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Northwest Missouri State University


Alumni Spotlight

The Peabody Modern Orchestra at Johns Hopkins University, shown during a rehearsal, premiered Northwest alumnus Robert Langenfeld's composition, “Celestial Body,” in February. (Submitted photos)

The Peabody Modern Orchestra at Johns Hopkins University, shown during a rehearsal, premiered Northwest alumnus Robert Langenfeld's composition, “Celestial Body,” in February. (Submitted photos)

April 16, 2019

Maryland university premieres alumnus’ orchestra composition

By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant

Related link

Listen and view the Peabody Modern Orchestra performing “Celestial Body” by clicking here.

Dr. Harlan Parker, left, and Robert Langenfeld, right.

Dr. Harlan Parker, left, and Robert Langenfeld, right.

Northwest Missouri State University alumnus Robert Langenfeld continues to shine in the field of music composition with the world premiere in February of his composition, “Celestial Body,” in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University commissioned Langenfeld to write the symphony for the Peabody Modern Orchestra, an orchestra specializing in new music.

“I was thrilled,” Langenfeld said. “I’ve known about the Peabody Conservatory for awhile and how they are a world-class institution with phenomenal performers. I was really excited for the opportunity to write something completely new and out of my comfort zone.”

While completing his doctorate, Northwest Symphony Orchestra Conductor Dr. Robert Pippin connected Langenfeld with Dr. Harlan Parker, the director of the Peabody Modern Orchestra. Parker has an interest in electronics and Langenfeld was looking to compose a piece for orchestra and electronics.

“Robert is a fantastic composer and person,” Pippin said. “Robert has a lot of energy and passion for all music. He is a very creative thinker and is constantly coming up with ideas that push the boundaries of classical music. He is rapidly becoming a pioneer in this field.”

Langenfeld graduated from Northwest in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in music and computer science. As an undergraduate student, he was a member of the Bearcat Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band and Low Brass Choir. He also was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity.

“It was great,” Langenfeld said. “I met my wife at Northwest, at a music concert, and had experiences that I couldn’t get anywhere else. Being able to travel with the marching band, joining Greek Life and performing my own music with the Northwest Wind Symphony are all memories I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Langenfeld stays connected to Northwest through his music and Greek Life alumni opportunities. Northwest’s Wind Symphony also performs Langenfeld’s work. His composition, “Spark!” won the 2016 Claude T. Smith Memorial Composition Contest for Young Composers.

Langenfeld lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he is a software engineer and operates his own music publishing company, RLCompositions. Along with scoring for film, web and games, Langenfeld composes for various mediums, including contemporary and traditional ensembles. He also consults with marching band programs to design performance formations for the competition season.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468