COMPOSERS

Ovidiu Marinescu has played at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, Holywell Room in Oxford, and many other prestigious places. He has appeared with the New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena, Newark and Great Falls Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most professional orchestras in his native Romania. After his acclaimed first recording "Fiesta Latina," Marinescu recorded the complete Miaskovsky cello works with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra.  He has over 15 album releases for PARMA Recordings as a cellist, conductor, composer or chamber musician, including the complete Bach Cello Suites. His recording of the Arthur Gottschalk Sonata for Cello and Piano received the Gold Medal at the Global Music Awards in 2014. Marinescu has performed at festivals in Luzerne, Bayreuth, Chautauqua, South Bohemia, Orlando and Brasov, the New Hampshire Music Festival, Magie Barocche in Italy, and the PARMA Music Festival.

 

Marinescu has premiered dozens of new works for cello, among those Anecdote by Hilary Tann with Newark Symphony, recorded with Targu-Mures Philharmonic in Romania, Ostinato by Liviu Marinescu with Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia, And Seeing the Multitudes by Kile Smith with Helena Symphony, and The Sea Knows by Michael Kurek in Brazil.

 

Equally outstanding as a conductor, Marinescu has conducted the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Romanian National Radio, the Bacau, Craiova, Ploiești, Botosani, Targu-Mures, and Brasov Philharmonics in Romania, “New Russia” State Orchestra, Filarmonica de Gaia in Portugal, the Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and the Helena, Newark, and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestras in the United States. He works with youth orchestras and teaches masterclasses across the globe.

 

Boundlessly creative, Marinescu is co-producing a TV documentary series entitled Resonate, with the first episode filmed in Cuba, writes poetry, is an avid composer, and is the President of International Musicians Network, which produces recordings, concert tours, and artistic events. www.marinescu.com

 

photo: Dr. Lin Tan

Bruce babcock

Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing music for the musicians of Los Angeles. Successful in film, television, and the concert hall, he is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audiences and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art.

 

Babcock holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge. While at CSUN, Babcock’s Impasse was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. Copland’s comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, include “an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed...a convincing sense of an overall mood...knows what he wants...sure of what he’s doing.” Babcock’s mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass, and Earle Hagen. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a ten-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI.

 

In the concert music world, Babcock’s Pacific Serenades Trio for clarinet, viola and piano was commissioned by Mark Carlson’s Pacific Serenades series. He was chosen by Artistic Director Daniel Kepl to be composer in residence at the 2005 Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. The Donald Brinegar Singers premiered Babcock’s Night Songs, on poems of Sara Teasdale, in 2006.

 

SpringScape was the winning piece in the Debussy Trio 2006 Composition Competition. This Is What I Know: Four Poems of Dorothy Parker, commissioned by UCLA Professor of Voice Juliana Gondek, was one of the winners in the 2011 Boston Metro Opera Contemporary American Festival Competition, and was performed in Boston in conjunction with “Opera Conference America 2011.”

 

All Unto Me, inspired by and dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed with the Archbishop in attendance in 2011. Be Still, for a cappella choir, received its European premiere in November 2013 by the Haga Motettkör of Göteborg, Sweden, Mikael Carlsson, Music Director, and its New York City premiere in 2016 from The Antioch Ensemble.

 

Babcock’s first Navona album, TIME, STILL, was released in 2015. 11 Los Angeles musicians are featured in this collection of chamber, vocal, and choral music.

 

Event Horizon, an orchestral piece with video compiled from images of the NASA-Hubble Space Telescope, was premiered by the Space Coast Symphony in 2017. It was recorded by the Wembley Players in London, with the composer conducting, and was released on the Navona album SPARKS in 2016.

 

Give Me Your Stars, commissioned by GRAMMY-winning soprano Hila Plitmann, premiered at Mason Home Concerts March 17, 2018. Imagined/Remembered, a sonata for cello and piano, included on a 2018 Navona album by cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, with pianist Anna Kislitsyna, was performed at Carnegie Hall performance in May of 2018 and on tour in China in the spring of 2019.

 

Babcock's Be Still was included in Navona Records’ EVOLUTIONARY SPIRITS by multiple GRAMMY-winning choir The Crossing. Another 2019 Navona album, QUADRANTS VOL. 3, includes The Present Moment, performed by the Altius Quartet.

 

In both 2018 and 2019 Babcock was commissioned to compose works for the Mount Wilson Observatory Concerts in the Dome series.

 

Additional Navona releases in 2020 with Bruce's music include ETEREO, with flutist Lindsey Goodman and PLAYING ON THE EDGE VOL. 2, with the Sirius Quartet.

www.musicbybrucebabcock.com

photo: Cam Sanders

I’lana Cotton is a composer, improviser, and pianist who has created works for a broad range of genres, from solo piano and small chamber groups to large choral and instrumental ensembles. Her concert music has been performed in the United States, the UK, Europe, and China.

 

She holds a Master of Arts degree in composition from the University of California at Los Angeles, with undergraduate music study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and she also has studied both Javanese gamelan and north Indian classical vocal music. This training led to an ongoing interest in combining Eastern and other modalities with Western musical structures and conventions.

 

In the years after her graduate studies, she began extensive work as a pianist, improviser, and composer for dance classes and choreography. She wrote several works for chamber ensembles and chamber orchestras as commissions for choreographers. She then broadened her scope to other arts, in improvised collaborative performance with mimes, poets, and visual artists, as well as with other musicians. During this time she also studied north Indian classical vocal technique with Pandit Pran Nath, and released three albums of piano improvisations, which preceded her 2003 album release entitled Songs for the Journey. Throughout her years in California, she was an active music teacher, both privately and for over 20 years at the College of San Mateo.

 

Since moving to southern Oregon in 2003, she has written over 35 works for Rogue Valley musicians and ensembles. The Rogue Valley Symphony (Martin Majkut, cond.) commissioned Cantus, a large scale work for orchestra honoring its 50th anniversary season, which premiered in October, 2017. Since 2012, she has written four commissions for the Siskiyou Singers (Mark Reppert, cond.), a large community choir.

 

Other commissions and awards include those by and Ernest Bloch Festival Composers Symposium, Pacific Sticks Percussion Ensemble, Rogue Valley Music Teachers Ass'n., California-based Peninsula Community Foundation, and ASCAP. Notable performances include those by Max Lifchitz and North/South Consonance in New York City, Masterworks Chorale in San Mateo CA, Mazama Saxophone Quartet, Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble, Leuwi Asih Gamelan Degung, and SOU Faculty Brass Quintet.

 

Her works have been recorded by Max Lifchitz on North/South Recordings “American Women Composers" and by Menlo Brass Quintet on "A Simpler Life."

 

An active member of NACUSA (National Assn. of Composers/USA) in the San Francisco chapter, she was later a co-founder of the Southern Oregon chapter. She has also helped develop the Threshold Singers of Southern Oregon, which serves the hospice community near her Medford home. notimemusic.com

 

ALLA ELANA COHEN is a distinguished composer, pianist, music theorist, and teacher who came to the United States in 1989 from Russia. Graduating from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the highest honors of distinction, Cohen lives in Boston and is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

 

As a composer, Cohen works in all genres of orchestral, chamber, and operatic music, and has an extensive catalogue of original compositions. Cohen’s music, often with the composer at the piano, is regularly performed and recorded with much success by internationally acclaimed performers, and garners great reviews and previews from media sources such as Fanfare Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, Boston Musical Intelligencer, ArtFuse, Cinemusical, Gapplegate, and others. Cohen was also interviewed and featured on WGBH TV and appeared in a featured video on boston.com. Radio programs about Cohen’s music were broadcast on the radio station Orpheus on the Russia State Center of Radio and TV Programs in Moscow and in the United States on the Russian-American Radio station United4:Good.

 

Cohen has released 9 albums of her compositions: Dedications; The Route of Compassion; The Road That Chooses Us; The Day of Atonement; Praise Him with Harp and Lyre, Praise Him with Strings and Flutes; Hoffmanniana; RED LILIES OF BELLS, GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS, WHITE LILIES OF BELLS (RR7953); JUPITER DUO (RR7978); QUAESTIONES ET RESPONSA (RR8017)  (the last three were released under Ravello Records).

 

Cohen has been recognized as a composer by ASCAP, being an annual recipient of ASCAPLUS Awards, and has received commissions from the Music Teachers National Association. Cohen received the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition awarded by the National Academy of Music in conjunction with the Municipal Conservatories of Neapolis and Sykies, Greece, in 2010. Cohen’s opera buffa, The Cunning Housekeeper, won the Director’s Choice Award organized by Boston Metro Opera in 2014. www.allacohen.com

 

photo: Nir Landau

 

Curt Cacioppo's compositions synthesize and reflect multiple dimensions of his musical and humanistic experience. Like his mentor Leon Kirchner, and other composer/performers such as Frederic Rzewski and George Walker, he is a formidable pianist, fully grounded in the traditional solo, ensemble, and concerto literature, and avidly involved with new repertoire. Well over a dozen composers have dedicated works to him. He collaborates internationally with writers such as Friedrich Thiel, Luigi Cerantola, Renzo Oliva, and Claudio Saltarelli, and with visual artists such as Ying Li, Lia Laterza, Renato D’Agostino, and Alessio Mancino. He finds inspiration not only in the Italian side of his personal ancestry, but in the ways, beliefs, and cultural expression of the Native American community. His work with Navajo elder and spiritual leader John Co’ií Cook to preserve the sacred Coyoteway Healing Ceremony was a major contribution.

 

In a December 1995 interview on Bayern Zwei Radio, Cacioppo said that early on, he was taught to feel that music should be for its own sake (“ars gratia artis”), but soon realized that “consciously, or involuntarily, my music has some kind of political motivation behind it.” This is most certainly the case in his cantata Wolf (on Navona release NV5889), based on a poem by Mohawk author Peter Blue Cloud, a scathing indictment of the genocide perpetrated on indigenous populations of the Americas. Equally so, this is the case in his Vision of the Crusades (Capstone CPS-8713), a resolute denouncement of what Sir Stephen Runciman concluded was “a barbarian invasion of a superior civilization in the name of God,” founded (according to Edward Gibbon) on “savagery, intolerance, and fanaticism.”

 

Cacioppo has written for the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphonies, the Emerson String Quartet, and many other esteemed ensembles and soloists worldwide.  His work is represented on 18 discs, including the album RITORNELLO (Navona NV5956), which features the Quartetto di Venezia, with whom he has enjoyed a working relationship for 20 years. Cacioppo’s further mentors included composer George Rochberg, pianist Ruth Laredo, and ethnomusicologist David McAllester; he was significantly influenced by jazz artists Pat Pace, Bill Dobbins and Chuck Israels. He has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Howard Foundation, among others, and served in the professoriate for over 40 years. He retains the title Ruth Marshall Magill Professor of Music Emeritus from Haverford College. curtcacioppo.com

 

image by Ying Li

 

 

L Peter Deutsch is a native of Massachusetts, now living in Sonoma County CA. His early music education included performance and composition for voice, piano, and recorder. After a long detour through a distinguished career in Computer Science, he returned to composition part-time in 1986 and full-time in 2003, including earning a M.A. degree under Frank La Rocca at CSU Hayward.

 

Deutsch's strengths as a composer include sparkling counterpoint and polyphony, lyrical melodies, fluent text setting, and the use of a large harmonic palette centered around modal scales. He writes primarily for small instrumental or a cappella vocal ensemble, spanning styles from devotional to romantic to jazzy, and from Renaissance to early 20th Century. Scores of his music are distributed commercially through J.W. Pepper and Sheet Music Plus. His work to date includes three choral commissions in 2008-2010, and several recording releases through PARMA Recordings from 2016 onward, including music for chorus, string quartet, and piano trio. www.lpd.org

PERFORMERS

Anna Kislitsyna Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna received her bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in Piano Performance from Novosibirsk Conservatory. She was on the piano faculty at the Novosibirsk Conservatory and Novosibirsk Special Music School-College before moving to the United States in 2012. Kislitsyna completed her second master’s degree at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her D.M.A. at Temple University.

 

Kislitsyna has concertized throughout Russia, Europe, and the United States as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician. She appeared in such halls as Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Rachmaninov Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Alfred Cortot Hall of Paris Conservatory, Novosibirsk Philharmonic Hall, and numerous concert stages in Russia, Finland, Italy, France, Ukraine, the United States, and more.

 

Kislitsyna is a winner of many competitions including: Chopin International Piano Competition, Connecticut; Liszt International Competition, Los Angeles, CA; Lautard-Chevtchenko International Piano Competition, France; International Chamber Ensembles Competition in Finland; and various International Piano Competitions in Russia and Europe.  In 2014 Kislitsyna received the award from The Jacobs Music Steinway Company for outstanding pianistic achievements.

 

She has performed with such orchestras as Novosibirsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Omsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Omsk Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Yaroslavl Academic Symphonic Orchestra, and Temple University Symphony Orchestra. Kislitsyna worked with such conductors as Yuri Nikolaevsky, Andreas Delfs, Evgeny Shestakov, Dmitry Vasilyev, Vladimir Prasolov, Evgeny Samoilov, Alexander Pariman, Mark Abramov, Andrei Radchenko, Valery Ryvkin, Andre Raphel, and Evgeny Bushkov.

 

Highly successful as a teacher, she has been invited to give master classes and judge international piano competitions. Her students performed with various symphony orchestras, including Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Kiev Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestras, Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, and others. Her students are winners of numerous international piano competitions in Italy, Austria, China, Korea, Poland, Ukraine, the United States, and Russia. www.kislitsyna.com

GLORIA CHENG

“Cheng, a pianist who consistently fuses deep emotionality with exacting precision…” San Francisco Classical Voice

 

“Pianist Gloria Cheng is one of the most adventurous interpreters of contemporary music around, and in a spectacular recital…consisting almost entirely of works written in the 21st century—she showed just how surprising, eclectic and emotionally engaging the contemporary piano repertoire can be.”   The Washington Post

 

“Gloria Cheng, who was one of Boulez’s favorite pianists, brought brutal elegance to Toshio Hosokawa’s ‘Haiku for Pierre Boulez.’” Los Angeles Times

 

GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning pianist GLORIA CHENG has long been devoted to a process of creative collaboration, having worked extensively with such internationally-renowned composers as John Adams, Terry Riley, Thomas Adès, and the late Steven Stucky. Cheng has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta and Pierre Boulez, and on its acclaimed Green Umbrella series with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Oliver Knussen. She has been a recitalist at the Ojai Music Festival (where she first appeared in 1984 with Pierre Boulez), the Chicago Humanities Festival, William Kapell Festival, and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Cheng inspired and premiered such notable compositions as Esa-Pekka Salonen's Dichotomie (of which she is the dedicatee), John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction for two pianos (written for her and Grant Gershon), and Steven Stucky’s Piano Sonata. Partnering with composers in duo-recitals, she premiered Thomas Adès’s two-piano Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face and Terry Riley’s Cheng Tiger Growl Roar. Cheng received a GRAMMY Award for her 2008 recording, Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutosławski, and a second GRAMMY nomination in 2013. On screen, Cheng’s film, MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano—documenting the recording of works composed for her by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, and John Williams—aired on PBS SoCal and captured the 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for Independent Programming. Her most recent album, Garlands for Steven Stucky, is a star-studded tribute to the late composer by 32 of his friends and former students. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University, Cheng studied in Paris on a Woolley Scholarship and earned graduate degrees in performance from UCLA and the University of Southern California, where her teachers included Aube Tzerko and John Perry. Cheng now is on the faculty at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she has created courses and programs designed to unite performers, composers, and scholars. gloriachengpiano.com

photo: lefterisphoto.com

Francesco D’Orazio

In 2010, the Italian National Music Critics Association awarded Francesco D’Orazio the Premio Abbiati as “Best Soloist” of the year. He has recorded for Decca, Hyperion, Neos, Opus 111/Naive, Stradivarius, and Amadeus. D'Orazio has performed at such major concert venues as the Berliner Philharmonie, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Royal Albert Hall in London and the Festivals Cervantino in Mexico, Istanbul, MiTo, Montpellier, Potsdam, Ravenna, Ravello, Salzburg, Strasbourg, Stresa, Tanglewood, and Venice Biennale. He has premiered violin and orchestra works by Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Ivan Fedele, Brett Dean, Michele dall'Ongaro, Fabio Vacchi, Marcello Panni, Lorenzo Ferrero, Gilberto Bosco, Raffaele Bellafronte, Marco Betta, Fabian Panisello, and Valerio Sannicandro. D'Orazio has concertized with the London Symphony, Teatro alla Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Orchestre National Il de France, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Berliner Symphoniker, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Saarländischer Rundfunk, the Accademia Bizantina conducted by Lorin Maazel, Luciano Berio, Hubert Soudant, Ingo Metzmacher, Sakari Oramo, Daniel Kawka, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ottavio Dantone, Arturo Tamayo, and Hansjorg Schellenberger.

francescodorazio.com

 

David Wetherill, long-time first-horn player with the Philadelphia Orchestra, began his professional career as Principal Horn with the renowned opera house Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, playing the greatest operas with the finest singers and conductors in the world.

 

In 1976, Pierre Boulez asked Wetherill to come to Paris to work with  the Ensemble InterContemporain, as a founding member of that cutting-edge chamber orchestra. During this period, he performed dozens of premieres by the leading contemporary composers of the day, including Berio, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Boulez, and Messiaen. At the invitation of Maestro Eugene Ormandy, Wetherill returned to Philadelphia, where he played for nearly 30 years.

 

Now retired from full time playing, his focus is on conducting and teaching. Wetherill was a Fellow at the Conductors Institute at Bard College, and he was the Associate Conductor of the Lower Merion Symphony for ten years. He conducts The Orchestra Society of Philadelphia on a regular basis. Recently Wetherill introduced Delaware Valley concert-goers to the Symphony No. 1 in E minor (“Gaelic”) by Amy Beach, the first symphonic work ever composed by an American woman, and the first American symphony to embrace folk melodies in its thematic material. Wetherill graduated from the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Mason Jones.

orchestrasociety.org/David_Wetherill

 

 

The Gramercy Trio,  (Sharan Leventhal, violin; Jonathan Miller, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano) tours the country presenting concerts and residencies, with programs that include standard repertoire and new works. They have commissioned and premiered trios by composers such as Gunther Schuller, Scott Wheeler, Lee Hyla, Grawemeyer-award winning British composer Simon Bainbridge, tango artist Sonia Possetti, and acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, Fred Hersch.

 

The New York Times has called their performances “distinctive and memorable… beautifully wrought and sensitively balanced” (Allan Kozinn), giving “the refreshing impression that everything they were doing was fun and worth hearing” (Anne Midgette). Jeremy Eichler of The Boston Globe called their project ‘Where Sound and Motion Meet’ “an ingenious program… The Gramercy’s performances throughout the night had the kind of kinesthetic energy and zest that hinted at the positive feedback loop between music and dance… the animating idea of a delightful evening.”

 

Recipient of a 2011 Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant, the trio has also been awarded grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording and the American Composers Forum and can be heard on the Newport Classic, Naxos and Parma recording labels.

gramercytrio.com

 

photo: Susan Wilson

 

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