Born in Seoul, Korea and educated at the Juilliard in New York City, the members of the Ahn Trio, (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, and violinist Angella), are constantly redefining the art and architecture of chamber music. Breathing new life into the standard piano-trio literature with commissioned works from visionary composers such as Michael Nyman, Maurice Jarre, Pat Metheny, Paul Schoenfield, Mark O’ Connor, Kenji Bunch, Nikolai Kapustin, and Paul Chihara, the Ahn Trio brings a new energy and excitement to the chamber music world. The trio’s latest CD, “Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac” (released by Sony), is a showcase of this vibrant and original music, which made No. 8 on the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks in the Classical album category. www.ahntrio.com
Kenji Bunch, heralded as “A Composer to Watch” by the New York Times, has quickly emerged as one of the most prominent American composers of his generation, appealing to audiences and performers alike with a distinctive, vibrant voice in contemporary American music. As one of only three composers selected nationwide to inaugurate the Meet the Composer “Magnum Opus” Project, Mr. Bunch wrote his “Symphony no. 1: Lichtenstein Triptych”, which was premiered to critical acclaim by the Bay area symphonies of Santa Rosa, Marin, and Oakland. A long association with the renowned Ahn Trio has led to the commissioning of several works that the trio has recorded on EMI Classics, as well as collaborations with the Parsons Dance Company and Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, and upcoming performances of his “Hardware Concerto” for piano trio and orchestra with the Louisville and Honolulu Symphonies. His works have also been recorded on the Kleos Classics, RCA, Pony Canyon, GENUIN, Capstone, and Crystal record labels. www.kenjibunch.com
Gerald Chenoweth (b.1943) received his BM and MM degrees in composition from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his Ph.D. in composition and MFA in conducting from the University of Iowa. His works have been performed across the United States, Europe and Asia, and have been recorded on the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings, Access, and CRI labels. His MELANGE A TROIS (for string trio) was premiered at the 2002 Pan Music Festival in Seoul, South Korea, and his work for marimba and drums, SLIMPLICITY ITSELF, was premiered in Paris, France on Nov.1, 2002, by the noted percussionist, WU She-e. A CD of his music for voice and various chamber ensembles is currently in process and is scheduled for release next year. Mr. Chenoweth is a Professor of Composition at the Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where, since1975, he has been active as a composer, teacher, and conductor. He is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc., the American Composers Alliance, and Broadcast Music, Incorporated.
Composer Jason Kao Hwang has scored Searching for Asian America, a three-part series produced by NAATA and KVIE in Sacramento. His opera, The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown, premiered in the fall of 2001, at the Asia Society in New York City. It was commissioned by the Asia Society, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas and Music From China with the support of a three year grant from Meet the Composer/ New Residencies(1998-2000), and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. New World Records released the recording of The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown in 2004. Mr. Hwang’s commissioned works include Immigrant of the Womb, an oratorio that premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in February 1996 and Peach Flower Landscape, an a cappella work for mixed choir for the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. His compositions for film include two feature documentaries for PBS, Sue Williams’ China: Born Under the Red Flag and Judith Vecchione’s Tug of War, The Story of Taiwan, and source music for Martin Scorcese’s Kundun. Mr. Hwang’s composition Flight of Whispers was released on eXchange: China, a compilation CD of Chinese American composers. He has two other well-received recordings, Unfolding Stone (Sound Aspects) and Commitment (Flying Panda). As a violinist, he has performed on recordings including Anthony Braxton’s 1996 Sextet (Istanbul) and 1995 Octet (NYC), Dominic Duval’s The Navigator (Leo); Henry Threadgill’s Come Save the Day (Columbia) and Too Much Sugar for a Dime (Axiom), Reggie Workman’s Altered States (Leo) and Butch Morris’s Dust to Dust and Testament: A Conduction Collection (New World). Over the years, he has performed with numerous artists including Vladamir Tarasov, Diedre Murray, Borah Bergman, William Parker, Fred Hopkins, Sirone, Michelle Kinney, David Murray, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe, Sunny Murray and Dr. Makanda Ken MacIntyre. www.jasonkaohwang.com
Joan La Barbara‘s career as a composer/performer/sound artist explores the human voice as a multifaceted instrument, expanding traditional boundaries in compositions for multiple voices, chamber ensemble, music theater, orchestra and interactive technology, using a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques-multiphonics, circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks-that have become her “signature sounds”. Among her awards are the prestigious DAAD Artist-in-Residency in Berlin, 7 NEA grants and numerous commissions including Saint Louis Symphony, Meet The Composer and European radio. She has produced 11 recordings of her own works, including her latest, “ShamanSong” (New World), served as producer and performer on internationally-acclaimed recordings of music by John Cage and Morton Feldman and has premiered landmark compositions, including Morton Subotnick’s chamber opera “Jacob’s Room”; the title role in Robert Ashley’s opera “Now Eleanor’s Idea”; Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s “Einstein on the Beach” at Festival d’Avignon; Morton Feldman’s “Three Voices”; and Steve Reich’s “Drumming”. La Barbara is currently working on a new collaboration with choreographer Nai-Ni Chen and poet Bei Dao, “Dragons on the Wall” which will feature the dancers’ voices as part of the soundscore. La Barbara teaches contemporary voice and composition technique at The College of Santa Fe and produces a weekly radio program on contemporary classical music, “Other Voices, Other Sounds”. Her soundwork “73 Poems”, with text by Kenneth Goldsmith, was included in The American Century Part II at The Whitney Museum of American Art. www.joanlabarbara.com
Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the PRISM Quartet has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and throughout Latin America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory. Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 150 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long and Bernard Rands; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Bright Sheng; and jazz masters Greg Osby and Tim Ries. PRISM’s discography is extensive, documenting more than sixty works commissioned by the Quartet on Albany, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic and New Focus. www.prismquartet.com
Glen Velez, four-time Grammy Award–winning master drummer, composer, and educator, is considered one of the most influential percussionists of our time and has been responsible for a worldwide resurgence in the popularity of the frame drum. His teaching and performances inspired the Remo Drum Co. in 1983 to develop a line of frame drums called the Glen Velez Signature Series. The Cooperman Drum Co. introduced a handmade Signature Series Glen Velez Tambourine and Frame Drum line in 1999. Even twentieth-century composer John Cage acknowledged Velez’s mastery when in 1989 he wrote a piece especially for him, entitled “Composed Improvisation for One-sided Drum with or without Jingles.” While Mr. Velez draws upon the great drumming traditions of the Middle East, South India, and the Mediterranean world (both ancient and modern), he plays in a style all his own. Using a vast array of complex hand and finger techniques, he creates a symphony of sound and texture from just a single hand-held drum. He is also an expert in Central Asian Overtone Singing (singing two tones at once). Mr. Velez regularly performs with critically acclaimed vocalist/rhythm singer Lori Cotler. His new recording, entitled “Rhythms of the Chakras Vol. 2,” featuring Ms. Cotler, was released on the Sounds True label in 2008. www.glenvelez.com
As a Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, a prolific composer and recipient of the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2001-04), Chen Yi blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. She holds both a BA and MA in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and received her DMA from Columbia University, studying composition with Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-Chung and Mario Davidovsky. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Chen Yi’s music has been commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, the Cleveland Orchetra, the BBC, the Seattle, Pacific and Singapore Symphonies, the Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Sächische Staaskapelle Dresden, the St. Paul Chamger Orchestra, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and recorded on many labels, including BIS, New Albion, CRI, Telarc, Albany, New World, Naxos, Quartz, Delos, Angel, Nimbus and KIC. Dr. Chen has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Anna-Alisa Belous Costume Designer holds an MFA in Textile and Interior Design from the Art and Design Academy St. Petersburg, Russia and an MFA in Costume Design from Brandeis University, Boston. Anna-Alisa has worked as a costume designer for Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, The Juilliard School, Actor’s Shakespeare Project (MA), Philadanco (PA), Portland Stage Company (ME), Manhattan School of Music Opera Department, Immigrant Theater, The New School for Drama, LAB Theater, Boston Playwrights Theater (MA), Modus Opera, Blessed Unrest Company both as set and costume designer. Since 2002, she is a resident costume designer for Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre. She worked on the Feature Film “Kerosene Cowboys” and for the Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Santa Fe Opera, the American Repertory Theater, the Gotham Chamber Opera, Columbia University, the Milwaukee Ballet and “Law and Order”. This is Anna-Alisa’ second collaboration with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and she hopes to continue working with them in a future. www.aabelous.com
Karen Young has designed costumes for many of Nai-Ni Chen’s works since 1995. Other dance credits include: Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT, Noemie Lafrance’s Agora, Elisa Monte Dance, Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre, Philadanco, and Ice Theater of New York. She has had a longstanding association with the Martha Graham Dance Company, where she recently created costumes for Deaths and Entrances with Oscar de la Renta and Martha Clarke’s Suenos with Donna Zakowska, worked with Robert Wilson and Susan Stroman, and directed the reconstruction of costumes for numerous Graham works. Theater credits include: The Trojan Women with Allegra Kent and Maria Tucci at the Princeton Atelier, El Retablo Embrujado in Mexico City, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s Pelleas et Melisande. Costume design for video art includes: Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 5 and Cremaster 1, Toni Dove’s interactive feature film Spectropia, and Eve Sussman & the Rufus Corporation’s 89 Seconds at Alcazar (on view recently at MoMA) and upcoming the Rape of the Sabine Women. www.karenyoungcostume.com
Yi-Chung Chen, originally from Taiwan, holds an MFA from Boston University in Lighting Design. She has previously worked at Chautauqua Theater Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston Lyric Opera and Florida Grand Opera. NY design credits include The Gioconda Smile, Othello, Desdemona, Untitled Waiting, I Am A Moon, Muckrakers and Everything Is Ours. BU design credits include Owen Wingrave, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Imaginary Invalid, In the Jungle of Cities and God’s Ear. www.yichungchen.com
Joe Levasseur has worked closely on lighting and production with many contemporary dance artists, including John Jasperse, RoseAnne Spradlin, Sarah Michelson, David Dorfman, Beth Gill, maria Hassabi, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Jodi Melnick, Jennifer Monson, LeeSaar the Company, Anna Sperber, Megan Sprenger, Christopher Williams, and Pavel Zustiak. He also lit theater pieces at the Chocolate Factory and Brick theaters, and designed the Off-Broadway play Edge. Levasseur recently received a second new York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for his work Big Dance Theater’s “Comme Toujours Here I Stand.” he also lit and showed a collection of his original paintings in the Downstairs Theater at Performance Space 122 in October 2010. www.joelevasseur.com
Tony Marques is a freelance production stage manager and lighting designer, has mainly worked in the field of dance. Last year he designed three world premieres for “The Kings of Dance,” two new works for Jennifer Tipton on The Paul Taylor Dance Company, a world premiere for Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s 25th anniversary NY season, Wendy Osserman, SYREN, and Nicholas Andre Dance Theater. He has also designed concerts for C Eule Dance at the Cunningham Studio, The Take Dance Company at Joyce SoHo, SYREN at the Ailey Citigroup Theater and Thomas-Ortiz Dance Company at DTW. Added to that, was an invitation to design an Off-Broadway Show, “Silent Cry,” at the Lion Theater, Theater Row, and another to design a Christmas show for vocalist Linda Eder at the Palace Theater on Broadway.
Susan Summers has been lighting dance and theatre performances for over thirty years. Previously, she taught lighting design and production management at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her professional credits cover a wide range of prominent dance companies including the Saitama International Dance Festival in Tokyo; the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware; as well as 12 seasons for the Virginia School of the Arts Dance Division. Theatrically, she served as Lighting Designer for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Summerfest in 1993, 1995, 2002 and 2003. She also serves as a consultant on new and renovated theatre installations. She toured with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for over seven years.
Carrie Wood Lighting Designer: Select design credits include: Daria Fain: EVERYONE (New York Live Arts), Adrienne Truscott: Too Freedom (The Kitchen), Luciana Achugar: FEELingpleasuresatisfactioncelebration-holyFORM (Abrons Art Center), Katie Workum: Fruitlands (The Chocolate Factory), TARGET::furnace (The Chocolate Factory), Walter Dundervill: Asthetic Destiny 1: Candy Mountain (Dance Theatre Workshop), Melanie Maar: Spaces & Bones (The Chocolate Factory). Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (Abrons Art Center), Walter Dundervill: Dear Emissary (The Chocolate Factory), Reggie Wilson/ Andreya Ouamba: The Good Dance (BAM), The Sarah Michelson: Dover Beach (The Kitchen), Sonya and Layla go Camping (The Kitchen), Daniel Charon: Conduit (Joyce Soho), Helen Simoneau (Joyce Soho), VIA Dance: Lullaby in Surrealism (Ailey Citigroup Theatre), A Dream Play (St Ann’s Warehouse), Ivy Baldwin: Could be nice (La Mama). Carrie is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. www.carriewoodld.com
Bei Dao whose many books of poetry, essays, and fiction have been published in China, the United States, and Taiwan in Chinese and in English, has also had his work translated into 25 other languages. Bei Dao is China’s leading artistic voice of freedom. Well known as a pioneer in the art of contemporary poetry during the Democracy Wall Movement in China, he has since developed an international reputation that extends far beyond his political activism, and he has won numerous international literary awards.