Meet the Directors

Stefan Freund, Artistic Director

Stefan Freund received a BM with High Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music and an MM and a DMA from the Eastman School of Music.  His primary composition teachers included Pulitzer Prize winners Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner as well as Augusta Read Thomas, Frederick Fox, and Don Freund, his father.  He studied cello with Steven Doane, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Peter Spurbeck, among others.  He is presently Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri.  Previously he was Assistant Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music.

Freund is the recipient of two William Schuman Prizes and the Boudleaux Bryant Prize from BMI, five ASCAP Morton Gould Grants, twelve ASCAP Plus Awards, a Music Merit Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Howard Hanson Prize.  He was selected as the 2004 Music Teachers National Association-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year.  In 2006 and 2013 he was awarded Outstanding Faculty Research and Creative Activity Awards from MU.  Freund has received commissions from the New Spectrum Foundation, the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Lincoln Center Festival, the New York Youth Symphony, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Verdehr Trio, Town Hall Seattle, Sheldon Concert Hall, and SCI/ASCAP.  His music has been performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center as well as by ensembles such as the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony.  International performances include the Berliner Philharmonie, the Moscow International Performing Arts Center, Glinka Hall (St. Petersburg), Queen's Hall (Copenhagen), the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, and concert halls in seven other European countries, Canada, and Mexico.  His works have been recorded on the Albany, Innova, Crystal, and Centaur labels.

Active as a performer, conductor, and producer of new music, Freund is the founding cellist of the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound.  His cello performances include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Met Museum, Merkin Hall, Millennium Park, Disney Hall, the Barbican (UK), the Hermitage Theatre (RU), the Muzikgebouw (ND), the World Financial Center, Culture Station Seoul (Korea), and the Beijing Modern Music Festival.  He has recorded on the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Tzadik, and I Virtuosi labels as well as Sweetspot Music DVD.  In addition, Freund is the Artistic Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative and the Music Director of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.


Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Interim Managing Director

Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s works explore multiplicity, causality, behavior, and the integration of live performance with technology. A tri-continentally active American composer, Jason is Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble], Chair of Composition, Theory, and Electroacoustic Music at the College of Music, Mahidol University (Thailand), and Interim Managing Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative at the University of Missouri. Jason is the recipient of a 2010-11 Fulbright Fellowship (Germany), nomination for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, the Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize, fellowships and commissions from Royaumont for Talea and EXAUDI (2016) and the Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (2017), from MICF for Alarm Will Sound, from MATA, the Int’l Horn Society, Eklekto Percussion, TIME SPANS, Ensemble Interface, Nikel, Slagwerk Den Haag, wild Up, the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, TACETi, and has been honored as winner of Iron Composer, 2015 AiR at USF Verftet (Norway), 2018 AiR at the Embassy of Foreign Artists (Switzerland).

Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger received performances at Darmstadt, The Industry’s FIRST TAKE (L.A.), and MATA (NYC). He holds a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, and has served as Visiting Lecturer in Composition & Interim Director of the Electronic Music Studios (UTEMS) at the Butler School of Music UT Austin, Executive Director of the VIPA Festival (Spain), Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, and Director of the Academy for Young Composers at TICF (Thailand). He is widely sought as a guest composer at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Stanford, TRANSIT (Belgium), MATA, YST Conservatory (Singapore), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the Bangkok Metropolitan Orchestra, the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (Norway), and dozens of Universities throughout the United States.


Carolina Heredia, Assistant Director

By exploring the merging of music and visuals, Argentinean composer Carolina Heredia’s current research is invested in the production of interactive audiovisual works. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed in the United States and South America by esteemed musicians and ensembles such as JACK Quartet, Derek Bermel, Alarm Will Sound, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Duo Cortona, and the Argentinean Cordoba State String Orchestra among others.

Her music has been featured on the SONIC Festival NYC, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowling Green New Music Festival, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, TIES Toronto International Electroacoustic Festival, SEAMUS, Strange Beautiful Music, New Music Gathering, Crested Butte Music Festival, and 3rd Cordoba Composition Biennial, among others. Heredia received a 2015 Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation Commission for the creation of her work Ausencias/Ausências/Absences, for string quartet, electronics, dance and interactive video, that was premiered by the JACK Quartet in March 2016. Her work Virgina (2015), for solo alto and mixed choir, was awarded the Brehm Prize in choral composition and is currently published by the Hal Leonard company.

In 2016, she was awarded a one-year fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute of Humanities to dedicate to develop and extend her dissertation into a multimedia work that was premiered on March 2017 at the Duderstadt Center Experimental Media Lab. In 2017 she completed her Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. She recently founded the Khemia Ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble who strives to create innovative audiovisual concert experiences involving interactive technology. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri School of Music.


Niko D. Schroeder, Assistant Managing Director

Niko Schroeder is the Assistant Managing Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he also serves as an audiovisual technician. His collaborative spirit is reflected in his work as a bandleader, performer, arts administrator, and audio engineer. He holds degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia and Grand Valley State University, and is one of few full-time musicians to co-own a professional sports organization.