2019 Cortona Sessions Faculty
2019 Cortona Sessions Faculty
flute | Sarah Brady
clarinet | Gregory Oakes
saxophone | Geoffrey Deibel
violin | Ari Streisfeld
cello | Kivie Cahn-Lipman
percussion | Ji Hye Jung
piano | Michael Kirkendoll
mezzo-soprano | Rachel Calloway
Chris Younghoon Kim
click names above for individual bios
flute: Sarah Brady – Mary Fukushima
clarinet: Michael Norsworthy – Gregory Oakes
saxophone: h2 Quartet (Geoffrey Deibel, Jeffrey Loeffert, Kimberly Goddard Loeffert, Jonathan Nichol)
violin: Ari Streisfeld
cello: Kivie Cahn-Lipman
percussion: Michael Compitello – Ji Hye Jung
piano: Amir Khosrowpour – Michael Kirkendoll
voice: Laura Bohn – Rachel Calloway – Jeffrey Gavett – Sarah Tannehill Anderson
conductor: Chris Younghoon Kim – Jacob Wallace
Suzanne Farrin (on faculty 2017, 2018)
Gabriela Lena Frank (on faculty 2010, 2011, 2013)
Forrest Pierce (on faculty 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
Stevan Tickmayer (on faculty 2011, 2014)
The Cortona Collective is the ensemble made up of current and former performance faculty from the Sessions. The Collective performs together in a variety of settings outside of the Sessions themselves.
Sarah Brady, flute
Sarah Brady, flute
Called “enchanting” by the Boston Globe, flutist Sarah Brady is sought after across the country as a soloist, chamber musician, and master teacher. An avid promoter of new music she has premiered and recorded new music from many of today’s top composers. Recent projects have included premieres of new solo flute and electronic music from Elena Ruehr, Andy Vores and John Mallia, Curtis Hughesas well as music for flute and strings from Marcos Balter, Nicholas Vines and Johnathan Bailey Holland. Her solo, chamber and over 40 orchestral recordings can be heard on the Albany, Naxos, Oxingale, Cantalope and BMOP/Sound music labels. As a leading interpreter of contemporary music, she was invited to read and record new music commissioned by Yo Yo Ma for his Silk Road Project at Tanglewood.
Sarah lives in Boston and performs regularly as principal flute with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera. She can also be heard performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Portland Symphony Orchestra and Boston Lyric Opera. As a chamber musician she has been described as “clairvoyantly sensitive” (New Music Connoisseur), and has collaborated with the Fromm Players at Harvard, the Firebird Ensemble, the Radius Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, The Talea Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, Sound Icon and NotaRiotous. She is a member of the Michigan based new music ensemble Brave New Works a group that is dedicated to promoting new music throughout the US and Canada by premiering new music and educating young composers through a college residency program. The ensemble has been in residence at Cornell, Bowling Green University, the University of Michigan, Tufts University, University of Puget Sound, Williams, Western Washington University and the Boston Conservatory.
In competition she was awarded second place in the National Flute Association 2006 Young Artist Competition, where she also won an award for the best performance of the newly commissioned work by Paul Drescher. She was a Semi-finalist in the Myrna Brown Competition Flute Competition, Heida Herman Woodwind Competition, Eastern Connecticut Young Artist Competition, and twice received second place in Boston’s prestigious Pappoutsakis Flute Competition. As a soloist Sarah enjoyed a sold out debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with pianist Oxana Yablonskaya. Sarah is on the flute faculty at the Boston Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Gregory Oakes, clarinet
Gregory Oakes, clarinet
Gregory Oakes is one of the most exciting and energetic clarinetists of his generation. From his Carnegie Hall debut with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez to his performances as a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Oakes has been praised by critics for his “outstanding performance” (New York Times) and “jazzy flourishes” (Denver Post). His performance highlights include a concerto with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Telluride Jazz Festival with Grammy® Award-winner Terence Blanchard, a concert at Amsterdam’s venerable new music hall De IJsbreker, and a solo feature at Berlin’s prestigious MaerzMusik festival. Oakes has performed at multiple International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and the International Computer Music Conference. He has performed throughout the United States, Brazil, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Thailand. He has held residencies at Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, Aspen, and Amsterdam's STEIM. His solo CD New Dialects appears on the Centaur Records label. His recordings appear on Bridge, CRI, Gothic, Karnatic Lab Records, and Naxos and broadcasts on National Public Radio. Oakes is on the faculty of Iowa State University and is principal clarinet of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. He is a Buffet Group USA and Vandoren Performing Artist.
Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone
Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone
Assistant Professor of Saxophone Geoffrey Deibel is emerging as an important voice for the saxophone and contemporary music. He maintains a multi-faceted career as performer, teacher, and researcher. Recent concert highlights include performances with the Athens Saxophone Quartet (Cyprus), International Contemporary Ensemble at the Park Avenue Armory (NYC), concerts at Merkin Hall and Zankel Hall (NYC), and recitals in Brooklyn NY, Stuttgart, Germany, Cortona, Italy, and in Wichita, KS. Geoff has been an invited guest lecturer at Die Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, at University College Cork, Ireland, and many Universities in the US. He has appeared at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, the International Iannis Xenakis Festival in Athens, Greece, and World Saxophone Congresses in the UK, Europe, and Thailand.
Geoff has commissioned new works by both established and emerging composers, including Drew Baker, Nathan Davis, Claudio Gabriele, Martin Iddon, Robert Lemay, Marc Mellits, Joseph Michaels, Forrest Pierce, David Rakowski, David Reminick, Jesse Ronneau, and Eric Wubbels. He has also premiered the music of Louis Andriessen, Jason Eckardt, Hiroyki Itoh, Pierre Jodlowski, Marc Mellits, Elliott Sharp, Jagoda Szmytka, Mari Takano, Hans Thomalla, and Amy Williams, and has worked with John Adams, Bernard Rands, Howard Sandroff, and Christopher Adler, among many others. Geoff has been frequently featured on the New Music Chicago and Soundfield series in Chicago, and has been a guest at the Drake University New Music Series and Chamber Music Midwest.
Geoff is a member of the critically acclaimed h2 quartet, first prize winners at the Fischoff Competition, recent finalists at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and recipients of multiple Aaron Copland Fund Grants. American Record Guide has hailed h2 as a group of "artistic commitment...boasting superb blend, solid technique, [and] tight rhythm." h2 has four recordings available (Generations, Times & Spaces, Groove Machine, and Hard Line), and maintains a non-profit organization to promote the creation of new works for the saxophone quartet. Geoff is also a seasoned orchestral performer, and serves as principal saxophonist with the Wichita Symphony. He has also performed with the New World Symphony and Grant Park Symphony, as well as numerous regional orchestras in Michigan, and has worked with conductors such as David Robertson, Roberto Abbado, and HK Gruber.
As a jazz musician, Geoff has performed with the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and the Truth in Jazz Orchestra, and has performed locally on the Fisch Haus Jazz Series. He has also had the opportunity to perform alongside Ruben Alvarez, Ron Blake, Allison Miller, James Moody, and Matt Wilson. For four years, he served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Wichita Jazz Festival.
Geoff holds degrees in history and music from Northwestern University, and a doctoral degree from Michigan State University. His principal teachers have included Joseph Lulloff, Frederick Hemke, Leo Saguiguit, and Reginald Jackson. Geoff has held teaching positions at the University of Florida and Wichita State University, where he was the recipient of the 2015 College of Fine Arts Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity, and the 2016 WSU Faculty Award for Excellence in Creative Activity. He also serves on the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Great Plains Saxophone Workshop. Geoff is a Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist, and performs on Yamaha Saxophones, and Vandoren reeds, ligatures, and mouthpieces exclusively.
Ari Streisfeld, violin
Ari Streisfeld, violin
Violinist Ari Streisfeld has garnered critical acclaim worldwide for his performances of diverse repertoire and has established himself as one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary classical music. Praised for his “dazzling performance” by the New York Times and “scintillating playing” by New York Classical Review, Dr. Streisfeld is a founding member of the world renowned JACK Quartet. Recent season highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall (London), La Salle Pleyel (Paris), Teatro Colon (Argentina), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Carriage Works (Sydney, Australia), Venice Biennale (Italy), Carnegie Hall, The Library of Congress, The Morgan Library (New York), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), and the Salzburg Festival (Austria). He has collaborated with many of today’s most prominent composers including John Luther Adams, Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, Helmut Lachenmann, Matthias Pintscher, Georg Friedrich Haas, Steve Reich, and Salvatore Sciarrino. He has recorded for Mode, Albany, Carrier, Innova, Canteloupe, and New World Records.
Together with his wife, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, Dr. Streisfeld formed Duo Cortona, a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the creation of new works for the unique instrumentation of mezzo-soprano and violin. Recent and upcoming performances include the Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, The Stone (NY), Contemporary Undercurrents of Song Project (Princeton, NJ), New Music on the Point (VT), and The Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). He is also a member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the performance and preservation of Jewish art music. Dr. Streisfeld frequently collaborates with some of today’s leading ensembles, including Ensemble Signal, Worldless Music Orchestra, and Weekend of Chamber Music.
Hailed as “imaginative” by the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Streisfeld’s arrangements of madrigals and motets for string quartet by Machaut and Gesualdo have been performed to acclaim both at home and abroad. A recipient of the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Dr. Streisfeld most recently premiered his Machaut arrangements for voice and violin at The Stone (New York).
A passionate and committed music educator, Dr. Streisfeld serves on the faculty of New York’s Special Music School, Face the Music, New Music on the Point and the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). He looks forward to joining the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin Pedagogy this fall.
Dr. Streisfeld holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music), Northwestern University (Master of Music), and Boston University (Doctor of Musical Arts). His teachers include Zvi Zeitlin, Almita Vamos, and Peter Zazofsky.
Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello
Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello
While all the other kids were learning addition in first grade, Kivie Cahn-Lipman was running around the classroom singing that he was a yeti. His kindly teacher said he was very musical, so Kivie was allowed his choice of instruments along with the therapy. He told his parents he wanted to play the drums, so they asked him what instrument he REALLY wanted to play. "The tuba," he replied, and they handed him a violin. In his third lesson he picked his nose and wiped it on the violin, and then that teacher went away and Kivie's parents gave him a cello. And when he picked his nose and wiped it on the cello, the new teacher was like "ewww gross don't do that, here's a tissue, clean that up and let's play music," and that seemed like a good idea.
Eventually Kivie went to Oberlin and then Juilliard, and after awhile each school gave him a fancy document written in Latin that hopefully indicates that he graduated. He finished up his education at the University of Cincinnati, and he's a doctor now. Not that kind of doctor. Since its foundation in 2001, Kivie has been the cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and he still tours all over the world performing with them. He served on the faculties of Smith College and Mount Holyoke College from 2005–2012, and he now teaches at the College of New Jersey and every summer at the Cortona Sessions for New Music.
Kivie started his own Baroque ensemble called ACRONYM (www.acronymensemble.com), and he finds seventeenth-century music in old manuscripts and transcribes it, and they give the first performances of it in hundreds of years; they've got seven CDs of modern premieres recorded and more on the way. His 2014 solo recording of J.S. Bach's cello suites got a nice blurb in a trade publication called The Strad, but he's way more proud of the warm personal letter praising the disc which he received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kivie's mom also liked the recording, and maybe a few other people did too. You can find it on sale wherever you can still find music on sale, and the discs make great coasters.
Also, a recent review in the New York Times noted that "his long, flowing hair often covered his face as he played." Seriously, the New York Times printed that. Kivie mostly stopped picking his nose in 1985.
Ji Hye Jung, percussion
Ji Hye Jung, percussion
Praised as “spectacular” by the Los Angeles Times and “extraordinary” by the Ventura County Star, the Times describes percussionist Ji Hye Jung as “a centered player who can give the impression of being very still yet at all places at once”.
Ms. Jung began concertizing in her native South Korea at the age of nine where she performed more than 100 concerts including solo appearances with every major orchestra in Korea. Soon after coming to the United States in 2004, Ms. Jung garnered consecutive first prizes at the 2006 Linz International Marimba Competition and the 2007 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition.
With percussion repertoire still in its formative stages, Ms. Jung feels strongly about collaborating with composers to further the creation of a new voice for the art form. She has commissioned and premiered works by several important composers including, Kevin Puts, Alejandro Viñao, Paul Lansky, John Serry, Lukas Ligeti, and Jason Treuting. In 2013 she made the premier recording of Michael Torke’s marimba concerto Mojave and in 2014 recorded Phillip Glass’ Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra for the Naxos label.
Ms. Jung frequently performs with many of today's most important conductors and instrumentalists. For six years she has served as principal percussionist with the west coast-based chamber music ensemble Camerata Pacifica, with whom she has premiered works by Bright Sheng and Huang Ruo. She has also recorded Stravinsky’s Les Noces with JoAnn Falletta at the Virginia Arts Festival, performed as soloist with David Robertson conducting an all Messiaen program at Carnegie Hall, and made her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony under the baton of Hans Graf in 2005.
Other performance credits include appearances at Portugal’s Tomarimbando Festival, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Ireland, The Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and the Grachtenfestival in Holland.
In 2015 Ji Hye Jung was named Associate Professor of Percussion at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. She previously served as Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Kansas for six years. An active educator and clinician, Jung has presented masterclasses at the Curtis Institute, the Peabody Conservatory, Rice University, Beijing's Central Conservatory, and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland.
Ji Hye Jung completed a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, both under the tutelage of Robert van Sice. As an artist endorser, she proudly represents Pearl/Adams instruments, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.
Ji Hye Jung is on leave for the 2017 Sessions.
Michael Kirkendoll, piano
Michael Kirkendoll, piano
Called “the very model of a 21st Century musician” by critics of the Indianapolis Star, pianist Michael Kirkendoll has established himself at the forefront of contemporary pianism. A dedicated advocate for the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Michael has presented over one hundred new works in both solo and collaborative settings. His performances are musical journeys that often span the history of keyboard repertoire, including a sixteen-piece program entitled Musical Gastronomy, featuring works of Scarlatti, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Ives, Schoenberg, Ligeti, Rzewski, and a host of other living composers. Michael has been featured at prestigious venues in China, Singapore, Italy, France, and throughout the United States, and was a finalist in the 2009 American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship Awards, where his performances were heralded as “inspired” showcasing “extraordinary” technical gifts and “superior intelligence.” Past performances of works including Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, and recitals featuring music of Frédéric Chopin, have been called “astonishing, regal, and eloquent.”
A devoted educator, particularly of both musicians and audiences about the excitement of contemporary music, Michael founded the Cortona Sessions for New Music in 2010 (www.cortonasessions.com). The Cortona Sessions offer young performers and composers from around the world two weeks of focused study, performance, and collaboration with a faculty of esteemed contemporary music specialists. Located near the Tuscany-Umbria border in the hill-town of Cortona, Italy, the nightly concert at the Sessions showcase nearly 100 works, including over 50 world premieres by both students and faculty. Fellows of the Sessions have created new music series, pursued graduate degrees in contemporary performance, and been awarded some of the most prestigious composition prizes in the world. Annually, members of the Cortona Collective (the faculty performance ensemble) present concerts featuring major contemporary repertoire alongside works of Fellows at universities and concert halls around the U.S.
In addition to collaborative performances with the Cortona Collective, Michael performs regularly as part of DuoSolo with his wife, flutist Mary Fukushima. DuoSolo performs genre-bending concerts featuring both solo and duo repertoire for flute and piano, combining the most avant-garde contemporary repertoire with rarely heard works of the past. In 2008, they formed the DuoSolo Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to support the commissioning, performance, recording, education, and promotion of contemporary music.
Michael is Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Kansas, where he also earned his doctoral and bachelor’s degrees, and also holds a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. When not at the piano, Michael can be found enjoying fine wine, cooking, golfing, or playing with his dog, Sam. Michael is also the author of the food and wine blog, The Uncorked Pianist, and can be followed on Twitter @UncorkedPianist.
Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano
Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway has established herself as one of the most versatile singers of her generation. Praised by the New York Times for her “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair,” her 2013 – 2014 season includes performances with Ensemble Signal, Gotham Chamber Opera, the contemporary vocal chamber ensemble Ekmeles, the 2013 Next Wave Festival at BAM, Chameleon Arts Ensemble in Boston, the Amernet String Quartet at Bowdoin University, the Copland House, and American Opera Projects. She joins the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy this June.
Last season Ms. Calloway made her Latin American debut at the Festival Internacional Cervantino alongside the Amernet String Quartet and sang the world premiere of Gabriela Frank’s Santos with the San Francisco Girls’ Choir and Joana Carneiro. This past season she created the title role in the first staged production of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumedia’s Song in the inaugural Prototype Festival in New York City and returned to France for performances of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. She also appeared with Ensemble Signal in a portrait concert of Oliver Knussen at Miller Theater and with Alarm Will Sound singing Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger in New York (Zankel Hall) and St. Louis. With the contemporary vocal ensemble Ekmeles, Ms. Calloway appeared at Princeton University, Roulette, and the Bohemian National Hall in a large scale collaboration with Talea Ensemble in Beat Furrer’s FAMA. This summer she made her Lincoln Center Festival debut alongside Ensemble Signal in Monkey Opera: Journey to the West and also appeared at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival singing works by Brahms and George Crumb.
In the 2011 – 2012 season, Ms. Calloway made her European debut as “Mrs. Grose” in The Turn of the Screw at Le Théâtre d’Arras, Opéra de Reims, Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jovet (Paris, France), Le Phénix, Scène Nationale Valenciennes, Opéra de Lille, and Château d’Hardelot (Condette, France). She also gave the world premiere of Mohammad Fairouz’s Third Symphony at Miller Theater. Among her recent highlights are debuts with the Berkeley Symphony under Joana Carneiro and Cal Performances with Lorin Maazel and the Castleton Festival. Ms. Calloway appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in workshops of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys and Michael Torke’s Senna and in concert at Cornell University, the Strathmore Mansion in Maryland, Le Poisson Rouge, Cornelia Street Cafe, Merkin Hall, Yale University, Columbia University, New York Society for Ethical Culture, and Depauw University. She has also performed with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia as well as at Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Ms. Calloway has appeared in concert at the Kennedy Center with the Biava Quartet under the auspices of Pro Musica Hebraica and at Steinway Hall, the Bulgarian Consulate, the Chautauqua Institution, Alice Tully Hall, Glimmerglass Opera, and Philadelphia’s Academy of Music.
A proponent of contemporary and lesser-known music, Ms. Calloway gave the world world premiere of New Andean Songs by Gabriela Lena Frank on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series at Walt Disney Concert Hall. She sang Harrison Birtwhistle’s Corridor in Merkin Hall, as well as the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Stabat Mater, both with the Ensemble Signal. She has performed Pierrot Lunaire at Alice Tully Hall, Columbia University, and the Juilliard School and has appeared in the FOCUS! Festival of New Music in addition to giving the world premiere of Steven Stucky’s orchestration of Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch as a guest artist at Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Calloway is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jewish art music suppressed by the Nazis and Soviets.
Ms. Calloway was a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and first prize in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts as well as two Central City Opera Young Artist Awards. As winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, she performed Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, conducted by George Manahan. She can be heard on Albany Records. A native of Philadelphia, Ms.Calloway holds degrees from both the Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM) and maintains an active teaching studio. She lives in New York City with her husband, violinist Ari Streisfeld, and their dachshund Wesley.
Rachel Calloway is on leave for the 2017 Sessions.
Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor
Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor
Chris Younghoon Kim has been at Cornell University as the director of orchestras and associate professor of music, since 2004. The League of American Orchestras and ASCAP have awarded the first place award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music to the Cornell Orchestras among all collegiate orchestras in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He has premiered over 200 works by contemporary composers worldwide. Cornell Symphony Orchestra has hosted two Meet the Composer New Partnership residencies. The American Prize recognized his work in 2014 in three different categories; Winner of the the American Prize in Orchestral Programming, 2014—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award, Winner of the American Prize in Conducting, 2014—College/University Orchestra Division and finalist in the American Prize in Orchestral Performance—college/university orchestra. At Cornell University he directs the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, teaches conducting and works closely with the DMA composers in presenting their work in concert. With the Cornell Orchestras he has led international tours and joint collaborations with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. In 2017 he will take the orchestra to Argentina to continue to multi year collaboration with Sinfónica del Neuquén and the conservatory in the city of Neuquén. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria based in Syracuse, NY, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has also appeared in music festivals such as, Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others. Recently he has been active in Asia guest conducting at Ewha Womans University, Shieh Chien University in Taiwan and the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.
Suzanne Farrin, composer
Suzanne Farrin, composer
Suzanne Farrin’s music explores the interior worlds of instruments and the visceral potentialities of sound. Her music has been performed by some of the great musicians of today on stages across Europe and North and South America. Tim Page, the former classical music critic of the Washington Post wrote: “If you can imagine the dense, perfumed chords of Messiaen’s piano music combined with the clangorous, insistent, near-pictorial tone-clusters of Frederic Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, you will have some idea of what Farrin’s work sounds like. Yet it transcends its derivations to leave the distinct impression of its own.” Her music has been featured at venues and festivals including The Gothenburg Art Biennial (with Jacob Kirkegaard), Mostly Mozart, Matrix, Alpenklassik, Music in Würzburg, BAM NextWave, Theaterforum (Germany), Town Hall Seattle, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Symphony Space, the Walker Art Center, SALT (Victoria, BC), Festival Nuevo Mundo (Venezuela), Centro de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina) and New York’s The Stone, Spectrum, Subculture, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall and Joe’s Pub. She has been supported by organizations such as the Philharmonia Society of Bremen, the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Wachovia Foundation, Concert Artists Guild and New Music USA. Musicians and ensembles who have interpreted her work include the American Composers Orchestra, The League of Composers Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Arditti Quartet, So Percussion and soloists Leonard Elschenbroich (Germany), Ksenija Sidorova (Latvia), Antoine Tamestit (France), Joshua Rubin (USA), Derek Bermel (USA), Kyle Armbrust (USA), Nuiko Wadden (USA), Ben Melsky (USA), and others. Recent radio appearances include a feature on "In-Studio" on WUOL Louisville, KY with pianist Renate Rolfing, "Abono 1110" on Radio Ciudad (Buenos Aires) with Sandra de la Fuente, and Radio Nacional Clásica's "Juego de Cartas" with Laura Novoa (Argentina).
In addition to composing, Suzanne is a performer of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument created by the engineer Maurice Martenot in France in the 1920s as a response to the simultaneous destruction and technological advances of WWI. She performed a solo recital at the Abrons Art Center in NYC in March 2016 that included works by Sean Harold (USA), Lars Peter Hagen (Norway), Alvin Lucier, Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark, co-composed with Suzanne) and Oliver Messiaen. She performed in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech and with the Farnorth Collective on a tour of Greenland. She gave a solo recital at the Centro de Artes in Buenos Aires that included works commissioned works as well as Debussy, Varese, Bach and Messiaen. She was recently featured as an ondes soloist in an episode of Mozart in the Jungle with Gael Bernal that was directed by Roman Coppola. Her latest piece, the monodrama Dolce la morte, based on the love poetry of Michelangelo, was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble and will be premiered by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at the Vélez Blanco Courtyard at the MET Museum on April 1st, 2016. It was performed again in July 2016 at the Crested Butte Festival in Colorado.
Suzanne is currently Professor and Chair of Music at Hunter College and Professor of Composition at The CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a doctorate in composition from Yale University. Corpo di Terra (New Focus Recordings) is devoted entirely to her music, which may also be heard on the VAI, Signum Classics, Tundra and Albany Records labels. Suzanne will be part of the composition faculty at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in summer 2017.
Forrest Pierce, composer
Forrest Pierce, composer
Forrest Pierce composes music steeped in religious mysticism and contemporary virtuosity. Sincere, often triadic, and blatantly tuneful, it draws on both non-western and rock-era traditions to depict an authentic world of sacred unity and natural beauty. His works have been performed in sacred and concert settings around the world, on noteworthy concert series and by diverse ensembles such as the BBC Singers, Brave New Works, the Chamber Players of the Society of New Music/ISCM, the BMOP chamber series, DuoSolo, the Chamber Orchestras of Portland and Kansas City, Khorikos, the Indianapolis and Walla Walla Symphonies, Volti, the Concord Ensemble, Octarium, the Seattle New Music Ensemble, the Latvian Radio Choir, the Oregon and Northwest Repertory Singers, the Boston Choral Ensemble, the Dublin and Canadian International Organ Competitions, Songfest, and by numerous distinguished soloists in North America and abroad. Pierce is the past resident composer of the Seattle New Music Ensemble and was the founding artistic director of Portland's Friends of Rain Contemporary Ensemble. His catalog is led by over 50 works for voices, including operatic, choral, and solo vocal forces. He has been the winner of the 2012 Barlow Prize in Composition, the Robert Avalon International Composition competition, was named a winner of the 2012 Ortus International competition, was first prize recipient of the Boston Choral Ensemble and Boston Chamber Singers choral competitions, and was composer-in-residence of the beautiful—if short-lived—International Meeting of Choral Music at the University of São Paulo—Riberão Preto, Brazil.