Described as a virtuoso flutist by the Boston Globe, Alberto Almarza brings a unique and passionate approach to music. His versatility and musicianship have led him to perform and record some of the most adventurous and challenging pieces from the music of today as well as works from the standard repertoire and Baroque literature on period instruments.
A native of Chile, Mr. Almarza previously held the position of Principal Flute of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Chile, and currently serves on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as Associate Professor of Flute and Head of the Flute Department. Additionally, he is the founder and Director of Carnegie Mellon’s The Consummate Flutist.
His skills as a pedagogue, lecturer and recitalist have led to invitations from international festivals in the U.S., Europe, Korea and Latin America, and most recently, to perform at a TED TALK Conference. He has served at the National Flute Association Advisory Board for New Music and the Career and Artistic Development Committees.
Mr. Almarza has appeared as soloist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Memphis Symphony, BachFest Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonic, National Symphony and National Chamber Orchestras of Chile, and has collaborated with such artists as Julius Baker, Andrés Cárdenes, Alex Klein, Lionel Party, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Arianna String Quartet among others. As a leading proponent of new music for the flute, Mr. Almarza has been instrumental in expanding the repertoire with numerous commissions and premieres of works by composers from around the world. Pieces written for him include six flute concerti and dozens of solo and chamber works.
He can be heard on radio broadcasts of International Music from Carnegie Mellon throughout North and South America, on compact discs from New Albion, Elán, Albany Records and Centaur Recordings as well as on a Naxos Records compact disc of the Flute Concerto by Reza Vali with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. And most recently he and his vast flute collection were featured on the PBS program Horizons.
During his free time Mr. Almarza enjoys adventure motorcycling, and has ridden to some of the most remote places around the world, including Patagonia, the Atacama Desert, the Arctic Circle in Alaska, and secluded areas in New Zealand. He is also an avid bird-watcher, and a private pilot.
Since winning the First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition, Mr. Diaz has exhilarated both critics and audiences with his intense and charismatic performances. He has earned exceptional reviews for his “strongly personal interpretive vision” (The New York Times) and his “bold and imaginative” playing (The Boston Globe) and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant as well as a generous grant from the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music in 1998. Andres Diaz’s numerous orchestral appearances have included return engagements with the Atlanta Symphony under the late conductor Robert Shaw; performances with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Seattle, Rochester under Christopher Seaman, the Boston Pops and Esplanade Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival with Edo de Waart conducting, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Among the highlights of Mr. Diaz’s recent seasons are tours of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and Canada performing in recital and with orchestra; appearances in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, the Dominican Republic; a series of concerts in the Soviet Union where he performed as soloist with Russia’s Saratov Symphony in the cities of Saratov and Moscow; and a tour of the major cities in New Zealand with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.
Andres Diaz’s debut solo recording on MusicMasters of works by Manuel de Falla and Robert Schumann with pianist Samuel Sanders was acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “strong and subtle; everything Diaz does has personality and, better than that, character.” On the Dorian label, the two artists have also released Brahms’s Sonatas for Piano and Cello; Russian Romantics, a compilation of short Russian works; and most recently American Visions, featuring works of Barber, Bernstein and Foote. Mr. Diaz’s most recent release features the six Bach Suite on the Azica Records label, also available at ArkivMusic.
Mr. Diaz’s summer festival appearances (including frequent return engagements) include The Banff Centre, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Marlboro, Ravinia, Bravo! Colorado, Spoleto, Music@Menlo, Saratoga and Tanglewood festivals. His appearances at Tanglewood earned him the Pierre Mayer Memorial Award for Outstanding String Player. In 2009 Mr. Diaz was nominated for a Latin Grammy. He has toured nationally with the Santa Fe and Spoleto festivals. Other festival appearances include the Victoria (BC), Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, CO), Musicorda (MA), Rockport (MA) and Cape & Islands festivals, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival.
Andres Diaz is very active with the Diaz String Trio, featuring violinist Andres Cardenes and violist Roberto Diaz. At Carnegie Hall in April 2003, the trio performed the world premiere of a string trio written for them by Gunther Schuller. The trio has performed in the cities of Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami; at the Kuhmo Festival in Finland and the International Festival of St. Cypriene and the Casals Festival in France; and they have toured extensively in South America, Mexico and Canada. The trio was invited by Isaac Stern to play at Carnegie Hall’s Centennial Celebration, and from 1994-96 it served as Trio in Residence at the Florida International University. They released its first recording featuring the music of Paganini on the Dorian label. A second recording was released in 2003 featuring music by Penderecki, Dohnanyi, Beethoven.
Andres Diaz was born in Santiago, Chile in 1964, and began studying the cello at the age of five. Three years later he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and studied at the Georgia Academy of Music with Martha Gerchefski. Mr. Diaz graduated from the New England Conservatory where he worked with Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr, and currently plays an active role in chamber music performances with the Conservatory’s faculty. He served for five years as Associate Professor of Cello at the Boston University and Co-Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Quartet Program, resigning in September 2001. Mr. Diaz now lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Julie, and sons Peter Manuel and Gabriel Andres. Presently, he is Professor of cello at Southern Methodist University. During his spare time Mr. Diaz races his 1997 Dodge Viper. He plays a 1698 Matteo Goffriller Cello and a bow made by his father, Manuel Diaz.
Mr. Diaz holds The Koerner Chair in Cello at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
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.
For over 25 years Beth Roberts has been a dedicated and accomplished voice teacher and music educator. She has been on the faculty of Mannes College The New School for Music since 1996 and has served as Coordinator of the Vocal Department since 2001. Her voice studio at Mannes has produced principal artists in many national and international professional venues, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Zurich Opera, Seattle Opera, Saint Louis Opera, Covent Garden and La Scala. Students of Ms. Roberts have been finalists and winners of such major vocal competitions as the Metropolitan Opera National Finals, the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, the Giuseppe di Stefano Competition, the Jenny Lind Competition, the Gerda Lissner Competition, the Giulio Gari Competition and the Joy of Singing Competition. Others have entered young artist programs at Merola, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass, Santa Fe, Tanglewood and Chautauqua.
Through her affiliation with the Metropolitan Opera Guild Education Department, Ms. Roberts co- created a vocal pedagogy course and Professional Development Outreach for Mannes students in New York City public schools. The success of this venture has been most evident over the past 10 years in the graduates now employed by the Metropolitan Opera Education Department, as teaching artists for the New York City Opera, and as music teachers at the United Nations International School and other New York City schools. Ms. Roberts’ relationship with the Metropolitan Opera Education Department began in 1988, when she was a teaching artist and led master classes on vocal pedagogy for music educators. She has recently been appointed to serve on the Education Committee of the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
Ms. Roberts has been a vocal instructor for the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (with the University of Cincinnati), a guest lecturer at the Classical Singer Convention, and an adjunct faculty member at the Westminster Choir College. She has served as an adjudicator for numerous competitions, including the Fulbright Scholarship and the Finals of the Concours de Musique du Canada. She is currently a faculty member of the International Vocal Arts Institute, and she gives frequent master classes at Yale University.
A lyric soprano, Ms. Roberts has sung with many opera companies throughout the United States, including the Santa Fe Opera and the Washington Opera, and performed numerous concerts at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall. She was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Winner and a Liederkranz Foundation Competition Winner. She has also recorded for radio and television.
Ms. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Screen Actors Guild.
Born in Pittsburgh, Bonita Boyd grew up in Long Beach, California. Her early teachers included Maurice Sharp of the Cleveland Orchestra, Roger Stevens of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Joseph Mariano, principal flutist of the Rochester Philharmonic and legendary pedagogue of the Eastman School of Music. Boyd succeeded Mariano in both posts, becoming the youngest person in the United States to hold major academic and orchestral appointments, as noted by Glamour Magazine when Bonita was featured in its “Outstanding Career Women of the Year” article.
At age 21, Bonita was named Principal Flutist of the Rochester Philharmonic under Maestro David Zinman, a position she resigned in 1984 to devote herself to her growing solo career. Boyd gave an acclaimed New York debut recital 1980, which was described by the New York Times as “a flabbergasting account of her talents.” Three years later she made her Los Angeles debut of which Albert Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times said, “James Galway and Jean-Pierre Rampal are now joined in the forward ranks by a young American girl named Bonita Boyd”. Subsequently she made her first solo tours of Europe and the Far East, during which the Frankfurter Allgemeine hailed her as “a musician of great dimension”. She has since performed as recitalist throughout the world and as soloist with such orchestras as the National Gallery Orchestra, National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, Chautauqua Symphony, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Pusan (Korea) Symphony Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Polish Radio Orchestra, and Vilnius (Lithuania) Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, California Chamber Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and Albuquerque Symphony, and Victoria Symphony (CBC). She served as Principal Flutist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (1971-1984), Chautauqua Symphony (1971-1977), Filarmonica de las Americas (Mexico City), and the Aspen Festival Symphony Orchestra (1998-2015). She has been a member of the artist faculties of such festivals asChautauqua, Bowdoin, Johannesen International Festival, Hamamatsu Seminar (Japan), Aspen Music Festival, and guest artist at Eastern Music Festival, MasterWorks, Marlboro, National Orchestral Institute, and Teton Festival. She has been a Fulbright Grant recipient, and has been President of the National Flute Association, a 5000-member international organization of flutists from around the world. She has been an artist-faculty member of the Eastman School of Music since her appointment in1976.
Bonita Boyd has premiered numerous works, including Samuel Adler’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (1977), Warren Benson’s Five Lyrics of Louis Bogan (1978) and Concertino for Flute, Strings, and Percussion, Sonata for Solo Flute of Miklos Rosza (1983), Eclipse Musings of Augusta Reed Thomas (1998), Eric Sessler’s Hammerhead for Flute and Guitar (2006), the first performance at the National Flute Association Convention of Melinda Wagner’s Pulitzer Award-winning Flute Concerto (2010), and has made the premiere recordings of many others, including Roberto Sierra’s Concierto Caribe (1996), Liptak Songs of Persephone (2010), and Maslanka’s Duo for Flute and Piano (1997). Her recording, Flute Music of Les Six, was honored by Stereo Review in its Record of the Year Awards, and her Paganini Caprices CD was on the final ballot for a Grammy nomination. Recent releases include the premiere recording of Bernstein’s Halil (chamber version), and a new CD, Quicksilver, with renowned guitarist Nicholas Goluses and guest artist, Metropolitan opera star, Katherine Lewek.
Bonita has made radio recordings with the Bavarian Rundfunk, Oslo, West Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Hague, Brussels, Australian Broadcasting, and Canadian Broadcasting networks. Among her television specials have been two PBS Television Specials as soloist, Tokyo recital debut televised on Japanese Cable Television, Santa Domingo Symphony soloist debut on Latin American National Television, and a solo debut with the Polish Radio Orchestra on live Polish National Television.
Ms. Boyd has recently been named a Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the National Flute Association, joining the ranks of such legendary flutists as James Galway and Julius Baker.
Bonita has been awarded the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Eastman School of Music, and her students occupy major orchestral and teaching posts throughout the world. She and her late husband, Christian Soderstrom, a Swedish engineer, have three sons.
Caroline Helton, soprano, joined the voice faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in the fall of 2000. An artist who enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music, she has been described as displaying “masterful” artistry and a “clear, bell-like soprano.”
Dr. Helton’s recent concert performances feature newly rediscovered repertoire by Jewish composers whose lives were affected by World War II. Along with pianist Dr. Kathryn Goodson, the duo has recorded three compact discs, the last two of which contain rare song repertoire by Italian Jewish composers from the first half of the twentieth century, including Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vittorio Rieti, Leone Sinigaglia and Guido Alberto Fano. American Record Guide had this to say about their CD entitled L’Infinito: Songs from a Lost World of Italian Jewish Composers:
“For the purposes of bringing recently discovered, historically significant music into the public consciousness, this recording should not be missed…. For aficionados of Italian music, opera or song, as well as people with an interest in music of the Holocaust or Jewish composers of this time, this recording is a must.”
Helton and Goodson have performed recitals of this repertoire in Italy as well as all over the U.S. In January of 2014 they were featured on a program commemorating International Holocaust Memorial Day at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, which was followed by a performance of the same program on the Shenson Recital Series at Stanford University. The second CD of rare Italian songs, La Tregua: Songs from a Lost World of Italian Jewish Composers, Vol. II was released in January 2017 on the Blue Griffin label.
At the University of Michigan, Dr. Helton is in demand as a voice teacher of both classical and musical theater styles, and her pedagogical interests include research into the healing power of song. She has been collaborating with Dr. Emery Stephens on a project called “Singing Down the Barriers” since 2004, and together they have published articles in the Journal of Multicultural Teaching and Learning as well as the NATS Journal of Singing about their work using art songs and spiritual settings of African American composers as a means of facilitating difficult racial conversations with groups of voice students from diverse backgrounds at universities all around the country. Their most recent teaching collaboration took place in August of 2018 in Cooperstown, New York with Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America” project, where they helped lead a two-day workshop for K-12 educators from the surrounding area of upstate New York.
Dr. Helton is an Associate Professor of Music (Voice) in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance as well as an Associate of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She received BM and MM degrees in Vocal Performance from UNC-Chapel Hill and a DMA degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
As a Distinguished Professor at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, a prolific composer, and recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dr. CHEN YI* blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music has reached a wide range of audiences and inspired peoples of different cultural backgrounds throughout the world. She holds a BA and MA in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and a DMA from Columbia University in New York City, studying composition with Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.
Dr. Chen’s music has been performed and commissioned by the world’s leading musicians and ensembles, including Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, the Cleveland Orchestra, the BBC, Seattle, Pacific, and Singapore Symphonies, the Brooklyn, NY, and LA Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Her music has also been recorded on many labels, including Bis, New Albion, CRI, Teldec, Telarc, Albany, New World, Naxos, Quartz, Delos, Angel, Bridge, Nimbus, KIC, and China Record Company.
Dr. Chen has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (1996) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1994), as well as the Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996). Other honors include first prize from the Chinese National Composition Contest (85), Lili Boulanger Award (93), NYU Sorel Medal Award (96), CalArts / Alpert Award (97), UT Eddie Medora King Composition Prize (99), ASCAP Concert Music Award (01), Elise Stoeger Award (02) from Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Friendship Ambassador Award from Edgar Snow Fund (02), UMKC Kauffman Award in Artistry/Scholarship (06) and in Faculty Service (12), and Honorary Doctorates from Lawrence University in WI (02), Baldwin-Wallace College in OH (08), University of Portland in OR (09), and The New School University in NYC (10).
Most recent premieres include a wind ensemble version of her saxophone quartet concerto Ba Yin (2015) performed by the Prism Quartet and UMKC Wind Ensemble, a mixed choral work The Beautiful West Lake (2015) for the University Singers in UM-Columbia, a solo percussion work Colors of Naobo (2015) performed by Evelyn Glennie at the Edinburgh Festival, Thinking of My Home (2015) for treble clef choir performed by the Frontier Trail Middle School Choir in Kansas, Three Dances From China South (2014) for traditional Chinese ensemble (to celebrate Music From China’s 30th anniversary at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall), and Not Alone (2014) for saxophone quartet performed by the Prism Sax Quartet and Naini Chen Dance Company in New York City. Upcoming premieres include a double concerto for flute, pipa, and orchestra (2013 Barlow Commission Award from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition), a clarinet concerto, a piano concerto, a guitar duet (2015 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program Award), and a solo organ work for the American Guild of Organist National Convention in 2017.
A strong advocate of new music, American composers, Asian composers, and women in music, Dr. Chen Yi has served on the advisory or educational board of the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Chamber Music America, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, New Music USA, the American Composers Orchestra, the League of Composers/ISCM, the International Alliance of Women in Music, and the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy. She has supported many composers, conductors, musicians (including dozens of excellent performers on Chinese traditional instruments), music educators and students through her tireless work over the past three decades.
Prof. Chen was appointed to the prestigious Cheungkong Scholar Visiting Professor at the Central Conservatory by the China Education Ministry in 2006 where she was instrumental in establishing the first Beijing International Composition Workshop, and the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Tianjin Conservatory in 2012. Through her professorship in the Conservatory of Music and Dance, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Peabody Conservatory, John Hopkins University since 1996, as well as composition lectures and workshops, judging composition competitions, residences in new music festivals, performing arts organizations, universities, colleges, middle/high schools, and primary schools throughout the States and China, Prof. Chen has made significant contribution to the music education field. Many of her composition students have been recognized around the world with national and international composition awards and professional positions.
Dr. Chen Yi is a cultural ambassador who has introduced hundreds of new music compositions and a large number of musicians from the East and the West to music and education exchange programs in the US, Germany, the UK, and Asian countries, particularly in recent years through programs of the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Beijing International Composition Workshop (BICW), the Shanghai Spring Festival, the Tianjin May Festival, the China-ASEAN Music Week, the symphony orchestras throughout China and some other Asian countries, and the Thailand International Composition Festival, among many others. She believes that music is a universal language; improving understanding between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and helping to bring peace in the world.
Chen is family name, Yi is personal name. Chen Yi can be referred to as Dr. Chen, Prof. Chen, Ms. Chen, or Chen Yi, but not Dr. Yi, Prof. Yi, or Ms. Yi.
Since his debut in 2003, Christian Sebek has been recognized for his powerful and lyrico spinto voice. The New York Times praised him as “possessing a marvelous voice,” while the Houston Chronicle extolled his Rodolfo as “full of visceral excitement” and proclaimed his Manrico was sung with “stentorian authority, with clarity, forcefulness, and ring that were the standard for others to meet or miss.”
For nearly five years he excited audiences as Ubaldo Piangi in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, a role he has performed over 1600 times. Mr. Sebek was the Soloist in the Berlioz Requiem to critical acclaim with the University of South Carolina Symphony in April 2016. In the 2017 he returned from China, where he sang concerts and gave master classes this summer. He recently jumped in to sing the role of Manrico with NJ Verismo Opera. In addition he has done several concerts including a Verdi concert with Bohème Opera and a series of concerts chronicling Puccini’s life through his work with DiCapo Opera.
In 2011 he made his debut with the DiCapo Opera in New York as Michele in Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street. The following July he appeared as Rodolfo in New York’s Central Park under the baton of Maestro Vincent LaSelva. Mr. Sebek created the lead role of Nathanael in Thomas Cabaniss’s Off-Broadway, contemporary opera The Sandman. He has sung Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera Idaho, Radames in Aida and Calaf in Turandot with Bohème Opera, Rodolfo in La Bohème with Center City Opera Theater, Opera in the Heights and Opera Western Reserve. Additional credits include the title roles in Otello and Samson et Delilah with One World Symphony, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Treasure Coast Opera and Center City Opera Theater, Canio in Pagliacci with Opera Western Reserve and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Opera Company of the Hamptons and the Chelsea Opera, Alfredo in La Traviata and Manrico in Il Trovatore.
He has performed Luigi from Il Tabarro with Mercury Opera in Edmonton, AB, to rave reviews and sang the role of Romeo in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette in concert at Weill Hall with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre. In June, 2010, he sang the role of Calaf in Turandot for New Rochelle Opera.
In 2009, Mr. Sebek performed at the Basilica de Santa Maria Aracoeli the role of the Shepherd in Andrew Miller’s The Birth of Christ for the Vatican. The performance recorded for DVD starred Jim Caviziel, Michael York, and Lou Gossett Jr. In concert, he has performed internationally throughout Eastern Europe, Spain and Italy. Mr. Sebek was the tenor soloist at Carnegie Hall, in Mid-America’s production of Handel’s Messiah. Additionally he has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with One Bright World and at Weill Hall in a concert of Italian operas.
He has performed with the Greenwich Village Orchestra in a Celebration of Jewish Stories in Opera. Mr. Sebek has been the featured soloist in major choral works with orchestras around the New York area, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and Kurt Weill’s Requiem with West Park Symphony. He has received numerous awards including NATS, Gerda Lissner Foundation and was the recipient of the Birgit Nilsson award while attending Manhattan School of Music.
Christian Sebek holds Bachelors degrees in finance/accounting and music. For years, Mr. Sebek was the General Director of Stern’s Music U.S., the country’s leading African record company. During his tenure at Stern’s, he helped launch hundreds of bands, labels and American tours. The most successful band was Africando, which recorded nine albums and topped the Latin music charts in New York and Miami.
In addition to his stage career, Christian is an active voice-over performing artist. He has sung dozens of TV, film, and radio commercials. Highlights include appearances on Comedy Central and Last Night with John Oliver and Weird Al Yankovic and in the movie Harlem Aria, starring Damon Wayans, Paul Sorvino and Christian Carmargo.
Christian is a member of Actor’s Equity, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. He is currently on the faculty of Concordia College in Westchester, NY.
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Christopher Dobrian is Professor of Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology in the Department of Music, with a joint appointment in the Department of Informatics. He is a composer of instrumental and electronic music, teaches courses in composition, theory, and computer music, and directs the Realtime Experimental Audio Laboratory (REALab), the Gassmann Electronic Music Studio and the Gassmann Electronic Music Series. He conducts research on the development of artificially intelligent interactive computer systems for the cognition, composition, and improvisation of music. He has published technical and theoretical articles on interactive computer music, and is the author of the original reference documentation and tutorials for the Max, MSP, and Jitter programming environments by Cycling '74. He holds a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied composition with Joji Yuasa, Robert Erickson, Morton Feldman, and Bernard Rands, computer music with F. Richard Moore and George Lewis, and classical guitar with the Spanish masters Celin and Pepe Romero.
Dobrian has been an invited Fulbright specialist at the Korean National University of Arts, the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and McGill University in Montreal, and has been a guest professor at Yonsei University, Taiwan National Normal University, and the National University of Quilmes in Argentina. His computer music compositions include Microepiphanies: A Digital Opera, a completely computer-controlled performance; Invisible Walls for dancers, motion tracking system, and computer-controlled synthesizer; Distance Duo for two computer pianos in remote locations connected via Internet; Mannam for Korean flute (daegeum) and interactive computer system; JazzBot for piano and musical robots; Tautology for Two for trumpet, trombone, and computer, with the instrumentalists located in different cities; and Gestural for digital piano and interactive computer system responding to the musical gestures of an improviser.
For more information, please visit http://music.arts.uci.edu/dobrian
Composer David Ludwig’s music has been performed internationally by leading musicians in some of the world’s most prestigious locations. His music has been called “entrancing,” and that it “promises to speak for the sorrows of this generation,” (Philadelphia Inquirer). It has further gained recognition for its “expressive directness” (The New York Times) and has been noted for “a yearning, poetic quality” (Baltimore Sun). The New Yorker magazine calls him a “musical up-and-comer” and the Chicago Tribune says that he “deserves his growing reputation as one of the up-and-comers of his generation.” He has had performances in such venues in as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Library of Congress, and been played on PBS and National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. NPR Music listed him as one of the world’s top 100 composers under forty in 2011.
Ludwig has received commissions from many prominent artists and ensembles. The Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird ensemble commissioned his work Haiku Catharsis. In 2005, Ludwig wrote a new work for violinist Jaime Laredo that the composer conducted in a dozen concert halls. According to the League of American Orchestras, his Concertino was one of the top ten most frequently performed orchestra works by a living composer that year. He joined the Curtis On Tour Ensemble in 2009 for a tour with his song-cycle From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayám in a season that also featured performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
This season features performances by Marina Piccinini, eighth blackbird, the American Modern Ensemble, and the Detroit Chamber Winds, as well as the premiere of his Symphony No. 1 The Book of Hours with the Vermont Symphony. The 2009-2010 season featured commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, Concert Artists Guild, The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the University of Michigan Wind Ensemble, as well as a double concerto for violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson. Other commissions have been received from important musicians including pianist Jonathan Biss, flutist Jeffrey Khaner, violinist Soovin Kim, violist Michael Tree, and guitarist Jason Vieaux.
Recipient of the First Music Award, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, and a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, Ludwig has been twice nominated for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Stoeger Award. He has received awards from the American Composers Forum, American Music Center, and had a three-year residency with the Vermont Symphony funded by the Meet The Composer “Music Alive!” program. He was honored in 2009 as a cultural leader by the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia.
Ludwig was the Young Composer in residence at the Marlboro Music School for three consecutive years. In addition to Marlboro, he has been in residence at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies. He is a resident artist at the Isabella Gardner Museum, and is now the permanent New Music Advisor of the Vermont Symphony. Ludwig directs several composition programs in prominent summer music festivals, as well.
Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of musicians. His grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin and his great-grandfather, violinist Adolf Busch. He holds degrees from Oberlin, MSM, Curtis, and Juilliard, as well as a PhD from UPenn. Ludwig is on the composition faculty of the Curtis Institute where he serves the Artistic Chair of Performance and as the director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble
Dean Whiteside was born in New York City and trained in Vienna at the University of Music and Performing Arts. He recently completed a three year position as the New World Symphony’s acclaimed Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor to Michael Tilson Thomas. His performances won the 2018 American Prize in Conducting, and the South Florida Classical Review named him Best New Artist of 2018, writing: “Dean Whiteside has been one of New World Symphony’s most gifted conducting fellows. Whether leading Wagner, Fauré or Ligeti, Whiteside not only maintains tight control and well-balanced ensemble but imbues each score with idiomatic flair and sensitive interpretive instincts.” He appeared on subscription concerts at the New World Center and Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, sharing performances with such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Roberto Abbado, James Conlon, Peter Oundjian, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänskä, and Mark Wigglesworth. As part of the acclaimed PULSE series, named “Best Classical Experience” by the Miami New Times, he led numerous world premieres for DJ and orchestra. His annual education concerts reached 3,000 students from Miami-Dade county and an audience of over 4,000 via Webcast.
Mr. Whiteside is co-founder and director of the Nashville Sinfonietta, hailed by The Tennessean as “a virtuoso band.” Dedicated to community engagement, the orchestra has partnered with organizations which better the lives of underserved communities in Nashville. He opened the Blair School of Music’s 2013-14 season directing a multimedia realization of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross called “innovative” by The Tennessean and “deeply meditative and satisfyingly original” by ArtsNash. In 2014 he led the Castleton Festival Orchestra as a Conducting Fellow under the tutelage of Lorin Maazel. His European debut came in 2011 after winning the Jorma Panula Blue Danube Masterclass and Competition. He has conducted orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, Orlando Philharmonic, Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Rousse State Opera Orchestra, Sibiu Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Wiener Kammerorchester and Zagreb Philharmonic, as well as the Vanderbilt Orchestra on a five-city tour of China. He has served as Cover Conductor to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Whiteside came to international attention after winning Second Prize and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra Award at the Sixth International Competition of Young Conductors Lovro von Matačić. Other awards include the 2017 Mahler Conducting Fellowship, Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarship, David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution, Bayreuth Festival Scholarship, and David Rabin Performance Prize. He has received fellowships from the Atlantic Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Castleton Festival, and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. He holds degrees from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Vanderbilt University. .
Donald Palma has an active career as a double bassist, conductor and educator. A native New Yorker, Don attended the Juilliard School and at the age of nineteen joined Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony. As a member of the newly formed new music ensemble, Speculum Musicae, he went on to win the Naumburg Competition and secure management with Young Concert Artists. A founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don has toured the globe and recorded over fifty compact discs for Deutsche Grammophon, including the Grammy Award winning Stravinsky CD, Shadow Dances. Don has also been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was Principal Bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock. He played principal bass for Leonard Bernstein on his recoding of West Side Story and was a featured artist on Kathleen Battle’s recording Grace. As a performer devoted to contemporary music he has played and conducted dozens of premieres and recordings of important works. Elliott Carter’s Figment III , Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronism No.11, Charles Wuorinen’s Spin-Off and Robert Ceely’s Harlequin are among the many works composed for him. He has conducted three critically acclaimed CDs of American music with the Odense Symphony in Denmark and his recent activities include conducting Ives Symphony No.2 and Strauss Four Last Songs with the Xalapa Symphony in Mexico, conducting/playing in concerts celebrating Mario Davidovsky’s 80th Birthday at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and recording Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale for SONY with Roger Waters narrating. He performs regularly with Orpheus in Carnegie Hall and is Music Director of the Symphony by the Sea in Beverly, MA. An active chamber musician, Don has appeared with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Da Camera Society and is a member of Mistral and the Walden Chamber Players. He also performs regularly at the Norfolk, Bridgehampton and White Mountains festivals. Don is on the faculty of the Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory, where he directs the NEC Chamber Orchestra. His students occupy positions in major orchestras, ensembles and universities across the globe.
Dr. Douglas Mark serves as Associate Professor of Trombone/Low Brass at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. He provides instruction in applied low brass, and directs the DSU brass ensemble. He has held similar positions at the Hochstein School of Music, Hamilton College, Nazareth College, and Colgate University, all located in western NY.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Mark has performed with several orchestras, including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Locally, he has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Tupelo Symphony and the Delta Symphony. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts. An advocate of community music projects, Dr. Mark has participated in the NEA Chamber Music Rural Residency in Liberal, KS. He has performed internationally in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Taiwan.
Dr. Mark received his DMA from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with John Marcellus. He earned his MM from the New England Conservatory of Music and undergraduate degrees in music performance and sociology from Northwestern University. His musical training also included studies with John Swallow, Frank Crisafulli, and Per Brevig.
Emery Stephens, baritone, joined the music faculty at St. Olaf College in 2019, where he teaches Music Performance Studies. Praised by the _Boston Phoenix _for his singing “with ringing suavity and articulate intelligence,” he enjoys performing diverse vocal repertoire, from traditional to contemporary. A versatile and charismatic singer, Dr. Stephens has collaborated with the Abridged Opera of Ontario, Wilmington Symphony, Carolina Ballet and members of the North Carolina Symphony, Arbor Opera Theater, Michigan Philharmonic, Ann Arbor Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera/Opera New England, Michigan Opera Theatre’s Community Education Programs, and the Detroit Jazz Festival in a revival of Dave Brubeck’s _The Gates of Justice _with renowned jazz pianist Jason Moran and his trio, The Bandwagon. He has performed works by contemporary American composers, such as _True Witness: A Civil Rights Cantata _by Jodi Goble; _The Passion of John Brown _by Jesse Ayers and _Paddle to the Sea _by Andre Meyers with the Michigan Philharmonic; _JFK: The Voice of Peace _by Dan Welcher with the Handel and Haydn Society, and jazz-inspired _Sweet Music in Harlem _by Andy Kirschner, based on a children’s book, commissioned by the Ann Arbor Symphony.
The Boston Globe wrote, “As Mel in Michael Tippett’s opera, The Knot Garden, Stephens disappeared entirely into his character.” As a singing actor, he has worked with innovative stage directors – Simon Target, Elkhanah Pulitzer, Dorothy Danner, Kay Walker Castaldo, Will Graham, as well as with noted choreographer Bill T. Jones. Additionally, he sang supporting roles in Monteverdi’s _L’Orfeo _with conductor Andrew Parrott, lutenist Paul O’Dette and the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.
An enthusiastic advocate for music education and inspiring communities through vocal music, Dr. Stephens is a teaching artist for the “Song of America” project through the Hampsong Foundation, which explores the diversity of classic American songs as an interdisciplinary lens in teaching K-12 and higher education students. His past engagements include lecture-performances at Carnegie Hall/Weill Music Institute, Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture sponsored by the Spokane Symphony. Additionally, his workshop presentation, “Mirror on the Wall: Self-Care and Modeling Healthy Vocal Habits in the Classroom,” was launched at the 2017 All-State Conference of the Arkansas Music Educators Association.
A 2014 Africana Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Stephens has presented at conference sessions for the International Congress of Voice Teachers, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Garth Institute for Music Research, National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music, and the African American Art Song Alliance, and the Singing Down the Barriers Institute. He has been collaborating with Dr. Caroline Helton from the University of Michigan on the “Singing Down the Barriers” project since 2004, and they have published articles in the Journal of Multicultural Teaching and Learning and the NATS Journal of Singing. Their latest publication is a chapter on African American Art Song in So You Want to Sing Spirituals: A Guide for Performers by Randye Jones, published for the National Association of Teachers of Singing by Rowman and Littlefield.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Stephens earned degrees from Gordon College (BA), Boston University (MM), and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan. Dr. Stephens is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), College Music Society, Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance, and is a frequent adjudicator for the George Shirley Vocal Competition and state and regional auditions for NATS.
Pianist Esther Park has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals across the United States as well as Asia and major European cities. Ms. Park has appeared as soloist with many orchestras such as Houston Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Corpus Christi Symphony, Filharmonia Pomorska, Poland, Orchestra Filarmonica, Romania, Shanghai Philharmonic, China, Shreveport Symphony, the Juilliard Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony.
Ms. Park gave a five-city recital tour in Korea, and has performed at the Juilliard Theater in NYC, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Halls’ Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Palau de la Musica, Valencia, Spain and on the Dame Myra Hess Piano Recital Series, Chicago. She has appeared at the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara), the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine, the Tel-Hai International Music Festival in Israel, and the Van Cliburn-TCU Institute in Texas. Ms. Park has been heard in New York on WQXR Radio station as the winner of the 52nd Kosciusko International Competition and the Gina Bachauer Competition.
Ms. Park has recently formed a piano duo with her sister, Sun-A Park. Duo Amadeae has since won the Chicago International Duo Piano Competition, and has appeared in numerous festivals, concerto performances and in duo recitals. The duo has been heard on WQXR as well as part of the Horowitz & Stecher foundation’s piano series.
Ms. Park is the winner of the 2013 Jose Roca International Piano Competition and 2013 Russian International Music Competition. She is the winner of 2009 “Prix Amadeo” and the 2009 Chopin Gesellschaft Klavierwettbewerb. Ms. Park also received top prizes at the 3rd San Marino International Piano Competition, the 3rd China Shanghai International Piano Competition, the 6th Paderewski International Piano Competition, the National Chopin Competition (USA), Hilton Head International Competition, the 14th New Orleans International Piano Competition and is the recipient of the President Clinton’s Prodigy Award.
Born in Pusan, Korea, Ms. Park began to play in public soon after her first piano lessons at the age of four. Ms. Park moved to the United States in 1995, after being accepted to the Juilliard School’s Pre-College division. Ms. Park has completed the undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School, studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky. Ms Park has also studied at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, Hannover, under the tutelage of Mr. Bernd Goetzke. Ms Park has since received the Artist Diploma, Master of Musical Arts degrees and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Mr. Boris Berman. Since 2015, Ms. Park has been serving as the assistant professor of piano and the director of Pre-College program at the East Tennessee State University.
“Prynn has a particularly silken bowing arm and remarkable control. Everything he played was poised, seamless and impeccably shaped.” – Musical Toronto
During his career as a soloist, as a member of the Trio Fibonacci, and as a guest artist with diverse ensembles, notably the Ensemble Alternance in Paris, Gabriel has both resurrected forgotten masterpieces and premiered over sixty new works. Gabriel has performed at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre, Merkin Hall in New York, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in association with IRCAM and Radio-France, at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.
He is passionate about teaching, and in addition to his current position at Ohio University has given masterclasses, coached chamber music, and given workshops at such prestigious institutions as the École Normale de Musique (Paris), University of South Africa, University of Curitiba (Brazil), Royal Academy of Music (UK), Conservatory of Belgrade (Serbia), Conservatory of Nagoya (Japan), Hochschule Hanns Eisler (Berlin, Germany) and at the University of Oxford (UK).
Gabriel’s most influential teachers were Clive Greensmith (Tokyo Quartet), David Finckel (Emerson Quartet) and Daniel Domb, Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony from 1974 to 2009 and a protégé of Paul Tortelier. Gabriel also received invaluable chamber music coaching from Menahem Pressler, Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartet), Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Richard Young (Vermeer Quartet) and Eberhard Feltz in Berlin.
Gabriel has collaborated with some of the most respected composers of our time, notably Mauricio Kagel, Pascal Dusapin, Jonathan Harvey, Georges Aperghis, Hannah Lash, George Tsontakis, and Henri Pousseur. From a pedagogical point of view, it can be said that new music presents the student musician with unique technical and interpretive challenges. Gabriel’s recent doctoral research on the subject, which won him the Luc Vinet Prize for Excellence from the University of Montreal, has led to his book, Taming the Cello, a handbook of contemporary cello for student string players and composers which is due to be published in 2017.
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.
Tenor Dr. JR Fralick made his professional singing debut as Alfredo in Colorado Lyric Opera Theater’s production of La Traviata, about which The Denver Post praised “JR Fralick’s Alfredo was full of beauty and youthful ardor.” He also received critical acclaim from The Cleveland Dealer for his Don Ottavio in Lyric Opera Cleveland’s Don Giovanni: “JR Fralick sang like a Mozartean dream.” He earned similar accolades for his Rudolfo (La Bohème), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Camille (The Merry Widow), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Martin (The Tender Land) and others.
“As Ottavio, JR Fralick was vocally suave, with a honeyed tone and liquid phrasing.” - The Akron Beacon Journal.
Fralick’s symphonic highlights include performances of Radzynski’s “Shirat Ma’ayan” with the Jerusalem Symphony, Britten’s “Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings” with the Kansas City Symphony and numerous performances of Handel’s “Messiah” - and other oratorios - across the country.
An avid recitalist and supporter of art song, Fralick performed Britten’s five Canticles for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Musart Recital Series,” recitals of Lieder with the exclusive Franz Schubert-Institut in Vienna, Austria and the program “Novello & Co.” at both the International Conference of British Music and the International Conference on Physiology and Acoustics of Singing. He was selected to perform his lecture-recital “Donizetti’s Influence Abroad: The Russian bel canto” at the International Donizetti Festival in Bergamo and Milan, Italy. Fralick frequently gives guest artist recitals at churches and universities and serves on the Governing Council of the Art Song Festival of Cleveland.
Always open to new ideas, Fralick has explored original cabaret songs, performing them in a number of venues, most notably on the Cleveland Playhouse’s “Cabaret Sampler” concerts. He was also featured in Cleveland Public Theater’s dance concert, “Companions,” about which Linda Eisenstein of Cool Cleveland wrote “It was worth attending just to hear JR Fralick’s melting sonorous tenor in Ricky Ian Gordon’s ravishing song cycle Genius Child.”
Fralick’s expertise is nineteenth-century Russian music and Russian diction for singers. He is in great demand for masterclasses and residencies on the subjects, and Leyerle Press published his anthology, “Twenty Arias for Tenor,” from the nineteenth-century Russian repertoire. He has taught courses on Russian vocal literature and diction, applied voice, music history, opera history, vocal pedagogy and opera workshop.
He is currently serving as faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and has previously directed workshops as a clinician and board member for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, NATS.
James Van Demark
One of the most brilliant virtuosi ever to perform on the double bass, James VanDemark was hailed by the New York Times at his Lincoln Center recital debut as “an exceptionally gifted string player and a musician of taste, intelligence and the best spontaneous musical instincts, with an unerring sense for exact intonation.” The San Francisco Chronicle praised his “wonderful facility for making really musical phrases, relaxing, building, shading with unlimited subtleties – and a capacity to dig into whole pages of rip-roaring coloratura and make every note count.”
VanDemark began his musical studies at the age of 14 in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota, making such rapid progress that just 18 months later he made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. Subsequently, VanDemark has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Grant Park Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, Quebec Symphony, National Symphony of Mexico, Netherlands Radio Symphony, and in numerous other concerto appearances.
VanDemark’s duo recitals with André Watts—including one on Lincoln Center’s Great Performer Series—and also with Samuel Sanders, Anthony Newman, Barry Snyder, and Robert Spillman have won him great acclaim. Chamber music collaborations with the Guarneri, Cleveland, Colorado, Muir, Ying, and Audubon Quartets, the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, Vienna Schubert Trio, Kandinsky Trio, Gryphon Trio and pianists Gary Graffman, Alfred Brendel, Anton Nel, Anton Kuerti, and Jeffrey Kahane highlight VanDemark’s versatility.
The recipient of numerous commissioned works, including those by three Pulitzer Prize winners – Gian-Carlo Menotti, Joseph Schwantner, and Christopher Rouse – VanDemark also performed the American premieres of Nino Rota’s
Divertimento Concertante (Charlotte Symphony) and Edvard Tubin’s Double Bass Concerto (Queens Symphony). VanDemark’s most recent commission is a solo double bass work by Adrienne Elisha, which he recently performed with the Rochester City Ballet.
In demand as a narrator with orchestra, VanDemark has had more more than thirty appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, as well as the Texas Festival Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia and ESSO, the NEO Ensemble, and many others.
A sought-after guest artist at summer festivals, VanDemark performs at the Mostly Mozart, Spoleto, Seattle Chamber Music, Montreal Chamber Music, Round Top, Maverick, Norfolk, South Bank (London), and Newport festivals.
An important direction in VanDemark’s career has been his involvement with Native American performers in Circle of Faith, composed by Alton Clingan. VanDemark commissioned this unique musical and cultural collaborative work, developing it in conjunction with respected Native artists and elders. He also produces the work, which has had more than 30 performances since its 1992 premiere with the Muir Quartet.
Appointed Professor of Double Bass at the Eastman School in 1976 at age 23, VanDemark became the youngest person ever to hold such a position at a major music school. VanDemark is recognized as a renowned teacher; his students have held positions with many of the world’s major orchestras – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, San Francisco, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and the orchestras of Syracuse, Buffalo and Wichita. VanDemark’s guest master classes have included Northwestern University, Oberlin, Bard College, Cleveland Institute of Music, McGill University, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Carnegie-Mellon, Duquesne, Louisiana State University, Shanghai Conservatory, Central Conservatory Beijing, and many others.
As a recording artist, VanDemark can be heard on d’Note Records, Philips, Telarc, Vox, Pantheon, and NEXUS.
The New York Times, in the first of its three profiles of VanDemark, also wrote that “Some people seemed destined to lead unconventional lives, and James VanDemark is one of them.” To that end, VanDemark (with legendary boxing coach Dominic Arioli) developed a boxing and conditioning program for Eastman students, subsequently profiled on ESPN, FoxSports, and in The Wall Street Journal. VanDemark’s other boxing accomplishments have been profiled on CBC’s _Q, _WNYC’s _SoundCheck, _and, at the request of violinist Hilary Hahn, in The Strad.
The producer of the highly acclaimed Weill Style Gala _for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, VanDemark has also collaborated with Oscar winning writers Ernest Thompson and Ron Harwood, Oscar nominated writer Hesper Anderson, and television Sir David Frost in developing film and television projects. VanDemark produced the music video _The Gift, with music by Frank Wildhorn, for Atlantic Records.
A high school dropout, VanDemark graduated in 1976 from SUNY Buffalo (BFA, Magna cum Laude). His principal teachers include bassist James Clute and cellist Paul Katz, with additional study with bassist Gary Karr and cellists Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose.
“The goddess of flute”- Korea Times “Jasmine Choi is a revisionist”- Philadelphia Inquirer “Anyone who hears Jasmine Choi’s performance will encounter a totally new level of flute playing” - Nikkei Daily Newspaper, Japan “One of 10 best flutists in the history of music”- Sinfini Magazine, UK
Superstar flutist Jasmine Choi has performed across the globe in a variety of genres from classical solo, chamber, and orchestral to experimental, jazz, and pop. Her infinite curiosity has also led her to make her own arrangements of major works, including the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky violin concertos, as well as performing world premieres of works composed by Daniel Dorff, Detlev Glanert, Texu Kim, Mark Laycock, Gary Schocker, Clint Needham, Uriel Vanchestein and Patrick Zimmerli, to name a few.
Selected as one of the ten best flutists in the history of music by Sinfini Magazine UK in 2015, along with Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, James Galway and Emmanuel Pahud, Ms. Choi is a full-time soloist giving almost 90 concerts each season. Before her full-time career as a soloist has begun, Ms.Choi was the first Korean musician to hold a post in Vienna Symphony Orchestra when she joined as principal flute under Fabio Luisi, as well as the first Korean woodwind musician in the US when she joined Cincinnati Symphony under Paavo Jarvi.
She was the 2018 Artist-In-Residence at Sejong Arts Center in Seoul, one of the most prominent concert halls in Korea, giving four different recital programs throughout the year. In addition, the New York Classical Players has recently announced Ms.Choi as their Artist-In-Residence for the next three seasons(2018-2021) and will commission three flute concertos for her followed by world-premiere performances.
Ms.Choi has performed as a soloist with the Berlin Symphony at the Philharmonie’s New Year’s Eve concert, and with Vienna Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum, St.Petersburg Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozart Players, Würzburg Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Classical Players, Sarasota Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic in Finland, Seoul Philharmonic and KBS Symphony in Korea, Osaka Symphony and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, as well as at recitals in Paris, Vienna, London, Munich, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong. Ms. Choi’s performance was featured during the 2018 Winter Olympics’ celebrations in PyeongChang, Korea.
As the last pupil of the late Julius Baker, former principal of the New York Philharmonic, and student of Jeffrey Khaner, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ms. Choi has studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at Juilliard.
She has recorded several solo CDs under the Sony Classical label, including Mozart Flute Concertos, Fantasy (Virtuoso Flute Works), Claude Bolling Jazz Suite, Mozart Flute Quartets. Other recordings include Telemann Fantasies, Love in Paris (from a live recital), Trio Joy (free improvisation), and three single albums including her arrangement of Paganini’s Caprice No.24, Clarke’s Great Train Race and Reichert’s Encore Solo.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Choi has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Seoul Spring Festival, Sarasota Festival, and served as a founding member of the Astral Winds woodwind quintet and Trio Morisot (flute, viola, harp) in the US. She currently tours regularly with guitarist Benjamin Beirs.
Between concerts, Ms. Choi enjoys teaching and guiding young students in master classes. She has previously taught master classes at Juilliard, the Curtis Institute of Music, Indiana University, Colburn School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Florida University, Universität für Musik in Vienna, among others.
Thanks to her charismatic performance style, she has been invited to perform at many special occasions. She played at the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s inauguration reception in New York, and she was a soloist with Vienna Symphony for the opening concert of the Bregenz Festival. Her performances can be found on her YouTube channel which has reached more than 6 million views. In 2016, she was named Cultural Ambassador of her hometown Daejeon, Korea. www.jasminechoi.com
Dr. Jeremiah Selvey is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Vocal Music at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, where he conducts the SMC Concert Chorale and the SMC Chamber Choir. He also co-directs and sings professionally with Chorosynthesis Singers, a 12-voice, professional, project-based chamber ensemble in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Selvey has performed throughout North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe in world class venues, such as the Sydney Opera House, Symphony Hall in Chicago, The Vatican, Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall in Seattle, and Peachtree United Methodist in Atlanta. Additionally, Dr. Selvey regularly guest conducts and teaches voice master classes and choir clinics at all levels. He was recently interviewed for feature articles in both The Choral Journal and The Voice for his entrepreneurship in and vision for professional choral music. He has also published in The Choral Scholar and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education.
Dr. Selvey was nationally recognized for his conducting and named The Winner of The American Prize in Conducting 2017, Professional Choir Division. He conducts music from all musical periods and specializes in modern choral music, especially championing the music of established and emerging living composers. Dr. Selvey is active in curating and performing music that is socially conscious with content that is relevant to today’s environment and socio-cultural climate. Since January of 2016, he has performed at least 16 choral premieres, some of which will be released in the double-CD Empowering Silenced Voices. Dr. Selvey is a co-artistic director, baritone, and post-production producer on this 2-CD album, which is scheduled for release in Spring 2018.
Dr. Selvey has performed solo oratorio and opera roles as baritone and countertenor, as well as a professional singer in choirs, including Chorosynthesis Singers. Roles have included solos from several Renaissance masses, Bach cantatas and motets, Bach’s Magnificat (both bass and alto solos), Handel’s Messiah (both bass and alto solos), several Schubert masses, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Messiaen’s Cinq Rechants. He premiered one of the primary roles in Timothy Brady’s Edalat Square in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as James Blachly’s We Have Not Long to Love in Seattle, Washington. In 2007, he performed in England with the Tallis Scholars. Dr. Selvey is a beloved vocal coach and private instructor for more than 15 years, including voice positions at Blackburn College, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Thames Valley Music School, and Santa Monica College.
Dr. Selvey’s music education research includes the bimodal perception of seeing and hearing in musical performances, particularly as seen in choral performance. This research has been presented in Thailand, Greece, Spain, and throughout North America, including at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Selvey also researches how movement contributes to the visual aspect of performance in conducting, which he has presented at the National Association for Music Education national conference in Nashville, Tennessee and at the International Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses Festival 2016 in Denver, Colorado. In addition, he finds himself experimenting through his work with Chorosynthesis, a national nonprofit arts organization he co-founded, with how to make choral music more relevant to everyone without limiting the breadth and depth of the art of choral composition itself. Finally, Dr. Selvey recently presented a paper at The Northeast Chapter of the College Music Society Conference in Plattsburgh, New York, on entrepreneurship in the profession of singing and how the changing industry might indicate a need for reform in college vocal curricula.
A Southern California resident, Dr. Selvey enjoys hiking and going to the beach nearly every week, and he travels as much as he can afford.
Soprano, Jessica McCormack holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto. She was selected as an Emerging Leader by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and has presented for the National Opera Association and the Pan-American Vocology Association on issues related to vocal health. She served as Coordinator of Voice Studies and Associate Professor of Voice at Indiana University South Bend (tenured 2017), and Assistant Professor of Music at Wittenberg University. She held visiting positions with the Conservatory at Baldwin-Wallace University, West Texas A & M University, the University of Notre Dame and she enjoyed teaching voice at the Interlochen Center for the Arts for three summers (2015-2017). Internationally, she has lectured and presented masterclasses in Thailand (College of Music, Mahidol University Salaya Campus), Hong Kong (City University, Kowloon), Canada (University of Toronto and York University), the Czech Republic (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts) and France (Bougival, Musée Ivan-Tourguéniev).
Since moving to the east coast, Dr. McCormack has directed her career to work with Pre-Collegiate musicians. She is currently the Coordinator of the Music Department at Phillips Academy and she also maintains a private studio in Andover. In her free time, Jessica enjoys exploring independent coffee shops, baking, reading, programming new recitals and traveling with her husband, Dr. Thanuka Wickramarathne.
José Ramón Mendez
Described as “an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power” and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid, as “the Spanish pianist of his generation,” Jose Ramon Mendez is one of the most exciting Spanish pianists of today.
Recent performances include Chopin’s first piano concerto with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and Manuel de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” with the Nittany Valley Symphony, as well as numerous solo and chamber music performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His playing has been featured on WQXR’s “Performance Today” and on Classical KMFA. He has been a guest performer at many music festivals, including Caramoor Festival, Barge Music Series, Festival Internacional de Piano de las Islas Canarias, Music at Penns Woods, Amalfi Coast International Music Festival, “Tocando el Cielo,” Musica en Compostela, the Stony Brook International Piano Festival, and the Santander International Music Festival to name a few. As a chamber musician, Mendez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Karl Leister, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Tree, Pascual Martinez-Nieto, and Pinchas Zukerman.
Mendez received his first music instruction from his father and by the age of seven was already performing on Spanish television and radio stations. He made his solo debut at the age of eleven at the Oviedo Philharmonic Society in Oviedo, Spain, the youngest performer ever to do so in the history of the society. He first gained international recognition when he performed Liszt’s first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland, and Japan to great acclaim. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world.
At the age of 18, Mendez’s success brought him to the United States, where he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He completed his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in piano performance with renowned pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky and went on to finish his Doctorate of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Byron Janis and Miyoko Lotto. During his stay in New York, he won top prizes in many international competitions, including Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition, Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition, Frederick Chopin Competition in New York, and Hermanos Guerrero International Piano Competition, among others.
Mendez’s professional teaching career began in 1996, when he was invited to teach master classes at the Gijon School of Music. Since then, he has given master classes in numerous cities in Spain, including Lugo, Aviles, Valencia, Gijon, Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as in the United States at top music schools such as Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and Columbus State University. Mendez also taught as assistant teacher to Miyoko Lotto at the Perlman Music Program, a program for gifted young musicians founded by the world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. Currently in the summers, he is the Artistic Director and on the faculty of the Gijon International Piano Festival in Gijon, Spain, as well as frequently being invited to perform and teach at various festivals.
For more information, visit his at https://www.joseramonmendez.com
Karen Brunssen teaches at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University where she is an associate professor and co-chair of music performance. She is currently president-elect of NATS (NATS president for 2018-2020 term) and previously served as governor of NATS Central Region. Past positions also include program chair for the 2016 NATS National Conference in Chicago, president of the Chicago Singing Teachers Guild, and vice president and president of Chicago Chapter NATS, where she started the annual vocal competition that has grown to over 400 singers. She is also a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing.
Karen is a frequent clinician, master teacher, adjudicator and presenter, most recently at the 2012 and 2014 NATS National Conferences, the 2011 and 2012 NATS Workshops, the 2015 ACDA Conference, West Central Region NATS, Missouri District NATS, Ohio Buckeye, Chicago, Tennessee, and Wisconsin NATS Chapters, Classical Singer Conferences, Association of Teachers of Singing in England, Opera America, and Chorus America. She was a keynote presenter for the International Symposium on Singing and Song at the University of Newfoundland in 2015. Presentations are often based on her article, “The Evolving Voice: Profound at Every Age” (Choral Journal, February 2010), that chronicles changes in respiration, vibration and resonance, and the impact on realistic, age appropriate expectations for vocal development throughout a lifetime.
In 2013 Karen was a Master Teacher for the NATS Intern Program in Nashville. Since 2008 Karen has done five teaching residencies at Cambridge University involving 19 of the colleges. She taught at the Zürcher Sing-Akadmie in Zurich, Switzerland, the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, the Castleton Music Festival, and Dorian Opera Theatre.
Her singing career has spanned over 30 years including solo appearances with Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis, National, San Diego, Seattle, Milwaukee, Netherlands Radio, Halle, and Mexico City Symphony Orchestras, Cincinnati Opera, Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago Opera Theatre, Carmel Bach Festival, Prague Autumn Festival, Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Aspen Music Festival, and the Berkshire Choral Festival. Recordings include Telemann’s Day of Judgment, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Music of the Baroque, John Philip Sousa’s Desiree, and others on Decca and Vox MMG.
Students of Karen’s have gone on to sing professionally and in young artist programs with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Merola Opera and Adler Fellowship Programs with San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe, Chautauqua, Des Moines Metro Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, Wolf Trap, Aspen Music Festival, and Sarasota Opera. Others have performed on Broadway and with national music theater tours, and are teaching privately and at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Karen attended Luther College, and did graduate work at the Yale School of Music and Kent State University. In 2013 she was presented with the Weston Noble Award by Luther College.
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.
LEONE BUYSE is the Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Previously a principal flutist of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops and member of the San Francisco Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic, she has appeared as soloist with those orchestras and also with the Utah Symphony, the Xalapa Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico City and l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players throughout Europe and Japan, with the Tokyo, Juilliard, Brentano, and Muir String Quartets, and in recital with Jessye Norman and Yo-Yo Ma. A renowned educator, she has taught at the New England Conservatory, Boston University, the University of Michigan, and the Aspen, Sarasota, and Norfolk music festivals, and has presented recitals and master classes across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Her solo and chamber music recordings are available on the Crystal, Boston Records, Albany, Camerata Tokyo, Centaur, CRI, Danacord, Elektra/Nonesuch, Nami, New World, and Ravello labels.
In 2010 Ms. Buyse received the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the flute community worldwide. Her former students hold positions at major universities and in many major orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Omaha, Adelaide, and Singapore; the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia. Ms. Buyse maintains a web presence at www.leonebuyse.com
The New York Times writes ‘Lisa Moore, an Australian pianist long based in and around New York, has always been a natural, compelling storyteller’, TimeOut New York describes her as ‘the wonderfully lyrical pianist’ and The New Yorker refers to her as ‘visionary’. Lisa Moore’s performances combine music and theatre with expressive and emotional power – whether in the delivery of the simplest song, a solo recital, or a fiendish chamber score. Pitchfork claims “She’s the best kind of contemporary classical musician, one so fearsomely game that she inspires composers to offer her their most wildly unplayable ideas”.
This multi-faceted pianist and avid collaborator won the silver medal in the 1981 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition. Based in New York City since 1985, she has released 10 solo discs, ranging from Leoš Janáček to Philip Glass, and more than thirty collaborative discs (on labels: Cantaloupe, Tall Poppies, Orange Mountain, Irreverence Group Music, Bandcamp, Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Her 2016 disc The Stone People – featuring the music of John Luther Adams, Martin Bresnick, Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore, Frederic Rzewski, and Julia Wolfe – was selected by The New York Times Top Classical Albums and Naxos Critics’ Choice. Her 2015 collaborative Steve Reich Music for Eighteen Musicians with Ensemble Signal made The New York Times Top Classical Albums list. Gramophone writes of her solo 2015 Mad Rush Philip Glass disc “what becomes abundantly clear from listening to almost any bar on this recording is Moore’s highly developed, intuitive and nuanced approach to this music, one which has been allowed to evolve and refine over a number of years”.
Lisa was the founding pianist for the Bang On A Can All-Stars from 1992-2008 and, with them, the winner of Musical America’s 2005 Ensemble of the Year award. Given a special passion for the music of our time she has worked with over 200 composers – including Iannis Xenakis, Elliot Carter, Philip Glass, Steve Reich,Meredith Monk, Frederic Rzewski, Ornette Coleman, Jonny Greenwood, David Lang, Don Byron, Martin Bresnick, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Grabowski, Kate Neal, Thurston Moore, Missy Mazzoli, Hannah Lash, and Julia Wolfe.
Enjoying diverse collaborative projects throughout the globe, Lisa Moore has performed with a large range of musicians, ensembles and artists – the London Sinfonietta, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra. She is a member of Grand Band, Ensemble Signal, Tempus Duo, TwoSense, and the Paul Dresher Double Duo.
Lisa Moore has performed concertos with the London Sinfonietta, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Wesleyan University Orchestra with Sumarsam Gamelan, Albany Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Tasmania Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, Thai National Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Monash Performing Arts Orchestra, Clocked Out, and the Queensland Philharmonic. She has performed under the batons of David Robertson, Leonard Bernstein, Bradley Lubman, Brett Dean, Richard Mills, Reinbert de Leeuw, Pierre Boulez, Jorge Mester, Benjamin Northey, Angel Gil-Ordonez, Steven Schick, and Edo de Waart.
Performing on some of the world’s great stages – La Scala, the Musikverein, the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall — Lisa’s festival guest appearances include Lincoln Center, BAM Next Wave, Big Ears, Banff, Crash Dublin, Vienna, Graz, Trondheim, Rome, Venice, Palermo, Turin, Aspen, Tanglewood, Gilmore, Chautauqua, Huddersfield, Paris d’Automne, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, BBC Proms, Southbank, Uzbekistan, Leningrad, Moscow, Lithuania, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Metropolis, Israel and Warsaw.
Lisa Moore has also enjoyed artistic curation. She produced Australia’s Canberra International Music Festival 2008 Sounds Alive series, importing artists from around the world for 10 days of events at the versatile Street Theatre.
Born in Australia, Lisa grew up in Canberra, London and Sydney. She began piano at age 6 and studied formally at the Sydney Conservatorium, University of Illinois, Eastman School of Music, SUNY Stonybrook, and in Paris with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. Based in New York City Lisa teaches at Yale-Norfolk Festival New Music Workshop and is a regular guest at the Australian Academy of Music, Melbourne.
Lisa Moore is a Steinway artist. For more Moore please visit www.lisamoore.org
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.
Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation) Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Lomazov has given major debuts in New York (Weill-Carnegie Hall) Boston (Symphony Hall), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Concert Series), Los Angeles (Museum of Art), Shanghai (City Theater) and Kiev (Kiev International Music Festival).
She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Eastman Philharmonia, Chernigov Philharmonic (Ukraine), KUG Orchester Graz (Austria), Bollington Festival Orchestra (England), Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic, to name a few. New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini describes a recent New York performance as “dazzling” and Talk Magazine Shanghai describes her performances as “a dramatic blend of boldness and wit”.
In recent seasons, Lomazov has performed extensively in China, South Africa, Italy, Spain, and in the United States. She is a frequent guest at music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Hamamatsu, Chautauqua, Brevard, Miami, Perugia (Italy), Burgos (Spain), Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria), among others. She has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Innova labels and American Record Guide praised her recent recording of piano works by Rodion Shchedrin for its “breathtaking virtuosity”.
Before immigrating to the United States in 1990, Marina studied at the Kiev Conservatory where she became the youngest First Prize Winner at the all-Kiev Piano Competition. Ms. Lomazov holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, the latter bestowing upon her the highly coveted Artist’s Certificate – an honor the institution had not given a pianist for nearly two decades. Also active as a chamber musician, Lomazov has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), the duo garnered significant attention as Second Prize winners at the Sixth Biennial Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists (2005), the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time.
Ms. Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She is currently serving as a chair for National Panelist for YoungArts, the only organization in the US that nominates U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. For 17 years she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and is currently holds a Guest Artist Residency. Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC.
Ms. Lomazov is a Steinway Artist.
The first winner of Classical Singer International Vocal Competition, American countertenor Mark Crayton is being hailed by critics and audiences for the pure beauty of his voice, his expressive and insightful interpretations, and his natural musicality.
Mark Crayton performs on concert stages and in opera houses throughout the United States and Europe, and his extensive repertoire includes a wide variety of works. Mark Crayton created the role of the Minstrel in The Holland Festival’s production of Peter Onnes’ opera/theatre piece Pantagruel et Gargantua. This role was specifically written for Mark Crayton. In 2001, Mr Crayton was chosen by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb to sing the role of Louis Perch in their new musical, The Visit, starring Chita Rivera, at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.In 2002, Mark Crayton was invited by the composer Philip Glass and the Tony Award director Mary Zimmerman to sing in the world premiere performances of Glass’ opera Galileo Galilei in Chicago, New York City and London. Also in 2002, the Lyric Opera of Chicago invited Mark Crayton to cover the role of Armindo in Handel’s Partenope. In 2007, Mr Crayton made his debut with the Seattle Opera as Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare - the same opera in which Mark Crayton made his San Diego Opera debut in 2006. In 2010, he made his debut with Handelweek in Handel’s Rodelinda in the role of Unulfo. Other highlights from past seasons include his role as Bacchus in Alexandre Goehr’s critically acclaimed Arianna for the Opera Theatre of St Louis, performances as Amore in Monteverdi’s_L’Incoronazione di Poppea_ and as Ericlea in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Music of the Baroque.
Besides his operatic and orchestral engagements, the recital repertoire continues to be very important to Mark Crayton. Since his recital debut at the Ravinia Music Festival as a part of the Steans Institute for Young Artists in 1995, he has been regularly heard in recital frequently with fortepianist and harpsichordist James Janssen. Their successful collaborations have included recitals at New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and a live studio broadcast by Chicago’s classical radio station WFMT that was also transmitted via the Internet, plus performances in Washington, DC (The Phillips Collection) and in Amsterdam, London and Chicago. In addition, Mr Crayton has been a guest soloist with the Chicago-based chamber ensemble Haydn by the Lake which performs music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries on period instruments. Mark Crayton has also appearances on The Phoenix Concert Series in New York City, featuring new music for two countertenors and piano, with colleagues Daniel Gundlach and James Janssen. Subsequently, Mr Crayton was heard in concert with fortepianist James Janssen for Ars Musica Chicago at the DePaul University Art Museum. Mark Crayton was also a guest artist every summer with Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute from 1994 until 2009. Recitals this season include a return to the recital stage in London, a return to Roosevelt’s Ganz Hall, and a recital at Notre Dame.
Highlights from recent seasons include Mr Crayton’s performances with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a recital debut on Chicago’s acclaimed Jewel Box Series, several recital engagements at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Handel’s Jephtha and Messiah with the Choral Society of Durham, the Duke Chapel, and the Orchestra Pro Cantores, and a return to venues in Chicago, London and Amsterdam with a recital program celebrating new music written specifically for Crayton by composers David W Solomons, Ronald William Hill and Gregory Peebles. Mark Crayton happily returned in this recital to Chicago’s Jewel Box Series and this concert was simulcast on Chicago’s WFMT as well as streamed on the Internet and on cable worldwide.
In 2002, Mark Crayton made his debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall when he sang Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the National Chorale; Mark Crayton has developed quite a reputation for his interpretation of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms which he has performed 165 times with the most recent performances with the Houston Symphony and the Sheboygan Symphony. Crayton has soloed in the music of G Gabrieli, D Buxtehude, G F Handel, H. Purcell (Fairy Queen), and J S Bach (including the Hohe Messe and_Magnificat_) during several years of appearances with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque.
Mark Crayton is regularly heard in the concert and oratorio repertoire. Previous engagements have included his debut at the Kennedy Center with Maestro Stephen Simon and the Washington Chamber Symphony singing Purcell’s_ Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day_. Mr Crayton has also been the guest soloist with the Concord Ensemble and he has made his debut at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall singing Handel’s Messiah with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago under the direction of Steven Alltop,his Carnegie Hall performances as the alto soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and in Mozart’s Regina Coeli _and a return to Avery Fisher Hall in Handel’s _Messiah.
As a conductor, Mr. Crayton has conducted performances of Wood’s St. Mark Passion, Keiser’s Markus Passion, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Britten’s Missa Brevis in D, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Stainer’s The Crucifixion, _Britten’s _Ceremony of Carols, and C.B. Hawley’s The Christ Child as well as several choral concerts for CCPA in the next year. This spring he will conduct Sommervell’s The Passion of Christ. He regularly conducts the CCPA Chorale at Roosevelt University and the Choir and Orchestra of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL. He also music and stage directs CCPA’s Freshmen-Sophomore Showcase. He was honored to conduct one of the back-up choruses for the Chicago appearances of the Rolling Stones in 2013.
As a stage director, Mr. Crayton has directed Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, Bernstein’s_ Candide_, Scarlatti’s The Triumph of Honor (for which he adapted a new English singing translation with his partner in that production, Elizabeth Parker) and Douglas Moore’s Gallantry. As part of the Tuscia Opera Festival, he directed Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Future directing projects include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as well as Mozart’s_ Bastien and Bastienne_.
As a voice teacher, Mr. Crayton has been a full-time faculty member at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts since 2009. He was adjunct faculty at CCPA between 2005 and 2009. He has taught masterclasses at Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, in Viterbo, Italy, Montecatinni Terme, Italy, London, U.K. at The Hap’ning Place, at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, as well as in Milwaukee, Wi, Iowa City, IA, and many venues around Chicago (many for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing - NATS). Future masterclasses include a return for two days of classes in London, a presentation at the Classical Singer Convention and a masterclass at Notre Dame. He maintains a full and active private voice studio as well. Many of Mr. Crayton’s students are performing in opera houses, musical theater venues and concert venues around the world including Joseph London, Kelly Britt, Megan Cook, Thomas Aláan, Brittany Loewen, Jessica Coe, Gregory Peebles and Michael Bresnahan.
A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Mark Crayton attended Butler University and the University of Tennessee as well as the Akademie voor Oude Muziek Amsterdam (Academy of Ancient Music Amsterdam). He has studied with Sharon Beckendorf Searles, Nina Belavin Kor and the renowned baritone, Max van Egmond. Currently, Mark Crayton studies with soprano Judith Haddon.
On a CD for the Centaur label, the beauty of Mark Crayton’s voice, with the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, can be heard singing songs by Phillipp Heinrich Erlebach.
Martin Bresnick was born in New York City in 1946. He was educated at the High School of Music and Art, the University of Hartford (B.A. '67), Stanford University (M.A. '68, D.M.A. '72), and the Akademie für Musik, Vienna ('69-'70). His principal teachers of composition include György Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem. Presently Professor of Composition and Coordinator of the Composition Department at the Yale School of Music, he has also taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1971-72) and Stanford University (1972-75). He has served as the Valentine Professor of Music, Amherst College (1993), the Mary Duke Biddle Professor of Music, Duke University (1998), the Cecil and Ida Green Visiting Professor of Composition, University of British Columbia (2000), Composer-in-Residence, Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp (2001 and 2004), International Bartok Seminar, Director of Composition (2001), Visiting Professor of Composition, Eastman School of Music (2002-2003), Visiting Professor, New College, Oxford (2004), Housewright Eminent Scholar and Featured Guest Composer, Florida State University (2005), Visiting Composer, Royal Academy of Music, London (2005), Visiting Composer, Harvard University, (2009), Visiting Composer, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea (2009), Macgeorge Fellow, Melbourne University (2010), Composer in Residence (2010-2011) Mannes College of Music. Master Artist, Atlantic Center for the Arts (2013), Composer in Residence, University of Michigan (2014), Composer in Residence, Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow, Scotland (2014), Institute of Advanced Studies Fellowship, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (2014), 2016 Distinguished Visiting Composer in Residence, Frost School of Music, University of Miami, Miami Florida.
Martin Bresnick's compositions, from opera, chamber and symphonic music to film scores and computer music, are performed throughout the world. His orchestral music has been performed by the National Symphony, Chicago Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Münster Philharmonic, Kiel Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Radio Televisione Italiana, Orchestra New England, City of London Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonika, and Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka. His chamber music has been performed in concert by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Sonor; Da Capo Chamber Players; Speculum Musicae; Bang on A Can All Stars; Nash Ensemble; MusicWorks!; Zeitgeist; Left Coast Ensemble; Musical Elements.
His music has been heard at numerous festivals: Tura New Music Festival, Perth (Australia), International Festival of Arts and Ideas (New Haven), Sonic Boom, Bang on a Can, Adelaide, Israel, Prague Spring, South Bank's Meltdown, Almeida, Turin, Tanglewood, Banff, Norfolk, ISCM, New Music America, New Horizons. He has received commissions from: The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (1985), Orchestra New England (1986), Connecticut String Orchestra (1986), N.E.A. (consortium commission) (1987), Monticello Trio (1988), Koussevitzky Foundation (1989), Meet-the-Composer Reader's Digest commissioning program (1992), Greater Bridgeport Symphony (1992), National Endowment for the Arts (1992), Institute of Sacred Music (1993), Macon Arts Alliance (1994), Fromm Foundation (1995), Lincoln Center Chamber Players (1997), Sequitur (1997), Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1997), Meet-the-Composer (1998), Chamber Music America (1999).
He has received many prizes, among them: Fulbright Fellowship (1969-70), Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University (1973), three N.E.A. Composer Grants (1974, 1979, 1990); A.S.C.A.P. Awards (1975-present); Rome Prize Fellowship (1975-76), MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1977), Morse Fellowship from Yale University (1980-81), First Prize, Premio Ancona (1980), First Prize, International Sinfonia Musicale Competition (1982), Connecticut Commission on the Arts Grant, with Chamber Music America (1983), two First Prizes, Composers Inc. Competitions (1985, 1989), Semi-finalist, Friedheim Awards (1987), The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Elise L. Stoeger Prize for Chamber Music (1996), "Charles Ives Living" award, American Academy of Arts & Letters (1998), Composer-in Residence, American Academy In Rome (1999), the ASCAP Foundation's Aaron Copland Prize for teaching (2000), Berlin Prize Fellow, American Academy in Berlin (2001), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), elected to membership of American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006) and the Samuel Simons Sanford Medal (Yale School of Music) for distinguished service to music (2019).
Mr. Bresnick has written music for films, two of which, Arthur & Lillie (1975) and The Day After Trinity (1981), were nominated for Academy Awards in the documentary category, (both with Jon Else, director). Mr. Bresnick's music has been recorded by Starkland Records, Cantaloupe Records, Albany Records, New World Records, Bridge Records, Composers Recordings Incorporated, Centaur Records and Artifact Music.
Celebrated as an ”...eloquent, poetic voice in contemporary music...” [American Record Guide], Melinda Wagner’s esteemed catalog of works embodies music of exceptional beauty, power, and intelligence. Wagner received widespread attention when her colorful Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Since then, major works have included Concerto for Trombone, for Joseph Alessi and the New York Philharmonic, a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for Emanuel Ax, and Little Moonhead, composed for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as part of its popular “New Brandenburgs” project.
Noted for its “...prismatic colors and...lithe sense of mystery...” [Washington Post], Extremity of Sky has been performed by Emanuel Ax with the National Symphony (on tour), the Toronto and Kansas City Symphonies, and the Staatskapelle Berlin.
Championed early on by Daniel Barenboim, Wagner has received three commissions from the Chicago Symphony; the most recent of these, Proceed, Moon, is to be premiered by the CSO under the baton of Susanna Mälkki in 2017. Other recent performances have come from the American Composers Orchestra, the United States Marine Band, BMOP, the American Brass Quintet, the Empyrean Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Among honors Wagner has received is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP. Wagner was given an honorary doctorate from Hamilton College, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Melinda Wagner was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2017.
A passionate and inspiring teacher, Melinda Wagner has given master classes at many fine institutions across the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Eastman, Juilliard, and UC Davis. She has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and Smith College, and has served as a mentor at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yellow Barn. Ms. Wagner currently serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music.
Michelle LaCourse, violist, has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on four continents, including recent performances in France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and South Korea. Her playing has been described by critics in such terms as “a miraculous blend of intense passion and artistic elegance” and “has a mastery of the instrument like a sixth sense, and with it reveals to us the most profound secrets.” An enthusiastic advocate for new viola repertoire, she has also commissioned and premiered many new pieces for the instrument. Her 2009 recording with pianist Martin Amlin, “Chocolates: Music for Viola and Piano by James Grant” was released by MSR Classics (msrcd.com, MS1335) to rave reviews, praising “the raw emotion of her playing” and calling the disc “enough to make one reframe one’s image of the viola”. Her 2015 release on MSR, “An American Menagerie: Music for Viola and Piano by Martin Amlin, Robert Merfeld, and Monica Houghton” (MS1474) received high praise from Fanfare Magazine, noting “stellar performances,” including playing “in the sweetest and most exquisite way imaginable”, “stunningly realized”, and calling the recording “A surefire winner.” Audiophile Audition declared the disc “A gorgeous recital.”
LaCourse was formerly a member of the Lehigh Quartet, the Delphic String Trio and the Aeolian Trio. She has performed at numerous festivals such as Aspen, Bowdoin, Eastern, Interlochen, Skaneateles, Musicorda, the Heifetz Institute, and the International Festivals of Campos do Jordão, Brazil, of Positano, Italy, and of Vianden, Luxembourg, as well as at some of the world’s leading concert venues, such as Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Kammermusiksaal and Washington’s Kennedy Center. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Baltimore Symphony and the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and was formerly principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Grenoble France.
She holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with, and was for many years teaching assistant to renowned pedagogue Karen Tuttle. Ms. LaCourse currently teaches viola and chairs the String Department as well as the Performance & Applied Studies area at Boston University’s School of Music, where she was awarded BU’s 2009 Metcalf Cup and Prize, the university’s highest honor for excellence in teaching. She frequently presents master classes at music schools across the United States and internationally, and during the summer months she also teaches and performs at the annual Karen Tuttle Viola Workshops and BU’s Tanglewood Institute as well as a number of other festivals and appearances. Many of her former students currently enjoy playing and teaching positions around the globe.
A native of Bulgaria, Moni Simeonov holds degrees from Yale University, Eastman School of Music, and USC’s Thornton School of Music and his main teachers include Ani Kavafian, Zvi Zeitlin, and MIdori. Moni has performed and taught alongside Midori for her Orchestra Residencies Program American and International tours. Until 2014, he served as a director of the program.
Mr. Simeonov has concertized and taught around the United States, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His recordings have been archived by PBS, NPR, KUSC, Bulgarian National Radio and TV, as well as Japanese Broadcasting Company—NHK. His upcoming musical destinations include China, Canada, and England.
Moni served as Adjunct Instructor of Violin at USC’s Thornton School of Music until 2014. That year, he was appointed Director of String Studies and Violin Professor with the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. He is also on the faculty of the Singapore Violin Festival, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
La Traviata at More Than Musical in Hong Kong, Norma at Dallas Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor at The Academy of Vocal Arts, Norma at Florida Grand Opera, Higglety, Pigglety, Pop and Die Zauberflöte at Bard Conservatory Vocal Arts Program, Florencia en el Amazonas at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Don Giovanni at San Diego Opera, Don Pasquale at San Francisco Opera Merola Program, La Tragédie de Carmen at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Elektra at Michigan Opera Theater, Dido & Aeneas/Orpheus Brittannicus and Die Fledermaus at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, Powder Her Face at Opera Boston, Così fan tutte at The Academy of Vocal Arts (November, 2013), Florencia en el Amazonas at Boston University Opera Institute (February, 2014), Payne Hollow/The Turn of the Screw at Bard Conservatory of Music (world premiere, March, 2014), Don Giovanni at Opera Company of Philadelphia (April, 2014), La Finta Giardinera (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), L’elisir d’amore (Academy of Vocal Arts), El Amor Brujo/La Vida Breve (Manhattan School of Music), Cardillac (Opera Boston), Carmen (Boston Lyric Opera), L’amico Fritz (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), US premiere of Das Liebesverbot (Glimmerglass Opera), The Love for Three Oranges (Indiana University)
Impressions de Pelléas at AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, La Traviata and La Bohème at More Than Musical in Hong Kong.
Nic Muni –
A native of New Jersey, Nic received his formal education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in vocal performance, conducting and theater work with Herbert Blau. He subsequently studied voice in Washington, D.C. with the late Todd Duncan, who created the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess, while at the same time pursuing various conducting projects such as Dido and Aeneas at the American University and working as an ensemble member of The Theater Lab with Tony Abeson.
New York City –
Relocating to New York City, he continued projects as a singer and conductor while beginning his work as a stage director. In 1982, he received a fellowship from the National Institute of Music Theater to study with renowned Metropolitan Opera singer and vocal coach Alberta Masiello in a unique program designed to coalesce musical and theatrical values. In 1983, he was appointed Principal Stage Director and Artistic Advisor to the Kentucky Opera, a position he held until 1988 when, until 1990, he served as Director of Drama with the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program.
In the late 1980’s he served as an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle on productions of Lulu in Munich and Carmen in Chicago and as associate director to Peter Sellars in developing his acclaimed production of Cosí fan tutte.
Since 1985 he has been active with the National Endowment for the Arts as an on-site evaluator and panelist for company and project grants. He was on the recommending panel of ARIA (Awards Recognizing Individual Artistry), an organization which provided individual grants in the amount of $15,000 to promising young singers.
Artistic Director, Tulsa Opera —
From 1988-1993, he served as Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera. During his tenure there, he produced and directed two American premières: Verdi’s Le Trouvère (the French version of Il Trovatore), and Rossini’s Armida, both of which were broadcast on National Public Radio’s “World of Opera” series.
He also produced and directed a critically acclaimed production of La Traviata, which was purchased by New York City Opera and presented during their 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Another innovative project while at Tulsa was The Spanish Trilogy: new productions of Carmen, Fidelio, and Il Barbiere Di Siviglia integrated into a cycle through a single concept and scenic design. These productions have since been presented in Dallas, Baltimore, Edmonton, Columbus, Nashville, and Winnipeg.
As a freelance stage director, he has directed over two hundred productions with companies in North America, Europe, and Australia. His fruitful relationship with the Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera has resulted in two widely presented co-productions: Il Trovatore, which has been seen in Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Tulsa, Vancouver, Melbourne and at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and Norma, which has been presented in Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Palm Beach.
Additional work with Houston Grand Opera includes the world premiere of Jackie O, an opera based on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that was also presented at Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.
His work at the Canadian Opera Company includes Lulu (three act version), Rigoletto, which has also been presented in Edmonton, Tulsa, Ottawa, and Minnesota, Jenůfa, which was presented in the autumn of 1996 in Vancouver and at Cincinnati Opera in 1998, Macbeth and Pélleas et Mélisande. He was also the winner of a 2003 Dora Award for best theater production of the year (Jenůfa, at Canadian Opera Company)
For the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he has directed La Finta Giardiniera, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Iphigènie en Tauride. The Minnesota Opera is another company which fostered his early work, where he has directed Rusalka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and two world premieres: Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus, and Robert Moran’s From the Towers of the Moon.
The 1993-94 season marked his European debut at Stadttheater Gießen with La Fille du Régiment. Its success led to subsequent engagements at that same theater for productions of Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rake’s Progress. In addition, he directed La Bohème at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria, Der fliegende Holländer at Opera Ireland, Street Scene at Anhaltisches Theater Dessau in collaboration with the Kurt Weill International Festival, the world premiere of Lorenzo Ferraro’s La Conquista at The Prague National Theater, Tosca at Theater Erfurt and a world premiere version of Show Boat at Stadttheater Bern.
The 1993 season also marked debuts with Boston Lyric Opera with the American premiere of the Neopolitan version of Bellini’s I Puritani. In what is considered one of his most interesting projects, he directed a unique chamber version of Berg’s Wozzeck in a co-production of the Banff Center for the Arts and Montreal Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne.
Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera —
In 1996 Nic was appointed Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera Association, which boasts an impressive heritage of opera — founded in 1920, it is the second oldest company in America. COA is a summer festival, presenting four productions during the months of June and July in Music Hall (an historic theater seating 3,400) and collaborating with the Cincinnati Symphony, which plays for all its productions.
Cincinnati Opera experienced astonishing growth during his tenure, including a doubling of the company budget, expansion of the repertoire, creation and presentation of new productions and the successful completion of The Festival Campaign, a $12 million fundraising effort. He forged a new relationship with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which has recently blossomed into an endowed program called Opera Fusion; he began a community-wide, very popular lecture series called Opera Rap which continues to this day; in his first year on the job he spearheaded a $1 million fundraising effort for technical improvements to the theater and state-of-the-art lighting equipment; he re-instated and revitalized a Young Artists Training Program. Profiles in every major opera journal (Opera News, OPERA, Opernwelt, Opera Now, International Arts Magazine) all attest to the impressive growth and quality under his leadership. He was the 2003 winner of the Cincinnati Post’s Post-Corbett Award for Individual Artist of the Year.
Company premieres: Brundibár, Different Fields, Jenůfa, The Turn of the Screw, Pelléas et Mélisande, Bluebeard’s Castle, Erwartung, Nabucco, Dead Man Walking, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa (world stage premiere), Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids (U.S. premiere) and Margaret Garner (world premiere).
New Productions: Brundibár, Different Fields, Don Giovanni, Faust, The Turn of the Screw, Salome, Nabucco, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids and Margaret Garner.
CCM (College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati) –
In 2006 he was appointed Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at CCM where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2010 and where he taught an advanced Acting Class for singers, a course in Professional Development and a seminar in Stage Directing in addition to mentoring design students and serving as stage director. His productions at CCM include: The Crucible, Albert Herring, Werther, Une éducation manquée/Le pauvre matelot, Assassins, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cosí fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Postcard from Morocco, Of Mice and Men, Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Don Giovanni. His focus on training of young artists has brought him to work with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Music Academy of the West, Wolf Trap Opera, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Atlantic Music Festival, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Indiana University, Montclair State University, University of California at Humboldt, Rising Star Festival and Miami University.
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.
Born 1970 in Königs Wusterhausen of the German Democratic Republic, Reiko Füting was educated at the Wernigerode State High School for Music, the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden “Carl Maria von Weber”, the Shepherd School at Rice University in Houston, Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and Seoul National University. Some of his most influential teachers have been the composers Jörg Herchet and Nils Vigeland, and the pianist Winfried Apel. During his studies, he attended master classes with Edisson Denissov, Tristan Murail, and Christian Wolff (composition), and with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Olaf Bär, and Semion Skigin (vocal accompanying).
Reiko Fueting joined the theory faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in 2000; five years later, he became a member of the composition faculty and was appointed chair of the theory department. He has also taught vocal accompanying at the Conservatory of Music and Theater in Rostock, Germany, and appeared as guest faculty and lecturer at universities and conservatories in China (Changchun, Beijing, Shenyang), Colombia (Bogotá, Medellîn), Germany (Berlin, Dresden, Rostock, Leipzig), Italy (Rome), Russia (Moscow), and the United States (Baltimore, Boston, Hempstead, New York, Oberlin, Philadelphia, Princeton).
As a composer, Reiko Fueting has received numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions. His music has been performed at prestigious venues (Berlin Cathedral, Semper Opera House Dresden, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall New York) by renowned instrumentalists (Miranda Cuckson, Aki Takahashi, Dan Lippel), vocalists (Gertrud Günther, Monica Meier-Schmid, Matthias Vieweg), conductors (Roland Kluttig, Jeff Milarsky, Hans-Christoph Rademann), chamber groups (elole Piano Trio, loadbang, Mivos String Quartet), ensembles (Ensemble courage, International Contemporary Ensemble ICE, Oerknal), orchestras (Dresdner Barockorchester, Sinfonietta Dresden, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra), vocal ensembles (AuditivVokal Dresden, Calmus, Singer Pur), choirs (Dresdner Chamber Choir, RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin Radio Choir) in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, broadcast on radio and television, and released on CDs (New Focus Recordings, Oehms Classics, Deutsche Schallplatten). His publications (Schott, Carus, Routledge) include compositions, arrangements, and analytical articles.
More information at reikofueting.com
“With my music, I am to explore the psychological nature of memory through the use of musical quotations that are treated to the processes of assimilation, integration, disintegration, and segregation (inclusion vs. exclusion) while moving freely between clear borders and gradual transitions. Therefore, memory and quotation may function as a means to reflect upon contemporary artistic, cultural, social, and political phenomena.”
Sang Woo Kang
Sang Woo Kang is described as a “prodigiously talented” by the Los Angeles Times and praised by the New York Concert Review for his “atmospheric and poetic renditions.” As an active performer, pianist Sang Woo Kang has presented masterclasses and recitals over 25 countries, from Asia, Scandinavia, Europe, Central and South America. In addition, he directs the Piano Institute and Seminar at the Atlantic Music Festival over the summer. He successfully balances his performing career as a solo, orchestral, and chamber musician with teaching at Providence College, where he is Professor of the Department of Music. He is also on the teaching faculty of Brown University.
He is a graduate of Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. His recording of Mozart’s piano pieces, including never-performed fragments, was released in December 2014 on the NAXOS Label. His Scarlatti Sonata recording will be available early 2019 (NAXOS). He has also previously recorded for the EMI-Korea label.
For more information, please visit www.sangwookang.com
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.
Sergi Casanelles currently serves as a member of the faculty and Program Manager for the New York University Screen Scoring program.
He completed his Ph.D. in Film Music in 2015. His research focuses on the utilization of technology and its aesthetical influences in music for the screen. He is especially interested in how technology serves to expand the timbral possibilities of music and new methodologies for analyzing music from a timbral perspective. In his dissertation, he defined the Hyperorchestra as a virtual ensemble that transcends reality through technology.
He has written concert music for piano, chamber ensembles, orchestra, electronics, as well as music for the screen. He has also worked as an orchestrator. He won the COM Radio Tutto Award for his solo piano piece Postlude to Chopin’s F minor Fantasy, and the III Orchestral Composition Competition Evaristo Fernández Blanco for his work From Hell: 4 scenes of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Spanish PRO SGAE awarded this performance as one of the top premieres of the year. During his time as an NYU student, his orchestral work Masques was part of the NYU Orchestra Composer residency program.
He holds a Ph.D. and an MM in Film Music Composition from NYU, a BM in Computer Science (UPC, Barcelona), a BM in Composition (ESMuC, Barcelona), and Piano performance (Liceu, Barcelona).
Violinist So Jin Kim has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her musical lyricism, technical brilliance, and lush tone. Following her successful solo debut with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 2006, she has performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia in halls such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, Vienna’s Musikverein Golden Hall, KKL Luzern in Switzerland, Seoul Arts Center in Korea, 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, Seoul Chamber Ensemble, and the Budpapest Symphony Orchestra.
As an active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has been invited to perform in Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy, Kissinger Sommer in Germany, MoMA Summergarden Concert Series, La Jolla Summerfest, and Sangat Chamber Music Festival in India, collaborating with artists such as Cho Liang Lin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lynn Harrell, and Roberto Diaz. She is also the founder and artistic director of Yeosu International Music Festival & Ensemble in South Korea since 2017.
At the age of 24, Ms. Kim was appointed as a concertmaster of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland, where she played until 2013, and has been a guest concertmaster with Bern Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, and as guest associate concertmaster with Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra SWR, the Munich Radio Orchestra.
Ms. Kim was born in Yeosu, South Korea and spent her childhood and educational years in America. 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 Hyo Kang and Donald Weilerstein. In May 2016, she received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and 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.
Her Debut CD recorded in Leipzig Gewandhaus was released worldwide in 2018 under Genuin Classics to critical acclaim.
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).
Thomas Rosenkranz regularly performs in important musical centers in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Recent tours have taken him to the Lincoln Center Festival, Shanghai New Music Week, Hong Kong Modern Academy, Ravello Festival (Italy), Vianden (Luxembourg), MusicARTE (Panama), ProPiano (Greece) and the International Festival of Carthage (Tunisia). He has been a soloist with the Indianapolis Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Lebanon, and the Sichuan Philharmonic (China) among others. He twice served as Cultural Ambassador on behalf of the United States Department of State and was the recipient of the Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association.
In an eclectic repertoire encompassing the solo and chamber music literatures, Rosenkranz is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the music of our time. His latest recording on Oberlin Records, Toward the Curve features commissioned works for piano and electronics alongside his solo improvisations. Other notable recordings include the premiere recording of Paul Lansky’s Textures on Bridge Records and Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich with Ensemble Signal on Harmonia Mundi (France). He has been a member of the artist faculty at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy since 2006 where he leads courses in contemporary music and improvisation.
In demand as an artist teacher, Mr. Rosenkranz has been presented in residences throughout North America and Asia including the Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Xinghai, Xian, Zhejiang Conservatories of China. In 2019 He was named an Official Visiting Professor of Piano at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Since 2006 he has been a member of the faculty at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy where he leads courses on contemporary music and improvisation.
He holds an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Robert Shannon and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with and was a teaching assistant to Nelita True. He received career assistance from the Presser Foundation for study with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in Paris.
He is currently Area Coordinator of the Keyboard Division and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory (UMKC).
“The appeal of Rosenbaum’s playing is in his musical temperament, in which fervor and gentleness are happily combined and in the velvet of his tone.....he makes up for all the drudgery the habitual concert-goer has to endure in the hope of finding the real, right thing”.
That’s how the Boston Globe described American pianist Victor Rosenbaum, an artist whose playing has been called “magisterial” with a “piano touch [that] encompasses bravura, delicacy, and many variations between”.
Rosenbaum has concertized widely as soloist and chamber music performer in the United States, Europe, Israel, Brazil, Russia, and Asia (including 25 annual trips to Japan) in such prestigious halls as Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Paul Katz, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, James Buswell, Malcolm Lowe, and the Brentano, Borromeo, and Cleveland String Quartets. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Kfar Blum and Tel Hai (in Israel), Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall (Blue Hill), Musicorda, Masters de Pontlevoy (France), the Heifetz Institute, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, the International Music Seminar in Vienna, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Festival at Walnut Hill School, the Puerto Rico International Piano Festival,The Art of the Piano Festival in Cincinnati, and the Eastern Music Festival, where he headed the piano department for five years. Concert appearances have brought him to Chicago, Minneapolis, Tokyo, Beijing, St. Petersburg (Russia), Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York, among others. In addition to his absorption in the music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (in particular Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms), Rosenbaum has performed and given premieres of works by many contemporary composers, including John Harbison, John Heiss, Peter Westergaard, Norman Dinerstein, Arlene Zallman, Donald Harris, Daniel Pinkham, Miriam Gideon, Stephen Albert, and many others. A musician of diverse talents, Rosenbaum is also a composer and has frequently conducted in the Boston area and beyond.
Rosenbaum, who studied with Elizabeth Brock and Martin Marks while growing up in Indianapolis, and went on to study with Rosina Lhevinne at the Aspen Festival and Leonard Shure (while earning degrees at Brandeis University and Princeton) has become a renowned teacher himself. A member of the faculty of New England Conservatory in Boston since 1967, he chaired its piano department for more than a decade, and was also Chair of Chamber Music. Also on the faculty of Mannes School of Music in New York from 2004-2017, he has been Visiting Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, a guest teacher at Juilliard, and presents lectures, workshops, and master classes for teachers’ groups and schools both in the U. S. and abroad, including London’s Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, and Guildhall School, the conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow, Beijing Central Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, the Toho School in Tokyo, Tokyo Ondai, most major schools in Taiwan, and other institutions such as the Menuhin School near London, and the Jerusalem Music Center. Rosenbaum was also Director and President of the Longy School of Music from 1985-2001.
A recently released CD of the last piano pieces of Brahms on Bridge Records has been described as “transfixing” (Fanfare); three other discs on the same label include a Schubert disc (described as a “powerful and poignant record of human experience”) and two Beethoven recordings, named by the American Record Guide as among the top classical recordings of 2005 and 2020. He has also recorded three discs for the Fleur de Son label — two of Schubert and one of Mozart.
The Jerusalem Post wrote of Rosenbaum: “His obvious consciousness of everything he was doing....resulted in rich and subtle nuances of dynamics and shadings and in organically shaped, well-rounded phrases; [while] there was refreshing spontaneity and genuine temperament....the reign of intellect never faltered”.
The New York Times put it succinctly after his performance at Tully Hall: Rosenbaum “could not have been better”.
Praised for her “thrilling, inspirational performance” (Florida Sun-Sentinel) and “elegance of line, leaping energy” (San Jose Mercury News), pianist Yukiko Sekino has forged a career that encompasses a wide range of interests. A soloist noted for her performances of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin, she frequently collaborates in chamber music and performs some of the most challenging twentieth and twenty-first century works.
Sekino is the Gold Medalist of the 2006 International Russian Music Piano Competition and a 2010 winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award. During the final round of the International Russian Music Piano Competition, she received the Public Prize through audience vote for her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto. Sekino is also a winner of Tanglewood Music Center’s Jackson Prize, the JAA Music Award in New York, and the Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Competition.
She made a debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen, and has since performed with the New World Symphony, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, and Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Recent recitals include those at the Overtures Series in Washington, D.C., Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, Hitomi Memorial Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Northeast Asia International Piano Festival in China, and U.S. college campuses such as Eastman School of Music, MIT, and Ithaca College. She has given masterclasses in the United States and China.
An avid chamber musican and a new music performer, Sekino has been invited to Tanglewood Music Center, Thy Masterclass Chamber Music Festival (Denmark), and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. Between 2005 and 2008, she was a resident pianist of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2013, she performed as a soloist in Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in culmination of Weill Institute Professional Training Workshop with John Adams and David Robertson.
Sekino is a graduate of Harvard University and the Juilliard School, and holds a doctoral degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her teachers include Gilbert Kalish, Seymour Lipkin, Robert Levin, and Eda Shlyam. She previously taught at Colby College, and currently teaches piano at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Conservatory Prep School.
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.
Introducing AMF One
We are excited to announce AMF One, a tuition-free 5-day virtual festival for all 2021 applicants. Developed in collaboration with ClassicalMusicians.org, participants gain valuable experience through joint projects, including digital presence and career-building for the 21st-century musicians and seminars covering a wide range of topics, such as sensors and programming primer for musicians.