Experience AMF 2018
We are in the process of finalizing our 2018 Artist-faculty roster. This list may change without notice. To see a list of artists from previous seasons, click here.
The list below includes previous season artist-faculty members, guest artists, and fellows.
AMY BETH KIRSTEN
Amy Beth Kirsten's music combines popular idioms with fierce expressionism and theatre
and often requires musicians to play, vocalize, act, and move simultaneously. Her work is distinguished by an intense physicality that pushes players to extremes by making their bodies and voices instruments of artistic expression. Ms. Kirsten’s non-theatrical concert music has been programmed throughout the U.S. and the U.K. Most notable is World Under Glass No. 1 (2011) for five bassoons, which is her most regularly programmed chamber work to date.
A composer, librettist, and vocalist, Ms. Kirsten begins the 2017-18 season in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series to create Savior, an evening-length work of composed theatre for three singers, flute, cello, percussion, lighting, and sound design. The work, a mystical re-telling of the life and trial of Joan of Arc, brings together musicians and artists from HOWL (Ms. Kirsten’s own ensemble) and players from the Chicago Symphony. Savior premieres April 2, 2018 at the Harris Theatre in Chicago.
World premiere performances in 2017 of her most recent staged work, QUIXOTE, were the culmination of a 2-year residency at Montclair State University (NJ) with HOWL. This evening-length theatrical work inspired by Cervantes’ epic novel and performed by vocal trio and vocalizing percussion quartet, was described as “wildly inventive” by the New York Times. QUIXOTE was directed by Mark DeChiazza, a frequent collaborator who also directed her critically acclaimed Colombine’s Paradise Theatre - produced, premiered, and toured by the multi-Grammy-winning chamber ensemble eighth blackbird in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014 Ms. Kirsten made her Carnegie Hall debut with strange pilgrims, a concert work for chorus, orchestra, and film commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra. She was also the inaugural Composer-in-Residence for London’s Riot Ensemble which gave the world premiere of she is a myth as well as the U.K. premieres of several of her solo and chamber works.
She has been recognized with artist fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Most recently she received the Leonard Bernstein Award from ASCAP.
Educated at Roosevelt University (MM) and the Peabody Institute (DMA), Ms. Kirsten is co-founder and director of HOWL, a modular new music ensemble that specializes in instrumental and vocal theatre. In 2014, HOWL's record label, Bad Wolf Music, released its first recording, If this world could stop… Upcoming releases include paper and ink, the first CD of Ms. Kirsten's solo and chamber works. Her music is also recorded on the Parlour Tapes+ label.
Ms. Kirsten grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. After living for seven years in Baltimore, MD she now lives with her husband, Christopher Theofanidis (also a composer), in New Haven, Connecticut and teaches music composition privately and, for the past seven years, at the HighSCORE summer festival in Pavia, Italy. In fall of 2017, she joins the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA, and previously served on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University during the 2015-17 academic years.
Arlene Shrut, is a collaborative pianist with a flair for the visionary: combining tradition with transformation. This two-fold passion guided Arlene to become Founder and Artistic Director of New Triad for Collaborative Arts, a 501C3 non-profit educational and arts service organization dedicated to providing classically-trained musicians with professional presentation skills that lead to more accessible concerts. New Triad’s innovative interdisciplinary training helps artists dramatically increase both the expressiveness and visual impact of their performances.
Dr. Shrut is a Senior Coach at the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts of The Juilliard School as well as a Vocal-Piano Recital Faculty Coach at the Manhattan School of Music. An admired keyboard performer hailed as a “strong and sensitive pianist” by The New York Times, Arlene has performed in major venues in America, Canada and Europe, and recorded for Dorian, Albany, Summit, Centaur and Orion labels. Arlene also launched The National Association of Accompanists and Coaches and taught on the faculties of Syracuse University and Mannes College. During the summer of 2009, her teaching and performing was featured at Vancouver International Song Institute, Operafest on Martha’s Vineyard and Resonanz Festival. In the summer of 2010, she also joined the Atlantic Music Festival faculty and guested at Songfest in Malibu.
Arlene’s ongoing activities in the operatic realm include serving as official pianist for international competitions sponsored by The Loren Zachary Society, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation and the Giulio Gari Foundation. She was coach/pianist for Arizona Opera’s last complete Ring cycle and has performed in many gala concerts sponsored by the America Wagner Society. Arlene was a member of the coaching staff at the Aspen Opera Theater Center for fourteen summers, where she taught seminars on Mozart and German opera. Arlene was honored in 2003 as inaugural “Coach of the Year” by Classical Singer Magazine.
Consistently acclaimed for his exquisite tonal beauty and superb artistry, Boris Slutsky emerged on the international music scene when he captured the First Prize along with every major prize, including the Audience Prize and Wihelm Backhaus Award, at the 1981 William Kapell Internaitonal (University of Maryland) Piano Competition. His other accomplishments include first prizes at the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition and San Antonio International Keyboard Competition, and major prizes at the International Bach Competition in Memory of Glenn Gould, Gina Bachauer, Busoni, Rina Sala Gallo, and Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competitions.
Since his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony in 1980, Mr. Slutsky has appeared on nearly every continent as soloist and recitalist, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Dimitri Kitaenko and Valery Gergiev. He has performed with the London Philharmonic, Stuttgart State Orchestra, and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss am Rhein in Germany, Bem Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland, Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, the RAI Orchestra in Milan, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Korea, and major orchestras in Spain, Russia, Columbia and Brazil. In South Africa, he has been soloist with the orchestras of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. His North American engagements have included concerts with the Baltimore, Florida, Utah and Toronto Symphonies. Mr. Slutsky has been heard on recital series’ throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Latin America, and the Far East, making appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Kaufmann Concert Hall, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Performing Arts Center in Seoul, and the Teatro Colon in Bogota, among many others.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Slutsky’s more than two decades of chamber music collaborations include the critically acclaimed recording of Schumann’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Ilya Kaler on the Naxos label as well as performances with many renowned artists.
Mr. Slutsky presented master classes throughout North America, Europe and Asia and served as a jury member of many international piano competitions.
Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Mr. Slutsky received his early training at Moscow’s Gnessin School for Gifted Children as a student of Anna Kantor, and completed his formal studies at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, studying with Nadia Reisenberg, Nina Svetlanova, John Browning and Joseph Seiger. In addition, he has worked for many years with his mentor Alexander Eydleman.
Mr. Slutsky has joined the faculty of The Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1993, where he served as the Piano Department Chair 2000-2003 and 2009-2017.
In live performances from the Hollywood Bowl to New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, from Paris to Hong Kong, and in his continuing series of recordings for Arabesque — Bruce Brubaker is the new musician, a visionary virtuoso, and an artistic provocateur. Named “Young Musician of the Year” by Musical America, Bruce Brubaker performs Mozart with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philip Glass on the BBC. Profiled on NBC’s Today show, Brubaker’s playing, writing, and collaborations continue to show a shining, and sometimes surprising future for pianists and piano playing. His blog “PianoMorphosis” appears at ArtsJournal.com.
Brubaker was presented by Carnegie Hall at Zankel Hall in New York, at Trifolion in Echternach, at Michigan’s Gilmore Festival, and at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, as the opening-night performer in the museum’s acclaimed new Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed building. He is a frequent performer at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge.
Bruce Brubaker’s CDs for Arabesque include Time Curve (music by Philip Glass and William Duckworth), Hope Street Tunnel Blues (music by Glass and Alvin Curran, featuring Brubaker’s transcription of a portion of Glass’s opera Einstein on the Beach), Inner Cities (including a live recording of John Adams’s Phrygian Gates and Brubaker’s transcription of part of Adams’s opera Nixon in China), and the first CD in the series, glass cage, named one of the best releases of the year by The New Yorker magazine.
Brubaker has premiered works by Glass, Nico Muhly, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and John Cage. He performed at Sanders Theater in collaboration with Cage during the composer’s tenure as Charles Eliot Norton Lecturer at Harvard University.
Following his New York debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Brubaker was awarded a solo artist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His London debut at the Wigmore Hall led to his first broadcast concert on the BBC, an all-Brahms recital. Brubaker has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival at Avery Fisher Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, London’s Wigmore Hall, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Antwerp’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Finland’s Kuhmo Festival.
Bruce Brubaker has appeared on RAI in Italy and is featured in the documentary film about the Juilliard School, made for the PBS “American Masters Series.” As a member of Affiliate Artists Xerox Pianists Program, he presented residencies and performed with orchestras throughout the United States.
Brubaker has given masterclasses and forums at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Columbia University, Leipzig’s Hochschüle für Musik, the École Normale in Paris, Ghent’s Orpheus Instituut, North Carolina’s Eastern Music Festival, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Brubaker’s articles about music have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Piano Quarterly, Dutch Journal of Music Theory, and Chamber Music magazine. He was co-editor and a contributor to Pianist, Scholar, Connoisseur: Essays in Honor of Jacob Lateiner (Pendragon Press, 2000), a collection paying homage to his former teacher. His essay “Time Is Time” appears in Unfolding Time (2009), available in the U.S. from Cornell University Press. He presented the closing recital in Harvard University’s Crosscurrents conference in 2008. He is the U.S. representative for “Behind the Music: The Performer as Researcher,” a research initiative based in Australia.
Brubaker was the creator in 2000–2001 of “B-A-C-H,” a six-concert series in New York examining the connections between J. S. Bach and the composers who followed him. The previous year, at the turn of the millennium, he organized “Piano Century,” in which 100 pianists performed 101 twentieth-century pieces in eleven concerts. In 2004, Brubaker created and performed Pianomorphosis, a 70-minute multidisciplinary performance piece for the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Michigan. Brubaker’s performance piece Haydnseek, was created together with Nico Muhly. Brubaker is the founder and artistic director of the chamber music festival SummerMusic in his native Iowa.
Brubaker trained at the Juilliard School, where he received the school’s highest award, the Edward Steuermann Prize, upon graduation. At Juilliard, where he taught from 1995 to 2004, he has appeared in public conversations with Philip Glass, Milton Babbitt, and Meredith Monk.
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Christopher Dobrian is Professor of Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology in the Department of Music, with a joint appointment in the Department of Informatics. He is a composer of instrumental and electronic music, teaches courses in composition, theory, and computer music, and directs the Realtime Experimental Audio Laboratory (REALab), the Gassmann Electronic Music Studio and the Gassmann Electronic Music Series. He conducts research on the development of artificially intelligent interactive computer systems for the cognition, composition, and improvisation of music. He has published technical and theoretical articles on interactive computer music, and is the author of the original reference documentation and tutorials for the Max, MSP, and Jitter programming environments by Cycling '74. He holds a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied composition with Joji Yuasa, Robert Erickson, Morton Feldman, and Bernard Rands, computer music with F. Richard Moore and George Lewis, and classical guitar with the Spanish masters Celin and Pepe Romero.
Dobrian has been an invited Fulbright specialist at the Korean National University of Arts, the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and McGill University in Montreal, and has been a guest professor at Yonsei University, Taiwan National Normal University, and the National University of Quilmes in Argentina. His computer music compositions include Microepiphanies: A Digital Opera, a completely computer-controlled performance; Invisible Walls for dancers, motion tracking system, and computer-controlled synthesizer; Distance Duo for two computer pianos in remote locations connected via Internet; Mannam for Korean flute (daegeum) and interactive computer system; JazzBot for piano and musical robots; Tautology for Two for trumpet, trombone, and computer, with the instrumentalists located in different cities; and Gestural for digital piano and interactive computer system responding to the musical gestures of an improviser.
For more information, please visit http://music.arts.uci.edu/dobrian
Composer David Ludwig’s music has been performed internationally by leading musicians in some of the world’s most prestigious locations. His music has been called “entrancing,” and that it “promises to speak for the sorrows of this generation,” (Philadelphia Inquirer). It has further gained recognition for its “expressive directness” (The New York Times) and has been noted for “a yearning, poetic quality” (Baltimore Sun). The New Yorker magazine calls him a “musical up-and-comer” and the Chicago Tribune says that he “deserves his growing reputation as one of the up-and-comers of his generation.” He has had performances in such venues in as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Library of Congress, and been played on PBS and National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. NPR Music listed him as one of the world’s top 100 composers under forty in 2011.
Ludwig has received commissions from many prominent artists and ensembles. The Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird ensemble commissioned his work Haiku Catharsis. In 2005, Ludwig wrote a new work for violinist Jaime Laredo that the composer conducted in a dozen concert halls. According to the League of American Orchestras, his Concertino was one of the top ten most frequently performed orchestra works by a living composer that year. He joined the Curtis On Tour Ensemble in 2009 for a tour with his song-cycle From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayám in a season that also featured performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
This season features performances by Marina Piccinini, eighth blackbird, the American Modern Ensemble, and the Detroit Chamber Winds, as well as the premiere of his Symphony No. 1 The Book of Hours with the Vermont Symphony. The 2009-2010 season featured commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, Concert Artists Guild, The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the University of Michigan Wind Ensemble, as well as a double concerto for violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson. Other commissions have been received from important musicians including pianist Jonathan Biss, flutist Jeffrey Khaner, violinist Soovin Kim, violist Michael Tree, and guitarist Jason Vieaux.
Recipient of the First Music Award, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, and a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, Ludwig has been twice nominated for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Stoeger Award. He has received awards from the American Composers Forum, American Music Center, and had a three-year residency with the Vermont Symphony funded by the Meet The Composer “Music Alive!” program. He was honored in 2009 as a cultural leader by the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia.
Ludwig was the Young Composer in residence at the Marlboro Music School for three consecutive years. In addition to Marlboro, he has been in residence at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies. He is a resident artist at the Isabella Gardner Museum, and is now the permanent New Music Advisor of the Vermont Symphony. Ludwig directs several composition programs in prominent summer music festivals, as well.
Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of musicians. His grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin and his great-grandfather, violinist Adolf Busch. He holds degrees from Oberlin, MSM, Curtis, and Juilliard, as well as a PhD from UPenn. Ludwig is on the composition faculty of the Curtis Institute where he serves the Artistic Chair of Performance and as the director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble
Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys’ concert career has spanned more than three decades across four continents. During recent years, he has concertized in many of the major cities of Asia. A frequent guest artist in Beijing, he has performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. In addition to concerts in the cities of Hong Kong and Chongqing, he has presented concerts and lecture-recitals throughout the Chinese conservatory and university system, including the Central Conservatory, the China Conservatory, the conservatories of Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Cheng-Du, Xian, Dalian, and Xiamen, the Shenzhen School of the Arts, Peking University, and Renmin University. In 2002 he made his Korean debut in Seoul at the Kumho Art Hall, and during a 2007 tour of Taiwan, he performed in the cities of Taipei, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
In Europe, Mr. Humpherys has presented solo concerts in the cities of Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, with additional concert engagements in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada at numerous universities and festivals, and is frequently a guest artist at conferences of the Music Teachers National Association. He has recorded for the Gina Bachauer Piano Foundation, American Public Radio, and has been featured in live performances on affiliates of NPR and PBS. During the summer of 2012, he will travel to Buenos Aires to teach and perform with Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur, a project sponsored in part by the United States Embassy in Argentina. He is currently listed on the artists’ roster of Steinway and Sons.
Mr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Piano Department.
During his student days, he studied with Nelita True, Martin Canin, and Robert Smith. In high demand as a teacher, he has been appointed to visiting residencies or professorships at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory in Beijing, Yonsei University in Seoul, and the University of Michigan. His students have won numerous competition prizes including the Honens, Cleveland, Hilton Head, Osaka, and Pacific International Competitions, as well as two recent national winners of the MTNA/Steinway Young Artists Competition.
He has taught literally hundreds of master classes at universities and conservatories including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, most of the major conservatories in China, Seoul National University, National Taiwan Normal University, Northwestern University, the Oberlin School of Music, and Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary. He has served on the faculty of many summer festivals such as the Beijing International Festival and Academy, the Chinese National Pedagogy Convention in Shanghai, the Chinese-American International Piano Institute associated with the Sichuan Conservatory at Cheng-Du, the South Bohemia Music Festival in Prague, and the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. In addition, he has presented lectures to the European Piano Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers’ National Association, the World Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
A frequent adjudicator, he has served on the jury of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition fourteen times, and has also adjudicated the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Rachmaninoff International Young Artists’ Piano Competition in Novgorod, Russia, the Ricardo Viñes International Piano Competition in Spain, the PTNA National Piano Competition in Tokyo, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition. His experience in this regard led him to create and direct the Eastman Young Artists’ International Piano Competition, which is held biennially in Rochester, New York.
George Tsontakis has been the recipient of the two richest prizes awarded in all of classical music; the international Grawemeyer Award, in 2005, for his Second Violin Concerto and the 2007 Ives Living, awarded every three years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He studied with Roger Sessions at Juilliard and in Rome, with Franco Donatoni. Born in Astoria, NY into a strongly Cretan heritage, he has, in recent years, become an important figure in the music of Greece and his music is increasingly performed abroad, with dozens of performances in Europe every season. Most of his music, including eleven major orchestral works and four concertos have been recorded by Hyperion and Koch, leading to two Grammy Nominations for Best Classical Composition, in 2009 and 1999. He is Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at the Bard Conservatory and Composer-in-Residence with the Aspen Music Festival for decades, where he was founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, from 1991-99. He served for three years as Composer-in-Residence with the Oxford (England) Philomusica and is continuing a six-year Music Alive residency with the Albany Symphony and is the featured Composer-In-Residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 2008-09 season. He lives in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, in Shokan.
Hitomi Koyama has won prizes in consecutive years at Dichler Competition held in Vienna, Austria and also has received Leni Fe Bland Music Awards. She has performed at Wiener Musikseminar, International Sommer Akademie Tokushima, Art of the Piano, CCM Prague International Piano Institute, Mannes Beethoven Institute, Eastern Music Festival and Atlantic Music Festival.
As a recitalist and a chamber musician, she has appeared in venues are such as Corbett Auditorium, Werner Hall and Watson Hall in Cincinnati, Snyder Recital Hall at Ohio Northern University, Javitz Center, the Lincoln Center, Spanish Institute, Steinway Hall and Yamaha Salon in New York, Flickinger Center in New Mexico, Bösendorfer Hall, Liszt Hall and Konzerthaus Wien in Austria, Jan Deyl Conservatory Concert Hall in Czech Republic, Murasaki Hall, Aimu Hall and Amyu Tachikawa Hall in Japan.
Koyama has earned degrees from the Juilliard School, Mannes College, and University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral degree at College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati. She has played in master classes with world renowned pianists such as Mitsuko Uchida and Robert Levin. Her significant mentors include Martin Canin, Victor Rosenbaum, Peter Efler, and Eugene Pridonoff.
Along with her passion for performance, she is an active teacher at both collegiate and preparatory institutions. She served as Adjunct Professor of Piano at CCM, Wittenberg University and piano faculty at CCM Preparatory Department. From October 2017, she joins piano faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School in Boston. She gave recitals and master classes at Ohio Northern University, Ohio University, Providence College, Western Kentucky University and Wright State University. Her students have won scholarships, competitions around the country and have been pursuing further performance studies at major conservatories and universities in the U.S. She is a guest artist faculty at Atlantic Music Festival in Maine and a piano faculty at Shinshu Art Camp in Nagano, Japan.
Music Director, Gangnam Symphony
Since his formal conducting debut at age 17, conductor and violist Kisun Sung has conducted many ensembles around the world including the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.), New Jersey Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Carlos Chavez Sinfonica, New Amsterdam Symphony, Philharmonische Staatsorchester Halle, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Nova Filarmonia Portguesa and most of the important Korean orchestras. He was invited by Daniel Barenboim to be Apprentice Conductor of the Chicago Symphony where he rehearsed the ensemble and worked extensively with the maestro. He was the youngest participant and second place winner at the Pedro Freitas de Branco conducting competition in Lisbon, Portugal, with a prize that included an invitation to lead four performances with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra. An accomplished violist, Mr. Sung has performed extensively as a viola soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra player. He played principal viola under Leonard Bernstein at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. He earned degrees from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School and Seoul National University. From 2000 to 2006, he served as the faculty member of the Juilliard School. As a result of his artistic achievement, the Korean government named him as Young Musician of the Year 2004. Currently he is the professor in conducting and viola performance at Ewha University. He enjoys Zen meditation and believes that music is one of the strongest God-given tools that can unite people and bring peace to the world.
Logan Skelton is a much sought after pianist, teacher, and composer whose work has received international critical acclaim. As a performer, Skelton has concertized widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has been featured on many public radio and television stations including NPR's Audiophile Audition, Performance Today, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, as well as on radio in China and national television in Romania. He has recorded numerous discs for Centaur, Albany, Crystal, Blue Griffin, and Naxos Records, the latter on which he performed on two pianos with fellow composer-pianist William Bolcom. A frequent guest at music festivals, Skelton regularly appears in such settings as Gina Bachauer; Amalfi Coast; Gijón; Eastman; Tunghai; Chautauqua Institution; American Romanian; Eastern; New Orleans; Poland International; Indiana University; Hilton Head Island; and the Prague International Piano Masterclasses. He is a popular presenter at music teacher organizations including numerous appearances at MTNA national conventions and EPTA World Piano Conferences, as well as serving as convention artist for state conventions in New York, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Iowa. Moreover, he has given countless performances and masterclasses at colleges, conservatories, and conferences throughout the U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Poland, and Czech Republic. He is a frequent juror for international piano competitions. His Centaur Records compact disc, of all 20th century American solo piano music, is titled American Grab Bag: Piano Music of Our Time. American Record Guide described this as a "fascinating recording," commenting on Skelton's "superb, wonderfully subtle and elegant playing ... Bravo!"
As a composer, Skelton has a special affinity for art song, having composed well over a hundred songs, including numerous song cycles. Critics have noted the close fusion of text and music in Skelton's songs, how words are "... illuminated with brilliance and deep emotional power," American Record Guide. Others have found "... joy-a night unto ecstatic joy... in word and sound-play," Dial M for Musicology. In Fanfare magazine reviews, Skelton as a composer of song has been singled out for his ability to "... plumb the depths of emotion ... these are exquisitely crafted art songs in the American tradition ... we are in the hands of someone who lives and breathes song." His works have been performed throughout the world by a variety of musicians in settings such as Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Tblisi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Australia, Sorrento, Italy, as well as numerous cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, New Orleans, Lincoln, Houston, Detroit, and many others. He composed the required work for the 1993 New Orleans International Piano Competition. His song cycle Anderson Songs: The Islander, was a recipient of the Music Composition Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Professor Skelton's principal teachers have included John Murphy, Rebecca Penneys, Lillian Freundlich, and Artur Balsam. A devoted teacher himself, his own piano students have repeatedly won awards in many national and international competitions including Hilton Head; San Antonio; Cincinnati World; Washington; Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff; Fischoff; Jacob Flier; Iowa; Frinna Awerbuch; Eastman; Crescendo; Dallas Chamber; Missouri Southern; Los Angeles Liszt; Wideman; Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Musicale; Schimmel, Liszt-Garrison; Grieg Festival; Del Rosario; Beethoven Sonata; Ithaca; Piano Arts; Heida Hermanns; Dubois; Schmidbauer; Peabody Mason; Janáček; Seattle; Kingsville; New York; Oberlin; Idyllwild; as well as numerous Music Teachers National Association competitions. His former students hold positions of prominence in music schools and conservatories throughout the world. He was honored by the University of Michigan as the recipient of the prestigious Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Missouri State University, and is currently professor of Piano and director of Doctoral Studies in Piano Performance at U-M.
Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. As a performer, composer, and researcher, she has opened up new sonic worlds for the violin. Notably, she has mastered the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin’s lowest string without retuning. This technique, which she calls Subharmonics, has earned Mari considerable renown in the concert music world and beyond. She is also a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music. At the same time, she has earned international acclaim as a soloist and recitalist in both standard and contemporary repertoire.
Born in Tokyo, Japan to two professors (father, architecture; mother, law), Mari began violin lessons at the age of five with Armand Weisbord, a student of Eugène Ysaÿe and former concertmaster of the CBC Orchestra in Ottawa. After earning a Bachelors’ degree in violin performance from the Toho School, Japan’s top conservatory where she studied with Toshiya Eto, she moved to the US to study with Roman Totenberg at Boston University. One semester away from a Masters’ degree, she needed an extra credit to maintain her student visa. Out of curiosity, she chose an electronic music course, setting her on a new artistic path – in her words, “carrying on the old traditions of the violin while using the tools of our age.”
Mari entered the Juilliard School’s doctoral program on a full scholarship, studying with principal teacher Joseph Fuchs and serving as an assistant in Juilliard’s electronic music studio. She began composition studies with Mario Davidovsky at Columbia University, and served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). There she was introduced to computer-based live signal processing, and wrote “U” (The Cormorant), her first major work for violin and tape.
In 1992, she composed ALT, an acoustic solo violin work that incorporated her newly-developed Subharmonics technique for the first time. A series of important recitals followed, including her Japanese debut in Tokyo’s Casals Hall and a League of Composers/ISCM Recital Award concert at Merkin Hall. The latter program included ALT, introducing the public to Subharmonics and resulting in a rave review by Edward Rothstein in The New York Times. Mari’s breakthrough drew international attention from both the musical and scientific communities. Her work was mentioned in Physics and Physics Today, and she was invited to demonstrate Subharmonics at the Acoustical Society of America’s 1995 meeting. Since then, more than a dozen articles about Subharmonics have appeared in musical and scientific journals, including several authored by Mari.
Following her graduation from Juilliard in 1993, Mari began to gain increasing prominence as a soloist and recitalist, performing her own music and others’ in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. She has premiered many notable works, including John Adams’s Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere), Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII (US premiere), Tania Léon’s Axon for violin and computer (world premiere), and Salvatore Sciarrino’s 6 Capricci (US premiere), among others. In 2007, Mari introduced Jean-Claude Risset’s violin concerto, Schemes, at Suntory Hall with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The cadenza she wrote for the concerto, incorporating advanced Subharmonics, was subsequently published in Strings. In November 2010, Mari appeared as a soloist with the Hamburg Symphony performing John Adams’ Dharma at the Big Sur, under the direction of Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor.
Her star has risen steadily as a composer: she was chosen as a Composer-in-Residence at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and was commissioned by American Composers Forum to write her first orchestral work, a Violin Concerto premiered at the Callejon de Ruído Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1999. She also won a commission from the International Computer Music Association, resulting in her Cuban-inspired Descarga Interactiva, premiered in Göteborg, Sweden. Further commissions followed from the AMDaT dance compony, baritone Thomas Buckner, Harvestworks, Music from Japan, and others. Mari won the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition, and spent the summer 2010 in Paris as a Composer-in-Residence at IRCAM. As one of her Guggenheim Fellowship project, her latest projects include a violin/cello “Duet x2” with interactive computer, and a commission by the Cassatt String Quartet, "I-Quadrifoglio" for which she was just awarded the Fromm Commission grant 2010. In May 2011, Mari was presented in a solo recital at the Bohemian National Hall in NYC by the Vilcek Foundation (vilcek.org), in recognition of her ground-breaking work as a foreign-born artist. She was featured on NY1 news and two major articles featuring Ms. Kimura’s work appeared: in the New York Times (written by Matthew Gurewitsch) and in Scientific American (written by Larry Greenemeier).
Mari’s multifaceted career is compellingly documented on her most recent commercial recording, Polytopia (Bridge, 2007), which includes music by Jean-Claude Risset, Conlon Nancarrow, Tania León, Milica Paranosic, Frances White, Robert Rowe, and Mari herself. Various tracks find her accompanied by electronic sound, interactive computer, and the GuitarBot, a computer-controlled mechanical stringed instrument created by the League of Electronic Music Urban Robots (LEMUR). Allmusic praised Polytopia as “a highly satisfying debut from a superlative artist who recognizes that the twenty-first century has turned a new page in the relationship between music and technology; she is utilizing all of her super powers to guarantee that her instrument -- the violin -- doesn't get left behind.” Mari’s latest CD, The World Below G and Beyond (Fall 2010 on Mutable Music), is devoted entirely to her own compositions. As the title suggests, it focuses on works using Subharmonics, including the premiere recording of ALT, as well as her interactive computer works. Her works have been supported by grants including New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Jerome Foundation, Meet The Composer, Japan Foundation, Argosy Foundation, and New York State Foundation for the Arts.
Mari is also active as an improvising musician; three recordings feature her in that role. Her first CD, Acoustics, released in 1993 on the Victo label, is a collaboration with guitarist/world music producer Henry Kaiser, together with guitarist Jim O’Rourke (formerly of Sonic Youth) and saxophonist John Oswald. Irrefragable Dreams, an album of improvisations with avant-garde flutist Robert Dick, followed in 1996; Allmusic called it “poetic…highly recommended.” Mari teamed up with improvising multi-instrumentalist Roberto Morales Manzanares for Leyendas (1999), described by Strings magazine as “simply stunning… Kimura brings a rare level of excitement and grandeur to improvised music.”
Since 1998, Mari has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard.
Pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang is Assistant Professor of Piano at Iowa State University and a member of the Amara Piano Quartet (Joanne Rile Artists Management).
Huang has been a prizewinner in several international piano competitions, including the USASU International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona, the 57th Wideman Piano Concerto Competition in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Taipei, Taiwan. She regularly performs over fifty solo and chamber recitals every year in Europe, States, Canada and Taiwan. She has been invited to summer festivals including the 2006 Aspen Music Festival, the 2007 Pianofest in the East Hamptons, the 2008 Orford Music Festival, Quebec, the 2010 Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, the 2012 CICA Eureka Springs International Music Festival in Arkansas, and the 2012 and 2013 Banff Music Festival, Alberta. Festivals increasingly ask for her presence on their artist rosters. Recently, Huang also was presented in a piano recital in National Taiwan Concert Hall (Taipei), as a result of being nominated for the prize of “Excellent Musician Series” by ProArtist.
In 2013, Huang performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Central Iowa Symphony, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Iowa State University Orchestra, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Des Moines Symphony. In 2017, she performed Bach’s F Minor Keyboard Concerto and numerous chamber concerts with the Caroga Lake Chamber Orchestra in New York and Switzerland. Huang has travelled with the Amara Quartet to perform at the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario and on concert series in Illinois, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. The quartet released compact disc on the Fleur de Son label in 2016, a recording of American quartets that will feature the piano quartet by George Tsontakis’ piano quartet No. 3, Dark Rosaleen—written by Lee Hoiby for the Ames Piano Quartet—a piano quartet by Walter Piston and Carolina Reveille by Paul Schoenfield. The quartet will release compact disc on the Fleur de Son label in 2018 including both Faure Piano Quartets.
Huang received her bachelors degree at The National Taiwan Normal University, where, she won the prestigious Xing Tang Temple Piano Competition Prize. She received her masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Sergei Babayan, Margarita Shevchenko, and Paul Schenly. She received her doctorate of musical arts degree at The Ohio State University under full-scholarship.
Huang is on piano faculty at The Atlantic Music Festival in Maine and guest pianist at Caroga Music Festival in New York during the summer.
Huang was named a Steinway & Sons Artist since 2014.
Natalya Antonova made her debut with the Leningrad Philarmonic at the age of 16. As a soloist of two major concert managements, “State Concert” and “Soviet Union Concert”, she concertized in Russia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Byelorussia, and other countries like Germany, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, South Korea, etc.
When she accepted an invitation from the Leningrad Conservatory, she became the youngest professor ever appointed for this position in the history of the school. After 10 years of serving, she accepted a position of Professor of Piano in the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow (formerly the Gnessin Institute of Music).
Antonova has given hundreds of master classes and lectures throughout the world including the Moscow Academy of Music, Paris Conservatory, Budapest Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Seoul National University.
She has participated in many International Festivals in such countries as Hungary, Germany, South Korea, USA, Russia, etc. Each summer she conducts piano classes in the frame of the International Festival in Paris, France.
Antonova has judged numerous competitions such as Gina Bachauer in Utah, Corpous Christi International Competition in Texas, Sibelius International Competition in Ohio, Hilton Head International Competition and Missouri International Competition.
She is currently a tenured professor at the Eastman School of Music.
La Traviata at More Than Musical in Hong Kong, Norma at Dallas Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor at The Academy of Vocal Arts, Norma at Florida Grand Opera, Higglety, Pigglety, Pop and Die Zauberflöte at Bard Conservatory Vocal Arts Program, Florencia en el Amazonas at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Don Giovanni at San Diego Opera, Don Pasquale at San Francisco Opera Merola Program, La Tragédie de Carmen at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Elektra at Michigan Opera Theater, Dido & Aeneas/Orpheus Brittannicus and Die Fledermaus at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, Powder Her Face at Opera Boston, Così fan tutte at The Academy of Vocal Arts (November, 2013), Florencia en el Amazonas at Boston University Opera Institute (February, 2014), Payne Hollow/The Turn of the Screw at Bard Conservatory of Music (world premiere, March, 2014), Don Giovanni at Opera Company of Philadelphia (April, 2014), La Finta Giardinera (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), L’elisir d’amore (Academy of Vocal Arts), El Amor Brujo/La Vida Breve (Manhattan School of Music), Cardillac (Opera Boston), Carmen (Boston Lyric Opera), L’amico Fritz (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), US premiere of Das Liebesverbot (Glimmerglass Opera), The Love for Three Oranges (Indiana University)
Impressions de Pelléas at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, La Traviata and La Bohème at More Than Musical in Hong Kong.
Nic Muni –
A native of New Jersey, Nic received his formal education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in vocal performance, conducting and theater work with Herbert Blau. He subsequently studied voice in Washington, D.C. with the late Todd Duncan, who created the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess, while at the same time pursuing various conducting projects such as Dido and Aeneas at the American University and working as an ensemble member of The Theater Lab with Tony Abeson.
New York City –
Relocating to New York City, he continued projects as a singer and conductor while beginning his work as a stage director. In 1982, he received a fellowship from the National Institute of Music Theater to study with renowned Metropolitan Opera singer and vocal coach Alberta Masiello in a unique program designed to coalesce musical and theatrical values. In 1983, he was appointed Principal Stage Director and Artistic Advisor to the Kentucky Opera, a position he held until 1988 when, until 1990, he served as Director of Drama with the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program.
In the late 1980’s he served as an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle on productions of Lulu in Munich and Carmen in Chicago and as associate director to Peter Sellars in developing his acclaimed production of Cosí fan tutte.
Since 1985 he has been active with the National Endowment for the Arts as an on-site evaluator and panelist for company and project grants. He was on the recommending panel of ARIA (Awards Recognizing Individual Artistry), an organization which provided individual grants in the amount of $15,000 to promising young singers.
Artistic Director, Tulsa Opera —
From 1988-1993, he served as Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera. During his tenure there, he produced and directed two American premières: Verdi’s Le Trouvère (the French version of Il Trovatore), and Rossini’s Armida, both of which were broadcast on National Public Radio’s “World of Opera” series.
He also produced and directed a critically acclaimed production of La Traviata, which was purchased by New York City Opera and presented during their 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Another innovative project while at Tulsa was The Spanish Trilogy: new productions of Carmen, Fidelio, and Il Barbiere Di Siviglia integrated into a cycle through a single concept and scenic design. These productions have since been presented in Dallas, Baltimore, Edmonton, Columbus, Nashville, and Winnipeg.
As a freelance stage director, he has directed over two hundred productions with companies in North America, Europe, and Australia. His fruitful relationship with the Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera has resulted in two widely presented co-productions: Il Trovatore, which has been seen in Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Tulsa, Vancouver, Melbourne and at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and Norma, which has been presented in Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Palm Beach.
Additional work with Houston Grand Opera includes the world premiere of Jackie O, an opera based on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that was also presented at Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.
His work at the Canadian Opera Company includes Lulu (three act version), Rigoletto, which has also been presented in Edmonton, Tulsa, Ottawa, and Minnesota, Jenůfa, which was presented in the autumn of 1996 in Vancouver and at Cincinnati Opera in 1998, Macbeth and Pélleas et Mélisande. He was also the winner of a 2003 Dora Award for best theater production of the year (Jenůfa, at Canadian Opera Company)
For the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he has directed La Finta Giardiniera, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Iphigènie en Tauride. The Minnesota Opera is another company which fostered his early work, where he has directed Rusalka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and two world premieres: Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus, and Robert Moran’s From the Towers of the Moon.
The 1993-94 season marked his European debut at Stadttheater Gießen with La Fille du Régiment. Its success led to subsequent engagements at that same theater for productions of Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rake’s Progress. In addition, he directed La Bohème at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria, Der fliegende Holländer at Opera Ireland, Street Scene at Anhaltisches Theater Dessau in collaboration with the Kurt Weill International Festival, the world premiere of Lorenzo Ferraro’s La Conquista at The Prague National Theater, Tosca at Theater Erfurt and a world premiere version of Show Boat at Stadttheater Bern.
The 1993 season also marked debuts with Boston Lyric Opera with the American premiere of the Neopolitan version of Bellini’s I Puritani. In what is considered one of his most interesting projects, he directed a unique chamber version of Berg’s Wozzeck in a co-production of the Banff Center for the Arts and Montreal Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne.
Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera —
In 1996 Nic was appointed Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera Association, which boasts an impressive heritage of opera — founded in 1920, it is the second oldest company in America. COA is a summer festival, presenting four productions during the months of June and July in Music Hall (an historic theater seating 3,400) and collaborating with the Cincinnati Symphony, which plays for all its productions.
Cincinnati Opera experienced astonishing growth during his tenure, including a doubling of the company budget, expansion of the repertoire, creation and presentation of new productions and the successful completion of The Festival Campaign, a $12 million fundraising effort. He forged a new relationship with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which has recently blossomed into an endowed program called Opera Fusion; he began a community-wide, very popular lecture series called Opera Rap which continues to this day; in his first year on the job he spearheaded a $1 million fundraising effort for technical improvements to the theater and state-of-the-art lighting equipment; he re-instated and revitalized a Young Artists Training Program. Profiles in every major opera journal (Opera News, OPERA, Opernwelt, Opera Now, International Arts Magazine) all attest to the impressive growth and quality under his leadership. He was the 2003 winner of the Cincinnati Post’s Post-Corbett Award for Individual Artist of the Year.
Company premieres: Brundibár, Different Fields, Jenůfa, The Turn of the Screw, Pelléas et Mélisande, Bluebeard’s Castle, Erwartung, Nabucco, Dead Man Walking, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa (world stage premiere), Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids (U.S. premiere) and Margaret Garner (world premiere).
New Productions: Brundibár, Different Fields, Don Giovanni, Faust, The Turn of the Screw, Salome, Nabucco, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids and Margaret Garner.
CCM (College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati) –
In 2006 he was appointed Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at CCM where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2010 and where he taught an advanced Acting Class for singers, a course in Professional Development and a seminar in Stage Directing in addition to mentoring design students and serving as stage director. His productions at CCM include: The Crucible, Albert Herring, Werther, Une éducation manquée/Le pauvre matelot, Assassins, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cosí fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Postcard from Morocco, Of Mice and Men, Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Don Giovanni. His focus on training of young artists has brought him to work with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Music Academy of the West, Wolf Trap Opera, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Atlantic Music Festival, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Indiana University, Montclair State University, University of California at Humboldt, Rising Star Festival and Miami University.
Nils Vigeland was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1950 and made his professional debut as a pianist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969, Lukas Foss conducting. He later studied composition with Mr. Foss at Harvard College, graduating with a BA in 1972. Graduate studies were at the State University of New York at Buffalo in piano with Yvar Mikhashoff (MFA 1975) and composition with Morton Feldman (PhD 1976).
For eight years Mr. Vigeland was the director of the Bowery Ensemble, which gave an annual series of concerts at the Cooper Union in New York City. The ensemble gave the first performance of over thirty works by composers including John Cage, Jo Kondo, Pauline Oliveros, and Dane Rudhyar. With Jan Williams, percussion, and Eberhard Blum, flute, Mr. Vigeland has recorded all the extended length works of Feldman for this ensemble on HAT ART. His own work appears on CD releases from Mode and Lovely Music and is published by Boosey and Hawkes.
In 1992 The English National Opera commissioned and gave the first performance at the Almeida Theatre in London of Mr. Vigeland’s chamber opera, False Love True Love , based on two scenes from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. In 1989 his orchestral work My Father’s Song was a winner of the Rose Prize and given its first performance by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has been the recipient of grants from Harvard College, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust.
Mr. Vigeland has taught at Manhattan School of Music since 1984 and is presently the chair of the composition department.
Earning widespread notice for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores, Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and deeply personal. Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2007 Stoeger Award, given biennially "in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory", and a 2010 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, Jalbert grew up in northern Vermont; his family originally came from Quebec. He began piano lessons at the age of five, immersing himself in the classical repertoire. Growing up, he also heard French and English folk songs and Catholic liturgical music, gaining a deep respect for music that communicates powerfully with an economy of means.
Following undergraduate studies in piano and composition at Oberlin Conservatory, Jalbert earned a PhD in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania under principal teacher George Crumb. He won the Rome Prize in 2000-2001, and earned the BBC Masterprize in 2001 for his orchestral work In Aeternam, selected from among more than 1,100 scores by a jury that included Marin Alsop, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Charles Mackerras. In Aeternam has been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the California and Hartford Symphonies, and the Orlando Philharmonic.
Recent orchestral performances include those by the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood under Sean Newhouse, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Marin Alsop. Other major works for orchestra include Shades of Memory (2011), commissioned by the Houston Symphony; Autumn Rhapsody (2008), commissioned by the Vermont Symphony, Fire and Ice (2007), commissioned for the Oakland East Bay, Marin, and Santa Rosa Symphonies through Meet the Composer Foundation's Magnum Opus Project; big sky (2006), commissioned by the Houston Symphony and performed by the ensemble at Carnegie Hall; Chamber Symphony (2004), commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Symphonia Sacra (2001), written for the California Symphony; and Les espaces infinis (2001), commissioned by the Albany Symphony.
Jalbert has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (2002-05), Chicago's Music in the Loft Chamber Music Series (2003), and the California Symphony under Barry Jekowsky (1999-2002).
Jalbert's compositions have been warmly embraced by the chamber music world as well, with performances by the Borromeo, Chiara, Enso, Jasper, Maia, and Ying String Quartets, and violinist Midori. Recent commissions have also come from the Emerson String Quartet, Music from Copland House, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.
Jalbert's music is tonally centered, incorporating modal, tonal, and sometimes quite dissonant harmonies while retaining a sense of harmonic motion and arrival. He is particularly noted for his mastery of instrumental color: in both chamber works and orchestral scores, he creates timbres that are vivid yet refined. His rhythmic shapes are cogent, often with an unmistakable sense of underlying pulsation. Driving rhythms often alternate with slow sections in which time seems to be suspended.
Although his music is not programmatic, Jalbert has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources, including natural phenomena. He composed big sky after visiting Big Bend National Park in Texas, a place of starkly contrasting mountain, desert, and river environments. In Icefield Sonnets for string quartet, Jalbert created transparent, glassy textures in response to poems by Anthony Hawley about life in northern latitudes. The Baltimore Sun called Icefield Sonnets "fresh [and] dynamic," praising its "luminous colors and propulsive rhythms." Jalbert also set Hawley's texts directly in a 2005 song cycle of the same title, scored for soprano, baritone, and piano trio with percussion.
In Aeternam incorporates a fast, steady pulse that stems from Jalbert's experience of hearing his son's heartbeat for the first time during a pre-natal examination. In Aeternam is simultaneously a memorial for a niece who died at birth and a celebration of his son's arrival, mixing grief with hope in a compelling reflection on the fragility of existence. Wrote the San Francisco Chronicle, "The piece revealed powerful command of the orchestra and a vivid emotional range. In Aeternam made a listener eager to hear more."
Spiritual concerns are also central to Jalbert's work. Symphonia Sacra (2001), inspired by the splendor of Roman churches and cathedrals, incorporates plainchant melodies. Les espaces infinis, another orchestral score from 2001, is described by the composer as "a quiet meditation on the nature of time and space." The Los Angeles Times observed that "the piece, which begins and ends quietly, but achieves a resonant climax at its center, holds the listener through a canny blend of instrumental colors and combinations, chromatic but not dissonant, and ultimately pleasing."
Pierre Jalbert is Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he has taught since 1996, and he serves as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston-based contemporary chamber ensemble. His music is published by Schott Music.
Award winning composer Richard Danielpour has established himself as one of the most gifted and sought-after composers of his generation. His music has attracted an international and illustrious array of champions, and, as a devoted mentor and educator, he has also had a significant impact on the younger generation of composers. His list of commissions include some of the most celebrated artists of our day including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Anthony McGill, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballets, and institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Maryinsky, and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more. With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Danielpour created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with New York City Opera. He has received the American Academy of Arts & Letters Charles Ives Fellowship, a Guggenheim Award, Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the American Academies in Berlin and Rome. He is on the faculty of the UCLA and Curtis Institute.
In 2016, Danielpour had seven world premieres in the U.S. Most notable among them, were his Percussion Concerto (January 2016) with the New Jersey Symphony, his ballet Layla and the Majnun (April 2016) for the Nashville ballet, and most recently, the premiere of Talking to Aphrodite, a song cycle for voice and string orchestra, written in collaboration with Erica Jong and premiered by the Sejong Soloists and Sarah Shafer at Carnegie Hall in December 2016. He is currently working on an 80 minute oratorio, The Passion of Yeshua, which will premiere in July 2018 at the Oregon Bach Festival.
Danielpour is one of the most recorded composers of his generation; many of his recordings can be found on the Naxos and Sony Classical labels. Danielpour's music is published by Lean Kat Music and Associated Music Publishers.
Robert Cuckson was born in 1942 in the U.K., and grew up in Australia. He is a U.S. citizen and lives in New York City. His works have been performed in the U.S., Australia, the Far East, Europe, and Israel.
His principal compositions include three chamber operas and several orchestral works, including the Variations for Orchestra, three tone-poems, Concerti for Cello, Saxophone and Guitar, and a Rhapsody for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. He has written many chamber works, including a number of works with trombone. His piano works and violin works have received numerous performances in the U.S. and in Europe. In January, 2007, a concert of his chamber works was presented in the North River Music series at the Greenwich House Music School in New York City. In 2004, a concert of his vocal and chamber works was given by the Bach Society of Columbia University, conducted by David Rosenmeyer. His Piano Trio has been performed by the Mannes Trio on several occasions, including performances for the Philadelphia Chamber Society and at the Salt Bay Festival in Maine. A recording by Harvey Pittel of his Saxophone Concerto was released by the Contemporary Record Society in June, 2007.
He studied composition and piano in Australia, in the U.K., and the U.S., and holds a D.M.A. degree in Composition from Yale University (1978). He teaches at The Mannes College of Music in New York City and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is represented by the Australian Music Centre, Sydney.
SANG WOO KANG
Cited by the Los Angeles Times as a “prodigiously talented pianist with great technical virtuosity and interpretive gifts,” Sang Woo Kang is an active performer and educator who has presented master classes and recitals in Asia, Central and South America, and Europe. He successfully balances his performance career with teaching at Providence College, where he is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music.
An active performer, Sang Woo’s recent international performances include the Auditorio Piazzolla in Argentina, Bari International Festival in Italy, Sehjong Cultural Center in Korea, multiple venues in Japan and Thailand, the Moulin d’Ande Festival in France, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Steinway Hall in NY, to name a few. Upcoming events include chamber, solo, and orchestral concerts in New York, Providence, Chicago, and Boston.
Sang Woo recorded the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas on the EMI Korea label in 2007 and his performances has been featured on various programs in the US and abroad, including the WXXI, WGBH, and MPBN classical music stations. Sang Woo’s latest solo album, featuring Mozart’s piano pieces, will be released on the NAXOS Label later this year.
Over the summer, he directs the Piano Institute and Seminar at the Atlantic Music Festival at Colby College, an annual intensive four-week series of concerts and events focused on promotion and performance of new music.
In addition to his other activities, Sang Woo reviews recent classical releases for publications such as the American Record Guide and Clavier Companion, and maintains a blog entitled “Music for Time’s Ending,” which covers a variety of topics pertaining to music.
Sang Woo is a graduate of Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
SEÁN DUGGAN, OSB, pianist, is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana. He obtained his music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and Carnegie Mellon University, and received a Master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. From 1988 to 2001 he taught music, Latin and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey.
In September, 1983 he won first prize in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington, D.C., and again in August, 1991. Having a special affinity for the music of Bach, in 2000 he performed the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard works eight times in various American and European cities. For seven years he hosted a weekly program on the New Orleans NPR station entitled “Bach on Sunday.” He is presently in the midst of recording the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard (piano) music which will comprise 24 CDs.
Before he joined the Benedictine order he was pianist and assistant chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera Company for three years. He has performed with many orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The American Chamber Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. From 2110 to 2004 he was a visiting professor of piano at the University of Michigan. Currently he is associate professor of piano at SUNY Fredonia. During the fall semester of 2008 he was also a guest professor of piano at Eastman School of Music. He has been a guest artist and adjudicator at the Chautauqua Institution for several summers, and is also a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton, New Jersey. He continues to study the Taubman approach with Edna Golandsky in New York City.
SEUNG HEE YANG
Ms. Yang has been heard as a soloist in various music festivals and conferences such as Holland Music Session, Gradus Music Festival in Spain, Bowdoin Music Festival in U.S.A., National Conference of Music of College Music Society in Canada, and Carl Flesch Academy in Germany.
She gave solo recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, Bach Zaal in Amsterdam, Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Kumho Art Hall, Seoul Arts center, and Sejong Chamber Hall in Seoul.
Ms. Yang has performed as a soloist with CIS Collegium Musicum string orchestra of Mozarteum, Rutgers University Orchestra, KBS symphony orchestra, Bucheon Philharmonic, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Wonju philharmonic orchestra, Seoul Classical Players, Seoul City Chamber, Seoul Music Academy orchestra, and Collegium Musicum of Seoul National University.
She was the special presentation winner of Artists International annual New York debut audition, winner of the Rutgers University concerto competition, and 2nd prize winner of Dong-A music competition in Korea. A grant for rising artists was given to her by the Arts Council of Korea and a grant for performing artists was also given to her by Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.
She has graduated from Seoul National University, Salzburg Mozarteum, Sweelink Amsterdam Conservatory, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University. Her teachers have included Ruggiero Ricci, Arnold Steinhardt, Victor Liberman, and Jong-sook Lee. From 2003-2005 She has worked as an assistant professor at State University Of New York at Oswego, and from 2005-2011 she worked as an associate concertmaster of Bucheon Philharmonic. In 2011, she was adjunct professor at Ewha Womans University.
She is currently a violin professor at Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul, a member of Koreana Chamber Music Society, and serves as the Concertmaster of Seoul Academy Ensemble.
Described as “a fine storyteller” (American Record Guide), “varied in tone and alive to feeling” (Fanfare Magazine), baritone Stephen Lancaster engages audiences through diverse repertoire in concert, recital, and opera. Winner and Audience Favorite in the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition and winner of the American Prize for men in art song and oratorio (2016), he has been featured in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Centro Cultural de Belém, Petit Palau de la Música Catalana, and Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall.
Recent concert credits include the Fauré & Duruflé Requiems at Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International New York, Carmina Burana with Lisbon Summer Fest, Warren Symphony, and Oakland Symphony Orchestra at the Max M. Fisher Music Center; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Holland Symphony; Brahms’ Requiem with Chorosynthesis in Seattle and Duruflé’s Requiem with Macalester College. He has performed multiple roles with Eugene Opera, Apotheosis Opera, Arbor Opera Theater, and Opera Notre Dame, and created the role of Jaques in As You Like It by Roger Steptoe.
A passionate recitalist, Lancaster has performed programs in Paris, Frankfurt, and Gstaad; at Musique dans le Grésivaudan, Festival Musique d’Uzerche, and the Atlantic Music Festival; and for the Brooklyn Art Song Society in New York. He has recorded an album of French art songs with pianist Martin Katz, Le Menu des Mélodies (Centaur Records), and his recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series was broadcast live by classical radio station WFMT. Born and raised in Canada, he holds degrees in vocal performance from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan and currently serves as Associate Professor of Practice and head of the graduate voice studio at the University of Notre Dame.
Solo and chamber music performances throughout the United States as well as France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Member of the music staff at Seattle Opera and Utah Festival Opera. Music director and pianist for the San Diego Opera Ensemble, Off-Center Opera (Seattle) and Puget Sound Concert Opera. CD entitled “Songs of Forgotten Women” with mezzo-soprano Julie Cross (released fall 2009).
Zhou Long (b. July 8, 1953, Beijing) is internationally recognized for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Deeply grounded in the entire spectrum of his Chinese heritage, including folk, philosophical, and spiritual ideals, he is a pioneer in transferring the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions to modern Western instruments and ensembles. His creative vision has resulted in a new music that stretches Western instruments eastward and Chinese instruments westward, achieving an exciting and fertile common ground.
Zhou Long was born into an artistic family and began piano lessons at an early age. During the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to a rural state farm, where the bleak landscape with roaring winds and ferocious wild fires made a profound and lasting impression. He resumed his musical training in 1973, studying composition, music theory, and conducting, as well as Chinese traditional music. In 1977, he enrolled in the first composition class at the reopened Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Following graduation in 1983, he was appointed composer-in-residence with the National Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra of China. Zhou Long travelled to the United States in 1985 under a fellowship to attend Columbia University, where he studied with Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, and George Edwards, receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993. After more than a decade as music director of Music From China in New York City, he received ASCAP’s Adventurous Programming Award in 1999, and its prestigious Concert Music Award in 2011.
Zhou Long was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music for his first opera, Madame White Snake in 2011. In their citation the jurors described the work as 'a deeply expressive opera that draws on a Chinese folk tale to blend the musical traditions of the East and the West.' He has been awarded 2012–2013 Elise Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the largest prize devoted to chamber music composition and is presented every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the field. Zhou Long is currently Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music under the ‘Tianjin 1000 Plan.’
His awards include 2003 Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Masterprize and the CalArts/Alpert Award, and winning the Barlow International Competition, with a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is a two-time recipient of commissions from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has received fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, in addition to recording grants from the Cary Trust and the Copland Fund for Music.
Among the ensembles commissioning works from him are the Bavarian Radio, BBC, Kansas City, Honolulu, California Pacific and Singapore Symphonies; the Brooklyn, Tokyo, and China Philharmonics, the New Music Consort, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Kronos, Shanghai, Ciompi, and Chester string quartets, Ensemble Modern-Frankfurt, the Post-Classical Ensemble, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble, Chanticleer, Opera Boston, Beijing Music Festival, and musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Lan Shui, Long Yu, Lihua Tan, and Leonard Slatkin.
In 2012, Zhou Long composed two orchestral works: University Festival Overture and Beijing Rhyme—A Symphonic Suite, commissioned by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, premiered and recorded on EMI in 2013; a solo piano work Pianobells, commissioned by Dr. Susan Chan and premiered at the Musica Nova concert in the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance; a chamber work, Cloud Earth for chamber ensemble, commissioned by The New York New Music Ensemble and premiered on its 35th anniversary celebration at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. In 2013, Zhou Long composed an evening-length symphonic epic Nine Odes on poems by Qu Yaun (ca. 340 BCE–278 BCE) for four solo vocalists and orchestra, commissioned by the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation and premiered in October 2013 as a tribute to his 60th.
2014 has seen the completion of a new chamber work, Tales from the Nine Bells, co-commissioned and premiered by the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in New York and Wigmore Hall in London for their 2014 Seasons, and a new piano concerto, Postures, co-commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and BBC Proms, which premiered 4 July 2014 in Singapore and 2 September 2014 at Royal Albert Hall, as part of the BBC Proms' 2014 season
A United States citizen since 1999, Zhou Long is married to the composer-violinist Chen Yi. It should be noted that Zhou is his family name and Long is his personal name, and thus he should be referred to as Mr. Zhou or Dr. Zhou.
Zhou's works have been recorded on Warner, Naxos, BIS, EMI, CRI, Teldec (1999 Grammy Award), Cala, Delos, Sony, Avant, Telarc and China Record. Zhou Long is published exclusively by Oxford University Press.