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Core Performers, 2020-2021
Guest Artists, 2020-2021

Core Performers, 2020-2021

Tian Hui Ng – Conductor

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.

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-Blanchard – Clarinet

Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard's musicality is communicated through her warm and heartfelt sound both in her orchestral and chamber music performances.

She is a vibrant performer and educator throughout all of New England. In addition to the Boston New Music Initiative, she collaborates frequently with the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, Symphony New Hampshire, New England Philharmonic, Cape Ann Symphony among others.

As an advocate for contemporary music, Yhasmin has performed in the premiere of many new works as a core member of The Boston New Music Initiative.

Yhasmin holds a Bachelor’s degree in performance and music education from Conservatorio de Lima “Josafat Roel Pineda”, a Master’s Degree in clarinet performance from Texas Christian University and a Graduate Performance Diploma in clarinet performance from Longy School of 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).

Stephanie Clark – clarinet

Stephanie is a Boston based clarinetist. As a long time member of the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, she has premiered and recorded many original film scores, and has played in world renowned film festivals in San Francisco and throughout New England. Ms. Clark is the clarinetist in the scores to the official releases of renowned silent films "The Last Laugh" and "Varieté". She can also be heard on the soundtrack for the Jules Verne documentary "Passage to Mars" as well as the official orchestral version of Dream Theater's "False Awakening Suite". She plays regularly throughout Massachusetts and has performed with a variety of groups including Arlington Children's Theater, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, East Coast Scoring, jazz trio TRIchrO, and the contemporary experimental group Ordinary Affects. As a co-founder of the clarinet quartet J4MN, she has premiered and recorded several works, including a recording at WGBH and performing with composer and clarinetist Eric Mandat on his "Shadows from Flames". Ms. Clark studied at The Boston Conservatory where she was selected to work with artists including Louis Andriessen, Gunther Schuller, Monica Germino, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with Claire Chase. As a student of Michael Norsworthy she received her Bachelor's degree and in 2016 was the first recipient of a G.P.D. with an Auxiliary Specialization on Bass Clarinet.

Guest Artists, 2020-2021

photo © Gaya Feldheim Schorr

Stephanie Lamprea – soprano

Zaka June 19, 2021

Colombian-American soprano Stephanie Lamprea is an architect of new sounds and expressions as a performer, recitalist, curator and improviser, specializing in contemporary classical repertoire. Trained as an operatic coloratura, Stephanie uses her voice as a mechanism of avant-garde performance art, creating “maniacal shifts of vocal production and character… like an icepick through the skull” (composer Jason Eckardt). Her work has been described as “mercurial” by I Care If You Listen, and she “sings so expressively and slowly with ever louder and higher-pitched voice, that the inclined listener [has] shivers down their back and tension flows into the last row." (Halberstadt.de) She received a 2019 Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and she was awarded 2nd prize in the international John Cage Awards, sponsored by the John Cage Orgel Stiftung in Halberstadt, Germany. Her curatorial work received a 2018 grant from the Puffin Foundation.

Stephanie devours mammoth works of virtuosity and extended techniques with ease and creative insight, singing with an entire spectrum of vocal colors (including operatic style, straight tone, sputters and throat noises). Works of note she has performed include Kate Soper's IPSA DIXIT, Georges Aperghis' 14 Recitations, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs, and Shostakovich’s Seven Verses of Alexander Blok, and she values close collaborations with composers of today, having championed works by Ms. Soper, Jason Eckardt, Chaya Czernowin, Aaron Jay Myers, Kaija Saariaho, Ashkan Behzadi, Reiko Fueting, jazz bassist / composer Nick Dunston, and several others. She has performed as a solo and chamber musician at Roulette, National Sawdust, Shapeshifter Lab, Miller Theater at Columbia University, the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center, the Slipper Room, Park Avenue Armory, the Center for New Music in San Francisco, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Clark University, and the Re:Sound Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2019, Stephanie was selected to give a TEDX Talk in Waltham, MA on experimental vocal music.

Stephanie is one half of Peridot, a contemporary vocal duo that uses creative programming to highlight challenging and alternative methods to vocal chamber music, and she has collaborated with new music ensembles such as Ekmeles (NYC), Equilibrium Ensemble (Boston), Verdant Vibes (Rhode Island), and Guerrilla Opera (Boston). Her passions for interdisciplinary work and social advocacy have led her to create projects such as Recitations in Movement, a performance in collaboration with dance artist Laila J. Franklin to raise funds for Rosie's Place, a shelter for homeless and battered women, and Pidgin Talk, a commissioning effort dedicated to creating new works for voice that alter the use of linguistics.

Stephanie was born in New York and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she worked with Maitland Peters and Lucy Shelton. Her current mentors include Sarah Maria Sun, Gina Izzo and Eunbi Kim through the bespoken mentorship program.

Ariel Mo – piano

Living Music Summit  June 18-20, 2021

Chinese Canadian pianist Ariel Mo, 22, is about halfway through a Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory with Stephen Drury. She has a voracious interest in all areas of classical music, the result of a restless curiosity for new sounds and fierce devotion to every piece that crosses her path. Her last projects pre-pandemic include a multidisciplinary performance at the Cutler Majestic Theatre commemorating the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in Jordan Hall under the direction of John Heiss. In 2018, Ariel won an NEC competition for Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie and performed three of its movements with Hugh Wolff and NEC Philharmonia. She has also played on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s pre-concert series, which celebrates new commissions; worked with composers Kajia Saariaho, Michael Finnissy, and Derek Bermel; and in master classes with Michel Béroff and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. In the summers, she has attended festivals at Bowdoin, Orford, and Gíjon, as well as the Holland International Music Sessions, Morningside Music Bridge, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.

Ariel’s past mentors include Victor Rosenbaum, Bruce Brubaker, and the duo-pianists Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham. At NEC, Ariel founded the Asian Students Association in hopes of celebrating its international community and fostering dialogue around all the complex, elusive possibilities of Asian identity. She was also a longtime Community Performance Fellow; edited and re-designed the literary journal; and majored in piano performance and music history. Her thesis, advised by Dr. Ellen Exner, discussed the impact of Claude Debussy’s family on his drive to compose. She is also an avid reader, painter, aspiring quadrilinguist, and (unfortunately) enthusiastic cook.

Teng Cao – piano

Living Music Summit  June 18-20, 2021

Born in Hebei, China, Teng Cao is a classical pianist who has great interest in both classical and new music and has performed a great deal of new music in the last several years. In 2021, Teng was named a winner of the Honors Competition in Piano at New England Conservatory, where she performed Michael Finnissy’s “Gershwin Arrangements”. Recently, she performed Concerto Grosso No.1 by Alfred Schnittke with Maestro Hugh Wolff and NEC Philharmonia. Additionally, Teng performed “Boutonnière” by Marti Epstein in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s pre-concert series and was in coachings with the local composer prior to the performance.

While at NEC, Teng was a longtime fellow of the Community Performances and Partnerships program and performed classical and new music works in the Greater Boston Area. In past summers, Teng attended the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, Summit Music Festival & Institute, Spring Forward Festival, and in this upcoming summer of 2021, Teng will be attending the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.

Teng recently graduated from New England Conservatory with her Master of Music in Piano Performance where she studied with Stephen Drury and Gabriel Chodos. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York, where she studied with Morey Ritt.

Victor Xie – piano

Clarinet Friends June 18, 2021

Victor Xie bridges personal experience and traditional classical music though the practice of group/solo improvisation. From a calling to creating personal improvisation recordings since early childhood, he channels his energy into a weekly project of interlacing compositions and improvised music. Past all of the stylizations, studies, and experiments - Victor aims to remind us that the present moment of music is always most essential, both in the realm of social involvement and deep self-reflection.

Victor Xie is from Palo Alto, California, and completed his BM in piano performance with Prof. Alexander Korsantia and Mr. Victor Rosenbaum at the New England Conservatory of Music. He has studied composition primarily with Prof. Alla Cohen, beginning winter of 2019. Before studying at NEC, he proved himself a capable artist through a myriad of competitions. At the Mostarts Competition and Festival in 2015, Victor placed second and his concerto won the audience-favorite prize. He performed the complete Saint Saens Concerto No.2 with the California Youth Symphony in two concerts as the winner of the Young Artist’s Solo Competition. He also performed with the Mercury Orchestra at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University as the winner of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition. In the spring of 2020, he was privileged to participate as a competitor in the National Chopin Competition of the United States in Miami.

Arjun Mudan – Viola/Violin

Quarantune Snacks
Living Music Summit June 18-20, 2021

Arjun Mudan is a Boston-based violist/violinist, with a particular interest in the new and the unusual. This is his first season involved with the Boston New Music Initiative. He has performed with numerous Eastern MA ensembles, including the Boston Philharmonic, Cape Ann Symphony, and Plymouth Philharmonic. He was involved in the US and Swiss premiers of major works by Helmut Lachenmann and Friedrich Cerha, and has worked with conductors such as Matthias Pintscher, Jeffrey Milarsky, Heinz Holliger, and JoAnn Falletta. His festival credits include Spoleto, Round Top, and Lucerne. Arjun has a bachelor's degree from Columbia University, and influential teachers include Michelle LaCourse, Jessica Meyer, Cyrus Beroukhim, and Dimitri Murrath.

Julian Loida – Percussion

Quarantune Snacks
Living Music Summit  June 18-20, 2021

Called a “thought provoker” by Boston Voyager, Julian Loida is a Boston-based percussionist, composer, and producer. Loida’s musical curiosity and open-mindedness has propelled him towards a wide-range of sounds, genres, and artistic endeavors. He’s performed jazz, folk, and classical, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, songwriters/composers, and musicians of all stripes. The thirst to participate in and experience this range of sounds is partly a product of Loida’s synesthesia. Music is a full- body experience for him, with sounds often invoking involuntary sensations of color, texture, or even taste.

Loida often writes and arranges for his projects and ensembles (the Cuban/Brazilian band INÃ, jazz quintet Mojubá, chamber-folk band Night Tree), and his music has been featured in film. His interdisciplinary projects aim at breaking down artistic barriers. The evening-length solo-project Recital of Dedications incorporates speech, visual media, and music into a series of dedications to individuals, historical moments, and more. In 2018, he released the album Bach LIVE!, featuring J.S. Bach’s music arranged for percussion. Loida’s upcoming 2019 release, Wallflower, marks his solo-album debut, and also provides the clearest distillation of his voice as a composer to date.

Loida has toured internationally as a featured artist at Korrö, Sweden’s largest folk music festival, and played some of the most prestigious music festivals in the U.S. such as Spoleto, New World Festival, the Exit Zero jazz festival, Caramoor American Roots Festival, and Round Top Music Festival. He has performed with groups such as Alarm Will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

As an educator, Loida shares his scores and deep rhythmic knowledge with students of all ages. In 2017, he received his Master’s Degree in Classical Percussion from New England Conservatory.

Ethan Wood – Violin

Living Music Summit  June 18-20, 2021

Ethan Wood has performed on the violin, viola, mandolin, piano, & saw with groups such as Island Moving Company, the Boston Ballet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Callithumpian Consort, International Contemporary Ensemble, Odyssey Opera, & Trinity Repertory Company. Also a composer, he had a piece premiered by A Far Cry which was featured on their double-Grammy-nominated album, Visions and Variations. An Assistant Professor of Music at Wheaton College and Assistant Concertmaster of New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, he is grateful that both institutions managed to keep going with a mix of virtual and live interactions during this pandemic!

Danielle Aldach – soprano

Clarinet Friends June 18, 2021
Bon Appétit June 20, 2021

Danielle Aldach, soprano, is a graduate of Simpson College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her degrees are in Vocal Performance and Music Theory and Composition respectively. She currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently she sang in the premiere of “Confluence”, a new work by Frank Stemper and performed with Opera Project Columbus as Ida in Die Fledermaus.

Adam Gurczak – bass

Bon Appétit June 20, 2021

Adam S Gurczak is a Boston-based performer, educator, and art maker who is passionate about collaboration and social change through music. He has premiered many new works both as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed with various ensembles like the New England Symphony, Boston Chamber Symphony, New England Philharmonic, and Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Outside of the classical realm, he works as the Artistic Programs Administrator for the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble; regularly performs with folk artists like Rachel Sumner and Sarah Grella; is the bassist of the progressive folk band Amber Wilds; and is a part-time performance manager at Club Passim, a non-profit arts organization and music venue. As a teacher, he runs his own private studio and works at StringPlay, which he has been part of since its founding in 2013. Previously, he taught at the Boston Music Project (fka Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program), where he co-taught in two orchestras with students ranging from grades 1-5; the New England Music Academy; and as a section coach for various schools in Tucson, AZ. Adam has a master’s in music from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and previously graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a B.M. in Music Performance, a B.A. in Italian Studies, and a Thematic Minor. Beyond performing and teaching, he is also a freelance photographer, designer, and painter, working with unconventional mediums like tea and coffee.

Allison Damon – trumpet

Zaka  June 19, 2021

Oregon-native Allison Damon is a Boston based trumpeter and educator whose performances have been said to be ‘executed with golden tone’ (Boston Classical Review). A musician dedicated to performing the music of our time, she has performed with the Callithumpian Consort, the Longy Electronic Music Ensemble, Ensemble Uncaged, and she regularly works with composers to bring new works into existence. Also a performer of the traditional repertoire, Allison plays in the Charles River Brass Quintet and has held positions in the Boston Festival Orchestra, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, North Corner Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra, and the Rainier Symphony.

Allison holds a M.M. from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she was the recipient of the 2019 Patricia Sherman award and holds a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University. Her primary instructors have been Andy Kozar, Brian Chin, Rudolf Amon, Dave Bamonte, and Jim Kvech. Beyond music-making, Allison likes to spend her time reading, quilting, making coffee, and taking care of her houseplants.

Aija Reke – violin

Bon Appétit June 20, 2021

Aija Reke is a violinist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. She graduated from Boston University (MM, 2015) with Dana Mazurkevich, USA with CFA Full Tuition Scholarship and Rotterdam Conservatory (BM, 2013) in the Netherlands with Benzion Shamir. Winner of “Solo Bach Competition” at Boston University (2014), a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, American National Music Honor Society since 2015, and a recipient of the Boston Latvian Cultural Heritage award (2014). She has performed extensively in Europe and North America as a soloist, chamber musician, and in numerous orchestras. She performs regularly with ALEA III – Contemporary Music Ensemble in Residence at Boston University, with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera. Her “Baltic Duo” performed in the USA and Latvia, premiering and popularizing rare Baltic compositions.

As a passionate teacher she has taught in the youth development program “Boston Music Project”, Brookline Public Schools, El Sistema program, and also in private schools.  In 2021 she taught an international masterclass sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia through the zoom platform in Ventspils Music High School in Latvia. Her original score “Meditation-Prayer” is published under “Musica Baltica” with “Edition Peters”.

Aija is the Artistic Director of the High Street Concert Series at the Latvian Lutheran Church of Boston.  ​Her collaboration with several composers led to multiple world premieres, including microtonal “Musings” (2013) for violin solo by Lara Poe, “double images” (2017) by Ketty Nez, “Latvian in New York” (2017) by Marite Dombrovska (dedicated to “Baltic Duo”) and “Dawn” (2018) by Jānis Porietis (dedicated to “Baltic Duo”). Composer Lara Poe wrote a Violin Concerto for Aija Reke. Composer John Manuel Pacheco dedicated his Second Violin Sonata to Aija Reke.  Aija Reke advocates and popularizes rare repertoire and composers from Baltic states.

Aija Reke started her musical education in Tukums, Latvia with Dace Šplīte-Lisova and later at Em. Dārziņš Music school in Riga with Romans Šnē and Andris Baumanis. She also studied extensively with Oleksandr Semchuk and Ilya Grubert in masterclasses in Italy. Her debut album "Latvian Reflections" will be released in June, 2021 under "Spice Classics" label.

Dorisiya Yosifova  – Violin

Quarantune Snacks

Born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, Dorisiya Yosifova is a Boston based violinist and Violin/Viola instructor. Her most outstanding performances include appearances with Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, Jupiter Quartet in Oberlin’s Winter Term Intensive, performing at Carnegie Hall as part of Oberlin Orchestra, as well as at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the Next Festival for Emerging Artists. She has held concertmaster positions with Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival Orchestras, and Round Top Orchestra. Throughout her career so far, Dorisiya has won various awards and competitions, including the Boston Conservatory at Berklee's Merit Scholarship and Marrowstone Music Festivals, String Fellowship Award, among others. In 2018, Dorisiya won a First Prize in the international competition “Best Mozart Performance”, from the “Great Composers Competition” series, and a Second Prize in “The Music of America” from the same series. Dorisiya enjoys a vivid career as a performer and a teacher. She can be found concertizing regularly as a solo, chamber music, and orchestra musician at local venues, such as King’s Chapel, Wellesley Public Library, and the Arts Complex Museum, among others. Dorisiya plays as Principal Second Violinist with the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and has also played in the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra as a section member and the Lowell House Opera in Cambridge as concertmaster. In addition to her performing, Dorisiya is also an enthusiastic violin and viola pedagogue. Dorisiya currently teaches violin and viola at the Boston School of Music Arts in Dorchester, MA and the First Presbyterian Church in South Boston. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Maud Powell String Institute in Medford, MA, which will officially launch in Fall of 2020. Last summer, Dorisiya took part in the “Teaching the Violin to Children” workshop at the String Academy of Wisconsin, where she closely observed renowned string pedagogues Mimi Zweig (Indiana University) and Darcy Drexler (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). Shortly after graduating from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, she was also Professor Rictor Noren’s teaching assistant who is also one of Dorisiya’s main inspirations to pursue a career in teaching.
Dorisiya holds a Master of Music degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee (2017) and a Bachelor's of Music from Oberlin Conservatory (2015). Her primary teachers include Gregory Fulkerson, Marilyn McDonald and Rictor Noren.

Minato Sakamoto – Piano

Quarantune Snacks

Minato Sakamoto is a Japanese composer, pianist, improviser, and railfan from Osaka. His compositions practice the unserious seriously, fuse spontaneous and organic qualities, and demonstrate a clear connection to the past.

Minato is currently studying towards his Ph.D. in composition at Duke University. He previously studied at Amherst College and graduated summa cum laude in 2018. As a railway addict, Minato constantly wastes his time to explore unique railways in the world. Favorite composer: Johannes Brahms. Favorite locomotive: China Railway DF4 Type.

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