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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.