New Music Festival returns to Heidelberg

The 26th annual New Music Festival at Heidelberg University is to combine the talents of a young alumnus composer, a California composer who triples as a vocalist and conductor, and a trio grounded in classic repertoire for piano.

The School of Music and Theatre is to host a series of concerts, “Meet the Composers” events and discussions this weekend. All of the performances and programs are free and are to take place in Brenneman Music Hall.

Friday, Heidelberg is to welcome back 2008 graduate Bret Bohman, a composer of instrumental and electronic music now based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bohman strives to combine concert music with the visceral energy of his musical experiences in rock, jazz and electronic dance genres. He’ll be joined on the program by Jenni Brandon, an award-winning composer whose music has been commissioned and performed internationally. She also is an active mezzo-soprano vocalist and conductor. A Meet the Composer event at 7 p.m. is to be followed at 8 p.m. by the first major concert of the New Music Festival.

Saturday, The Delphi Trio is to be featured. The trio’s mission is to give voice to the authentic, essential spirit of a composition, acting as a conduit between composer and audience. Liana Berube (violin), Michelle Kwon (violoncello) and Jeffrey LaDeur (piano) formed the trio while studying at the Chamber Music Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The musicians regularly coach and mentor artists of all ages, especially young artists as they begin their careers. The trio has established the Emerging Artist Program to guide college students. The Delphi Trio is to explore “Opportunities and Challenges for Musicians in the 21st Century” during a 3 p.m. panel discussion Saturday. They are to perform a concert at 7 p.m. that evening.

The festival is to conclude Sunday at 3 p.m. with a concert of works by featured composers – Brandon, Bohman, Heidelberg music professor Douglas McConnell, among others – and performances by the Heidelberg Wind Quintets and other guests.

New Music Festival is made possible through the support of National Machinery Foundation, Heidelberg University, the Montague Artist Endowment Fund, Berg Bravo (formerly the Friends of Heidelberg Music) and the university’s Community Engagement Committee.

Call (419) 448-2073 or visit www.heidelberg.edu for more information.