Admired for her work singing traditional soubrette/lyric opera, oratorio and song literature, Dr. Valente is praised as an exciting performer of new music. She regularly commissions and premieres works written by emerging and established composers, appearing in concert and as a presenter throughout the US and abroad. Some of the composers with whom she has collaborated include Violet Archer, Derek Healey, Timothy J. Brown, William Vollinger, Christine Arens, Judy Ross, Marty Regan and Jason Lovelace. She is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences hosted by the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association and Sigma Alpha Iota and was a presenter at The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium VII held at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada in 2011.
A native New Yorker, Dr. Valente currently lives in Central Florida with her husband, Michael Shook. When not on stage performing or in the studio teaching, “Doc” can be found either on the back nine at the local golf course, tending her butterfly garden rearing Monarchs and Black Swallowtails, or creating stained glass creations with her husband for Art-O-Mat.
Rodrigo Baggio has been performed in many cities around the world such as São Paulo, Brasilia and Tatuí (Brazil), Paris (France), Quebec (Canada), Bremen (Germany), London (England), New York and Vermont (USA). He was the guest guitarist of Universitè Laval (Quebec) for their winter semester/2012.
“Where And Who” – A piece written to Dr. Liana Valente that will be played as a simple soliloquy driven to each one of the listeners...as an advice to oneself. The audience must join the player in this reflective moment.
Erik Branch is a native of New York City, and received a BA and MA in Music (Composition) from Hunter College. He lives near Orlando, Florida, where he is active as a pianist, musical director, composer/arranger, opera chorister, and actor on stage and screen.
Herrick’s pithy, delicious verses are ideal for the songwriting miniaturist. My setting of The Bleeding Hand tries to reflect the poem’s charming conceit of the blood-spattered thorny rose sprig symbolizing the pains of love, and its ardor (the “romantic” melody) and (literally) prickly wit (the staccato, piquantly dissonant accompaniment)
Timothy Brown holds a doctorate in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado, and degrees from SUNY Fredonia and Goddard College. Adept at writing for the voice, he has held several composition fellowships. His music has been heard in eight countries.
Little Miss Muffet is portrayed by two characters within one performer, one being the “good” recitalist, and the other being the “bad” heckler. Modern English speakers may be unaware of the meanings of the older words in this nursery rhyme, so this piece is part vocabulary lesson and part humor.
Andy Evan Cohen studied classical music at Oberlin and Manhattan School of Music, and enjoys writing pieces in that genre when he gets the chance. Usually, he is busy doing sound design, original music, and musical direction for theatre shows in New York City. For more information, visit him at www.andycomusic.com.
The text for A Butterfly's Existence is by Jean-Henri Fabre, a 19th-century French writer and entomologist who studied butterflies (as well as other insects, arachnids, and arthropods) with song-like enthusiasm. This piece is dedicated to Dr. Valente and her butterfly garden.
John Mackay grew up in Toronto, Canada. He has been performing and composing from a very young age. His music has won awards in the genres of contemporary classical, jazz, solo piano, choral, pop, children’s music and arranging. He now divides his time between New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A.
The Option is a poignant satirical piece in which (I believe) the text speaks for itself. There is an angular, hyper quality to the music which attempts to reflect the mood of this ever-growing “communications disease”.
Roger May is a British composer and orchestrator, and is Composer-in-Residence to National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain. His music has been performed in major UK concert halls such as the Royal Albert Hall and South Bank, and in Europe, Asia and the USA. Further details at www.rogermay.co.uk.
A very short, quirky setting of this humorous poem that explores the oddities of English spelling and pronunciation (or is that pro-nun-see-Yay!-shun..?).
Peter Nickol was born in 1946. He studied originally at York University, later at Exeter and Manchester, with a PhD in Composition awarded in 2008. He is based in Exeter, Devon (UK). Recent successes include Ultramarine, chosen by Texas-based Madera Wind Quintet as one of their featured pieces for 2012.
'On to the Beach' sets the first four lines of Charles Tennyson Turner's poem 'The Quiet Tide Near Ardrossan', an evocative description of the sea, and how its power can be sensed even at its quietest moments.
Ken Paoli is currently a professor of music at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. He was recently an invited lecturer and composer at WOCMAT 2012 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Ken is active as an arranger and keyboardist and maintains a busy schedule of performance in the Chicago area.
Just something I think about when I’m mindlessly playing Lady Gaga tunes on a jobbing date, watching rhythm-less dancers, while being yelled at by a psychotic music leader, and wondering why there is no audience for New Music, but hoping for overtime. Don’t worry about me…it’s meant to be humorous.
Yan Pang is one of the most active composers of the new Chinese generation. She has been commissioned for performances in Vienna, Russia, and the Czech Republic. Her main publications include - the “Glorious Times” album, which was published by the China Scientific & Cultural Audio-Video Publishing Company in 2012.
Being a tiny candle flame, teachers bring light and hope to others while burning and sacrificing themselves.
Canadian composer Jana Skarecky has written music for solo voice, choir, a variety of instruments, and orchestra. Her music has been performed on four continents. Her opera “Emily, the Way You Are” about artist Emily Carr continues to be enthusiastically received by audiences. Jana is also a visual artist. (See www.JanaSkarecky.com.)
The black interlacing of branches reaching up to the sky, stark against the snowy white of clouds in a brilliant blue sky – the air crisp and cold. There is promise in the tightly closed buds, foretelling the spring. The haiku poetic form distils a world into a few words. Listen…
Juan Maria Solare, born 1966 in Argentina, works currently in Germany as composer, pianist (contemporary & tango) and teaching at the University of Bremen and at the Hochschule fuer Kuenste Bremen. His music has been performed in five continents. Ten CDs of different performers include at least one piece of him.
A reflection on that porous 'fourth wall' which separates or connects audiences with their artists, this monologue has the singer speaking directly to the audience, thus acknowledging their presence. The tacit question: who is 'we'? - during the piece and outside. You - I - We: the title consists of only vocals.
A composer in many genres; Phil Taylor’s electronic ambient works are released on iTunes under the Secret Perdu label, his works for strings have been performed in the UK. A clarinetist and pianist from an early age, he has recently studied violin and cello to inform his composition.
Fallen, Frozen is a modal piece beginning with a dramatic white note cluster and can be played with a significant amount of rubato. The audience may be invited to participate at the end of the piece after the words fallen and frozen as indicated in the score.
Frank E. Warren, award-winning composer, publisher and educator, enjoys working on multi-discipline projects. His early training was in Jazz composition and arranging, which still informs his chamber and choral writing. His music has been performed and broadcast on five continents, and he's been guest speaker at colleges and libraries throughout the USA.
The concept of composing miniature, yet complete works, has been the center focus of my writing for many years. In this piece for Dr. Valente, requiring a duration less than 60-seconds, setting a haiku (to me) seems natural. The stillness of the accompaniment I hope, captures the mystery of the poem.
Christopher M. Wicks holds a MM from the University of Montreal, and is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. He is organist, choir accompanist and bell choir director at Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Salem, Oregon.
Learning the Twelve-Tone Piece is a dramatization of a soprano sitting at her keyboard, trying to learn a piece based on a twelve-tone row. She is struggling with the "dirty octaves" and general sense of puzzlement. The German text means "I am a big worm, and it is hard to be a worm, for I am green" (echoes of the Muppet Show).
José Jesus de Azevedo Souza studied in England at the Purcell School with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian and later studied at the Trinity College of Music and University of Sheffield. He has since composed a considerable amount of music, some of which has been performed.
For Lina, my late mother, and written for Dr. Liana Valente, on a poem of the same name of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Dramatic, wistful, whimsical, intrinsically poignant, the scenario depicted offers the performer considerable scope for theatrical expression.