Walden School Players

  • The Walden School is one of America’s greatest hidden treasures.

    – Joan Tower, composer

The presence of a visiting performance ensemble on campus during Festival Week has long been a Walden School tradition. Renowned contemporary music groups such as the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, The Peabody Trio, and Non Sequitur have completed residencies in years past, performing student pieces as well as sharing their own repertoire. For the last several years, Walden has hosted its own professional ensemble-in-residence, The Walden School Players. All distinguished musicians and specialists in contemporary music, the Players share their talent and wealth of experience in contemporary music with the Walden community each summer during the course of a two-week residency. Although the roster changes somewhat from year to year, several of the Players have been returning to Walden for many summers and have formed lasting relationships with students, faculty, and staff.

While in residence at Walden, the Players work closely with student composers in readings and rehearsals, giving feedback as students prepare their pieces for Festival Week. Then, over the course of three Festival Week Composers Forums, they perform students’ pieces. In addition to their work with students, the Players present a concert of modern and contemporary chamber music in an event that is always a highlight of Walden’s concert series.

The 2016 Walden School Players

Laura Cocks, flutes; Dana Jessen, bassoon; Katie Schoepflin, clarinets
Erica Dicker, violin; Tawnya Popoff, viola; Chris Wild, cello
Bonnie Whiting, percussion; Eric Wubbels, piano

LC_Flute_CMCLaura Cocks is a New York based flutist who has worked in a wide array of creative environments as a performer and promoter of contemporary music. Laura is flutist and executive director of TAK ensemble, a founding member of the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans, and a full time member of the Nouveau Classical Project. She has performed across the Americas and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician in ensembles such as The London Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Wet Ink Ensemble, International Ensemble Modern Academy, and Ensemble Bonne Action in venues that range from Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank Centre, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and The Guggenheim Museum in New York, to artist squats, diners, and highway medians. Laura can be heard with Wet Ink Ensemble on Carrier Records and International Contemporary Ensemble on ECM. This is Laura’s first time at The Walden School and she is immensely excited!

Erica_Dicker - web resErica Dicker works in a wide variety of musical settings, bridging the realms of orchestral performance and experimental improvisation. She regularly contributes her talents to orchestras across the United States, such as the Grand Rapids Symphony, and serves as concertmaster of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra. Ms. Dicker is a founding member of the contemporary chamber music collective Till By Turning, violinist in Katherine Young’s Pretty Monsters, and frequently performs with Anthony Braxton’s Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet and 12+1-tet. She has premiered works by many composers, including solo works written for her by Olivia Block, Turkar Gasimzada, Ryan Ingebritsen, and Katherine Young. Ms. Dicker also performs her own music, exploring the idiomatic modalities and textures of her instrument. Taking Auspices (Tubapede Records), a record documenting her solo music, will be released this fall as well as an album by Vaster Than Empires (Parlour Tapes+), an electro-acoustic collaboration with composer and sound artist Paul Schuette and percussionist Allen Otte. Ms. Dicker earned degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM), the University of Minnesota (MM), and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (DMA). Her primary teachers include Gabriel Pegis, Marilyn McDonald, and Jorja Fleezanis.

Dana Jessen - web resPraised for her diverse talents, bassoonist Dana Jessen is highly active as a chamber musician, improviser and new music specialist. She is the co-founder of the Bay Area reed quintet, Splinter Reeds, and has performed with prominent ensembles including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Ensemble Dal Niente, Calefax Reed Quintet, Callithumpian Consort, Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra and the Amsterdam Contemporary Ensemble, among others. As the founder of the Rushes Ensemble, Dana spearheaded the consortium commission of Rushes, an hour-long composition for seven bassoons by composer and Bang on a Can co-founder, Michael Gordon.

Her recordings can be heard on Cantaloupe, New World, Splinter, Evil Rabbit, Oberlin Music, and the RIOJA record labels. She will be releasing her debut solo album on Innova Recordings in Fall 2016 featuring new works for bassoon and electronics by Sam Pluta, Paula Matthusen, Peter V. Swendsen and Kyle Bruckmann. Dana holds a M.M. in bassoon performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and a M.M. in improvisation from the Artez Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. She lived in Amsterdam for three years as the recipient of a J. William Fulbright Fellowship and a HSP Huygens Fellowship where she researched contemporary and improvised music. Dana is currently the Director of Professional Development at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and along with playing with The Walden School Players she teaches for Walden’s Young Musicians Program.

katiednpicKatie Schoepflin, clarinetist, vocalist, pianist and composer lives in Chicago and works as a freelance musician. This will be her first time at Walden and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with Walden participants. Katie acknowledges how potentially impactful and memorable a festival can be, and she hopes to help create something special for this year’s participants.

As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Katie has had the privilege of working with and performing the works of many renowned composers including Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Brian Ferneyhough, Raphael Cendo, Lee Hyla, George Lewis, and Augusta Reed Thomas. She is looking forward to Dal Niente’s upcoming collaboration with Enno Poppe in which she’ll be performing his clarinet concerto, Holz.

Katie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. As a participant of the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, Katie worked with exciting artists including Tony Bennett and John Williams. Katie spent a year abroad in Japan where she was principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture. She earned her Master of Music degree from McGill University. While studying at McGill, Katie was a participant in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, touring and performing extensively throughout Eastern Canada. Katie is a pianist and singer songwriter. Currently she is collaborating with guitarist Jesse Langen and is looking forward to debuting her singer-songwriter work with him this summer. When she is not making music, Katie is designing and creating jewelry for her shop www.etsy.com/shop/schoepflinjewelry.

Tawnya popoffTawnya Popoff enjoys an exciting and versatile international career. In addition to being principal violist with the Vancouver Opera since 2007, she is continuously sought after for diverse chamber music collaborations and solo recitals. She is a founding member of both Microcosmos (a string quartet), and the Driftwood Duo (viola/cello), is a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (TX), The Walden School Players (NH), Gotham Opera (NY) and has ongoing collaborations with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, and VisionIntoArt in New York City, and internationally with MartaMarta Produductions (BC) across Canada.

As an enthusiastic supporter of works by living composers, Ms. Popoff commissioned and premiered dozens of pieces and has recorded for the Koch, Albany, Nonsuch, CRI, SHSK’H (web label), Columbia Composers and other independent labels both as a member of the Cassatt Quartet and individually. She was a prizewinner in the 2000 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, has received two consecutive Canada Council individual artist grants and has served on the faculties of the Perlman Music Program, University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, SUNY Buffalo, the Bowdoin International Music Festival and Artes no Camiño (Spain).

Tawnya Popoff studied with Gerald Stanick (Fine Arts Quartet) in Vancouver, BC and Martha Katz (Cleveland Quartet) at Rice University, TX. Her viola was played by Boris Kroyt of the Budapest Quartet, and was generously loaned to her courtesy of his grandson. Aside from musical pursuits, Ms. Popoff has a cycling company offering private and personalized adventures and creates handmade toys and games.

775261206_g4L5N-MBonnie Whiting performs and commissions new experimental music for percussion. She seeks out projects involving non-traditional notation, interdisciplinary performance, and the speaking percussionist. Recent work includes a series of performances at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington DC, and work as a soloist in Tan Dun’s “Water Passion” under the baton of the composer himself. In 2011, she joined red fish blue fish percussion group in premiering the staged version of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny, directed by Peter Sellars and featuring Dawn Upshaw for Ojai Festival. Whiting has collaborated with many of today’s leading new music groups, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), Ensemble Dal Niente (the Fromm Concerts at Harvard), Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series), and eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory).

Her debut album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s “45′ for a speaker” and “27’10.554″ for a percussionist,” will be released by Mode Records in 2016. She received her DMA in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California San Diego, and also holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She directs the percussion program at the University of Washington. Bonnie started her percussion career on pots and pans on her mother’s kitchen floor; this is something she is sharing with her young son Beckett. She is delighted to return for a third year as part of The Walden School Players.

Chris Wild - web resChris Wild’s musical career is split across work as a cellist, conductor, and music educator based in Chicago, where he is the Lead Artistic Coordinator and Cellist for Ensemble Dal Niente and is completing a DMA in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University. His interest in conducting grew out of a love for teaching that has included work with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and private cello students of all ages. Upon moving to Illinois, Chris spent seven years trying to balance work leading a public school orchestra program alongside his performances with Dal Niente. As a cellist performing contemporary repertoire, recent projects include his album Abhanden and a performance of Beat Furrer’s Solo, deemed “insatiable” by The New York Times. As a conductor, he has led rehearsals and concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York), Camerata Antonio Soler (Madrid), and various orchestras in Illinois. Chris is arriving in Dublin directly from Oregon, where he spent the past few weeks studying and performing choral and orchestral works by Bach and Brahms at the Oregon Bach Festival.

While in utero, Chris’ mom signed him up for Suzuki cello lessons, which he began at the age of five in Vancouver, Canada. Fast forward many years, scales, and arpeggios, and Chris received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cello performance and music education from the University of Michigan, where he also met his wife, noted composer Eliza Brown. He is very grateful to have been introduced to The Walden School community and looks forward to joining The Walden School Players each summer.

wubbles web resEric Wubbels (b.1980) is a composer, pianist, and Co-director of the Wet Ink Ensemble. His music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S., by groups such as the Wet Ink Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mivos Quartet, Kupka’s Piano, Berlin PianoPercussion, yarn|wire, New York New Music, Ensemble Linea, Talea Ensemble, OSSIA, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and featured on festivals including Montreal New Music (2017), Chicago Symphony MusicNOW (2016), Metz Festival (2014), Sinus Ton Magdeburg (2014), Zurich Tage für Neue Musik (2013), and MATA (2012).

The recipient of a 2016 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Wubbels has received commissioning grants from Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, ISSUE Project Room, the Barlow Endowment, the Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, and Yvar Mikhashoff Trust, and has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Civitella Ranieri Center (Italy).

As a pianist and conductor, he has given U.S. and world premieres of works by major figures such as Peter Ablinger, Richard Barrett, Beat Furrer, George Lewis, and Mathias Spahlinger, as well as vital young artists such as Rick Burkhardt, Francesco Filidiei, Erin Gee, Bryn Harrison, Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Katharina Rosenberger, and Kate Soper.

He has recorded for Carrier Records, hatART, Spektral (Vienna), New Focus, Albany Records, and Quiet Design, and has held teaching positions at Amherst College and Oberlin Conservatory.

Other WSP Members

Peter Evans

Peter Evans is an American trumpet player based in New York, who specializes in improvisation and avant-garde music. Mr. Evans has been a member of the New York City musical community since 2003, when he moved to the city after graduating from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He currently works in a wide variety of areas, including solo performance, chamber orchestras, performance art, free improvised settings, electro-acoustic music, and composition. In addition, he performs regularly as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which is held annually in New York City.

Mr. Evans has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, and England. His solo trumpet album, More Is More, was released on Evan Parker’s psi label in 2006, and his debut album as a leader, titled simply The Peter Evans Quartet, was released by Firehouse 12 in 2007. He performs often with his quartet (with Brandon Seabrook, Tom Blancarte, and Kevin Shea), Moppa Elliot’s quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the hyperactive free-improvisation duo Sparks (with Tom Blancarte), the Histrionics, the free-jazz quintet Carnival Skin (with Klaus Kugel, Perry Robinson, Hilliard Greene and Bruce Eisenbeil), the Language Of with Charles Evans, the Christmas Duo with trombonist Sam Kulik, and maintains an active interest in solo performance. He has also performed with groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Continuum, and Ensemble 21. He has continued to perform on piccolo trumpet in Baroque settings, performing Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at the Bargemusic series, and in Bach’s Mass in B Minor at St. Peter’s Church. Other recent collaborators include: Mary Halvorson, Tim Dahl, Dave Taylor, Mark Gould, Perry Robinson, Fred Frith, Brian Chase (drummer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Nate Wooley, Zach Hill (drummer for Hella), Stefan Tcherepnin, Chris McCintyre, Dave Reminick, Ned Rothenberg, Okkyung Lee, Briggan Krauss, Chris Speed, Weasel Walter, and Andrew Drury. This is Mr. Evans’ 5th summer as a member of The Walden School Players.

Ryan Muncy

muncy - web res

Ryan Muncy is a saxophonist who performs, commissions, and presents new music. He has been praised for his “superb” performances by the New York Times, and his ability to “show off the instrument’s malleability and freakish extended range as well as its delicacy and refinement” by The Chicago Reader. His work emphasizes collaborative relationships with composers and artists of his generation, and aims to reimagine the way listeners experience the saxophone through new music. He is a recipient of the Kranichstein Music Prize (Darmstadt Summer Courses), the Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, and a Fulbright Fellowship (France), and has participated in the creation of more than 125 new works for the instrument. His debut solo album Hot was released by New Focus Recordings in 2013, and was described as “absorbing” (Alex Ross) and “one of the year’s best albums” (Time Out New York).

Muncy is the saxophonist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and also serves as Grants Manager and Co-Director of the ensemble’s OpenICE program. He holds the Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University. This is his fourth consecutive summer in-residence at The Walden School. ryanmuncy.com

Cory Smythe

smythe, cory

Pianist Cory Smythe works actively in new, classical, and improvised music. He has performed widely, making appearances as soloist and chamber musician at the Darmstadt International Festival for New Music, the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York City, the Green Mill jazz club in Chicago, and the Mostly Mozart festival at Lincoln Center. In recent seasons, Mr. Smythe has played alongside violinist Hilary Hahn in concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A Washington Post review of the duo’s performance at the Kennedy Center praised him for “…the ferocity and finesse of his technique.” Their 2015 Grammy Award-winning album, In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores, documents Hahn’s diverse collection of newly commissioned encores for violin and piano.

As a core member of the new music group the International Contemporary Ensemble, Mr. Smythe has given numerous premieres, collaborated in the development of new pieces, and worked closely with composers John Zorn, Philippe Hurel, Dai Fujikura, George Lewis, and Alvin Lucier among many others. ICE’s 2013 release on Mode Records features Mr. Smythe as the piano soloist in Iannis Xenakis’s Palimpsest. He has also been a featured guest and soloist with many new music ensembles throughout the United States, including Milwaukee’s Present Music, the Boston-based Firebird Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He performs regularly in collaboration with many of the leading concert artists of his generation, appearing this last season with the cellist Joshua Roman, violinist Karen Gomyo, the Imani Winds, and members of the Providence and Rubens string quartets.

An innovative improviser, Mr. Smythe performs as a soloist and in collaboration with a wide array of jazz and creative artists, among them, most recently, Peter Evans, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, and Anthony Braxton. This season will see the release of recordings featuring Mr. Smythe in projects led by Tyshawn Sorey and Nate Wooley. His own album, Pluripotent — described by celebrated jazz pianist Jason Moran as “hands down one of the best solo recordings I’ve ever heard” — is available for free download at corysmythe.bandcamp.com. Mr. Smythe holds degrees in classical piano performance from the music schools at Indiana University and the University of Southern California, where he studied with Luba Edlina-Dubinsky and Dr. Stewart Gordon, respectively. This is Mr. Smythe’s 1st summer as a member of The Walden School Players.

Aaron Wunsch

Pianist Aaron Wunsch appears regularly on concert stages throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has performed in Avery Fischer and Alice Tully Halls at Lincoln Center. Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Royal Albert Hall in London, and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. A ten-city solo recital tour of China garnered critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience responses. A vigorous proponent of contemporary music, he has worked closely with many renowned composers, including Charles Wuorinen, Steven Stucky, Chen Yi, Fred Lerdahl, and Kaija Saariaho, and has performed new works by Saariaho and John Adams during Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music. He performed Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata during the Lincoln Center Focus! Festival and was subsequently invited to perform it at the Salle Cortot in Paris, France.

Mr. Wunsch began his studies at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, which awarded him the school’s First Prize for five consecutive years. Afterwards he studied with many revered pianists, including Peter Frankl, Andras Schiff, Claude Frank, Emmanuel Ax, Steven Kovacevich, Seymour Lipkin, Jerome Lowenthal, and Joseph Kalichstein. Mr. Wunsch received his Bachelor’s degree from Yale University. He then received a Fulbright Grant for further studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied piano under renowned pedagogue Karlheinz Kämmerling. Afterward he completed his Master’s and Doctoral degrees at The Juilliard School under pianist Robert McDonald. Upon graduation, Juilliard presented him with the Richard F. French Prize, the school’s higher honor for doctoral students.

Mr. Wunsch is a faculty member at both the Juilliard School (Keyboard Studies, Music History, Graduate Studies) and at William Paterson University (Piano). His recent summers have included positions at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont and as guest artist and faculty member at the Jakarta International Summer Music Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. He regularly gives including a Visiting Professorship at Shanghai Normal University. He frequently lectures about American music, including at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and is Artistic Director of the Music Mondays concert series in New York City.

Jane Chung

Jane Chung, violin, has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician across the United States and Europe, including the festivals of Prussia Cove, Aspen, Taos, Britten-Pears, Utah and Spoleto. She has collaborated as a chamber musician with Joel Krosnick, Rostislav Dubinsky, Luba Edlina, and Steven Isserlis, and the dance company TERRAIN. An enthusiastic performer of contemporary music, Ms. Chung has been a regular guest artist of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players since January 2003, including recent tours to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Minsk. She has also appeared with the Elements Quartet, Non Sequitur, Azure Ensemble, odeonquartet, and worked with Mario Davidovsky and Eric Chasalow.

Ms. Chung trained primarily at Yale University, where she received a Master of Music degree and a B.A. in architecture, and was winner of both the graduate and undergraduate concerto competitions. She then studied in Vienna as a Fulbright grant recipient. Her main teachers include Peter Oundjian and Donald Weilerstein. Ms. Chung has served on the faculty of Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp and the Great Neck Music Center, and taught violin and chamber music at Yale. She is also a recent hire of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra.

Jane Cords – O’Hara

Brooklyn-based cellist Jane Cords-O’Hara enjoys a busy and varied career in New York and abroad. She is a member of The Knights, SONYC, Syrius Trio, Tarab Cello Ensemble, North Sky Cello Ensemble, and the Caravel Trio. Recent performances in New York have been at Weill Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, New York Historical Society, Lyric Chamber Music Society, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Lyceum, The Stone, Riverside Church, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, and at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, as well as performances at the Ravinia, Caramoor, Stillwater, and Canary Islands Music Festivals. In recent seasons, she has recorded several albums on the Sony Classical label with the Knights, and with the Syrius Trio on the Toccata Classics label. With the North Sky Cello Ensemble, she recently completed a tour of San Francisco and was featured on the album Monk Mix: Remixes & Interpretations of Music by Meredith Monk. She has also played with many other U.S. groups, including Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble at Zankel Hall, Argento, and Da Capo Chamber Players. Originally from Ireland, Ms. Cords-O’Hara studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in the U.K. before moving to New York to continue studies with Tim Eddy at Mannes College of Music.

Russell Greenberg

Queens-based percussionist Russell Greenberg is interested in new music that spans a wide variety of styles. A co-founder of the new music piano and percussion quartet, Yarn/Wire, Russell has also worked with a number of other groups including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink, Argento Chamber Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, sfSound, and the experimental theater troupe, Two-Headed Calf, among many others. In addition, he composes and performs with the innovative pop band Hi Red Center, and plays an assortment of instruments in Charlie Looker’s Seaven Teares.

Russell received his B.A. in music from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he studied percussion with William Winant, and with Eduardo Leandro at Stony Brook University, where he earned his M.M. in 2004 and a D.M.A. in 2009. Greenberg has also penned music for the Off-Off Broadway theater production of Clubbed Thumb’s Gentleman Caller, among others. Greenberg is a faculty member at Suffolk Community College, where he teaches percussion and music.

Jessi Rosinski

Boston-based flutist Jessi Rosinski is highly sought after for her versatile skills as a performer and teacher. Recent projects include a tour with the United States Coast Guard Band, a premiere and recording of music by Tristain Murail, and a solo recital series focused on bringing contem-porary music to new audiences.

Specializing in avant garde music, Jessi works with composers regularly to bring new compositions to life and has recently been honored to collaborate with Helmut Lachen-mann, Christian Wolff, and Alvin Lucier. She performs regularly with Callithumpian Consort, Ludovico Ensemble, Harvard Group for New Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Sound Icon and has also appeared with contemporary
music groups such as Collage New Music, Boston Musica Viva, and Firebird Ensemble.

As an educator, Jessi serves on the faculty at University of Massachusetts, Boston University/Tanglewood Institute, Winchester Community Music School, Milton Academy and maintains an active private studio.  She has recently been an artist in residence at The Walden School, Harvard University, Boston College, and Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Jessi earned a Bachelor of Music degree from The Hartt School as a fellow of the Performance 20/20 Program and a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory where she was awarded the 2006 John Cage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary Music Performance. Interested in exploring new ways to use her creative voice as a leader and arts advocate, Jessi is excited to continue her education and join the Babson College M.B.A. Class of 2015 as a Forte Fellow.

Christa Van Alstine

Christa Van Alstine, clarinetist, (born and bred in Saskatchewan, Canada) lives in New York City where she performs with a diverse list of contemporary ensembles and is on faculty at the United Nations International School.

Dedicated to expanding new music repertoire, she commissions works for clarinet and performs with Red Light New Music, a contemporary music composers collective and Praxis, an experimental ensemble dedicated to discovering new sounds and modes of performance by combining music, movement and text. Additionally, Christa has performed with contemporary ensembles Talea, Wet Ink, Novus NY (Trinity Wall St.), Mantra Percussion, Iktus, Hotel Elefant, Argento, Ascolta (Germany), Toca Loca (Toronto), skogensemble (Sweden); has worked with producers Beth Morrison and Com-panion Star; and has performed and premiered works at festivals including Darmstadt (Germany), Impuls (Austria), soundXis (Canada), avantX (Canada), Moving Sounds (New York City) and the 12 Nights (Miami).

Christa received an Artist’s Diploma from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and her Master’s degree from Stony Brook University in New York.

Matthew Gold

Matthew Gold is a New York-based percussionist with a deep commitment to new music. A member of the Talujon percussion group and Talea Ensemble, and a former co-director of TimeTable Percussion, he performs regularly with Sequitur, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, SEM Ensemble, and many others. Mr. Gold is an Artist Associate in percussion at Williams College where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble and co-directs I/O New Music. Recent solo appearances include concerto performances with Sequitur, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, and the Williams Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He performs frequently with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the New York City Ballet, and serves as an artist-faculty member for the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College.

Rane Moore

Boston-based clarinetist Rane Moore enjoys an active performing schedule at home and abroad. An enthusiastic interpreter of contemporary repertoire, she is a member of the Callithumpian Consort and the Talea Ensemble. Ms. Moore has given numerous premieres of new works and appeared with Boston Musica Viva, Firebird Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Bang on a Can All-Stars, Guerilla Opera, Hyperion Ensemble, and Milwaukee’s Present Music. Festival Appearances include the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Open Sound Festival in Colorado, Festival Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo in Leon, Mexico, La Ciudad de las Ideas in Puebla, Mexico, Festival Internacional de Música Clásica Contemporánea de Lima, Spectrum XXI in London, Nevada Encounters of New Music (NEON), Bang on a Can Marathon, Ditson Contemporary Music Festival in Boston, and the Lucerne Festival. Ms. Moore has also been featured as a guest artist at the Royal College of Music and Drama at Wales. She has recorded for Gravina Música, Mode, New World, Parma, Bridge and Tzadik records and holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of California at Berkeley. A devoted teacher, Ms. Moore maintains a full studio of clarinet and saxophone students, coaches chamber music at Harvard’s Mather House, and has given master classes

Steven Beck

American pianist Steven Beck continues to garner impressive acclaim for his performances and recordings worldwide. Praised by the New Yorker as “one of the city’s finest young pianists”, a recent New York concert by Mr. Beck was described as “exemplary” and “deeply satisfying” by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times.

Highlights of the 2010-11 season include the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s “Metagong” for two pianos and percussion and US premieres of works by Boulez and Hans Abrahamsen. In addition, he is making two appearances on the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series, and beginning a Schubert sonata cycle at Bargemusic, where he presents more than twenty concerts a year as an Artist Presenter. His annual performances of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” on Christmas Eve and “Brandenburg Concertos” on New Year’s Eve at the Barge have become something of a New York institution.

An eminent recording artist, Mr. Beck’s discography includes world premiere recordings of newly discovered works by Beethoven on Monument Records and a recording of Elliott Carter’s “Double Concerto” on Albany Records (this was described as “impressive” by Gramophone). His recording “Places of the Spirit” with flutist Paula Robison won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Samuel Sanders Award for 2008, and the debut CD of his chamber ensemble “Pleasure is the Law” was released on Boston Records in 2009.

Mr. Beck made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has toured Japan as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Other orchestras with which he has appeared include the New Juilliard Ensemble (under David Robertson) and the Virginia Symphony. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Miller Theater, as well as on WNYC; summer appearances have been at the Aspen Music Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. He has performed as a musician with the New York City Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and appeared as an orchestral musician with the New York Philharmonic and the Riverside Symphony, as well as performing with the Pacifica and Manhattan string quartets.

A committed advocate of the music of our time, Mr. Beck has worked with Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Charles Wuorinen, George Crumb, George Perle, and Poul Ruders, and performed with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, the Metropolis Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Da Capo Chamber Players. He is a member of the Talea Ensemble and counter)induction and a member of the 2011 Walden School Players.

Robert Burkhart

Cellist Robert Burkhart combines a deep commitment to the existing cello repertoire with what the New Yorker magazine calls an “adventurous” spirit in new music. With performance credits at Alice Tully Hall, Bargemusic, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and The Rose Studio at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Robert has also appeared as a soloist throughout Japan as a member of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, and been featured in recital on WQXR’s “Young Artist Showcase.” At the center of new music in New York, Robert works frequently with living composers as a member of the American Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, and as guest artist with Argento Chamber Ensemble, counter)induction, and SONYC. Recent collaborations include Georg Friedrich Haas, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steve Mackey, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, and Charles Wourinen. In 2007 he performed the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Abu Ghraib for cello and piano, and was the soloist in Augusta Read Thomas’s Passion Prayers for cello and chamber ensemble at the New York Times Center. He has taught at Syracuse University, Music Conservatory of Westchester, and been artist-in-residence at Yale University and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. His new CD “20/21: Music for Cello and Piano from the 20th and 21st Centuries,” features pianist Blair McMillen and the premiere of a work for cello and piano by composer Andrew Waggoner. Robert’s recording of solo Bach on the American Express commercial “Don’t Take Chances. Take Charge.” has garnered national attention.

Meighan Stoops

Clarinetist Meighan Stoops has distinguished herself as a solo, chamber and orchestral musician. In a recent performance of Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 12, Ms. Stoops was praised in The New York Times for her “vibrant, richly shaded performance.” Another review noted that “Meighan Stoops…had a star turn in [Joan] Tower’s Wings.”

In addition to playing with The Walden School Players, Ms. Stoops is a member of Da Capo Chamber Players and American Modern Ensemble. She regularly performs with other ensembles, such as Manhattan Sinfonietta, Newband, Music from Japan, Sequitur, John Eaton’s Pocket Opera Players, Music from Copland House, Sylvan Winds and the Quintet of the Americas. With the Quintet, she had the great honor of performing at the September 11th Commemorative Ceremony at Ground Zero. Orchestras with which Ms. Stoops can be heard regularly are the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Princeton, Westfield and Colonial symphonies.

Ms. Stoops has recorded for Bridge, CRI, Naxos, Albany and Chesky Records (Area 31, Grammy nominated). She can be heard on the soundtrack of Muhammed: Legacy of a Prophet, a PBS documentary with music by Martin Bresnick; Solidarity, a short film directed by Nancy Kiang with music by Richard Carrick; and, most recently, I Sell the Dead, a feature length zombie flick directed by Glen McQuaid with music by Jeff Grace. Ms. Stoops holds degrees from Northwestern and Yale Universities, and is currently pursuing her doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook. Ms. Stoops teaches clarinet privately and at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.