Guest Conductors, 2017-2018
Core Performers, 2017-2018
Guest Artists

Guest Conductors, 2017-2018

Nathan Lofton

Nathan Lofton enjoys an active career as a conductor, composer, singer, and educator. Nathan is a former Music Director of the Boston New Music Initiative, and has also served on the music staffs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Nathan’s arrangements have been performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the United States Navy Band, and members of the Boston, San Francisco, and Utah Symphony Orchestras. Recent commissions have included arrangements for the Temple University Theater Department, Philadelphia Mural Arts, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. As a professional choral singer, Nathan has performed with the Boston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras on many occasions, including appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Lucerne and BBC Proms Festivals, and on PBS’s Great Performances. At present, Nathan is on the faculty of Widener University, where he directs the Widener Chorale; a board member of the Boston New Music Initiative and the Chestnut Street Singers, a Philadelphia chamber choir; and on the music staff of Opera Philadelphia.

A native of San Francisco, Nathan is a graduate of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, the New England Conservatory, and Temple University. Nathan has studied composition with Michael Gandolfi and Scott Wheeler, and conducting with Paul Rardin, Charles Peltz, and Hugh Wolff. Nathan has participated in conducting masterclasses sponsored by the American Choral Director’s Association, Chorus America, and the Oregon Bach Festival with Simon Halsey, Helmuth Rilling, and Robert Spano.


Tian Hui Ng

The American Prize winning conductor Ng Tian Hui is Music Director of the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra (USA). His innovative programming has been acknowledged with grants from institutions such as the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Arts Council of Singapore, Singapore International Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic, and WomenArts, in addition to other awards from the Oregon Bach Festival, the Dartington International Music Festival, the Yale School of Music, and the Singapore Government Public Service Commission.

An advocate of new music, he has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners such as Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, Robert Kyr, David Sanford, and Joan Tower, and many young composers. He is particularly proud of his commissioning work, which has helped composers like Chen Zhangyi garner international prizes such as the London Symphony Orchestra Prize. His 2001 direction of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress was praised by the Birmingham Post (UK) for its “high orchestral quality” while his 2014 premiere of Mary D. Watkins’s Civil Rights era opera, Dark River, was critically acclaimed in the United States.

Tian has conducted orchestras around the world including the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Dartington Festival Orchestra (UK), Orchestra of the Royal Opera of Wallonie (Belgium), and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra (USA), and musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra (UK), Orquestra de Cadaqués (Spain), Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), Tempesta di Mare (USA), and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada). A versatile musician, he is equally at home in the realm of choral music and has conducted ensembles like the Stuttgart Chamber Choir (Germany), Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus (USA), Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (USA), Yale Schola Cantorum (USA), and the Young Person’s Chorus of New York (USA). He has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Dashon Burton, Tyler Duncan, Marcus Eiche, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Ayano Kataoka, Ilya Polataev, Gary Steigerwalt, Astrid Schween, Sara Davis Buechner, Hanna Elisabeth Müller, Nicholas Phan, James Taylor, Gilles Vonsattel and Soyoung Yoon.

In the 2017/2018 Season, Mr. Ng looks forward to music ranging from Brahms’s Violin Concerto, to Olabode Omojola’s new opera Irin Ajo, Holst’s Planets and a concert celebrating the work of Mexican women.


Core Performers, 2017-2018

photo © Susan Wilson

Deirdre Viau – Flute

Deirdre Viau received a Graduate Performance Diploma in Flute from the Longy School of Music. She studied flute with Julia Scolnik and Vanessa Mulvey, and jazz improvisation with Peter Cassino. Ms. Viau is a founding member of the chamber ensemble Quinta Esencia, which performs an eclectic mix of Latin American, classical, and modern music. The group regularly commissions new works. She maintains a private flute studio in the Boston area.


photo © Susan Wilson

Yhasmin Valenzuela – Clarinet

Yhasmin Valenzuela, native of Peru, earned her bachelor’s degree at the Lima Conservatory "Josafat Roel Pineda" in both clarinet performance and music education. She continued her studies in the United States at Texas Christian University, where she received her Master’s Degree in clarinet performance.  Following this, she obtained a Graduate Performance Diploma with distinction at the Longy School of Music.  Yhasmin is an active chamber music and orchestral performer.  Currently, she can be heard playing with the New Bedford Symphony, Waltham Symphony Orchestra and The Boston New Music Initiative.


Ryan Shannon – Violin

Ryan Shannon, 23, is a freelance Violinist, Fiddler, and Arts Leader in the Boston area. He graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston in 2014, where he earned a BM in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Lucy Chapman and the Borromeo Quartet’s Nicholas Kitchen. During his first year at NEC, Ryan was part of the inaugural class of From the Top’s Center for the Development of Arts Leaders training program, which, through a year-long partnership with the Astra-Zeneca Hope Lodge, gave him unprecedented learning opportunities in the world of Arts Community Action. This year Ryan joined From the Top again for a week-long workshop residency, bringing artistic agency to students in Hazard, Kentucky. Ryan is also an avid chamber musician, seeing this instrumentation as the most intimate and inviting for listeners new and old. In 2010, his string quartet took 3rd place at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Junior Division, marking the beginning in a long path that will lead him towards the professional chamber music world. Ryan is a founding member of Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble dedicated to improving human life through music.


Christopher Homick – Violoncello

Christopher Homick is a Boston-based cellist and composer. His classical performance highlights include the Boston New Music Initiative, Equilibrium, and Boston String Players. He has also played with pop performers such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kingsbury Manx, Wesley Wolfe, and Zubris. Christopher has attended summer festivals such as the Meadowmount School of Music and Brevard Music Center, and has appeared in master classes led by Zuill Bailey, Nina Lee, and Tilmann Wick, among others. Christopher is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.M. ’08) and The Boston Conservatory (M.M. ’12 and P.S.C. ’13).

Leah Kosch - Piano

A recent graduate from the M.M. program at Longy School of Music, Leah Kosch also received her B. M. from Ohio State University.  Her teachers have included Dr. Hugh Hinton and Dr. Caroline Hong. During the past few years, Ms. Kosch has performed throughout the Boston and Cambridge area as both a soloist and collaborative musician. 

As a chamber musician, her recent performances have ranged from Brahms to Copland and she has enjoyed playing in venues such as Pickman Hall, Boston College, BU, and the New England Conservatory.  Through Brevard’s summer festival, she also had the privilege of playing with the Brevard Music Center orchestra under the baton of Keith Lockhart.

Leah is also an active contemporary chamber musician, having participated in SICPP, New England Conservatory’s contemporary summer festival, New Hampshire’s PARMA festival, and the Boston New Music Initiative, as well as recording new works with the Acting Singers Project.  Ms. Kosch is on faculty at Boston College, Brookline Music School, and Rivers Conservatory.

Daniel Lewis - Percussion

Daniel T. Lewis (b. 1986) is a percussionist and composer living in Medford, MA. His music is performed frequently in the Boston area and across the US. He has written music for ALEA III, Boston Percussion Group, Conetube Reedwhistle, Equilibrium Ensemble, Greenville Chamber Players, Iktus Percussion, KOEK, Lorelei Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble, Sound Energy String Trio, Transient Canvas, and numerous solo and ad hoc performances.

Daniel performs regularly as a percussionist and improviser. He has been featured on Advent Library Series, Opensound, and Equilibrium Concert Series, as well as a live radio performance with Morgan Evans-Weiler on WHRB's Record Hospital. Most recently Daniel has performed with Equilibrium Ensemble, Boston New Music Initiative, Boston Percussion Group, Ordinary Affects, and members of ThingNY.

Daniel currently performs with Rested Field, an experimental improvisation trio focused on experimental methods, notations and materials of music.

Daniel was a winner of the Boston Microtonal Society 2014 Call for Scores, and his music has been featured at the MA Chapter PAS Day of Percussion (2014) and the Zeltsman Marimba Festival (2010). Daniel attended SICPP at New England Conservatory in 2012, with lessons and masterclasses from Christian Wolff. He holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory and Western Connecticut State University in composition, music education, and percussion performance. His primary teachers include Andy Vores, Marti Epstein, Kevin J. Isaacs, and David Smith (percussion).

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Guest Artists, Season 9

Anna Seda - Violoncello

Cellist Anna Seda has performed internationally in an array of settings including the Singapore Symphony, National Public Radio live from China, the Bienal De Violoncello, Peru's international cello conference, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Passionate about standard repertoire as well as contemporary and folk music, she equally values her experiences playing for for living composer George Crumb (Crumb Fest), performing the Schumann Cello Concerto with orchestra, and exploring Scottish music for baroque cello.

Anna began her cello studies in Denver, Colorado at age 4 with the Suzuki Method, and gained momentum in her teens with the chance to study at the Aspen Music Festival. In later years Anna was the recipient of a University of Colorado Fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival and also attended the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Charlie Castleman's Quartet Program, and the National Summer Cello Institute which specialized in Feldenkreis method for cello. Notable masterclasses include Juilliard cellists Darrett Adkins and Timothy Eddy, Eastman School of Music professor Steven Doane, and Arizona State University cellist Thomas Landschoot. Holding degrees from the University of Colorado, University of Denver, and the Boston Conservatory, her most influential mentors include Sato Knudsen of Boston Symphony, the Tacaks String Quartet, contemporary cellist Rhonda Rider, Scottish cellist Abby Newton, and Suzuki Cello teacher trainer Carol Tarr.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Music from University of Colorado At Boulder, Master of Music from the Boston Conservatory, and a certificate in Suzuki pedagogy from the University of Denver.

MacFarland Masterton - Violin

MacFarland Masterton is from Chicago, Illinois. He studied with Robert Waters and Janet Sung at DePaul University (BM 2012), and Joseph Silverstein and Irina Muresanu at Boston Conservatory (MM 2014). He currently plays and performs around New England and the Midwest, and is a founding member of the Loki String Quartet. Loki is Quartet is in residency at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where it regularly performs and works with students, in addition to performances throughout Massachussets. In addition to classical repertoire, Masterton has played Irish traditional music from a young age, won several local and regional competitions in this style, and was a finalist in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. He has also studied jazz for many years and regularly performs with the Boston-based jazz/pop group “Speechless”. Masterton teaches a private studio in Newton, MA, as part of “Maestro Musicians Academy”.

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