Experience AMF 2017
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.
Dr. Angel Valchinov is a soloist, concertmaster, chamber musician, and a teacher. Currently performing with orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, Dr. Valchinov is a soloist with wide a ranging repertoire. An avid recitalist and chamber musician, some of his recent performance highlights include performance of H. W. Ernst’s Six Polyphonic Etudes, and a concert with the Turtle Island Quartet in Boston’s Jordan Hall. He is currently concertmaster of several orchestras in the Boston area, including Claflin Hill Symphony and Boston Chamber Orchestra. He is String Faculty at Northern Essex Community College, and has a large private teaching studio. Mr. Valchinov also teaches at Illinois Chamber Music Festival and Youth & Muse Music Festival (Boston) throughout the summer. Bulgarian television has made a documentary about him and he has been featured on a number of television and radio stations across the U.S. A third generation musician, Dr. Valchinov regularly performs with his family and his wife, violist and pianist Dr. Chen Lin, and is a reader at his beloved Orthodox Church in Allston, MA.
ANGELO XIANG YU
Winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2010, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu’s astonishing technique, exquisite tone, and exceptional musical maturity have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience response worldwide for his solo recitals, orchestral engagements and chamber music performances.
In addition to winning First Prize as well as the Bach and Audience Prizes at the Menuhin Competition, Mr. Yu was awarded 3rd prize at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2011 and was the youngest prize winner at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in 2006.
In North America, Angelo Xiang Yu’s recent and upcoming orchestral engagements include appearances with the Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver and Houston symphonies, as well as with the North Carolina, Colorado, Alabama, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Modesto, Tucson, Elgin, Binghamton and Lake Forest symphonies. In the summer of 2016, he participated for the second season in a row in Portland, Oregon’s Chamber Music Northwest festival and made his debut at the Green Music Center Chamberfest in Sonoma, California. Internationally, he has appeared with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Oslo Philharmonic.
An active recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Yu has appeared in recital in Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai, Auckland, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Boston. He has participated as a chamber musician in several of the world’s leading summer music festivals including the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Bergen Festival in Norway and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and attended the Kronberg Academy in Germany and the Perlman Music Program in New York. During the 12/13 season, Mr. Yu was invited to tour with Miriam Fried and chamber musicians from the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute and performed concerts in New York, Chicago, Florida and throughout New England. He was also recently featured as the Artist in Residence on American Public Media’s nationally broadcast radio program Performance Today.
Born in Inner Mongolia China, Angelo Xiang Yu moved to Shanghai at the age of 11 and received his early training from violinist Qing Zheng at the Shanghai Conservatory. Mr. Yu earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was the recipient of the Irene M. Stare Presidential Scholarship in Violin and was a student of Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian, and served as the teaching assistant of Donald Weilerstein. He was the only instrumentalist invited to be a candidate for NEC’s most prestigious Artist Diploma, which he was awarded in May 2014.
Angelo currently plays on the 1729 “Solomon, Ex-Lambert” Stradivarius violin kindly loaned by an anonymous patron.
The voice of Baritone ANTON BELOV has been called rich and mellifluous by the New York Times, while the Philadelphia Inquirer described him as an emerging star. In 2010 Mr. Belov returned to Anchorage Opera in the title role of Eugene Onegin, after his critically acclaimed performances as Escamillo in Carmen and Count di Luna in Il trovatore. He made his Commonwealth Opera debut as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and performed the role of Angelotti in Tosca with the Boston Lyric Opera. His recent operatic appearances include roles John Sorel (The Consul) and the Doctor (The Nose) with Opera Boston, Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni and Ping (Turandot) with the Opera New Jersey and the Connecticut Grand Opera, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Helena Symphony, Malatesta (Don Pasquale) with Opera Providence, and the title role in Delaware Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. As a soloist Mr. Belov has appeared with numerous orchestras throughout United States including Boston Baroque, the California Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the New England Philharmonic, the Stamford Symphony and Opera Orchestra of New York. Mr. Belov is the first-place winner of eight vocal competitions including the George London Competition, Licia Albanese—Puccini Foundation International Competition, and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern Regional Winner). As the winner of Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Belov has appeared in over forty recitals throughout the United States. A native of Moscow, Anton Belov holds a Doctorate of Music degree from the Boston University, a Bachelor of Music Degree from The New England Conservatory, an Artist’s Diploma and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School. A specialist in Russian lyric diction, he is the author of Russian Opera Libretti in Word-to-Word Translation and IPA Transcription and the Anthology of Russian Arias(Leyerle Publications 2004-06).
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.
BARBARA DAY TURNER
Maestra Barbara Day Turner is the founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra, and its family of youth orchestras. An ardent advocate for new music, she has premiered more than 130 new works just with SJCO. Named the 2012 Silicon Valley Arts Council “On Stage” Artist Laureate, Maestra Day Turner is also Music Administrator and Conductor of the Utah Festival Opera where she has been resident conductor for the past 13 seasons. Most recently she led the Festival’s productions of Barber's Vanessa, Verdi’s Otello and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Abroad, Maestra Day Turner has conducted opera in Berlin and the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra in Germany as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Mexico. Maestra Turner’s discography includes five recordings with SJCO, the PBS award-winning DVD of George Roumanis’ opera Phaedra, the Naxos release of Alva Henderson’s opera Nosferatu, and a recent critically acclaimed Naxos release of varied works by Howard Hersh entitled Angels and Watermarks. In her many years with Opera San José she premiered Henry Mollicone’s Hotel Eden, Alva Henderson’s West of Washington Square, Craig Bohmler and Daniel Helfgot’s The Tale of the Nutcracker and George Roumanis’ Phaedra besides conducting a vast repertoire of works by Handel, Cavalli, Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, Britten, Stravinsky, Barber and many others. She has conducted Portland Opera’s Nixon In China, Rimrock Opera’s Aida and concerts with the Silicon Valley, Redwood, South Valley and Billings symphonies and the North Fayetteville orchestra. Other recent appearances include productions of The Crucible, Faust, Kiss Me Kate and Girl Crazy. The Maestra’s upcoming projects include productions of La Boheme and Bon Appetit with Utah Festival Opera, and a new season of premieres and masterworks with SJCO. She is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera national auditions, annually serves as a judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and serves on the board of directors of the Women's Philharmonic Advocacy and the advisory boards of the Delphi Trio and Opera Neo in San Diego.
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.
Daniel Helfgot’s credits include over 200 productions of over 100 operas, operettas and zarzuelas from the Baroque to the contemporary, including several world premieres. His international credits include shows in Argentina (both at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires and the Teatro Argentino, La Plata), Austria, Canada, Costa Rica (Opera Nacional), Finland, Germany, Mexico (Opera Nacional), and Sweden. In the US he has directed for such companies as Baltimore; Billings (Montana), Festival Opera (California), Chattanooga, Eugene, Knoxville, Memphis, Orlando, Pennsylvania Festival, Sacramento, Spring Opera and Western Opera Theater of San Francisco, Utah Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Virginia Opera, etc.
From 1982 to 2000 Mr. Helfgot was the Resident Director and Director of Production for Opera San José where he created 60 productions defining the company’s artistic output, established all its production departments and led the design process for the renovation of its performing venues, the Montgomery and the California Theaters of San José. He was also Producer and Director for the Pennsylvania Opera Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.
In Argentina, he was Production Director and Artistic Coordinator for the Opera, Ballet and Symphony seasons at the Teatro Argentino and directed the Project for the Design and Development of the Center for Performing Arts in La Plata, where he also founded the Teatro Musical de Cámara and the Festival Musical de Noviembre, and was Resident Assistant Director and Rehearsals Coordinator for the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
His directorial work also includes tango and cabaret shows. and he has written and perform scripts and narrations for different stage genres.
Helfgot produced several opera radio programs and directed opera broadcasts of his own operatic productions for television in Argentina and an award winning production for PBS in the US.
As a journalist, also in Argentina, he was the editor of the Sunday’s edition of the daily El Día where he wrote extensively about music and the arts and also founded and directed the by-monthly Ritmo, a magazine dedicated to the performing arts and architecture.
Helfgot translates opera libretti from Italian, Spanish, German and French for English and Spanish supertitles and writes operatic dialogue versions for the English, Spanish and German repertoire.
He is also the author of the libretto for the opera The Tale of the Nutcracker with music by Craig Bohmler premiered in 1999.
He has received the Opera Director of the Year 2009 award from the Classical Singer Magazine, an award from the Arts Council Silicon Valley and has been honored with the Koret Israel Prize.
Mr. Helfgot is the author of The Third Line: The Opera Performer as Interpreter, a definitive book on the training of singers, originally published by Schirmer Books followed by a revised edition titled The Third Line: The Singer as Interpreter, a book widely used by individuals, universities and conservatories.
His teaching experience includes a guest professorship at the Musikhochschule of the Vienna University, Austria and the leadership of the Vocal and Vocal Accompanying Programs at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California. He is constantly in demand throughout US campuses, with guest appearances at the National Academy of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan; the Instituto Superior de Arte, Teatro Colón, Argentina; the Academy of Music in Åland, Finland, etc.
Helfgot maintains an active private coaching studio in San José, CA and serves on the advisory boards of OperaWorks and the San José Chamber Orchestra.
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
Born in Pasadena, California, Donald Crockett is dedicated to composing music inspired by the musicians who perform it. He has received commissions from a great variety of artists and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence 1991-97), Kronos Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Guitar Foundation of America, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the San Francisco-based chamber choir, Volti, Pasadena Chamber Orchestra (Composer-in-Residence 1984-86), Charlotte Symphony, Music from Angel Fire, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference (Senior Composer-in-Residence 2002- ), Pacific Serenades and the California EAR Unit, among many others.
Recent projects include commissions from the Harvard Musical Association for violist Kate Vincent and Firebird Ensemble, the Claremont Trio, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and JFNMC for a new Viola Concerto, a chamber opera, ‘The Face,’ based on a novella in verse by poet David St. John, and a consortium commission from twenty-two college and university wind ensembles for his Dance Concerto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Wind Ensemble. His music has also been widely performed by ensembles including the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, eighth blackbird, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Collage, Xtet and the Arditti Quartet, at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Bennington and Piccolo Spoleto festivals, and by artists including violinists Ida Kavafian and Michelle Makarski, violist Kate Vincent, soprano Jane Sheldon, mezzo sopranos Janna Baty and Janice Felty, tenor Daniel Norman, baritone Thomas Meglioranza, oboist Allan Vogel, pianist Vicki Ray, and conductors Jorge Mester, JoAnn Falletta, Hugh Wolff, Sergiu Comissiona, Jeffrey Kahane, H. Robert Reynolds and Christof Perick.
The recipient in 2013 of an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for outstanding artistic achievement, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, Donald Crockett has also received the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a commission from the Barlow Endowment, an Artist Fellowship from the California Arts Council, an Aaron Copland Award and the first Sylvia Goldstein Award from Copland House, a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, as well as grants and awards from BMI, the Bogliasco Foundation (Aaron Copland Fellowship, 2007), Composers Inc., Copland Fund, National Endowment for the Arts and New Music USA (Commissioning Music/USA, 1997). His music is published by Keiser Classical and Doberman/Yppan, and recorded on the Albany, BMOP/Sound, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM, Innova, Laurel, New World, Orion and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels.
Also active as a conductor of new music, Donald Crockett has presented many world, national and regional premieres with the Los Angeles-based new music ensemble Xtet, Thornton Edge new music ensemble, and as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Hilliard Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Firebird Ensemble, Ensemble X and the USC Thornton Symphony, with whom he has premiered over 125 new orchestral works by USC Thornton student composers. He has also been very active over the years as a composer and conductor with the venerable and famed Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles. His recordings as a conductor can be found on the Albany, CRI, Doberman/Yppan, ECM and New World labels.
After composition studies with American composers Robert Linn, Halsey Stevens and Edward Applebaum, and British composers Peter Racine Fricker and Humphrey Searle at the University of Southern California (BM Magna cum Laude 1974, MM 1976) and UC Santa Barbara (PhD 1981), he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in 1981. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Composition Program, Director of Thornton Edge new music ensemble and Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at Thornton, and Senior Composer-in-Residence with the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.
Gabriel Chodos chaired the NEC piano department for 25 years. Renowned as a teacher, concert artist, and recording artist, Chodos also spent many summers as a mainstay of the Aspen Music Festival faculty. With Aube Tzerko—a Schnabel student—as his principal teacher, and with Schoenberg assistant Leonard Stein as his theory teacher, Chodos is in a direct line from two 20th century masters of the European classical tradition.
Known in particular for his interpretations of music from the heart of the pianist’s repertoire—Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms in particular—Chodos has been heard in NPR broadcasts of these composers, who also form the bulk of his substantial recorded output.
Chodos has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Israel. In the U.S., his performance venues have included the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Hall, and the Library of Congress. He has been a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of Holland, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
A winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York, Chodos also received a Fulbright Scholarship, Martha Baird Rockefeller grants, and an NEA Solo Recitalists Grant.
He has given masterclasses and lecture-demonstrations at Yale University, Indiana University, the Rutgers Summerfest, the Chautauqua Festival, the Guildhall School of Music in London, the Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig, the Estonian Music Academy in Tallinn, the Toho Gakuen School of Music, and Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo.
B.A. in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, and M.A. in music, UCLA; Diploma in Piano, Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna. Principal piano studies with Aube Tzerko; also with Leonard Shure, Josef Dichler, Carlo Zecchi. Recordings on Fleur de Son, Centaur, Orion, Victor/Japan, and CRI. Former faculty of University of Oregon, SUNY/Buffalo, Dartmouth College, and the Aspen Music Festival.
Photo by Christian Steiner
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.
Ms. Lash’s compact sequence of pale brush strokes, ghostly keening and punchy outbursts was striking and resourceful; you hoped to hear it again…
– Steve Smith, The New York Times
Hailed by the New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding,” Hannah Lash’s music has been performed at the Times Center in Manhattan, the Chicago Art Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, Harvard University, The Chelsea Art Museum, and on the American Opera Project’s stage in New York City. Commissions include The Fromm Foundation, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, American Composers Orchestra, The Naumburg Foundation, The Orpheus Duo, The Howard Hanson Foundation’s Commissioning Fund, Case Western Reserve’s University Circle Wind Ensemble, MAYA, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Arditti Quartet, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival and School, among many others.
Lash has received numerous honors and prizes, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, the Naumburg Prize in Composition, the Barnard Rogers Prize in Composition, the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition, and numerous academic awards. Her orchestral work Furthermore was selected by the American Composers Orchestra for the 2010 Underwood New Music Readings. Her chamber opera, Blood Rose, was presented by New York City Opera’s VOX in the spring of 2011.
New York Times music critic Steve Smith praised Lash’s work for the JACK Quartet, Frayed: “Ms. Lash’s compact sequence of pale brush strokes, ghostly keening and punchy outbursts was striking and resourceful; you hoped to hear it again…” Esteemed music critic Bruce Hodges lauded Lash’s piece Stalk for solo harp as being “appealing…florid, and introspective.”
In addition to performances of her music in the USA, Lash’s music is well known internationally. In April of 2008, her string quartet Four Still was performed in Kyev in the Ukraine’s largest international new music festival, “Musical Premieres of the Season,” curated by Carson Cooman. In the summer of 2010, her piece Unclose was premiered by members of Eighth Blackbird at the MusicX festival in Blonay, Switzerland.
Recent premieres include Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola and harp, by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Pulse-space, for string quartet, by the Flux Quartet, as well as several new orchestral works: Eating Flowers, for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Nymphs, for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and This Ease, for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In October 2015, the American Composers Orchestra premiered Lash’s Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra, conducted by George Manahan and with Lash as soloist. Other recent premieres include God Music Bug Music in January 2011 with the Minnesota Orchestra, the monodrama Stoned Prince by New York based ensemble Load Bang in April 2013, Subtilior Lamento with the Da Capo Chamber Players at Carnegie Hall in 2012, and Glockenliebe, for three glockenspiels, with Talujon Percussion in December 2012. Her 2011 orchestral work, Hush, was featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Brooklyn Festival in April of 2013. Upcoming premieres include a new chamber opera, Beowulf, commissioned by Guerilla Opera, and a new work for Loadbang, commissioned by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.
Lash obtained her Ph.D in Composition from Harvard University in 2010. She has held teaching positions at Harvard University (Teaching Fellow), at Alfred University (Guest Professor of Composition), and currently serves on the composition faculty at Yale University School of Music.
Awarded the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award for 2014, violinist Itamar Zorman is the winner of the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia.
Mr. Zorman has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the Mariinsky Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, KBS Symphony Seoul, German Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Utah Symphony, American Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, RTE Symphony Orchestra Dublin and Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, with conductors Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, James DePreist and Yuri Bashmet, at Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. As a recitalist he performed at Carnegie Hall’s Distinctive Debut series, People’s Symphony Concerts, the Louvre Museum, Suntory Hall and Frankfurt Radio.
Mr. Zorman was invited to the Verbier, Marlboro, Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, MITO Settembre and Radio France Festivals. He is a member of the Israeli Chamber project, and a member of the Lysander Piano Trio, which won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition.
Mr. Zorman studied at the Jerusalem Academy, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and the Kronberg Academy, working with Sylvia Rosenberg and Christian Tetzlaff. He plays a 1734 Guarneri Del Gesù violin from the collection of Yehuda Zisapel.
Korean violinist Jehye Lee is one of the most promising young artists of her generation. In 2013, she was appointed the youngest 1st concert master in the history in the Augsburg Philharmonie, and most recently, she was appointed the concert master position of the 2nd violins in the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Maestro Mariss Jansons.
Lee was honored with numerous awards in various International Competitions in Europe. As the highlight of her competition career, Lee won the 3rd prize and the chamber music prize at the 14th Tchaikovsky Competition in St.Petersburg. She also won the 1st prizes at the Leopold Mozart Competition in Germany and the Sarasate Competition in Spain, from which she garnered many European concert engagements in the subsequent years.
As a solo violinist, Lee has appeared with several renowned orchestras such as the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, St.Petersburg Philharmonie, North Czech Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonie and Kammerorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, working with conductors including Valeriy Gergiev, Myung Whun Chung and Julien Salemcour.
With her passion for chamber music, Lee was invited to take part in numerous chamber music festivals including the Lockenhaus festival, Ravinia Festival, and Chamber Music Connects the World from Kronberg where she has received special musical impulses from collaborations with such artists such as Menahem Pressler, Frans Helmerson, Gidon Kremer, Miriam Fried, and Andras Schiff.
Long respected as a leading representative of classical singers, Ken Benson is returning to Artists Management to guide and develop the careers of exceptional young talent.
For 25 years, he headed his own Division as Vice-President at Columbia Artists Management, Inc.. There, he developed and built the careers of some of the leading singers and stage directors of the time. While there, he earned the trust and respect of his colleagues in opera companies, symphony orchestras, recital series and festivals throughout the US and internationally.
Known for his deep knowledge of singing and vocal repertoire, his philosophy is to carefully help each artist grow at their own individual pace, always with an eye on vocal health and long-term career development. He believes the artist/ manager relationship is built on trust and communication. Working with a very select group of artists will ensure the mentoring and attention each one deserves.
Ken Benson regularly gives classes and consultations at leading music conservatories and Young Artists Programs across the country, and he is in great demand as an adjudicator of many leading vocal competitions. In the 2014-15 season, Ken will serve as Career Consultant with Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program. He frequently acts as lecturer, interviewer and writer on the subject of opera. A long time regular panelist and host of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, he has also interviewed opera icons such as Stephanie Blythe and Jonas Kaufmann, and given lectures on Wagner’s Ring Cycle on the stage of the Met.
Winner of the 2006-2007 Rome Prize and the 2010-2011 Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno, is a composer, vocalist, improviser, and cross-disciplinary artist. His music coalesces diverse influences into a democratic sonic landscape. In addition to Heavy Metal sub-tone singing and Tuvan throat singing, he is also informed by European avant-garde instrumental techniques, American experimentalism, and sawari or beautiful noise, an aesthetic in traditional Japanese music. Ken’s artistic mission is to champion sounds that have been overlooked or denied so that audiences reevaluate their musical potential. The music pushes the boundaries of perception and challenges traditional paradigms of beauty. In an effort to feature inherent qualities of sound such as beatings, overtones, and artifacts of production noise, Ken’s music is often amplified.
Ensembles and performers who have played Ken’s music include Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, Frances-Marie Uitti, Mayumi Miyata, Teodoro Anzellotti, Alarm Will Sound, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Nieuw Ensemble, Wendy Richman, Greg Oakes, the Del Sol String Quartet, Vincent Royer, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the American Composers Orchestra (Whitaker Reading Session), the Cassatt Quartet, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Prism Saxophone Quartet, the Atlas Ensemble, Relâche, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Dogs of Desire, the Orkest de Ereprijs, and the So Percussion Ensemble.
Ken’s music has been performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MusikTriennale Köln Festival, Ars Musica, Warsaw Autumn, the Muziekgebouw, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, and Steim. He has been the featured guest composer at the Takefu International Music Festival, Norfolk Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Pacific Rim Festival, the Intégrales New Music Festival, and the MANCA Festival in Nice, France where he performed as a vocal soloist in his piece with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Recently, he performed his vocal concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Ken’s piece for the Hilliard Ensemble, Shiroi Ishi, has been featured in their repertoire for over ten years, with performances at such venues as Queen Elizabeth Hall in England, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and was aired on Italian national radio, RAI 3. Another work, Pharmakon, was performed dozens of times nationally by Eighth Blackbird during their 2001-2003 seasons. A portrait concert of Ken’s was featured on MaerzMusik in Berlin in 2011. In 2012, he was featured artist on Other Minds 17.
Awards and grants that Ken has received include those from the American Academy in Rome, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fromm Music Foundation (2), the Aaron Copland House, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording, Meet the Composer (6), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Belgian-American Education Foundation, First Prize in the 25th “Luigi Russolo” competition, and Harvard University. Recently, he performed as soloist in the premieres of his concerto for overtone singer and orchestra in Boston and New York with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project to wide acclaim. A monograph CD of three of his concertos was released on the Bmop/sound label.
As a vocalist, Ken specializes in extended techniques (overtones, throat-singing, multiphonics, extreme registers, circular singing), and has collaborated in improvisations with Joey Baron, Robyn Schulkowsky, Joan Jeanrenaud, Ikue Mori, Pascal Contet, Gene Coleman, Tyshawn Sorey, David Wessel, Robin Hayward, John Kelly, Jorrit Dykstra, Kevork Mourad, Gilberto Bernardes, Hans Tutschku, James Coleman, and Vic Rawlings amongst others. Ken’s ongoing performance projects include collaborations with Tim Feeney, Matt Ingalls, Du Yun, and Lou Bunk.
In recent years, Ken has been collaborating with visual artists, architects, and video artists to create unique cross-disciplinary art works. With the artist, Angela Bulloch, he has created several audio installations (driven with custom software), which provide audio input that affect the way her mechanical drawing machine sculptures draw. These works have been exhibited at Art Basel as well as at Angela’s solo exhibition at the Wolfsburg Castle. In collaborating with the architect, Patrick Tighe, Ken created a custom software-driven 8-channel sound installation that provided the sonic environment for Tighe’s robotically carved foam construction. Working with the landscape architect, Jose Parral, Ken has collaborated on videos, interactive video installations, and a multi-room intervention at the art space Rialto, in Rome, Italy.
Ken is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
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.
Liubo Borissov is an associate professor at Pratt Institute’s Department of Digital Arts. He received baccalaureate degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Caltech and a doctorate in Physics from Columbia, where he also studied electro-acoustic music at the Columbia University Computer Music Center. He holds a masters in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU’s Tisch School, where he was a Global Vilar Fellow in the performing arts. He has taught at Harvestworks, Parsons School of Design and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. In his works, he explores the interface between art, science and technology. His multimedia installations, performances and collaborations have been featured throughout Europe, Asia and North America, including the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference, the International Computer Music Conference, SIGGRAPH, the Spark Festival, the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, the Kennedy Center, and the Carnival Center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“His interpretation was notable for a keen understanding of the emotional and structural shape of the music… His playing breathed with intensity, drama and solitude.” – Houston Chronicle
Shih-Kai Lin is a multi-faceted violinist constantly seeking ways to communicate with audience through music. Mr. Lin’s desire to extend the borders of classical music has allowed him to explore music that speaks to his heart and to share his music with audiences in various settings.
As an active performer, Mr. Lin has toured internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral member, and has presented recitals in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Among the most recent engagements as a soloist, Mr. Lin has appeared with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony (Taiwan), Houston Symphony, Quincy Symphony (MA), and the World Civic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Lin has collaborated with such renowned artists as Paul Biss, Martha Katz, Cho-Liang Lin, Jacques Loussier, Nai-Yuan Hu, Hsin-Yun Huang, and the International Sejong Soloists. Mr. Lin has also participated and performed at prestigious festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, and the La Jolla SummerFest.
In addition to performing standard classical music repertoire, Shih-Kai Lin also enjoys creative collaborations with performers and musicians of other genre. Mr. Lin has performed with Jazz pianist Jacques Loussier and modern dance company Rioult. He can also be heard on the movie sound tracks of “Stand Up” (2009) and “Jump Ashin” (2011). Most recently, Mr. Lin has jointed force with contemporary improvisation musicians to produce a concert at Jordan Hall in Boston.
Shih-Kai Lin is a firm believer of music education and committed to bring music to venues outside of concert halls. Mr. Lin has given masterclasses and performed in public schools, senior centers, and hospitals.
Mr. Lin attended Walnut Hill School of the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts, where he studied with Marylou Speaker Churchill. Mr. Lin graduated from Walnut Hill School with honors and was the recipient of the Frances B. Lanier award from the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. He was the first prize and the audience choice award winner of the 2006 Ima Hogg Competition.
Mr. Lin was born in Taiwan and started his musical studies at the age of four. He holds both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School under tutelage of Naoko Tanaka and Cho- Liang Lin. While studying at the Juilliard School, he had served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. Shih-Kai Lin holds a doctoral degree of Musical Arts from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Miriam Fried. He is currently on the violin faculty of the National Taiwan University of Arts and National Taiwan Normal University.
Since making her Lincoln Center solo debut in 2006 in Alice Tully Hall, violinist So Jin Kim has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her musical lyricism, technical brilliance, and lush tone. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia in halls such as the Carnegie Hall, Musikverein Golden Hall, KKL Luzern, Seoul Arts Center, and the Philharmonie in Berlin. She has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Mitteldeutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and the Budpapest Symphony Orhchestra.
As an active chamber musician, So Jin has been invited to Festival dei Due Mondi, Kissinger Sommer, MoMA Summergarden Concert Series, La Jolla Summerfest, and Sangat Chamber Music Festival, collaborating with artists such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Orli Shaham, Cho Liang Lin, Lynn Harrell, and Roberto Diaz. At the age of 24, So Jin was appointed concertmaster of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra where she played until 2013, and has been a guest concertmaster with Bern Symphony Orchestra. In Germany she has worked with ensembles such as the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra SWR, the Bavarian State Opera and the Munich Radio Orchestra. She is currently a concertmaster of the critically acclaimed German chamber ensemble Musica Assoluta.
Having found early success in competitions, So Jin is a prizewinner of international competitions such as the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Stradivarius International Violin Competition, and the International Violin Competition “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer”. She was accepted to the Juilliard School at the age of 16 to the Bachelor of Music Degree Program, and has received both Bachelor and Master of Music Degree at The Juilliard School with Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka. She has also worked with Nam Yoon Kim, Hyo Kang, and Donald Weilerstein. In May 2016, she received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with Cho-Liang Lin. She has also worked with Krzysztof Wegrzyn at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover as part of the prestigious Solo Klasse program. In 2014 she joined the faculty of Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.
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).