Martin Blessinger is an Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Texas Christian University. He holds a DM in music composition from the Florida State University where he was a University Research Fellow, studying with Ladislav Kubik and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. He received BM and MM from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, studying with Sheila Silver and Perry Goldstein. Prior to arriving at TCU, he worked as a Lecturer in Music Theory at the Ithaca College School of Music.
His orchestration of Jessica Grace Wing’s score for the critically-acclaimed off-Broadway musical Lost won Best Music in the 2003 New York City Fringe Festival and received a revival performance by the Arizona Onstage Theater Company.
Shih-Hui Chen serves as Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Born in Taiwan, Shih-Hui Chen has lived in the United States since 1982 and holds a degree from the National Academy for the Arts, an MM from Northern Illinois University, and a DMA from Boston University. In addition to garnering a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Academy in Rome Prize, her compositions have been performed widely throughout the U.S. and abroad, including China, Japan, England, Germany, and Italy. Chen’s work has also been the subject of analysis by scholars such as German ethnomusicologist Barbara Mittler, who wrote Chen’s biographical entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Robert Frank’s music spans many mediums and genres: His orchestral works have been performed in Carnegie Hall in New York, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Mozarteum at the opening of the Salzburg Summer Music Festival, Church of St. Augustin in Paris, and in the Kremlin in Moscow. His electro-acoustic music has been featured in prominent computer music concerts throughout the U.S. and abroad in Beijing, Hong Kong, the rain forests of Costa Rica, festivals in the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, the planetarium at the University of North Texas, and many other interesting venues. His music is published by Brixton Publications and recorded on several CD labels. He is also co-author with Kenneth Metz of Fundamentals for the Aspiring Musician (Routledge, New York, London, 2010). For more, visit RobertFrankMusic.com
Stephen Lias received degrees from Messiah College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Louisiana State University. He is the Texas delegate to the International Society of Contemporary Music and serves as the Chair of the judging panel for the ISCM-IAMIC Young Composers Award. He currently resides in Nacogdoches, Texas where he is Professor of Composition at Stephen F. Austin State University. His passion for wilderness and outdoor pursuits has led to a growing series of works about the national parks of the US. He has had residencies at Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Denali, Glacier Bay, Bering Land Bridge, and Gates of the Arctic National Parks, and has written over a dozen park-related pieces that have been premiered at conferences and festivals in such places as Colorado, Texas, Sydney, and Taiwan.
Lias is also active as a composer of theatrical incidental music and served for eleven years as Composer in Residence and Music Director at the Texas Shakespeare Festival.
Mei-Fang Lin received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she also taught as Visiting Assistant Professor in Composition/Theory prior to moving to Texas Tech University, where she is Associate Professor of Theory/Composition. Supported by the Frank Huntington Beebe Foundation in Boston and a George Ladd Paris Prize from UC Berkeley, she also spent three years in France studying composition and participated in the one-year computer music course “Cursus de Composition” at IRCAM in Paris.
Awards for her music include those from the Seoul International Competition for Composers (2nd Prize), Bourges Competition in France (Finalist & Residence Prize), Look & Listen Festival Prize in US (1st Prize), Pierre Schaeffer Competition in Italy (3rd Prize)
Peter Lieuwen was born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1953, and grew up in New Mexico. He studied at the University of New Mexico and the University of California, Santa Barbara with composers Scott Wilkinson, William Wood, Edward Applebaum, Emma Lou Diemer, and Peter Racine Fricker. From 1984 to 1987 he taught composition at UC Santa Barbara. Since 1988 he has been on the faculty of Texas A&M University. From 2000-2005 Lieuwen served as the inaugural head of the Department of Performance Studies at TAMU, where he is currently Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence.
Commissions include those for The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra (25th Anniversary Commission), San Antonio Symphony (75th Anniversary Commission), Grosseto Symphony Orchestra, Slazburg Chamber Soloists, Leipzig Academic Orchestra, Texas Guitar Quartet, New Mexico Brass Quintet, Quintessence Winds, the Core Ensemble, Iridium Saxophone Quartet, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Isaac Bustos, Andrzej Grabiec, Wonkak Kim and Doc Severinsen.
Hailed as “extremely moving” by New Music Box and “especially sweet” by the Austin American Statesman, the music of Joel Love (b. 1982) explores an eclectic mix of genres, from short video pieces to works for chamber and large ensembles.
Joel was commissioned to compose a new work, Lightscape, for the opening of light artist James Turrell’s The Color Inside in2013. The Houston Chronicle commented that Lightscape “evocatively captures the emotion of The Color Inside.” Joel is the only two-time winner of the PARMA Recordings Composition Competition, which selected Lux and Synchronicity in Purple Minor for publication. His first work for wind ensemble, Aurora Borealis, was selected as finalist in the 3rd International Franck Ticheli Composition Contest.
Joel’s works have been performed by a number of large and small ensembles, exhibited at art galleries, and screened at theatres and festivals around the world. Recent highlights include a number of performances of his new saxophone octet,Three Images, including the Royal College of Music Saxophone Ensemble and the faculty of the American Saxophone Academy, both in the summer of 2017, and a performance of his first work saxophone quartet, In memoriam, by the award-winning Kenari Quartet during the Grand Prize Gayla Concert at the inaugural M-Prize competition in 2016. Recent commissions include a nation-wide consortium led by Connie Frigo for a new concerto for alto saxophone with wind ensemble accompaniment, a new set of saxophone miniatures for Musiqa in Houston, TX, and commission for a new work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra from the Austin-based Panoramic Voices.
His film scores include the documentary film Stitched, official selection at the 2011 Carmel Art and Film Festival, as well as a short film Kidfellas, “Best Musical Score” at Houston’s 2011 48-Hour Film Project. Last year, Joel’s score for Socks in the City won honorable mention for “Best Musical Score” at New York City’s 2015 48-Hour Film Project. Other notable collaborations with artists from other disciplines feature a city-wide public art exhibit with artist Karyn Olivier, Inboud: Houston, and a 3-month installation by Prince V. Thomas, On Joy, On Sorrow at the Houston Center for Photography, praised by the Houston Chronicle as ”a beautiful piece that feels cleansing to watch.”
Joel recently completed a D.M.A. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and holds degrees from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music (M.Music) and Lamar University’s Mary Morgan Department of Music (B.Music). He lives in Houston, TX, where he teaches music at Houston Community College’s Southwest location in Stafford, TX.
Houston native, Dr. Chad Robinson is the Artistic Director and founder of Texas New Music Ensemble, a Houston-based, mixed chamber ensemble focused solely on the work of Texas composers. As a composer, he has worked with many other 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 North America, as well as in Europe and Turkey. He 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. Chad has learned from some of America’s and Europe’s most distinguished composers, including Marcus Maroney (University of Houston – BM), Leonardo Balada (Carnegie Mellon University – MM), and Rob Keeley (King’s College, London – PhD). He currently serves on the faculty of several Houston area colleges and keeps a private studio of piano and composition students. Additionally, he serves as a theory tutor for local high school and college students and offers distance composition lessons via Skype.