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TEXAS NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL

GLOBAL SOUNDS, TEXAS MUSICIANS

Rob Smith

Guest Composer

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The innovative and highly energetic music of Rob Smith is frequently performed throughout the United States and abroad. His music has received numerous awards, including those from the Aaron Copland House (Residency Award), Minneapolis Pops Orchestra New Orchestral Repertoire Project, ASCAP, and the National Band Association. He has received commissions from the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Soli Chamber Ensemble (San Antonio), the American Composers Forum (Continental

Harmony), the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, and several nationally renowned university wind ensembles, among many others.

 

In 1997, he was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Australia to study with Peter Sculthorpe, which led to a teaching position at the University of Wollongong in 1998. Commercial recordings of his music are available by the Society for New Music (Syracuse, NY), Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, University of Houston Wind Ensemble, saxophonist Jeremy Justeson, Austrian toy pianist Isabel Ettenauer, and the University of Houston and Texas Christian University Percussion Ensembles. Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Southern Music, C-Alan Publications, and Skitter Music Publications publish his music.

Currently, Rob teaches at the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he is Professor of Music Composition and director of the AURA Contemporary Ensemble. During his tenure at UH he has been formally recognized for his teaching twice: in 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award (Moores School of Music) and 2014 UH Faculty Recognition Award (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences). From 2003-2014 he served as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston-based contemporary chamber ensemble. In addition to programming and presenting 6-8 concerts a season, Rob also created three children’s programs with his colleagues at Musiqa, two of which continue to be presented annually for hundreds of public-school students. https://robsmithcomposer.com/

Chad Robinson

Resident Composer

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Houston native, Dr. Chad Robinson, is the Artistic Director and founder of Texas New Music Ensemble, a Houston-based, mixed chamber ensemble focused on the work of Texas composers. As a composer, he has worked with many prestigious ensembles and soloists, such as: Ethel, Lontano, The Jack Quartet, The Parker Quartet, Musiqa, George Vosburgh, Mary Dullea, and Emma Steele. His music has been performed throughout the globe and in February of 2020, his works received their Carnegie Hall debut. Dr. Robinson has received multiple awards and grants throughout his career, including: 1st Prize in the CMU Orchestral Composition Competition, 2nd Prize in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Composition Competition, KCL Music Research Grant, and the KCL Arts and Humanities Research Grant. An alumnus of University of Houston (BM), Carnegie Mellon University (MM) and King's College, London (PhD), Dr. Robinson currently serves on the faculty of Texas A&M University - Kingsville and his music is recorded by Navona Records. https://www.chadrobinson.net/  

Meg Griffith

Guest Artist

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Modern and Baroque flute specialist Meg Griffith (DMA) enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue throughout the United States and Canada. Meg’s Carnegie Hall debut received critical acclaim, described as “an excellent flutist…playing at breakneck speed…facility with total control” who “radiated calm serenity and impressionistic colors, giving…a fine opportunity to exhibit her beautiful, singing tone.” [New York Concert Review].

 

An Alto Flute Artist for Trevor James flutes, Meg’s passion for new music and support of living composers is fed through numerous commissioning projects and as a member of the Texas New Music Ensemble. She especially enjoys the chance to collaborate with composers, working to create a balance of their voice and her own. On the opposite end of the spectrum, she regularly performs on traverso and gives workshops on Baroque interpretation and ornamentation geared toward connecting modern flutists to the traverso’s colors and beauty.

 

Meg offers Yoga for Musicians classes and private sessions geared toward simplifying and solidifying the physical and mental practices of artists. Her approach reflects our need for awareness and compassion for ourselves and others, especially within our musical community. She is a founding member of Whole Musician, 501(c)3 which offers intensive online and in-person residencies and retreats addressing the mental, physical, and musical demands placed on the 21st century performer. www.meggriffith.com

Felipe Tristán

Guest Conductor

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Award-winning Mexican conductor Felipe Tristán is known for bringing lively musical prowess to the podium. He has worked with orchestras around the world and currently serves as conductor with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Grattacielo, Manhattan School of Music, and the Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School in New York.

Felipe is committed to promoting an inclusive performing arts industry and has collaborated with artists and producers from the NY Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Met Opera, and the GRAMMY® Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, among others, to create engaging programs for diverse audiences.

Among the orchestras he has conducted are Südwestdeuche Philharmonie Konstanz, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, New Amsterdam Symphony, Gwinnett Symphony, North Shore Symphony, Zhengzhou Symphony, among others. In México, the Aguascalientes, Querétaro, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Monterrey, Baja California, and Michoacán symphony orchestras.

Texas New Music Ensemble

Resident Ensemble

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Texas New Music Ensemble presented their first concert in the summer of 2014 to a sold-out crowd at Studio 101 in Houston, TX. Since then, they have performed concerts throughout the state of Texas in cities such as Houston, Austin, Ft. Worth, and more. TNME has presented concerts and workshops at colleges and universities such as Lone Star College and Stephen F. Austin State University and was invited to the 2020 National Conference of the Society of Composers Incorporated as Ensemble in Residence. Led by Artistic Director and composer, Chad Robinson, TNME has become one of the most recognized new music ensembles in the state of Texas. We look forward to bringing a talented international roster of composers to our home in Houston and hope you will join us!

Joe LoCascio

Guest Performer

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Joe LoCascio has spent a lifetime creating and performing creative music. He is an award winning composer who has written for ensembles of all sizes and is prolific in both traditional and jazz genres. As a performer he has released 18 critically acclaimed jazz recordings.

 

A student of David Barnett, John Mehegan and Neil Slater at the University of Bridgeport, LoCascio went on to perform and record with major jazz figures such as Chet Baker, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Frank Rehak, Freddie Hubbard, Mel Lewis, Bob Brookmeyer, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Marvin Stamm, Carl Fontana, Hank Crawford, Ernie Watts, Arnett Cobb, Conrad Herwig and Jon Faddis, among others.  

 

Among his works are a Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra commissioned by the Baytown Symphony Orchestra, Gently Criminal for the Cypress Philharmonic Orchestra, Saltwater Music for the Alkali String Ensemble, Crossings and Still Life (with Clarinets) for Richard Nunemaker, In the Wilderness, The Cities and Urban Mosaics for Trio Oriens, Crossroads for the NOVACANE Clarinet Quartet, Oblique Prayers and Widow’s Tales for the Texas New Music Ensemble and 4 Bagatelles and Northwest Passage for the PLAY Saxophone Quartet.

LoCascio and his wife Lucia currently reside in Houston, Texas where he is a full-time instructor of music at Houston Community College.

Festival Staff

Chad Robinson

Artistic Director

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Houston native, Dr. Chad Robinson, is the Artistic Director and founder of Texas New Music Ensemble, a Houston-based, mixed chamber ensemble focused on the work of Texas composers. As a composer, he has worked with many prestigious ensembles and soloists, such as: Ethel, Lontano, The Jack Quartet, The Parker Quartet, Musiqa, George Vosburgh, Mary Dullea, and Emma Steele. His music has been performed throughout the globe and in February of 2020, his works received their Carnegie Hall debut. Dr. Robinson has received multiple awards and grants throughout his career, including: 1st Prize in the CMU Orchestral Composition Competition, 2nd Prize in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Composition Competition, KCL Music Research Grant, and the KCL Arts and Humanities Research Grant. An alumnus of University of Houston (BM), Carnegie Mellon University (MM) and King's College, London (PhD), Dr. Robinson currently serves on the faculty of Texas A&M University - Kingsville and his music is recorded by Navona Records. https://www.chadrobinson.net/  

Martín Quiroga Jr.

Executive Director

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A cowboy from Texas, Martín Quiroga Jr. (1987) main interests focus on fugues and fugal compositional techniques. By making use of traditional compositional techniques combined with a unique harmonic language, his goal is to both honor the musical forms of the past while captivating the harmonic language of the present. This stance has led to a harmonic language that primarily focuses on contrapuntal non-diatonic major chords, extended modal harmonies, and relatively soft dissonances.

Pre-COVID, Quiroga has had performances by  groups such as the Riverside Chamber Orchestra, the University of Oregon Campus Orchestra, GRIT Collaborative, Rosetta Contemporary Ensemble, Space City Performing Arts, Sospiro, and the Space City New Music Festival. He was also a founding member and Festival Director of the Space City New Music Festival (Houston, TX), a week-long summer program that focused on premiering a series of contemporary works, presenting career-focused lectures by visiting artists, and furthering opportunities to both students and professionals across the country.

Most recently, Quiroga has completed an artist residency with the Clear Creek Independent School District, where he composed various works for both Intermediate and High School bands within the district. Likewise, he has been commissioned to compose the region etudes for the same district. He also currently serves on the board of the non-profit Texas New Music Ensemble.
 

Martín Quiroga Jr. currently resides in Houston, TX, where he continues to perform regularly and maintains a private studio in the greater Houston area, as well as coordinating the Music Composition studio at Lone Star College - Montgomery. Quiroga has earned his degrees from the University of Oregon (MM) and the University of Houston (BA). MartinQuirogaJr.org