Bill Evans has been involved with bluegrass music and the banjo for over twenty-five years. For the last several years, Bill has authored "Off the Record," one of the most popular monthly instructional columns for Banjo Newsletter magazine. He has presented banjo workshops across the country at major folk and bluegrass festivals and at Augusta Heritage Center's Bluegrass Week in Elkins, West Virginia. Native and Fine, his Rounder Records debut featuring David Grier, Stuart Duncan and Mike Compton, was awarded an honorable mention for the 1996 Acoustic Instrument Recording of the Year by the Association for Independent Music (AFIM).
Bill served as co-host for the Homespun Tapes video "The Bluegrass Banjo of Sonny Osborne," and is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Country Music from Oxford University Press. In addition he is the author of "Sonny Osborne: The Bluegrass Collection" and is the co-editor of "The Banjo of J.D. Crowe," both From AcuTab Publications. Bill is the subject of the cover stories in Bluegrass Now (Jan.-Feb.) and Banjo Newsletter (July 1996) magazines.
A doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology from the University of California at Berkeley, Evans has taught courses in American music at the University of San Francisco, the University of Virginia, and Duke University. In 1994-1995, he was the Associate Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. In 1997, he was an artist-scholar in residence at Virginia Commonwealth University as part of this university's New Perspectives in the Arts series. Bill was also a recipient of the 1997 Brown Foreman-Al Smith Artist Fellowship in musical composition from the Kentucky Arts Council, this state's highest award for achievement in the arts.
The L.A. Times has described Gianna Abondolo's playing as "world class, exceptional and exquisite." Former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she performs regularly as soloist and chamber musician, leading a dynamic career, thrilling audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has also participated extensively in various festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Steamboat Springs, the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. A Master's graduate of the Juilliard School, she is on the faculties of UC Berkeley and Mills College and in addition, enjoys composing, improvising, and collaborating with various artists in music, dance, and theater. Having studied as far afield as West Africa and Cuba, her compositional style blends ethnic influences with western classical tradition. Her compositions can be heard on her CD recording, De'ja` Vu.
Larry London did his undergraduate work at Harvard and earned a Master's degree in composition at Mills College. He studied with Darius Milhaud, Terry Riley, and Lou Harrison. He has played clarinet in all of the Bay Area's professional orchestras. His compositions have been performed at the Aspen and Cabrillo Music Festivals, by the Oakland Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony chamber series.
Tom Rose obtained a B. A. in Music Education from San Francisco State University in 1962 and an M.F.A. in Performance from Mills College in1973. While studying at Mills he performed in several concerts for Darius Milhaud, including his farewell concert. His principal clarinet teachers were Earl Smith, Leon Russianoff and Rosario Mazzeo. After earning his B.A. he served in the military, played with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Symphony and taught music in the Oakland and Berkeley Public Schools. He continues to perform actively, giving frequent chamber music concerts in the Bay Area. He has been Principal Clarinetist with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (Grass Valley) since 1982 and has performed the Mozart and Copland concertos there. Since 1988 he has served as Personnel Manager for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, as well as playing as extra with the orchestra. He has been on the Mills Music Faculty since 1974.
Sandra Soderlund is organist at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley besides teaching harpsichord, clavichord, and organ at Mills College. Dr. Soderlund holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas. She is the editor of scholarly editions of keyboard works, the author of articles on performance practices and of a book, "Organ Technique: An Historical Approach." She has recorded for Arkay and Albany Records.
Douglas Hull (horn) has been an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony for five seasons and is a member of the San Francisco Brass Quintet. In addition, Mr. Hull is an active freelancer and plays regularly with such noted ensembles as the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and the California and Berkeley Symphonies, as well as with orchestras for touring shows and recording ensembles at Skywalker Ranch. Mr. Hull was a member of the San Jose Symphony from 1988-1996.
Mr. Hull was born in Tacoma, Washington, and began studying horn at age ten. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from University of Puget Sound, where he studied with Christopher Leuba, and his Masters from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Richard Oldberg.
Guitarist Paul Binkley moved to the Bay Area after spending several years touring with jazz/rock groups in Canada. He obtained degrees in classical guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University. He has performed as an ensemble player with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the San Francisco Opera, Ballet and Symphony. He is guitar instructor at Mills College, and is also a founding member of the Modern Mandolin Quartet which has recorded five CD's and toured nationwide and in Europe. He teaches classical, jazz, rock, and folk guitar.
David Tanenbaum is one of the most sought after and highly esteemed guitarists of his generation. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, and China, and has been guest soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the London Sinfonietta. He has worked with some of the most esteemed composers of our time to expand the guitar repertoire, and he has recorded a varied repertoire on over two dozen discs.
Karen Gottlieb has performed regularly with the San Francisco Symphony as second harpist since 1985. She has toured extensively with them on their USA, European and Asian tours as well as performed on many of their recordings. She is also a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the California Symphony and the Skywalker Recording Symphony. Ms. Gottlieb received her Bachelors degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and her Masters in Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is on the faculty of San Francisco State University, Mills College and the San Domenico School for Girls.
William Winant, "one of the best avant-garde percussionists working today" according to music critic Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal), has performed with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Keith Jarrett, Anthony Braxton, James Tenney, Cecil Taylor, Steve Reich and Musicians, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Oingo Boingo, and the Kronos String Quartet. He is principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the John Zorn Chamber Ensemble. Since 1995 he has been the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, has made two recordings ("Disco Volante" and "California" on Warner Brothers), and has toured throughout the world with the group. In March of 1997 he participated in the world premiere of Lou Harrison's quintet "Rhymes with Silver" featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has toured the piece throughout the United States and Great Britain. In the fall of 2003, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mr. Winant, along with composers Takehisa Kosugi and Christian Wolff, created music for a series of eight special "Events" staged by Merce Cunningham and Dancers at London's Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. He has made over 130 recordings, covering a wide variety of genres, including music by Earle Brown, John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Danny Elfman ("Batman Returns"), Souxie and the Banshees, The Ex, Han Bennink, White Out with Jim O'Rourke, and the Thurston Moore Trio. His recording of Lou Harrison's "La Koro Sutro" (which he produced for New Albion Records) was the New York Times Critic's Choice for best contemporary recording of 1988. In 1999 he produced a recording of 20th-century avant-garde composers with the influential rock band Sonic Youth; "Goodbye 20th-Century" (SYR4) was hailed by both The Los Angeles Times and New York's Village Voice as one of the best compendiums of this type of music ever recorded.
Many composers have written works for him, including John Cage, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Peter Garland, Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, David Rosenboom, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Wadada Leo Smith. Mr. Winant has been featured as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (under the direction of Pierre Boulez), the San Francisco Symphony, and the Berkeley Symphony, as well as at Cabrillo Festival, Ravinia Festival, Salzburg Festival, Holland Festival, Ojai Festival, All Tomorrowís Parties, Taklos, Other Minds, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, Library of Congress, the Barbican, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. For ten years he was principal percussionist with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Dennis Russell Davies, director), and timpanist with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 1985-1989 (Nicholas McGegan, director). He is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and teaches at Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley. For eight years Mr. Winant was Artist-in-Residence at Mills College with the critically acclaimed Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio. Formed in 1984, the ASW Trio has premiered over 25 new works for violin, piano, and percussion at major festivals and recitals throughout the world. Their recordings can be heard on the New Albion, Tzadik, and CRI/New World labels.
Belle Bulwinkle enjoys performing on both early and modern pianos. She gave a solo fortepiano recital at the Antverpiano '91 Festival in Belgium, and in 1992 she played a 19th-century piano at the Santa Rosa Symphony Summer Festival. She has appeared as a fortepianist in concerts at The Cascade Head (OR) Festival, UC Santa Cruz, Old First Church, Chattanooga Chamber Concerts, MusicSources, Mills College, Palomar College, Santa Rosa, Hausmusik, and Cornell University. Lou Harrison's Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan is dedicated to her, and she premiered this work at Mills with a second performance at the Cabrillo Festival in 1987. She has also premiered work by international composers Jack Body, Marcello Panni and Anthony Payne. Her recording of the Harrison concerto has been released by Leonardo. A CD of songs of Darius Milhaud is on the Music & Arts label. Ms. Bulwinkle is currently on the performance faculty at Mills where she frequently appears in concert. She has taught music history and theory at Mills and at the California College of Arts and Crafts.
Piano (Jazz Piano and Vocal, Jazz and Popular Vocal)
Pianist, composer and arranger Larry Dunlap is at home in jazz, classical and popular styles of music. He lives in the San Francisco area with his wife, vocalist Bobbe Norris. Larry has worked with Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth since the early 1980s and has performed extensively with many other well-known musical artists. He has composed music for small and large groups and is in demand as an arranger and pianist in a variety of contexts and styles. http://www.jazzwest.com/fourdirections/
Steve Adams (saxophone) is best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet. He also performs with the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble and the Bill Horvitz Band, as well as leading his own group, The Steve Adams Quartet. Mr. Adams received a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2000, has been commissioned as a composer by Reader's Digest/Meet The Composer and teaches saxophone at Mills College. Rova's recording of Fred Frith's "Freedom in Fragments" has just been released on the Tzadik label.
Jay Rizzetto received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and was a fellow at the Institute de Hautes etudes Musicales in Switzerland. He has performed in numerous musical settings including, opera, ballet, chamber ensemble, Broadway musicals, radio, and television where his trumpet was the "voice" of KCBS Eyewitness news. Mr. Rizzetto has performed with numerous ensembles, including the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Music Players, California Brass Quintet, Orpheum Theater, and Golden Gate theater. He has worked with many musical icons including Aaron Copland, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Krysztof Penderecki and Arturo Sandoval. Mr. Rizzetto has premiered numerous solo compositions for trumpet, including most recently, "King Lear Sonata" for Trumpet and Organ by the award winning composer Larry Delinger. Mr. Rizzetto is the author of various works for trumpet including his recent text "An Anthology of Lyric Pieces for Trumpet." Mr. Rizzetto also has a long career as a trumpet teacher. Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in the music profession as teachers, performers and composers in all musical idioms.
Peter Wahrhaftig was born in Oakland and graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago. He is Principal Tubist in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera orchestras as well as the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and The Bay Brass. He is on the instrumental faculty of University of California at Berkeley, Sonoma State University, and Mills College.
With vocal flair and dramatic mastery, Miriam Abramowitsch is acknowledged as a leading interpreter of both classic and contemporary song in more than ten languages. According to the San Francisco chronicle, "she has the rare internal stuff of which the fine Lieder singer is made." In 1998 she sang the world premiere of David Del Tredici's "Chana's Story" with the composer at the piano. Set to the poetry of Chana Bloch, the cycle was commissioned for Ms. Abramowitsch by Marie Damrell Gallo. The enthusiastic reception of its first performance called for its New York premiere in 1999 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Previously she was featured in a performance of Schoenberg's famed "Pierrot Lunaire" for its 75th anniversary, presented at the University of Southern California's Schoenberg Institute. The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner found her an "exceptionally gifted singer-speaker," and another of her numerous performances of "Pierrot Lunaire" prompted the San Francisco Chronicle to note that "her affinity is exceptional; no one does it more effectively."
Based in California, Ms. Abramowitsch regularly performs as guest soloist with numerous contemporary music groups such as the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Monday Evening Concerts series in Los Angeles and Composers, Inc. She sang the title role in the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen's opera "The W of Babylon" with the San Francisco Symphony's New and Unusual Music series. Other premieres include works by Ralph Shapey, Ursula Mamlok, Gerhard Samuel, Harold Blumenfeld, Tom Cipullo and many others.
In addition to the song literature, Ms. Abramowitsch has a large and Varied orchestral repertoire, from the classic works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Handel and Verdi to Mahler, Stravinsky, Durufle and Berlioz. On compact disc for the Music & Arts label, Ms Abramowitsch has recorded Schubert's "Winterreise" with George Barth, fortepiano, and songs of Darius Milhaud. A future release is planned of Del Tredici's "Chana's Story," with Mr. Del Tredici at the piano.
Elizabeth Eshleman, soprano, concentrates on the works of 20th-century composers, and has worked with composers Alvin Curran, Annea Lockwood, Meredith Monk, and Christian Wolff. She was the soprano soloist with the San Francisco symphony in the world premiere of Henry Cowell's ballet score, "Atlantis," and a soloist with the Pacific Mozart ensemble in the West Coast Concert premiere of excerpts from Meredith Monk's opera "Atlas." Ms. Eshleman has received numerous awards and critical acclaim for the "fabulous lyricism and charm" and "beautifully unfettered freedom" of her performances. Currently a member of the voice faculty, Ms. Eshleman received her M.F.A. degree from Mills in 1993.
Sara Ganz, soprano, is well known in the San Francisco Bay Area for her performances of opera, oratorio and concert. A graduate of the Merola Opera Program, Sara toured with Western Opera Theater and the San Francisco Opera Center. Her appearances in the fall season at San Francisco Opera have included Jenufa, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Pique Dame, and The Merry Widow. A favorite with Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera, Sara has specialized in the operas of Handel, Mozart and Offenbach. During her seven seasons at the Carmel Bach Festival, Sara performed the Mozart soubrette roles, as well as her Bach cantata assignments. Her many concert appearances include those with San Francisco Symphony, Marin Symphony, and Berkeley Symphony. She has been featured on Community Concerts, Old First Concerts, and Schwabacher Debut Recitals. A versatile artist, Sara has sung with Earplay, Composers, Inc. and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Sara has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the International Concours in Geneva, Switzerland and NATS National Auditions.
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