Aaron Jay Kernis, winner of the coveted 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition and one of the youngest composers to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, is among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. He has been commissioned by soprano Renee Fleming, violinists Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, and James Ehnes, by the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and the Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras. Recent commissions include a choral symphony for Seattle Symphony, a trumpet concerto for Philip Smith, the New York Philharmonic and the Big Ten Band Association, a “New Brandenburg” for Orpheus, and a work for eight blackbird. His music is published exclusively by Associated Music Publishers (G. Schirmer).From 1998 to 2009 Kernis served as New Music Advisor to the Minnesota Orchestra and continues as Director of their Composer Institute. He is on the composition faculty of Yale School of Music.
Lisa Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. This past season, her works, including In medias res commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, have been premiered across the United States. Her Chance Encounter, a piece comprising songs and arias constructed of speech overheard in transient public spaces, has been performed at the Whitney Museum, and in Rome, Venice, and Vancouver.
David Lang is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for the little match girl passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the vocal ensemble Theater of Voices. The commercial recording of the piece on Harmonia Mundi won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s Bang on a Can festival.
Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel is currently serving as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Creative Adviser to the American Composers Orchestra. Bermel has received commissions from major ensembles throughout the U.S. and overseas, collaborating with Wynton Marsalis, Midori, John Adams, Paquito D’Rivera, Philip Glass, Gustavo Dudamel, and Stephen Sondheim.
Since he moved to New York City in 2002, Neil Rolnick’s music has been receiving wide recognition and numerous performances in the U.S. and abroad. A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, Rolnick has included unexpected and unusual combinations of materials and media in his music. Rolnick teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was founding director of the iEAR Studios.
Dan Visconti’s music has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, Minnesota Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Da Capo Chamber Players, and Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble. In addition to the Berlin Prize, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and the Cleveland Arts Prize, Visconti has been a recipient of grants from the Naumburg Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and Chamber Music America.
Michael Gatonska’s music has been performed by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, and Pacific Symphony. He has received fellowship and grant awards from the Kosciuszko Foundation, ASCAP, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and American Composers Forum. His music has been recorded on the Albany Records and Major Who labels.About the Performers
Violinist Nurit Pacht has performed at London’s Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. She toured as soloist with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra and was featured with the Houston and Pacific Symphonies. Pacht has performed in collaboration with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and in recitals with Philip Glass. Pacht serves as artistic director of the “Alliance Players.”
Pianist Evelyne Luest is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician and has performed in Europe, South America, Asia, and the US. She won the Artists International Competition as well as many awards with the Contrasts Quartet. Luest has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, and on the St. Paul Sunday National Radio Show.
Violinist Wendy Sharp performs frequently as a recitalist and a chamber musician. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, she is on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and California Summer Music. For nearly a decade, she was the first violinist and a founding member of the highly acclaimed Franciscan String Quartet. Sharp is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Yale School of Music.
Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star,” cellist Joshua Roman has earned a reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire. Before embarking on a solo career, he wasprincipal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won at the age of 22. Last season’s engagements included concerto performances with the Albany, Arkansas, Santa Barbara, and Oklahoma’s Signature Symphonies. He has also performed with the Symphonies of Seattle, Edmonton, Quad City, Spokane, and Stamford.
Clarinetist Ayako Oshima has won the Japan Music Competition, the Winds and Percussion Competition in Japan, and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition and Golden Harp Award in Belgrade. Oshima received training in France, Toho School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music. She is on the faculties of the Julliard School and SUNY Purchase, and is director of the Kitakaruizawa Music Seminar in Japan.
Cellist Sophie Shao received the Avery Fisher Career Grant at age nineteen, and has since performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is a winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky Competitions. Highlights of this season include opening night of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s season and performances with André Watts and Trio Cavatina. Shao recently collaborated with Howard Shore on his score for The Betrayal.