New Music Festival

Featured Composers


Amelia Kaplan is Associate Professor of Composition at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, where she teaches composition, theory, and directs the New Music Ensemble. She previously taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Iowa, and Roosevelt University. She completed her A.B. at Princeton University, and her A.M. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago as a Century Fellow, where her primary teachers were Shulamit Ran and Ralph Shapey. She worked with Azio Corghi at the Milan Conservatory on a Whiting Fellowship, and received a Diploma of Merit from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana while studying with Franco Donatoni, and a Diploma from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau. Ms. Kaplan has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been performed at numerous contemporary music festivals, including Mise-En, Thailand International New Music Festival, SCI, SICPP, Wellesley Composers Conference, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, June in Buffalo, and others. In 2013 her work Insolence was a runner up in the Forecast Call for Scores. Recordings can be heard on Albany, NAVONA, Centaur, and soon on the ABLAZE labels.


Bruce Quaglia's music has been described as “profound” with “a sense of Webernian clarity,” that is “shot through with meaning” (Fanfare). As a composer who is also a committed scholar of the music of the 20th Century, his own music instinctively draws upon the vibrant traditions of American and European twelve-tone art music. Committed to craft, he believes that all music comes from other music, and that each composer's voice must then speak of what they have learned, and then of what they hear coming on the next horizon. His inspirations come also from beyond the purely musical, from his experiences as an avid reader, hiker, and traveler. His music has been performed internationally by acclaimed performers including Ashlee Mack and John McMurtery (piano and flute), Duo Gelland (violins), pianist Jason Hardink, clarinetists Matthew Nelson, Arianna Tieghi, flutist Carlton Vickers, and a recent chamber concerto written for members of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. His music appears on both the Centaur and Soundset labels. Quaglia currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


Daniel Godsil's music, which has been described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as having an “intense dramatic narrative”, draws from such eclectic influences as rock and heavy metal, science-fiction, and Brutalist architecture. Winner of the 2017 Earplay Donald Aird Composition Competition (for his quartet Aeropittura), Godsil's music has been played by Ensemble Dal Niente, Talujon Percussion, the Lydian String Quartet, the Daedalus Quartet, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, the University Symphony Orchestra at California State University, Fullerton, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, the Secret String Quartet, and the Nova Singers, among many others. Recent film scores include the PBS documentary Boxcar People, Man Ray's 1926 silent film Emak-Bakia and the feature film H.G. Welles' The First Men In The Moon. Godsil was a finalist in the 2018 Lake George Music Festival chamber composition competition, as well as the 2014 Red Note New Music Festival Composition Competition. His Quintet for Woodwinds won first prize in the 2004 Fisher Young Composer's Competition. His choral works are published by Alliance Music Publishing and NoteNova Publishing. Born and raised in central Illinois, Godsil (b.1982) is currently pursuing his PhD. in Composition and Theory at the University of California, Davis, studying with Mika Pelo, Laurie San Martin, and Sam Nichols. He holds an MFA in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he studied with John Fitz Rogers, John Mallia, and Jonathan Bailey Holland. He also holds a BM in Music Composition from Webster University. Godsil was selected to participate in the 2017 Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) in Boston, where he had master classes with composers Nicholas Vines and Georg Friedrich Haas.


A native of Cuba, Ivette Herryman Rodríguez holds a B.M in Music Composition from the Higher Institute of Arts, in Havana, a M.M in Music Composition from Baylor University, and a M.M in Music Theory and D.M.A in Music Composition from Michigan State University. She studied composition with Juan Piñera, Scott McAllister, Ricardo Lorenz, and Zhou Tian. Ivette's music has been described as “absolutely exquisite” and “breathtakingly beautiful” (Kevin Noe-Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and Director of Orchestras at Michigan State University). Her piece Sigue, for women's choir, became a bestseller in the year of its publication, selling over 5000 copies. Her zarzuela Cerca del Río won a Cubadisco Special Award in 2010. Her work Memorial, for soprano, cello, and piano was recently selected to be recorded by the NODUS ensemble. She is the recipient of the 2015-16 prestigious Brandon Fradd Fellowship in Music Composition. Ivette's most recent commissions include a second piece for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and a new work for the Michigan State University Symphony Band, which will be premiered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the MSU Band's program. Ivette is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Western Illinois University. In the fall of 2019, she will start a new tenure-track position in Theory and Composition at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, NY.


Kyle Rowan (b. 1985) is a composer of (mostly) acoustic chamber music. Inspired by interactive fiction, he is currently interested in adapting principles of video game design into music composition, especially in terms of approaches to narrative and player-driven experiences. Kyle is an avid fan of baseball, dogs, video games, and sci-fi/fantasy novels. His music has been performed throughout the United States, as well as internationally at festivals in Italy, Greece, and South Korea, and by such ensembles as the SDSU Wind Symphony, Momenta Quartet, Palimpsest Ensemble, Kallisti Ensemble, Dissonart Ensemble, and Los Angeles Clarinet Choir. He holds degrees from the University of Florida (BM, 2007), University of Illinois (MM, 2009), and he received his doctorate in composition from the University of California – San Diego (PhD, 2016), where he studied with Katharina Rosenberger. As a clarinetist, he is a founding member of the San Diego-based new music ensemble Figmentum. He has also performed with the La Jolla Symphony, the Albany (Ga) Symphony, and the Gainesville (Fl) Symphony, as well as a number of solo appearances. He studied with Mitchell Estrin, Ferdinand Steiner, and Michael Forte, and received a Performer's Certificate from the University of Florida.


Venezuelan composer Victor Marquez-Barrios holds an extended catalog of works that includes compositions for a variety of solo instruments, numerous chamber ensembles, mixed choir, electronics, symphonic band, and symphony orchestra. His music has been performed, published, and recorded by important soloists and ensembles from Latin America, the U.S., and Europe. Works by Marquez-Barrios have received performances at numerous international music festivals such as the Latin American Music Festival (Caracas, Venezuela), XVII Festival of Contemporary Music of Havana (Cuba), 20eme Festival Internacional de la Clarinette (Martinique), Hollywood Fringe Festival (Los Angeles), the World Saxophone Congress (2012 and 2015 editions), and ClarinetFest 2018 (Ostend, Belgium), among others. Recently, compositions by Marquez-Barrios have been selected for performance at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, the Boston New Music Initiative, and the 2018 Mise-En Music Festival in New York City. A strong advocate of collaboration, Marquez-Barrios has worked with a variety of performers and groups, as well as with conductors, choreographers, and visual artists. Today, in parallel to his active career as a composer and guest lecturer, Victor Marquez-Barrios teaches music theory and composition at Truman State University, where he is also the founding director of Uncommon Practice, the University's contemporary-music ensemble.

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New Music Festival 2019 is made possible by support from

the WIU Performing Arts Society and the WIU School of Music.