"New-music luminary" (The New York Times), Margaret Lancaster (flutes) also works as an actor, dancer, amateur furniture designer and has built a large repertoire of interactive, cross-disciplinary solo works that employ electronics and mixed media. Performance highlights include Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Santa Fe New Music, Art Basel/Miami, Edinburgh Festival, NIME/Copenhagen, Tap City, and the 7-year global run of OBIE-winning Mabou Mines Dollhouse (Helene). A member of Either/Or, Ensemble Ipse, and Fisher Ensemble, guest appearances include Argento, American Modern Ensemble, and the New York Philharmonic. Lancaster has appeared as a lecturer/soloist at many sites including Stanford, Dartmouth, Princeton, Columbia, Bennington, and the National Flute Association, has recorded on New World Records, World Edition, Naxos, Innova, Tzadik, and Mode and was selected to participate in Meet the Composer's New Works for Soloist Champions project. Recent collaborations include projects with Jean-Baptiste Barriére and Kaija Saariaho, ArmitageGone!Dance, the US premiere of Stockhausen's KLANG cycle, and touring Morton Feldman's 5 hour epic For Philip Guston. For more information, visit margaretlancaster.com
The SPLICE Ensemble is a trumpet, piano, and percussion trio focussed on cultivating a canon of the most important works composed for instruments and electronics. Through seminars, lectures, master classes, concerts, and commissions, the SPLICE Ensemble works with composers and performers on performance practice techniques for collaboration and integrating electronics into a traditional performance space. The resident ensemble of both the SPLICE Summer Institute and the SPLICE Festival, the SPLICE Ensemble has been a featured ensemble at M Woods in Beijing, SEAMUS, the Electroacoustic Barndance, SCI National, and will be the featured guest ensemble at Electronic Music Midwest this fall.
"Adventurous indie violinist Sarah Plum" (New York Music Daily), has been hailed has "an activist performer" by anearful.com for her work tirelessly championing composers, commissioning and premiering new works and bringing them to the attention of a larger public.
Sarah Plum began her performing career by winning the first prize at the International Stulberg Competition in 1984. Since then she has carved out a distinctive role as a serious interpreter of a large range of music commissioning many new works as well as crafting fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire. Sarah has been sought after by orchestras and fellow musicians in the US and Europe as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician for concerts at venues and festivals such as the Luzern Festival, Ars Musica Brussels, Cite de Musique, and the Barbican. Her performances have been praised as "consistently stunning with works that demanded conventional virtuosity but also great skill in unconventional techniques" (third coast journal).
Plum has appeared on numerous TV and radio broadcasts including the WDR, NDR and Deutsche Welle in Germany, BBC TV in the United Kingdom and Iowa Public Radio. She has recorded for the Bluegriffin, Bridge, BMG, Albany, Arte Nova and Capriccio labels.
Keith Benjamin joined the UMKC Conservatory of Music as professor of trumpet in 1989 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. While in New York, he performed with the Rochester Philharmonic and held principal chairs in three other orchestras. Current orchestra positions include principal trumpet in the Colorado MahlerFest, and extra trumpet for the St. Louis and Kansas City Symphonies.
In addition to orchestral playing, Dr. Benjamin is an active recitalist and chamber musician, and is first trumpet in the Missouri Brass Quintet. His recitals frequently feature contemporary music, and he has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including compositions of Samuel Adler, James Mobberley, Peter Hamlin, Stephen David Beck, Eugene O'Brien, and many others. Recital and concert appearances in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and over 35 states are "travelling" highlights, and Kansas City also affords him the opportunity to have a lively professional career as a commercial, studio, and lead trumpet player.
Dr. Benjamin is partnered with Los Angeles organist Melody Steed in "Clarion", a trumpet & organ duo which emphasizes 20th century music. The duo recently released Clarion: New Vintage, their second disc on Gothic Records, this one consisting of all commissioned American works, and completed a highly successful performance tour of Hungary in the summer of 2006. Plans for a third recording of all commissions are in the works.
Dr. Benjamin is an Artist-Clinician for the Selmer/Bach companies. He makes his home in Kansas City with his wife Jennifer and their two sons, Duncan and Rowan.
For several decades, cellist Craig Hultgren has been a fixture on the scenes for new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. In recent years, he has performed solo concerts and chamber music in Rome, New York, Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, Denver, Nashville, Memphis and San Antonio. A recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he was a member for many years of Thátmyris, a contemporary chamber music ensemble in Atlanta. A cellist in the Alabama Symphony, he also plays in Luna Nova, a new music ensemble with a large repertoire of performances available as podcast downloads on iTunes. Hultgren is featured in three solo CD recordings including The Electro-Acoustic Cello Book on Living Artist Recordings. For ten years, he produced the Hultgren Solo Cello Works Biennial, an international competition that highlighted the best new compositions for the instrument. He teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Birmingham-Southern College where he directed the BSC New Music Ensemble. He is a founding member and President of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and is on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Birmingham. Hultgren recently completed a CAMA artist residency (Collaborating Artists Manifesting Adventure) with the St. Louis New Music Circle where he presented programs for three seasons. Recently, he performed a 15 Minutes of Fame concert titled Occupy Cello in New York for the Composer's Voice Concert Series. That program featured 15 one-minute solo compositions that challenge the traditional boundaries of the instrument.
Kari Johnson is a pianist who specializes in new music and electronic music performance. Praised by critics for her "amazing musicality" and "flair for drama," Ms. Johnson works to create a dynamic, captivating experience for her audience. Like most pianists, Johnson began her training in traditional classical repertoire. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, she developed an interest in playing rarely performed and highly stylized works, particularly music of the early baroque and late twentieth century. In 2008 she received an offer to participate in UMKC's Musica Nova as a scholarship member, and began to specialize in new music. This shift in aesthetic allows her to work with many composers, both "up-and-coming" and established. Ms. Johnson has performed at a variety of venues, including EMM, SEAMUS, EABD, the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival, the Electro Acoustic Juke Joint, Montana State University, Western Michigan University, and Washington State University. In 2012 Ms. Johnson released her first commercial CD through the record label Irritable Hedgehog. This recording of Scott Blasco's Queen of Heaven has received positive critical review.
In addition to her active performing schedule, Ms Johnson is on the faculty of Avila University, where she teaches applied piano. She also maintains a large pre-college teaching studio, both privately and through the UMKC Community Music and Dance Academy. She is an active adjudicator and presenter, participating in events at Kansas City area schools and through the Kansas City Music Teachers Association.
Ms. Johnson is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She holds a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Central Missouri State University. She studied harpsichord with Charlotte Mattax, and her primary piano instructors include John McIntyre, Timothy Ehlen, Robert Satterlee, and Mia Hynes.
Andrew Spencer, currently holds the position of professor of percussion at Central Michigan University. An active recitalist and clinician, he has performed as a soloist in the United States, Poland, Japan, Canada, and Costa Rica. In 1999, he released "Slender Beams," a recording that features works by composer Dave Hollinden. Spencer has also premiered works by David Gillingham, Mark Polishook, Samuel Adler, Robert May and Henry Gwiazda among others. Equally experienced in orchestral performance, Dr. Spencer is timpanist with the West Michigan and Lansing Symphony Orchestras, and has acted as Visiting Principal Percussionist for the Midland and Saginaw Orchestras. Additional positions have included timpanist/principal percussionist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Cascade Festival Orchestra, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra and Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company. He has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Spokane Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In addition, he has performed with numerous chamber ensembles throughout the United States, and plays drum set with the CMU Faculty Jazz Ensemble with whom he has recorded two CDs, "Caught In The Act" and "Conspiracy Theory". Dr. Spencer received his bachelor of music and master of music in performance (percussion) and studied with Dr. Terry Applebaum at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He earned his doctor of musical arts in performance and literature (percussion) from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he studied with John Beck. In addition, Eastman granted Dr. Spencer the coveted performer's certificate as a percussion soloist.
"Spencer's energy put the piece in overdrive."
"Spencer's command of the marimba was phenomenal..."
"Spencer exhibited the technique and style of a music master, he was greeted with a standing ovation at the end of the concert."
"The energetic rhythms and elements of dissonance were masterly performed by Spencer whose [technique] was superb."
Andres Sanez, music critic
La Nacion (San Jose, Costa Rica)
"...Andrew Spencer...did a magnificent job with this new and unusal work."
"...Spencer brought them to life with great effect."
Floyd Famer, music critic
"Spencer became focused and ferocious...having passed the secret onto the enraptured audience"
Elizabeth Bunt's performances have been described as "captivating" and "blazing". As a performer of new music, she has collaborated with composers such as Chris Biggs and Carl Schimmel and appeared at numerous festivals around the U.S., including Electronic Music Midwest (EMM), Kansas City; Spark Festival for Electronic Music and Art, Minneapolis, MN; Imagine II, Memphis, TN; Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS); and North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) regional and national conferences. Elizabeth has performed in Mexico, Germany, and across the United States.
Elizabeth Bunt produced and performed in the North American premiere of Linker Augentanz (Left-Eye Dance) for saxophones, percussion, and synthesizer by the twentieth-century pioneering composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Her interest in Stockhausen's music inspired her doctoral thesis The Saxophone Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. The summer of 2010 she attended the Stockhausen Courses and Concerts in his hometown of Kürten, Germany, where she studied with his longtime collaborators; flutist Kathinka Pasveer, clarinetist Suzanne Stephens, and sound projectionist Bryan Wolf; and became an informal student of eminent American Stockhausen scholar Jerome Kohl.
Elizabeth Bunt earned her doctorate in saxophone performance with a minor in music theory from the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she studied with Drs. Kelland Thomas, Brian Sacawa, Timothy McAllister, Craig Walsh, and Pamela Decker. She holds a master's degree in saxophone performance from the University of Arizona and a bachelor's degree in saxophone performance and music education from the University of Northern Iowa. Elizabeth resides in Tucson, AZ, where she teaches saxophone and music theory. She is active as a visiting performer and lecturer. Visit her at her website elizabethbunt.com.
In celebration of EMM's 10th Anniversary, acclaimed flutist, Rebecca Ashe, has been chosen as guest artist for the 2010 EMM Festival.
Dr. Ashe is currently on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as Adjunct Instructor of Flute at the Community Music and Dance Academy. She is also a freelance musician and appears across the country as a performer, lecturer, and masterclass clinician. A new music performer and collaborator, she has partnered with several composers and has performed at several festivals, including SPARK, SEAMUS and the Electroacoustic Juke Joint.
Dr. Ashe earned her Bachelor degree in Applied Music (flute) at the Eastman School of Music, where her principal teacher was Bonita Boyd. She earned both Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Missouri -Kansas City, studying with Dr. Mary Posses. In 1998, she was the only American and one of four flutists worldwide to be chosen for Trevor Wye's prestigious one-year course in Kent, England. Other major teachers have included William Bennett and Karl Kraber.
In 2007, Dr. Ashe collaborated with three composers, Christopher Biggs, Ryan Oldham, and Jorge Sosa to premiere three new pieces for flute. A recording project for the pieces is underway, with a release expected in 2010.
Dr. Ashe has performed recitals throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Latvia. In 2003, Dr. Ashe and pianist, Inara Zandmane, gave a recital at the Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia. Ms. Ashe was the first American flutist to perform a recital at the Academy, which was broadcast on national radio. She also gave a master class at the E. Darzins Academy of Music, the most prestigious preparatory music school in Latvia. Along with her recent collaborations, Dr. Ashe has premiered several pieces, including the Kansas City premier of Chen Yi's The Golden Flute, for flute and orchestra, in 2003, and Hsueh-Yung Shen's ...And Then Things Changed, for flute and piano. She has won several local and national grants and awards.
Modern dance meets new music in 60x60 Dance -- a one-hour multimedia extravaganza featuring 60 one-minute performances. Embracing a grass-roots ideology, 60x60 Dance takes 60 one-minute audio works from an international pool of composers and pairs them to 60 dances by local choreographers. The resulting collaborations are presented, without interruption, as a continuous one-hour performance synchronized to an on-stage analog clock.
Eclectic by nature, 60x60 Dance offers an unmatched diversity of styles, making for a fast-speed, electrifying one-of-a-kind performance that never ceases to surprise. Dance influences range from ballet to postmodern movements, and music styles include neo-romantic, folk, ambient, field recordings, noise, jazz, rock and even the kitchen sink.
60x60 was originally conceived of as an electronic music project, collecting 60-second works by composers and sound artists from around the world. Since 2003, 60x60 has featured the work of more than 2000 composers in concerts spanning the globe. From the beginning 60x60 was a natural vehicle for collaborating with other art forms. In 2007, 60x60 teamed up with choreographers and 60x60 Dance was born. 60x60 Dance has featured more than 500 choreographers and 1000 dancers. Since then this unique collaboration has produced twenty exciting shows in New York City, London, St Louis, Montreal, Toronto, Columbus and Kansas City.
60x60 Dance returns to the Winter Garden Atrium at Brookfield Place for two performances with a unique mix of composers and choreographers highlighting the project's rich history of the past decade.strongly in the intrinsic value of contemporary music, recognizing it as a force in the advancement of culture and art. Our goal is to keep music alive by strengthening the connection between composer and audience, providing greater exposure to new music.
Celebrating 50 years: Electroacoustic Music from Chile
In the fifties Europe lived the cold war peace: a new world order where the Soviet Union and the United States were the leading powers. The world watches surprised the appearance of new tendencies in all forms of art. From some years before new ways of music creation were being developed in the advanced world: Concrete and Electronic music grew together and relating themselves with occidental concert music prevalent in those years. In the course of 1956 a group of restless young composers initiates a story rich of unsuspected achievements. Pioneers in Latin America these inexperienced composers came from Chile. Those were the years of the radio-theater and rock-and-roll but also of a period full of accomplishments for the chilean music. Many concerts and festivals served as a great aid to creation and diffusion. From time to time news about Concrete and Electronic music arrived from Europe stimulating these enthusiastic young composers: Juan Amenábar, José Vicente Asuar and Leon Schidlowsky among others.
The year 1956 marks the "Nacimiento" (spanish for birth) of the electroacoustic music in Chile. Schidlowsky composes "Nacimiento", first electroacoustic composition conceived as such in Chile and in Latin America. It is a concrete music work, the first experience of this kind in this part of the world and served as a model for the work of many other young composers who used to work every night until dawn in the Radio Chilena broadcasting station. This feverish activity culminated in 1957 with the creation of the Experimental Sound Workshop at the Universidad Católica de Chile. This was the first latin american intent to form an electroacoustic laboratory. Well known composers such as Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt, Amenábar, Asuar and Schidlowsky worked in this laboratory. In the year 1957 Amenábar composes "Fishes" and Asuar "Spectral Variations", the first latin american compositioin based exclusively on synthetic sounds.
After 50 years of history, full of vicissitudes and divers processes, we are aproaching the year 2006 and this date find us ready to celebrate the golden wedding of the Chilean Electroacoustic Community remembering that "Nacimiento" which, with its two minutes of duration, initiated our electroacoustic history. The last years have seen an accelerated rebirth of this kind of music contributing to Chile's artistic and cultural patrimony.
We wish that this anniversary be commemorate in Chile and abroad paying homage to our pioneers and masters. The importance of this anniversary has decided us to carry out multiples activities in Chile, specially in provinces where the practice and difusion of electroacoustic music is scarce. We will organize, lectures and concerts of different formats (public spaces, didactic concerts in the universities, etc.). We will also organize two international tours: the first visiting Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, France and Germany and the second visiting Mexico, United States and Costa Rica. Our intention is that the year 2006 should be full of celebrations singling out Chile not only in its pioneer position but also as an active nest for young modern composers. These are our first 50 years of a history that will continue in the years to come.
"60x60 features 60 back-to-back pieces that are each under 60 seconds long, each by a different modern composer. ... It's like channel surfing through experimental music..." - Geeta Dayal, Village Voice
60x60 is a concert containing 60 compositions from 60 different composers, with each composition being 60 seconds or less in duration. These 60 recorded pieces are performed in succession without pause, one after another, creat- ing a 1 hour concert. The performance is played in conjunction with a synchronized analog clock. At the top of each minute in the hour, the domain of space for the composer has begun. Composers who have written works less than 60 seconds are strategically and artistically placed within that minute; the remainder of the minute is filled with silence until the next minute begins.
The 60x60 Project is entering its third year. 60x60 has produced concerts throughout the world including New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, St Louis, Bucharest and Istanbul. This year the project will add Chicago, Kansas City, Lille, and London to the concert roster.
Besides collaborating with artists each year to create a multimedia experience for our spring season; we also produce a recording of the project year released on CD and DVD. The first year of the 60x60 project is currently available on CD on the Capstone label.
For this 2005's 60x60, Robert Voisey has created a regional mix of the 60x60 project including 60 works from 60 different composers living in the Midwest and American Heartland.