Music From Japan
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Commissioned Composers: CURRENT SOUNDS IV

Chiharu Wakabayashi

Chiharu Wakabayashi

Composer and pianist Chiharu Wakabayashi was born in Nagano City in 1961 and received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tokyo University of the Arts. He was awarded the 1st Prize at the 56th Japan Music Competition (1996), Grand Prix at the first Tokyo Cultural Center Stage Performing Works Competition (2000), 1st Prize at the first Senzoku Contemporary Music Competition (2012), and the top award at the first Zeakan Composers Competition in Ishikawa Prefecture (2018). Also, in 2018, his works were performed in France and elsewhere by the contemporary ensemble, Accroche Note. Wakabayashi has had a total of ten performances presenting his compositions, including the acclaimed Rin-0 in 2022, Rin- in 2023, with a another scheduled for January 2024. Additionally, Wakabayashi’s CDs, such as Momentariness and Tamayura/Pianissimo, have received special recognition from the recording industry media. Having formerly held the position of Lecturer on the music faculty at Tokyo University of the Arts, he now serves as Professor at Shiga University and Kyoto City University of Arts. Wakabayashi’s work pursues a sense of “everything about nothing.”

Mayuko Kawasaki

Mayuko Kawasaki

Born in Yokohama City, Mayuko Kawasaki was educated at Kunitachi College of Music, obtaining a master’s in composition from the Department of Music Research. She studied composition with Yukio Kikuchi and music theory under Hiroshi Yamaguchi. While a graduate student, she was sent as an international trainee to AIEN: Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. Her graduate school research was focused on the contrapuntal style of Ravel. Recipient of the New Composers Contemporary Music Prize in the Sogaku-do Japan Lied Composers Competition, Kawasaki has been active in networking with poets, collaborating on works and participating in symposia featuring both composers and contemporary poets. She has been published widely on musicology, contributing to the Yamaha Music Media series book, Absolutely Useful Wind Instrumentalists Handbook; Harmony, among others. Her essay on fugues in the style of Ravel was included in Hiroshi Yamaguchi’s book, Fugue Writing in the Paris Conservatory Style (Ongaku no Tomo). Presently, Kawasaki serves as Full-time Lecturer at Soai University, Osaka, and Part-time Lecturer at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, Kawasaki City. She is a member of the Solfege Studies Conference Japan and the Franco-Japanese Association of Contemporary Music.

Koji Fukumaru

Koji Fukumaru

Koji Fukumaru was born in Tochigi Prefecture in 1997. He received his bachelor’s and is currently working towards a master’s degree from Tokyo College of Music. He is currently studying with Yoshio Nakahashi, Keiko Harada and Toshio Hosokawa. In pursuing a master’s degree, Fukumaru is researching the relationship between Christian theology and the art of music, expanding his composing activities based on the theme of “Faith and Music.” His work has been performed by members of the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Tokyo Sinfonietta, and a new work of his is slated for premiere by Takeshi Ooi and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra in January 2024. Fukumaru received both the Miyoshi Prize and Meiji-Yasuda Prize at the 90th Japan Music Competition. Other awards include the second Matsumura Prize, 15th President’s Prize from Tokyo College of Music, Aoyama Music Foundation Scholarship (2019), Kuma Foundation Creator Scholarship and the Rhome Music Foundation Scholarship Award (2022-23).

Japanese Contemporary Music: Past & Present

Koichi Nishi

Koichi Nishi (curator)

Producer and writer Koichi Nishi studied music under Joji Yuasa and Minoru Miki. He has maintained an active career, with a particular interest in writing about Japanese composers as well as organizing the production and presentation of works across many genres – 20th Century Showa Era composers, film music, music for animation and more. Nishi has appeared frequently as a guest on NHK-FM radio, TV and YouTube, providing introductions to Japanese composers, and his critical writings have been published in Ongaku no Tomo, Ongaku Gendai, Band Journal, Hogaku Journal (for Japanese Traditional Music) and others. He also serves as a representative for the label Three Shells, which releases music by Japanese composers. In recent years, Nishi has produced such events as the 100th Anniversary of Japanese Compositions for Winds, the Akira Ifukube 100th Year Memorial Series, the 90th Anniversary of Yasushi Akutagawa’s birth, the Toshiro Mayuzumi Memorial and the Isao Tomita Music Festival. His books on Toshiro Mayuzumi, Ikuma Dan and Yasushi Akutagawa have been published in Yamaha’s Nihon no Ongaku o Shiru (All About Japanese Music) series. In 2020, he oversaw production of the musical score for the Kadokawa film, Nezura 1964. Nishi is a member of Apsaras, a group formed to preserve and research the scores of Teizo Matsumura and to promote the performance of his works. In 2023, he received the Shijukara Award for his contribution to Japanese music.

Shion Sahara

Shion Sahara (commissioned composer)

Composer, Shion Sahara was born in 1981. After graduating from the Department of Social Welfare at Kwansei Gakuin University, Sahara worked at a trading company and a research institute focusing on disaster recovery systems. She then entered the Department of Composition at Tokyo University of the Arts, from which she graduated in 2013. Since 2018, she has held concerts dedicated to the performance of her compositions annually. Her works have been widely performed and published, both domestically and internationally. Currently, she leads music classes in piano, solfege and composition theory, and she is a Lecturer in composition at Chiba University. She also has 22 years of experience as an instructor of science/mathematics in private and tutoring schools. Sahara is a representative of Concert Plan Que sais-je?, an organization that produces performances focused on contemporary music.

Yutaka Takahashi

Yutaka Takahashi

Born in Kyoto in 1953, Takahashi completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tokyo University of the Arts, studying under Tomojiro Ikenouchi, Teizo Matsumura and Toshiro Mayuzumi. He won first prize at the World Buddhist Music Festival Competition and the International Carl Maria von Weber Chamber Music Competition, and received the first Akutagawa Composition Award. Takahashi has been practicing Noh chanting and dancing since he was a student – the sacred sliding feet of Nohgaku have become the foundation of his music, which is marked by a fusion of traditional Japanese and contemporary elements. In 2014, he conducted and produced a concert of his work in collaboration with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and others. In 2015, he conducted his opera, Twin Stars, which was performed in various locations around Japan as part of a fundraising effort in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Kosaku Yamada

Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965)

Born in Tokyo, Kosaku Yamada started his music education at Tokyo Music School in 1904, studying under German composers August Junker and Heinrich Werkmeister. In 1910, he left Japan for Germany where he enrolled at the Prussian Academy of Arts and studied composition under Max Bruch and Karl Leopold Wolf and piano under Carl August Heymann-Rheineck. Upon returning to Japan in late 1913 (having completed a series of orchestral works and operas), Yamada began to lay the foundations for the present prosperous state of Japanese music, encouraging the formation of orchestras and opera companies with a view to having Japanese works performed by them. He conducted the New York Philharmonic in 1918, met Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Ornstein, and in the 1930s conducted both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Leningrad Philharmonic. After writing under the influence of European Classical styles, he developed a musical language that prepared the way for composers such as Toru Takemitsu.

Kikuko Kanai

Kikuko Kanai (1911-1986)

Kikuko Kanai was born on the Ryukyu island of Miyako-jima, Okinawa, and studied voice at Nihon Music School and composition at Tokyo Music School. She studied with Taijiro Goh, Kan’ichi Shimofusa, Hisatada Otaka and Kishio Hirao. Working as a composer, she produced songs and orchestral music using the Ryukyuan pentatonic scale. In 1954 Kanai studied the dodecaphonic method in Brazil with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, and subsequently incorporated atonal composition into her work. She was awarded the Mainichi Prize for Cultural Publication in 1955, and a prize from the Okinawan government for her opera Okinawa monogatari in 1968. She died in Tokyo in 1986. Widely recognized as a pioneer, the BBC has described her as “one of the first Japanese women to compose Western classical music”.

Ikuma Dan

Ikuma Dan (1924-2001)

Ikuma Dan was born in Tokyo to a prominent family – his grandfather Baron Dan Takuma having been President of Mitsui before being assassinated in 1932. He graduated from Aoyama Gakuin 1942 and Tokyo Music School in 1946, where he studied with Kosaku Yamada, Kunihiko Hashimoto, Kan’ichi Shimofusa, Saburō Moroi, and Midori Hosokawa. During his career he completed six symphonies (with a seven in the works at the time of his passing), all recorded and released on the Decca label in Japan, and wrote seven operas as well as a number of songs and film scores. He wrote celebratory music for the Japanese imperial family, actively promoted cultural exchange with China (from 1979 until his death in Suzhou, China in 2001), and was commissioned to write an opera (Takeru) for the 1997 opening of the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Dan is particularly well known in Japan for his 1951 opera Yūzuru (Twilight Crane), which is regularly revived there.

Performers

Miho Saegusa

Miho Saegusa, violin

Violinist Miho Saegusa, a versatile chamber musician and orchestral leader, enjoys a multifaceted career that allows her to cherish the spirit of collaboration. She is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Aizuri Quartet, which has been praised by The New York Times for its engaging and thought-provoking programs. The Quartet was awarded the 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America, Grand Prize at the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at competitions in Osaka and Wigmore Hall in London. Memorable summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, and Aspen Music Festival and School ignited and nurtured her passion for chamber ensembles. In addition to chamber music, Saegusa loves the energy and intimacy of chamber orchestras. She is a member and has served as an Artistic Director of the celebrated Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. For five seasons she was Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and has also performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, A Far Cry, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Iris Orchestra, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Saegusa is very grateful to her principal teachers Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay for encouraging curiosity. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and completed graduate work at The Juilliard School, earning her Master of Music and Artist Diploma.

Jen Baker

Jen Baker, trombone

Jen Baker, NYC-based trombonist/composer, has pioneered a widely diverse career based in redefining the role of the trombone in contemporary music and traditional performance settings. Featured on numerous recordings, including the soundtrack to Werner Herzog’s Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World, she performs throughout New York City and internationally as a contemporary trombonist and improviser – highlights including Bang on a Can at Carnegie, a museum re-opening at MIT, and Vinny Golia’s Large Ensemble at Roulette. Her book, Hooked on Multiphonics, fills the gap for trombonists and composers looking to understand this extended technique for her instrument. Her compositions have been performed nationwide, partly through commissions by members of Mivos Quartet, The Fourth Wall, loadbang, Asphalt Orchestra, and Wavefield, as well as with solo and collaborative projects as a composer/performer. Currently, Baker is fascinated with exploring human consciousness and is developing exciting ways to connect wellness with trombone multiphonics.

Andy Laster

Andy Laster, baritone saxophone

Andy Laster (baritone saxophone) is a performer, composer and arranger. He has recorded eight albums of his compositions, including Riptide (Tzadik Records). He recently arranged songs by Moondog (Louis Hardin) for the Kronos Quartet and Ghost Train Orchestra, which was released on Cantaloupe Music. He has performed with Julius Hemphill, Lou Reed, Erik Friedlander, Marty Ehrlich, Andrew Hill, Lyle Lovett, Dave Douglas, Sting, Elvis Costello, and Roy Nathanson, among others. His most recent symphony, Amphion and Zethos, explores the integration of composition and improvisation in concert music. Laster has received grants from the American Composer Forum, American Music Center, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and Meet the Composer.

Kyle Motl

Kyle Motl, double bass

Kyle Motl is a dynamic and experimental bassist/composer/improviser whose playing explores the full spectrum between tightly controlled delicacy and visceral force. Motl’s music has been praised by publications around the world for its unexpected and imaginative expressiveness. Recent projects include collaborative trios with Anthony Davis and Kjell Nordeson (Vertical Motion, 2023 Astral Spirits) and with Dan Clucas and Nathan Hubbard (Daydream and Halting, 2022 FMR). Motl continues ongoing projects with musicians including Earl Howard, Keir GoGwilt, Carlos Dominguez, Niloufar Shiri, and Wilfrido Terrazas. In the realm of concert music, Motl regularly works with both emerging and established composers, and has performed with ensembles including Ghost Ensemble, Contemporaneous, and International Contemporary Ensemble. His 2022 solo record, Hydra Nightingale on Infrequent Seams, consists of solo premieres by Caroline Louise Miller, Anqi Liu, Jessie Cox, and Asher Tobin Chodos. Motl holds a DMA from UC San Diego, an MM from Florida International University, and a BM from Florida Atlantic University.

Masayo Ishigure

Masayo Ishigure, koto

Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Japan. Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music from Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. She moved to New York City in 1992 and has since been actively performing in the NYC metropolitan area, at such venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.  She has been invited to perform at the Smithsonian Institute, and has performed as a guest artist with the San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Ishigure has toured extensively, performing in Thailand, Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Jamaica, Hawaii, South Korea, Alaska and more. In 2005, she recorded alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and others on the Academy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams. Ishigure has received numerous awards for her artistry, including the 2016 Consul General’s Commendation, and performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall to commemorate 30 years living in the U.S. From 1992-2002, she taught koto and shamisen at Wesleyan University, and from 2010-2021 she taught at Columbia University. She continues to teach privately in NYC.

Oliver Xu

Oliver Xu, percussion

New York City based percussionist Oliver Xu has been internationally recognized as a solo performer advocating for contemporary music. He was awarded a Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant by The Juilliard School and this season, he will perform at Carnegie Hall and teach in NYC public schools through his fellowship with Ensemble Connect. Xu will also travel to Lucerne, Shanghai, Colorado, and Florida for additional performances. In recent years, he has received First Prize at the Percussive Arts Society Solo Artist Competition, Third Prize at the Sixth IPEA International Percussion Competition, and the Youth Jury Prize at the TROMP International Percussion Competition. Xu’s performance highlights include concerto performances with the GRAMMY-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra, the premiere of a new work by Ayanna Woods at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the New York premiere of Judd Greenstein’s percussion concerto, and solo recitals at Ithaca College and The Juilliard School. A passionate chamber musician, Xu gave the debut concert of Coriolis Duo alongside flutist Catherine Boyack at Tenri Cultural Institute in January 2023. He has also performed with Da Capo Chamber Players at Merkin Hall and German percussionist Christian Benning at 1014.

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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.

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.