[ Composer's Voice ]
November 25, 2007
Jan Hus Church
351 East 74th Street
New York, New York 10021
Vox Novus joins with Remarkable Theater Brigade and Jan hus Church to present Composer's Voice, a monthly concert series championing the work of living composers.
Title Composer Performer
Once (Psalm 150) Noah Creshevsky Monica Harte - Soprano
Jubilate Noah Creshevsky Barbara McAllister - Soprano
Psalmus III Noah Creshevsky Josh Carr - Tenor
The Fin Pekka Saarinen Linda Wetherill - flute
Portrait #3 Daniel Blake Sara Paar
Dan Blake
Figaro’s Last Hangover Patrick Soluri Josh Carr - Tenor
Gretchen Mundinger - Soprano
Chas Elliott - Baritone
Christian McLeer - piano
Chas Elliott was born and raised under the Big Skies of Montana. He has been serving the New York City theatre community for over fifteen years. In addition to his New York studio, he served on the musical theater voice faculty at SUNY-Cortland, and worked as a voice teacher and coach for Syracuse University , the University of Montana, and Carroll College. Chas' students perform regularly on Broadway, off Broadway, in London's West End, with regional theaters (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Syracuse Stage, Shakespeare and Co., Memphis Symphony, Montana Repertory Theatre), and with national touring companies ("Funny Girl", "Kiss Me Kate", "Ragtime", "Scarlet Pimpernel", "Fiddler On the Roof", "Oklahoma", "Sesame Street Live"). Chas has worked extensively in the theater for over twenty years. Acting credits include "Annie" (Daddy Warbuc ks), "The Secret Garden" (Dr. Craven), "Pumpboys and Dinettes" (L.M. and Jackson), "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (Govenor of Texas) "The Voice of the Prairie" (David Quinn), "Lend Me a Tenor" (Henry Saunders), "Sleuth" (Milo Tindel), "Foxfire" (Prince Carpenter), and numerous Gilbert and Sullivan roles. Chas made his New York City debut in Anne Phillip's Jazz Nativity, "Bending Towards the Light" at Symphony Space. As an advocate for new musicals, Chas has also created several roles in New York City. Most recently, he created and recorded the role of Porthos in Campos and Olsen's "The Man In the Iron Mask", and the role of Jim in the world premiere of Christian McLeer's "G Train- the Musical" for the Remarkable Theater Brigade. For Anne Phillips Chas created the three male roles for the concept recording of "Damn Everything But the Circus". In 2006 Chas made his Lincoln Center solo debut with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall. He is the baritone soloist with the Christ Church Choir in Bronxville, NY and will travel to Paris with the choir in February 2007 with performances at Notre Dame and The American Cathedral. Upcoming engagements in 2007 include "Pumpboys and Dinettes" (LM), "Tosca" (Scarpia), Anne Phillip's "Creation", and recitals with soprano, Gretchen Mundinger and organist ,Robert Richter. As a musical director, pianist, and producer, Chas has worked on over fifty musicals and plays for such theaters as Syracuse Stage, Fordham University, WOW Cafe Theater, Cohoes Music Hall, Cortland Repertory Theatre, The Montana Repertory Theater, The Little Theatre On the Square, The Myrna Loy Center, and The Bologna Performing Arts Center. He has accompanied ballet classes for Gelsey Kirkland, Anna Paskevska, and Sallyann Mulcahy. Chas began his vocal training with th! e mezzo-soprano, Dolora Zajick and the Nevada Opera Association under the direction of Ted Puffer. He has sung with the Nevada Opera, the Intermountain Opera, The Bronx Opera, and toured the nation with The Ensemble for Early Music. He has appeared as a soloist with the Helena, Missoula, and Great Falls symphonies. In June 2005 he sang in the American premiere of the opera, "Poia" for the Lewis and Clark Bicentenial Celebration. Chas is a 1997 Metropolitan Opera National Council finalist. Chas continues his own vocal training with Monica Harte in New York City. He coaches with Maestro Steven Crawford (the Metropoltan Opera) and Hyae-Seon Shin (Manhattan School of Music). Chas studies acting with Robin Irwin and VP Boyle. He studies dance with Haila Strauss, and Linda Rose Ienacco.
Monica harte Originally from Reno, NV, Monica grew up back stage in an opera company founded by her parents, Ted and Deena Puffer. She was in her first opera at 3 years old and studied violin and dance until she was old enough to study voice with her father at 16. Living in NYC for the past 17 years, Monica sings, teaches and runs her own company, Remarkable Theater Brigade (RTB), which she founded with Christian McLeer and Dan Jeselsohn. RTB produces contemporary operas, musicals and concerts with special programs for at-risk and special-needs children. RTB's Opera Shorts at Weill-Carnegie Hall sold out for the past 2 years with composers such as John Corigliano, Tania Leon, Tom Cipullo, and Mark Adamo all present and participating in the production. Next year's production will include Jake Heggie, William Bolcom, Davide Zannoni and more. Monica has performed more than 25 coloratura roles in the standard operatic repertoire and many world premieres. She has also sung numerous concerts throughout North America and Europe. Recently, she performed in "Opera Shorts" at Weill-Carnegie Hall, "Music in Midtown" (Elebash Hall, NYC) and the EMM Festival (Lewis University, IL). Future engagements for 2010 include "Composers, Compositions and Questions" (NATS-NYC) and finally, "HOUSE" and "G Train The Musical" to be filmed in front of a live audience for Brooklyn Cable (BCAT). Monica is the soprano soloist on 2007 CD release "McLeer's Requiem" (now available on iTunes) and is the featured soloist on the CD "Songs from Another Place" (released 2009) and "Long Island Songs" for MSR Classics label (to be released 2010). Monica recorded Tom Cipullo's "Going" for his recently released "Landscape with Figures" CD r on Albany. Monica's students are having great success at the professional and young artist levels. They are currently singing with major opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and Washington National Opera as well as young artist programs such as Glimmerglass, Des Moines Metro, and St. Louis Opera.
Christian McLeer, an American Composer is a graduate of the Juilliard Conservatory Pre-College, and Manhattan School of Music. At the age of fourteen he received his first major commission for the American Cancer Society for which he wrote and performed Hope in concert. Since then, he has composed a number of works that have been commissioned and recorded including his one-act opera House of Comedy , an avant-garde piece entitled Feedback Parade, the ballet The Grandfather Clocks,and the opera Haibo. His composition Musing is included on acclaimed flutist Sophia Anastasia's CD of the same name and Hope is included on the CD Encores 2 by the world-renowned pianist Anna Marie Bottazzi. His work, Black Lung was included on the 60x60 project. As a concert pianist Christian has performed at many respected venues including Weill-Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and the New Orleans Astro Dome. He has also performed as a conductor with the New Music Consort. Christian is an accomplished classical, jazz, pop & rock musician and is recognized as having the ability to unite these genres in his compositions. He co-founded the Remarkable Theater Brigade, he is the musical director at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, and co-directs the Composer's Voice Concert Series in New York City with Vox Novus. On his free time, he plays piano at the after-school rehearsals for the Fort Hamilton High School chorus and National Chorale program, where they are singing "Meaningful", from Mr. McLeer's musical "G Train", under the direction of Mr. Robert Lanaghan.
Gretchen Mundinger is finding early success as a young soprano with a big voice. Miss Mundinger most recently performed the role of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Satori Opera and helped to co-produce a fundraiser concert with her company Musical Offerings to benefit Water is Life, Kenya. Upcoming engagements include her role debut of Mimi (La Boheme) with dell'arte Opera, The Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro) in the Bechstein Vocal Artist Series, Songs for Shoes (a fundraiser concert produced by Musical Offerings for an Orphanage in Camichines, Mexico) and the role of Deborah in the professional premiere of The Veil of Forgetfulness with Susan Stoderl. Other operatic roles performed include Old Alyce (Glory Denied-both world and professional premiere) The Mother (Amahl and The Night Visitors), Amor (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), The 1st Lady (The Magic Flute), Frasquita (Carmen), Bridget O’Malley (A.F.R.A.I.D-World Premiere), and Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus). In addition, Miss Mundinger has sung the Soprano Solo in Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms). A proponent of new music, she is a member of Remarkable Theater Brigade, touring with the company and performing for special events. She created the role of Old Alyce, in the original college production of Glory Denied at Brooklyn College for which she received a positive New York Times review. She was the single original cast member that composer, Tom Cipullo, chose for the professional premiere that was conducted by former Metropolitan Opera conductor Steven Crawford. She sang the 3 Goddesses in the International Electro Acoustic Music Festival’s staged production of The Tempest Project, based on the 2 CD set to be released by POGUS Productions and that was broadcast on CUNY television. Written for her, she premiered the piece entitled Summoning by George Brunner, in New York City in 2007 and is featured singing it on the upcoming CD. She also sang 2 world premiere compositions in the Emerging Composer’s Concert for International Electro Acoustic Music Festival. Miss Mundinger’s private vocal studio is very active and her students have performed off-Broadway, in the Fringe Festival and in the Cabaret circuit. Currently, she is on the faculty at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.
Linda Wetherill is founder/director of www.Counterpoint-Italy.com International competition and festival for new music based in Tuscany and New York, and Professor of World Music, Chamber Music and Flute Studies at Adelphi University. Ms Wetherill has toured as soloist cultural ambassador, collaborating and premiering modern composers' works and researching traditional musics since her selection by U.S.I.S to be featured recitalist for the 40th anniversary celebration in Frankfurt of German-American peace. Hans Stuckenschmidt called her "a brilliant flutist." She was the first American to be honored as featured soloist at the World Peace Festival of Langollen, Wales; and presented the first public concerts for mixed audiences by a woman in Saudi Arabia during her tours of the Middle East. Linda was the first American flutist to tour and teach in Central China in 2002. In 2003, her solo CD of collected compositions was placed on a short list of "Top Solo Flute Recordings Of All Time" by Amazon.com. Linda has raised the profile of concert flute repertoire to include the exotic compositions gathered during extensive traveling throughout five continents. FANFARE praises the CD "Sound and Repercussion", saying "Wetherill impresses as much by her musicianship, specifically a resistance to overemphasizing the exotic elements of these pieces, as by her technique and tonal resources; and of the CD "Stellar Pieces": "From the list of outstanding soloists, Linda Wetherill captures the flute's subtle shades in "Sirius", her elegant and silvery tone providing a constant delight." She joined the faculty of Adelphi University, in 1994, coming from Istanbul's celebrated Bosphorus University, where she was lecturer in World Music and Contemporary Music. During five years residence in Turkey, she also formulated courses in History of Western Music for Universities of Izmir, Istanbul and Ankara. Previously holding posts at the French National Conservatory, Philadelphia University of the Arts, Turkish Universities in Izmir, Ankara, and Istanbul,she has given artist master classes in major conservatories of Arabia, Austria, Argentina, Britain, China, Dubai, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kuwait, Pakistan, Spain, The Netherlands, and Wales. Linda was the resident flutist of the famed Centre Pompidou for International Acoustical Research and there collaborated and premiered works with major composers from all over the world. She has also been principal flutist with the orchestras of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Pierre Boulez' IRCAM Ensemble Intercontemporain of the world-famous Pompidou Centre in Paris. Mr. Boulez dubbed her "an instrumentalist without peer." Linda performed her Carnegie Recital debut as winner of East and West Artists International Competition, and was received by the NEW YORK TIMES as "a musician with something to say; her ability to organize and inflect the line was nothing short of seductive. Both in terms of technical mastery and expressive élan, she is really a marvelous player." Her performances in Istanbul, as co-founder of the International Festival of Contemporary Music there produced the response from MILLYET: "Linda Wetherill presented a wonderful flute evening in Istanbul; this relaxing and beautiful concert brought joy to everyone - from beginning to end." In 2004, Linda gave the closing recital for the International Society of Contemporary Music's annual festival, judged the Salzburg, Austrian competition for solo flute compositions, and gave Bach, Mozart and premiere concertos and recitals across the U.S. In 2005, her premiere performances of South American compositions for the Mozarteum's "Aspekte Festival" received the following critical account: "The superb American flutist was without doubt the star; she played more than 2 hours with stunning virtuosity and profound and lively interpretations - a true wizard of the flute." Her most recent 2007-08 residency for 3 months in India was hailed by the Ahmedabad critic: "Flutist Linda Wetherill, Professor at Adelphi University, who is a literal reservoir of music from across the world, is no mere imitator of sound. She has developed a repertoire which, judging by what connoisseurs of music have said of her, is remarkable for range and expressiveness. Even those with only a listening acquaintance of music must have found her music at Natarani endowed with exceptional beauty. Highlighted by musical notes, a mood of mysticism followed by serenity was created."
Noah Creshevsky
Imagine all the world's instruments, musicians and hemispheres lashed together into a giant mega-calliope, super-jukebox, or fantasmo-sampler. As called to action by a hyper-caffeinated virtuoso, it might sound something like these works by Noah Creshevsky." --Arved Ashby, Gramophone Trained in composition by Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Luciano Berio at Juilliard, Noah Creshevsky is the former director of the Center for Computer Music and Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His musical vocabulary consists largely of familiar bits of words, songs, and instrumental music which are edited but rarely subjected to electronic processing. The result is a music that obscures the boundaries of real and imaginary ensembles though the fusion of opposites: music and noise, comprehensible and incomprehensible vocal sources, human and superhuman vocal and instrumental capacities. Creshevsky's work has been supported by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and ASCAP. It has been published by Alexander Broude and the University of Michigan Press, released on records and compact discs, and performed and broadcast internationally. Formerly director of the Center for Computer Music and professor of music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, he has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Hunter College, and been a visiting professor at Princeton University.
Dan Blake has been featured as a composer and performer throughout Europe, South America, and the United States, most recently performing at Blue Note, Sweet Rhythm, The Aspen Jazz Festival, International Jazz Festival Peru, and the Scarborough Jazz Festival. He has most recently been featured with the Kenny Werner Quartet, and has recorded with Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, and many others. For his work as a composer and performer of jazz music, Dan Blake recently was awarded the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest’s Grand Prize, as well as ASCAP’s Young Jazz Composer’s award of the same year for his debut recording “The Party Suite”. This work was selected by the Boston Globe as 2006 Jazz Pick, and was also critically acclaimed by many New York and Boston area publications. His compositions have been performed by such new music luminaries as Duo Diorama, redfish bluefish ensemble, and The Kenners. He is the recipient of CUNY’s 2008 Morton Feldman Composition Award, and was a 2007 finalist in ASCAP’s young composer competition. He also received CUNY’s 2008 Fierstein Talent Scholarship for excellence in comopsition. Mr. Blake’s versatility and eclectic interests have allowed him to develop a career as a performing saxophonist, composer of a wide variety of chamber music for both electronic and acoustic media. He is also active as a curator, focusing on the presentation of experimental music. In February 2007, Dan Blake founded and co-curates the critically acclaimed “Defacto Series,” a concert series dedicated to forging a greater union between the many media and modes of music making associated with today’s contemporary music scene. Dan Blake is currently a Ph.D. candidate in composition at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a lecturer in music history at Brooklyn College. He has most recently studied with Danilo Perez, Steve Lacy, John McDonald, Tania Le€n, Jason Eckardt, and David Olan.
Pekka Saarinen
Patric Soluri is a multi-talented composer based in New York City who specializes in dramatic music for orchestra, ballet, opera, film & TV. His love of telling stories through music is evident in his large body of work and commissions for the stage, screen and concert hall. His music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, around the US and in Europe. He has studied with many illustrious composers and musicians and received numerous honors and recognitions. In addition to composing, his abilities have also enabled him to work fluidly as an orchestrator and music producer in numerous styles of music
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[ Composer's Voice ]