Skip to Content

Fifty Compositions to be Premiered as part of "50 for 50" project

Back to Article Listing


Angela Mitchell

Manager of Marketing & Communications, Lamont School of Music

Article  •
50 for 50

On Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Hamilton Recital Hall, John Griffin, Ash Mach, and Christopher Thompson will performing FIFTY brand-new compositions for clarinet, viola, and piano as part of the global project “50 for 50.” These pieces were written by composers from around the world, and feature two Colorado locals.

50 for 50” is a global collaboration project, in which 50 composers (both professional and amateur) from across the globe were invited to write a one-minute "self-portrait" scored for clarinet, viola, and piano. These trios were then compiled into a set of five collages by Paul Koppetz, Australian composer and director of the project.  The represented countries are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, and Venezuela. The diversity of styles ranges from traditional/contemporary Classical and Film music to innovative jazz, fusions, and experimental music.

Koppetz stated that he wanted to see if a composer could speak directly to a listener of who they are through one minute of music; if it was possible to create an impression of humanity using sound; and if it was possible to get a sense of place and nationality after hearing a one-minute work. 

Other goals of the project include:

  • Galvanize, invigorate, and share compositional practices in the international community

  • Showcase cultural and artistic diversity

  • Foster international collaborations between contemporary composers and performers

  • Provide an opportunity for emerging and less-known composers/performers to be heard

  • Establish an ongoing platform for the global community of composers and performers

  • Create work for local and international music creatives

  • Contribute by 50 new works to the repertoire for viola, clarinet, and piano

"For me, this project is important because I deeply value connection, collaboration, and innovation," says Ash Mach. "Some of my most meaningful artistic experiences have come from working directly with a composer on a commission and co-developing a plan to bring the piece to life. Being part of a project since the inception, rather than interpreting an older piece, has made me value the artistic process even more. Additionally, in an age of deep divisions and hatred, it is now more important than ever to center the musical voices of today. “50 for 50” has exposed us to a variety of musical aesthetics and stories, which in turn has made me value the human and artist behind each piece."

John Griffin says, "I thought this was in incredible opportunity to play with Ash and Chris. They are both such fine musicians and I love chamber music, so it made absolute sense. I am always looking to play new music so this is a dream. 50 pieces is a lot to learn, but in doing so, I have really grown to enjoy every minute I spend with these two. These compositions are all unique, and I love finding the beauty in what the composers have done. The combination of clarinet, viola, and piano can create some wonderful blends. I think we are all excited to put on a great performance on the 8th."

The December 8 performance is free and open to the public. For more information and to view the program, click here