American pianist Donald Berman is recognized as one of the chief exponents of new works by living composers, overlooked music by 20th century masters, and recitals that link classical and modern repertoires. His reputation as definitive interpreter of the American new music canon is unsurpassed. He has established an extensive discography in the works of major American composers, including Ives, Ruggles, Kernis, Levering, Wheeler, Boykan, and many others. Mr. Berman’s acclaimed recordings of The Unknown Ives (on CRI and New World, in two volumes) present premieres of unpublished works and new critical editions (by Mr.Berman) in the only recording of the complete short piano works of Charles Ives extant. On The Uncovered Ruggles Mr.Berman offers premiere recordings of unpublished sketches, transcriptions, and realizations of Ruggles’ music by John Kirkpatrick. For ten years Mr.Berman devoted his energies to curating an exhaustive survey of neglected works by American composers sponsored by the American Academy in Rome – first in a 4-concert series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and subsequently in a newly-released 4-CD set on Bridge Records (9271). Both the Americans in Rome recording and his recording of Charles Ives songs with soprano Susan Narucki, The Light That Is Felt (New World 80680) were named CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine.
Donald Berman has performed to critical acclaim at major venues in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. In 2009 his electro-acoustic solo show When Brahma Sleeps, a collaboration with composer ad sound designer Mark Wingate, was premiered to critical acclaim at New York’s (le) Poisson Rouge in its innaugural season. In 2010 Mr. Berman’s versatility was showcased by the Hartford Symphony with conductor Tito Munoz as the soloist in Christopher Theofanidis’ Piano Concerto side by side with Chopin’s La ci darem la mano Variations for piano and orchestra. He has premiered works as diverse as Su Lian Tan’s U-Don Rock, David Rakowski’s Chase, Donald Martino’s Piano Trio, Milton Babbitt’s Septet but Equal, David Lang’s Burn Notice, and Arthur Levering’s Piano concertina Catena. Other recent performances have ranged from Mozart concertos with the Columbus Symphony to recitals linking Haydn and Schubert with new music, called “thrillingly clear” (New York Times). A prizewinner of the 1991 Schubert International Competition, Mr.Berman studied with Leonard Shure, John Kirkpatrick, George Barth, and Mildred Victor.
Berman directs the Contemporary Music Ensemble at Tufts University, Directs the Summer Piano Institute at New England Conservatory, collaborates with musicologists on performance practice courses, teaches master classes as well as private students. He was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University in 2011, is Treasurer for the Charles Ives Society, and currently lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two children.
Diane Heffner is an active freelance clarinetist and teacher on both modern and historical instruments. She plays period clarinets with Handel & Haydn Society, Arcadia Players, Boston Baroque, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco). As a modern clarinetist Ms. Heffner performs regularly with Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, Alea III, Solar Winds, Alcyon Chamber Ensemble, “Rumbarocco” Latin- Baroque fusion ensemble, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and various other freelance ensembles.
With her jazz/blues/rock group, “Kate and the Finn-Tones,” Ms. Heffner plays her tenor sax and clarinet at cafes and dance parties. Also, she is a member of Boston’s only all women swing big band “the Mood Swings Orchestra.”
Ms. Heffner is on the applied faculty at Tufts University, the Cambridge School of Weston, and the All-Newton Music School and has been a chamber music coach at both the Chamber Music Center of the East and the Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center. She received both BM and MM degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory where she studied clarinet with Joseph Allard and chamber music with Rudolph Kolisch and Leonard Shure.
Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin first appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as flute soloist at the age of 16, and has subsequently performed throughout Europe, Latin America, South America, Russia, and the US as both soloist and recitalist. With pianist David Witten, she frequently performs as a member of Dúo Clásico. Since 1986 the Duo has represented the US on State Department-sponsored foreign tours.
Hershman-Tcherepnin is both founding member and flutist of Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. Other local activities have included performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera Company, New England Ragtime Ensemble, Portland (Maine) and Springfield (Mass.) Symphonies, and Broadway productions in the musical theaters of Boston.
Deeply committed to new music, Sue-Ellen performs regularly with numerous contemporary music ensembles. She has given many world premieres, including flute concertos by Tom Flaherty and William Eldridge, the latter of which was written in memory of her late husband, composer Ivan Tcherepnin. She has been flutist with Dinosaur Annex Contemporary Music Ensemble since 1985, and was appointed Artistic Director in 2002.
Sue-Ellen was raised in Norwood, Massachusetts (USA), received her Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University and Master of Music degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her principal teachers were Phillip Kaplan, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Samuel Baron.
Ms. Hershman-Tcherepnin has been a visiting artist at many universities and conservatories, including the Shanghai Conservatory (China), the Mozarteum (Austria), and the Porto Allegre Conservatory (Brazil). Closer to home, Sue-Ellen has taught at South Shore Conservatory (Hingham, MA), New School of Music (Cambridge, MA), New England Conservatory (preparatory division) and Tufts University. She has served as the principal flute instructor at MIT since 1991, where she is also founding director of MIT’s Flute Ensemble, The Institooters. From 1995-1999 Hershman-Tcherepnin also served as President of the 1800-member American Federation of Musicians Local 9-535-Boston.
Emily Koh (b.1986) is a Boston-based Singaporean composer whose music is characterized by inventive timbral extremes. Described as ‘the future of composing’ (The Straits Times, Singapore), she is the recipient of awards such as the Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Prix D’Ete, and PARMA competitions, commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and grants from New Music USA, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy and Paul Abisheganaden Grant from Artistic Excellence. She is on faculty at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition and Theory at Brandeis University. She has previously taught at Harvard University, MIT and Longy School of Music.
One of the area’s most versatile musicians, Katherine V. Matasy has been described by The Boston Globe as “a musician of depth and refinement” with “technique to burn” and her playing praised as “riveting,” “ravishing,” “brilliant” and “a rare feat.” Most frequently heard as a clarinetist and bass clarinetist in chamber music and orchestra settings, she has performed with most of the region’s major musical organizations. Highly regarded as an interpreter of new, she is a founding member of Dinosaur Annex and a frequent performer with Boston’s many new-music groups. In addition to “doubling” on flute, piccolo and saxophone in musical theater, she is highly reputed as an accordionist, and has appeared in that capacity with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Mark Morris Dance Group, and in many other classical music venues. After training at the New England Conservatory of Music (BM, MM in clarinet), she now teaches at Wellesley College, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and the Community Music Center of Boston (where she chairs the wind department). She has recordings on CRI, Newport Classic, Centaur, Northeastern, Erato and RCA.
Hailed by The New York Times as “imaginative and eloquent” and dubbed “a local hero” by the Boston Globe, cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains a vibrant and diverse career as one of Boston’s most sought-after artists. He is principal cellist of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and a core member of some of New England’s most celebrated chamber groups, including the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Winsor Music, the Ibis Camerata, Monadnock Music, and Dinosaur Annex. His 2003 performance with the Boston Philharmonic of the Saint-Saëns Concerto in A minor was praised by the Globe for “melodic phrasing of melting tenderness” and “dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge”; more recent solo appearances include Strauss’ Don Quixote, also with the Boston Philharmonic; Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante, with Emmanuel Music; and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, with the Indian Hill Symphony.
Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured on close to two dozen recordings, including the premieres of Robert Erickson’s Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra and Thomas Oboe Lee’s tone poem Eurydice, both with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Yehudi Wyner’s De Novo for cello and small chamber ensemble; Malcolm Peyton’s unaccompanied Cello Piece; and chamber works by John Cage, Gunther Schuller, and Martin Boykan. His most recent solo CD, At the still point of the turning world, features major unaccompanied works by Kodaly and Gawlick, and will be released in September 2013 on the Musica Omnia label.
As an alumnus of the New England Conservatory, Mr. Popper-Keizer studied with master pedagogue and Piatigorsky protégé Laurence Lesser; at the Tanglewood Music Center he was privileged to work with Mstislav Rostropovich, and was Yo-Yo Ma’s understudy for Strauss’ Don Quixote under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. His prior teachers include Stephen Harrison, at Stanford University, and Karen Andrie, at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
A multi-faceted artist fluent in many media, Anne Black has built a richly varied and productive career in the performing and visual arts.
She performs with Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra; the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops as an extra violist; and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and Cantata Singers Orchestra as Principal Violist. She was viola d’amore soloist in Meyerbeer’s opera “Les Hueguenots” with the American Symphony in 2009. A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Black is violist of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and appears frequently with Collage New Music, including Collage’s Grammy-nominated recording of John Harbison’s Mottetti di Montale. She is violist of the new Opal Ensemble, based in Arlington, MA. Opal Ensemble, recently awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, will make its Arlington debut on March 14, 12:00 P.M., in Arlington Town Hall.
A member of Handel & Haydn Society’s period instrument orchestra, she also performs with Boston Baroque and Aston Magna Festival. She enjoyed the honor of performing on Mozart’s Viola in June 2013 for a live performance/recording at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio, with Aston Magna Festival’s Artistic Director, Daniel Stepner, performing on Mozart’s Violin. The “Journal of the American Viola Society” published her article about performing on Mozart’s Viola in the December 2013 issue.
A prize-winning photographer and artist in multiple media, she has been a resident artist at the Arlington Center for the Arts since 2004. Her work can be seen at www.Capriccio Arts.com.
Percussionist Robert Schulz has become a familiar face to Boston audiences, known for his multi-faceted performances with many of the area’s premier ensembles. The Boston Globe has referenced his virtuoso work as “subtle, with cat-like alertness”, his musicianship as “dazzling” and his performance as “spellbinding”. Highly sought after by instrumentalists, composers and conductors alike for his collaborative skills, his percussive expertise extends through the traditional symphonic repertory, contemporary solo and chamber ensemble works to jazz, improvisational forms and world music.
He is principal percussionist for the Auros Group for New Music, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Musica Viva, Fromm Players at Harvard, Music at Eden ‘s Edge and Mistral (of the Andover Chamber Music Series). He freelances with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and Pro Arte orchestras and has collaborated with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Collage New Music, Dinosaur Annex and Firebird Ensemble on several occasions. Additionally, he has been a featured soloist and ensemble member with the Bank of America Celebrity Series on several occasions. In 2004-05 he was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Small Ensemble Performance for his work on Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror and gave the Boston premier of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto with BMOP. This past season he toured nationally with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, performing a new work by Chen Yi written expressly for them, culminating in performance at Carnagie Hall, NY.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Schulz’ first teachers were John Rowland and Lynn Harbold of the Buffalo Philharmonic and later Jan Williams at SUNY Buffalo, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree (1989). After moving to Boston in 1990 for study at the New England Conservatory, he completed a Masters in Jazz Studies with Fred Buda (1992) and was offered successive fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center while pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Solo Percussion with Frank Epstein of the Boston Symphony (1994). A gifted teacher and mentor to many, current affiliations include Brandeis, Harvard and Tufts Universities. His work at these institutions includes private lessons, ensemble coaching and conducting, musician contracting, and compositional seminars.
Georgia native Gabriela Diaz began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother, and the next year, violin with her father. Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a type of lymphatic cancer. She was treated with chemotherapy and radiation at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and the Medical Center in Columbus.
As a cancer survivor, Gabriela is committed to cancer research and treatment. She has lent her talents to a wide range of related programs and organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, The Race for the Cure, OnCare, Inc., the Columbus Medical Center, and the Egleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University in Atlanta. In 2004 Gabriela was a recipient of a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Foundation. This grant enabled Gabriela to begin organizing a series of chamber music concerts in cancer units at various hospitals in Boston called the Boston Hope Ensemble.
Gabriela holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from New England Conservatory, where she was a student of James Buswell. Gabriela has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, and has performed at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Newport Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, North Country Chamber Players, Monadnock Music, Apple Hill, Vail Valley Bravo Music Festival, and Cactus Pear Festival, among others.
In the summer of 2007 Gabriela acted as Concertmistress under Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Lucerne, Switzerland. Devoted to contemporary music, Gabriela has been fortunate to work closely with many significant living composers on their own compositions, namely Pierre Boulez, Magnus Lindberg, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Lucier, Steve Reich, Brian Ferneyhough, John Zorn, Osvaldo Golijov, Lee Hyla, and Helmut Lachenmann. In 2003 she won the BMOP/NEC concerto competition, playing Zorn’s Contes des Fees with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She also became the youngest person to ever record the Ligeti Violin Concerto, recorded for Mode Records with New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Ensemble (not yet released). A reviewer commented on her performance of the concerto, “Gabriela Diaz, whose astonishing performance of György Ligeti’s 1993 Violin Concerto sent the audience into raptures at the opening celebration of the centennial of Jordan Hall.”
She is actively involved in contemporary music in Boston, and is a member of the Callithumpian Consort, Firebird, Ludovico, and Dinosaur Annex, and Sound Icon Ensembles. Boston critics have mentioned Gabriela as “a young violin master… Diaz shone in her extended solo passages.” Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix noted, “…Gabriela Diaz in a bewitching performance of Pierre Boulez’s 1991 Anthèmes. The come-hither meow of Diaz’s upward slides and her sustained pianissimo fade-out were miracles of color, texture, and feeling.” Others have remarked on her “vibrant playing,” “polished technique,” and “vivid and elegant playing.”
Recordings available: Mode Records, New World Records, BMOPSound, Centaur Records