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International Notes

Professor's compositions get play in Italy and the Netherlands; will also be presented in a Dallas master class and concerts Sept. 11 and 15

The Eclectic 'Second Childhood'

Works by Associate Professor of Composition Theory Kevin Hanlon received international audiences in summer 2015.

Second Childhood, an eclectic, theatrical six-minute piece featuring toys such as a jack-in-the-box, an assortment of balloons, a Jaymar piano and push toys, was written years ago when Hanlon was a graduate student at Eastman School of Music. Dutch musician Juho Myllylä discovered the work on the Internet in 2015 and received permission from Hanlon to present the piece live at Amsterdam’s 17th century Amstelkerk church and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

“The diversity of instruments is just fascinating,” says Myllylä. “We strove to dive deeper into the theatrical aspects while tightly maintaining the core of the work. It was totally amazing to make it happen and bring it on stages and transmit the weird beauty of it to the people.”

Hanlon’s work also gained listeners via Italian online radio station Classic Shock, which featured his piece That’s It, a prismatic work originally written for award-winning cellist and SMU Meadows alumnus Francesco Mastromatteo (Artist Certificate ’06; M.M.in cello performance ’08). That’s It combines several influences, including musical passages inspired by metal band Pantera.

Classic Shock interviewed Hanlon as well as Italian-born pianist-composer Thomas Schwan at length; the 80-minute show is spoken in Italian, with Schwan serving as an interpreter for Hanlon’s English. Schwan, a Legacy performer with the Joaquin Achúcarro Foundation and an alumnus of SMU Meadows (Artist Diploma Piano ’09; M.M. Piano Performance ’11; M.M. Music Composition ’15), also has pieces included in the Classic Shock segment.

Mastromatteo will present a master class on Friday, September 11 at 1 p.m. in Room 2020 at SMU Meadows’ Owen Arts Center. The class, which is open free of charge to the public, will include an examination of That’s It. Mastromatteo will also be a featured guest performer at the Liudmila Georgievskaya & Friends “Music of Messiaen” concert on Monday, September 14; on September 12, he will perform That’s It and two classical pieces in a solo cello concert at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

See an early version of That’s It performed by Francesco Mastromatteo in 2011.

Read more about Kevin Hanlon, the SMU Meadows Department of Music Theory and Composition, Francesco Mastromatteo and Thomas Schwan.

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