Award-winning composer and classical guitarist James Lentini is a recipient of the Andrés Segovia International Composition Prize, the Atwater-Kent Composition Award (first prize), the McHugh Composition Prize, a grant from "Meet the Composer," a Hanson Institute of American Music composer-performer grant, and multiple awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and his compositions have been performed and recorded by international ensembles, including the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Universidad de Concepción (Chile), and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. His Concerto for Guitar and Strings is published by Doberman-Yppan, and was recorded by guitarist Iliana Matos with the Zagreb Festival Orchestra and released on the Navona Records label in 2019.

 

Lentini’s composition for solo guitar, Westward Voyage, was commissioned by guitarist William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and is published by Editorial de Música Española Contemporánea (EMEC). The piece was awarded the Andrés Segovia Composition Prize in 2002 at the International Andrés Segovia Guitar Competition held in La Herradura, Spain. His recordings appear on the Azica, Capstone, CRS, Naxos, and Navona labels. His suite for guitar entitled The Four Seasons for Guitar is published by Mel Bay, and is recorded on an album that includes duo performances with his wife, soprano Dana Lentini. Gramophone Magazine has called James Lentini an “American classical music success story,” while calling his composition Scenes from Sedona “…perhaps the best piece for viola and cello since Beethoven’s ‘Eyeglasses’ Duet.”

 

Lentini studied composition with Morten Lauridsen and Robert Linn at the University of Southern California (D.M.A. 1990). He later became Professor of Music and Associate Department Chair at Wayne State University (1988-2003) and was the Founding Dean of the School of Art, Media, and Music at The College of New Jersey (2003-2007). He subsequently served as Dean of the College of Creative Arts at Miami University, OH (2007-2103), and was Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland University from 2013-2020. In December, 2019, Dr. Lentini was named as President of Molloy College for an appointment beginning in July, 2020. www.jameslentini.net

 

 

 

Born in 1943, composer-conductor Anthony Iannaccone supported himself as a teacher (Manhattan School), violinist, and conductor in the 1960s, and later taught at Eastern Michigan University. He has conducted widely in the United States and abroad, has received many awards, and his works are performed by major orchestras and chamber ensembles. He received 2nd prize in the London Symphony Masterprize competition from a field of 1,151 submissions. Of his music, The New Grove Dictionary states, “organic growth inspires music of great strength and formal clarity, as opening bars generate the textural and thematic contours that forge contrasting sections of reflection and cross-rhythmic dynamism.”

Dana Lentini is a lyric soprano who has performed many leading roles with regional opera companies and symphony orchestras. Lentini regularly performs chamber music and appears on a recording with her husband, James Lentini, entitled The Four Seasons for Guitar. She has also performed with harpist Kerstin Allvin, being featured on her album entitled An Affair of the Harp. As a voice teacher, Lentini is the founder of Born 2 Sing Kids LLC, a voice program designed to meet the needs of children ages 5-13 in the development of beginning singing and performing techniques. Her manuscript entitled Teaching the Child Singer in the Private Voice Studio is under contract with Hal Leaonard. She maintains an active career as a vocal pedagogue, writing about and teaching the art of singing in Rochester Hills, MI.

Conductor Douglas Bianchi is Director of Bands at Wayne State University and conducts the Wind Symphony, Concert Band, and Chamber Winds. He also serves as Music Director of the International Symphony Orchestra (Port Huron/Sarnia). He is a MSBOA adjudicator and has performed at the Michigan Music Educators and College Band Director National Association conferences several times. His extensive conducting experience includes orchestral, choral, ballet, opera, and musical theater, and his portfolio includes numerous premiere performances, commissions, and published articles. Bianchi has guest conducted in England, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Taiwan, and has had the privilege of having several of his compositions performed nationally.

Conductor Jerzy Swoboda  graduated with honors in 1982 from the Academy of Music in Kraków, in the class of Krzysztof Missona. From 1982 to 1986 he was head of the State Philharmonic Choir in Kraków, and conductor of the ensemble “Capella Cracoviensis.” From 1986-1990 he was a permanent conductor of the Polish Chamber Orchestra and the orchestra “Sinfonia Varsovia.” He has served as the artistic director of the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój and served as managing and artistic director of the State Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice from 1990-1998. He has collaborated with such eminent artists as Katia and Marielle Labeque, Gidon Kremer, and Yehudi Menuhin. Swoboda has made numerous recordings for Polish Radio and Television and appears on both the RCA and Aperto labels.

 

Norah Duncan IV is a multi-faceted musician. As an organist, he has performed extensively in both the United States and Europe. He has presented organ recitals in Trier, Germany and Sydney, Australia. He served as music director for the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament for over 26 years. Among his greatest achievements as a liturgical musician is his role as director of music for the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Detroit in 1987. As a choral director, Duncan has presented major concerts under the Cathedral Cultural Series with the Archdiocesan Chorus and has collaborated in concerts with the Wayne State University choral ensembles, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale ensembles, and the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra. In 2004 and 2005, he directed the Michigan Youth Choral Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. Duncan has prepared many choruses for performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the direction of its music director, Leonard Slatkin. An active composer of liturgical music, his works are published exclusively by GIA Publications. Duncan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Wayne State University.

 

 

 

Director of Orchestral Studies at Miami University of Ohio since 2002, Brazilian conductor Ricardo Averbach has also served as President of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) and guest conductor of orchestras in over 15 countries. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Ohio Governor’s Award in the Individual Artist category, the state’s most prestigious artistic and cultural achievement. Averbach has performed and recorded several world premieres for major labels, which have sold more than half a million copies around the globe. The American Prize recognized his work in the College/University Division in multiple categories, including as Winner of the 2010 American Prize in Conducting.

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