David Crumb, composer

David Crumb’s music has been performed throughout the United States and abroad. His dramatic compositions are richly tonal, and intensely coloristic. Among numerous awards, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the Fromm and Barlow Foundations. Crumb has accepted commissions from the Los Angeles Symphony New Music Group, the Chicago Civic Orchestra/ASCAP Foundation, and the Bowdoin International New Music Festival. He has held residencies at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies and participated in a variety of new music festivals. His work has been released on Bridge, Albany, C.R.I./New World, Innova, and Equilibrium. Crumb joined the faculty at the University of Oregon School of Music in 1997, where he continues to serve as a member of the composition department.

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David Finko, composer

DAVID FINKO was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), in the former Soviet Union, to the family of a famous mathematician and a submarine designer. In the early 1950s, talented young men were pressed into military service. Finko was selected to follow in his father’s footsteps, and became a submarine engineer. He graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Naval Architecture in 1959. He was appointed as a submarine design engineer in 1960 at the Submarine Design Bureau in Leningrad.

Finko had also studied piano, violin, and music theory since childhood. He graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov School the Performing Arts in 1958, and while working at the Submarine Design Bureau, graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory in 1965. That same year, Finko’s Sonata for Piano #1 was awarded the first prize in the Conservatory New Compositions Contest. He left his engineering career to become a full-time composer in 1966. He was a member of the Union of Soviet Composers, wrote many works on commission from the Soviet Ministry of Culture, and served as an editor of the state music publishing house Soviet Composer until 1979.

David Finko has been a US citizen 1986. Since his emigration to the USA in 1979, he has taught music at numerous universities including Yale University and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas. Finko has written eleven operas, seventeen concerti, three tone poems, two symphonies and a number chamber compositions. His music has been performed and recorded in Europe, the USA, South America, Israel, and Russia, and has received awards from the Fromm and Fels Foundations, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts,
ASCAP, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and others.

David Finko’s music is very emotional, expressive, often disturbing and soul-shuttering. His double, triple and quadruple concerti in which solo instruments “act” as humans are unique. His one act operas are based on exciting and striking plots, and are easy to stage.

Gilbert Kalish, piano

A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford, and Isabella Vengerova. He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group devoted to new music that flourished during the 1960s and 70s. He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world’s most distinguished chamber ensembles. His 30-year partnership with the mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani was universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of our time. He maintains longstanding duos with the cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and he appears frequently with soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Kalish is Distinguished Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1969 to 1997, he was a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center and served as the “Chairman of the Faculty” at Tanglewood from 1985 to 1997. He often serves as guest artist at distinguished music institutions such as The Banff Centre, and the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and the Marlboro Festival, and is renowned for his master class presentations.

Gilbert Kalish’s discography encompasses classical repertory, 20th-century masterworks, and new compositions. Of special note are his solo recordings of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata and the sonatas of Joseph Haydn, as well as an immense discography of vocal music with Jan DeGaetani and landmarks of the 20th century by such composers as Carter, Crumb, Shapey, and Schoeberg. In 1995, he was presented with the Paul Fromm Award by the University of Chicago Music Department for distinguished service to the music of our time.

Marcantonio Barone, piano

40342_1024Born in 1962, American pianist Marcantonio Barone made his debut at the age of ten at a Philadelphia Orchestra children’s concert. He returned in 1990 as soloist on the Orchestra’s subscription series under the direction of William Smith. He has also performed as soloist with the Saint Louis and Houston Symphony Orchestras, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Leon Fleisher, Arther Fiedler, and Barry Tuckwell, and has performed in solo recitals at the Metropolitan Museum and at Weill Recital Hall in New York, at the Wigmore Hall in London, and at the Large Hall of the Saint Petersburg Filarmoniya.

He performs frequently as a member of the Lenape Chamber Ensemble, 1807 and Friends, Orchestra 2001, and many other groups. He has given the world premiere performances of works by several distinguished composers, including George Rochberg, David Finko, Gerald Levinson, and Thomas Whitman. In addition to his duties at Swarthmore, Mr. Barone is also on the faculty of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music, where he is head of the piano department.

James Freeman, Artistic Director

James Freeman

James Freeman is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the new Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS.  He recently retired, after 27 years, as the  Artistic Director and Conductor of Orchestra 2001, Philadelphia’s award-winning ensemble for 20th and 21st-century music, which he founded in 1988.  He is also Daniel Underhill Emeritus Professor Music at Swarthmore College.  He was trained at Harvard University, Tanglewood, and Vienna’s Akademie für Musik.  He counts among his principal mentors pianist Artur Balsam and his father, double bassist Henry Freeman, former principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In the spring of 2016 Mr. Freeman inaugurated a series of interactive concerts, Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS, dealing with new commissioned works by area composers combined with a musical exploration of how Mozart’s earliest works led gradually to the masterpieces of his later years.

In 1990 James Freeman was given the Philadelphia Music Foundation’s first award for Achievement in Classical Music; and in 2008, in recognition of his contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter’s office honored him with the city’s Liberty Bell Award.  In May 2015,  the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society recognized him as its honoree of the year. Other honors include fellowships from NEA, NEH, the German Government, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Harvard University’s Paine Travelling Fellowship, and two Fulbright Fellowships.  He spent the spring of 1991 as a Fulbright Scholar, guest conductor, and lecturer on American music at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1993, 1994, 1997 and most recently in December 2014, he returned to Moscow with members of Orchestra 2001 to give concerts of contemporary American music.  Through these concerts Mr. Freeman has established long-standing artistic relations with the musicians of the Moscow Conservatory and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, resulting in a continuing series of collaborative projects.

Mr. Freeman has recorded for Nonesuch, Columbia, Turnabout, Acoustic Research, CRI, MMC, Albany, Centaur, Innova, and Bridge Records.  He conducted  Orchestra 2001 in that ensemble’s 18 commercial CDs, all of music by American composers. Mr. Freeman’s premiere performances and recordings with Orchestra 2001 of the seven volumes of George Crumb’s monumental “American Songbook” series have continued and expanded upon his long relationship with Crumb’s music, begun in 1974 with the premiere performances and recording (for Nonesuch) of that composer’s  “Music for a Summer Evening.”  In a now legendary concert at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1976, he was the double bass player in
Crumb’s “Madrigals,” the sitar player in “Lux Aeterna” (both of these works with renowned mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani), and one of the two pianists (with Gilbert Kalish) in “Music for a Summer Evening.”

As a double bassist, Mr. Freeman performed for 20 summers as a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and continues to play with the Opera Philadelphia  Orchestra.  In the past few years, Mr. Freeman’s guest conducting assignments and performances as a pianist have taken him to the Salzburg Festival, Ljubljana (the National Symphony of Slovenia), Taipei (the National Symphony of Taiwan), Bari (Italy), the Colorado Music Festival, the University of British Columbia, the Syracuse Society for New Music, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Copenhagen, Havana, America’s southwest, and the Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival.

Charles Abramovic, pianist

Charles AbramovicCharles Abramovic has won critical acclaim for his international performances as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator with leading instrumentalists and singers. He has performed a vast repertoire not only on the piano, but also the harpsichord and fortepiano. Abramovic made his solo orchestral debut at the age of fourteen with the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Since then he has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals throughout the United States, France and Yugoslavia. He has also appeared at major international festivals in Berlin, Salzburg, Bermuda, Dubrovnik, Aspen and Vancouver.

Abramovic has performed often with such stellar artists as Midori, Sarah Chang, Robert McDuffie, Viktoria Mullova, Kim Kashkashian, Mimi Stillman and Jeffrey Khaner. His recording of the solo piano works of Delius for DTR recordings has been widely praised. He has recorded for EMI Classics with violinist Sarah Chang, and Avie Recordings with Philadelphia Orchestra principal flutist Jeffrey Khaner.  Actively involved with contemporary music, he has also recorded works of Milton Babbitt, Joseph Schwantner, Gunther Schuller and others for Albany Records, CRI, Bridge, and Naxos.

Abramovic has taught at Temple since 1988. He is an active part of the musical life of Philadelphia, performing with numerous organizations in the city. He is a core member of the Dolce Suono Ensemble, and performs often with Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001. In 1997 he received the Career Development Grant from the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society, and in 2003 received the Creative Achievement Award from Temple University.  His teachers have included Natalie Phillips, Eleanor Sokoloff, Leon Fleisher, and Harvey Wedeen.

Heidi Jacob, Associate Conductor

Heidi JacobComposer, cellist, and conductor, Heidi Jacob is Associate Professor of Music at Haverford College. A graduate of both the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, she received her D.M.A. in composition from Temple University. Ms. Jacob has studied composition with Matthew Greenbaum, Richard Brodhead and Maurice Wright, cello with Lynn Harrell and Orlando Cole and conducting with Harold Farberman. She has performed as a cellist throughout the United States and Europe including the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Bedford Springs Festival, “Mozart on the Square” in Philadelphia, the Dubrovnik Festival and on National Public Radio. She has recorded for Capstone Records, Albany Records and Navona records including a recording for Capstone Records where she conducts the Ensemble Solarium in Curt Cacioppo’s Concerto for Oboe and String Chamber Orchestra with Harpsichord, featuring Philadelphia Orchestra oboist Jonathan Blumenfeld. In 1999 Ms. Jacob was featured on WRTI’s “Notes from Philadelphia,” highlighting performances of her CD of the Chamber Orchestra of Bryn Mawr in works by Curt Cacioppo and Ferruccio Busoni. Curt Cacioppo’s orchestral piece “Invocation and Dance of the Mountain Gods,” from the album LAWS OF THE PIPE and conducted by Ms. Jacob, was recently selected by Parma Recordings for inclusion on the label’s online digital release FINE MUSIC, Vol. 4.

Ms. Jacob’s solo and chamber music works have been performed at Tania León’s 2014 Composers Now Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Rutgers University’s Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art installation, Amphibian; New Music and Video HIArt Gallery, New York City and by The Argento Ensemble, the Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir and the Hildegard Chamber Players. As part of Network for New Music’s Poetry Project her song Rosetta Stone for Soprano, Cello and Piano was premiered at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in 2008. Her String Quartet, “…on enameled tablets,” was premiered at The Stone in New York City by the Momenta String Quartet. Her work for piano; Regard a Schubert: a Fantasy Impromptu was a prizewinner in the International Alliance for Women in Music Competition. Her cycle of songs Beginning Again, can be heard on L’Ensemble’s CD Poetry into Song. Her works have been performed by violinists Miranda Cuckson and Barbara Govatos, cellists Jeffrey Solow, Michal Schmidt and cellist Thalia Moore of Earplay, flutists Mimi Stillman, Adeline Tomasone, Jeffrey Khaner, pianist Charles Abramovic, bassoonist Pascal Gallois and by Temple University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. A recording of her compositions, “Beneath Winter Light,” produced by Parma Records, was released in January, 2015. (http://parmarecordings.blogspot.com/2015/01/january-releases-out-now-on-navona-and.html)