In the spring of 2010, Freund was awarded a $50,000 Indiana University “New Frontiers” grant for “A Trans-disciplinary conceptualization of Don Freund’s PASSION with Tropes.” Working with a team of artists from IU’s Departments of Theatre and Digital Arts assembled by conductor Carmen Tellez, Don has been reconstructing the score to prepare a 80-minute immersive theatre production that will be presented in IU Ruth N. Halls Theatre May 20th and 21st, 2011.
To experience the effectiveness of this reduced scoring, IU’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and New Music Ensemble presented a 30-minute Concert Extract from PASSION with Tropes directed by Maestra Tellez on the November 4th IU NME Concert.
Don also received two commissions to write trios in 2010, both of which were premiered in October. Autumnsongs for piano trio, commissioned by the Indiana Music Teachers/Music Teachers National Association, was premiered by an amazing trio from IU’s Pre-College Music Program at the IMTA conventions. Crunch Time for bass clarinet, cello and piano was commissioned by the Ensemble Zellig, with the support of the French American Fund for Contemporary Music, and was premiered at the beginning of the group’s tour of the US at Brown University, followed by performances at IU and UC Berkely.
Freund was guest composer at James Madison University’s Contemporary Music Festival. JMU’s Wind Symphony gave a definitive performance of Jug Blues & Fat Pickin’, thanks to the meticulous and sympathetic preparation by the group’s conductor Stephen Bolstad. The same can be said for the Madison Singers performances of Lauda Anima Mea and God’s Grandeur, brilliantly conducted by Patrick Walders. Jason Haney and Paulo Steinberg made a tour de force out of the piano duo Prelude, Chorale and a few other things, and Haney conducted a ready-for-CD performance of Soft Cells with a 15-piece ensemble of the school’s faculty and top grad students. Freund added his own solo performance of three of his piano preludes to this substantial festival, which was kicked off by Alarm Will Sound’s presentation of their “1969” collage concert.