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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Almira Izumchensky – Piano
A native Saint-Petersburgian, Almira Izumchensky is a diverse collaborative pianist and composer. Almira have studied Piano Performance and Composition in Berklee College of Music and Kazakh Conservatory. During her study she has become the recipient of numerous scholarships and composition awards as pianist and composer. Equally experienced and classical as well as contemporary styles, her recent collaborations include chamber and choral concerts in Carnegie Hall with Schiller Institute, as well as Cathedral of St. John the Divine with Paul Winter Consort and “Pletenitsa” Balkan Choir.
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”.
Percussionist Laura Jordan has performed in Europe, Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States. Notable venues include Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Hall, the Massachusetts MoCa, the Skirball Center of Los Angeles, the National Geographic in Washington, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), River to River Festival, the Player's Theater, Galapagos Arts Space, WMP Gallery, Tribeca Arts Center, Lehman College, The Tank, Public Assembly, and others. Laura has appeared as a part of the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Music Festival, the Jan Hus Composer’s Voice Series, the Music at MacDougal Series, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. Laura has been featured as a marimba/percussion soloist internationally, and is an in-demand freelance chamber musician, orchestral player, drum set and world percussion specialist in the New York tri-state area. A new music activist and programmer, Laura has participated to commission works by Martin Bresnick, Lukas Ligeti, Mark Janello, and many others as well as curated projects and concerts at venues such as the Merkin Concert Hall, Mass MoCa, the Player’s Theater and other venues. In 2011-2012 she and flutist Sarah Carrier selected 17 new short works as a part of the Jan Hus Composer’s Voice 15 minutes of fame competition.
Laura was recently awarded the single percussion Contemporary Music Ensemble Fellowship at the 2012 Atlantic Music Festival, which was, "formed with the express purpose of identifying and nurturing musicians who possess extraordinary dedication to advancing the music of our time." She was a 2010 Bang on a Can Institute Fellow, where she performed on the International George Crumb day. She has participated in several other festivals including the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance, the Paris Marimba Competition, for which she received a Peabody Career Grant, and the first Zeltsman "Princeton" Marimba festival in 2001, for which she received a Semans Art Fund Grant. In the 2009-10 season, Laura served as the Artistic Director of the Takemitsu Project at Merkin Hall, which was funded by a substantial Collaborative Performing Arts Grant from New York University for which she wrote and was awarded. The grant also established a composition competition for New York University students. Through the project, she was able to present the New York Premiere of Takemitsu's out of print Seasons (1970) for percussion quartet and magnetic tape. In 2006, she gave the Western premiere of Menachem Zur's Translations for Percussion and Electronics. With the composer, she co-produced a recording of the work that has since been broadcast several times on Israeli radio. Laura performs in the percussion section of the Greenwich Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Richmond County Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra of the Americas, and the Garden State Philharmonic. She is active in chamber music and has worked with Judd Greenstein’s The Yehudim, The Bang on a Can All Stars, The Nouveau Classical Project, Axiom Percussion, the New York Guitar Quartet, and Ensemble Galilei, with whom she appeared on the 2005 recording Alta.
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.