Fifteen Minutes of Fame with Shannon Roberts and Yumi Suehiro

Soprano Shannon Roberts holds dual US and Irish citizenship, dividing her time between New York City and Europe. She finds it an important and rewarding endeavor to collaborate with living composers, and has premiered works by several, including award winning Juilliard composer Bruce Lazarus and most recently Nailah Nombeko’s William Blake Songs. Ms. Roberts is a multiple award winner receiving prizes, grants, and or scholarships from: The Wagner Society of New York, the Liederkranz Foundation, and the Lee Schaenen Foundation, among others. A partial list of the companies with which she has performed includes; Santa Fe Opera, The Florida Grand Opera, Natchez Festival of Music, Chelsea Opera, Opera Theatre of Connecticut, The Bronx Opera, Lyric Opera of New York, and Bel Cantanti. Ms. Roberts attended the Hartt School of Music, received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Florida, and was awarded a Special Artists' Diploma from Miami's prestigious New World School of the Arts. Ms. Roberts is managed by John Miller of Pinnacle Artists Management.

Pianist Yumi Suehiro began studying both piano and marimba at an early age. In her native Japan, Ms. Suehiro won numerous competitions, including the top prize at the Kobe International Competition as the youngest winner. As a pianist, she has performed at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie) as an AMTL Audition Winner, and at Steinway Hall, presented by the Amati Music Festival. She also was the featured marimba player in Latin percussionist Victor Rendon's recording of “Fiesta Percussiva”. Ms. Suehiro graduated from Lehman College (CUNY) and the Manhattan School of Music. While at Manhattan, she won second prize in the school’s 2010 piano concerto competition, and in 2011 was chosen to perform Richard Wilson’s “Flashback” for Pierre Aimard’s master class. Her teachers have included Morris Lang, John Corigliano, Peter Vinograde, and Zenon Fishbein. Recently Ms. Suehiro is a member of Mise-en ensemble and frequently appears at Composer’s Voice concerts.

Concert Dates

  • March 30, 2014 - Jan Hus Church, New York City

15 one-minute selections for Shannon Roberts and Yumi Suehiro

Concert program
  • Playing House

    Scott Brickman

    Scott Brickman (b. Dec. 28, 1963, Oak Park, Illinois) was educated in the Chicago Public school system and holds music degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Brandeis University. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he is Professor of Music and Education. In the fall of 2009, Scott helped initiate intercollegiate club baseball at UMFK; he coaches their team and also plays on their squad.

    Playing House is part of my song cycle “Dear Darwin”, written to texts of poet Kathleen Ellis.

  • Penny Matches

    Sheila Forrester

    Sheila Forrester is a Canadian composer with a D.Mus in Composition and Ph.D. in Music Theory from Florida State University. Sheila's music has received awards including First Prize in Jihlava’s International Choral Competition, Leo M. Traynor’s Search for New Viol Music, and a Recording Grant from the Contemporary Record Society.

    I remember a box of penny matches was near the cash register on my first job as a grocery clerk. During lulls I would read the covers aloud and was surprised to find advertisements inside. This one is for stamp enthusiasts.

  • Hurry up, Come on!

    Jay Anthony Gach

    Jay Anthony Gach’s concert music has been critically acclaimed as "witty, virtuosic and accessible", "so exuberant [and] so characterful", "a natural crowd pleaser", "multi-layered, whirling and propulsive". Composer/conductor Lukas Foss described, "his writing for orchestra brilliant beyond words". Hugo Weisgall wrote of him, "a composer... of extraordinary technical command and intellectual grasp of what music is all about".

    I write many songs for my daughter, Lauren Emmy and I often choose texts for their anecdotal similarity to my experiences with her. "Hurry up, Come on!" captures one of our favorite afternoon routines from her childhood – stopping in at the local sweet shop on the way home from primary school when we lived in London.

  • Prove That I Lie!

    Burton Golstein

    Burton Golstein Winner: Borromeo Award, Brandenburg Chamber Music Prize, Copland Award, Ettelson Award, CAP Grants, Aspen Institute, NEH Award at Schoenberg Institute. Albany Records - Arditti Quartet - Aspen Quartet. Composed trailers for major motion pictures. Taught composition and electronic music : UC Santa Barbara, Scripps, CSULB and CSULA.

    Fifty words about sixty seconds seems like a lot, so forgive me if I say only that in this piece I think you can hear my two basic motivations - to make a rigorous construction and to express some passion or other. The rigor certainly can be heard in the harmony - everything comes out of the same basic chord. I could tell you the set-theoretic details - but then you'd have to kill me! I also like to compose several streams of music to be heard together, each in different tempi, but all written in the same meter without recourse to too many tuplets.

  • The Eagle - Me

    Mary Ann Joyce-Walter

    Mary Ann Joyce-Walter’s works have been performed here and abroad. She is an active composer who lives in the New York area. In July, 2012, Ravello Records released two of her works, Cantata for the Children of Terezin, and Aceldama, and will release “Immortal Diamond” in the fall, 2013.

    Tennyson’s two-stanza poem, “The Eagle,” speaks of the majestic bird as a metaphor for the human being. The eagle sits in an “azure world” among “lonely lands.” He digs his “hands" into a high rock, surveys his world, and “like a thunderbolt, he falls.”


    Laszlo Kékszakállú

    Transylvanian born Laszlo Kékszakállú studied clarinet at Universitatea Naţională de Muzică din Bucureşti, Romania. He was a founding member of the psychedelic-post-modern-experimental-chamber-rock ensemble éhes Magyar. His music has been performed by various individual's and groups in Europe and the United States.

    The text of PLANT MY APPLE TREE TODAY was taken from the sayings of the seminal figure of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther. The spirit of living a fulfilling and productive life are clearly stated in these two phrases.

  • Now Welcome, Somer

    Geoffrey Kidde

    Geoffrey Kidde is an Associate Professor of Music at Manhattanville College, where he teaches music theory and music technology. He received is DMA in music composition from Columbia University. Among his compositions are two operas, works for orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles and music with electronics.

    “Now Welcome, Somer” appears near the end of Chaucer’s poem “The Parliament of Fowls.” The birds sing this song as a joyful, celebratory ode to spring and the season of new love. In his time, Latin was the language for authors, but Chaucer writes in the vernacular middle English.

  • In the twilight rain

    Tyler Kline

    Tyler Kline is a talented and active composer and performer currently based in Tampa, FL. His music has been described as "fresh and engaging, with an organic, sophisticated melodic savvy," and has been performed across the United States and in Brazil.

    In the twilight rain is a short work dedicated to soprano Shannon Roberts and pianist Yumi Suehiro, and features text by 17th century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. The text was influential in constructing a musical aesthetic that is organic and reminiscent of the quiet and beauty of nature.
  • Four Songs on Poems of Matsuo Bashō

    Kevin Scott

    Born in 1956, Kevin Scott has composed music for every medium and has received several awards from the Detroit Symphony and Duke University. He is also a conductor who has premiered numerous works for band, orchestra and chorus, and at present is the director of SUNY Orange's wind band program.

    Revered for his succinct views of nature and life, these settings of Bashō’s haiku reflect the meditative beauty of spring, the solitude and darkness of autumn, and the joy of winter where the music is as compact as the poetry.

  • Wintry Forest

    José Jesus de Azevedo Souza

    José Jesus de Azevedo Souza studied in England at the Purcell School with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and later studied at the Trinity College of Music and the University of Sheffield. He has since composed a considerable amount of music, some of which has been performed.

    Wintry Forest for soprano Shannon Roberts and pianist Yumi Suehiro, with text by Soseki Natsume, is a song that conceptually follows Devagar, devagar for Tenor and Piano, invoking the stark imagery of Nature, in this case the stillness of Winter.

  • Whales Weep Not!

    Samuel Stokes

    Samuel Stokes has a Ph.D. in music composition from Louisiana State University where he studied under Dinos Constantinides. Among Stokes’s compositions are Symphony No. 1, "Eustace the Monk," which was premiered by the LSU Symphony, and two full-length musicals entitled Dracula and Bird Millman.

    "Whales Weep Not!" is based on an excerpt of the poem of the same name by D.H. Lawrence.

  • Almost April

    Dale Trumbore

    Hailed by the New York Times for "soaring melodies and beguiling harmonies," Dale Trumbore has received commissions, performances and awards from organizations including ACDA, ACME, Chanticleer, and the Kronos Quartet. Her choral work The Whole Sea In Motion is published by G. Schirmer. Hear Trumbore's music at

    Almost April celebrates the joy of springtime returning and the simple wonder of embracing the present.

  • Vexation

    Matthew Van Dongen

    Multi-instrumentalist, teacher, composer, and performer, Matthew Van Dongen has graduated Summa Cum Laude from both, the County College of Morris and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. He has been teaching professionally since 2004, and is currently a graduate student at New Jersey City University.

    Vexation is a work that reflects the inevitable realities in the situations of war and life. The text is translated from 6th-century B.C. author and military strategist, Sun Tzu, from his work, The Art of War. The piece compliments a depth of realization that can be ascertained from Tzu.

  • Santa Rosa

    Blair Whittington

    Blair Whittington is a Los Angeles based composer who concentrates mainly on chamber and orchestral music. He studied composition with Byong-kon Kim and has worked for 18 years as music librarian at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California.

    One our second date my girlfriend gave me a Santa Rosa plum tree. I thought it would be fun to write a poem and song about that beautiful and thriving little tree.

  • Die Weihe der Nacht

    Christopher M. Wicks

    Christopher M. Wicks holds a MM in composition from the University of Montreal, and is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. He is the organist and choir accompanist at Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Salem, Oregon.

    While our soprano described her voice as rather more for Wagner than for Mozart, I have given her here a Lied in which she may celebrate night's enchantment, perhaps as "the Queen of the Night," but of a more chaste and gentle sort than Mozart's vengeful fury.