Music From Japan

Commissioned Composers: New Sounds III

Yoshirio Kanno

Yoshihiro Kanno

Yoshihiro Kanno graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and Music with a Master’s Degree in composition. He has won several prestigious awards including the Prince Pierre of Monaco Musical Composition Award in 1979 and the Award for the Tradition Creatrice by Japan Arts Foundation in 2012. His ballet “Mandala” was performed at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1988 and toured through New York and Washington, D.C. in 1991. In 2007, Kanno’s piece, Earth Stream, for percussion and piano 4-hands was premiered by Evelyn Glennie, Noriko Ogawa and Philip Smith. A more recent work of note is Himiko, an epic theatrical work embracing both Western and Japanese instruments and dancers. Himiko premiered in 2015 at Suntory Hall in Tokyo and was performed at The Esplanade in Singapore in May 2016.

Madoka Mori

Madoka Mori

Born in 1994, in Tokyo, Madoka Mori graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music, where she studied composition under Kazuo Missé and received advanced training from E. Tanguy, I. Fedele and S. Gervasoni. She won the second prize of the 83rd Music Competition of Japan at the age of 20; this composition introduced her to Toshi Ichiyanagi – MORI was awarded the Toshi Ichiyanagi Contemporary Prize, making her the youngest recipient in history. Her most notable works include her double Concerto for Violin, Cello and String Orchestra JANUS (2020) commissioned by Suntory Hall, Myth for violin Solo (2022) commissioned by Kyoko Ogawa, Aoide for viola solo] (2019) commissioned by Ayako Tahara, Vocalise for cello solo (2018) commissioned by Michiaki Ueno, and Atrium for cello and orchestra (2018). New notable works by Mori include Phoenix for cello solo (2022) commissioned by the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation and Michiaki Ueno, Duo for Viola and Piano (2023) commissioned by the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation and Ayako Tahara, and her first opera MITSOUKO, commissioned by Kumi Taniguchi (Christian Dior Special Adviser). Mori became a lecturer at Toho Gakuen School of Music in 2017, making her the youngest faculty member in the school’s history, and in 2020, she established Mori Music Office to co-own copyrights with commissioners.

Akira Ito

Akira Ito

Born in Kitakyushu City in 1991, Akira Ito completed both masters and doctorate degrees at the Kunitachi College of Music, where he is currently a research fellow. His composition teachers include Yukio Kikuchi, Michio Kitazume, and Motoharu Kawashima. In 2016, after receiving both the 33rd JSCM Award for Composers, and Audience Award, he was invited to the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe as an exchange student. During his stay in Germany, his composition for the Ensemble Modern Academy was aired by Südwestrundfunk (SWR). Ito has received commissions from pianist Satoko Inoue, shamisen player Hidejiro Honjoh, and composer Motoharu Kawashima and participated in the Ensemble Recherche × JSCM joint project, “Spotted: Japan”. He represents Japan in ISCM/ACL 2022 New Zealand, Asian Composers League’s Young Composer Award. Outside Japan, his works have been performed in Germany, Switzerland and the USA. Ito is a member of The Japan Federation of Composers, Japan Society for Contemporary Music, and Kyushu Composers Association. He recently submitted his doctoral dissertation for review.

COLORS: Contemporary Vocal Works of Japan

Akane Matsudaira

Akane Matsudaira (curator)

Akane Matsudaira is a music critic and a soprano singer – she studied voice at Tokyo University of the Arts. She has written music criticism for the Yomiuri Shimbun since 2007, along with other program notes and CD reviews. Matsudaira has sat on selection committees for various prestigious music awards, and won the grand prix at the “Fresh Concert” (presented by the Japan-Austria Culture Association) and the very first Toshi Ichiyanagi Contemporary Award for her abilities as a singer.  Matsudaira pursued her interest in cutting-edge music and expressive physicality by studying at the Stockhausen Courses Kürten. She has performed at such festivals as the Suntory Arts Foundation Summer Festival, Tokyo experimental Festival, Tête à Tête; The Opera Festival in London, Tessera Music Festival New Ears, Da Vinci Music Festival in Kawaguchi, and Kusatsu Summer International Music Festival. In addition to her work with contemporary music, Matsudaira has also sung rare works by Vierne, Schulhoff, and Ullmann as well as Satie’s Socrate, Messiaen’s Halawi , Schönberg’s Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten and Gurre-Lieder (Part I). She sang a primary role in a Keizo Saji Prize winning production of the opera, THE KEY, composed by Francesca Le Lohé. Matsudaira is also the director and secretary general of Richard Wagner Gesellschaft Japan and the director of the Kanagawa Arts Foundation. Her recent recording of Schönberg (vocal and piano version arranged by Erwin Stein, Piano: Yumiko Meguri) was released in the fall of 2022 and was selected as an excellent disc by many music magazines including the highest honor in “Record Arts”

Mari Takano

Mari Takano

After graduating from the Toho Gakuen College Music Department in Tokyo, Mari Takano went on to study composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough, (earning her master’s degree) and with György Ligeti at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. She is a recipient of numerous prizes including the Music Competition Japan, the Irino Prize and the Förderpreis of the City of Stuttgart. Takano has been commissioned by such institutions as the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Hamburg, the US Embassy in Tokyo, and the Kanagawa Arts Foundation. Her first CD, Women’s Paradise, was released in 2002, followed by her second CD, LigAlien – both by BIS (Sweden) – and in 2022, her third CD, In a Different Way, was released by Fontec (Japan). Takano has been invited to give special lectures at Roosevelt University in Chicago, New York University, the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim. A former associate professor at the Ferris Jogakuin University, she is now a lecturer at Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music and Bunkyo University.

Motoharu Kawashima

Motoharu Kawashima

Motoharu Kawashima attended Tokyo University of the Arts, where he completed his post-graduate work. He has won numerous awards, including the Akiyoshidai International Composition Prize (1992), the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Darmstadt International Summer Course (1996), the Akutagawa Award for Music Composition (1997), and the Toshi Ichiyanagi Contemporary Prize (2017). Among his various performance engagements, he is a member of Ensemble Kochi as both a composer and conductor. He has appeared on many TV and radio programs, including TV Asahi’s “Untitled Concert” and NHK-FM’s “Contemporary Music”. He is a program advisor for Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka, the vice president of the Japan Federation of Composers, and an associate professor at Kunitachi College of Music and its graduate school.

Rica Narimoto

Rica Narimoto

Rica Narimoto (born in Wakayama, Japan) completed her M.A. and D.M. degrees at Aichi University of the Arts, graduating at the top of her class and receiving the university’s prestigious Kuwabara Prize – she is the first person to have received a doctoral degree in the field of composition at AUA. Narimoto’s music has been performed in all over the wolrd, including Japan, Europe, Africa and North America. She has received several awards including the Irino Prize and third prize at Iron Composer Competition (USA). In 2011, she was invited by the Asian Cultural Council to live in New York and research American contemporary music and art. Her work combines techniques of contemporary music composition with the structures of the 17th Century Japanese Itchu-Bushi in order to create abstractions of space and time. She is currently an associate professor at Aichi University of the Arts and a lecturer at both Kinjo Gakuin University and Nagoya University of the Arts.

Masamichi Kinoshita

Masamichi Kinoshita

Masamichi Kinoshita was born in Ono City, Fukui Prefecture in 1969. After some early, eclectic musical experiences, he entered Tokyo University of the Arts as a music major, experimenting with free jazz, group improvisation, and comedic music. Kinoshita was a finalist in both the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (2011) and the Japan Society for Contemporary Music Award for Composers (2003). He also received Performing Arts Creation Encouragement Prize from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. Kinoshita receives regular commissions from a variety of groups and individual performers as well as requests for collaboration in productions with younger generation avant-gardists. He works with celebrated performers to produce concerts, including improvisatory performances utilizing electronics.

Hiroyuki Yamamoto

Hiroyuki Yamamoto

Born in 1967 and raised mainly in Kanagawa Prefecture, Hiroyuki Yamamoto received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tokyo University of the Arts, where he studied composition with Jo Kondo and the late Isao Matsushita. Yamamoto has received the BMW Musica Viva Competition 3rd Prize (Germany, 1998), Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 1st Prize (2002) and the 13th Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Music Composition Award (2003). Yamamoto’s works have been performed by Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam) and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others. In 2009, he became a professor at Aichi University of the Arts. Some of his works are published by BabelScores (Paris).

Yoriaki Matsudaira

Yoriaki Matsudaira (1931-2023)

Yoriaki Matsudaira was born in Tokyo in 1931. A self-taught pianist, he began composing in 1957 as a total serialist and then became intrigued with indeterminate music, which he pursued for the next six years.  From 1967-76, he explored the potential of applying American artist, Robert Rauschenberg’s notion of the “combine” to music. After 1976, modal music inspired him to develop music with a pitch-interval technique. Matsudaira has been chosen ten times to participate in the ISCM Festival, and in 1990 he received the Moeck Verlag Special Prize in the K. Serocki International Composers Competition. In 2008, following Toru Takemitsu, Matsudaira became the second Japanese composer to be elected Emeritus Member of ISCM. He is Professor Emeritus at Rikkyo University (biophysics) and holds a Doctorate of Science from Tokyo Metropolitan University.

Sachiyo Tsurumi

Sachiyo Tsurumi

Sachiyo Tsurumi (born in Bando, Ibaraki Prefecture in 1976) graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a degree in composition. She has produced works in a wide variety of genres: orchestral, choral, film and sumo music in addition to modern arrangements of Japanese traditional music. She released a CD of representative works in 2013 titled, eu canto… (fontec). Since 2014 (while serving on the board of JACSHA – Japan Association of Composers for Sumo Hearing Arts) Tsurumi has pursued the connection between sumo and music, directing the 3rd Ryogoku Art Festival’s “Butsukari Piano Ryogoku Monten Basho” in 2017. More recently, she had a solo exhibition at the 2018 Arts Tropical called, 20th century/ Method/ Japan/ Sumo Hearing Arts/ Okinawa.

Performers

Wonjung Kim

Wonjung Kim, soprano

Soprano Wonjung Kim has appeared at the Opera Garnier in Paris, Dresden Semper Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo and Los Angeles ‪Music Center Opera.  She performed throughout Europe with Claudio Scimone’s I Solisti Veneti, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, ‪Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Venice’s San Marco Basilica, and at the Salzburg and Istanbul Music Festivals.  Named Best Classical Artist in the KBS Awards in Korea, she also won Best Actress in the Korea Musical Awards and an Ovation Award nomination for her starring performance as Queen Min in The Last Empress, produced in Seoul, New York and in Los Angeles.  A frequent performer in live television broadcasts, she has three solo CD’s to her name, the most recent of which, “Between the Notes,” was released to great acclaim. A champion of new music, she recently performed in the Music from Japan Festival in New York City, concerts in Seoul, South Korea, and at the Orlando Festival in The Netherlands. Ms. Kim received her BFA and MFA from California Institute of the Arts.  She was awarded an Advanced Certificate at Juilliard, where she was also accepted to the Juilliard Opera Center.  Ms. Kim completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University in 2013.

Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly, baritone

Praised as “mesmerizing” and “vocally splendid,” American baritone and poet, Michael Kelly, is celebrated for his riveting interpretations of concert, recital and operatic repertoire. He has performed with regionally and internationally acclaimed organizations in a wide variety of styles and genres, including Carnegie Hall, Santa Fe Opera, Feinstein’s 54 Below and Theatre du Châtelet. He is an avid performer of new music, having collaborated with renowned composers to create, perform and record multiple world premieres of their works.  As a writer and performer, much of his focus is on the queer experience and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Michael is also a champion of the art song genre, and is the curator for the baritone volume of art songs by living composers for NewMusicShelf’s Anthology of New Music.  He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School.

Rieko Aizawa

Rieko Aizawa, piano

Praised by the NY Times for her “impressive musicality, crisp touch and expressive phrasing”, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa made her début at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Schneider. She has since established her own unique musical voice, performing at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Wigmore Hall in London, among others. The youngest participant ever at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has performed as a guest with such string quartets as the Guarneri and Orion quartets. She is a founding member of the Horszowski Trio and the prize-winning Duo Prism, and she is artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Aizawa is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School. She was the last pupil of Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and studied with Seymour Lipkin and Peter Serkin as well. She is on the faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and Brooklyn College.

Jesse Mills

Jesse Mills, violin

Since his concerto debut at the Ravinia Festival, violinist Jesse Mills has established a unique career, performing music from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. Mills earned two Grammy nominations for his work on several discs of Arnold Schoenberg’s music, released by NAXOS. As a composer and arranger, Mills has been commissioned by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR. He is co-founder of the prize-winning Duo Prism, and of the Horszowski Trio. Mills is co-artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Silverthorne, CO. He studied with Dorothy DeLay, Robert Mann, and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School. He is on the faculty at Brooklyn College and the Longy School of Music. In 2010 the Third Street Music School Settlement in NYC honored him with the ‘Rising Star Award’ for musical achievement.

Samuel Budish

Samuel Budish, percussion

Samuel Budish is a New York City-based percussionist who actively performs in a wide variety of musical traditions. He regularly performs with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has also performed with Orpheus, the Sarasota Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. Samuel was a member of the onstage band for the Broadway productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III and has also performed on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  Dedicated to the music of today, Budish has premiered works by Hiroya Miura, Joseph Pereira, David Fulmer, and Tan Dun and is a founding member of Ensemble Échappé. He received his BM and MM from the Juilliard School.

Laura Cocks

Laura Cocks, flute

Laura Cocks is a New York based flutist who works in a wide array of creative environments as a performer of and advocate for creative musics. Cocks is the flutist and executive director of TAK ensemble, and a member of the Nouveau Classical Project and the Association of Dominican Classical Artists. They have performed across the Americas and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician in ensembles such as The London Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente. They can be heard with TAK, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea, Wet Ink Ensemble, and many others on labels such as Carrier Records, ECM, Centaur Records, New Focus Recordings, Sound American, Denovali Records, Orange Mountain Music, Chambray Records, Amplify, TAK editions, Double Whammy Whammy, Winspear, Supertrain, Tripticks Tapes and Gold Bolus with upcoming albums on TAK editions, Sideband Records, and Carrier Records.

They have been in residence at institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, the Delian Academy for New Music, Cornell University, Oberlin Conservatory, New York University, Columbia University, and many others. Cocks holds a doctorate from The Graduate Center and continues their writing and research in corporal analyses of art and musical praxis.

Marianne Gythfeldt

(photo by Matthew Dine)

Marianne Gythfeldt, 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. Gythfeldt 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. 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. Gythfeldt has recorded with CBS Masterworks, CRI, Albany, Koch and Mode Records.

Taka Kigawa

(photo by Kenji Mori)

Taka Kigawa, piano

The critically acclaimed pianist Taka Kigawa has earned outstanding international recognition as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber music artist, performing extensively in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Washington, DC, Barcelona, Milan, Paris and Buenos Aires, in Ireland, as well as throughout his native Japan, including the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagano and Osaka.

Taka Kigawa was awarded First Prize from the prestigious 1990 Japan Music Foundation Piano Competition in Tokyo and the Diploma Prize from Spain’s 1998 Concurs Internacional de Música Maria Canals Barcelona.

Possessing an extremely large and varied repertoire, ranging from the Baroque to the avant-garde, Taka Kigawa has collaborated closely with Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung and Jonathan Nott. He premiered the last solo piano work of jazz legend Yusef Lateef in New York City in 2013.

Taka Kigawa grew up in Nagano, Japan, where he began piano studies at the age of three, and won his first competition at the age of seven. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shinsyu University and his Master of Arts degree from Tokyo Gakugei (Liberal Arts) University, graduating with honors in Piano Performance. Kigawa furthered his studies in the United States at The Juilliard School in New York City, where he was awarded a Master of Music degree.

Taka Kigawa is a Steinway Artist and resides in New York City.

William Schimmel

William Schimmel, accordian

William Schimmel, Accordionist, holds a BM, MS and DMA degrees in Composition from The Juilliard School. Most recently, Schimmel has performed with The BSO, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Phil harmonic, The Met and has made recordings with The Orchestra of St Luke’s and the Talea Ensemble. He curated a hugely successful six day residency, “Accordion Mixology” in 2019 at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and returned to the NYLPA this past season in a concert titled “Not Entirely Schubert” – Presenting the Accordion in a “Schubertian” dimension. His Tango Project recordings reached #1 on the Billboard charts and received Stereo Review’s Album of the Year as well as Grammy nominations. William Schimmel can be heard and seen in many movie soundtracks. Most notably the stunning tango scene in “Scent of a Woman” for which Al Pacino received an Oscar. His latest CD, The Theater of the Accordion, features trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and reached #1 on the Amazon charts. Together they perform a 6 minute version of Mahler 9. Schimmel has performed with rock stars as diverse as Sting and Tom Waits who stated: “Bill Schimmel doesn’t play the Accordion, He IS the Accordion. NPR regarded him as “The World’s Greatest Accordionist” and The New Yorker named him: “Gotham’s Happy Warrior of the Accordion”. Dr. Schimmel’s seminar videos/writings and work with his wife – dancer/choreographer and video artist, Micki Goodman – are currently being archived at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Christopher Gross

Christopher Gross, cello

Cellist Christopher Gross’ performances have been praised by The New York Times (“beautifully meshed readings….lustrous tone”) and The Strad Magazine (“…the tone of Gross’ cello enveloped the crowd [as he] showed energy and intonational accuracy, even when racing around the fingerboard”). He is a founding member of the Talea Ensemble, a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, and has appeared at venues and festivals throughout the US and Europe including Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Disney Hall, Darmstadt Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Wien Modern, the Composers Conference and many others. As a soloist and ensemble member his premieres of new works are numerous, including works by Pierre Boulez, Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Georg Friedrich Haas, Brian Ferneyhough, Olga Neuwirth, James Dillon, Augusta Read Thomas, and many others. He has appeared on recordings on various labels, including Bridge, New Focus, Tzadik, and New World. As an orchestral musician, he has played with the New York Philharmonic and the Riverside Symphony. An active educator, he is a Teaching Artist with the New York Philharmonic and has given classes and lectures at Harvard University, Peabody Conservatory, Sydney Conservatory, Cleveland Cello Society, Brooklyn College, and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. He is also the creator of Cello Solos Today (www.cellosolostoday.org), which commissions new works for young cellists and creates online educational resources. He received his doctoral degree from Juilliard in New York and teaches at Lehigh University.

Momenta
Photo by John Gurrin

Momenta

(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 150 works, collaborated with over 200 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.”

Since forming in 2004, Momenta has worked with composers at various academic instituions, including Harvard, Brown, Cornell and Columbia Universities. The quartet has also 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, the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Cincinnati, Louisville Chamber Music Society, Washington University in St. Louis, Ostrava Days in the Czech Republic, and at the internationally renowned Cervantino Festival in Mexico.

Momenta’s recent and upcoming highlights include residencies at the Institute Laredo in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and closer to home at Williams College and Bates College, where they joined the music department as the 2019-20 Artists-In-Residence. Other engagements include collaborations with the Cornell University gamelan ensemble and student composers at Brown University; concerts presented by Bard College, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Momenta also continues its collaboration with Mexican actor/director Fernando Villa Proal on “The Lost String Quartet,” a theatrical string quartet for children with an original score by Stephanie Griffin.

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

Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin

Emilie-Anne Gendron is a freelance violinist based in New York. A deeply committed chamber musician, 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. 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

Alex Shiozaki, violin

Violinist Alex Shiozaki has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Paine Hall at Harvard University, and Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara in Japan, and 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

Stephanie Griffin

Born in Canada and based in New York City, Stephanie Griffinin is an innovative violist and composer with an eclectic musical vision. 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. Griffin is a 2016 fellow in Music from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Michael Haas

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, Haas 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, Haas 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. Haas 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.