Guest Artists host masterclasses, facilitate discussion groups, and coach our ensembles.
Alex Temple, composer
Zoe Sorrell, flutist/entrepreneur
Lisa Bielawa, composer
Lisa Moore, pianist
Jacqueline Leclair, oboist
David Byrd-Marrow, hornist
Jennifer Jolley, composer
Isaac Schankler, composer/audio engineer
Todd Reynolds, violinist
Luke Damrosch, audio engineer
A sound can evoke a time, a place, a cultural moment, or a worldview. As someone who loves both the Western classical tradition and the world of pop culture, Alex Temple (b. 1983) has always felt uncomfortable with stylistic hierarchies and the idea of a pure musical language. She prefers to look for points of connection between things that aren’t supposed to belong together, distorting and combining iconic sounds to create new meanings — often in service of surreal, cryptic, or fantastical stories. She’s particularly interested in reclaiming socially disapproved-of (“cheesy”) sounds, playing with the boundary between funny and frightening, and investigating lost memories and secret histories.
Alex’s work has been performed by a variety of soloists and ensembles, including Mellissa Hughes, Timothy Andres, Mark Dancigers, the American Composers Orchestra, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Fifth House Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and Ensemble de Sade. She has also performed her own works for voice and electronics in venues such as Roulette, Exapno, the Tank, Monkeytown, Galapagos Art Space, Gallery Cabaret, and Constellation. As the keyboardist for the chamber-rock group The Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles, she’s performed at the South by Southwest Festival and at Chicago’s Green Mill Cocktail Lounge; and with a·pe·ri·od·ic, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of indeterminate music in the tradition of John Cage, she’s made sounds using her voice, synthesizers and various household objects.
Alex got her BA from Yale University in 2005, where she studied with Kathryn Alexander, John Halle and Matthew Suttor, and released two albums of electronic music on a microlabel that she ran out of her dorm room. In 2007 she completed her MA at University of Michigan, where she studied with Erik Santos and visiting professors Michael Colgrass, Tania León and Betsy Jolas, as well as collaborating with a troupe of dancers and playing in an indie bossa-nova band. After she left Ann Arbor, she spent two years in New York, working as the program manager for the New York Youth Symphony’s Making Score program for young composers. She recently completed a DMA at Northwestern University, where she studied with Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim, and taught aural skills, theory, composition for non-majors, and private composition lessons. As of this fall, she is an Assistant Professor of Composition at Arizona State University.
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“A profoundly gifted and innovative flutist” (Pittsburgh in the Round), Zoe Sorrell (she/her) is a performer, educator, and skeptic who is committed to the intersection of classical music and community care.
Zoe believes that in order to decolonize classical music, musicians must refocus their energy on the communities they inhabit. Zoe is currently focused on shifting the paradigm at Westminster College, where she teaches flute, ethnomusicology, music appreciation, and music entrepreneurship; Chatham University, where she is flute faculty; and at the Winchester Thurston K12 school, where she teaches private lessons in piano and flute.
A 2015 Pittsburgh transplant, Zoe feels an immense sense of responsibility to the city of black and gold, and practices good citizenship through her roles with the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music and Make Music Pittsburgh. For four years, Zoe directed and performed with NAT 28, the new music ensemble responsible for the Pittsburgh Composers’ Project, which provides performance opportunities for local composers.
When performing, the flute is a conduit through which Zoe expresses and explores crises of social and environmental justice. Her Syrinx Project is a “stunning, cohesive” (Pittsburgh in the Round) multidisciplinary series that tells the stories of mythological women through lenses of contemporary feminism. The Syrinx Project was a featured performance at the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music 2016 and was named Best Music Production at the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival 2019. This intense fascination with feminist storytelling was expanded into a solo flute album entitled My Own Route, which will be released in the fall of 2020.
Zoe is a lifelong student of equity, accessibility, and inclusion and is personally and professionally committed to the work of undoing the racism, patriarchy, ableism, and capitalism upon which the classical music industry is founded. She owes much of her success to the education she received at Oberlin Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University, where she received degrees in flute performance and English literature. In addition to being a musician, Zoe is a yogi, gardener, reader, animal lover, partner, daughter, sister, and granddaughter.
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Lisa Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition and takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Her music has been described as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society for 2018. In 2020, Bielawa was awarded a Discovery Grant from OPERA America’s Grants for Female Composers for her opera in progress, Centuries in the Hours. In 1997 Bielawa co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers, and for five years she was the artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
She received a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy nomination for her unprecedented, made-for-TV-and-online opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, created with librettist Erik Ehn and director Charles Otte. Vireo was filmed in twelve parts in locations across the country and features over 350 musicians. The Los Angeles Times called Vireo an opera, “unlike any you have seen before, in content and in form.” Vireo was produced as part of Bielawa’s artist residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California and in partnership with KCETLink and Single Cel. In February 2019, Vireo was released as a two CD + DVD box set on Orange Mountain Music and it is coming to the stage in 2021 as VIREO LIVE, a hybrid film-opera 90-minute experience.
Described by the Washington Post as “spellbinding,” Bielawa’s latest large-scale participatory work, Broadcast from Home, has been realized online throughout the period of the coronavirus lockdown, featuring submitted written and recorded vocal testimonies from over 250 participants from five continents. Broadcast from Home is a follow-up to Lisa Bielawa’s earlier works for performance in public spaces – Airfield Broadcasts (spatialized works for hundreds of musicians on the field of former airfields), and Mauer Broadcast (a participatory work for public performance, for the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall last year). Bielawa is currently at work on another piece called Voters’ Broadcast, which is also meant to be performed in public places in the lead-up to the Presidential Election and will also be developed remotely as needed, as events unfold.
Her work has been premiered at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, SHIFT Festival, Town Hall Seattle, and Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Summer Series, among others. Orchestras that have championed her music include the The Knights, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Composers Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, and ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). Premieres of her work have been commissioned and presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Rider, Seattle Chamber Music Society, American Guild of Organists, the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund, and more. She is recorded on the Tzadik, TROY, Innova, BMOP/ sound, Supertrain Records, Cedille, Orange Mountain Music and Sono Luminus labels.
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Lisa Moore’s playing has been singled out by The New York Times for its “life and freshness” and “fragility and tenderness”. Her performances combine music and theatre with expressive and emotional power – whether in the delivery of the simplest song, a solo recital, or a fiendish chamber score. Described as ‘the wonderfully lyrical pianist’ in TimeOut New York and ‘visionary’ in the The New Yorker, Pitchfork claims “she’s the best kind of contemporary classical musician, one so fearsomely game that she inspires composers to offer her their most wildly unplayable ideas”.
This multi-faceted pianist and avid collaborator won the silver medal in the 1981 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition. Based in New York City since 1985, she has released 10 solo discs, ranging from Leoš Janáček to Philip Glass, and more than thirty collaborative discs (on labels: Cantaloupe, Tall Poppies, Orange Mountain, Irreverence Group Music, Bandcamp, Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Her 2016 disc The Stone People – featuring the music of John Luther Adams, Martin Bresnick, Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore, Frederic Rzewski, and Julia Wolfe – was selected by The New York Times Top Classical Albums 2016 and Naxos Critics’ Choice 2017. Moore’s recording of Ishi’s Song by Martin Bresnick (Stone People CD) was ranked no.4 in the 2020 Naxos Best of Indie Classical. Her 2015 collaborative Steve Reich Music for Eighteen Musicians with Ensemble Signal made The New York Times Top Classical Albums list. Gramophone writes of her solo 2015 Mad Rush Philip Glass disc “what becomes abundantly clear from listening to almost any bar on this recording is Moore’s highly developed, intuitive and nuanced approach to this music, one which has been allowed to evolve and refine over a number of years”.
Lisa was the founding pianist for the Bang On A Can All-Stars from 1992-2008 and, with them, the winner of Musical America’s 2005 Ensemble of the Year award. Given a special passion for the music of our time she has worked with over 200 composers – including Iannis Xenakis, Elliot Carter, Philip Glass, Steve Reich,Meredith Monk, Frederic Rzewski, Ornette Coleman, Jonny Greenwood, David Lang, Don Byron, Martin Bresnick, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Grabowski, Kate Neal, Thurston Moore, Missy Mazzoli, Hannah Lash, and Julia Wolfe.
Enjoying diverse collaborative projects throughout the globe, Lisa Moore has performed with a large range of musicians, ensembles and artists – the London Sinfonietta, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra. She is a member of Grand Band, Ensemble Signal, Tempus Duo, TwoSense, and the Paul Dresher Double Duo.
Lisa Moore has performed concertos with the London Sinfonietta, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Wesleyan University Orchestra with Sumarsam Gamelan, Albany Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Tasmania Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, Thai National Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Monash Performing Arts Orchestra, Clocked Out, and the Queensland Philharmonic. She has performed under the batons of David Robertson, Leonard Bernstein, Bradley Lubman, Brett Dean, Richard Mills, Reinbert de Leeuw, Pierre Boulez, Jorge Mester, Benjamin Northey, Angel Gil-Ordonez, Steven Schick, and Edo de Waart.
Performing on some of the world’s great stages – La Scala, the Musikverein, the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall — Lisa’s festival guest appearances include Lincoln Center, BAM Next Wave, Big Ears, Banff, Crash Dublin, Vienna, Graz, Trondheim, Rome, Venice, Palermo, Turin, Aspen, Tanglewood, Gilmore, Chautauqua, Huddersfield, Paris d’Automne, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, BBC Proms, Southbank, Uzbekistan, Leningrad, Moscow, Lithuania, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Metropolis, Israel and Warsaw.
Lisa Moore has also enjoyed artistic curation. She produced Australia’s Canberra International Music Festival 2008 Sounds Alive series, importing artists from around the world for 10 days of events at the versatile Street Theatre.
Born in Australia, Lisa grew up in Canberra, London and Sydney. She began piano at age 6 and studied formally at the Sydney Conservatorium, University of Illinois, Eastman School of Music, SUNY Stonybrook, and in Paris with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. Based in New York City Lisa teaches at Yale-Norfolk Festival New Music Workshop and is a regular guest at the Australian Academy of Music, Melbourne.
Lisa Moore is a Steinway artist. For more Moore, please visit www.lisamoore.org.
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Oboist Jacqueline Leclair is Associate Professor of Oboe at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. She is a member of Ensemble Signal and can frequently be heard performing solo and chamber music concerts internationally. Prof. Leclair was formerly on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College (NYC), and was Assistant Professor of Oboe at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) 2007-2012. During her last two years at BGSU she also served as the Director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. Prof. Leclair is the author of Oboe Secrets: 75 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Oboist and English Horn Player (Scarecrow Press, 2014). Prof. Leclair worked directly with Luciano Berio in the preparation of the 1969/2000 edition of Berio’s Sequenza VIIa, of which she is the editor. Her website is www.nuoboe.net.
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Atlanta native David Byrd-Marrow is the Solo Hornist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), a new music collective that performs internationally and serves as ensemble-in-residence at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Working with a uniquely wide range of performers, he has premiered works by Matthias Pintscher, Arthur Kampela, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Du Yun, Marcos Balter, Wang Lu, Kate Soper, Miguel Zenón, and Chick Corea.
David has performed at festivals including the Ojai Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, and as faculty at the Banff Music Centre. Formerly a member of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, he has also made appearances with the New York Philharmonic, The Knights, Decoda, the Atlanta and Tokyo symphony orchestras, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Washington National Opera and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has recorded on many labels including Tundra, More Is More, Nonesuch, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, and Naxos. Mr. Byrd-Marrow received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and Master of Music from Stony Brook University.
David is the Assistant Professor of Horn at the Lamont School of Music of The University of Denver.
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Jennifer Jolley (b. 1981) is a West Texas-based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works.
Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic’…times” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the melting glaciers of the Pacific Northwest. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement.
Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Dulciana (Dublin, Ireland), Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (New York, NY), and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (Alba, Italy residency). She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Quince Ensemble, and many others.
Jennifer deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, the Vermont Symphony, the Central Michigan University School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival in Italy. Most recently she was the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019. She promotes composer advocacy and the performance of new works through her opera company North American New Opera Workshop, her articles for NewMusicBox, and her work on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity and the New Music USA Program Council.
Jennifer’s blog—on which she has catalogued more than 100 rejection letters from competitions, festivals, and prizes—is widely read and admired by professional musicians. She is particularly passionate about this project as a composition teacher, and enjoys removing the taboo around “failure” for her students. Jennifer joined the composition faculty of the Texas Tech School of Music in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015.
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Isaac Schankler is a composer, accordionist, and electronic musician living in Los Angeles. Schankler’s recent album Because Patterns, released on Aerocade Music in 2019, has been lauded as “beautiful, algorithmic, organic, dystopian” (I Care If You Listen) and “remarkable listening… a new benchmark” (Sequenza21). Their music has also been described as “ingenious” (The Artificialist), “masterfully composed” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), and “the antidote to sentimentality” (LA Times).
Schankler’s recent music also includes works for Autoduplicity, Nouveau Classical Project, the Ray-Kallay Duo, Friction Quartet, gnarwhallaby, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. Additionally, Schankler has written music for critically acclaimed and award-winning video games, including Ladykiller in a Bind, Analogue: A Hate Story, and Depression Quest.
Schankler is the artistic director of the concert series People Inside Electronics, and Assistant Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona, where they teach composition and music technology.
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Todd Reynolds, violinist and composer, has been a fixture on the New York music scene for 25 years. The violinist of choice for Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Bang on a Can, and a founder of the string quartet known as Ethel, his compositional and performance style is a hybrid of old and new technology, multi-disciplinary aesthetic and pan-genre composition and improvisation. Reynolds’ music has been called “a charming, multi-mood extravaganza, playful like Milhaud, but hard-edged like Hendrix” (Strings Magazine), and his countless premieres and performances of everything from classical music to Jazz to Rock‘n’Roll redefine the concert hall and underground club as undeniably and unavoidably intertwined.
His film credits include the feature-length documentary, These Birds Walk, by Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick, which debuted at SXSW and had its theatrical release in 2013 under Oscilloscope at BAM, New York City; feature-length documentaries Hardface, by Mark Hood and This Shaking Keeps Me Steady, by Shehrezad Maher; an ongoing collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison, including Outerborough, a silent film; and the short film, Red Tulips, by filmmaker Shanti Thakur. His scoring work extends to the world of theater and dance, including projects such as Lucid Possession with filmmaker and installation artist Toni Dove, a self-professed three-dimensional surround-sound ‘geek opera’, and site specific works by choreographer Stephan Koplowitz.
A recording artist, technologist and producer with laptop and guitar rigs in tow, in 2011 he released his homemade double CD set, Outerborough on Innova Recordings, acclaimed by both Amazon and NPR as “Best in Classical” for 2011.
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Luke Damrosch is a recording engineer based in Boston, Massachusetts. Beginning at age six with lessons in classical piano and drum-set, he later gravitated towards improvisation, electro-acoustic music, and composition, studying at New England Conservatory’s pre-college program and subsequently at the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City, graduating with a B.F.A. in 2009. His instructors there included drummers Amir Ziv, Chico Hamilton, Gerry Hemingway, Andrew Cyrille, and Joe Chambers, composer Kirk Nurock, bassists Reggie Workman and Shahzad Ismaily, trumpeter/composer Jordan McLean, pianist Junior Mance, saxophonist George Garzone, and composer/historian Bill Kirchner. He has also studied West African music from Ghana, Togo, and Benin, Indonesian Gamelan, Brazilian Samba and Maracatu, Traditional Middle Eastern and Turkish music, Afro-Cuban percussion, and computer music with tools like Max/MSP and SuperCollider.
While completing his undergraduate studies, his creative work in electronic sound design opened the door to music recording and sound engineering. He found this discipline’s uniquely harmonious integration of art and science deeply captivating and was delighted by how organically his diverse musical training could inform so many aspects of his work in this more universal, technical field. He has dedicated himself to it ever since, with a focus on recording contemporary chamber music, classical, jazz, and other acoustic music. In addition to his freelance recording work, he is a staff sound engineer and electronics/media technician at Harvard University and a recording engineer for the Boston-based Non-Event concert series. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society, holds a Level 3 Dante Certification from Audinate, and has been a guest lecturer on music recording and sound design at Tufts University and MIT. He is very interested in techniques which may improve the depth and realism of sound recording, and frequently conducts experiments as part of an ongoing personal research project — microphone array designs informed by current psychoacoustics research and semi-analogous fields like antenna design. More at: www.efferentproductions.com
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