Music From Japan

Lecturer/Curator

Miyuki Shiraishi

Miyuki Shiraishi

Miyuki Shiraishi

Musicologist Miyuki Shiraishi obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in musicology from Tokyo University of the Arts. She specializes in 20th century music beginning with John Cage and in recent years has researched the development of music criticism in Japan during the Meiji Period. She is the recipient of the 20th Hidekazu Yoshida Award for John Cage: Konton dewa-naku Anarchy (John Cage: The Music of Anarchy, Musashino Art University Press). Her essays include “The Beginnings of Music Criticism in Early Meiji-Period Newspapers: On Fukuchi Genichiro’s Editorial in the Tokyo-Nichinichi,” “The Formation of Japanese Music Criticism in the Mid-Meiji Era: An Analysis of the Gaku-hyo, Music Reviews of the Yomiuri Shimbun in 1898,” and “Document: Japanese Musicircus.” Currently, she is a Professor at Musashino Art University.

Composers

Yumi Saiki  Photo by Kazuo Hiroji

Yumi SaikiPhoto by Kazuo Hiroji

Yumi Saiki (featured and commissioned composer)

Born in Mie Prefecture in 1964, Yumi Saiki graduated from Aichi Prefectural University of Arts and Music. After graduating from Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in 1991, she joined Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris the same year, where she graduated with top honors of Premier prix à Premier nommé in 1995. In 2005, she pursued further research into electronic music and composition at IRCAM in Paris.

Saiki has been the recipient of several prizes, including the second prize in the Music Competition of Japan in 1993 and the Akutagawa Award for Music Composition in 2005. She has also been commissioned by various groups including Music Tomorrow, Music From Japan, Suntory Foundation for Arts, and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, as well as several renowned performing artists. Her major works have been performed by leading orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble L’itinéraire, Alter Ego, and Tokyo Sinfonietta in music festivals and concerts in Darmstadt, Caen, Gaudeamus, and Takefu. In November of 2018 Suntory Hall in Tokyo presented two of her works, including a new orchestral commission.

In 2014, a concert of Saiki’s chamber works was presented at Gifu Collection of Modern Arts. Her two CDs, Confession and Entomophonie, were released by ALM-RECORDS and Fontec, respectively, in 2014. Both were special picks of The Record Geijutsu and recommended discs of The Asahi Shimbun.

Two series of works central to her oeuvre, Song of Insects and Metamorphoses examine questions of time structure in new music. In recent years, she has attempted to create work using religious subjects or events unrelated to music.

She is currently a member of the faculty at Tokyo University of the Arts and Kunitachi College of music as well as its graduate school.

Takahiro Kuroda

Takahiro Kuroda (commissioned composer)

Takahiro Kuroda (b. 1989) is a Tokyo-based Japanese composer who has studied composition at Tokyo University of the Arts. His music has been performed by organizations such as Ensemble Muromachi, Tokyo Sinfonietta and Geidai Philharmonia. He has been awarded The 29th JSCM (Japan Society for Contemporary Music) Award for Composers (2012) and The 37th IRINO PRIZE for Chamber-Orchestral Composition (2016). In recent years he has been interested in the transformation of time and space that arises from minute changes. As a result, much of his music has limited material and is static.

Jo Kondo

Jo Kondo

Born in Tokyo in 1947, Jo Kondo studied composition at Tokyo University of Arts. In 1977 and 1978 Kondo spent a year in New York on a scholarship from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund. In 1979 he was invited by the Canada Council to teach as a guest lecturer at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. In 1986 he resided in London as a British Council Senior Fellow. Since 1983, Mr. Kondo has taught at several universities in Japan, including Ochanomizu University, Tokyo University of Arts, and Elisabeth University of Music. Presently, Jo Kondo is Guest Professor at Showa Music University and Professor Emeritus of Ochanomizu University. In 2012 he was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Over the course of his long career he has written more than 140 compositions, including works for chamber ensemble, orchestras, and electronic media. His works are published by UYNP (UK) and C F. Peters (New York). His music has been featured in festivals worldwide. Kondo is also a prolific writer, having written seven books since 1979 that detail his own aesthetic and compositional ideas.

Yoichi Sugiyama

Yoichi Sugiyama

Yoichi Sugiyama (b. 1969) is a composer and conductor active in Europe and Japan. He studied composition with Franco Donatoni, Sandro Gorli, and Akira Miyoshi, and orchestral conducting with Emilio Pomarico and Morihiro Okabe. As a composer, Sugiyama has been featured internationally at festivals including Wien Modern, the Festival d’Automne, Milano Musica, Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Biennale di Venezia, and the Tiroler-Festspiel Erl. He came to prominence as a conductor after conducting Luigi Nono’s opera “Prometeo” with Ensemble Modern Orchestra in 2000. Since then, he has collaborated with ensembles across Europe and Japan including Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and Nieuw Ensemble. He received the 13th Keizo Saji Prize in 2014, the Toshi Ichiyanagi Contemporary Prize for composition, and the 2018 Art Prize of the Japanese Minister of Culture for his conducting work.

Sugiyama has also been active as an educator. He was an assistant teacher for both Franco Donatoni and Giacomo Manzoni, and currently teaches at Scuola Civica di Milano. In 1995 Sugiyama obtained a scholarship for composition from the Italian Government, and has been residing in Milan ever since.

Tomomi Adachi

Tomomi Adachi

ADACHI Tomomi, born in Kanazawa, Japan in 1972, is a performer, composer, sound poet, installation artist, and occasional theater director. He improvises and performs contemporary music on voice, live electronics, and self-made instruments. His punk-style choir “Adachi Tomomi Royal Circus” features his own compositions. Adachi has performed works by John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Tom Johnson, Dieter Schnebel, TAKAHASHI Yuji, YUASA Joji, and Fluxus artists. He is the only sound poet in Japan and was the first to perform Kurt Schitters’ “Ursonate” in Japan. Adachi has also organized concerts in Germany and Japan, spanning experimental music, sound art, and interdisciplinary performance. These concerts included Chris Mann, Trevor Wishart, Nicolas Collins and STEIM in Japan.

Over the years, Adachi has worked with Jaap Blonk, Nicolas Collins, Carl Stone, TAKAHASHI Yuji, SAKATA Akira, ICHIYANAGI Toshi, TANAKA Yumiko, dj sniff, Jerome Noetinger, SUZUKI Akio, Alessandro Bosseti, FURUDATE Tetsuo, Jennifer Walshe, Annette Krebs, Dickson Dee, Zbigniew Karkowski, Johannes Bergmark, Erhart hirt, MAKIGAMI Koichi, Butch Morris, Jon Rose, OTOMO Yoshihide, ITOH Kim, Monika Klingler, IIMURA Takahiko, ISHIDA Takashi. He has presented his works in Japan, Europe, U.S., Australia and other Asian countries at venues including Tate Modern, IRCAM/Centre Pompidou, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Akademie der Kuenste Berlin, Waker Art Center, STEIM, Experimental Intermedia, ZKM, Merkin Hall, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Roulette, Tonic, The National Museum of Art Osaka, Super Deluxe, La Mama Theatre Melbourne, Anthology Film Archives, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa and Vooruit. He has given lectures at Tama Art University, Yotsuya Art Studium, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mills College, Bard College and London College of Communication.

Recently, he is focusing his activities on solo performance (with voice, sensors, computer, self-made instruments), sound poetry, video installation and workshop style big ensembles with non-professional voices and instruments. Adachi currently lives in Berlin and Tokyo.

Toshi Ichiyanagi

Toshi Ichiyanagi

Born in Kobe, Japan in 1933, Toshi Ichiyanagi studied composition with Kishio Hirao, Tomojiro Ikenouchi, and John Cage. He studied piano with Chieko Hara and Beveridge Webster.

He won the first prize twice at the composition division at the Mainichi Music Competition (the Music Competition of Japan) in 1949 and 1951. While studying at the Julliard School of Music from 1954 to 1957, he dedicated himself to new music with John Cage, and other New York artists and musicians.

He returned to Japan in 1961 by the invitation from the Festival of Institute of Twentieth Century Music and introduced to the Japanese audiences the new music of Europe, the U.S and Japan including his own music, stimulating activities in various artistic fields. By the invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation, he returned to the U. S. and held recitals of his own works all over the country from 1966 to 67.

In Europe, in 1976 he stayed in Berlin for six months, as a composer in residence for the city of Berlin with the invitation from Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD). After that he visited European cities repeatedly upon commissions from Pro Musica Nova Festival, Metamusk Festival, Cologne Festival of Contemporary Music, Holland Festival, Berliner Festwochen, etc.

From the ‘80s to ‘90s, he composed large scale works for Japanese traditional instruments and also organized ensembles such as “Tokyo International Music Ensemble (TIME)” and “ Ensemble Origin” to realize his own and other Japanese composer’s works.

Ichiyanagi is the recipient of many awards including the Otaka Award for the best Japanese orchestral piece of the year from NHK Symphony Orchestra (4 times), Grand Prix of the Nakajima Kenzo Prize, L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic, Mainichi Newspaper Art Prize, Grand Prix of Kyoto Music Prize, Suntory Music Prize and so on.

He has also been awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon, the Order of the Rising Sun, and Gold Rays with Rosette by the Japanese Government. He has been designated as one of the Persons in Cultural Merit since 2008 and received the Order of Cultural Merit in 2018.

Akiko Yamane

Yamane, in her own words, “[tries] to create music using the concept of “visible sound” as a figurative art. The phenomenon of sound is in fact invisible, but as it is experienced as installation art, I strive to enable the listener to trace the outlines of sound movement and feel shapes, colors, textures and the space beside them in their own inner perception.”

Yamane studied composition at the Kyoto City University of Arts with Hinoharu Matsumoto from 2001-2007, and at Hochschule für Kuenste Bremen with Younghi Pagh-Paan from 2005-2006 as an exchange student. Yamane also studied composition with Motoharu Kawashima privately. She participated in a Composition Master Course in Akiyoshidai’s Summer (2003), at the Composers Forum in Tokyo (2004), in the Takefu international music festival (2005, 2007 as an invited composer), and at Royaumont Voix Nouvelles in France (2006).

Yamane’s numerous awards and grants include the Meiji Yasuda quality of life scholarship (2004), the Kyoto Musical Association prize (2005), a finalist of the Takefu Composition Award (2005), the Togashi Prize of the 22nd JSCM Award for Composers (2005), 1st Prize of the Music Competition of Japan (2006), and the Akutagawa Prize (2010).

Her works have been performed in Tokyo, New York City, Paris, Bremen and commissioned by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka and many ensembles and players. She has organized experimental music events called “eX.” with composer Motoharu Kawashima in Tokyo since 2007. She staged a sound installation “Dots Collection No.06” in Kyoto, 2011 and performed at ARS MUSIC in Liege, Belgium, in 2016.

Performers

Fred Ferry
Photo by Ben Esner

Fred Sherry, cello and conductor

A pioneer and a visionary in the music world, Fred Sherry has introduced audiences on five continents and all 50 United States to the music of our time through his close association with today’s composers. Carter, Davidovsky, Mackey, Rakowski, Satoh, Wuorinen and Zorn have written concertos for him, and he has premiered solo and chamber works dedicated to him by Babbitt, Bermel, Foss, Knussen, Lieberson and Takemitsu, among others. Sherry was a founding member of Tashi and Speculum Musicae; he has been a member of the Group for Contemporary Music, of Berio’s Juilliard Ensemble and of the Galimir String Quartet; and he was a close collaborator with jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. He has been an active performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since the 1970s and was its Artistic Director from 1988 to 1992. Sherry has been a soloist and “sideman” on hundreds of commercial and esoteric recordings. The Fred Sherry String Quartet recordings of the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto and the String Quartets Nos. 3 and 4 were both nominated for a Grammy. Sherry is a member of the cello faculty of the Juilliard School, the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His book, 25 Bach Duets from the Cantatas, was published by Boosey & Hawkes in 2011. In April 2018 C.F. Peters unveiled his treatise on contemporary string playing, A Grand Tour of Cello Technique. http://fredsherry.com/

Elizabeth Brown
Photo by Peter Schaaf

Elizabeth Brown, flute

Elizabeth Brown combines a successful composing career with an extremely diverse performing life, playing flute, shakuhachi, and theremin in a wide variety of musical circles. Her chamber music, shaped by this unique group of instruments and experiences, has been called luminous, dreamlike and hallucinatory.

A Juilliard graduate and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Brown’s music has been heard in Japan, the Soviet Union, Colombia, Australia, South Africa and Vietnam as well as across the US and Europe. She has received grants, awards and commissions from Orpheus, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Newband, the Asian Cultural Council, Music from Japan, the Japan/US Friendship Commission, Meet the Composer, the Electronic Music Foundation, the Cary Trust, and NYFA. She is known both here and in Japan for her compositions combining western and traditional Japanese instruments. A solo CD, Elizabeth Brown: Mirage is available on New World Records. http://www.ElizabethBrownComposer.com

Marianne Gythfeldt
Photo by Matthew Dine

Marianne Gythfeldt, clarinet and bass clarinet

Marianne Gythfeldt has distinguished herself in chamber music and contemporary music performance on the international stage.
She is equally at-home in traditional, contemporary and alternative genres as clarinetist of Zephyros Winds, Consortium Ardesia, Collide-O-scope, SEM Ensemble, and former member of the Naumburg award-winning group New Millennium Ensemble.
Marianne is especially recognized in the fields of electro acoustic music, contemporary chamber music and performance education.
She was recently appointed Assistant Professor of clarinet and woodwind coordinator at Brooklyn College Conservatory where she will continue her work as a leader in arts engagement, outreach and development. Ms. Gythfeldt spent eight years as clarinet and chamber music professor at the University of Delaware where she won the Delaware Division of the Arts established artist award. Ms. Gythfeldt has recorded with CBS Masterworks, CRI, Albany, Koch and Mode Records.

Ryan Muncy

Ryan Muncy, alto saxophone

Saxophonist Ryan Muncy, praised for his “amazing virtuosity” (The Chicago Tribune) and his ability to “show off the instrument’s malleability and freakish extended range as well as its delicacy and refinement” (The Chicago Reader), is a soloist and chamber musician who performs, commissions, and presents new music. 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 awarded at the 46th International Summer Courses for New Music Darmstadt, a Fulbright Fellowship in France, the Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, and has participated in the creation of hundreds of new works for the instrument. His debut solo album Hot was released by New Focus Recordings to critical acclaim, praised as “absorbing” (Alex Ross) and “one of the year’s best albums” (Time Out New York). His second solo album, ism, was released in 2016 by TUNDRA/New Focus Recordings.

Muncy is the saxophonist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), where he serves in a hybrid role as co-director of the ensemble’s OpenICE program and Grants Director. He performs regularly with Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and holds the doctor of music degree from Northwestern University. ryanmuncy.com

Oren Fader, guitar

Oren Fader, guitar

Classical and electric guitarist Oren Fader has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. Recent concerto performances include the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the New Jersey Symphony, and David Del Puerto’s new concerto, “Zephyr”, with the New Paths in Music Ensemble.

In addition to performing as a soloist, Mr. Fader is much in demand as a New York City chamber musician. He has performed hundreds of concerts with a wide range of classical and new music groups, including the Met Chamber Ensemble (directed by James Levine), New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Talea Ensemble, ICE, Mark Morris Dance Group, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Festival performances include Aspen, Tanglewood, Bach Oregon Festival, Istanbul Festival, Deer Valley Festival (Utah), Bard Music Festival, and Morelia, Mexico.

Mr. Fader is well known for his performances of contemporary music. He has premiered over 200 solo and chamber works with guitar, and can be heard on over 40 commercial recordings and films. His latest solo recordings include “Another’s Fandango”, featuring 500 years of guitar music, and “First Flight”, a disc of 10 premiere solos written for Mr. Fader by New York City composers.

Since 1994 Mr. Fader has been on the guitar and chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

Vicky Chow
Kaitlin Jane Photography

Vicky Chow, piano

Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has been described as “brilliant” (New York Times) and “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists” (Pitchfork). The New Yorker wrote [on her recording of Michael Gordon’s SONATRA], “’Sonatra’ is a milestone of composition, and Vicky Chow’s recording of it is a milestone of pianism.” Her album “Surface Image” composed by Tristan Perich was among the top 10 Avant Music albums in “The Rolling Stone” magazine. As an artist frequently broadcasted on WNYC radio, her recorded work can be found on the ‘Nonesuch’, ‘New Amsterdam’, ‘Tzadik’, and ‘Cantaloupe’, labels. Interviews and articles featuring Ms. Chow have been published in the Huffington Post, Gramophone, The New York Times, and others. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she is based in Brooklyn, New York and is currently the pianist for Bang on a Can All-Stars. Ms. Chow is a Yamaha Artist.
www.vickychow.com

Aaron Wunsch

Aaron Wunsch, piano

Pianist Aaron Wunsch enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, presenter, and educator.  He has performed on concert stages throughout the US, Europe and Asia, including in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Duke’s Hall in London, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and as soloist with symphonies in the US and China. Lauded for his “masterful” chamber music performances (Hartford Courant), he has appeared at the Norfolk, Bowdoin, Sarasota, Great Lakes and Yellow Barn chamber music festivals, collaborating in performance with cellist Lynn Harrell, clarinetists Charles Neidich and Anthony McGill, violinists Miranda Cuckson and Jennifer Koh, and the Miró and Parker Quartets, among others.  He has worked closely with many renowned composers, including Thomas Adès, Nico Muhly, and Kaija Saariaho and has performed new works by Saariaho and John Adams during Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music. He studied at Yale University (B.A., cum laude), the Mozarteum in Salzburg (Fulbright Fellowship) and at the Juilliard School (M.M. and D.M.A.). He was formerly Assistant Professor of Piano at William Paterson University and is currently a full-time faculty member at Juilliard, where he teaches piano literature, graduate studies, chamber music, music history, keyboard studies, and directs Juilliard PianoScope, the Piano Department’s performance series.  www.aaronwunsch.com.

Momenta Quartet
Photo by John Gurrin

Momenta Quartet

Emilie-Anne Gendron – violin
Alex Shiozaki – violin
Stephanie Griffin – viola
Michael Haas – cello

Momenta: the plural of momentum – four individuals in motion towards a common goal. This is the idea behind the Momenta Quartet, whose eclectic vision encompasses contemporary music of all aesthetic backgrounds alongside great music from the recent and distant past.  The New York City-based quartet has premiered over 100 works, collaborated with over 120 living composers and was praised by The New York Times for its “diligence, curiosity and excellence.” In the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “few American players assume Haydn’s idiom with such ease.”

The quartet came into being in November 2004, when composer Matthew Greenbaum invited violist Stephanie Griffin to perform Mario Davidovsky’s String Trio for events celebrating Judaism and Culture at New York’s Symphony Space and Temple University in Philadelphia. A residency through the composition department at Temple University ensued, and the rehearsals and performances were so satisfying that the players decided to form a quartet. Through this residency, Momenta gave two annual concerts highlighting the talents of Temple University student composers alongside 20th-century masterworks and works from the classical canon, and repeated the programs at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. From the outset, Momenta treated all music equally, devoting as much time, care and commitment to the student works as to the imposing musical monuments.

Word of Momenta’s passionate advocacy for emerging composers spread quickly. Composers started inviting Momenta for similar concerts and residencies at other academic institutions, among them Cornell, Columbia and Yeshiva Universities; the Boston and Cincinnati Conservatories; and the Eastman School of Music. In 2008 the quartet won its first major commission grant from the Koussevitzky Foundation for Malaysian composer Kee Yong Chong, and since received a second Koussevitzky grant for Bolivian composer Agustín Fernández. Deeply committed to the musical avant-garde of the developing world, Momenta has been an indispensable advocate for many international composers.  In addition to world premieres by Chong and Fernández, Momenta has premiered and championed the works of Tony Prabowo (Indonesia), Cergio Prudencio (Bolivia) and Hana Ajiashvili (Georgia). Upcoming adventures include a project to perform and record all thirteen string quartets by Mexican microtonal maverick Julián Carrillo (1875-1965) over the next three years.

Momenta has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, Rubin Museum, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and looks forward to high-profile concerts at Chamber Music Cincinnati, Washington University and at the internationally renowned Cervantino Festival in Mexico. Momenta gave its Mexican debut at the National University (UNAM) last June and has performed in the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Singapore. Momenta has recorded for Centaur Records, Furious Artisans, PARMA, New World Records, and Albany Records; and has been broadcast on WQXR, Q2 Music, Austria’s Oe1, and Vermont Public Radio. The quartet’s debut album, Similar Motion, is available on Albany Records.

Emilie-Anne Gendron
Photo by John Gurrin

Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin

Lauded by the New York Times as a “brilliant soloist” and by France’s ClassiqueInfo for her “excellent technical mastery” and “undeniable sensitivity”, Emilie-Anne Gendron enjoys an active freelance career based in New York. A deeply committed chamber musician, Ms. Gendron is a core member and frequent leader of the Sejong Soloists; a member of the Toomai String Quintet; and on the roster of the Marlboro Music Festival and the touring Musicians From Marlboro. Ms. Gendron is a past winner of the Stulberg String Competition and took 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Sion-Valais International Violin Competition. She was trained at the Juilliard School where her teachers were Won-Bin Yim, Dorothy DeLay, David Chan, and Hyo Kang. She holds the Artist Diploma and Master of Music degree from Juilliard, as well as a B.A. in Classics from Columbia as a graduate of the Columbia-Juilliard joint-degree program.

Alex Shiozaki
Photo by John Gurrin

Alex Shiozaki, violin

Praised by The New York Times as “spellbinding,” violinist Alex Shiozaki is emerging as a strong advocate for the music of today. At home with music new and old, he has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Sendai Philharmonic, AXIOM Ensemble, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Other highlights include summer residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center as a New Fromm Player and a Japan tour with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. A member of the Momenta Quartet since 2016, he also regularly performs with Le Train Bleu, ACME, and Argento Ensemble. As part of the Shiozaki Duo with his wife and pianist Nana Shi, Alex has given recitals in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and California. Holding a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.M. and D.M.A. from the Juilliard School, he counts among his teachers Ronald Copes and Joseph Lin of the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Chang, and Robin Sharp.

Stephanie Griffin
Photo by John Gurrin

Stephanie Griffin, viola

Described as “enthralling” by the Los Angeles Times, Stephanie Griffin is an innovative violist and composer with an eclectic musical vision. Born in Canada and based in New York City, her musical adventures have taken her to Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico and Mongolia. She plays regularly as a soloist and with the Momenta Quartet, Continuum and the Argento Chamber Ensemble. As an improviser, she performs in numerous avant-jazz collectives and was a 2014 Fellow at Music Omi. She holds a doctorate from the Juilliard School, serves on the faculty of Brooklyn College, and has recorded for Tzadik, Innova and Albany Records. Stephanie Griffin is a 2016 fellow in Music from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

www.stephaniegriffinviola.com

Michael Haas
Photo by John Gurrin

Michael Haas, cello

Michael Haas is an accomplished and exciting young cellist, performing in New York City and around the world. In a recent performance his playing was noted as “refined and attractive” by the New York Times. Leading a varied musical life, Michael is equally at home performing chamber music and orchestral repertoire both old and new. He has recently appeared performing at Symphony Space, the New York Live Arts Theater, Le Poisson Rouge, as well as for Tertulia, a new series bringing chamber music to intimate settings around New York City. In addition to his work with Momenta, Michael has been a member of the New Haven Symphony since 2008. He regularly performs with the Princeton Symphony and in New York with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Michael holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School studying with David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Joel Krosnick, and Darrett Adkins. Also an active teacher, he received Suzuki teaching certification from New York’s School for Strings and has taught at the CUNY Bronx Community College.