in your application music
that shows your ability to write for strings. Duration: 8–10
C. Empyrean Ensemble
For performance by the Empyrean Ensemble (Mika Pelo, director)
1 flute, 1 clarinet, 1 piano, 1 percussion, 1 violin, 1 viola,
and 1 cello (or any subset)
Two composers will each write one new composition for Empyrean
Ensemble. We’ll consider works that include simple electronics.
Duration: 10–12 minutes.
work samples of up to three pieces (mp3 files and PDFs of
Please make sure that all of the material you upload is labeled
with your name. No letters of recommendation are required.
Participation in the festival includes a pass to all festival
events, a professional recording of your work, rehearsals and
workshops with the visiting ensembles, and composition seminars
with members of the UC Davis music
We require participants to attend all festival events; these
begin the morning of Wednesday, January 29, and continue
through Sunday, February 2, 2020.
June 1, 2019: deadline to apply.
July 1, 2019: notification of selection.
October 15, 2019: deadline for selected composers to finish
January 28–February 2, 2020: Taproot New Music Festival.
Christian Baldini, music director and
UC Davis Professor of Music
Ravel:Pavane pour une infante
The haegeum is a two-stringed fiddle
of Korea. The physical nature of the haegeum allows it to
produce a diverse variety of timbres making it a popular
instrument for court, folk, and contemporary music. It is even
being used in Korean pop music.
Jean Ahn:The Woven Silk for
Haegeum and Orchestra
with Soo Yeon Lyuh
Christian Baldini: New Work for Haegeum and
with Soo Yeon Lyuh
Steve Reich’sMusic for 18 Musicians
with members of the Empyrean Ensemble
Hrabba Atladottir, violin
Michael Seth Orland, piano to be announced, cello
voices of the Quince Ensemble,
Liz Pearse | Kayleigh Butcher
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett | Carrie Henneman Shaw
UC Davis Lecturer in Music Chris Froh and
undergraduate percussion students,
marimbas, xylophones, and vibraphones,
UC Davis Lecturer in Music I-Hui Chen, piano,
two to-be-announced pianists,
a to-be-announced clarinetist,
and Stephen Bingen,