New Music Festival

Featured Composers

Anthony Donofrio


Anthony Donofrio teaches composition, coordinates the theory area, and directs the UNK New Music Series and Festival at the University of Nebraska Kearney. He holds a PhD in music composition from the University of Iowa. Anthony is very interested in fusing the compositional techniques found in literature and painting with his own approach to composing music. As a result of these influences, Anthony has taken an interest in creating half concert and full concert-length pieces, such as the 70-minute Between Event and Crisis for solo percussion, the 80-minute V for flute, clarinet, viola, piano, and percussion, and the 90-minute I for solo piano. Anthony has received numerous commissions from new music specialists such as Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Chamber Cartel, pianist Amy O'Dell, saxophonists Jeff Heisler and Alex Sellers, pianist Holly Roadfeldt, and harpist Ben Melsky. His music has been featured at festivals and conferences such as the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival, Omaha Under the Radar, the Deep Listening Institute, S.E.M. Emerging Composers, and the Vox Novus Festival.

Bruce Mahin


A strong lyricism and contrapuntal rhythmic drive have remained a constant in the music of composer Bruce Mahin over the past 25 years but the sonorities have become gradually more diatonic and consonant. In his first recording, Shadows, released in 1990 as Capstone CPS-8747, the harmonic palette is freely atonal but melodically expressive in pieces for piano, vibraphone and interactive computer, violoncello and tape, percussion and voice. His second CD Time Chants released in 1995 as Capstone CPS-8624, focuses on the melodic potential of music for the electronic wind instrument and interactive computer. In 2013, CD performances of Glasgow's Scottish Voices were released as "Music from 3 Continents" on the Ravello label (RS-7877). In the sixth commercial release, Préludes de Paris (PnOVA 21001), Mahin explores an original system of harmony based on quartal harmonies. The Scottish Voices and organist Kevin Bowyer will release the premiere recording of "Sonnetas" based on text by Walt Whitman and Robert Burns on the Navona label in 2018.

Featured Pianist - Michael Campbell


Michael Campbell is a pianist, author and teacher. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Amherst College, and Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Leon Fleisher and earned MM and DMA degrees in piano. While at Peabody, he was active as a commercial musician, assisting such artists as Angela Lansbury, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Bob Hope, Ethel Merman, and Don McLean.

Dr. Campbell is Professor Emeritus of Music at Western Illinois University, where he taught from 1981 through 2003. While at Western Illinois University, he taught courses in popular music, jazz improvisation, and American music, in addition to piano and piano pedagogy. While at WIU, he performed the complete piano music of Roger Sessions at major universities throughout the United States. His recent programs, entitled The Golden Age of the Piano, are samplings of piano music of all kinds that audiences might have heard between 1890 and 1940.

Dr. Campbell is the author of three texts for college music courses, Popular Music in America, Rock and Roll, An Introduction, and MUSIC, which are published by Cengage, and currently teaches a two-semester rock music survey for Arizona State University from his home in Rhode Island.

WIU Composers

  • James Caldwell, Festival Co-director
  • Paul Paccione, Festival Co-director
  • James Romig, Festival Co-director


The annual New Music Festival provides a unique opportunity for our community and region to hear new music and meet recognized composers and performers. The events of the two-day festival have been designed to provide an opportunity to experience and understand the music of our time. Past featured composers include William Hibbard, Elliott Schwartz, Richard Hervig, Morton Subotnik, Donald Erb, Kenneth Gaburo, George Flynn, William Karlins, Abbie Conant, William Osborne, Barton McLean, Pricilla McLean, David Dunn, Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, Nurit Tilles, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Malcolm Goldstein, Christian Wolff, Daniel Goode, Cindy McTee, Eve Beglarian, Robert Morris, Michael Byron, and Harvey Sollberger. Our most recent festivals have hosted Electronic Music Midwest and featured graduates of WIU's composition program. Since 1988, the festivals have programmed about 500 compositions that would otherwise likely not have been heard in West Central Illinois. The festival highlights the university's fine performing faculty; guest artists, composers, and performers; and faculty and student composers in lectures, concerts, and workshops that explore the many exciting facets of today's new music world. For New Music Festival 2018, we have invited two featured composers and a featured pianist.

New Music Festival is made possible with support from the School of Music.