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Prof. Emeritus Conrad De Jong returns for concert

The UW-River Falls will host composer Conrad De Jong for a three-day residency on April 19-21.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Commissioned Composer Project, De Jong is the latest commissioned composer in the projects historic legacy.

The project, which began in 1967 by Professor De Jong, is the longest standing program of its kind within the United States, putting a national spotlight on the UW-RF Music Department.

Every year, student members select and commission a composer to write a piece of music for the student body, and arranges for that composer to come to the campus in the spring to interact with the students and take part in the premiere performance of that work.

Conrad De Jong is a highly acclaimed and accomplished composer of international renown. He has 30 published commissions to his credit and, since 1970, has received annual awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

In 1980 he was a featured composer at New Music America. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Town Hall in New York City, and on the Today Show.

Internationally, his works have been performed in Canada, South America, Europe, Australia and Japan. One of his numerous commissions, "Variations on the Spanish La Folia," has been recorded by the Dorian Wind Quintet on its Summit Records CD, American Premieres.

As a teacher, he was especially proud of his students' work in composition and their performances with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls New Music Ensemble. He also takes great personal gratification from the establishment and continuation of the UW-RF Commissioned Composer Program.

De Jong will begin his residency at UW-River Falls on April 19. His visit will conclude with the Commissioned Composer Concert on Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the William Abbott Concert Hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

The concert will feature many works by the composer, as well as the world premiere of the commissioned work, entitled "Earth Songs II," and is also free and open to the public.

The residency is sponsored by the UW-RF Commissioned Composer Project, a student organization that aims to bring the works of contemporary composers to the River Falls campus.