Press Release

Philadelphia Music Project Awards Grants to 23 Local Music Organizations

  • April 18, 2006

About

Music lovers throughout the Philadelphia region will soon enjoy some of the area's most ambitious and artistically significant programming to date, as the Philadelphia Music Project announces its 2006 grant recipients. The awards to 23 local music organizations range from $4,700 to Chamber Music Now to $80,000 to both the Painted Bride Art Center and Temple University, for a total of $875,860. They will result in 191 concerts and residency programs, encompassing traditional and contemporary forms of classical, jazz, and world/folk music. The Philadelphia Music Project—one of seven artistic initiatives of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts—has underwritten 220 projects with support exceeding $9.1 million since its inception in 1989.

“PMP has awarded its largest ever number of project grants in 2006, supporting an astounding breadth of musical expression,” noted Philadelphia Music Project director Matthew Levy. “Funded projects range from the exploration of Renaissance wind consort repertoire to a computer composition that processes live musical performance in examination of evolutionary theory. Newly produced multimedia works by Gavin Bryars and Terry Riley and a rarely performed opera by Hector Berlioz bring sweeping drama to the upcoming season. Season-long projects also examine the legacies of Hungarian composer György Ligeti and Philadelphia jazz icon John Coltrane, who both, in their way, shaped the course of twentieth century music.”

PMP grants will be used to commission some of the nation's most distinguished composers, including Zhou Long, Shulamit Ran, Tania León, Arturo O'Farrill, and Mark O'Connor. Programs will also feature premieres of works by prominent local composers, such as Jennifer Higdon, Richard Wernick, Robert Capanna, Mogauwane Mahloele, John Blake, and Andrea Clearfield. In all, 35 new works drawing on cultural influences from the Far East to Africa to the Americas will be offered first to Philadelphia audiences.

“These awards enable grantees to fully realize their curatorial visions and produce a wide range of adventurous, compelling programs that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Greater Philadelphia,” said Marian Godfrey, Director of Culture and Civic Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Grant recipients are:

  • Academy of Vocal Arts: $60,000 
  • American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter: $20,000 
  • Center City Opera Theater: $30,000 
  • Chamber Music Now: $4,700 
  • Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia: $30,000 
  • Curtis Institute of Music: $33,000 
  • International House Philadelphia: $30,000 
  • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts: $60,000 
  • Latin Fiesta: $30,000 
  • Montgomery County Community College: $30,000 
  • Network for New Music: $60,000 
  • Orchestra 2001: $30,000 
  • Painted Bride Art Center: $80,000 
  • Philadelphia Chamber Music Society: $60,000 
  • Philadelphia Folklore Project: $30,000 
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: $30,000 
  • Piffaro, The Renaissance Band: $30,000 
  • Relâche: $30,000 
  • Sruti, The India Music & Dance Society: $24,500 
  • Strings for Schools: $40,000 
  • Tempesta di Mare: $30,000 
  • Temple University: $80,000 
  • West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance: $23,660

The American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter; Center City Opera Theater; Chamber Music Now; Tempesta di Mare; Temple University; and the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance are first-time recipients of Philadelphia Music Project grants. Project summaries for each grant are attached and available at www.philadelphiamusicproject.org.

By the Numbers

This year's grants will result in:

  • 191 events, including the world premiere performances of 35 new works, 23 of which will be commissioned with support from PMP, U.S. premieres of 4 works, and regional premieres of 11 works; 
  • 89 public concerts encompassing 37 chamber music, 16 orchestral music, 2 choral music, 56 new music, 17 world/folk music, 16 jazz, 7 early music, 7 opera, 10 electronic/electro-acoustic, and 12 multi-media performances; 
  • 103 residency and educational activities; 
  • 409 local artists and 657 guest artists supported, including 40 guest ensembles; 
  • 36,000 live audience members in the five-county region; 
  • 2.9 million radio audience members through broadcasts on National Public Radio and Philadelphia's WRTI and WHYY.

Panelists

Philadelphia Music Project grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are selected by a panel of internationally recognized artists, scholars, and administrators with a broad knowledge of the field. A distinguished eight-member panel reviewed this year's applications (additional biographical information is available at www.philadelphiamusicproject.org):

  • Martha Gilmer (panel chair), Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; 
  • Ray Allen, Professor of Music and American Studies, Brooklyn College; 
  • Harolyn Blackwell, soprano, Metropolitan Opera, EMI, RCA-Victor, and Telarc recording artist; 
  • Michael Cain, pianist, Professor of Jazz Studies and Improvisation, New England Conservatory; 
  • Karen Chester, Founder and President, Sound Vision, Inc., former Director of Merkin Concert Hall; 
  • Lee Hyla, Professor of Composition, New England Conservatory of Music; 
  • Michael McCraw, bassoonist, Director, Early Music Institute, Indiana University; and 
  • Mark Shapiro, Artistic Director, Cantori New York.

The Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage (PCAH) is dedicated to assisting cultural organizations in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region in developing highquality public programs and effective management practices. PCAH is also the home of Dance Advance, Heritage Philadelphia Program, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, and Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. The Pew Charitable Trusts serves the public interest by providing information, policy solutions and support for civic life.

The University of the Arts is the nation's first and only university dedicated to the visual, performing, and communication arts. Its 2,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. Its history as a leader in educating creative individuals spans more than 125 years. www.uarts.edu

Project Summaries, 2006 Grantees

The Academy of Vocal Arts received $60,000 to support a concert performance of Hector Berlioz's rarely heard final opera, Beatrice et Benedict. Vocalists will include Evelyn Pollock (soprano), Ariya Sawadivong (soprano), Jennifer Hsiung (mezzo-soprano), Elspeth Kincaid (mezzo-soprano), and Stephen Costello (tenor).

The American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter, received $20,000 in support of Soundexchange 2007, a project bringing the composer/improviser Pauline Oliveros and her Deep Listening Ensemble to conduct artist workshops with Philadelphia composers and performers, and to present programs for the general public.

Center City Opera Theater was awarded $30,000 to present a new chamber orchestra version of Lowell Lieberman's The Picture of Dorian Gray. This will be the regional premiere of the opera, and just its third production since it was composed in 1996. The performances will be held in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Vocalists will include Justin Vickers (tenor), Jody Sheinbaum (soprano), Rachele Gilmore (soprano), David Schmidt (baritone), Graham Fandrei (baritone), and David Cushing (bass).

Chamber Music Now received $4,700 in support of The Cinematic Cello, a concert featuring local cellist Ovidiu Marinescu in a multimedia recital in which he will perform alongside video and electronic accompaniment. CMN will commission four world premieres for the concert, pairing local composers and filmmakers to produce collaborative compositions inspired by life in Philadelphia. The commissioned composers include Richard Belcastro, Andrea Clearfield, David Ludwig, and Paul Geissinger. Geissinger will produce his own film; the three other filmmakers will include Deron Albright, Ed Feldman, and Can Yegen.

Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia was awarded $30,000 to produce a program of symphonic choral music in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. This concert will celebrate CASP's 25th anniversary and will feature a major commission by renowned composer Roxanna Panufnik as well as Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2. Guest Artists will include Jacqueline Horner (soprano), Suzanne DuPlantis (mezzo-soprano), William Yeats (tenor), and Diane Meredith Belcher (organ).

The Curtis Institute of Music received $33,000 to fund the commissioning and world premiere of a new work by Eric Sessler – an organ concerto for Alan Morrison and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. The performance will use the new Dobson pipe organ in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, to be led by Mark Russell Smith, music director and conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.

The Kimmel Center Presents received $60,000 in support of its Fresh Ink series, featuring new music virtuosos in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Violinist Jennifer Koh will premiere a Jennifer Higdon piece co-commissioned by the Kimmel Center. eighth blackbird will present an intriguing program including recent works by Joseph Schwantner, Derek Bermel, David M. Gordon, and Steven Mackey. And the Kronos Quartet will make its Kimmel Center debut with a multimedia production of Terry Riley's “Sun Rings.” Each concert will conclude with an Artist Chat, and all of the performances will be recorded and broadcast on WRTI-FM.

International House Philadelphia was awarded $30,000 to present Seraphic Light, a year-long celebration honoring the oeuvre and 80th birthday of John Coltrane. This series seeks to commemorate and continue Coltrane's legacy through unique performances with Coltrane's former bandmates as well as those who continue to explore and celebrate the boundaries of jazz. Guest Artists will include Rova Orkestra: Ascension, with the Rova Saxophone Quartet; Spiritual Unity with Marc Ribot; the David S. Ware Quartet; Cecil Taylor; and the Dave Burrell Ensemble.

Latin Fiesta received $30,000 to present the second annual Hispanic music festival, Hispanos…Many Roots…Many Faces at the Arts Bank on the Avenue of the Arts, during the Spring of 2007. The highlight of the festival will be the world premiere of the Hispanic suite “Tabla Raza,” commissioned from composers Tania León and Arturo O'Farrill. Two concerts and a workshop will explore the richness of Hispanic musical heritage and include performances by Latin Fiesta; Badal Roy, tabla master artist; La Cumbiamba eNeYé, a leading Colombian music ensemble from New York, and Cristian Puig, flamenco guitarist/singer.

Montgomery County Community College was awarded $30,000 to present a series of three concerts entitled “Back to the Roots.” The concerts will feature two ensembles, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and The Holmes Brothers, and a legendary icon of American folk music, Odetta. Through pre-concert lectures given by Dr. Gloria Goode, the series will explore the cultural origins of this music, as well as the artists' individual influences.

The Network for New Music received $60,000 for a two-year commissioning and performance project, involving the creation of six major chamber works by emerging and established composers David Ludwig, Zhou Long, Richard Festinger, George Tsontakis, Richard Brodhead, and Shulamit Ran. The project will feature guest performances by Group Motion Dance Theatre.

Orchestra 2001 received $30,000 in support of a series of five concerts called Ligeti: Life Cycle and Legacy. Each program will include a work by the iconic Hungarian composer György Ligeti, as well world premieres by five Philadelphia composers: Andrea Clearfield, Philip Maneval, Larry Nelson, Luis Prado and Andrew Rudin. Guest soloists are Sharla Nafziger (soprano), Jody Karin Applebaum (soprano), Gloria Justen (violin), Diane Monroe (violin), Jennifer Koh (violin), Ulrich Boeckheler (cello).

The Painted Bride Art Center was awarded $80,000 over two years to present XL, four concerts featuring large ensembles spanning global and cultural influences. The featured groups are Philadelphia's own Odessa to Istanbul, a 14-member collaboration between Arabic/Jewish Middle Eastern traditions with Eastern European Klezmer; Cudamani, a 25- member Gamelan orchestra from Bali; Papo Vazquez's Pirates Troubadours, a 14-piece ensemble that integrates jazz and Afro-Caribbean traditions, and Philip Hamilton's Voices, a 15-member choir featuring vocalizations from a wide spectrum of global traditions. Collaborating organizations include Swarthmore College, Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and WRTI-fm.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society received $60,000 to make possible Chamber Music Today, a special series of performances that will offer the first Philadelphia performances of ten new works – including two world-premieres of compositions by Richard Wernick and Robert Capanna – at concerts in the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Convention Center, and Curtis Institute of Music. Chamber Music Today will feature appearances in the city next season by such exceptional artists as the Orion and Miami String Quartets, Imani Winds, Meridian Arts Ensemble, pianist Peter Serkin and Ursula Oppens, the Beaux Arts Trio, Guarneri String Quartet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra ensemble with David Kramer (flute). The project will also include educational outreach programs for Philadelphia students.

The Philadelphia Folklore Project received $30,000 in support of its Musicians-in- Residence program. The program will feature three outstanding African immigrant musicians – Zaye Tete, Fatu Gayflor, and Mogauwane Mahloele. Both Tete and Gayflor are from Liberia and sing a range of traditional Liberian songs. Mahloele sings and plays his native BaPedi South African music and develops new material based on this heritage. The Musicians-in- Residence program will include residencies, the commissioning of collaborative work, performances in two public concerts, and broadcast video postcards. Collaborating Organizations include WHYY-fm, and the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS).

The Philadelphia Museum of Art was awarded $30,000 to support performances by two jazz orchestras presented as part of the Museum's Art After 5 series. Concerts by the Mingus Big Band and Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will enliven the Art After 5 repertoire and draw new and returning audiences during the extended Friday evening hours.

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, received $30,000 in support of two concerts, “The Return of the Pipers – Renaissance Winds in Consort” and “The Bavarian Hofkapella – A Wedding Celebration,” both of which stage music of the Renaissance and early Baroque from historical events in which ensembles and specific repertoire have been documented or depicted in artwork. These large-scale, festive occasions used sizeable musical forces and are seldom, if ever, recreated in modern concerts. Guest Artists will include Daphna Mor (recorder); Parthenia, A Consort of Viols; Laura Heimes (soprano); Tony Boutté (tenor); Philip Anderson (tenor); Sumner Thompson (baritone); William Dongois (cornetto); Mack Ramsey (sackbut and recorder), and Erik Schmalz (sackbut).

Relâche received $30,000 to commission and perform new works by composers Elliott Sharp and Jennifer Barker on its Future Sounds series. Elliott Sharp will write a fifteen-minute piece entitled “Evolute,” inspired by both differential geometry and recent public debate surrounding Darwinism and Creationism, for the eight-member Relâche ensemble and laptop processor. Jennifer Barker will write a ten-minute piece for Relâche drawing from her deep connection to the heritage of her native Scotland.

Sruti, the India Music and Dance Society, was awarded $24,500 to support three concerts: a recital by the renowned vocalist Sudha Raghunathan in the South Indian (Carnatic) style, a sitar concerto for western classical orchestra by Shafaatullah Khan and the Mansfield University Orchestra, and a symphonic work by the Jayamangala School of Music and Dance.

Strings for Schools (now Musicopia, Inc.) received $40,000 to bring the Appalachia Waltz Trio, under the direction of fiddler Mark O'Connor, to Philadelphia for a three-part project to perform with jazz violinist, John Blake, Jr., a Strings for Schools roster artist. The project, which includes jazz, country, and classical elements, will feature performances in a student workshop, a guest appearance at the 188th Annual Philadelphia All City Youth Orchestra, and a public concert with newly commissioned works by O'Connor and Blake.

Tempesta di Mare was awarded $30,000 for a concert entitled, “Hoshanna,” featuring two anonymous Hebrew cantatas from 1730s Italy for soloists, chorus and orchestra, and a motet for soprano and strings from 1770's Amsterdam by Lidarti. This seldom heard repertoire represents an important period of Jewish culture during the Enlightenment. Two of the works will be US premieres. WHYY 91-FM will broadcast the performance on its classical music program “Showcase.” Guest Artists include Sheryl Heather Cohen (soprano), Nell Snaidas (soprano), Daniel Bubeck (alto), Marc Molomot (tenor), David Newman (baritone), and the Chamber Singers of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.

Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance received $80,000 for the Boyer College Atelier Series, produced in partnership with Peregrine Arts. This three-program series features, first, “The Fantastic Voyage,” a revision of Gavin Bryars' “The Sinking of the Titanic,” performed by the Momenta String Quartet and Boyer College students. New York City's Ridge Theater will contribute a multimedia staging. Second, Asian-American jazz composer and saxophonist Fred Ho will stage his full-length music theater work, “The Black Panther Suite,” performed by his Afro Asian Music Ensemble, members of his theater company, Big Red Media, and Temple students. The program will open with a newly commission work by Ho for student ensemble. Third, the British sound artist Robin Rimbaud (a.k.a. “Scanner”) will develop an electro-acoustic performance-installation work called “The Gentle Madness,” to be performed by the Momenta String Quartet, Rimbaud, and student musicians. Each program will be accompanied by master-classes and programs of works by faculty and student composers. Collaborative partners for the project will include The Rosenbach Museum & Library and the Ryerss Museum and Library.

The West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance received $23, 660 to produce a concert highlighting the music of Francis Johnson (1792-1844), a virtuoso keyed bugle player and band leader whose racially integrated band performed a mix of classical and folk music both in Philadelphia and abroad, arguably making him America's first international star. The Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass will collaborate saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Philadelphia-based Time for Three, and pianist Karen Walwyn to perform works from Johnson's repertoire, celebrating one of the country's most important early musicians.

Panelist Biographies, 2006 Grant Panel

Martha Gilmer, Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Panel Chair)

As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's (CSO) Vice President for Artistic Planning and Audience Development, Martha Gilmer is responsible for program planning, engaging guest conductors and artists, and formulating the orchestra's artistic profile. She has developed long-standing relationships with some of the world's greatest artists, including two Music Directors (Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim). She has also worked closely with Principal Guest Conductor Pierre Boulez, and leading guest conductors, soloists and composers. A core element of the artistic profile of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the largest professional chorus in the United States. In addition, Ms. Gilmer and her staff also oversee the artistic planning for Symphony Center Presents, a diverse series of recitals, concerts, and performances by top classical, jazz, pop, and world music artists, presented at Orchestra Hall. Recently, an increasing focus has been on program development for new audiences. In 1999, she launched a new initiative entitled ClassicEncounter, targeted at attracting audience members seeking an introduction to classical music. As program cohost she has developed and expanded this series of eight concerts leading to a new and dedicated audience for classical music. New to the 2005-06 season is a series of concerts initiated by Ms. Gilmer called Beyond the Score, which provide an in-depth exploration of a single work in a live-documentary format. Ms. Gilmer does extensive lecturing and writing on music. She is a member of The Chicago Network and was recently elected to Today's Chicago Woman Hall of Fame.

Ray Allen, Professor of Music and American Studies, Brooklyn College

Ray Allen is Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and a Senior Associate at the Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College. He teaches courses in various aspects of American vernacular music with an emphasis on the music cultures of New York City. Trained in folklore, ethnomusicology, and American Studies, Professor Allen's research has ranged from African-American gospel and Caribbean Carnival music to works of composer's Ruth Crawford Seeger and George Gershwin. He is the author of Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991) and co-editor of Island Sounds in the Global City: Caribbean Popular Music and Identity in New York (University of Illinois Press, 1998) and Ruth Crawford Seeger's Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth Century American Music (University of Rochester Press, forthcoming). He is currently working on a primary source reader for George Gershwin's 1935 folk opera, Porgy and Bess. Allen's media productions include New York the Global City: Grassroots Music from Around the Boroughs (Double CD and booklet compiled and annotated for Smithsonian Folkways Records, Spring 2001) and We Love You Like a Rock: The Story of the Dixie Hummingbirds (co-producer of 90 minute film documentary, Searchlight Films, 1995). He is currently working on a second documentary film on Philadelphia gospel music, Packin' Up: Marion Williams and the Philadelphia Gospel Women.

Harolyn Blackwell, Soprano, Metropolitan Opera; EMI, RCA-Victor, and Telarc recording artist

One of the brightest stars on stages in the U.S. and abroad, charismatic soprano Harolyn Blackwell has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as a “model of agility, spunk, charm and silvery tone” for her expressive and exuberant performances, as well as for her radiant voice. She has performed with many of the major national and international opera companies and at festivals around the world, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires, San Francisco Opera, Netherlands Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Nice, Miami Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Opera Orchestra of New York, and New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, among others. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has appeared in several productions, including La Fille du Régiment, Un Ballo in Maschera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Manon, Die Fledermaus, and Werther. Miss Blackwell's operatic and symphonic engagements have included appearances under the batons of such renowned conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Charles Dutoit, Erich Kunzel, James Levine, Andrew Litton, Zdenek Macal, Kurt Masur, Trevor Pinnock, André Previn, Simon Rattle, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, and David Zinman. Ms. Blackwell has appeared with major American symphony orchestras, including The Minnesota Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also appeared with The Munich Philharmonic, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, and The New York Philharmonic. To date, Miss Blackwell's recordings include the role of Clara in the Glyndebourne Festival's Porgy and Bess (EMI); Cunegonde in the Broadway cast album of Candide (RCA-Victor), and two solo albums: Strange Hurt (RCA-Victor) and Blackwell Sings Bernstein (RCA-Victor). She is also featured on: Selections from Porgy and Bess (Telarc); The Canadian Brass: Noel (RCA-Victor); and Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (RCA-Victor).

Michael Cain, Pianist, Professor of Jazz Studies and Improvisation, New England Conservatory

After growing up on soul and R&B, then studying jazz, classical, African and Indonesian music, pianist/composer Michael Cain began a performing career working with flutist James Newton, Marlena Shaw, Gerald Wilson, Billy Higgins, and the New American Orchestra. After moving to New York, Mr. Cain began working with members of the M-Base collective such as Greg Osby and Robin Eubanks, joined Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, and worked with artists such as Dave Holland, Steps Ahead, Dewey Redman, Ravi Coltrane, Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Turrentine, Pat Metheny, and Meshell N'degeocello. From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Cain was an assistant professor in the Jazz and Contemporary Media department at the Eastman School of Music. He directed small ensembles and taught a variety of subjects including improvisation, contemporary techniques in composition, pedagogy, history and analysis, and piano. In 1997, Mr. Cain joined the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music where he currently directs an ensemble, teaches classes on rhythm analysis, and teaches private piano. He has received numerous awards, including a 2006 Grammy nomination for Dance of the Infidel, Meshell N'degeocello's 2005 Shawnachie Records release, on which Mr. Cain is pianist and co-arranger. He has recorded several records as a leader, including Circa, a 1996 ECM release.

Karen Chester, Founder and President, Sound Vision Inc.

As Director of Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center in New York City, Karen Chester has been responsible for the artistic vision of Merkin Hall from 2002 through June of 2006. As founder and Principal of Sound Vision Inc., she has worked as an executive arts consultant, supported and promoted organizations as diverse as the Colorado Symphony; the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS; and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Chester is also an award-winning recording producer. Her career started with the creation and launch of Koch International Classics, where she was involved with one of Koch's first releases – the Grammy award-winning world premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles. From there she moved to Angel/EMI Classics where she served as consulting producer from 1992 through 1994, and in 1995 she was chosen to head BMG Classics' Catalyst label, where she became the Artists & Repertoire and Label Manager. As an independent producer, Ms. Chester produced recordings for RCA Victor/Red Seal, Angel/EMI, Sony Classical, Virgin Classics, and Nonesuch. She has recorded and worked with such artists and arts organizations as Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas, Placido Domingo, Sergio & Odair Assad (Latin Grammy), Mark O'Connor, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sharon Isbin (Grammy Nomination), the Brentano String Quartet, The London Symphony, and the Saint Paul Orchestra. Ms. Chester has produced several films and documentaries, among them for the National Endowment for the Arts, the International Association for Jazz Education, the Avery Fisher Prize and Placido Domingo's “Operalia.”

Lee Hyla, Professor of Composition, New England Conservatory of Music

Lee Hyla was born in Niagara Falls, New York, and grew up in Greencastle, Indiana. He has written for numerous performers including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet (with Allen Ginsberg), The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Lydian String Quartet, and Triple Helix. Premieres in 2004-05 included a setting of the poem “Quarry” by Paul Auster, which was premiered on the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim Museum in September 2004, Amore Scaduto for violin and cello, which was premiered by the Network for New Music and Phrenic New Ballet on March 8th and 9th, 2005 in Philadelphia; Paradigm Lost for saxophone quartet which was premiered by the Prism Quartet in New York at Symphony Space on May 20th; and The Triadic Coast for orchestra, commissioned by the Tanglewood Music Center and premiered at Tanglewood on August 8th. Hyla has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim, the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Rome Prize. In the Fall of 2004 he was the Resident Composer at the American Academy in Rome, and in the Spring he was a composition fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. His music has been recorded on Nonesuch, New World, Avant, Tzadik, and C.R.I., and is published exclusively by Carl Fischer. Trans, a CD of his orchestral music, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose conductor, was released in February 2004 on New World. He lives in Boston where he is chairman of the composition department at the New England Conservatory.

Michael McCraw, Bassoonist, Director, Early Music Institute, Indiana University

Bassoonist Michael McCraw, cited in the newest edition of “Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians” as one of the most important early bassoon players and pedagogues of our time, began his career in New York City as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and as one of the pioneers in the field of baroque performance with original instruments. From 1979 he lived in Cologne, Germany, playing with such ensembles as Musica Antiqua Koeln, Concentus musicus Wien, London Baroque, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and Camerata Koeln. Mr. McCraw moved to Toronto in 1991 to take up the position of principal bassoonist with the Tafelmusik Orchestra, a position he held through 2002. Also a gifted teacher, he has taught at festivals and workshops all over the world and was on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as well as the University of Toronto. In August 2004 he was appointed director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. His recordings number more than 140, including a highly acclaimed CD of Vivaldi bassoon concerti with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. American Record Guide names this recording “number one for Vivaldi bassoon, with no reservations.” Mr. McCraw continues to free-lance in North America and Europe and is also musical director of the baroque double reed workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mark Shapiro, Artistic Director, Cantori New York

The conductor Mark Shapiro is at home with choruses, opera companies, and orchestras. He is Artistic Director of Cantori New York and the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Shapiro and Cantori have released three commercial CD's, including Frank Martin's oratorio Le Vin Herbé which was awarded Editor's Choice in Opera News and the highest rating in the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs. Shapiro and Cantori have also won two ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Cantori's appearances include Lincoln Center's Great Performers, Teatro Grattacielo, and World Financial Center Arts & Events. Shapiro's credits as an instrumental conductor include the Cygnus and New York Art Ensembles, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Nova Sinfonia in Halifax, and PBS, where he was heard conducting the soundtrack for Ric Burns's special about New York. Opera appearances include American Opera Projects, the Center for Contemporary Opera, the Banff Centre, and Metro Lyric Opera. Shapiro is a member of the faculty of the Mannes College of Music, where he has taught orchestral and choral conducting, conducted opera, and led the Mannes Chorus, with whom he appeared at the United Nations. Shapiro also teaches at the European-American Musical Alliance, a summer program in Paris. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, Shapiro holds diplomas in orchestral conducting from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, and the Peabody Conservatory, where his teacher was Gustav Meier. Shapiro subsequently earned a doctorate from Stonybrook University.

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