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Composer Marc Mellits to Perform at UWRF

MARCH 28, 2008--The 42nd Annual Commissioned Composer Concert at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls will feature a free concert with the works composer Marc Mellits on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Abbott Concert Hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.  

Mellits will be a composer-in-residence on campus during the week and present various workshops as well. Born in Baltimore, Md., Mellits is described as a miniaturist, composing works comprised of short, contrasting movements and whose work is described as eclectic, all-encompassing, and open to reflecting whatever enters his life and mind during the period of creation. He has studied at the Eastman School of Music, Yale School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood. His teachers have included Samuel Adler, Martin Bresnick, Jacob Druckman, Dominic Frasca, Bernard Rands, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Roberto Sierra, and Steven Stucky.

One of the leading American composers of his generation, Mellits has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has received many awards for his music, including the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in 2004. His unique musical style is an eclectic combination of driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colorful orchestrations that all combine to communicate directly with the listener.

Mellits' most recent commissions include pieces for internationally acclaimed artists such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Kronos String Quartet, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Eliot Fisk, Canadian Brass, Ethel, Duke String Quartet, Nexus Percussion, Sergio and Odair Assad, Albany Symphony's Dog's Of Desire, Lelabo (Paris), Dominic Frasca, American Baroque, New Millennium Ensemble, Andrew Russo, the Society for New Music, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the Meridian Arts Ensemble. He is also a founding member of the acclaimed Common Sense Composer's Collective, which seeks new and alternative ways of collaborating with performance ensembles.

In addition to his activities as a composer, Mellits directs and plays keyboards in his own ensemble, the Mellits Consort, which has recently released its first CD, "Paranoid Cheese," in July 2007. The release contains 11 works by Mellits. His other music can be found on Black Box, Endeavour Classics, Cantaloupe, CRI/Emergency Music, Santa Fe New Music, and Dacia Music labels.

He lives in upstate New York with his wife and two daughters, and spends significant time in Romania.

The UWRF Commissioned Composer program began in 1967 by retired music professor Conrad DeJong who commissioned Vincent Persichetti to compose a piece specifically for the university. Over the course of 42 years, the project has established UWRF in the international music scene and also introduced students to new music trends. The program is the longest continuously running commissioned composer program of its kind in the United States, according to the UWRF music department.

For information on Mellits, visit his website at or for information on the Commissioned Composer series, visit the UW-River Falls music department website at or call the department at 715-425-3183.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:53 Central Daylight Time


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