Amy Beth Kirsten
Amy Beth Kirsten's music combines popular idioms with fierce expressionism and theatre
and often requires musicians to play, vocalize, act, and move simultaneously. Her work is distinguished by an intense physicality that pushes players to extremes by making their bodies and voices instruments of artistic expression. Ms. Kirsten’s non-theatrical concert music has been programmed throughout the U.S. and the U.K. Most notable is World Under Glass No. 1 (2011) for five bassoons, which is her most regularly programmed chamber work to date.
A composer, librettist, and vocalist, Ms. Kirsten begins the 2017-18 season in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series to create Savior, an evening-length work of composed theatre for three singers, flute, cello, percussion, lighting, and sound design. The work, a mystical re-telling of the life and trial of Joan of Arc, brings together musicians and artists from HOWL (Ms. Kirsten’s own ensemble) and players from the Chicago Symphony. Savior premieres April 2, 2018 at the Harris Theatre in Chicago.
World premiere performances in 2017 of her most recent staged work, QUIXOTE, were the culmination of a 2-year residency at Montclair State University (NJ) with HOWL. This evening-length theatrical work inspired by Cervantes’ epic novel and performed by vocal trio and vocalizing percussion quartet, was described as “wildly inventive” by the New York Times. QUIXOTE was directed by Mark DeChiazza, a frequent collaborator who also directed her critically acclaimed Colombine’s Paradise Theatre - produced, premiered, and toured by the multi-Grammy-winning chamber ensemble eighth blackbird in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014 Ms. Kirsten made her Carnegie Hall debut with strange pilgrims, a concert work for chorus, orchestra, and film commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra. She was also the inaugural Composer-in-Residence for London’s Riot Ensemble which gave the world premiere of she is a myth as well as the U.K. premieres of several of her solo and chamber works.
She has been recognized with artist fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Most recently she received the Leonard Bernstein Award from ASCAP.
Educated at Roosevelt University (MM) and the Peabody Institute (DMA), Ms. Kirsten is co-founder and director of HOWL, a modular new music ensemble that specializes in instrumental and vocal theatre. In 2014, HOWL's record label, Bad Wolf Music, released its first recording, If this world could stop… Upcoming releases include paper and ink, the first CD of Ms. Kirsten's solo and chamber works. Her music is also recorded on the Parlour Tapes+ label.
Ms. Kirsten grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. After living for seven years in Baltimore, MD she now lives with her husband, Christopher Theofanidis (also a composer), in New Haven, Connecticut and teaches music composition privately and, for the past seven years, at the HighSCORE summer festival in Pavia, Italy. In fall of 2017, she joins the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA, and previously served on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University during the 2015-17 academic years.
Dr. Angel Valchinov is a soloist, concertmaster, chamber musician, and a teacher. Currently performing with orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, Dr. Valchinov is a soloist with wide a ranging repertoire. An avid recitalist and chamber musician, some of his recent performance highlights include performance of H. W. Ernst’s Six Polyphonic Etudes, and a concert with the Turtle Island Quartet in Boston’s Jordan Hall. He is currently concertmaster of several orchestras in the Boston area, including Claflin Hill Symphony and Boston Chamber Orchestra. He is String Faculty at Northern Essex Community College, and has a large private teaching studio. Mr. Valchinov also teaches at Illinois Chamber Music Festival and Youth & Muse Music Festival (Boston) throughout the summer. Bulgarian television has made a documentary about him and he has been featured on a number of television and radio stations across the U.S. A third generation musician, Dr. Valchinov regularly performs with his family and his wife, violist and pianist Dr. Chen Lin, and is a reader at his beloved Orthodox Church in Allston, MA.
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.
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.
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
Cynthia Hoffmann is a member of the voice faculties of Manhattan School of Music, where she also teaches a class in Vocal Performance, and of the Juilliard School, where she served as Chair from 1995 to 2006. She has been an adjunct voice faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music and from 1984 to 1992 directed the Judith Raskin Opera Class at the 92nd Street Y School of Music. Ms. Hoffmann has been a voice faculty member of summer programs including the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria; the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy; the Yong Pyong Music Festival in Korea; the Centro Studi Italiani program in Urbania, Italy; the University of Miami School of Music program in Salzburg, Austria; the Amalfi Coast Music Festival; the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria; and the Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland, Canada.
A frequent master teacher and panelist for the Voice Foundation’s Symposia on the Care of the Professional Voice, Ms. Hoffmann has presented master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Europe, as well as judging vocal competitions. She is currently teaching in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Ms. Hoffmann’s students have appeared with major opera houses throughout the world, including the Metropolitan and New York City Operas, and have been winners of Metropolitan National Council auditions and awards; Richard Tucker Foundation study grants; George London and Puccini Foundation grants; Sullivan and Opera Index awards; “The Joy in Singing” award recital; the Marilyn Horne Foundation recital awards; the McAllister Competition; the Placido Domingo “Operalia” Competition; the Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera; the Liederkranz Foundation’s General Opera Competition; and the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills award.
Ms. Hoffmann received her academic degrees from the University of Redlands and Columbia University, with professional study at the University of Southern California. Her coaches have included Hugues Cuenod, Judith Raskin, Gerard Souzay, Ralf Gothoni, Robert Evans, Martin Katz, and Margaret Singer. She studied voice with Larra Browning, Daniel Ferro, Oren Brown, Margaret Harshaw, Vera Rozsa, Beverley Peck Johnson, and Margaret Schaper and participated in the professional acting classes of Sanford Meisner and Wynn Handman. Currently in the Alexander Teacher Training program of Joan and Alex Murray, Ms. Hoffmann has studied the Alexander Technique for more than 15 years and considers it of great importance in her work.
Fung enticed us into a world of delicacy and finesse.
– François Mardirossian, Crescendo Magazine
Praised for his “ravishing and simply gorgeous” performances in the The Washington Post, pianist David Fung is widely recognized for interpretations that are elegant and refined, yet intensely poetic and uncommonly expressive. Mr. Fung regularly appears with the world’s premier ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the major orchestras in Australia, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
In July 2016, Mr. Fung’s highly acclaimed debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival was “everything you could wish for” (Cleveland Classical), and he was further praised as an “agile and alert interpreter of Mozart’s crystalline note-spinning” (The Plain Dealer). In the following week, he performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at the Beijing National Stadium for their Olympic Summer Festival.
This season, he has solo recital debuts at the Brussels Piano Festival and the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts, and performances with Orpheus, the Albany Symphony, the Arkansas Symphony, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Marin Symphony, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and the Vallejo Symphony. He performs for the first time at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and the Yeosu International Music Festival in Korea, and he returns to Ravinia Festival and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers this season.
In 2014, Mr. Fung performed the West Coast Premiere of Chen Qigang’s Piano Concerto, “Er Huang”, with the San Francisco Symphony, and subsequent orchestral highlights include performances with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (Tchaikovsky No. 1), Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (Mozart K. 503), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Ravel G Major), National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (Ravel G Major and Rachmaninov No. 2), Israel Symphony Orchestra (Poulenc), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (Mozart K. 467), Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (Hindemith), Southwest Florida Symphony (Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody), Symphony Tacoma (Beethoven No. 2), and a tour with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (Mozart K. 413 and K. 449).
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Fung is a frequent guest artist at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide. Festival highlights include performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, Caramoor, Edinburgh International Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Ravinia Festival, and Tippet Rise. At his Edinburgh International Festival debut, the Edinburgh Guide described Mr. Fung as being “impossibly virtuosic, prodigiously talented... and who probably does ten more impossible things daily before breakfast.” In recent seasons, he has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, the Louvre Museum, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, and the Zürich Tonhalle, and he gave a recital tour in China at all the major venues including the Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Guangzhou Opera House, and the Tianjin Grand Theater.
Mr. Fung’s debut album with Yarlung Records linked the virtuosity in the piano music of Liszt and Ravel: Liszt’s Sonata in B minor and Les jeux d’eau à la villa d’Este, with Ravel’s Jeux d’Eau and La Valse. His second album with Yarlung, Evening Conversations, featured a solo recital of intimate works by composers ranging from Mozart to Tan Dun. Evening Conversations was praised as “an overall favorite” piano recital album by James Harrington in the American Record Guide and was named one of the Top 10 Recordings of 2011 by Linn Records. Mr. Fung's chamber music performances can also be heard on Naxos, Pentatone, Orchid, and Genuin. Mr. Fung begins recording the complete Mozart Sonatas for Steinway and Sons Spirio in 2018.
Mr. Fung garnered international attention as a winner in two of the "top five" international piano competitions (the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels and the Arthur Rubinstein Piano International Masters Competition in Tel Aviv). In Tel Aviv, he was further distinguished by the Chamber Music and Mozart Prizes, awarded in areas in which Mr. Fung has a particularly passionate interest.
The first piano graduate of the prestigious Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, Mr. Fung also studied at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik and the Yale School of Music. His teachers include Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, John Perry, and Arie Vardi. Mr. Fung is on faculty at the University of Georgia and is a Steinway Artist.
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
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.
“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.
Hitomi Koyama has won prizes in consecutive years at Dichler Competition held in Vienna, Austria and also has received Leni Fe Bland Music Awards. She has performed at Wiener Musikseminar, International Sommer Akademie Tokushima, Art of the Piano, CCM Prague International Piano Institute, Mannes Beethoven Institute, Eastern Music Festival and Atlantic Music Festival.
As a recitalist and a chamber musician, she has appeared in venues are such as Corbett Auditorium, Werner Hall and Watson Hall in Cincinnati, Snyder Recital Hall at Ohio Northern University, Javitz Center, the Lincoln Center, Spanish Institute, Steinway Hall and Yamaha Salon in New York, Flickinger Center in New Mexico, Bösendorfer Hall, Liszt Hall and Konzerthaus Wien in Austria, Jan Deyl Conservatory Concert Hall in Czech Republic, Murasaki Hall, Aimu Hall and Amyu Tachikawa Hall in Japan.
Koyama has earned degrees from the Juilliard School, Mannes College, and University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral degree at College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati. She has played in master classes with world renowned pianists such as Mitsuko Uchida and Robert Levin. Her significant mentors include Martin Canin, Victor Rosenbaum, Peter Efler, and Eugene Pridonoff.
Along with her passion for performance, she is an active teacher at both collegiate and preparatory institutions. She served as Adjunct Professor of Piano at CCM, Wittenberg University and piano faculty at CCM Preparatory Department. From October 2017, she joins piano faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School in Boston. She gave recitals and master classes at Ohio Northern University, Ohio University, Providence College, Western Kentucky University and Wright State University. Her students have won scholarships, competitions around the country and have been pursuing further performance studies at major conservatories and universities in the U.S. She is a guest artist faculty at Atlantic Music Festival in Maine and a piano faculty at Shinshu Art Camp in Nagano, Japan.
American violinist Joan Kwuon is widely recognized for her commanding interpretations, graceful flair and deeply communicative voice. Her artistry is committed to a diversity of musical periods and styles ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Stravinsky and Takemitsu.
Joan Kwuon, whom the New York Times describes as “fiery, intensely musical and impassioned,” made her Tanglewood Music Festival concerto debut at the invitation of Sir André Previn in 2000 and her recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall the following season. She has since appeared with leading orchestras of North America, Europe and Asia and in recital and chamber music internationally. Ms. Kwuon’s virtuosity and radiant stage presence have been recognized by media ranging from The Today Show, CBS News and Lifetime Television to National Public Radio.
Celebrating Mozart’s 250th birthday, Ms. Kwuon toured the United States performing Mozart Violin Concerti with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit and Matthias Bamert. She performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and André Previn in Cardiff, Wales and with Maestro Previn and the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall performing Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3. She also appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Bulgarian National Academic Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia of Finland, Moscow State Radio Symphony, Orchestra Europa, Busan Philharmonic, State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Louisiana Philharmonic, Amarillo Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and International Sejong Soloists. Among the many conductors with whom she has worked are Günther Herbig, Joann Falletta, Heinz Wallberg, Patrick Gallois, Heiichiro Ohyama, Enrique Batiz, Theodore Kuchar, Christopher Seaman, Joel Smirnoff, Gürer Aykal, Arild Remmereit and Thierry Fischer.
Ms. Kwuon’s other recent debuts and return engagements included the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Turkey and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in León, Mexico. Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 2 with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s “Turkish” Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Rochester Philhamonic, Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the El Paso Symphony and Beethoven Violin Concerto in the Czech Republic with the Janacek Philharmonic.
Joan Kwuon made her Metropolitan Museum recital debut in 2006 and in 2008 returned to the Metropolitan Museum with pianist, André Previn in Sonata Recital. Ms. Kwuon and Mr. Previn also performed at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and for the Anne Ratner Concert Series in NYC. She has opened the Mixon Hall Masters Series at CIM and has appeared on the Ravinia Festival Rising Stars, Caramoor’s Great Artists Series, San Francisco Performances, Hampton Arts Series, Tannery Pond Concerts, University of Illinois’ Krannert Center, The Peggy Rockefeller Concerts in New York City, Universities of Georgia, Long Beach, Iowa, George Mason, Hoam Art Hall, Wooster College and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. She has enjoyed collaborations with Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, the Juilliard String Quartet, Bright Sheng, Heidi Grant Murphy, Cecile Licad, Vladimir Feltsman and Tony Bennett with whom Ms. Kwuon has performed in duet at Jazz Lincoln Center, Tanglewood and most recently at the MusiCares Grammy Awards Gala.
Born in Los Angeles, Joan Kwuon began her musical studies at the piano at age five and violin at age six. She attended Crossroads School and studied at Indiana University with Miriam Fried, The Juilliard School with Joel Smirnoff and CIM with Donald Weilerstein. She has taught at The Juilliard School and has been guest artist/faculty at numerous music festivals including Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, La Jolla’s Summerfest, Bowdoin International Music Festival and this summer at the Heifetz International Music Institute. In 2009, Ms Kwuon was appointed to the violin faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She recently signed a multi-album contract with Azica Records.
For more information about Joan Kwuon, visit www.joankwuon.com
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
Julie Rosenfeld is “a force of nature” according to the American Record Guide review of her recently released disc “New Music for Violin and Piano”. As First Violinist of the Colorado String Quartet, winner of both the 1st Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award within ten days in 1983, she played more than 1200 concerts, touring throughout every part of the US and Canada, and in more than 20 other countries. Their recordings garnered praise from critics, most notably of the Complete Quartets of Beethoven, as did their championing of many of today’s leading composers. They held residencies at Bard, Oberlin, Swarthmore and Amherst Colleges, and taught masterclasses at the Cleveland Institute, the Eastman School and at Yale University, among others.
In the Fall of 2014, Ms. Rosenfeld joined the faculty at the School of Music at the University of Missouri, becoming a member of the resident Esterhazy String Quartet; previously she taught at the University of Connecticut and at Bard College. Ms. Rosenfeld has served on juries for the Fischoff, Banff and Coleman Chamber Music competitions, for Astral Artist and Young Concert Artist competitions, and has taught at the European Mozart Academy. She has performed at the Marlboro, Santa Fe, Newport and La Jolla Chamber Music Festivals and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and collaborated with André Previn on the West Coast premiere of his Violin Sonata and on two CDs of French chamber music for BMG. A native of Los Angeles, Rosenfeld attended the Curtis Institute, studying with Jascha Brodsky, received her BM from the University of Southern California, and her MM from Yale University, where her teachers were Szymon Goldberg and Raphael Hillyer.
She plays on a JB Guadagnini violin from 1750, and owns bows crafted in the early 19th Century by Dominique Peccatte and Nicolas Maire.
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.
Logan Skelton is a much sought after pianist, teacher, and composer whose work has received international critical acclaim. As a performer, Skelton has concertized widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has been featured on many public radio and television stations including NPR's Audiophile Audition, Performance Today, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, as well as on radio in China and national television in Romania. He has recorded numerous discs for Centaur, Albany, Crystal, Blue Griffin, and Naxos Records, the latter on which he performed on two pianos with fellow composer-pianist William Bolcom. A frequent guest at music festivals, Skelton regularly appears in such settings as Gina Bachauer; Amalfi Coast; Gijón; Eastman; Tunghai; Chautauqua Institution; American Romanian; Eastern; New Orleans; Poland International; Indiana University; Hilton Head Island; and the Prague International Piano Masterclasses. He is a popular presenter at music teacher organizations including numerous appearances at MTNA national conventions and EPTA World Piano Conferences, as well as serving as convention artist for state conventions in New York, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Iowa. Moreover, he has given countless performances and masterclasses at colleges, conservatories, and conferences throughout the U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Poland, and Czech Republic. He is a frequent juror for international piano competitions. His Centaur Records compact disc, of all 20th century American solo piano music, is titled American Grab Bag: Piano Music of Our Time. American Record Guide described this as a "fascinating recording," commenting on Skelton's "superb, wonderfully subtle and elegant playing ... Bravo!"
As a composer, Skelton has a special affinity for art song, having composed well over a hundred songs, including numerous song cycles. Critics have noted the close fusion of text and music in Skelton's songs, how words are "... illuminated with brilliance and deep emotional power," American Record Guide. Others have found "... joy-a night unto ecstatic joy... in word and sound-play," Dial M for Musicology. In Fanfare magazine reviews, Skelton as a composer of song has been singled out for his ability to "... plumb the depths of emotion ... these are exquisitely crafted art songs in the American tradition ... we are in the hands of someone who lives and breathes song." His works have been performed throughout the world by a variety of musicians in settings such as Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Tblisi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Australia, Sorrento, Italy, as well as numerous cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, New Orleans, Lincoln, Houston, Detroit, and many others. He composed the required work for the 1993 New Orleans International Piano Competition. His song cycle Anderson Songs: The Islander, was a recipient of the Music Composition Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Professor Skelton's principal teachers have included John Murphy, Rebecca Penneys, Lillian Freundlich, and Artur Balsam. A devoted teacher himself, his own piano students have repeatedly won awards in many national and international competitions including Hilton Head; San Antonio; Cincinnati World; Washington; Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff; Fischoff; Jacob Flier; Iowa; Frinna Awerbuch; Eastman; Crescendo; Dallas Chamber; Missouri Southern; Los Angeles Liszt; Wideman; Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Musicale; Schimmel, Liszt-Garrison; Grieg Festival; Del Rosario; Beethoven Sonata; Ithaca; Piano Arts; Heida Hermanns; Dubois; Schmidbauer; Peabody Mason; Janáček; Seattle; Kingsville; New York; Oberlin; Idyllwild; as well as numerous Music Teachers National Association competitions. His former students hold positions of prominence in music schools and conservatories throughout the world. He was honored by the University of Michigan as the recipient of the prestigious Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Missouri State University, and is currently professor of Piano and director of Doctoral Studies in Piano Performance at U-M.
Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. As a performer, composer, and researcher, she has opened up new sonic worlds for the violin. Notably, she has mastered the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin’s lowest string without retuning. This technique, which she calls Subharmonics, has earned Mari considerable renown in the concert music world and beyond. She is also a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music. At the same time, she has earned international acclaim as a soloist and recitalist in both standard and contemporary repertoire.
Born in Tokyo, Japan to two professors (father, architecture; mother, law), Mari began violin lessons at the age of five with Armand Weisbord, a student of Eugène Ysaÿe and former concertmaster of the CBC Orchestra in Ottawa. After earning a Bachelors’ degree in violin performance from the Toho School, Japan’s top conservatory where she studied with Toshiya Eto, she moved to the US to study with Roman Totenberg at Boston University. One semester away from a Masters’ degree, she needed an extra credit to maintain her student visa. Out of curiosity, she chose an electronic music course, setting her on a new artistic path – in her words, “carrying on the old traditions of the violin while using the tools of our age.”
Mari entered the Juilliard School’s doctoral program on a full scholarship, studying with principal teacher Joseph Fuchs and serving as an assistant in Juilliard’s electronic music studio. She began composition studies with Mario Davidovsky at Columbia University, and served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). There she was introduced to computer-based live signal processing, and wrote “U” (The Cormorant), her first major work for violin and tape.
In 1992, she composed ALT, an acoustic solo violin work that incorporated her newly-developed Subharmonics technique for the first time. A series of important recitals followed, including her Japanese debut in Tokyo’s Casals Hall and a League of Composers/ISCM Recital Award concert at Merkin Hall. The latter program included ALT, introducing the public to Subharmonics and resulting in a rave review by Edward Rothstein in The New York Times. Mari’s breakthrough drew international attention from both the musical and scientific communities. Her work was mentioned in Physics and Physics Today, and she was invited to demonstrate Subharmonics at the Acoustical Society of America’s 1995 meeting. Since then, more than a dozen articles about Subharmonics have appeared in musical and scientific journals, including several authored by Mari.
Following her graduation from Juilliard in 1993, Mari began to gain increasing prominence as a soloist and recitalist, performing her own music and others’ in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. She has premiered many notable works, including John Adams’s Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere), Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII (US premiere), Tania Léon’s Axon for violin and computer (world premiere), and Salvatore Sciarrino’s 6 Capricci (US premiere), among others. In 2007, Mari introduced Jean-Claude Risset’s violin concerto, Schemes, at Suntory Hall with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The cadenza she wrote for the concerto, incorporating advanced Subharmonics, was subsequently published in Strings. In November 2010, Mari appeared as a soloist with the Hamburg Symphony performing John Adams’ Dharma at the Big Sur, under the direction of Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor.
Her star has risen steadily as a composer: she was chosen as a Composer-in-Residence at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and was commissioned by American Composers Forum to write her first orchestral work, a Violin Concerto premiered at the Callejon de Ruído Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1999. She also won a commission from the International Computer Music Association, resulting in her Cuban-inspired Descarga Interactiva, premiered in Göteborg, Sweden. Further commissions followed from the AMDaT dance compony, baritone Thomas Buckner, Harvestworks, Music from Japan, and others. Mari won the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition, and spent the summer 2010 in Paris as a Composer-in-Residence at IRCAM. As one of her Guggenheim Fellowship project, her latest projects include a violin/cello “Duet x2” with interactive computer, and a commission by the Cassatt String Quartet, "I-Quadrifoglio" for which she was just awarded the Fromm Commission grant 2010. In May 2011, Mari was presented in a solo recital at the Bohemian National Hall in NYC by the Vilcek Foundation (vilcek.org), in recognition of her ground-breaking work as a foreign-born artist. She was featured on NY1 news and two major articles featuring Ms. Kimura’s work appeared: in the New York Times (written by Matthew Gurewitsch) and in Scientific American (written by Larry Greenemeier).
Mari’s multifaceted career is compellingly documented on her most recent commercial recording, Polytopia (Bridge, 2007), which includes music by Jean-Claude Risset, Conlon Nancarrow, Tania León, Milica Paranosic, Frances White, Robert Rowe, and Mari herself. Various tracks find her accompanied by electronic sound, interactive computer, and the GuitarBot, a computer-controlled mechanical stringed instrument created by the League of Electronic Music Urban Robots (LEMUR). Allmusic praised Polytopia as “a highly satisfying debut from a superlative artist who recognizes that the twenty-first century has turned a new page in the relationship between music and technology; she is utilizing all of her super powers to guarantee that her instrument -- the violin -- doesn't get left behind.” Mari’s latest CD, The World Below G and Beyond (Fall 2010 on Mutable Music), is devoted entirely to her own compositions. As the title suggests, it focuses on works using Subharmonics, including the premiere recording of ALT, as well as her interactive computer works. Her works have been supported by grants including New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Jerome Foundation, Meet The Composer, Japan Foundation, Argosy Foundation, and New York State Foundation for the Arts.
Mari is also active as an improvising musician; three recordings feature her in that role. Her first CD, Acoustics, released in 1993 on the Victo label, is a collaboration with guitarist/world music producer Henry Kaiser, together with guitarist Jim O’Rourke (formerly of Sonic Youth) and saxophonist John Oswald. Irrefragable Dreams, an album of improvisations with avant-garde flutist Robert Dick, followed in 1996; Allmusic called it “poetic…highly recommended.” Mari teamed up with improvising multi-instrumentalist Roberto Morales Manzanares for Leyendas (1999), described by Strings magazine as “simply stunning… Kimura brings a rare level of excitement and grandeur to improvised music.”
Since 1998, Mari has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard.
Pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang is Assistant Professor of Piano at Iowa State University and a member of the Amara Piano Quartet (Joanne Rile Artists Management).
Huang has been a prizewinner in several international piano competitions, including the USASU International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona, the 57th Wideman Piano Concerto Competition in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Taipei, Taiwan. She regularly performs over fifty solo and chamber recitals every year in Europe, States, Canada and Taiwan. She has been invited to summer festivals including the 2006 Aspen Music Festival, the 2007 Pianofest in the East Hamptons, the 2008 Orford Music Festival, Quebec, the 2010 Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, the 2012 CICA Eureka Springs International Music Festival in Arkansas, and the 2012 and 2013 Banff Music Festival, Alberta. Festivals increasingly ask for her presence on their artist rosters. Recently, Huang also was presented in a piano recital in National Taiwan Concert Hall (Taipei), as a result of being nominated for the prize of “Excellent Musician Series” by ProArtist.
In 2013, Huang performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Central Iowa Symphony, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Iowa State University Orchestra, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Des Moines Symphony. In 2017, she performed Bach’s F Minor Keyboard Concerto and numerous chamber concerts with the Caroga Lake Chamber Orchestra in New York and Switzerland. Huang has travelled with the Amara Quartet to perform at the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario and on concert series in Illinois, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. The quartet released compact disc on the Fleur de Son label in 2016, a recording of American quartets that will feature the piano quartet by George Tsontakis’ piano quartet No. 3, Dark Rosaleen—written by Lee Hoiby for the Ames Piano Quartet—a piano quartet by Walter Piston and Carolina Reveille by Paul Schoenfield. The quartet will release compact disc on the Fleur de Son label in 2018 including both Faure Piano Quartets.
Huang received her bachelors degree at The National Taiwan Normal University, where, she won the prestigious Xing Tang Temple Piano Competition Prize. She received her masters degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Sergei Babayan, Margarita Shevchenko, and Paul Schenly. She received her doctorate of musical arts degree at The Ohio State University under full-scholarship.
Huang is on piano faculty at The Atlantic Music Festival in Maine and guest pianist at Caroga Music Festival in New York during the summer.
Huang was named a Steinway & Sons Artist since 2014.
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 began playing the violin at age 5, and ten years later, came to the United States on a full scholarship to the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at USC’s Thornton School of Music where he studies with Midori and serves as Adjunct Instructor of Violin and Chamber Music. An active member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Simeonov also performs with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opera, Master Chorale, Ensemble San Francisco, and serves as the acting Concertmaster for the Sacramento Philharmonic. His doctorate studies include minor fields in Viola Performance, Schenkerian Analysis, Japanese Language, as well an emphasis on the interpretation of Balkan folk music. On tour and in Los Angeles, Mr. Simeonov dedicates considerable time and energy to community engagement work and to musical activities and presentations for young people. For the last five seasons, Moni has performed and coached alongside Midori for her Orchestra Residencies Program American and International tours. In 2012, he became the Director of the program.
Moni’s first CD recording was a result of his winning the Idyllwild Arts Academy Concerto Competition. Upon graduation from Idyllwild, he was named Most Outstanding Musician of his class. He continued his education at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Zvi Zeitlin on full scholarship, earned first prize at the school’s concerto competition, and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. While at Eastman, Moni regularly performed on the school’s Antonio Stradivari of 1714. He also served as concertmaster for the Eastman Symphony, Philharmonia, and Opera Orchestras. Having earned his Artist Diploma from Yale University, Mr. Simeonov completed his Masters in Music there with Ani Kavafian and was concertmaster for the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra and New Music Ensemble. Following Yale, Mr. Simeonov earned his Graduate Certificate Degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Midori and received the Outstanding Student Award in May 2009. To supplement and enhance his collegiate experiences, Mr. Simeonov has attended several summer performance festivals, including Tanglewood, the Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music Festival, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Atlantic Music Festival. Also in the summers, Moni serves as a violin and chamber music faculty at University of Maine’s Chamber Music Institute.
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. Upcoming tour destinations include Brazil, South Africa, Lebanon, and the Czech Republic. Past chamber music collaborations have involved members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Tokyo and Ying String Quartets, as well as Jerome Lowenthal, Giora Schmidt, Joseph Silverstein, Zvi Zeitlin and Midori.
Natalya Antonova made her debut with the Leningrad Philarmonic at the age of 16. As a soloist of two major concert managements, “State Concert” and “Soviet Union Concert”, she concertized in Russia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Byelorussia, and other countries like Germany, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, South Korea, etc.
When she accepted an invitation from the Leningrad Conservatory, she became the youngest professor ever appointed for this position in the history of the school. After 10 years of serving, she accepted a position of Professor of Piano in the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow (formerly the Gnessin Institute of Music).
Antonova has given hundreds of master classes and lectures throughout the world including the Moscow Academy of Music, Paris Conservatory, Budapest Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Seoul National University.
She has participated in many International Festivals in such countries as Hungary, Germany, South Korea, USA, Russia, etc. Each summer she conducts piano classes in the frame of the International Festival in Paris, France.
Antonova has judged numerous competitions such as Gina Bachauer in Utah, Corpous Christi International Competition in Texas, Sibelius International Competition in Ohio, Hilton Head International Competition and Missouri International Competition.
She is currently a tenured professor at the Eastman School of Music.
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
Cited by the Los Angeles Times as a “prodigiously talented pianist with great technical virtuosity and interpretive gifts,” Sang Woo Kang is an active performer and educator who has presented master classes and recitals in Asia, Central and South America, and Europe. He successfully balances his performance career with teaching at Providence College, where he is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music.
An active performer, Sang Woo’s recent international performances include the Auditorio Piazzolla in Argentina, Bari International Festival in Italy, Sehjong Cultural Center in Korea, multiple venues in Japan and Thailand, the Moulin d’Ande Festival in France, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Steinway Hall in NY, to name a few. Upcoming events include chamber, solo, and orchestral concerts in New York, Providence, Chicago, and Boston.
Sang Woo recorded the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas on the EMI Korea label in 2007 and his performances has been featured on various programs in the US and abroad, including the WXXI, WGBH, and MPBN classical music stations. Sang Woo’s latest solo album, featuring Mozart’s piano pieces, will be released on the NAXOS Label later this year.
Over the summer, he directs the Piano Institute and Seminar at the Atlantic Music Festival at Colby College, an annual intensive four-week series of concerts and events focused on promotion and performance of new music.
In addition to his other activities, Sang Woo reviews recent classical releases for publications such as the American Record Guide and Clavier Companion, and maintains a blog entitled “Music for Time’s Ending,” which covers a variety of topics pertaining to music.
Sang Woo is a graduate of Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
SEÁN DUGGAN, OSB, pianist, is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana. He obtained his music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and Carnegie Mellon University, and received a Master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. From 1988 to 2001 he taught music, Latin and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey.
In September, 1983 he won first prize in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington, D.C., and again in August, 1991. Having a special affinity for the music of Bach, in 2000 he performed the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard works eight times in various American and European cities. For seven years he hosted a weekly program on the New Orleans NPR station entitled “Bach on Sunday.” He is presently in the midst of recording the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard (piano) music which will comprise 24 CDs.
Before he joined the Benedictine order he was pianist and assistant chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera Company for three years. He has performed with many orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The American Chamber Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. From 2110 to 2004 he was a visiting professor of piano at the University of Michigan. Currently he is associate professor of piano at SUNY Fredonia. During the fall semester of 2008 he was also a guest professor of piano at Eastman School of Music. He has been a guest artist and adjudicator at the Chautauqua Institution for several summers, and is also a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton, New Jersey. He continues to study the Taubman approach with Edna Golandsky in New York City.
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.
Pianist Victor Rosenbaum, former chair of the NEC piano department for more than ten years, has performed widely as soloist and chamber music performer in the United States, Europe, Asia, Israel, and Russia, in such prestigious halls as Alice Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, and the Cleveland and Brentano String Quartets, among others. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, Rockport, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Kfar Blum (Israel) and Musicorda, where he is on the faculty. He has been soloist with the Indianapolis and Atlanta symphonies and the Boston Pops. Also an accomplished composer and conductor, Rosenbaum gives masterclasses and lectures on pedagogy issues and interpretive analysis worldwide. His highly praised recording of Schubert is on Bridge Records.
B.A., cum laude, Brandeis University; M.F.A., Princeton University. Piano with Leonard Shure, Rosina Lhevinne; theory and composition with Martin Boykan, Edward T. Cone, Earl Kim, Roger Sessions. Former faculty of Eastman School of Music and Brandeis University. Former chair of piano at the Eastern Music Festival. Former Director/President of the Longy School of Music.
Hailed by the New York Times for her “focused intensity” and “remarkable” performances, cellist Yeesun Kim enjoys worldwide acclaim as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. A founding member of the Borromeo String Quartet, Ms. Kim has performed in over 20 countries, and in many of the world’s most illustrious concert halls and Festivals.
Highlights of her 2013-14 season include the World Premiere of Lera Auerbach’s String Quartet No. 7, “Désir”, performances of the Bela Bartok quartet cycle at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and in Boston at Jordan Hall, and appearances at the Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa Festival in Mexico, the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, and the Terra di Siena Chamber Music Festival in Tuscany. The season welcomes multiple performances with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and special collaborations with the Bill T. Jones Dance Company, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and also with cellist Antonio Lysy in a special multimedia production, Te Amo, Argentina.
Recent highlights include a two-week residency at Suntory Hall in Tokyo to perform the complete Beethoven String Quartets, a cycle of Dvorak quartets at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the complete Bartok quartet cycle at the Curtis Institute of Music, performances at the International MIMO Festival in Brazil, the Morgan Library in New York, the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., and in Nara, Japan, Beijing and Shanghai, China.
Ms. Kim has performed throughout Europe and Asia with the Borromeo, in duo with violinist Nicholas Kitchen, and as a soloist, including engagements with the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Opera Bastille in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall and Casals Hall in Tokyo, the Saejong Cultural Center in Seoul, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Library of Congress and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
A much sought after chamber musician, she has been invited to perform at many festivals including Spoleto in the United States and Italy, Ravinia, Marlboro, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Rockport, Music at Menlo, the Prague Spring Festival, the Vancouver Chamber Music, the Stavanger Festival in Norway, the Evian and Divonne Festivals in France, and the Sejong Spring Festival in Korea.
Her collaborations with other artists include appearances with Angelique Kidjo, violinist Joshua Bell and Pamela Frank; violists Roberto Dias, Kim Kashashian, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping; cellists Paul Katz, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, and Alisa Weilerstein; pianists Christoph Eschenbach, Leon Fleisher, Gary Graffman, Wu Han, Menahem Pressler, Rudolph Serkin, and Russell Sherman; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and members of the Guarneri and Julliard String Quartets.
As a member of the Borromeo Quartet since its inception in 1989, Ms. Kim has had extensive involvement with NPR’s “Performance Today,” the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Her radio and television credits also include “Live from Lincoln Center” and numerous appearances on WGBH in Boston, Radio France, and NHK Radio and Television in Japan. Recording credits include “Native Informant” featuring music of Mohammed Fairouz , “As it was, Is, And will be” featuring music of Gunther Schuller , “String Quartets” by Robert Maggio , “Speak Like the People, Write Like the King” featuring music by Steve Mackey , “Soul Garden: The Chamber Music of Derek Bermel”  “Beethoven: Serioso” , and “Ravel: String Quartet and Sonata for Violin & Cello” .
Ms. Kim currently serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory, in the cello and chamber music departments, and teaches each summer at the Taos School of Music in New Mexico. She has also taught at the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Canada, the Suntory Hall Fellows Academy in Japan, at the Seoul National University and National University of Arts in Korea, and for the Foulger Institute in New Jersey .
A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, Lincoln Center’s Martin Segal Award, and the Evian International String Quartet Competition as a member of the Borromeo Quartet, Ms. Kim has garnered numerous awards individually as well, including winner of the Ewha and Jungagng National Competitions in Korea, and the Seoul Young Artists Award for achievement in music and academics.
Kim is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, with advanced degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Lawrence Lesser, David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Hyungwon Chang, and Minja Hyun.
She plays a Peregrino Zanetto cello, circa 1576, one of the oldest in the world.
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.