Rhode Island native John Masko is a rapidly rising conductor who works with professional and semi-professional orchestral ensembles around the U.S. He is currently music director of the Providence Medical Orchestra and Coro Dante, and is a finalist for music director of the Wellesley Symphony and Brockton Symphony Orchestras. He serves regularly as an assistant and cover conductor with ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra, where he has assisted conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vänskä, Fabien Gabel, and Krzysztof Urbański.
John holds a master’s degree in conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Dr. Eric Dudley. He has also studied conducting with Charles Peltz at New England Conservatory and participated in masterclasses with Sian Edwards, Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, Benjamin Zander, and Rüdiger Bohn. He won the American Prize in Conducting in 2021 for his work with the Wellesley Symphony, and was a finalist for the 2018 Boston Pops Orchestra Leonard Bernstein Conducting Competition.
Outside of music, he enjoys the novels of Thomas Hardy and fancies himself maker of the best gumbo north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
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. An enthusiastic proponent of New Music, Ms. Viau is currently a core member of the Boston New Music Initiative. She also performs classical and modern chamber music with the flute/viola/harp ensemble Trio Notturno.
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.
Arjun Mudan is a Boston-based violist/violinist, with a particular interest in the new and the unusual. This is his second 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.
Felicia Chen is a dynamic vocalist and improviser with an affinity for contemporary sound art. Through her fearless approach toward the creation and interpretation of new works, Felicia eschews boundaries that limit the definition of music. Praised by The Boston Musical Intelligencer for creating "siren-like sounds that explored extremes of the vocal range," Felicia employs a wide arsenal of extended techniques ranging from vocal percussion to multiphonic singing. A firm believer that classical music can be a catalyst for social commentary and change, Felicia frequently collaborates with artists and communities whose voices are underrepresented in the field. Current ensemble projects include Mazumal, a voice and cello partnership that programs new works championing diversity, and KITA duo, which explores the playful relationship between voice and percussion. Felicia is a recipient of the UC Berkeley Alfred Hertz Traveling Fellowship, the Boston Conservatory Alumni Entrepreneurial Grant, and has been a resident artist at The Banff Centre, Nief-Norf, Fresh Inc Festival, Composers Conference, soundSCAPE, and SICPP. Felicia holds degrees from Boston Conservatory, where she was a part of the inaugural class of the Contemporary Music Performance graduate program, and the University of California at Berkeley.
Aija Rēķe is a violinist, chamber musician, published composer, concert presenter, and pedagogue. She graduated from Boston University (MM, 2015) under Dana Mazurkevich, with a CFA Full Tuition Scholarship, and Rotterdam Conservatory (BM, 2013) in the Netherlands under Benzion Shamir.
She released her album “Latvian Reflections” under Spice Classics label (July 2021). It was presented on National Latvian Radio Channel 3 and as well as Latvian National TV station 1 and other Latvian media nationally and abroad. Henry Fogel, one of the most respected music personalities in the USA, reviewed the album positively for Fanfare Magazine. Latvian Reflections solidifies Aija’s passion for promoting Latvian heritage — particularly 20th-century Latvian composers. As a composer, her Meditation-Prayer was published in 2019 by Musica Baltica (Edition Peters).
Aija won the Solo Bach Competition at Boston University (2014), is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, American National Music Honor Society (since 2015), and is 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 orchestral musician. Aija performs regularly with ALEA III – Contemporary Music Ensemble in Residence at Boston University, the 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, Aija has taught in the Boston Music Project youth development program, Brookline Public Schools, the El Sistema program, and also in private schools.
In 2021, she led an international masterclass sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Rīga, Latvia in Ventspils Music High School in Latvia. As a presenter, Aija co-founded the High Street Concert Series at the Latvian Lutheran Church of Boston and serves as Artist Director.
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 Mārīte Dombrovska (dedicated to the Baltic Duo) and Dawn (2018) by Jānis Porietis (dedicated to the Baltic Duo). Aija also commissioned a Violin Concerto from Lara Poe and received a dedication from John Manuel Pacheco for his Second Violin Sonata. One of her great passions is advocating for and popularizing lesser-known repertoire and composers from the Baltic states.
Dr. Kyle Forsthoff is the Artist/Teacher in Classical Percussion at the University of Rhode Island. He also performs with the local bands Fellswater and the Island Time Steel Band, and is an instructor at The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance and at Blackstone River Theatre. Kyle is a scholar and performer of Irish Traditional Music, America’s Fife & Drum tradition, and has performed and taught throughout the US, Europe, and in Asia. Locally, he has been a guest with Verdant Vibes and the Boston New Music Initiative. Kyle serves on the Executive Board for RIMEA and is the President of the Rhode Island Percussive Arts Society. Previously, he has held positions at Rhode Island College, the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, and Capital University. He holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University, is a member of ASCAP, and is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Cooperman frame drums and drumsticks, and Yamaha percussion instruments.
Soprano Mary Mackenzie has emerged as one of contemporary music’s most gifted voices and compelling storytellers, enjoying a performance career spanning 11 U.S. States and Washington D.C., as well as a seasoned discography spanning 11 years. After her debut as Despina (Così fan tutte) at Madison Opera, she would go on to appear as the soprano soloist (Carmina Burana) with both the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony. Now dedicated to contemporary productions, she has performed leading roles in world premieres of numerous operas, including as Sister Leonide (Mata Hari by Matt Marks), Despina (Cosi faran tutti by Jonathan Dawe), and Angelica (Cracked Orlando by Jonathan Dawe). Collaborations with orchestra include the Albany Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, and the Borromeo String Quartet.
Career highlights include the United States premiere of Héctor Parra’s monodrama Hypermusic: Ascension at the Guggenheim Museum, a performance of Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé Nos. 1 & 2 for the composer’s 85th birthday celebration at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, as well as a performance of Elliott Carter’s Warble for Lilac Time with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Also, at the Bravo! Vail Festival, Ms. Mackenzie performed and designed the storyline for a cabaret-style, costumed and staged rendition of De Leeuw - Im wunderschoenen Monat mai, a Pierrot-style “recomposed” adaptation of works by Schumann and Schubert, with new music collective Le Train Bleu—she has since continued to perform the work with the Redlands Symphony and with The Knights ensemble.
A keen chamber musician, Ms. Mackenzie has performed with American Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Ekmeles, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Collage New Music, Fulcrum Point, and the Talea Ensemble, among many others. Ms. Mackenzie’s discography includes five albums of collaborations with a bevy of modern composers, including MacArthur Grant awardee John Harbison.
Originally from Madison, Mary Mackenzie holds education from The Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M., Professional Studies Certificate). She lives with her husband Barry in Worcester, MA, where she enjoys running, baking, photography, and craft beer.
Matt Sharrock (they/them) is a vibrant musician whose performances have been praised as “eloquent” (San Francisco Chronicle), “sumptuous” (Boston Globe), “gorgeously lyrical” (Pittsburgh Gazette), and they have been hailed one of "Boston's best percussionists" (I Care if You Listen).
Along with clarinetist Amy Advocat as Transient Canvas, Matt tirelessly champions the music of living composers. Since its founding in 2011, TC has premiered over 80 pieces for bass clarinet and marimba while touring extensively in the United States and abroad. They have also sponsored an annual paid Composition Fellowship Program since 2017 that is free and open to composers of all ages. TC has released three albums on New Focus Recordings: Right Now, In a Second, noted by the Boston Globe for its “assemblage of fresh compositions” that “demonstrates the expanse that this pairing…can afford imaginative composers,” Wired, “a must-add to any new music lover’s library” according to I Care If You Listen, and Sift, which KLANG New Music called “one of the more refreshing things I’ve heard in recent years.”
In demand as a chamber musician, Matt is the resident percussionist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston and has performed with the Lydian String Quartet, Boston Musica Viva, Sound Icon, the Lorelei Ensemble, and with cellist Andrés Díaz at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. They are also a founding member of the mixed quartet Hinge and the Boston Percussion Group. As an orchestral percussionist, Matt can be heard regularly with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of Indian Hill, and the Grammy-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and they have performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and Symphony New Hampshire, among others. From 2013-2020 they served as Music Director and conductor for Equilibrium. They have recorded as a soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and orchestra musician on Beauport Classical, BMOP/sound, Innova, Navona, New Focus Recordings, and Ravello Records.
A passionate educator, Matt teaches music theory and liberal arts at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music in addition to being a course developer and facilitator for Berklee Online. They regularly present masterclasses across the U.S. with recent engagements at Chapman University, East Carolina University, University of Missouri Columbia, and the University of Kansas. Dedicated to working with student composers, Transient Canvas has been an ensemble-in-residence with The Boston Conservatory High School Composition Intensive since 2013 and they have held residencies with the composition departments at Harvard, Brandeis, Tufts, and Northeastern Universities, the Dancz Center for New Music at the University of Georgia, Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, Charlotte New Music Festival, Divergent Studio at Longy School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival Composition Program in Alba, Italy, among others.
Matt holds an M.M. in Marimba Performance from The Boston Conservatory and a B.M. in Music Performance (Percussion) from Baldwin Wallace University. Their primary teachers include Nancy Zeltsman and Jack Van Geem (marimba); Keith Aleo, Josh Ryan, and Sam Solomon (percussion); John Grimes (timpani), Sharan Leventhal (chamber music), and Dwight Oltman (conducting).
Matt proudly endorses Marimba One and Encore Mallets.
Zhiqiao Zhang is currently a first year master piano student in the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Wha-Kyung-Byun.
He was born in a Chinese musical family in which he studied piano and voice with his father since he was a child. Since 2009, he has studied piano with Bo tong, Jin Zhang of the Central Conservatory of Music, Minduo Li and Kuanwen Wang of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. During his course of studying, he also received guidance from famous Chinese-American pianist and composer YiGiang Sun.
Zhiqiao was admitted with first place to the Middle School affiliated to Central Conservatory of Music. In September 2014, he was transferred to the affiliated middle school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2017, he was admitted to the New England Conservatory on a full tuition scholarship.
He has won more than 10 international and domestic piano competitions, including the first place in "Imola International Summer Piano Festival & the Imola International Piano Competition", the first place in "The 4th China International Youth Piano Competition" National Finals Professional Junior Group B Special Gold Award, the 2014 "Heilen Cup EU National Academy of Music Youth Piano Competition" national finals professional group "Helen Star" special gold award, the 2020“Crown of stars” in music & stars award and the first prize of the Aspiring Professional Division In Arizona piano institute 2021 solo piano competition.
During his studying in New England Conservatory, He won first place in the 2018 Honors Competition of the New England conservatory and second place in the 2019 Concerto Competition of the New England Conservatory.
He has also won numerous scholarships including the Shanghai Conservatory of Music High School Scholarship, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Niu Ende Piano Scholarship, Shanghai Tang Junyuan Education Foundation Student Scholarship, and NEC’s US Presidential Scholarship. He graduated from Shanghai Music Middle School in 2016 with the highest score (first place) of the main piano class in the whole school.
He has held several solo piano recitals and concerts, participated in many piano master classes and chamber music master classes. He has performed in Italian Imola International Piano Academy Concert Hall, Shanghai He Luting Concert Hall, Poly Theatres in Shanghai, Ningbo, Hefei and Chongqing Huang Jueping Piano Museum Concert Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, USA. During middle school of studying, he has invited to perform in music festivals such as the 2016 the 4th Baroque music festival.
Chinese-born, Shalun Li is a student of pianist Ting Zhou and composer, Jianzhong Wang in Music Middle School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He is now pursuing a Master of Music at New England Conservatory in Boston as a student of Meng-Chieh Liu.
With equal parts discipline, drive and passion, Li has built a deep appreciation for the rigorous, high-level technical skills involved in piano. That, combined with his profound love for emotionally-driven storytelling through music, underpins an illustrious career for the young but already distinguished pianist.
In 2018, Li created his own ‘Multi-Art’ exhibition series, which combined his passion for music, painting and poetry, essentially creating a unique, never-seen-before, cross-disciplinary art experience. The exhibition series broke new ground, and is being critically praised for its innovation as a new medium of artistic expression. More importantly though, it has been a milestone for Li as it has allowed him to successfully mix interdisciplinary fields in a way that he was previously unable to.
Shalun Li’s notable accomplishments to date include:
First Prize in the 16th US Open Music Competition
First Prize in the Japanese Nation Piano Competition
Third Prize in the 21th Chopin International Piano Competition ASIA
First Honor Prize in the 4th Asia Toyama Teenager Piano Competition
First Prize in the 4th Wiesbaden Piano Competition, South China Division
A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Stephen has received a Bachelors degree with honors from the University of Connecticut, and Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Boston University. Stephen’s formative teachers include Michael Reynolds, Kangho Lee, Marc Johnson, and Rhonda Rider. A passionate advocate for contemporary music, Stephen plays regularly with groups such as Sound Icon, Callithumpian Consort, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and also performs on various new music concert series in the Boston area and beyond. Stephen has attended music festivals at the Banff Centre, Cortona Sessions for New Music and SoundSCAPE festival in Italy, and the and the Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. Stephen has a wide range of musical interest that include contemporary chamber music, improvisatory music, and electroacoustic music. As a soloist, Stephen has commissioned several new works for the instrument, and is concerned with expanding and augmenting the tonal pallet of his instrument both with and without technology. Stephen can be heard as a featured artist on Mode Records. In his spare time, Stephen is an avid hiker and outdoorsman.
Described as an “Admirably skilled player” (The News-Gazette), Boston based saxophonist WILSON POFFENBERGER is quickly establishing himself as a soloist, educator, chamber musician and improviser. Currently, Mr. Poffenberger is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance and literature at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he recently received ABD status.
As a soloist, Mr. Poffenberger has performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois Modern Ensemble, Illinois Wind Symphony, Dana Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble, and Hagerstown Municipal Band. He has presented recitals at the National Student Electronic Music Event, XVIII World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia, EMS60 Conference, Splice New Music Festival, International Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, Duquesne Saxophone Day, the Fondation des Etats-Unis and the Fondation Bierman-Lapotre.
Recent accomplishments include first prize at the 2020 UI Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, first prize at the 2020 American Prize Chamber Music Competition, first prize at the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, first prize at the 2019 Mostly Modern Festival Concerto Competition, first prize at the 2019 Krannert Debut Artist Competition, grand prize at the 2017 Enkor International Woodwind and Brass Competition, winner of the 2016-2017 Harriet Hale Woolley award, first prize at the 2014 Dana Young Artist competition, semi-finalist in the 2014 International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, and semi-finalist in the 2018 and 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Solo Competition.
A strong advocate for new music, Mr. Poffenberger has premiered and commissioned dozens of works by composers such as Étienne Rolin, Guillermo Lago, Gregory Wanamaker, Joel Love, David Biedenbender, Ralph Lewis, Elsie Han, Robert Lemay, Alexis Bacon, Vahid Jahandari, Andrew Koss, Drew Farrar, Carolyn Borcherding, Alex Miller, and Aaron Lockhart.
Mr. Poffenberger received his Masters of Music degree from Youngstown State University and his Bachelors of Music Education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with additional study at CRR Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, France. He has performed in masterclasses with Otis Murphy, Chien-Kwan Lin, Michael Ibrahim, Timothy McAllister, Vincent David, Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, Masataka Hirano, and Christian Wirth. His primary teachers include Debra Richtmeyer, Jean-Michel Goury, James Umble, and Keith Young. Mr. Poffenberger performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and mouthpieces.
When Wilson’s not playing saxophone, you can find him brewing pour-over coffee, tinkering with his Sony mirrorless camera or watching copious amounts of backpack reviews on YouTube.
Described in The Boston Music Intelligencer as “fluid and acrobatic,” clarinetist David Dziardziel is a multi-faceted musician based in Boston that has enjoyed a rounded career as a soloist, small ensemble and orchestral musician,and educator. He has performed as soloist with the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra and Unitas Ensemble and has played with groups, such as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Haffner Sinfonietta. Additionally, David was a co-founder and clarinetist of the critically acclaimed new music ensemble, Hub New Music. Having maintained a national and international touring schedule, the ensemble premiered numerous works and was invited to teach masterclasses at institutions across the United States and Japan.
David Angelo a Boston-based clarinetist, interested in presenting the music of our time to a wide audience. In his effort to encourage and be a part of the growth of new music, David has taken part in the premieres of over 100 pieces by a variety of composers.
David has played with the Du Bois Orchestra, Sound Icon, Eureka Ensemble, MassOpera, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the New England Philharmonic, and Berklee’s Society of Composers Ensemble. In 2018, he toured the US with Ambient Orchestra, performing an arrangement of David Bowie’s last album Blackstar for solo cello and ensemble. He graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Classical Music Performance in 2018.
Chuck Furlong is an active performer in the Boston and New York areas. He has performed with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, North End Music and Performing Arts Commission (NEMPAC) Opera Project, and Boston Opera Collaborative. He co-founded the experimental music trio Rested Field in 2015. Since 2016 he has been a member of Verdant Vibes in Providence, RI.
In New York, Chuck has performed with Contemporaneous, played Pierrot Lunaire as part of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Arnold Schoenberg series and performed in the Nouveau Classical Project’s In & Around C at Gallery 128. Chuck has also been involved with Bang On A Can, performing as a fellow at the 2013 and 2014 Summer Festivals and playing at the 2012 marathon. With two other 2014 Summer Festival alumni, he helped to create Exceptet, an ensemble using the instrumentation of Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat. Exceptet debuted at Cloud City in May 2015, premiering five new works.
Chuck earned his MM at the Boston Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Norsworthy, and his BM at New York University where he studied with Larry Guy. Chuck studied bass clarinet with Dennis Smylie.
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.
Stephanie is a clarinettist and bass clarinet specialist based in London. 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 clarinettist 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 has played regularly throughout Massachusetts and has performed with a variety of groups including the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Improbable Beasts, East Coast Scoring, Arlington Children's Theater, 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 clarinettist 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 Graduate Performance Diploma with an Auxiliary Specialization on Bass Clarinet. Stephanie studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London with Fiona Cross and Paolo De Gaspari, where she is the current recipient of the Gladys Bratton Scholarship.
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.
Patrick Williams is a freelance hornist in the Los Angeles area. They hold a Master’s degree from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, having studied with Dylan Hart. While there, his work centered around the potentialities of trans expression through contemporary genres, with a focus on the music of the late SOPHIE. They are an avid chamber musician and especially enjoy playing new music. Patrick graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in Music and German; he is a two-time recipient of the Edward Poole Lay Fellowship.
Saxophonist and new music curator Drew Hosler (he/him/his) is an advocate for contemporary music. He has commissioned, premiered, and collaborated on over 150 pieces by award- winning composers, such as Andrew Mead, Jamie Leigh Sampson, Spencer Arias, Ryan Lindveit, and Marilyn Shrude. His upcoming debut solo album, delta waves, features thirteen world premiere recordings of 21st century works for the tenor saxophone. Currently, Drew is working as the Assistant Managing Director for the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project, the Marketing and Media Staff Assistant for the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, and an intern for the Akropolis Quintet.
Drew is an avid performer as a soloist. He has performed concerti by Walter Mays and William Albright with the Bowling Green Philharmonia and the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Concert Band respectively. He has also performed a variety of music for solo saxophone at the New Music Gathering, University of Kansas New Music Guild, 15-Minutes-of-Fame, New Music Mosaic, International Conference on Saxophone Pedagogy and Performance, as well as various North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. He has won multiple prizes including first prizes in the 51st BGSU Competition in Music Performance, Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition, and Charleston International Music Competition’s 2021 Contemporary Music Competition. Drew has also performed with ensembles such as the Saginaw Eddy Concert Band and the Lima Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Drew is a founding member, saxophonist, and artistic director for the new music ensemble, The _____ Experiment. To date, the ensemble has worked with composers to premiere over 30 works for various mixed chamber instrumentations. In March 2020, The _____ Experiment released their debut album, Conversations, which includes seven world premiere recordings from five different composers.
Drew has participated in festivals such as the SPLICE Institute and the Frederick L. Hemke Institute at Snow Pond Music Festival. Additionally, he is a fellow for both the Cortona Sessions for New Music and The Next Festival of Emerging Artists. Drew is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance, a Master of Music in Chamber Music, and a Certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship & Leadership from the University of Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance from Bowling Green State University. His primary instructors have been Timothy McAllister, John Sampen, and Jeffrey Price.
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.