ROBERT MAGGIO (www.robertmaggio.com) is an American composer and collaborator; he has created works in many genres, connecting a “wondrously eclectic vocabulary” (New York Times) with a diverse body of commissions, ranging from orchestral works to chamber music, and ballet scores to musicals. Robert’s music has been called “lyrical, passionate, melodic, and rhythmically charged” (American Record Guide), and has been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Atlanta Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony. He has composed commissioned scores for Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet X, and songs and incidental music for Philadelphia Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theater, Peoples Light and Theater Company, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. A member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Robert is working on musicals with lyricist/librettists Amy Buchwald, Matthew Hardy, Michael Hollinger, Kristin Maloney and Justin Warner. Published by Theodore Presser Co., Hickman Music and Yelton Rhodes, his is music is recorded on the Summit, New World and Albany labels. He is the recipient of awards from the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New Music USA, ASCAP, BMI, and the Pennsylvania & New Jersey Arts Councils. A graduate of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, Robert teaches music theory and composition at West Chester University.
MIMI STILLMAN is one of the most celebrated flutists in the music world, critically acclaimed for her brilliant artistry, passionate interpretation, and innovative programming. Hailed by The New York Times as “a consummate and charismatic performer”, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and Hilton Head Orchestra, and as recitalist and chamber musician at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Brooklyn’s Roulette, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Bard College, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, and Kol HaMusica in Israel. A wide-ranging and innovative artist, Ms. Stillman celebrates the canon while deeply exploring new music and Latin genres. Her “Syrinx Journey”, with which she honored Claude Debussy on his 150th birthday by making a video of his three-minute masterpiece “Syrinx’ every day for one year, captivated a global audience.
As founding Artistic Director of Dolce Suono Ensemble, she has created a dynamic force in the music world highly regarded for its chamber music concerts of Baroque to contemporary music. Featured as Chamber Music America’s “American Ensemble”, Dolce Suono Ensemble boasts 44 commissioned works in 11 seasons. Ms. Stillman has premiered works by eminent composers including Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Richard Danielpour, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, David Ludwig, and the late Steven Stucky. Ms. Stillman has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with artists including Lucy Shelton, Eric Owens, Juan Diego Flórez, Julius Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, The Dover Quartet, Anthony Newman, and Roberto Díaz, and recorded a film soundtrack for Kevin Bacon. At the invitation of Plácido Domingo, Ms. Stillman and Dolce Suono Ensemble enjoy a partnership with Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Orchestrally, she has played under the baton of conductors including Simon Rattle, André Previn, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, and Robert Spano.
With an extraordinary range of accomplishments and intellectual interests, Mimi Stillman made the leap from child prodigy to inimitable artist. At age 12, she was the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with the legendary Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. She went on to receive a MA and PhD (abd) in history at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a published author on music and history integrating scholarship with her artistic vision in projects with her hallmark, thought-provoking depth. She is lauded for expanding the flute repertoire through her arrangements and compositions among them her award-winning Nuits d’Étoiles: 8 Early Songs of Claude Debussy (Theodore Presser). She can be heard on several recordings including her critically praised “Freedom”, music for flute, piano, and the human spirit, and “Odyssey: 11 American Premieres” (Innova), both with her longstanding duo pianist Charles Abramovic.
A Yamaha Performing Artist, Mimi Stillman has won many competitions and awards including Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Bärenreiter Prize for Best Historical Performance for Winds, Astral Artists, and the Philadelphia Women in the Arts Award. Devoted to education, she has taught masterclasses for institutions including the National Flute Association, Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, Rutgers University, the universities of Texas, California, and Virginia, and at conservatories and flute associations worldwide. Her Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands) project to introduce chamber music to the Latino community of Philadelphia won the Knight Arts Challenge Grant. She is on faculty of Curtis Summerfest, Music for All National Festival, and University of Pennsylvania. www.mimistillman.com
Curt Cacioppo is a composer whose expressive power and emotional appeal continue to captivate listeners and performers worldwide. A person of great human feeling, he derives inspiration from sources as diverse as the medieval poetry of Dante, aspects of Native American culture, or the vernacular music he grew up with.
His creative work is founded upon a virtuoso background of solo and collaborative piano playing, and he pursues an active role as pianist on stage and in recording. An engaging speaker and writer on a wide variety of musical topics, he is able to communicate his enthusiasm for the art to a broad constituency.
Born 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.
Lori Barnet is a graduate of Bennington College. Her primary teachers include Robert Newkirk, George Finkel and Barbara Stein Mallow on cello, Phoebe Carrai on baroque cello, and Josef Gingold, Artur Balsam, Joseph Fuchs and Jacob Glick on chamber music. She is principal cellist of the National Philharmonic, Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, and Philadelphia’s Orchestra 2001 where she holds the Dell Venarde Principal Cello Chair. She has appeared as soloist with the Augusta (GA) Symphony, Alexandria and Mclean Symphonies, Orchestra 2001, National Philharmonic, Washington Chamber Symphony and several university ensembles. She was principal cellist of Penn Contemporary Players (Philadelphia) and the Contemporary Music Forum (DC), each for 20 years, and served five seasons as the continuo cellist on period instruments for the Washington Bach Consort’s cantata series. Other appearances as a baroque cellist include those with the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, the Vivaldi Project, Ensemble Gaudior, ArcoVoce, Kontra Bande and with the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble. She has toured in Russia, Italy, Denmark, England, Cuba, and China and recorded for Orion and CRI.
She has been a faculty member at The George Washington University since 1991 where she teaches cello, coaches chamber music, and appears regularly with the University’s faculty performance ensemble, the Columbian Consort.
With style and energy, Avalare performs timeless Classical works, Latin and Celtic folk, as well as electrifying rock hits of yesterday and today.
Diana Vuolo, Violin
Diana was awarded a full tuition scholarship to attend the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. At PCPA she studied with the famed teacher, Dorothy DeLay. She was also a regular performer for the DeLay master classes at the Aspen Music School. She has had a variety of performing experiences, including a concert tour of Germany with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Philly Pops Orchestra, and was Assistant Concertmaster for the International Lyric Festival Opera Orchestra in Italy. She also served as a substitute for the Saint Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin.
Valerie Vuolo, Violin
Valerie began her studies at the age of five under the tutelage of her mother, Diana Vuolo. After high school she continued her studies at the Hartt School of Music with violinist Emlyn Ngai. She has performed in master classes by Pamela Frank, the Miami String Quartet, Anton Miller, and Felicia Muy. During her studies at the Hartt School, Valerie was the recipient of several generous awards including the Louis T. Carabillo Scholarship for Violinists. She graduated with honors from the Hartt School in 2007 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. Valerie has performed extensively in solo recitals, and has collaborated with the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Boy’s Choir, the Savoy Opera Company, and recording artist Ashton Allen (Livewire).
Greg Lipscomb, Viola and Baritone
Greg holds a Masters degree from The Peabody Institute of Music where he was a recipient of the George Castelle Award. His latest album, “Living My Life,” which features him as a violist, singer, songwriter and arranger, has been played on radio stations throughout Costa Rica and on XPN in the Philadelphia area. As an orchestral violist he has performed with such artists as Patti La Belle and Smokey Robinson. As a vocal soloist he has performed in France and Switzerland under the baton of Mislav Rostropovich, in Japan under Yutaka Sado. Greg currently plays viola in the Greater Trenton Symphony and is Instrumental Music Director at the Solebury School in New Hope, PA. Additionally, he writes many of the musical arrangements Avalare performs.
Brooke Beazley-Cyzewski, Cello
Brooke received a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating , she joined the North Carolina Symphony. Upon meeting her future husband, she relocated to Philadelphia where she is currently a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Philly Pops. She performs throughout the Delaware Valley with a number of ensembles including Orchestra 2001, the Delaware Symphony, Ocean City Pops, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. Brooke frequently plays in Atlantic City for Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, and other top name performers.
A unique teaming of musicians has created a singular sound. The music of The Bob Beach Trio is rooted in the double bass and assorted percussion instruments of Dave and Angie Nelson. To complete this sound Bob Beach adds vocals, harmonica and flute. The sound created by this trio highlights the essentials of each song. Teaming two classically trained musicians with a self taught “folk” musician has accomplished an excellent combination of rhythm and feel. The Bob Beach Trio is:
Dave Nelson A native of the Philadelphia area, David Nelson was born in Bucks County Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He attended Temple University for his Undergraduate and Masters degrees in Percussion Performance and now resides outside of Philadelphia. David has made a career of free-lance percussion and timpani work both in the Philadelphia area and around the world.
Angie Nelson Angela Zator Nelson was appointed as Section Percussionist and Associate Principal Timpanist to the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. A native of the Chicago area, she graduated from the Northwestern University School of Music. She then continued her education in Philadelphia at Temple University where her principal instructor was Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra, whom she later replaced. Angela graduated in 2001 with her Masters degree in Music Performance.
Bob Beach has been singing and playing harmonica and flute professionally for more than 30 years. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Bob relocated to Western PA after high school. From 1976 to 1997 Bob worked in bands and other musical projects based in the city of Pittsburgh. While there Bob was a mainstay of the blues, rock and country scenes. In 1997 Bob came back to Philadelphia and has continued performing and recording. He has supported a number of local and touring musicians, both live and in the studio.
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 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.
Cynthia Folio is Professor of Theory and Composition at Temple University, where she was honored with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994 and the Creative Achievement Award in 2012. She received her Ph.D. in music theory and Performers Certificate in flute from the Eastman School of Music. Cynthia’s compositions have been described by reviewers as “confident and musical in expressing ideas of great substance,” “intriguing and enjoyable,” and “imaginatively scored.”
Cynthia has received commissions from such organizations as Network for New Music, the Relâche Ensemble, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, and the National Flute Association, and she earned 22 consecutive ASCAP Awards for composition. She has had residencies at The American Academy in Rome, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In the summer of 2011, the National Flute Association featured an entire concert of her music on its annual convention, and in 2015 it featured her new double flute concerto, Winds for Change, performed by the flute duo ZAWA! and the Serafin String Quartet. Cynthia’s pieces are recorded on many CD’s, including a 2014 release, Inverno Azul, featuring nine of her compositions, on the BCM+D label; a 2007 release by the Relâche Ensemble, Press Play, by Meyer Music; and a 2006 release of Flute Loops: Chamber Music for Flute by Centaur Records, featuring eight of her compositions. She also recorded a jazz CD, Portfolio (Centaur Records), which includes four original compositions; please visit: