Hailed as a performer with “intelligent musicianship…showing maturity above the rest,” Rebekah Alexander is a strong advocate of contemporary music, premiering works with Guerilla Opera, Time’s Arrow Ensemble, the Studio for New Music Ensemble, ALEA III, Boston Chance Orchestra, Boston University, and New England Conservatory. As part of the stunning Lorelei Ensemble, Rebekah recorded and performed the 2015 premiere of Kati Agocs' Debrecen Passion with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. In July 2012, she was invited to the soundSCAPE festival in Italy to work with renowned contemporary soprano Tony Arnold and to premiere Building Fractures by Carter John Rice.
An avid recitalist, Rebekah toured the greater New England area during the 2012/2013 season with classical guitarist David McLellan, presenting an all-English program including repertoire by Britten, Berkeley, Dodgson, and Leisner that explored the journey of an artist rediscovering her inspiration. Rebekah has appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, L’Academie de Nice, Mountain View Festival of Song, Songfest, and Buckhill/Skytop Music Festival, working with renowned musicians Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Rudolf Jansen, Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles, and Sarah Walker.
This past June, Rebekah was invited to perform contemporary vocal works at the OZ Arts Modular Pod Showcase as well as collaborate with Chatterbird Ensemble to present "1972: II. Game 13) by Halldór Smárason.
Becky is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana where she began her dance training with the Jefferson Ballet Theatre. She studied both dance and the visual arts at Loyola University and the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. In 2001, she received her B.A. in Cultural Studies from the University of New Orleans. Upon moving to Nashville that same year, she taught high school physical science and chemistry for three years. In 2004, she studied contemporary dance at Tulane University in New Orleans. The following year, she attended the American Dance Festival to study both Cunningham and Release Technique. Shortly thereafter she became assistant to the director of StillPoint Dance Theatrein Nashville and performed with the company for seven years.
She began collaborating with Banning Bouldin and New Dialect in 2013, as a both a dancer and class instructor.
In the summer of 2015 she was invited to join the Francesca Harper Project in New York City with an open invitation to participate in projects with the company for the 2015/2016 season, and she also completed a pedagogy seminar on teaching ballet with "the Corvino approach" with Ernesta Corvino.
Flutist Arpi Anderson has been an active freelance performer in the Cincinnati area for over 15 years. She has played with many of the local orchestras and ensembles, including the Cincinnati Symphony and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestras. She is a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and performs regularly with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra in Germantown, TN.
Ms. Anderson holds degrees in performance from UCLA and has done graduate work in music theory and performance at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her major teachers have included Jack Wellbaum, Randy Bowman, Brad Garner, Sheridon Stokes, and Yaada Weber. Ms Anderson also has a wide variety of teaching experience, including private flute instruction, music theory and aural skills, and music history.
A native of San Francisco, Ms. Anderson is currently based in Cincinnati where she lives with her partner, pianist Joshua Nemith. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and practicing yoga.
Currently based in Chattanooga, cellist Heather Anderson teaches and performs as a chamber and orchestral musician. She performs frequently with the Chattanooga Symphony, as well as the Greenville and Oak Ridge Symphonies. She has served as principal cellist of the Orford Academy Orchestra in Quebec and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and has participated in the National Orchestral Institute and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
A passionate chamber musician, Heather has performed with chamber ensembles at various Chattanooga venues, including University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Lee University, Southern Adventist University, and Covenant College, as well as across the United States and in Montreal and Nîmes, France. In addition, she maintains a private cello studio in Chattanooga. Heather is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with David Ying of the Ying Quartet. A native of Minneapolis, MN, she also studied piano for over 10 years.
Jeff Bailey first performed with the Nashville Symphony in 1979. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 1981. His teachers include William Adam, Patrick McGuffey, Lou Ranger and Karl Zimmerman. Jeff has been a featured soloist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and he was a member of the Nashville Contemporary Brass Quintet for nine years.
He frequently performs with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra and is an active studio and freelance musician. A few of his record credits include Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Peter Cetera, Matchbox 20, Shelby Lynne, Billy Bob Thornton, Garth Brooks and the Neville Brothers. Jeff is married to principal second violinist Carolyn Wann Bailey and has two children, Elizabeth and Preston. His hobbies include cycling and motorcycles, and he is an avid caprine enthusiast.
Born in Hendersonville, TN, Preston has been playing the trumpet since he was 12 years old. After earning a Bachelor's of Performing Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University, Preston went to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and completed a Master's of Performing Arts. While at UMKC, Preston was a member of the Fellowship Brass Quintet, the first such brass group to exist at the university. As a member of the group, he was a finalist in the prestigious Coleman Chamber Music competition in 2010.
In January 2012, Preston began performing with the Nashville Symphony, sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Aretha Franklin, Miranda Lambert, Boyz II Men and many more. Beginning this Fall, Preston will resume his position as Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at MTSU. In addition to his symphonic work and private studio, Preston works regularly in recording studios throughout Nashville.
As a piano student at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Marie Bernard was irresistibly attracted to the bewitching sonority of the Ondes Martenot. Her passion for her new favored instrument led her to obtain a First Prize at the Conservatoire in the Ondes Martenot competition of 1978.
From the early 1970s, her collaboration in recording sessions with composer and orchestrator François Dompierre was determining in her embracing composition, orchestration, and conducting for theatre, television, film, and recording projects. Her creations and musical productions have earned her several prizes and awards. Throughout her career, Marie has initiated as many projects as she could to include the Ondes. She has been a member of the Montreal Ondes Ensemble and was often invited as a guest ondist with many performers and popular groups from Québec.
Song writer and composer, Marie has written numerous important choral works such as La Petite Suite Québécoise, a piece that has become a classic amongst francophone choirs and Vaste est la Vie for 2,300 choristers, an oratorio celebrating the new millennium, premiered in 2000.
In her last experimental work, 8 Haïkus Souffle Lumière, for large choir and three ondes Martenot, the voices of the Ondes and of the voices of the singers are intimately intertwined to create an astonishingly expressive mood.
Clarinetist Emily Bowland holds positions in the Nashville Opera Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Kentucky and is an active studio musician. Her recording credits include Jack White’s Grammy-nominated album “Blunderbuss” and The Lone Ranger (2013).
She received a BM from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and an MM from the University of Southern California. Her major teachers were Yehuda Gilad, Mitchell Lurie, and Richie Hawley.
She resides in Nashville with her husband, saxophonist Jimmy Bowland, and two children, Parker and Ila.
Originally from Memphis, critically acclaimed Contralto Gwendolyn Brown studied music at Fisk University, Nashville (where she is now Assistant Professor of Voice), the University of Memphis and the American Conservatory of Music, and participated in the young artist programs of Des Moines Metro Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has since performed for many of the top opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels. Earlier this year, she performed a tour de force of four contralto character roles for the Utah Festival Opera, including the Principessa in Suor Angelica, Queenie in Show Boat and Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Maria in Porgy and Bess.
She has performed her signature role of Maria in “Porgy and Bess” with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, New Orleans Opera and Washington National Opera as well as in Germany, Amsterdam and Brussels. Ms. Brown is a specialist in contemporary and avant guard compositions. Her recent performances in George Lewis’s new opera Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera were met with critical acclaim. She also created the lead role, Marie Laveau, in Anne LeBaron’s Crescent City for Los Angeles’ new opera company The Industry. An expert in American Negro spirituals, she was a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in its Beyond the Score project: Dvořák’s New World Symphony and has performed spirituals in recital as well as orchestrated presentations.
Taylor Brown is currently Principal Double Bass of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. Prior to his appointment to the CSO in 2012, Taylor was Principal Double Bass of the Youngstown (OH) Symphony Orchestra, and was a section member of the Canton (OH) and West Virginia Symphonies.
In addition to his orchestral and outreach work with the CSO, Taylor regularly performs with the Pittsburgh and Nashville Symphonies, has toured internationally with Barry Manilow, performed with Earth, Wind, and Fire, and is an active freelance session musician for wide-ranging commercial recording projects.
He serves on the faculty of Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts, and also maintains a private teaching studio in the Chattanooga area comprised of students of all ages and levels. Taylor works regularly with the bassists of the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestras and other area programs and schools, and has given masterclasses in both solo and orchestral performance at Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Duquesne University.
Strongly committed to empowering orchestral musicians and furthering the growth of regional orchestras, Taylor has served as a musicians’ representative on the board of directors of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, and as Chair of the CSO’s Orchestra and Negotiation Committees. Currently, he is both a Delegate and Executive Board Member-at-Large of the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA).
Taylor earned a Bachelor’s degree in Double Bass Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. His primary teachers were Jeffery Turner and Micah Howard of the Pittsburgh Symphony and John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Chris Butler received his BA bass performance from Michigan State University and his MM from Indiana University.
He has been a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 2007, and is now serving as Assistant Principal Bass.
Pianist Jihye Chang has appeared as soloist and collaborative artist in venues throughout the United States and abroad, and a strong devotion to new music has been a hallmark of her performing career. In 2008, Ms. Chang was chosen as the winner of the first annual Mikhashoff International Competition for Pianist-Composer Collaboration. She has premiered more than thirty new works, and has worked closely with composers John Harbison, George Perle, Ramon Zupko, Gunther Schuller, and Claude Baker, among others. She has also appeared in numerous new music festivals in academic institutions including Seoul National University and University of Louisville.
Together with violinist Benjamin Sung, she received a Recording Grant from the Aaron Copland Fund to record an album of works for violin and piano, which was released on the Albany Records label in 2013 to great critical acclaim. She has also recorded the music of Steve Rouse and Marc Satterwhite for Centaur.
Ms. Chang holds the degrees of Doctor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She received her Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Seoul National University. Recently she served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University's College of Music, and currently she is on the faculty of Brevard Music Center and Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy Aruba.
Kirsten Agresta Copely has performed extensively as a solo artist throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Israel, Japan, and the South Pacific. Known for her passionate performances and versatility, Kirsten commands a wide range of genres from classical to hip hop. She has been awarded top national and international prizes and honors, including the Bronze Medal in the prestigious 1989 USA International Harp Competition.
Kirsten debuted as concerto soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, where she has also performed numerous solo recitals. Following a feature in People Magazine, she was presented on segments of NBC, CBS, and ABC-TV and later made appearances on MTV, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, The Early Show, and the Today Show. She has played alongside artists such as Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, John Legend, The Roots, Frank Ocean, Enya, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood. She is featured on Erykah Badu's album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, and has recorded with Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, and Jennifer Nettles, among others.
Kirsten had the privilege of performing with Beyoncé for President & Mrs. Obama at the second official White House State Dinner, honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Kirsten received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Music in 2013.
Violinist Jennifer Curtis navigates with personality and truth in every piece she performs. Her second solo concert in Carnegie Hall was described by the New York Times as “one of the gutsiest and most individual recital programs,” and she was celebrated as “an artist of keen intelligence and taste, well worth watching out for.”
An improviser, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Jennifer is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and founder of the group Tres Americas Ensemble. She has appeared as a soloist with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela and the Knights Chamber Orchestra; performed in Romania in honor of George Enescu; given world premieres at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York; collaborated with composer John Adams at the Library of Congress; and appeared at El Festival de las Artes Esénias in Peru and festivals worldwide.
An educator with a focus on music as humanitarian aid, Jennifer has also collaborated with musical shamen of the Andes, improvised for live radio from the interior of the Amazon jungle, and taught and collaborated with Kurdish refugees in Turkey.
Jennifer joins the Haw River Ballroom’s Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, North Carolina as artist in residence this spring and will teach a course on the art of interpretation at Duke University next year. She plays on a 1777 Vincenzo Panormo.
Rachel Drehmann is a New York City based French horn player and has appeared as a soloist with Berkshire Bach Society, Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and Burlington Chamber Orchestra. She performs with the American Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, and Argento Chamber Ensemble.
She served as the horn player for the Love This Giant tour with pop/rock icons David Byrne and St. Vincent on a whirlwind year-long tour playing shows all around the world. Rachel has recorded and shared the stage with Shakira, Kanye West, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Danny Harrison, Frank Ocean, and Bruce Springsteen. Her radio and television appearances have included NPR, David Letterman, Colbert Report and Jimmy Fallon. As a freelancer in New York, Rachel enjoys playing a wide range of styles and can be heard in numerous Broadway pits, Shakespeare in the Park, and is a member of Banda de Los Muertos.
Perhaps closest to her heart is Genghis Barbie, NYC's leading post post-feminist feminist all-female pop French horn experience, with whom she is a founding member. Since 2010, the group has recorded 4 studio albums and premiered a concerto for four horns at Carnegie Hall with the NY Youth Symphony. She enjoys teaching and performing at universities around the US.
Alicia Enstrom has recently returned to Nashville after touring the world for nearly ten years. Four and a half of those years was spent as the solo violinist/electric violinist for Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam. Prior to that she was the featured violinist with Cirque du Soleil’s holiday special, Wintuk, at the Madison Square Garden Theatre.
In 2010, she was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was chosen to be Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra. She was also chosen as Concertmaster/Leader of the Tanglewood Conductorless String Orchestra. Further, Alicia attended the Brevard Music Center and was selected as Concertmaster under Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor, where she was soloist in Stravinsky's Pulcinella.
From 2005 to 2008, Alicia performed on stages throughout the world as the lead violinist/fiddler, vocalist, pianist and dancer with the International Violin Show, Barrage. She was a featured soloist in both Barrage’s High Strung stage show, CD and DVD as well as their holiday album, Winter’s Tale. In addition, she can be seen in a Barrage TV Special for the Bravo! Network Canada. Prior to Barrage, she attended the Henry Mancini Institute.
Originally from Kansas, Alicia graduated from Vanderbilt University magna cum laude with a degree in Music Performance and a minor in Organizational Development, studying both fiddle and jazz in addition to her classical studies as a student of Christian Teal.
Alan Fey is a classically-trained percussionist (and conductor) who specializes in solo and chamber music. Based in Nashville, his primary focus is on the creation of new music, having been involved in the commissioning and world premieres of more than 12 works in just the last 4 years. Alan has performed in spaces ranging from the Zeitgeist Art Gallery to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and from conundrum music hall in Columbia, SC to Millennium Park in Chicago to Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition to live performances, Alan has contributed to sessions in Nashville and can be heard on the final track of Music for the Soul’s Dignity album.
Alan studied primarily with Chris Norton at Belmont University, where he earned his Bachelor & Master of Music degrees in percussion performance from Belmont University. He spent a year in Dresden studying with Bernhard Schmidt, timpanist with the Dresdner Staatskapelle at the Hochscule für Musik. Alan has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and eighth blackbird, as a concerto soloist with the Nashville Philharmonic and Belmont Symphony Orchestras, in various chamber settings, and frequently as a soloist throughout the southeast. He has performed under conductors Giancarlo Guerrero, Hartmut Haenchen, Ekkehard Klemm, Kelly Corcoran, and Chris Norton.
Ben Green attended Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts while also training at Bunker Dance Center, where he began studying under Peter Chu. He then moved to Israel to train with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company MASA Program. While there he performed works by Ohad Naharin, Rami Be'er, and Mats Ek.
He has also participated in intensives with Batsheva Dance Company, Tom Weinberger, Johannes Weiland, Roger Van der Poel (NDT), and Sasha Waltz & Guests. He is excited to be working with New Dialect for the 2015/16 Season.
Oboist Jared Hauser has been described as “melodious and spontaneous” by ArtsNash, and as a “sensitive, elegant soloist” with a “subtle refined style” by Gramaphone Magazine. Appointed to the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Hauser maintains an international performing stature, concertizing at home and abroad. Upcoming appearances include performances across the eastern United States and at the Berlin Philharmonie.
A great proponent of new music, Hauser has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works by many of today’s brightest composers. Recent collaborations include the premier of Monk’s Oboe by Libby Larsen, Stan Link’s Dispatches from Devereux Slough, and consortium premier of Crossroads by John Harbison.
Hauser’s orchestral credits include a seven-year tenure as principal oboe of the Orlando Philharmonic, as well as appearances as guest principal with the Orchestra Camerata Ducale (Turin, Italy), the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Atlanta and Houston; as well as performances with many of the nation’s finest orchestras including the Nashville Symphony.
Jun Iwasaki was appointed concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero at the beginning of the 2011/12 season. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s prestigious Concertmaster Academy, he has been hailed for his combination of dazzling technique and lyrical musicianship. In a review of Iwasaki’s performance at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Fort Worth Star Telegram called him “the magician of the evening. He could reach into his violin and pull out bouquets of sound, then reach behind your ear and touch your soul.”
Prior joining the Nashville Symphony, Iwasaki served as concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony from 2007-11, and he performed with that ensemble at the first annual Spring For Music Festival in 2011. Throughout his career, he has appeared with numerous other orchestras, including the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Rome (Georgia) Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, Canton Symphony, Richardson Symphony, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. In addition, he has served as guest concertmaster of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2015, Santa Barbara Symphony in 2010 and National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa in 2006. He served in the same position with the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra from 2005-07.
In addition to teaching at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, Iwasaki is the artistic director of Portland Summer Ensembles in Portland, Oregon, a workshop for young musicians focusing on chamber music.
Matt is currently the Concert Percussion Marketing Manager for Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments, and Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Middle Tennessee State University. He has completed all coursework for the Doctor of Music degree from the Florida State University, has completed a Master's Degree from the University of North Texas, as well as a Bachelor's Degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He is also currently the front ensemble arranger for Music City Mystique and the assistant music ensemble coordinator for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Matt has also taught and arranged for numerous other groups throughout the world, including Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps (2015), Phantom Regiment (2011-2014), Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps (2007-2010), Max Percussion (Bangkok, Thailand), Bangkok Society Drumline, Franklin High School, and Father Ryan High School.
Matt performs regularly with the Nashville Symphony, and has previously performed with the Tallahassee Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tennessee Philharmonic. While at UNT, Matt performed with the world-renowned University of North Texas Wind Symphony, as well as the 1 O'Clock and 2 O'Clock Lab Bands. Matt also travels abroad frequently, having performed in Mexico, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan. In the summer of 2010 he traveled to Ghana in West Africa to study Ewe drumming.
Matt is a proud artist and clinician for Pearl/Adams instruments, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, and Evans Drumheads.
Ji Hye Jung is Associate Professor of Percussion at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and principal percussionist with the west coast-based chamber music ensemble Camerata Pacifica. An advocate for new music, she has commissioned works by Kevin Puts, Alehandro Viñao, Lukas Ligeti, Paul Lansky, Jason Treuting, Michael Torke, David Bruce, Huang Ruo, and John Serry.
Ms. Jung garnered consecutive first prizes at the 2006 Linz International Marimba Competition and the 2007 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition while completing 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.
As an artist endorser, she proudly represents Pearl/Adams instruments, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.
Praised for her thoughtful and compelling musical interpretations, cellist Christine Kim has performed in concert series throughout North America and Europe, including Da Camera of Houston, the Foundation for Modern Music, the International Holland Music Sessions, and the Curaçao Summer Music Festival. Since moving to Tennessee in 2011, she has played regularly with ensembles throughout the region, including the Nashville Opera, the IRIS Orchestra, the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and the Stones River Chamber Players. She also appears regularly as a Baroque cellist, and has played with Music City Baroque, Ensemble 1720, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.
Christine is currently Assistant Professor of Cello at Middle Tennessee State University, where she works with both undergraduate and graduate students. She maintains a large private studio and is a sought after guest clinician. She has taught for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Tennessee Valley Music Festival, the Tennessee Cello Workshop, and the ETHOS Music Ensembles. Before joining the MTSU music faculty, she taught at Luther College and Rice University. Her students have attended festivals, masterclasses, and graduate programs throughout the United States and Europe.
Christine holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and Rice University. Her principal teachers include Hans Jørgen Jensen, Paul Katz, and Norman Fischer.
A native of South Korea, Eunbyol Ko has been praised for her artistry and intelligence as a soloist and chamber musician. She maintains an active international career, with performances in Canada, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, China, South Korea, and the United States. As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with the Kyungwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queen City Chamber Orchestra, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. She is a prize-winner in numerous national and international competitions.
A dedicated chamber musician, Ko has performed with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic. She has also served as a chamber music coach for the Starling String Project and has been the official collaborative pianist for the Young-Pyong International Clarinet Festival in South Korea, the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Austria, and the Great Wall International Music Academy in China. /p>
Ko is currently on the piano faculty at Middle Tennessee State University. Her students have been the recipients of numerous national and international awards, including MTNA state and regional competitions, the National YoungArts Competition, and the Dayton Philharmonic Competition. She also maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator, presenter, and masterclass teacher.
Ko received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Masters degree in Piano from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Neil Konouchi is a freelance tuba player based in Nashville, TN. He has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Jack White, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Michael W. Smith. As an orchestral musician, Neil serves as principal tubist for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and is a regular substitute/extra with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He appears with the NSO on Naxos recordings 8.570716 (Pictures at an Exhibition) and 8.559678 (Morning’s Embrace). Neil is a founding member of Halfbrass and a touring member of Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band.
Prior to relocating to Nashville, Neil played tuba and bass trombone as a cast member in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. He attended the University of Southern California where he studied with legendary studio musicians Tommy Johnson and Jim Self and later finished his degree at Berklee College of Music.
Aside from performing, Neil is an experienced music educator, clinician, and adjudicator. He currently serves on the design team and as brass caption head for Father Ryan High School (Nashville, TN).
Carl Larson, violist, hails from Louisville, KY where he was a young participant in the Suzuki Viola Method. He maintains an active performing career as a member of symphony, chamber, opera, and ballet orchestras in New York, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, and the Dominican Republic.
Carl has also been a part of North American tours with San Francisco's JazzMafia, Deltron 3030, Barry Manilow, and many Nashville artists. Summer engagements include performing at the Endless Mountain, Montreal Jazz, Artosphere, Bard, Interlochen, Aspen, and New Hampshire festivals as well as chamber music festivals in France and the Czech Republic with the Manhattan String Quartet. He holds degrees in Mathematics and Viola Performance, and studied with Catharine Carroll and Masao Kawasaki at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Carl is also actively involved with the Miami, Cincinnati, and Nashville chapters of Classical Revolution, a project which seeks to revolutionize the way live classical music is programmed and heard by offering chamber music performances in highly accessible venues such as bars and cafés, and collaborating with local musicians and artists from various styles and backgrounds.
Estelle Lemire graduated from the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montréal after extensive musical studies. A student of Jean Laurendeau, she was awarded a First Prize in Ondes Martenot performance in 1988 and studied composition under Gilles Tremblay, receiving a First Prize in composition in 1991.
Soloist and chamber music player, Estelle has performed for contemporary music ensembles, orchestras and festivals in Canada and the United States. In addition to playing staple works from the Ondes repertoire, including all Messiaen’s pieces, Honneger, Jolivet, Milhaud, Varèse, Murail, Vivier, Tremblay, Estelle gave the premiere performances of several new works by contemporary composers. Her recordings include a solo album, a Wyschnegradsky project on SNE label and a Messiaen CD with the Ensemble d’Ondes de Montréal for the ATMA label.
Estelle has recently been appointed Ondes Martenot teacher at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, reopening the only class of its kind in North America. As a composer, her catalogue numbers more than fifty works, among which, Miniatures for string quartet represented Canada at the UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers, Alternance for 2 pianos in quarter tones, Madrigal for small ensemble and electroacoustic, Materia prima for ondes and gamelan, Mémoire/Éclaircie for large ensemble and Dunes for orchestra.
JEFF LISENBY music directed, arranged, and performed in the Broadway version of RING OF FIRE, played keyboards on the Cast album, and was in many subsequent versions of the show, as well as on the Today Show. Jef was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2012 as music director.
Lisenby has played keyboards with the touring shows of: WICKED, CITY OF ANGELS, and JERSEY BOYS, and has accompanied: Brenda Lee, Pavarotti, Chip Esten, Blake Shelton, Mel Tormé, Dolly Parton, Lee Greenwood, and Donna Summer. He has also been blessed to get to play in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Ryman Auditorium.
Jeff has won silver and bronze medals for the U.S. in two international classical accordion championships. He currently works with the singers on cruise ship production shows, so he gets to travel all over the world doing what he loves. Jef also teaches adjunct in the School of Music at Belmont University, and plays keyboards on many Nashville recordings, including the Grammy-winning CD: Songs from the Neighborhood—the music of Mister Rogers, and his own A Spy in Tortuga (jazz accordion with a band) and Walkin’ The Winter Wonderland (solo piano holiday music).
Zhou Long is internationally recognized for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. His creative vision has resulted in a new music that stretches Western instruments eastward and Chinese instruments westward, achieving an exciting and fertile common ground. In 2011, Zhou Long was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his first opera, Madame White Sake. In their citation the jurors described the work as 'a deeply expressive opera that draws on a Chinese folk tale to blend the musical traditions of the East and the West.' He has been awarded 2012-2013 Elise Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the largest prize devoted to chamber music composition and is presented every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the field. Dr. Zhou holds degrees from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and Columbia University in the City of New York. He has served as Resident Composer of the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, and is currently Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance in the USA.
David Loucky, Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at Middle Tennessee State University, is widely known as a low brass specialist. A faculty member at MTSU since 1989, he also performed for two seasons as Assistant Principal Trombonist with the St. Louis Symphony. He has performed or recorded with Ben Folds, Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Gladys Knight, Trey Anastasio, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Stones River Chamber Players, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, the MTSU Faculty Brass Quintet and many others.
Loucky earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, a Master of Music from Yale School of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He pursued additional studies in Cologne, Germany and Vienna, Austria in both classical and jazz traditions.
Loucky has commissioned and premiered many chamber and solo pieces for trombone and euphonium. His performances of contemporary solos for trombone are well-known, notably those of Luciano Berio, David Amram, Jacob Druckman, Folke Rabe and others.
Christina has been a featured performer at the Kennedy Center, the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, New York City’s Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and Bargemusic, and at various venues throughout the US, Korea, El Salvador, and Europe. She has also performed concertos with orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony, Musica Bella Orchestra in New York, the Moldovan Chamber Orchestra, the National Chamber Orchestra in Washington D.C., Ohio University New Music Ensemble, and the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony in Russia.
Christina holds both BM and MM in violin performance from The Juilliard School where she was accepted with Presidential Distinction. Her principal teachers include Ronald Copes, Victor Danchenko, Robert Mann, and Donald Weilerstein. Christina is currently a doctoral candidate at SUNY Stony Brook under the guidance of Soovin Kim, Philip Setzer, and Hagai Shaham.
Christina has been on faculty at Brooklyn College Preparatory, coached chamber music as a graduate assistant at SUNY-Purchase, served as Artist in Residence at Ohio University School of Music, in addition to maintaining a private studio. Christina is currently Adjunct Artist Teacher of Violin at the Blair School at Vanderbilt University.
Photo Credit Beowulf Sheehan
Rosemarie grew up in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She began her intensive dance education in 2005 at The Institute of Dancing Arts under Diane Revie. Rosemarie performed with the Institute’s company, Southwest Ballet Theatre, in and around the Western Slope for four years. In 2009, she became a Mentor/Apprentice with ARC Dance Company in Seattle, WA. In the company’s Summer Dance at the Center performances, Rosemarie was a featured soloist, premiering in a new work by Penny Hutchinson of Mark Morris Dance Group.
She moved to Nashville in 2011 to join Nashville Ballet 2 Training Division where she began studying with Banning Bouldin. Rosemarie performed in Ritual—Bouldin’s site-specific work created for the Nashville Ballet 2 during the 100th Anniversary of Shelby Park in October 2012—as well as the premiere of New Dialect's MultiLingual at OZ Nashville in August 2014, Belinda McGuire's creation Incorporeus in December 2014, New Dialect's Murmuration in March 2015 and Trisha Brown’s “Planes” installation in May 2015.
In the fall of 2014 Rosemarie was invited to participate in New Dialect's Choreographers LAB series. During her three week residency, she worked with our company members to create a new ensemble work, Turns to Blue, which was partly inspired by the visual art of Wassily Kandinsky, the German abstract expressionist. Turns to Blue premiered at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts on November 16, 2014, during the Center's Kandinsky retrospective.
In the summer of 2015, Rosemarie was one of six choreographers chosen to participate in the San Francisco Conservatory's choreographic summer residency.
San Diego based clarinetist Curt Dallace Miller specializes in the performance of contemporary chamber music. A frequent collaborator with composers, Curt has performed in dozens of premieres and worked with established composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, Rebecca Saunders, Roger Reynolds and Lewis Nielson on performances of their solo and chamber ensemble works. He has performed internationally in ensembles and as soloist at venues such as the Lucerne Festival, Harvard's Fromm Players series, Monday Evening Concerts and wasteLAnd.
As member of the trio Ensemble et cetera he has begun to expand the repertoire for clarinet, double bass, and percussion through commissions and realizations of works for open instrumentation. Through his more recent interest in electronics and sound installation Curt works with visual artist Nichole Speciale on installations which reference and extend drawing and painting through sound and video.
Violinist Victoria Moreira, founding member of the Kaia String Quartet, has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia and South America. First Prizewinner of Viva El Tango Agustin Carlevaro Competition and Music Director of the American Tango Institute, Moreira’s diverse musical background keeps her involved internationally in the Tango scene.
Moreira is a faculty member at DePaul University Community Music Division and has a private studio in the Chicago area. Some of her educational projects include Tango workshops for violinists at Old Town School of Folk Music, outreach concerts of Tango and Latin American Music through Evanston in School Music Association, collaborations with Ravinia Festival and outreach workshops with Promotora de las Bellas Artes in Mexico.
Moreira studied at Escuela Universitaria de Musica, Montevideo Uruguay under Jorge Risi, received her Bachelor of Music at Roosevelt University under Vadim Gluzman and her Master of Music and Artist Certificate at DePaul University under Ilya Kaler. She also did a residency at Northern Illinois University with the Kaia String Quartet under the tutelage of the Avalon String Quartet.
Emma began her dance training at the Franklin School of Performing Arts. Over the years, she has trained with, and was awarded scholarships to BalletMET in Columbus, Ohio, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In June and July of 2013, she participated in the American Dance Festival's 80th anniversary season, where she trained with teachers and choreographers such as Pamela Pietro, Jesse Zarritt, and Michelle Gibson. She was one of 16 dancers chosen to perform in an original work Treefrog in Stonehenge set by Twyla Tharp for the anniversary. After returning to Nashville, Emma began training with New Dialect's artistic director, Banning Bouldin. She began rehearsing with New Dialect in August of 2013.
Nashville native Tim Pearson performs regularly with the Nashville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, IRIS Orchestra and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. As instructor of double bass at MTSU, he performs with the Stones River Chamber Players and recently premiered the “Iberian Concerto for Double Bass and Wind Ensemble” by Spanish composer Jesus Santandreu.
Tim earned degrees from the University of Memphis and Indiana University and did additional studies with Bruce Bransby and Paul Ellison. Tim resides in Nashville with his wife, pianist Megan Gale.
Gil Perel joined the Nashville Symphony in September of 2003 at the request of then music director, Kenneth Schermerhorn. Gil studied at Boston University with Gregg Henegar, Richard Ranti, and Richard Svoboda.
Before coming to Nashville, he was the Principal Bassoon of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under the direction of Claudio Abbado. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Symphony and other various orchestras in the Boston area.
A Wisconsin native, Becca began dancing at age four and attended the Makaroff School of Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet School, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, and the UNC School of the Arts. She worked as an apprentice with the Montgomery Ballet before moving to Nashville to work as a second company member at Nashville Ballet. There, she began work with Banning Bouldin and joined New Dialect in June 2013.
Becca participated in Springboard Danse Montreal as well as the Netherlands Dance Theatre intensive in 2014. She assisted Bouldin at Springboard 2015 and participated in the chuthis Movement Intensive.
She has performed works by Alex Ketley, Peter Chu, Léon & Lightfoot, Marco Goecke, Belinda McGuire, Fernando Melo, and Katharine Hawthorne.
Sarah began her early dance training in North Carolina, studying ballet and contemporary technique with Rossana Gahagan, Dara Gasper, and Miguel Campaneria. From 2007-2010 she performed with the Carolina Ballet in The Nutcracker, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and many other ballets. In 2011, she joined Nashville Ballet 2 and performed in productions such as Pequita, Coppelia, and Nashville Ballet's Nutcracker. Sarah has studied contemporary dance technique and improvisation with Bouldin since 2011 and joined New Dialect in 2012.
In a recent review, Fanfare Magazine (Nov./Dec. 2014) stated that Michael Samis’s playing places him “in the very highest echelon of the world’s living cellists.” He is recognized for his “golden tone and commanding technique (Nashville Scene), “haunting” tone (The Cincinnati Post) and “shining and expressive” playing (The Tennessean). In 2013, he gave what was likely the U.S. premiere of Carl Reinecke’s Romantic-era Cello Concerto with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, which set the stage for his debut solo album on the Delos label, released in 2014.
Other career highlights include performing as Principal Cellist under Helmuth Rilling, at Carnegie
Hall with the New York String Orchestra, and at the Sarasota and Kent/Blossom chamber music
festivals. He has performed in music festivals around the world, including the Pacific Music Festival
in Japan, where he sat Principal Cello under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas.
Photo Credit Dean Dixon
Latin Grammy nominated composer Cristina Spinei (b. 1984) is in demand from choreographers, film directors, and musicians. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Bohemian Trio, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Denison University Orchestra, Ebony Strings Quartet, Écouter Ensemble, ETA3 Trio, Gallim Dance, Golden Hornet Project, Kathleen Dyer Dance NY, London Central School, Mary Seidman and Keystone Dancers, the Metropolis Ensemble, MuSE, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay OSSODRE, New York Chamber Music Festival, New York Choreographic Institute, New York Piano Quartet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, St. Johnʼs Church, St. Michel Strings, and Treetops Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Spinei is the recipient of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Grant for Composition, two Composer Assistance Awards from the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts composition grant, and the New York State Council on the Arts composition grant.
As a co-founder of the group Blind Ear, Ms. Spinei produces interdisciplinary concerts that fuse
new technology with contemporary music. Ms. Spinei received her BM and MM in composition from the Juilliard School where she studied
with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Christopher Rouse.
Rebecca is originally from Danvers, Massachusetts. She received her BFA in Dance and BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2013. Upon graduation she lived in Israel and danced in Vertigo Dance Company's International Training Program. Through her training Rebecca has had the opportunity to perform works by Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Inbal Pinto, Noa Wertheim, Roy Assaf, and Noa Zuk.
Rebecca was a freelance artist in New York before joining New Dialect in August 2015.
Born in Willingboro, New Jersey, Irving Steinberg grew up in San Francisco, California and started studying the double bass in the public school system. He received his bachelor's degree in music from the University of California at Berkeley and his master of music degree from Boston University. Mr. Steinberg is currently a freelance musician and teacher. His instructors include Charles Siani, Brian Marcus, Edwin Barker, George Neikrug, Todd Seeber, and Jim Orleans. He has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Acting Principal and Assistant Principal), Emmanuel Music, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Ballet, Alea III., Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, Cape Symphony Orchestra (Principal), Indian Hill Symphony, and the Nashua Symphony Orchestra (Principal). Twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center ('97 - '98), he has also participated in the 11th New Music Festival Sound Ways, in St. Petersburg, Russia ('99), New Hampshire Music Festival ('99 2000), Spoleto Festival USA ('95 - '98, 2000), Hot Springs Music Festival ('97), Opera North ('96), Festival Dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Italy ('95), Aspen Music Festival ('87), and the Hidden Valley Music Camp ('85).
Tina Tallon (b. 1990) is a San Diego-area composer, soprano, improviser, and computer musician currently pursing her Ph.D. in composition at the University of California, San Diego. Born and raised in Pasadena, MD, she began playing the piano at age four and the violin at seven, although she received no formal training in composition or theory until late in her undergraduate studies at MIT, where she studied biological engineering and spent time researching the biomolecular bases of pancreatic cancer and endometriosis.
Tina is active as not only a composer and passionate advocate for new music, but also as a vocalist, freelance violinist, arts administrator, educator, and arts documentarian. She began singing in 2008, and received an MIT Emerson Scholarship to study voice in 2010. She frequently performed as a soloist with the MIT Chamber Chorus and Concert Choir, and has performed with Bang On A Can, Collage New Music, and kallisti Opera. Additionally, she interned with the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, served as Assistant to the Artistic Director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), and is now general manager of the Fresh Sound Music series. In 2015, she founded SALT Arts Documentation, which specializes in providing high-quality photography and videography of music, theater, and dance performances. Academically, her research interests include the relationship between somaesthetics and music cognition, virtual tactility, computational modeling of energetic relationships between various musical parameters based upon Newtonian mechanics, development of software for spectral analysis and composition, algorithmic composition, and computational approaches to musicological inquiry. After graduating, she was hired by the MIT music department to develop curriculum for a class in computational musicology to be taught by associate professor Michael Scott Cuthbert, under whom she also served as a research assistant and programmer for the music21 computer-aided musicology project.
Tina holds S. B. degrees in Biological Engineering and Music from MIT, and an M.F.A in Composition and Music Theory from Brandeis University. Her primary teachers include Peter Child, David Rakowski, and Lei Liang.
Nashville-based flutist Celine Thackston is a versatile musician, delivering expressive, sensitive performances that blur the traditional boundaries of classical music. She has performed often with a wide array of ensembles from traditional to the avant-garde, including the New York New Music Ensemble, Pocket Opera Players, Opera Theater Oregon, Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Classical Revolution, Filmusik, and Salem Chamber Orchestra, among others. She has a special interest in creating musical experiences that emphasize the accessibility and vitality of both contemporary and traditional classical music, and serves as the Founder and Artistic Director of chatterbird. In the 2016/17 school year, Celine is a visiting Adjunct Professor of Flute at Middle Tennessee State University, where she teaches flute lessons, masterclasses, and performs with the Stones River Chamber Players.
In addition to her work as a flutist, Celine is a skilled grant writer. She coordinates grant writing efforts for the Nashville Symphony and provides expertise and assistance to nonprofit organizations as a grant writing consultant.
Celine completed her doctorate in flute performance from the University of Oregon, where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and studied with Molly Barth, founding flutist of eighth blackbird. She received her master’s degree in flute performance from New York University as a student of revolutionary flutist Robert Dick. She has since served on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University, and has been a teaching artist and clinician for workshops around the United States. Hailed for her unconventional, fun approach to learning, she has maintained a competitive private studio since 2005.
W. Lee Vinson is a freelance percussionist based in Nashville, Tennessee. For four seasons, from 2007 through 2011, he was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and from 2000 to 2004 served as a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. Mr. Vinson holds a bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of John Beck, and has done graduate study at Boston University. He also attended summer music festivals at Interlochen, Tanglewood, and the Brevard Music Center.
Since leaving Boston, Mr. Vinson has maintained an active performing schedule including appearances as an extra percussionist with the orchestras of Detroit, Toronto, Houston, Colorado, Kansas City, and Nashville. A dedicated music educator, Mr. Vinson was a guest lecturer at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York during the 2014 – 2015 academic year while also serving on the music faculty of the University of Kansas in an adjunct capacity. He was previously a faculty member at Boston University, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Interlochen Arts Camp.
An avid snare drum historian, Mr. Vinson maintains a collection of greater than sixty antique instruments, more than forty of which were manufactured in Boston dating from the 1860s through the 1930s.
W. Lee Vinson is a performing artist and clinician for Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Malletech LLC. Mr. Vinson is originally from Auburn, Alabama.
Lawson White is a percussionist, record producer, and Founder and President of Good Child Music. His recording studio is a part of Studio G Brooklyn, in Brooklyn, NY. A former member of So Percussion and Alarm Will Sound, Lawson has worked with artists such as Chromeo, Matmos, Zakir Hussain, Shugo Tokumaru, Grand Ole Opry star Connie Smith, and percussionist Robert van Sice. He has been a regular with orchestras such as the Nashville Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Alabama Symphony.
As a producer, engineer or arranger, Lawson’s production work and recording studio is central to the thriving new music scene in New York City. He has produced recordings for David Lang, So Percussion, Bryce Dessner (The National), Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Alarm Will Sound, Missy Mazzoli and Victoire, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Ted Hearne, Zeena Parkins, William Brittelle, Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and has worked with composers Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, John Zorn, Philippe Manoury, and Benedict Mason.
Originally from Nashville, Lawson is the son of Nashville drummer and songwriter Wayne White. He has a BM in Music Performance and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and an MM in Music Performance from Yale University.
Marie Winget began her musical studies in the public schools of Peoria, Il. She then attended Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. in Economics. After working in the business world for a few years, the pull of music led her to pursue a Masters in Music from Northern Illinois University, working as the graduate assistant to Richard Young of the Vermeer Quartet. Other teachers have included Rami Solomonow, Robert Swan, Li-Quo Chang, Burton Kaplan, and Roland Vamos. She held the position of Assistant Principal Viola of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra from 1997-2005 and also has performed with the Nashville, Richmond and Milwaukee Ballet Orchestras.
An active chamber musician, she has collaborated with musicians from the southeast as well as the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera, and has participated in the Colorado Music Festival, Penninsula Music Festival, and the Foothills Chamber Music Festival. When not playing the viola, Marie loves to be in the out-of-doors, enjoying such activities as hiking, mountain-biking, skiing, tennis, and running.
Julia Wolfe, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in music, draws inspiration from folk, classical, and rock genres, bringing a modern sensibility to each while simultaneously tearing down the walls between them.
Her Pulitzer-winning concert-length oratorio, Anthracite Fields for chorus and instruments, draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, and more to honor the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal region.
Wolfe's music is distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the audience. She has written a major body of work for strings, from quartets to full orchestra. Her quartets, as described by The New Yorker, "combine the violent forward drive of rock music with an aura of minimalist serenity [using] the four instruments as a big guitar, whipping psychedelic states of mind into frenzied and ecstatic climaxes."
Written shortly after September 11, 2001, her string quartet concerto My Beautiful Scream, written for Kronos Quartet and the Orchestre National de France and premiered in the U.S. at the Cabrillo Festival under the direction of Marin Alsop, was inspired by the idea of a slow-motion scream.
The influence of pop culture can be heard in many of Wolfe's works, including Lick and Believing for the Bang on a Can all-Stars. Lick, based on fragments of funk, has become a manifesto for the new generation of pop-influenced composers.
Her music has been heard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, LG Arts Center (South Korea), the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Settembre Musica (Italy), Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and has been recorded on Cantaloupe Music, Teldec, Point/Universal, Sony Classical, and Argo/Decca. In 2009 Wolfe joined the NYU Steinhardt School composition faculty. She is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can.
As a distinguished professor at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, a prolific composer, and recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dr. Chen Yi blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music is published by Theodore Presser, performed and recorded worldwide. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she holds academic degrees from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and Columbia University in the City of New York. A cultural ambassador and a strong advocate of new music, American composers, Asian composers and women in music, Dr. Chen has introduced hundreds of new music compositions and many musicians from the East and West to music and education exchange programs in the US, Europe and Asia. She believes that music is a universal language, improving understanding between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and helping to bring peace in the world.