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Faculty


2019 Cortona Sessions Faculty

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Faculty


2019 Cortona Sessions Faculty

2019 Cortona Sessions Faculty

 
 

The Cortona Collective

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

composers
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.


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Sarah Brady, flute


Sarah Brady, flute

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.

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Gregory Oakes, clarinet


Gregory Oakes, clarinet

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.

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Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone


Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone

Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone


Geoffrey Deibel, saxophone

A Washington, D.C. native, 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 (GenerationsTimes & SpacesGroove 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 is currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Florida State Univeristy, and has previously 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.

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Ari Streisfeld, violin


Ari Streisfeld, violin

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 holds the position of Assistant Professor of Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina School of Music. He also serves as head of strings at the Carolina Summer Music Conservatory and is on the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). He was previously on the faculty of New York's Special Music School, Face the Music, and New Music on the Point.

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.

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Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello


Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello

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.

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Ji Hye Jung, percussion


Ji Hye Jung, percussion

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.

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Michael Kirkendoll, piano


Michael Kirkendoll, piano

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 seeks out repertoire that combines beauty, adventure, and meaning to create musical journeys in the recital setting. A specialist in the theatrical piano music of Frederic Rzewski and others, critics have described Kirkendoll’s theatrical performances as “tours de force of skill, comprehension, and energetic, intelligent theatricality,” and also said “…to hear Mr. Kirkendoll perform Sunflower Sutra [by Jerome Kitzke] was an absolute wonder. Rarely have I seen any musician able to deliver text and poetry- all whilst playing insanely difficult music - with such natural dramatic sensibility.” Michael was a finalist n the 2009 American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship Awards, where his performances were heralded as “inspired” showcasing “extraordinary” technical gifts and “superior intelligence.” Michael's forthcoming multimedia release entitled Acting Like a Pianist (featuring theatrical piano music of Frederic Rzewski) will be released by Meyer Media in 2019. His previous CD, Bison Circles:  Music of Forrest Pierce, is currently available on Meyer Media, and collaborations with the h2 Quartet and saxophonist Jonathan Nichol can be found on Blue Griffin Records. 

Michael is the founder of the Cortona Sessions for New Music in (www.cortonasessions.org), which has produced over 500 world premieres and encouraged dozens of young performers and composers since 2010. 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. This new-music band includes members of the JACK String Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble, h2 Saxophone Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra, and other innovative and exciting soloists. In concert, they perform works by Cortona Sessions Fellows, and other important works spanning all aspects of contemporary composition. Michael is also a frequent performer with Kansas City’s newEar ensemble and performers in a variety of chamber music settings around the country. 

Michael is Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Kansas, where he earned his doctoral and bachelor’s degrees, and also holds a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. In addition to teaching at the Cortona Sessions for New Music, Michael is also on the faculty of the prestigious International Institute for Young Musicians. 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. Michael Kirkendoll is proud to be a Yamaha Artist.

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Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano


Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano

Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano


Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano

As an internationally recognized leading interpreter of contemporary and modern music, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway brings versatility and compelling insight to stages worldwide. Her work has been praised by the New York Times for “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair.”

This season’s highlights include a debut with Opera Philadelphia (2017-2018) in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You, Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 with the Amernet Quartet at New Music New College, and her continued collaboration with Third Coast Percussion at the University of Chicago and the Miller Theater’s Portrait Series in New York. She sings the music of John Zorn at the Guggenheim Museum, JazzFest Sarajevo, and November Music in the Netherlands. Duo Cortona, Calloway’s duo alongside violinist Ari Streisfeld, appears in concerts and residencies at the College of Charleston, New Music New College (FL), Southern Exposure (SC), East Carolina University, the University of Madison, and the Gabriela Frank Creative Academy of Music. At the University of South Carolina, Ms. Calloway will sing the Brahms Alto Rhapsody and Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses. This summer Ms. Calloway continues her work at the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) and Summer Arts with Juilliard (Switzerland).

On the concert stage, Ms. Calloway recently sang Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Omaha Symphony.She debuted with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany, singing Alban Berg’s Der Wein under the auspices of Alte Oper for a national radio broadcast by Heissicher Rundfunk. She was presented in concert at the Kennedy Center in collaborations with the Amernet Quartet and Pro Musica Hebraica and the Jukebox New Music Series. Ms. Calloway has covered Thomas Adès’ Totentanz with the New York Philharmonic, and appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series (Green Umbrella), Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, BAM Next Wave Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cal Performances, Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, Southern Exposure New Music Festival, and Lincoln Center Festival. Ms. Calloway has performed with Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Talea, JACK Quartet, Ekmeles, American Composers’ Orchestra and Continuum. In addition, she has collaborated with today’s foremost composers including: Gabriela Lena Frank, Georg Friederich Haas, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Nico Muhly, Chris Cerrone, and Donnacha Dennehy.

Equally at home on the operatic stage, Ms. Calloway created the roles of “Dominant” and “Musicologist” in Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style (Zankel Hall, Ojai Festival) with Robert Spano conducting which brought recognition from the New York Times praising her singing as “rich-voiced.”  Through this engagement she became a finalist for the internationally recognized Warner Music Prize. She has created many other roles including “Sister in the American premiere of Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over at National Sawdust, “Asakir” in Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song in the inaugural PROTOTYPE Festival in New York, and “Memory 2” in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera. She made her European operatic debut as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw at Opéra de Reims, Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jovet (Paris) and Opéra de Lille. She has performed with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival.

Ms. Calloway holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM). She joined the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) in 2014 and Summer Arts with Juilliard (Switzerland) in 2016. Ms. Calloway serves on the faculty of the University of South Carolina. She is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of lost and unknown Jewish art music. She can be heard on Albany Records, Tzadik Records, BCMF Records, and Toccata Classics.

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Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor


Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor

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. 

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Suzanne Farrin, composer


Suzanne Farrin, composer

Suzanne Farrin, composer


Suzanne Farrin, composer

Suzanne Farrin is a composer who 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. 

Earlier works have concentrated on establishing an intensity and personal language through careful study of solo instruments along with the interpretive personalities that come with them. Those works include pieces for solo strings (corpo di terra, for cello; Time is a Cage for violin and uscirmi di braccia, for viola and piano or bass drum). Though they have now been played by many interpreters, they were expressly written for people close to Suzanne (Julia Lichten, cello; Cal Wiersma, violin and Antoine Tamestit and Markus Hadulla, viola and piano). That intimacy is a productive space for her: it is as if exploring the very personal habits, sounds and physicality of each brings her closer to a more universal experience.
 
This search for transcendence has more recently been applied to vocal music. In dolce la morte, Suzanne felt she was expressing the inherent conflicts, contractions and corporal strife that exists in the great master’s love poetry. The piece is her own, but the “mask” of Michelangelo provided a productive mouthpiece from which she could project her own resonance and desire.

 
Her music has been featured at venues and festivals including The Gothenburg Art Biennial, Mostly Mozart, Matrix, Alpenklassik, Music in Würzburg, BAM NextWave, Theaterforum (Germany), Town Hall Seattle, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Symphony Space, Wigmore Hall, the Walker Art Center, Centro de Artes de la Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina) and, in New York (where she lives) The Stone, Spectrum, Subculture, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall, Wavehill, Lincoln Center, the Park Avenue Armory, and Joe’s Pub, among many others.
 
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. Her life as an interpreter on the instrument has taken her to venues such as the Abrons Arts Center in NYC, Centro de Artes in Buenos Aires as well as television, where she was was recently featured in an episode directed by Roman Coppola on the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle.
 
Suzanne is the Frayda B. Lindemann Professor of Music and Chair at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center, where she teaches composition. She holds a doctorate in from Yale University. Corpo di Terra (New Focus Recordings) is devoted entirely to her work, which may also be heard on the VAI, Signum Classics, Tundra and Albany Records labels. She is currently the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize winner in Composition.

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Forrest Pierce, composer


Forrest Pierce, composer

Forrest Pierce, composer


Forrest Pierce, composer

(Farhad) Forrest Pierce, composer and poet, lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Blessed with an unusual capacity for enthusiasm, and an unnatural delight in delight, he has written 200 or so compositions, which include vocal, chamber, and choral music in equal measure. Winner of the Barlow Prize, the Ortus and Avalon international competitions, as well the international choral competitions of the Boston Chamber Singers and Boston Choral Ensemble, Pierce was educated at Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, and University of Puget Sound.  He was raised in the dry Columbia Plateau region of eastern Washington State, the grandson of Dust Bowl immigrants, and now resides on and draws inspiration from the Great Plains. At one time or another a student of Tango, piano, North Indian classical singing, cello, poetry, and Chishti Sufism, he teaches and drinks espresso at the University of Kansas, and serves on the vividly convivial faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Tuscany

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Brianna Matzke, entrepreneurship


Brianna Matzke, entrepreneurship

Brianna Matzke, entrepreneurship


Brianna Matzke, entrepreneurship

Dr. Brianna Matzke's dynamic pianism shows “a sense of refinement, flair, and technical prowess” (clevelandclassical.com). An avid performer and commissioner of new music, she has collaborated with many composers, including Michael Fiday, Elliot Cole, Marc Mellits, Mark Mothersbaugh, Douglas Knehans, Molly Joyce, Alexandra Du Bois, D. J. Sparr, Nate May, Tyler Eschendahl, Dylan Sheridan, Stephanie Ann Boyd, Paul Schuette, Danny Clay, Jennifer Jolley, Carrie Magin, Evan Williams, Paul Poston, Bryan Percoco, Trevor Gomes, and Lindsey Jacob. She has appeared in concert at TriBeCa New Music, ETHOS New Music, Malone University, the BOP Stop, Kendall at Oberlin, Christ Church Cathedral, Clifton Cultural Arts Center, and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Her ongoing commissioning initiative, called The Response Project, asks composers to write music for piano in response to a pre-existing artwork or idea. The project has premiered and recorded twelve new works, including five works for solo piano written in response to Karlheinz Stockhausen's Mikrophonie I (1964) and seven works for violin+piano written in response to the phrase "on behalf". In 2018, The Response Project will premiere twelve new works for solo piano, written in response to Bob Dylan's 1964 album Highway 61 Revisited.

In addition to performing, Brianna is a dedicated music educator and pedagogue. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), she has served on the faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory, Interlochen Arts Camp, Wilmington College, Thomas More College, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. As an educator, Brianna believes in the power of music to incite positive social change, and she encourages that change by serving as President of the Ohio Music Teachers Association Southwest Division.

She holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the University of Kansas. Brianna is joining the Cortona Sessions faculty in 2019 as faculty in entrepreneurship and distinguished fellow in piano.