This season’s featured composers are Paul Schoenfeld and Karalyn Schubring.
Even if his works have rarely been popular with the press [“Bad Culture” (The Hague), “Really Annoying Music” (Danceview Times), “An Undeserved Standing Ovation” (The New York Times), “One is not sure whether to laugh or gape in awe at a mind so warped” (San Francisco Examiner)], Paul Schoenfeld’s music is widely performed and continues to draw an ever-expanding group of fans. According to Juilliard’s Joel Sachs, “He is among those all-too-rare composers whose work combines exuberance and seriousness, familiarity and originality, lightness and depth. His work is inspired by the whole range of musical experience, popular styles both American and foreign, vernacular and folk traditions, and the ‘normal’ historical traditions of cultivated music making, often treated with sly twists. Above all, he has achieved the rare fusion of an extremely complex and rigorous compositional mind with an instinct for accessibility and a reveling in sound that sometimes borders on the manic.”
Although he now rarely performs publicly, Schoenfeld was formerly an active pianist, touring the United States, Europe and South America as a soloist and with groups including “Music from Marlboro.” Among his recordings as a pianist are the complete violin and piano works of Bartók with Sergio Luca. His compositions can be heard on the Angel, Decca, Innova, Vanguard, EMI, Koch, BMG and New World labels.
Reclusive and a wanderer by nature (having rarely lived in any one place for more than five years), Schoenfeld is presently on the composition faculty at the University of Michigan. Additionally, he is an avid student of mathematics and the Talmud.
Karalyn Schubring (b. 1999) is a dedicated composer, pianist, teacher, and improviser whose work centers around inspiring others to engage imaginatively with music.
As a composer, Karalyn has already received numerous awards from national organizations for her works, which combine the energy of jazz, the imagery of programmatic music, and the lyricism of song. In 2013, she won 1st place nationally in the Junior Division of the Music Teacher’s National Association Composition Competition for her solo piano piece, Story of the Stars . Two years later, she was named a national finalist by the same organization for her piano and euphonium piece, Song of the Ancients , which went on to receive a Morton Gould Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in the same year. She also received the Morton Gould Award for her soprano saxophone and piano piece titled The Journey . In 2016, Karalyn was selected as a composition fellow for the Phoenix-based MusicaNova Orchestra, which premiered her Symphonic Dance No. 1 , a piece which received an Honorable Mention from the National YoungArts Foundation. Karalyn was commissioned by East Valley Children’s Theater to compose music for the original play, Arya’s Rock: A Video Game Adventure , which received an ariZoni theater award and a National Youth Arts award for sound design. The following year, she wrote the music and lyrics for the original script of Snow White and Rose Red , which premiered in June 2016. Since moving to Ann Arbor, her music has been performed by the newly-formed, virtuosic vocal ensemble, //meridian.
As a pianist since the age of three, Karalyn has received recognition from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA). An active performer of new music, she has played her own compositions with world-class performers, including Dian D’Avanzo, Viviana Cumplido Wilson, and Damien Shindelman of the Phoenix Symphony, Michael Hernandez of the Mana Quartet, and LA percussionist MB Gordy. As one of six winners of the American Composers Forum’s NextNotes High School Composition Competition in 2016, Karalyn was invited to perform her winning work, Lua Azul , in St. Paul, MN. She also performed her Song of the Ancients on NPR’s “From the Top” radio program in El Paso, TX. Karalyn enjoys performing new music of many varieties, and has premiered a number of new works by her colleagues in Ann Arbor. Past performance venues include Tempe Center for the Arts, the Musical Instrument Museum, the NAMM show, the Walt Disney Hotel, The Cube at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s concert hall, and in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In addition to her love for performing, Karalyn is passionate about teaching music to children of all ages, and has done so at the East Valley Yamaha Music School for the past four years.
As an improviser, Karalyn was a winner in the inaugural year of the Social Music Works International Video Upload Competition in the Variations category. She performed comedic improv around the city of Mesa with EVCT’s On the Spot improv troupe for 8 seasons. In 2016, she gave a TEDx Talk to Chandler residents ages 9-19 about how improvising on a regular basis allows people to become their best selves. She enjoys improvising at the piano in several styles, and makes a point of collaborating regularly with other musicians, both informally and onstage.
Karalyn is currently earning her Bachelors in Music Composition from the University of Michigan, where she has studied piano with Matthew Bengtson and composition with Kristin Kuster.
Hear the Alaska premiere of the works by Paul Schoenfeld and Karalyn Schubring performed at the Music in the Valley concert on July 28, 2018.
About New Music Premieres
Many say that music reflects the attitude of its time. As the most popular classical (or serious) musical works were composed centuries ago, we believe it is also important to keep up-to-date with what is being written today.
New Music Premieres is a project where we expose contemporary serious music written by living composers. Every year ACMF Performing Artists premieres a modern piece. Last year, the faculty premiered a solo cello piece entitled “Funk” by composer Nathan Prillaman at the AFAS Chamber Music Soirée. Nathan Prillaman was present at the concert via Skype.
Vladimir Scolnic: Tensions…Wonder
R. Michael Daugherty: “Quem Genuit Maria”
Nathan Prillaman: Funk
Phillip Sink: Selections from Leave a Comment
Douglas Hofstadter: Good People All and Little Prelude in e minor