Tom Artin, trombone, has played throughout the U.S. and Europe with a number of world-renowned jazz groups, including the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble and the Louis Armstrong Alumni All-Stars. He played lead trombone in Mel Tormé's big band and was also the house trombonist at Eddie Condon's jazz club in New York for nearly a decade. He currently leads his own sixteen-piece swing band, a traditional jazz band, and Standard Brass, an adventurous seven-piece jazz ensemble.
Laura Burns, violin, is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and their HeartStrings quartet, which brings live interactive music programs to adults and children with disabilities. She also performs with many local groups including the Oakwood Chamber Players and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. A dedicated teacher, Ms. Burns has taught middle and elementary school strings, and has been a faculty member of Summer Music Clinic (UW-Madison), Prelude Music Academy, and Music Makers, a program that offers violin instruction to economically disadvantaged children.
Soprano Kendra Colton sings “radiantly and vividly,” according to The New York Times. Trained in the U.S. and Europe, she appears regularly in solo recital, with symphony orchestras, and at major music festivals on both continents. She has developed a niche in the oratorios and sacred works of Bach, Brahms, Haydn, Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert, and is acclaimed equally for her performances of Handel and Mozart operas, as well as for her skill as an interpreter of contemporary music.
Bassist Ross Gilliland has played with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Con Vivo!, Oakwood Chamber Players, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Madison Bach Musicians, and with his touring ska band. He holds undergraduate degrees in music and physics from UW-Madison, has just completed the Master's degree in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Washington, and is currently serving an internship on environmental issues with the Obama administration.
Judith Gordon was selected as The Boston Globe’s 1997 Musician of the Year and received the New England Conservatory's 2009 Outstanding Alumni award. A specialist in chamber music, she has collaborated in performance and on recordings with many performers and composers. She performs and teaches regularly at festivals including Charlottesville (VA), Rockport (MA), and Music from Salem (NY), where she is an artistic co-director. She joined the faculty at Smith College in 2006.
Composer John Harbison, pianist and artistic co-director of the Token Creek Festival, is one of the nation's most distinguished artistic figures. Recipient of the Pulitzer, MacArthur, and Heinz awards, among many others, his recent works include Diamond Watch for two pianos, Double Concerto (Boston Symphony), Leonard Stein Anagrams (PianoSpheres), The Seven Ages (a Koussevitsky commission), and Mary Lou (Pittsburgh Youth Symphony). Current projects include a work for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and his fifth string quartet, for the 100th birthday of the Pro Arte Quartet. His operas The Great Gatsby and Winter's Tale are slated for release on CD later this year. Mr. Harbison has just completed a thirteen-year term as President of the Copland Fund and, after two seasons as Acting Artistic Director, is now Principal Guest Conductor of Emmanuel Music. He is Institute Professor at MIT.
Rose Mary Harbison, violin, is artistic co-director of the Token Creek Festival. Recent performances include Bach's D minor Partita, Harbison's Crane Sightings, and Schoenberg's Phantasy. She has been guest artist with the Santa Fe, Aspen, Tanglewood, and Berlin Festivals. With Rudolph Kolisch she founded the Kolisch Ensemble, and she is a founding member of Emmanuel Music Boston. Ms. Harbison taught at Brandeis and MIT, and was a Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute and winner of an Ingram-Merrill Award. She recently presented, with physicist Jack Fry, “Solving the Stradivarius Secret” at the Boston Museum of Science, illuminating Fry’s groundbreaking research into the acoustical properties of the world's finest violins, and she is featured on DVD in Kameschwar Wali's new book Cremona Violins: A Physicist's Quest for the Secrets of Stradivari.
Parry Karp, 'cello, is Professor of Music, Artist-in-Residence, and director of the string chamber music program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1976 he became a member of the Pro Arte Quartet (the oldest string quartet in the world, about to celebrate it's 100th anniversary), with whom he has concertized throughout the world and recorded prolifically, most recently works of Sessions, Rhodes, Mays, Mendelssohn and Dvorak. As a solo artist he has recorded works of Bloch, Bridge, Britten, Clarke, Chausson, Fauré, Ireland, Magnard, Martinu, Pierné, Rachmaninoff, and Strauss. Several new albums are anticipated this year.
Karl Lavine is principal 'cellist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Milwaukee-based new music ensemble, Present Music. He is also a founding member of the Kepler Quartet, and 'cellist with the HeartStings Quartet, an innovative program of the Madison Symphony designed to address special-needs populations. As a chamber musician Mr. Lavine has performed with faculty members of Lawrence University, Beloit College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and with members of the Pro Arte Quartet.
Robert Levin has performed on the modern Steinway with major orchestras throughout the world, and on period pianos with every important baroque and classical orchestra. A noted Mozart scholar, Mr. Levin is renowned for his improvised cadenzas in Classical period repertoire. His completions of Mozart's Requiem, C minor Mass and other unfinished works have been recorded and performed throughout the world. Also a passionate advocate of new music, Mr. Levin has commissioned and premiered a large number of works. He has also recorded extensively. He is Artistic Director of the Sarasota Music Festival, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Akademie für Mozartforschung, and President of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition (Leipzig).
Pianist Ryan McCullough received the bachelor's degree with high honors at age 18 and is currently pursuing a Masters in Music from USC. Prizewinner at numerous contests, he has appeared at Disney Hall (LA), UNESCO (Paris), the 92nd St. Y (New York), and numerous festivals. He is particularly interested in recent music, and performed in the LA celebration of Elliott Carter's 100th birthday, appeared with acclaimed ensemble eighth blackbird, and recently released a CD of music by 20th century Polish-French composer Milosz Magin.
Vocalist Nicole Pasternak has been a mainstay in the Northeast for more than twenty years, carving her niche with jazz enthusiasts with a repertoire that embraces the powerful traditions of swing, bebop, Brazilian, ballads and big band music. A natural improviser known for the conversational tone of her lyric delivery, she can be heard frequently in concert, radio and nightclub appearances. Her CDs are widely available. Jennifer Clare Paulson, viola, earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in viola performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in jazz studies. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, teaching studio viola and violin, and she is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. In addition to regional work in chamber music and orchestral settings, Ms. Paulson is also a member of several new music ensembles based in Chicago including PPK, Kyle Bruckman's WRACK and Guillermo Gregorio's Madi Ensemble.
Peggy Pearson, oboe, is winner of the Pope Foundation Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Music and Artistic Director of Winsor Music Chamber Series. She is a member of the Bach Aria Group and oboist with Emmanuel Music, an organization that performs the complete cycle of sacred cantatas by J.S. Bach. According to The Boston Globe, "Peggy Pearson has probably played more Bach than any other oboist of her generation; this is music she plays in a state of eloquent grace."
John Schaffer, jazz bass, is Director of the School of Music and Professor of Music Theory at UW-Madison. For the last ten years he has freelanced actively in the Madison area, and can be heard regularly with the Jim Erickson Trio, the Michael B.B. Quartet, and the Bill Evans Repertory Trio. He also makes frequent guest appearances with artists such as Jan Wheaton, Michelle DuVall, Doug Brown, Dave Stoler, Kurt Lang and the Madison Jazz Orchestra.
Todd Steward, drums, performs regularly in the Madison area with such groups as the Michael B.B. Quartet, the Madison Jazz Orchestra, CTM Theater Orchestra, Doc DeHaven's Jazz Band, Kelly DeHaven's Misbehavin' Band, Brad Pregeant's New Orleans Low-Down, the Ed Anders Quartet, Five-by-Design, The Dry Martinis, and folk singer Ken Lonnquist. He has also toured the world performing in ten cruise-ship orchestras.
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