Academy Award-Winning Composer John Corigliano and Composer Mark Adamo and Carol Oja in Residence


The UMKC Conservatory welcomes Oscar, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano back to campus.  Corigliano has been the Barr Institute Laureate for the past two years and has visited our campus several times to work with students. Composer/Librettist Mark Adamo is best known for his extensive vocal writing, and the Conservatory is very pleased to feature his opera Little Women as its spring opera (details below).  Mr. Adamo will work with both casts as part of his Barr Institute-sponsored residency.

The Barr Institute has also had an ensemble Laureate, eighth blackbird (2013–2014) and a Scholar Laureate Carol Oja (2014–2015). All current and future works of each composer Laureate become part of the Barr Institute Collection. 

Paul Rudy, Barr Institute Board Chair and Curators' Professor of Music Composition notes, “The upcoming residency with John Corigliano and Mark Adamo represents everything the Barr Institute seeks to accomplish: bring major figures to campus to work with our students, and partner with Kansas City’s great arts organizations!”

The Patricia and Howard Barr Institute for American Composition Studies, launched in 2004, is the fulfillment of a longtime dream of Howard (DMA, UMKC Conservatory of Music, 1971) and Patricia Barr.  The Barrs had distinguished careers as pianists and teachers in southern California, often performing and promoting the works of contemporary American composers.  The Institute celebrates their love of American music and their dedication to its continuing study and performance.

The most significant activities of the Conservatory’s Barr Institute focus on the Laureate Program.  Every few years, the Barr Advisory Board selects a major figure in American music as the Barr Institute Laureate. Composer Laureates have included Steven Stucky (2006–2008), Stephen Hartke (2008–2012) and John Corigliano (2012–2015).

Laureates visit the UMKC campus several times each year during their tenure to participate in symposia, performances of their work, master classes and lessons, and presentations to public schools and other organizations, creating an ongoing relationship with students and faculty in the Conservatory and the Kansas City metro. Activities are collaborative with UMKC and the Kansas City community. 

The Conservatory also partners with other organizations to present the works of composer Laureates.  Examples include the Kansas City Symphony (Stephen Hartke), Kansas City Chorale (Steven Stucky), Office Port (eighth blackbird), the Kansas City Public Library, UMKC Opera (Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Spring, 2015), and the UMKC Media Studies/Tivoli Theater Film Series (Corigliano, Spring, 2015).

Barr Institute Laureate Activities, Spring 2015

March 16, 2015 Q&A with John Corigliano, guest composer, Tivoli Theater, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO. The Tivoli shows excerpts of all three Corigliano films, The Red Violin, Altered States, and Revolution, in cooperation with the Conservatory and the Film Studies program at UMKC.  Andrew Granade and Paul Rudy are the Conservatory moderators for this, and UMKC’s Tom Poe and Caitlin Horsmon represent Film and Media Arts. 7 p.m.  FREE

March 17–20, 2015 Spring Opera, Little Women, by Mark Adamo, 7:30 p.m., White Recital Hall.  The opera is based on Louisa May Alcott’s book by the same name, about growing up in New England after the American Civil War. Little Women was commissioned by the Opera Studio of Houston Grand Opera.

Tickets: $12, $10 seniors, UMKC faculty, staff, and all students FREE with UMKC or student ID.

Mark Adamo’s residency is supported in part through a grant from The Patricia and Howard Barr Institute for American Composition Studies at UMKC.

March 18, 2015 A concert of music by composers John Corigliano and Mark Adamo. 60 minutes of music performed by Conservatory faculty and students, plus at least one special guest performer from the KC Symphony, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with the composers.  Dean Witte will moderate. 5–6:30 p.m., The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, FREE but tickets required:

April 8, 2015  Carol Oja, Barr Institute Scholar, guest lecture, 4–5:15 p.m. Grant Hall, room 333

These programs are supported in part through a grant from The Patricia and Howard Barr Institute for American Composition Studies at UMKC.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949