Harris Becker, Guitar - Artistic Director
Harris Becker has had a rich and varied career as a guitarist and lutenist. As a young musician studying the classical guitar he had a fascination with improvisation, which led him to explore jazz. He also had a strong interest in contemporary music, which offered him the opportunity to work closely with composers and premiere many solo and ensemble pieces throughout his career. Among the composers who have dedicated works to him are Carlo Domeniconi, Hayley Savage, Raoul Pleskow, Howard Rovics, microtonal composer Johnny Reinhard, Alan Hirsh, Michael Frassetti, Joseph Russo and Richard Iacona.
Becker has performed extensively both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada. In recent years he has given concerts and master classes in New York, Alabama, Canada, Connecticut, Florida and Bermuda. In the fall of 2014 Mr. Becker gave concerts and master classes in Thailand and throughout Vietnam including at the U.S Consulate in Saigon. In the spring of 2015 "The Amaryllis Project" (world-renowned pipa virtuoso Liu Fang and Harris Becker) gave a concert of world premieres for pipa & guitar at the Long Island Guitar Festival, which included a new work by Carlo Domeniconi. Mr. Becker will be featured playing the lute music of John Dowland in a forthcoming documentary "Shakespeare in New York" directed by Peter Josyph.
In 1993 Mr. Becker founded the Long Island Guitar Festival, of which the New York Times wrote: "The "Long Island" in the festival title clearly refers to its location and origins, rather than to its scope"(2014). Harris Becker is Director of Guitar Studies at LIU Post and has been a faculty member at Nassau Community College, The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and Director of Music for Mixed Ensembles at the International Institute for Chamber Music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich. The Florida State Division of Cultural Affairs selected Mr. Becker to participate in Florida's Artist Residency Program, giving lecture/performances on the lute and baroque guitar. He recently received an award for outstanding service from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Long Island University. Mr. Becker is also a member of the Artesian Guitar Quartet.
Harris Becker is co-founder and artistic director of the summer music festival in rural Quebec "Songe d'été en Musique". In 2015 the festival celebrated its tenth anniversary, which featured the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. This concert was called "historic" by the press in Quebec. His recordings include "Catgut Flambo" with guitarist Pasquale Bianculli, a solo CD "Passing Through and a new CD with the Artesian Guitar Quartet." His editions and publications are published by T.D. Ellis Music Publishing and Calavar Music.
"Becker's performance of this demanding work a depiction of one of Australia's national parks" – is lyrical and imaginative" – Raymond Tuttle, Classical.net.
"Mr. Becker's presentation of these pieces was a study in fluidity and grace..."
– Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council
"His professional demeanor and thorough musical knowledge, as well as his performance skills are exceptional"
– J. D'Addario & Co
Songe d'été en Musique…"Happiness for the soul in an enchanting landscape"
– Claudia Collard, L'Echo deFrontenac
Long Island Guitar Festival…. "Virtuosos Reign at Guitar Festival"
– New York Times - David Gruber, 2001
Susan Deaver, Flute/Conductor
Susan Deaver has performed as a flutist in the United States, Europe and Korea and was principal flutist of Washington Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center from 1981 to 2002. She is currently on the flute faculty at Manhattan School of Music Precollege and at LIU Post. Her flute students have won many competitions and awards. She has performed with Long Island Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi and on Broadway in "Phantom of the Opera." She received fellowships from the Bach Aria and Tanglewood Festivals and performed at the Music Festival of the Hamptons in 2006. She has recorded for New World records, CRI, Arabesque Recordings and North/South Consonance. As a conductor, Susan Deaver is the music director and conductor of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra, the University Orchestra at Stony Brook University and Principal Guest Conductor of the Long Island Youth Orchestra, which she conducted at Carnegie Hall. She has guest conducted in Scotland, England, Spain, Korea and Germany and was a conductor for Manhattan School of Music's Contemporary Ensemble. Newsday featured her in an article about her work as Conducting Instructor for actor Freddie Highmore in Warner Brothers' movie "August Rush." As conductor of the LIU Post Orchestra from 1981 to 2006, she developed the orchestra from an ensemble of 11 to a full sized symphonic orchestra of over 70 undergraduate and graduates students. She creatively expanded the orchestral program to include a series of concerts at LIU Tilles Center, an annual concerto competition, performance courses for music educators and orchestral educational residency programs with the New York Philharmonic and LIU Tilles Center. Dr. Deaver is on the music faculty at the LIU Post, Stony Brook University and Manhattan School of Music's Precollege Division. At LIU Post, she is the director of the LIU Post Chamber Music Festival, flutist of the Pierrot Consort and conductor of the Festival Chamber Orchestra. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate of musical arts in performance from Manhattan School of Music.
James Erickson, Guitar
JAMES ERICKSON has an active career performing and teaching classical and rock guitar throughout the New York metropolitan area and Long Island. James is an adjunct instructor of music at Nassau Community College, LIU Post, and Suffolk County Community College, where he teaches music history, theory, and fretboard harmony. James is also the director of the Suffolk County Community College Guitar Ensemble. James holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music history and performance from Long Island University, where he was awarded "Outstanding Performance in Guitar Studies".
As a classical guitar soloist, James has performed on tour in the United States, Europe, and Canada. James has also participated in the Long Island Guitar Festival in both solo and chamber performances. He has also performed in master classes for Jerry Willard, Carlo Domeniconi, Benjamin Verdery, Sharon Isbin, Carlos Barbosa - Lima, David Starobin, William Kanengiser and Eduardo Fernandez. James is a member of the Artesian Guitar Quartet. The group performs a variety of classical and contemporary repertoire. The quartet has toured internationally, premiering new works for the guitar repertoire.
As an electric guitarist, his studies have included lessons from jazz guitarist Howard Morgen and rock virtuoso Paul Gilbert. James has an extensive recording and performing experience, and is currently involved in many diverse musical projects. He is the guitarist for Tradewinds, an eleven-piece band that performs at weddings, corporate events and club dates throughout the tri-state area. In 2011, the group was voted "Best LI Cover Band" by the Long Island Press. James also performs withWalking The Line, a musical tribute to Johnny Cash, where he performs the electric guitar parts of Luther Perkins. Recently, James also performed with Classic Albums Live, performing the album "Who's Next" by The Who. He has opened for many national rock acts including Saigon Kick and Twisted Sister at popular venues like The Bitter End and B.B King's in Manhattan. He has also performed the guitar parts for many theatrical productions including "Hair", "Anything Goes", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Seussical".
For the past eight years, James has taught and performed at the "Songe d'été en Musique" an annual music festival in Quebec, Canada. James has also composed and recorded the soundtrack/score for several local independent films. He is also the assistant director of the Long Island Guitar Festival and offers private and online guitar instruction.
"…virtuoso musicianship" (Southampton Press)
Barbara Fusco, Mezzo-Soprano
BARBARA FUSCO, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Long Island. She is a graduate of Long Island University, C. W. Post, where she is currently a member of the Voice Faculty. She enjoys an active freelance career as a soloist throughout the Tri-state area, and has also performed throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. She recently returned from a Concert tour of Zimbabwe, Africa and has been invited back for their 2007 season. In March, she will be performing in Germany and Prague. Ms. Fusco has sung roles with Center for Contemporary Opera, Opera on the Sound, and the West End Opera Company. Her orchestral appearances include the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Adirondak Festival Orchestra at Saranac Lake, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and at Alice Tully Hall under the direction of Robert Craft. She is a regular soloist of the acclaimed Musica Viva of New York and is a featured soloist on the Sunday Morning Broadcast of the All Souls Unitarian service on WQXR. Ms. Fusco appears on several recordings produced by Gregg Smith, including "Southern Harmony". She has also recorded Stravinsky's "Les Noces", "Persephone", and "The Rake´s Progress" under the baton of Robert Craft. She is a featured soloist on several recordings produced by Musica Viva under the direction of Walter Klauss. In addition to Long Island University, Ms. Fusco has also taught private voice instruction and Theatre arts at the Allen-Stevenson School, the New York Entertainment Group, the Adirondack Festival at Saranac Lake, and maintains her own private studio as well.
Thomas Goodheart, Voice/Opera
Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice at Binghamton University BM, MM Manhattan School of Music. Past voice faculty Purchase College Conservatory of Music 1999-2010. Baritone Thomas Goodheart has performed over 40 leading roles in opera and oratorio with companies throughout the United States including The Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Chautauqua Opera, New York City Opera National Company, Connecticut Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Des Moines Metro Opera, Artpark Opera and Tri-Cities Opera. Recent performances include the American stage premiere of the role of Bruno in James MacMillan's Opera Parthenogenesis. Leading roles include Marcello in La Boheme, Escamillo in Carmen, Germont in La Traviata, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, The Father in Hansel and Gretel and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Mr. Goodheart has appeared as a guest soloist with symphony orchestras in the United States and South America. In New York City he has been a soloist at Avery Fischer Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Kaye Playhouse and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Concert credits include Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony & Missa Solemnis, Haydn's Creation and Mendolssohn's Elijah. He has received awards from The Metropolitan Opera National Council, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Joy in Singing Competition, Bel Canto Opera Foundation, The Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers, The Chautauqua Concerto Competition and The Tri-Cities Opera. He has been a performer/teaching artist with the education departments of The New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Institute and The New York Festival of Song. Mr. Goodheart maintains a private voice studio in NYC and is on the voice faculty of The Westchester Summer Vocal Institute and the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. His students have gone on to Graduate study at The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, Guild Hall (London, England) and The Opera Institute of Boston University among others. His students are currently singing professionally throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Goodheart lives with his wife Soprano, Jean Miller Goodheart and their son Matthew.
Maureen Hynes, Cellist and Conductor
Maureen Hynes is Adjunct Professor of Cello and Director of Orchestral and String Studies at LIU Post. She is the conductor of the LIU Post Orchestra, the conductor and creator of the LIU Post String Ensemble, co-founder of the LIU Post Chamber Music Festival, and Director of the LIU Post Merriweather Consort, which specializes in Renaissance music.
Ms. Hynes enjoys an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, conductor and educator. She performs regularly with the American Ballet Theater, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Orchestra of New York, American Composers Orchestra, the Bard Festival Orchestra, New York Virtuosi, the Westchester Philharmonic and the Queens Symphony. She has also appeared with the Royal Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, at the Spoleto and Aspen Festivals, at the Lake George Opera Festival and with the Bard Festival Chamber Players. Her work in New York has also included substitute work in many Broadway shows and for the Radio City Christmas Show.
Her solo and chamber music appearances have included performances at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center, the New York Society for Ethical Culture and the Bayside Historical Society. A winner of the Concert Artist Guild Award with the Janus Ensemble, she is currently a member of the Pierrot Consort. She has performed in Europe, Canada, Ireland, Korea and Hong Kong both as cellist and on the viola da gamba.
In May of 2011, she conducted the LIU Post String Ensemble on its first European concert tour in Italy. Since the summer of 2011, she appears as soloist, chamber musician and faculty at Songe d'été en musique in Québec, Canada. In the spring of 2014, she performed as cello soloist with the LIU Post Chorus and conducted performances of the LIU Post String Ensemble on tour in Ireland.
She was also the creator and director of the LIU Post Pre-College Music Program. She has been guest conductor for the Nassau All-County Festival at Tilles Center, the SCMEA Festival and the Long Island String Festivals in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. She has conducted string sectional rehearsals at the Manhattan School of Music, including preparing the strings for the Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar. She is an adjudicator for Worldstrides Heritage Festivals.
In 2009, she received the Adjunct Faculty Recognition Award from LIU Post for her contributions to the Department of Music and in addition, she is listed in the Marquis "Who's Who of American Women." She is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, where she received her B.M. and M.M. degrees. Ms. Hynes has given Cello Master Classes in Seoul, Korea and on Long Island and she has coached at the Mannes Pre-College Division. She has recorded for the Albany label. She recently conducted the Queens Symphony Orchestra in an outdoor concert at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria. In the fall of 2015, she became a member of the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music where she teaches Introductory and Advanced Conducting classes.
She is a member of Chamber Music America, Early Music America, NAFME, the American String Teachers Association and the College Orchestra Directors Association.
John Isenberg, Vocal Coach/Accompanist
John Isenberg, a native of Endicott, New York, holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Italian, as well as a Master's Degree in Italian Literature from Binghamton University. He performs many different musical genres, ranging from Opera and Musical Theater to traditional Scottish and various styles of sacred music. From 2001-2012, John worked for the Tri-Cities Opera Company in Binghamton, NY, first as Accompanist, then additionally as Education Outreach Coordinator and Chorus Master. During that time, he accompanied over 500 outreach performances throughout New York and northern Pennsylvania. He has performed for regional radio broadcasts of opera preview performances, including Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Verdi's La Traviata, and Mozart's The Magic Flute. An active church musician since childhood, John will soon begin a new position as Organist and Choir Director at All Saints Episcopal Church in Johnson City, NY. For two years, he has also served as Pianist and Choir Director for the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at Temple Concord in Binghamton, NY.
Heawon Kim, Piano
HEAWON KIM'S auspicious studies began in her native Korea where she appeared at the age of seven with the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic. Subsequently she won numerous competitions, appearing with these orchestras frequently on television and radio. After coming to this country in 1972 to the North Carolina School of the Performing Arts, she was under the guidance of Clifton Matthews. While studying with him, she won the Vittorio Giannini Award, the Southeastern Music Teachers Competition, and appeared with the Orchestra of the North Carolina School of the Performing Arts under the baton of Nicholas Harsanyi. Following rave reviews, she was brought to New York by Claude Frank, with whom she studied at the Mannes School of Music and subsequently she earned her Master of Music under Robert Goldsand at the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed for the classes of Erick Friedman, Josef Gingold, Janos Starker, Franco Gulli, and Andre Watts. Ms. Kim has been a soloist with regional orchestras in the United States and has appeared as chamber musician with such groups as the Bronx Arts Ensemble,Pierrot Consortt, Rosewood Chamber Ensemble, Garrett Lakes Festival, Leonia Chamber Players, Leaf Peeper Concerts, and the Colonial Symphony. She has appeared with the KBS at the opening of the Sejong Arts Center in Korea. Much in demand as a partner in recitals, she has played as soloist and recital partner for Erick Friedman over many decades. She performs in recitals with such artist as Sanford Allen, Dennis Brott, Marion Davies, and her husband, Dale Stuckenbruck. She is on the faculty of LIU Post at Long Island University as an instrumental accompanist and she is very active in the Korean musical community. She has worked with her husband, Dale Stuckenbruck to create the new chamber organization for young talent called "Kammermusik"
Laura Lessard, Guitar
LAURA LESSARD began studying the piano at an early age with her father, composer John Lessard. When she was thirteen she started taking guitar lessons with Stefano Michelucci. She continued her musical training at The Longy School of Music in Boston with Alfred Street and at The Manhattan School of Music with Sharon Isbin and Jerry Willard. She has performed on the guitar and lute throughout the Northeast, both as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to her work as a performer she has been on the faculty of the Bronx House Music School, The Bay School of Music and The Usdan Center for the Performing Arts.
Jean Miller Goodheart, Voice/Opera
Soprano JEAN MILLER GOODHEART has performed leading roles in opera, concert and recital throughout the United States. She received her BM and MM degree from Manhattan School of Music and has worked as a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center Institute. Ms. Goodheart was the Education Director for The New York Festival of Song and was on the voice faculty at Purchase College Conservatory of Music from 1999-2009. She is currently an adjunct lecturer for the Binghamton University Music Department where she appears regularly in recital and teaches lyric diction to undergraduate voice majors. She has a private voice studio in Binghamton, NY. This year she began teaching Musicianship & Creativity at Seton Catholic Central High School and became the Director of the newly formed Seton Catholic Concert Choir. She has served on the grant review panel for The NYS Council on the Arts and is an adjudicator for NYSSMA. She has performed with Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Greater Buffalo Opera and Encompass New Opera Theatre. Her leading roles include Juliette in Romeo and Juliette, Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera and Sonia in The Merry Widow. Concert credits include Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and c minor Mass, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Poulenc's Gloria. Other performances include the role of Kristel in James MacMillan's Opera Parthenogenesis and Mary in Dave Brubeck's La Fiesta de la Posada with the Dave Brubeck quartet at the University of Buffalo Performing Arts Center. Her most recent awards were several NYSCA grants to bring "Arts Partner" residencies into schools. Previous awards include a career grant from the Shoshana Foundation and awards and scholarships from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Bel Canto Foundation, Chautauqua Institute, New York Singing Teachers Association, Music Academy of the West, Tri-Cities Opera Guild and Manhattan School of Music.
LeAnn Overton, Choral Conductor/Vocal Coach/Accompanist
Performer and pedagogue LeAnn Overton currently serves on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Ms. Overton has taught on the faculties of Long Island University (C. W. Post campus), Carnegie Mellon University, Chautauqua Voice School, New York Actor's Studio, and Mannes College The New School of Music. She has been music director/vocal coach for summer festivals and opera companies including Oberlin in Italy, Midsummer Music Festival in Canada, Vocal Arts Symposium of Colorado Springs, Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy in association with Cincinnati Conservatory, Cincinnati Opera, and Tulsa Opera.
Since 2000 Ms Overton has served as music director for the Manhattan School of Music precollege opera scenes, educational outreach productions, as well opera scenes and song recitals for the undergraduate opera theater.
As adjunct professor at Montclair State, Ms Overton prepares students for degree recitals as well as roles in the main stage opera productions. In addition to music director, she designed and directed an opera workshop course aimed at the specific needs of the undergraduate vocal major. Ms Overton's conducting debut was in the fall of 2010 for director Jan Prokop's opera scenes program at the Kasser Theater on the Montclair campus.
In 2014 Ms. Overton founded "Respiro Opera, NYC," a program built on the basics of singing: breath (yoga), body alignment (Alexander Technique and body mapping), text study, and musical style. An enthusiastic proponent of the Alexander Technique, Ms. Overton continues her collaboration with AT instructor Bill Connington, author of Physical Expression on Stage and Screen: Using the Alexander Technique to Create Unforgettable Performances.
Ms. Overton earned her Master of Music degree in vocal coaching/accompanying at the University of Illinois with accompanist John Wustman. She has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 2003 and a surtitle caller at the Metropolitan Opera since 2000.
Veronica Salas, Viola
Violist Veronica Salas's recording of Ge Gan-Ru string quartets with Modern Works on the Naxos label, was chosen by the critics of The NY Times as a notable recording of 2009. Other premiered and recorded contemporary works include viola and harpsichord with The Queens Chamber Band, Elysium Ensemble and a Virgil Thomson CD with the Bennington Chamber Ensemble of which Salas is a featured artist. Ms. Salas is a member of Canta Libre Chamber Ensemble, Bronx Arts Ensemble and Pierrot Consort as well as Principal Violist of American Composers Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, New Jersey Festival Orchestra and Phantom of the Opera. Salas received her DMA from the Juilliard School where she studied with Lillian Fuchs and is on the faculty of Long Island University and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.
Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck, Violin
DALE STUCKENBRUCK, Grammy nominated artist, is one of New York's most active violin soloist, concertmaster, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. Studies with Erick Friedman, appearing with him as soloist, in recording and in chamber music. Soloist/Concertmaster/Guest artist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York Virtuosi, New York String Ensemble, Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra, Taipei City Symphony Orchestra, Music at St. Ignatius, Dance Theater of Harlem, Queens Symphony, Masterworks, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Allentown Symphony and the Long Island Philharmonic. Recorded the violin concerto by Lou Pelosi on CRI. Received international acclaim with Steve Margoshes for "Sawing to New Heights," (www.classicalcds.net) and for his performances of the "Divination by Mirrors" by Michael Levine with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and the New York Virtuosi. Received Grammy nomination for "Ancient Voices of Children" by George Crumb for Bridge Records. He has been featured in Strings Magazine, Korean Monthly Music Magazine, Newsday, Sarasate (Japan) and the New York Times. Faculty for the Oyster Bay Music Festival, LIU Post Chamber Music Festival and Midsummer Music Dream (Quebec). Founder of Long Island's conductorless-string ensemble, Kammermusik, the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra, and ECO orchestra of the Waldorf School of Garden City. He has provided the sound tracks for two films, "Shadow" and "Fresh," shown at the Whitney and the Israeli Museums. Since 1975 he has performed with Heawon Kim, pianist, in recitals in Asia, Europe and South America. He has a member of the music faculty at LIU Post since 1986. Assistant director of the LIU Post Chamber Music Festival. Music Director at the Waldorf School of Garden City since 2012. D.M.A. from Manhattan School of Music, 1984.
Open Programs Faculty
Valérie Bélanger, Soprano
Known for her warm tone and her dramatic verve, Lambton-born soprano VALÉRIE BÉLANGER is very active on the Montreal operatic and concert scenes.
During the 2015/16 season, she sang Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart) with La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal, Silvia (L'Isola disabitata, Haydn) with Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Despina (Così fan tutte, Mozart) and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck) with Opera da Camera and was the soprano soloist in many cantatas with the musicians of Serenata at St. John's.
Her performance as Susanna with Opera da Camera received great acclaim from Opera Canada magazine: "the show's star was Valérie Bélanger as Susanna, [she's] a natural whose beautiful soprano was well projected and her dramatic verve exceptionnal."
On the opera stages, the soprano has worked in Montreal (Opéra de Montréal, Jeunesses musicales du Canada, Opera da Camera, Compagnie baroque Mont-Royal, Opéra VMana, Opéra/Théâtre VoxPopuli), Rimouski (Opéra-Théâtre de Rimouski), Quebec City (Opéra de Québec), in Ontario (Highlands Opera Studio, Thirteen Strings) as well as in Italy (Accademia Europea dell'Opera). On the concert scene, Ms. Bélanger has been a soloist in Gilles Vigneault's Grand-Messe, a number of J.S. Bach's cantatas, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and in the oratorios Die Shöpfung (Haydn) and Jephtha (Händel), among others. Passionate about chamber music, her credits include many pieces for voice and luth or guitar as well as songs for piano, voice and flute, clarinet or horn and Hindemith's chamber cantata "Die Serenaden, op. 35".
The soprano was awarded the 2nd Prize in the Opera category during the 6th edition of Concours international de chant lyrique de Canari in Corsica, France, the Developing Artist Grant in Classical vocal performance from the Hnatyshyn Foundation (Canada), the 3rd Prize at Concours de musique du Royaume and was a finalist and grant recipient in the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition, New York.
A co-artistic director of the Montreal company Opera da Camera for the past two years, Ms. Bélanger has been helping Montreal's emerging artists shine and contributing to the democratization of classical music, producing operas and vocal recitals in intimate venues, reaching audiences ranging from the avid opera-goers to the intrigued newcomers. Valérie Bélanger has also been teaching voice in Montreal for the past five years and is joining the faculty of the Festival for a second time.
Samanatha Clarke, Woodwinds and Brass
Samantha Clarke is thrilled to be participating in her fourth Midsummer Music Dream Festival. Samantha graduated Cum Laude with a BM in Music Education from LIU Post in May 2014, and will begin her Masters degree at LIU Post this coming fall as a Graduate Assistant in Instrumental Conducting. Samantha Clarke is currently teaching music on Long Island at the middle school and high school level.
Ms. Clarke is an avid performer both as a soloist, and in a variety of ensembles. While studying at LIU Post, she was principal flutist of the LIU Post Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, and co-principal of the LIU Post Orchestra. Amongst her many performance honors, Ms. Clarke has participated in the Long Island Flute Club Competition twice, winning Third Place in 2011, and First Place in 2012. Additionally, Samantha was featured as a soloist with the LIU Post Wind Ensemble at the Tilles Center in April 2014 as a winner of the 2013 LIU Post Concerto Competition. Most recently, Samantha Clarke traveled to Puerto Rico on a performance tour with the named, and LIU Post Wind Symphony. Samantha regularly performs throughout Long Island as a member of the Long Island Flute and Guitar Duo.
Emily Klonowski, Community Voice Workshop
At 26 years old, EMILY KLONOWSKI has made her talent known throughout Long Island and the New York City area. Her rich and striking mezzo voice has stood out in many professional settings, giving her the opportunity to perform in many prestigious local, national and international venues. Her passion for the ability to express emotion through music started with instrumental beginnings, giving a complete foundation for her voice to blossom through her college career. Paired with a unique depth in sound and a keen musical awareness, Emily has performed with many award-winning groups on very challenging repertoire. This year, She was a soloist with the Merrick Chorale in Mendelssohn's work Elijah, Mozart's Missa Brevis and John Rutter's Gloria. She performed Aaron Copland's daring a capella work In the Beginning internationally with the LIU Post Chorus. In 2015, She traveled to Lambton, Quebec for the festival Songe d'ete en Musique where she performed many chamber works for various instrumentations. In the summer of 2013, Emily traveled to Tuscany, Italy where she performed and studied with the Oberlin Conservatory. Winner of the LIU Post Concerto Competition in 2013, Emily performed Les Nuit D'ete by Hector Berlioz. Beforehand, She attended the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute in 2012, and was a finalist for the Classical Singer Magazine Competition in 2011. She has also appeared as a soloist in many performances with the group. She has performed as a soloist and with groups in many distinguished halls such as the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and more. She has shared her gifts as a singer and conductor at churches and temples throughout Long Island for years; singing for masses, services, weddings and funerals as well as conducting peer and youth choirs. Emily is currently an music teacher at Robbins Lane Elementary in Syosset, NY. She is also the General Manager and Assistant Conductor for Cantori New York, an award-winning chamber chorus in Manhattan, specializing in new and neglected repertoire.
Christina Montalto, Children's Choir
Christina Montalto has had a passion for singing since she was two years old, starting with Musical Theater, moving on to Jazz, and then Opera- her flexible voice and dynamic vocal quality enables her to teach all voices and styles. She received her B.M in Music Education and Vocal Performance from LIU Post, studying under Barbara Fusco and Dr. Mark Shapiro. In her junior year of the undergraduate program, Christina was the winner for the 2011 LIU Post Concerto Competition, singing "Song to the Moon" by Dvorak and went on a tour of Florence, Rome and Perugia with the LIU Post Chorus and String Ensemble. She has also performed numerous choral, solo and opera works for the Songe d'ete Midsummer Music Festival in Quebec since 2011 and has joined the board as Festival Coordinator.
During the year, Christina serves as the Studio Coordinator for School of Rock in Port Jefferson, NY where she, among other things, teaches weekly music classes to up-and-coming rock stars ages 4-7. She is also a founding member of Operanomaly, which is a group of young singers dedicated to presenting Operatic material in an accessible and intriguing way to those less familiar with the art. Aside from performing, she can be found giving presentations and in-home music group classes sponsored by Attachment-Parenting International, local libraries and organizations alike who wish to inspire music and the arts.
Vincent Muscarella, Guitar and Rock Ensemble
Vincent Muscarella is a guitarist and music educator in the New York Metropolitan area. Vincent graduated from Long Island University with a BM degree in Music Education with a concentration in guitar performance. While at Long Island University, Vincent was presented with awards of distinction for guitar performance and instrumental music. Vincent teaches and has taught electric, acoustic and classical guitar, as well as rock band ensembles at multiples schools, organizations and institutions. Some of these places include: Music Academy of Garden City, Walt Whitman High School, Sam Ash Music Stores and Prodigy School of the Arts all on Long Island, NY. Vincent has also maintained a large private studio of students where he teaches in home lessons and in his private studio. Vincent has experience teaching over 100 students of all levels, ages and musical interests.
As a performer, Vincent has performed with bands, university ensembles, performing ensembles and duos at major performing venues and festivals. Some of these places include: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium Jazz Club, The DiMenna Center for classical music, Port Washington Theater, Tilles Center for the Preforming Arts, Long Island Classical Guitar Festival, Midsummer Music Dream Festival in Quebec, Jazz a Juan Festival in the South of France and the Great South Bay Music Festival on Long Island, NY.
Liu Fang, Pipa
As a child prodigy in her native China, now a resident of Canada, Liu Fang has been regarded as one of the most eminent pipa soloists. She is also excellent performer on the Chinese zither Guzheng. Her talent crosses all boundaries, linguistic and cultural. She has performed numerous concerts throughout world to massive acclaim, including solo recitals of Chinese traditional and classical music as well as contemporary music with orchestras, string quartets and ensembles. She has also premiered a number of new compositions such as the works of Canada's eminent composers R Murray Schafer and Jose Evangelista, and made frequent appearances in national and international TV and radios. Liu Fang is also highly acclaimed for her "Silk and Steel projects" in which she has collaborated with world class musicians from various traditions, and has released 9 solo and collaborative albums. Her most recent recording 'Silk Sound', under the French Label Accords Crosses, won the prestigious Academie Charles Cros Award (the French equivalent of the Grammy). Liu Fang is referred to in the press as "the empress of pipa" (L'actualité, 2001), "divine mediator" (World, 2006), "the greatest ambassadress of the art of the pipa" (La presse, 2002) and " possessing virtuoso technique, grace and a unique empathy toward the music she plays - whether it is a traditional folk tune or a modern Western composition" (All Music Guide, 2004). In 2001, Liu Fang was the only musician to receive the prestigious 'Future Generation Millennium Prize' awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts to three artists of different disciplines under 30 years of age.
Jeffrey Marcus, Piano
A scholarship student of Frances Mann and Mieczyslaw Munz at the Juilliard School, Jeffrey Marcus received a Bachelor of Science degree in Piano. He went on to obtain his Master of Music degree as a student of Martin Canin at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he was a teaching assistant.
Mr. Marcus has toured extensively: in Reykjavik, Iceland; Oxford and London, England; Poznan and Warsaw, Poland; Munich and Hamburg, Germany. He was the pianist for the North American Premiere of Kristoff Penderecki's "Strofe" and for the first complete performance of Chopin's Songs with the American mezzo soprano Elizabeth Patches at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. His performances have aired all over the world: on WQXR and WNYC in New York; BBC, England; Süddeutscher Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Hessischer Rundfunk in Germany. His solo recital debut at Merkin Hall in New York took place in October, 1985 under the auspices of the Oberon Foundation and was received with high critical praise.
Jeffrey Marcus has collaborated with many internationally celebrated artists including the American Cellist Rebecca Rust, First Solo Bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Friedrich Edelmann, Chilean Mezzo Soprano Victoria Vergara, Icelandic Soprano Gudrun Tomasdottir and the German Cellist Tilmann Wick.
In the fall of 2013 Mr. Marcus performed solo works by J. S. Bach, Schubert, Brahms and the world premiere of the Seven Bagatelles by the American composer Peter Winkler in Garden City, New York, Wachenheim, Germany and Geneva, Switzerland.
"What was notable already at the beginning of the Schubert sonata and confirmed during the course of the evening as a lasting general impression: this pianist did not play himself, but instead with each work introduced his audience into a new musical realm." – Wolfgang Müller-Steinbach , Die Rheinpfalz - Bad Dürkheim
"What caught the ear – above and beyond Mr. Marcus' technical self possession – was the excellent grasp of how music moves from one point in time to the next. The great Schubert Sonata in A (D. 959) had a very effective sense of line and tension, and it tread gracefully the border between Schubert's Classical roots and his Romantic heart." – Bernard Holland , New York Times
Jeffrey Wahl, Recorder
Jeffrey Wahl is from the Binghamton area of Upstate New York. He has been performing for over 25 years and has won many prestigious titles including: Junior Mr. Headliner, Teen Mr. Headliner, Teen Dancer of the Year, Mr. Dance of the United States of America, and the International King of Dance.
His studio "Dance by Jeff" was ranked one of the top 100 Businesses in the country by Young Biz Magazine. He has performed extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Russia. He has been sought out to teach master classes throughout the United States and Russia.
He has starred in the roles of Fredrick The Pirates of Penzance, Nanki-Poo The Mikado, Freddy Hill My Fair Lady, Barnaby Tucker Hello Dolly, Mike A Chorus Line.
As a Vocalist Mr. Wahl has sung at major sporting events; the Laguna Seca Raceway, the San Francisco 49er's Season Opening celebration, the Sky Chief's Salute to the Armed Forces Game and the Concorso Italiano. He has also had the distinct honor of performing for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, as well as state, local officials and international dignitaries.
As a Conductor he has directed various groups throughout the country ranging from orchestras, brass bands, and choirs. He has been the Musical Director for Disney's The Little Mermaid, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, South Pacific, The King and I, and many others.
As an Instrumentalist he has been a guest artist at St. James Church in Johnson City NY. He has also been a featured performer around the Monterey Bay area of California, and at St. Matthews Church in Washington D.C.
As a Composer his original music has been performed across the country. He has written works for brass band, choir, and chamber ensembles. His new piano works "The Woods of Windsor" are being featured in upcoming concerts.
Mr. Wahl proudly served in the World's finest Navy, for eleven years before being medically retired in June of 2015. He proudly wears the rank of a Chief Petty Officer. His Duty Stations include: DLIFLC;NIOC MD; and NRD Pittsburgh. His medals and awards include: The Joint Commendation Medal, The Navy Commendation Medal; The Navy Achievement Medal (2), The Good Conduct Medal (3), The Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, The National Service Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Medal, The Arctic Service Ribbon, The Navy Expeditionary Medal, The Recruiting Service Ribbon with Seven Gold Wreaths, Navy Pistol Marksmenship Ribbon, and other joint, and unit awards.
Festival Assistant / YOA Intern
Sabrina Perry, Violin
Canadian violinist Sabrina Perry enjoys a diverse performing and teaching career, as inspired by her primary teachers Sandra Swannell and Nancy Dahn. Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Music Performance degree and a minor in psychology from Memorial University. As a classical violinist, she has performed in various chamber ensembles and orchestras across Canada including Tutta Musica, Symphony New Brunswick, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and the Georgian Bay Symphony. As a fiddler, she was a member of the Celtic-folk-rock band Beggar's Road and was often found fiddling, singing, and step-dancing alongside her brother. A passionate teacher, Sabrina has combined her diverse musicality, Suzuki training, and knowledge of healthy bodymapping movements in a variety of settings including Project Grace, King's Bridge Montessori Preschool, and her own private studio. Her passion for music as a tool for social change led her to become a global leader through Youth Orchestra of the America's Global Leader's Program in 2017. She now works as a violin teaching artist for Sistema New Brunswick.
Recent Faculty and Performers
Alexander Dashnaw, Choral Conductor
ALEXANDER DASHNAW, Professor Emeritus of Music at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and as president of the New York State Association of College Music Programs (NYSACMP). He has been the guest conductor of many regional, divisional and all-state choruses throughout the United States and has given many choral workshops for, among other, the American Guild of Organists (AGO) the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA).
Professor Dashnaw has also been the artistic director of many festivals, including the Manhattan Choral festival, the Chicago Choral Festival, the Pacific Choral Festival in San Francisco, the Atlanta Choral Festival, the Jubilee Festival in Washington, D.C., the Strathclyde Festival in Glasgow, Scotland and the Tilles Invitational Choral Festival on Long Island.
His Long Island University choral groups have performed in every major concert hall in New York City with, among others, the National Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Queens Symphony, the Opera Orchestra of New York and the Sydney (Australia) Symphony Orchestra. His select groups have made 16 European concert tours, 2 tours of Mexico, and tours in both Canada and Korea. In addition, they have appeared, by invitation, at both National and Eastern Division Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).
Throughout his career, in addition to his contributions to music of, and research related to composers of the English Renaissance Madrigal, Alexander Dashnaw has also been a champion of new choral music. He has commissioned 38 new works for chorus, from over 30 recognized composers. Some of these works are "a cappella" and others are accompanied by piano, organ, instrumental ensemble or orchestra.
Tammy Hensrud, Voice
Tammy Hensrud, hailed by Switzerland's Opernwelt as "...a remarkably beautiful voice capable of many colors and nuances...a singer who is also a natural actress" has appeared in opera houses throughout Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan, Israel, South Africa and the US including the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Theatre de Chatelet in Paris, Klagenfurt Stadttheater, Salzburg Festival, Cleveland Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York City Opera, and the Spoleto Arts Festival under notable conductors such as James Levine, Herbert von Karajan and Emmanuelle Villaume and others. She has been heard in Recitals and concerts throughout the US, Canada and Europe and has recorded with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Süddeutsche Rundfunk Orchestra, and Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. Her core repertoire includes the great operatic roles of Strauss, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Puccini and orchestral works of Mahler, Berlioz and Wagner. Her acclaimed European debut as Romeo in "I Capuletti e i Montecchi" came while still a member of the Vienna State Opera's Young Artist Program. Invitations to opera houses in Germany, Austria and Italy soon followed.
A most versatile artist, Ms. Hensrud has performed extensively with the American Chamber Ensemble, New York Virtuosi, Chiara String Quartet, Ridotto Arts, Rutgers Sommerfest, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. In demand as an interpreter of Kurt Weill and Cabaret, she has performed one-woman shows at the Lucille Lortel Theater and the Players Club in NYC as well as venues throughout the USA. As a proponent of contemporary music, Ms. Hensrud has sung world premieres both in the US and in Europe and was recently featured as the Soprano soloist at Carnegie Hall in the world premiere performance of Gerald Custer's "Everything Indicates" and the world premiere performance of "I Speak of Peace" composed by Adolphus Hailstork in honor of President John F. Kennedy. This past Season, Ms. Hensrud created the roles of Marie Helene and Rose Kennedy in world premiere operas for the Center for Contemporary Opera. Ms. Hensrud frequently collaborates with esteemed Lutenist Christopher Morrongiello in programs dedicated to music of the Renaissance and Baroque and in 2008 founded Feminine Musique, a Recital Duo dedicated to the music of Women Composers, which has been heard throughout the United States and Europe.
Ms. Hensrud earned her BMus in Cello performance and MMus degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Dakota. She continued her post-graduate studies on Voice as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in Stuttgart, Germany, where she received the Artist Diploma in Opera. Additional studies were at Salzburg's Mozarteum, the Franz Liszt Musik Akademie, and the L'ecole Hindemith in Vevey, Switzerland. In addition to her singing career, Ms. Hensrud is in demand as a Master Class teacher and adjudicator. She has served on the Voice Faculty of Hofstra University as Associate Adjunct Professor of Voice since 2005 and is on the Faculty of the Oyster Bay Summer Music Festival and the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute. Her students have consistently been awarded top prizes in competitions and have gone on to Undergraduate and Graduate study at Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Hart School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Guild Hall (London, England), Rutgers University Opera Institute, Binghamton University, and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, among others.
Walter Klauss, Organ
Walter Klauss received his M.A. degree from Case Western Reserve University and pursued doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York. At the age of 17, Mr. Klauss made his debut as an organ recitalist at the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Museum later invited him to perform the American première of Jean Langlais' Organ Concerto for the May Festival of Contemporary Music. At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, Mr. Klauss was one of six organists invited to perform the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in a concert honoring the composer, who was present. He continues to appear as a recitalist, including performances with the Zurich Symphony at the Tonhalle; and, for his 30th-anniversary concert at All Souls Unitarian Church, a performance of Rheinberger's rarely-heard Concerto No. 2 for Organ and Orchestra. Walter Klauss is the founder and conductor of New York's critically acclaimed Musica Viva concert series. He has appeared as guest conductor of festival choruses and led workshops in choral conducting and performance techniques. Mr. Klauss has been guest conductor of various choral and orchestral works with L'Orchestre de J.L. Petit in Paris, and performed and conducted concerts in Zimbabwe. Since 1976 he has been Minister of Music at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City. Mr. Klauss also served as Chairman of the Music Department and Professor of Music at the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University. Upon his retirement the university honored him with the status of Professor Emeritus. Walter Klauss is currently on the music faculty of Queens College (CUNY).
Karla Moe, Flute
KARLA MOE has an active career as both an orchestral and chamber musician, frequently playing with the New York City Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, the American Symphony and its Bard Summer Festival, the Colonial and Westfield Symphonies, Long Island Philharmonic, and Principal Flutist of the New York Grand Opera, New Jersey State Opera and the St. Cecelia Orchestra. She has been Principal Flutist with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Musica Aeterna Chamber Orchestra which performed an acclaimed series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has played under such conductors as James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, and was asked to play with the St. Petersburg Orchestra on their American tour. For the past several years, Karla has been the flutist with The Queen's Chamber Band, a Baroque ensemble.
An active educator, Karla has taught in the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard, and has played for the New York Philharmonic Education Programs. She is on the faculty of Nassau Community College and Long Island University - C.W. Post College, where she is also the Director of Woodwind Studies. Karla plays for many Broadway shows, including Lion King and Wicked, and can be heard on many recordings with the Queens Chamber Band, as well as television, numerous films and other classical albums. Ms. Moe studied with Harold Bennett of the Metropolitan Opera, Julius Baker, and performed in several master classes with Jean Pierre Rampal. A graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Ms. Moe received a Master's degree in performance from the Manhattan School of Music in NYC, where she also won First Place in the school's Annual Concerto Competition.
Andrea Stewart, Cello
Interested in the new sounds and techniques found in new music but still intrigued by the beauty of classical and baroque repertoire, Montreal-based cellist Andrea Stewart is equally at home performing with electronics as she is playing basso continuo.
In 2006, Andrea made her solo debut with the University of Western Ontario Symphony Orchestra (London, ON). Since then, performances have brought her to venues across North America, Europe, and Asia, in solo recital and with such ensembles as Grammy-nominated Uccello, Gruppo Montebello, Ensemble Caprice, Infusion Baroque, and collectif9. Andrea is a laureate of the Golden Violin Competition at the Schulich School of Music (McGill University) and the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition.
Andrea holds the degrees of Doctor of Music (2015) and Master of Music (2009) from McGill University. Particularly inspired by contemporary music, her research is devoted to the expansion of cello technique in relation to works in the contemporary repertoire. Support for Andrea's research has been granted SSHRC in Canada (Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship) as well as from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Recent Guest Artists and Composers
Jérôme Ducharme, Guitar
Canadian guitarist Jérôme Ducharme travels in North America to perform recitals, masterclasses and for adjudication panels. His career took off when he won the first prize at the 2005 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition. His cd, on NAXOS label, received appraisal from various critics.
He holds a doctorate degree in performance from University of Montréal as well as diplomas from Montreal Conservatory.
He is a guitar instructor at McGill University Schulich School of Music.
He plays with a Daryl Perry guitar.
Michael Frassetti, Composer
Michael Frassetti earned a BA in Music Education (summa cum laude) and an MA in Music Composition at Long Island University. In 1995 he was nominated for 2 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, winning for Original Musical Composition for "The Desert Treasure" episode of Copperstate Chronicles broadcast on KTVK, an ABC-TV affiliate in Phoenix AZ.
He has worked as a Music Educator in the NY public schools system as a choral conductor, providing his original compositions and innovative arrangements for student performances. His works have been performed at high schools in the Long Island NY area, and at several NYSSMA Majors evaluations where each time they were singled out by the adjudicators for their excellence.
His "May The Lord Bless You and Keep You" a cappella choral work was performed by the Baltimore School For The Arts Chorus under the direction of Mark Hardy at the Baltimore Basilica to great acclaim, and selections from his "5 Poe Settings" have also been performed by members of the Baltimore Symphony Chorus under the same director.
His "3 Moods for Guitar" were premiered at the Midsummer's Music Dream Festival in Canada in August 2011 by Harris Becker, Director of Guitar Studies at Long Island University. Most recently, his "To The Grand Canyon" for SATB Chorus and Piano received its world premiere at several concerts by the Carolyn Eynon Singers (CES) in the spring of 2012, and his "Angels of Christmas" for SATB Chorus, Piano and Flute was performed in December, again by CES.
His "One Song", a celebration of the bonds of friendship formed between the French Canadian and American musicians jointly participating at the Songe d'été en Musique festival in rural Quebec, was performed at that festival in 2012 under the direction of Alexander Dashnaw.
Michael continues to compose and record at his home studio in Phoenix, Arizona.
Claude LaFlamme, Guitar / Harp-Guitar
Since childhood, music has always played an important part in Claude LaFlamme's life. After experiencing different music instruments, Claude sets his mind on the guitar. He completes a bachelor's degree in music at Laval University, in Quebec city, and specializes in musical composition with the renowned composer Mr François Morel.
For a few years he played both the guitar and the piano. He then gave up the guitar for almost ten years but eventually came back to his first love. He has been a professional musician for 30 years. In so doing, he had the chance to perform different musical styles such as jazz, blues, gospel, folks, pop, rock and classical. Taking part in many studio recording sessions as guitarist, arranger and producer, he has been collaborating with stimulating artists thru the years.
Claude recently discovered the harp-guitar. He was seduced by all the possibilities this instrument proposed. In a way, it gave him the chance to play his favorite instrument but with a larger range, close to the piano, offering him the best of both worlds and inspiring him new music. He acquired a harp-guitar custom made by Michel Pellerin, luthier and started a new musical journey.
Joseph Russo, Composer
Composer Joseph Russo studied with Robert Starer and Vincent Persichetti (among others) at Juilliard and with Luther Noss at Yale, attending composition/music theory classes at both schools. Russo has developed and continues to develop his own personal melodic and tonal compositional style.
He has composed numerous chamber and orchestra works including "Elegy and Prayer" for Strings (1985), "Concordance" for Double Brass Quintet (1991), Flute & Oboe Concerto (1994), "Celebration" for Orchestra (1999), Triple Flute Concerto (2000), "In Memoriam" 9/11 - for Strings (2001), "Tribute" (2002) for Concert Band (commissioned by Northeastern University), First Symphony (2004), Kyrie & Gloria (2005) for choir and chamber orchestra, and two a cappella (SATB) motets on Psalm 23 "The Lord is My Shepherd" and Psalm 100 "Make a Joyful Noise".
Since 1985 Russo's compositions have been performed by various groups. Russo's First Symphony (2004) was premiered by Orchestra New England in New Haven on May 1, 2004. His Triple Flute Concerto (2000) was given its west coast premiere in La Mirada, California in October 2007. His Septet "Distant Light" for Flute, Clarinet, Harp and String Quartet – commissioned by the Fontenay Chamber Players – was premiered by the commissioning ensemble in April 2007 in Wilton, Connecticut. On November 2, 2008 Russo conducted the European premiere of his "Concordance" for Double Brass Quintet in Hanover, Germany. During the summer of 2009 he completed his "Mourning Mist" for Guitar and String Quartet which was given its first performance at the Long Island Guitar Festival in March 2013. Orchestra New England gave the world premiere of his Four Pieces for Strings "Homage to Bach" (2009) on Bach's birthday, March 21, 2009. Russo's brass quintet "Hannoverture" (2008) was given its world premiere in April 2009 in Connecticut by the Ridgefield Symphony Brass Quintet and its European premiere in Bremen, Germany in May 2009. In March 2010 the bassoon ensemble Bassoonery performed Russo's three movement bassoon quartet "In The Woods" in Ridgefield, CT.
Russo completed "Changes" for Septet (violin, bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion) in June 2010. The three movements of this tonal work incorporates classical sounds with jazz music.
"Seasides" – three movements for trombone quartet was completed in February 2011.
Russo's Second Symphony (2011) received its very successful world premiere performance on March 23, 2013 at Battell Chapel in New Haven with Orchestra New England.
During the summer of 2012 Russo completed work on his Flute & Piano piece "West Fork" and his French horn & Piano piece "Mountain".
You may find out more about Russo's composing at his website: www.JosephMRusso.com where you may click on his "Latest News and Compositions" to read about his most current compositions.
Also, samples of Joe's compositions may be heard at his American Music Center website.
Frank Wallace, Guitar
On stage, Frank Wallace is known for his "elegant virtuosity" (Classics Today) on the guitar, vihuela and lute and is a master of self-accompanied song. He tours internationally, performing music from the 16th – 21st and has performed at the Taxco International Guitar Festival, Guitar Foundation of America, New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, the Holland Festival, Música en Compostela, Boston Early Music Festival, the Festival of Spanish Song of Granada, and more.
Wallace is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in guitar performance and is self- taught as a composer. American Record Guide calls Wallace's compositions "exciting, unpredictable, and fresh". Fanfare magazine has dubbed him a composer with "an authentic expressive voice" and a "high standard of musical interest" who performs with "flawless technical proficiency". Frank Oteri of NewMusicBox.org calls it "contemporary musical emancipation".
Frank Wallace founded and directed for four years the Boston Classical Guitar Society's Festival 21, a celebration of all that is new in 21st century classical guitar. He also served a two-year term as artistic director of the Society. In New York City Wallace founded and co-directed the Second Sundays Classical Guitar Series in conjunction with the NYC Classical Guitar Society and Roger Smith Arts. He has taught at the New England Conservatory, Plymouth State College, Emmanuel College, Keene State College and Franklin Pierce College and has a B.M. from San Francisco Conservatory.
In 2014 Frank Wallace wrote a one hour chamber suite for the 50th anniversary of the Hartt School of Music's Guitar Department. He has also written for Juan Carlos Laguna, Pablo Garibay, Edel Muñoz, ChromaDuo, the Jugend Zupf Orchestra of Germany, Mare Duo, Marek Pasiezcny, Ciraldo Duo, Olson / De Cari Duo, the Providence Mandolin Orchestra and more. He has recorded for Gyre, Titanic, Centaur, and Musical Heritage Society, which re-released a number of LiveOak and Frank Wallace recordings in 2008. His compositions are published by Gyre Music and have been featured in Guitar Review, Soundboard, Fingerstyle Magazine, and The LSA Quarterly. Wallace's complete recordings and compositions are available at www.gyremusic.com.
Recent Festival Assistants / YOA Interns
Julie Michael, Viola
Violist Julie Michael holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Michigan, where her principal teachers were André Roy, Lambert Chen, Yizhak Schotten, and Caroline Coade. Julie has pursued training in the Suzuki and Dalcroze methods, and currently teaches at the McGill Conservatory and in the El Sistema program at Share the Warmth Foundation. She has been a member of La Pietà with Angèle Dubeau, the Michigan Philharmonic, and the Michigan Arab Orchestra. Julie has participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival (United States), Festival Eleazar de Carvalho (Brazil), and l'Académie de Musique Tibor Varga (Switzerland), performing in masterclasses with Nobuko Imai, Jean Sulem, Carol Rodland, and Irvine Arditti. A passionate chamber musician, she has taken part in the intensive string quartet program at the Orford Arts Centre and performed at the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.