Sanford picDavid Sanford
Composer, arranger, conductor

Director of the contemporary big band the Pittsburgh Collective, composer David Sanford has received commissions from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Speculum Musicae, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, the Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations, Chamber Music America and the Barlow Endowment. In addition his works have been performed by the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Marin Alsop, the Detroit Symphony under Leslie Dunner, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players among others. His honors include the Rome Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Radcliffe Institute, and he was the arranger for cellist Matt Haimovitz’s Grammy Award-nominated disc Meeting of the Spirits. He received degrees in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado, New England Conservatory, and Princeton University, and is currently Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Music at Mount Holyoke College.

Miranda Cuckson, violin

Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson is in great demand as a soloist and chamber musician in a wide range of repertoire, from early eras to the most current creations. Downbeat magazine recently stated, “Violinist Miranda Cuckson reaffirms her standing as one of the most sensitive and electric interpreters of new music.” Praised for her “undeniable musicality” (New York Times), she has performed at such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Library of Congress, Teatro Colón, Miller Theatre, 92nd Street Y, Guggenheim Museum, BAM, Museum of Modern Art, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and the Marlboro, Bard, Lincoln Center, Bridgehampton, Music Mountain, Portland and Bodensee festivals. She made her Carnegie Hall concerto debut in Walter Piston’s concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra and Leon Botstein.

Her nine solo/duo CDs include music by Nono (a New York Times Best Recording of 2012), Shapey, Hersch, Martino, Finney, Carter, Eckardt, Sessions, Haas, Xenakis, and concertos by Korngold and Ponce, on the Centaur, Vanguard and Urlicht labels. Her first CD for ECM Records, of Bartók, Schnittke and Lutoslawski, will be released this year.

She has collaborated with such composers as Dutilleux, Carter, Adès, Sciarrino, Adams, Boulez, Hyla, Mackey, Crumb, Lachenmann, Saariaho, Lindberg, Davidovsky, Hurel, Bermel, Wyner, Haas, Murail, Wuorinen and Currier. The McKim Fund of the Library of Congress commissioned for her a new work by Harold Meltzer. Active with many organizations and ensembles, she is founder/director of Nunc and a member of counter)induction. She studied at Juilliard, where she received her DMA and won the Presser and Richard French Awards. She is on the violin faculty at Mannes College.

Members of Yarn/Wire:

Laura BargerRussell GreenbergLaura Barger, piano; Russell Greenberg, percussion

Yarn/Wire is a quartet of two percussionists and two pianists. This instrumental combination allows the ensemble flexibility to slip effortlessly between classics of the repertoire and modern works that continue to forge new boundaries.

Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is admired for the energy and precision they bring to performances of today’s most adventurous music. The results of their collaborative initiatives with genre-bending artists such as Two-Headed Calf, Pete Swanson, and Tristan Perich point towards the emergence of a new and lasting repertoire that is “spare and strange and very, very new.” (Time Out NY)

Susan Palma Nidel, flute

Susan Palmer Nidel 2Susan Palma Nidel is principal flutist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The American Composers Orchestra and Speculum Musicae. She has toured throughout the world as soloist, chamber and orchestra musician and educator. Her extensive recordings include the highly praised CD of Mozart Flute Concertos, Grammy nominated and winning works of Stravinsky and Copland – all with Orpheus. Chamber music recordings include Mario Davidovsky’s Flute Quartet, Milton Babbitt’s Soli and Duettini, Steven Mackay’s Humble River. In 2012 Susan released her solo recording, Elegante, New flute music of South America-a venture into new and revisited Tango, Brazilian and Cuban works. Ms. Palma-Nidel is on the faculty of both Columbia University and Montclair State University.

Matthew Gold, percussionMatthew Gold - 144

Matthew Gold is a percussionist in the Talea Ensemble, where he also serves as Director of Operations, and a member of the Talujon percussion group. As a soloist and chamber musician he appears frequently on festivals and programs across the U.S. and internationally presenting concert programs, master classes, and lectures. Mr. Gold is an instructor of percussion at Williams College where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble, the I/O New Music Ensemble, and the annual I/O Festival of New Music. He serves on the artistic staff of the Wellesley Composers Conference and was a long-serving member of the resident ensemble at the Walden School’s Young Musicians Program.  Mr. Gold has appeared as a soloist with such ensembles as Sequitur, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, and the Williams College Wind Ensemble, has performed with the New York Philharmonic on its “Philharmonic 360” program at the Park Avenue Armory, and performs regularly with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Marc Ponthus, piano

Marc PonthusMarc Ponthus has spent his career in promoting and playing contemporary music. He is the first artist to have presented solo performances entirely devoted to a single composer of the post World World II era. Those include Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. He has also performed extensively the referential works of the past. He was the conductor of the Lower Eastside Ensemble and the Project Webern Ensemble, where he created stagings and was stage director. He has recorded for Neuma Records and Lorelt Records. He composes under the “nom de plume” Oữτις (a Homeric reference). He is a recipient of the Tanne Foundation’s Award for achievement in the arts. Ponthus was described “reinventing the piano recital experience just as Xenakis invented an entirely new sound world.” He is now moving further, creating video collages to be projected intermittently, entering the narrative of his recital together with a sporadic polyphony of texts, exploring the symbolic/semiotic of time. This is a completely new experience of live performance.

Tony Arnold, soprano

Tony_Arnold_bwJohn von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune writes, “anything sung by soprano Tony Arnold is worth hearing.” Hailed by the New York Times as “a bold and powerful interpreter,” she has gained international acclaim for sparkling and insightful performances of the most daunting contemporary scores. With long time collaborator Jacob Greenberg, Ms. Arnold took first prize in both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. She has received critical acclaim for her performances with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW, L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, New York New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and many others. International festival appearances include Darmstadt (Germany), Cervantino (Mexico), Luzern (Switzerland), Tongyeong (Korea), and SoundSCAPE (Italy), where she performs and teaches each summer. Ms. Arnold has collaborated with the most renown composers of our day, including George Crumb, György Kurtág, Georges Aperghis, David Lang, Ricardo Zohn Muldoon, Jason Eckardt, and Beat Furrer, who is writing a new work for her to be premiered with Ensemble Modern in 2013. Since 2003 Ms. Arnold has served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo. In 2009 she was the Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of American Music at the Eastman School. Her numerous recordings appear on the Bridge, Naxos, and New Focus labels, which released a CD of Messiaen’s epic Harawi in June 2013.

Allen Blustine, clarinet

Allen BlustineAllen Blustine in a member of the New York Chamber Soloists and the award winning new music ensemble Speculum Musicae.  He has appeared at the Bath and Warsaw Autumn festivals as well as Festival Miami and the New York Philharmonic’s ‘Horizons’ series in the mid–1980s.  He has been the principal clarinetist with the Japan Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theater orchestra, the Paul Taylor Dance Company orchestra as well as the Musica Aeterna orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum. He has performed often with the New York Philharmonic and has played with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  A long-time proponent of new music for the clarinet, he has premiered more than 100 new solo and chamber works including Milton Babbitt’s ‘My Ends Are My Beginnings’, Donald Martino’s ‘Triple Concerto’ and Elliott Carter’s ‘Gra’ (New York premiere); in addition, Pulitzer prize winner Wayne Peterson’s ‘Peregrinations’ and most recently, Pulitzer prize winner Mario Davidovsky’s ‘Synchronisms No. 12’.  He is currently the assistant artistic director of the Vermont Mozart Festival as well as the general director of the North Country Chamber Players (New Hampshire).  He has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 1983.

Curtis Macomber

Curtis MacomberThe playing of violinist Curtis Macomber was praised recently by the New York Times for its “thrilling virtuosity” and by Strad Magazine for its “panache”. He enjoys a varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, and he has for several decades been recognized as one of this country’s foremost interpreters and proponents of new music.

Mr. Macomber’s extensive discography includes the complete Brahms and Grieg Sonatas; violin concertos by Martin Boykan and Laura Schwendinger; and hundreds of critically praised recordings of contemporary solo and chamber works. His CD of Roger Sessions Solo Sonata was acclaimed by American Record Guide as “one of the best recordings of 20th Century solo violin music ever made.” A solo CD entitled “Songs of Solitude” was named by the New York Observer as one of 1996’s best instrumental solo discs (“Macomber’s intensely human fiddle…seems an entire universe, sufficient unto itself.”). He has recorded for Nonesuch, Koch, Bridge, Arabesque, Naxos and Musical Heritage and Albany; he has performed, commissioned, and made first recordings of solo violin and chamber works by, among others, Carter, Davidovsky, Perle, Wuorinen, and Mackey.

Mr. Macomber is a longtime member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School and the violin faculties of the Manhattan and Mannes Schools of Music, and has also taught at the Tanglewood Music Center and Taos School of Music. Other recent summer engagements have included Chamber Music Northwest and the Bard Festival. He holds his B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Joseph Fuchs and winner of the Morris Loeb and Walter Naumburg Prizes.

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