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Missouri Southern instructor joins effort to commission new piano piece

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Missouri Southern instructor joins effort to commission new piano piece

Joplin, MO (SNS) – A consortium of eight pianists from around the country have joined together to commission a new work by New York composer and pianist Robert Honstein.

Dr. Stacey Barelos, a piano and music theory instructor at Missouri Southern, was asked to lend her support to the effort, which was launched last month as an Indiegogo campaign.

“One of the members, Paola Savvidou, suggested me. We went to the University of Wisconsin together,” she said.

Barelos said she had never heard Honstein’s work before and decided to check it out. What she heard made her decide to sign on to help commission the new piece.

“(Honstein’s music) is phenomenal. It fuses the modern sort of idioms with more popular ideas, like using an electric guitar in a piece,” she said. “It’s more accessible and speaks to a wider audience.”

Honstein has been praised by the New York Times for his “roiling, insistent orchestral figuration” and by the Toronto Globe and Mail for his “glittery, percussive pieces.” His works have been performed around the country by a wide variety of orchestras and ensembles. He co-founded the Fast Forward Austin music festival and is a member of the New York-based composer collective Sleeping Giant.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $2,200 by Jan. 13. The commissioned piece would be finished by May 1 and make its debut in New York. The consortium then would program the piece in the United States, Europe and Asia. Barelos said one of those performances would likely be at Missouri Southern.

She said that crowdfunding a composition can benefit a composer in several ways.

“It’s difficult for one performer to get funding, and it’s also difficult for composers to get multiple performances without doing a lot of legwork,” she said. “This is a cheap way to get the piece off the ground and he’ll be guaranteed at least eight performances.”

For more information about the Indiegogo campaign, visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/robert-honstein-solo-piano-commission.

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