Cortona Sessions Faculty
Cortona Sessions Faculty
flute: Sarah Brady – Mary Fukushima
clarinet: 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 – Brianna Matzke
voice: Laura Bohn – Rachel Calloway – Jeffrey Gavett – Sarah Tannehill Anderson
conductor: Chris Younghoon Kim – Jacob Wallace
Suzanne Farrin (on faculty 2017, 2018, 2019,)
Gabriela Lena Frank (on faculty 2010, 2011, 2014)
Erin Gee (on faculty 2020)
Forrest Pierce (on faculty 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
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 Associate Professor of Flute and Head of the Contemporary Classical Music Program at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Gregory Oakes, clarinet
Gregory Oakes, clarinet
Gregory Oakes is an exciting and energetic clarinetist and a passionate champion of the music of our time. From his Carnegie Hall debut with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez to his performances as a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Oakes has been praised by critics for his “outstanding performance” (New York Times) and “jazzy flourishes” (Denver Post). American Record Guide says “Oakes is the rare player who has both excellent classical training and a mastery of the otherworldly procedures demanded by non-traditional repertoire,” and Fanfare Magazine lauds the “formidable technical armamentarium at his command.”
A flexible and versatile musician, Mr. Oakes has performed with notable musicians in prestigious venues around the world. He has been a concerto soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Denver Brass, performed with Grammy® Award-winner Terence Blanchard at the Telluride Jazz Festival, and appeared at the Chicago Arts Club. His recordings have been released on Bridge, Centaur, CRI, Gothic, Karnatic Lab Records, and Naxos and broadcast on National Public Radio. His recent CD, Aesthetic Apparatus: Clarinet Chamber Music of Helmut Lachenmann, appears on the New Focus Recordings label.
As a soloist, Mr. Oakes has performed at multiple International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the New Music Gathering, the International Computer Music Conference, the Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, Boulder’s Modern Music Festival (M2F), and the Pendulum New Music Series. An international artist, Mr. Oakes has performed frequently in the Netherlands at Amsterdam’s venerable new music hall De IJsbreker, Gaudeamus Music Week, Concerten Tot en Met, the Karnatic Lab concert series, De Badcuyp, STEIM, and Utrecht’s Theatre Kikker. He has been a featured soloist at the prestigious MaerzMusik festival in Berlin. He has also toured Brazil—performing in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and Campinas—and conducted masterclasses at notable Brazilian universities UnB, UNIRIO, and UNICAMP. He was in residence as a guest artist at the MUPA Festival of Contemporary Music in Bangsaen, Thailand. In the summer, Mr. Oakes is on the faculty of The Cortona Sessions festival for new music in Tuscany, Italy.
Mr. Oakes has been a member of several orchestras including the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Central City Opera, and the Colorado Music Festival. He is currently the principal clarinet of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. He is also an active chamber musician. As a founding member of the new music and creative arts ensemble Non Sequitur, he has been in residence at Princeton University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the Aspen Music Festival. Oakes has also performed as a member of the woodwind quintet Category 5 and the award-winning clarinet quartet Ensemble Syzygy.
Mr. Oakes holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from DePaul University, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. His teachers include Bil Jackson, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and John Bruce Yeh. He has been honored as an Aspen Music Festival Fellow, a Tanglewood Music Festival Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar Finalist. Mr. Oakes has presented masterclasses at numerous institutions including the University of Michigan, University of California Berkeley, Peabody Conservatory, the Amsterdam Conservatory, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has previously taught at the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS) and Bemidji State University (Bemidji, MN). Mr. Oakes is on the faculty of Iowa State University (Ames, IA).
Gregory Oakes is a Buffet Group USA and a Vandoren Performing Artist.
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. 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. The American Record Guide has hailed h2 as a group of "artistic commitment...boasting superb blend, solid technique, [and] tight rhythm." h2 has six recordings available. 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 currently serves as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Florida State University. 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 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.
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. The violin teacher was all "you have to respect the violin before you can touch the violin," but in their third lesson Kivie 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 a cellist with the International Contemporary Ensemble (and don't call it ICE anymore), and he still tours all over the world performing with them. He taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and The College of New Jersey, and he's now on the faculty of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. Whatever you think you know about Youngstown is probably true, but it also has a really pretty park and a surprisingly good artisanal hot dog shop.
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 nine CDs of modern premieres released and more on the way. He also plays viola da gamba for some reason and performs and records with LeStrange Viols. Kivie's 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 claims to like the recording, but she thinks that some of the tempos are too fast. 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.
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.
Laura Bohn, soprano
Laura Bohn, soprano
Soprano Laura Bohn, a dynamic stage presence praised by Opera News for her “powerful" singing and "skillful" stagecraft, brings a vivid physicality and “lush” vocalism to her wide ranging repertoire, embodying the cutting edge of operatic performance.
Highlights of 2018 include Laura's Lincoln Center debut under the baton of Louis Langrée at the 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival as a soprano soloist (singing and dancing) in Bernstein's MASS, a reprise of the role which marked her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic early this year under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. In March the soprano returned to The Dallas Opera where she had covered the role of the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in 2017 to cover (doublure) the role of Iris Marinus in Michel Van der Aa's 3-D opera, Sunken Garden. Laura will be the guest soloist on The Bernstein Celebration Tour with the Millennium Jazz Orchestra in major theaters throughout the Netherlands in 2018-19. Other upcoming engagements include her Benaroya Hall debut in a recital with Romanian American Chamber Concerts in Seattle and as a principal in Lev, a co-production of Silbersee and Theater Sonnevanck which will tour the Netherlands in the spring of 2019.
The soprano was recently featured in On Behalf of a Madman, a pastiche classical opera of works from Mozart to Rossini with The Grand Harmonie Orchestra in Boston, and sang Barber's Knoxville:Summer of 1915 in recitals throughout the Pacific Northwest. In 2017 Ms. Bohn toured the Netherlands and Belgium, including a return to the Operadagen Rotterdam, as Bellini’s Norma in Before I Die with I Solisti del Vento (BE) and Kameroperahuis (NL). Other performances last season included her role debut in Poulenc's one woman tour-de-force La voix humaine at National Sawdust in Brooklyn and Anna I in The Seven Deadly Sins of Weill/Brecht with Festival Opera in California, her performance hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "brilliant and physically intense".
The soprano’s 2016 season included Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Grand Harmonie at Princeton in the first North American production on period instruments, the monodrama Black Water with the Center for Contemporary Opera at Symphony Space in New York, Adés' Powder Her Face at West Edge Opera in Oakland, in which her “powerfully sung Duchess exuded sadness and vulnerability under her steely elegance” (Opera News) and Fefjulka in UKSUS with Erling Wold Fabrications in San Francisco. In 2015 the soprano was seen as Ino in Händel's Semele at Operadagen Rotterdam, as Lucha in Chapter 22: Desperation of The Industry’s widely acclaimed Hopscotch mobile-opera in LA, as a soloist in concerts with the Hague Philharmonic (Het Residentie Orkest), the SacroProfano Baroque ensemble in New York and the Isaura String Quartet in LA.
An avid champion of modern music Laura has worked closely with many composers including Ellen Reid, Anne LeBaron, Erling Wold, Jherek Bischoff, Kamala Sankaram, Doug Balliett and Forrest Pierce. In 2015 she created the role of JFK’s mistress Mary Pinchot Meyer in the premiere of Le Baron's LSD: The Opera at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s REDCAT theater, Jezebel at the BRIC’s Look and Listen Festival in Brooklyn, and made her BIMhuis debut in Amsterdam with the David Kweksilber Big Band. Other career highlights include DJ Moz’art, a pastiche dance-opera celebrating the life and works of the composer which played over 40 performances in 2014 in major theaters throughout northern Europe to great critical acclaim. Ms. Bohn toured the Netherlands and Belgium in the fall of 2013 as Nerone in the reprise of MonteverdISH, an adaptation of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea which premiered in major theaters throughout northern Europe in 2011-12, including Amsterdam’s Stadsschouwburg and Berlin’s Konzerthaus. Bohn’s singing and dancing Nerone was met with wide acclaim; “Laura Bohn is truly formidable. . . it seemed as if the whole production were conceived for her . . .” (Voi-Z Festival).
Ms. Bohn was a young artist at the Teatro Real (Royal Opera of Spain) in Madrid (‘09-’10), Syracuse Opera in New York (’08) and was awarded the Luciano Pavarotti Memorial Scholarship to attend the renowned International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2010. A finalist in the 2009 Lotte Lenya Competition, other roles include The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Micaela in La Tragedie de Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, Musetta in La Boheme, Serpina in La Serva Padrona and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. Laura has been featured in performances at the HERE Arts Center and the United Nations Assembly Hall in New York, The Olympic Music Festival in Seattle, the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s REDCAT theater in Los Angeles and at the San Francisco MOMA under the auspices of the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.
A Seattle native, Ms. Bohn has studied voice and theater extensively in Rome and Reggio-Emilia, Italy respectively. She is a graduate of the Dell ‘Arte International School of Physical Theater, holds a BFA in Vocal Performance from the California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
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 the Orlando Philharmonic in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, the music of John Zorn at November Music in the Netherlands, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and a continued collaboration with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Ensemble Signal at the Library of Congress. At the University of South Carolina, Calloway will sing Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the USC Symphony and a world premiere by David Garner with the USC Wind Ensemble. Duo Cortona, Calloway’s duo alongside violinist Ari Streisfeld, appears in concerts and residencies at the University of South Carolina, Concerts at the Hammert and Kansas University, the University of Miami, and the Delaware Valley Community College New Music Concert Series. Calloway is a frequent collaborator with today’s leading ensembles including the Amernet Quartet and Third Coast Percussion, and she has appeared in opera and concert with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series, and the New York Philharmonic, among others.
Ms. Calloway serves on the faculty of the University of South Carolina as Instructor of Voice and Associate Director of Spark, Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory. She joined the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) in 2014 and Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard (Switzerland) in 2016. She is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of lost and unknown Jewish art music. Ms. Calloway holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM) and can be heard on Albany Records, Tzadik Records, BCMF Records, and Toccata Classics. www.rachelcalloway.com
Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor
Chris Younghoon Kim, conductor
Chris Younghoon Kim is currently the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University as the Silver associate professor of music and served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2010 until 2016. In addition to the orchestra, Chris teaches instrumental graduate conducting and advanced undergraduate conducting. Jointly with Xak Bjerken, Chris is a co-director of Ensemble X, which celebrated its 20th season. The League of American Orchestras/ASCAP has recognized his advocacy of contemporary music by awarding the Adventurous Programming Award six times between 2008-2014. The American Prize has recognized his work in 2014-2018 in multiple categories. He has premiered over 250 new works for orchestra. He has sought to program worthy, unknown repertoire with the Cornell Orchestras. In the 2016-2017 season, all concerts by the Cornell Symphony featured a work by a woman composer both present and past; Kristin Kuster, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jacqueline Keeyoung Kim, Tonia Ko, Joan Tower, and Lili Boulanger. During the 2017-2018 season, Jazz influenced works permeated the repertoire; Duke Ellington, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Parker, and Wynton Marsalis.
At Cornell University he directs the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra. The Cornell Chamber Orchestras was a featured ensemble at the CODA National Conference in 2012. The Cornell Orchestras have formed multiple collaborative relationships with the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, Conservatorio de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR, Sinfónica del Neuquén in Argentina and have taken multiple visits to these sister cities. In January of 2019, Cornell Orchestras embarked on a tour to Taiwan to collaborate with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra as well as Engagement activities with five different student orchestras across the city of Taipei. Cornell Orchestra and Ithaca College Orchestras have jointly presented the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclasses for the past 9 years bringing conducting pedagogues such as Larry Rachleff, Carl St. Clair, David Effron, Alexander Polischuk, and Gustav Meier to work with young conductors.
He has appeared with orchestras in the US and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has appeared in music festivals such as Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others.
Erin Gee, composer
Erin Gee, composer
In January 2014, Erin Gee was cited by Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, as a member of the short list of the most influential composer-vocalists of the 21st century and since then has been awarded the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Bogliasco Fellowship. This marks a turning point in the trajectory of international recognition through the performance of her series of compositions entitled Mouthpieces, which uses non-traditional vocal techniques, devoid of semantic language, to construct intricate and subtle patterns of a diverse array of vocal sounds. Linguistic meaning is not the voice’s goal. The construction of the vocal text is often based on linguistic structure—vowel-consonant formation and the principle of the allophone—and is relatively quiet, with a high percentage of breath. The Mouthpieces began as solo vocal works, devoid of semantic text or language and notated with the International Phonetic Alphabet. In the Mouthpiece series, the voice is used as an instrument of sound production rather than as a vehicle of identity.
The series began as one piece for solo voice in 2000, which she began performing as a graduate student, and has grown to over 30 works for orchestra, opera, vocal ensemble, large chamber ensemble and string quartet, which have been performed internationally with some of the top ensembles for new music. Her works are taught in the composition and musicology programs of many leading universities such as MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Smith College, and Mills College, and she has lectured at Harvard, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth and Wellesley. Ms. Gee’s career began with commissions for her own voice as a soloist or in combination with other instruments, but now regularly includes requests from singers wishing to perform her works, or commissions from ensembles and vocalists who would like to interpret a new Mouthpiece in the series.
Her debut portrait CD, Mouthpieces was released in January 2014 on the col legno label in Vienna and received a warm and thoughtful review in Gramophone, the premier review magazine for classical music. The review stated, “Erin Gee clearly has a contribution to make,” and mentioned the “tangible virtuosity of Gee’s formidable vocal execution, as well as the comparable (if relatively more orthodox) finesse of the instrumental component.”
Gee’s awards for composition include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, the 2008 Rome Prize, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Zürich Opera House’s Teatro Minimo, and the Picasso-Mirò Medal from the Rostrum of Composers, a Fromm Foundation Commission, and a CMA grant with Dal Niente, among others. She has been commissioned by the Zurich Opera House for the opera SLEEP, by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and for four pieces by Klangforum Wien. Gee has also worked with the Latvian Radio Chamber Choir, Ensemble Surplus, Alter Ego, Either/Or Ensemble, Wet Ink, Metropolis Ensemble, Repertorio Zero, and many others. The American Composers Orchestra commissioned Mouthpiece XIII: Mathilde of Loci Part I for Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall, which was highlighted in Symphony Magazine (March/April 2010), and cited in the New York Times as “subtle and inventive.” She has received a Tanglewood commission for 2016 and was a guest composer and performer at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. She is also one of the composers for Kronos Quartet’s 50-for-the-Future project. Frauke Aulbert premiered Mouthpiece 30 at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in 2017, and Dal Niente premiered Mouthpiece 32 in 2018. Roulette hosted her first portrait concert in Feb 2019 with the Argento Ensemble, where they premiered Mouthpiece 33.
She has had performances in Europe, North America, South America, Hong Kong and Japan and in the Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, Musik Protokoll in Steirischer Herbst, Klangspuren, Darmstadt Festival Summer Courses, the Sonic Festival, and the Zurich Tage der Neue Musik among others. Gee was in residence at the Montalvo Arts Center and the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2010. She is active as a vocal performer of her own work, but it is not designed exclusively for her voice.
Ms. Gee is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition at Brandeis University. Her chapter titled “The Notation and Use of the Voice in Non-semantic Contexts: Phonetic Organization in the Vocal Music of Dieter Schnebel, George Aperghis and Brian Ferneyhough” is published by Routledge Press in the book Vocal Music and Contemporary Identities, edited by Christian Utz and Frederick Lau.
Through her Mouthpiece series she has created an ephemeral world that expands the possibilities of the voice, leaves behind the constrictive structure of language, and replaces histrionic female vocals with a virtuosic mouth and a tabula rasa for an emotional palate. Composer, Professor and former Arts Director for the American Academy in Rome Martin Brody’s states in his CD liner notes, “Erin Gee presents a set of voluptuous enigmas – a taxonomy of finely-etched utterances devoid of meaning; an orderly syntax of sounds that vaporizes fixed forms; an aesthetic environment that feels at once extraterrestrial and uncannily familiar.”
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