Ensemble Directors & Lesson Instructors Bios

Ensemble Directors | Lesson Instructors

Ensemble Directors

Steed Cowart, Contemporary Performance Ensemble

Steed Cowart, composer and conductor, has been a director of the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble (CPE) since 1986. During this time the ensemble has worked directly with many visiting composers including Meredith Monk, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, Christian Wolff, Cecil Taylor, Jose Maceda, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Julia Wolf, and Terry Riley. CPE regularly performs new works by Mills student composers. Steed holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego where he was Bernard Rands’ assistant with the new music ensemble SONOR. At UC, Santa Cruz he conducted Ensemble Nova, the faculty new music ensemble, and was director of April in Santa Cruz, a month-long new music festival. He has conducted many ad hoc ensembles in performances of new music, appeared as guest conductor with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and conducted the Club Foot Orchestra in performances and in accompanying silent movies.

Daniel Schmidt, Gamelan Ensemble

Daniel Schmidt received his BA in music from Westminister Choir College, Princeton, NJ and his MFA in composition and Javanese Music from California Institute of the Arts. He is a designer for the Paul Dresher Ensemble and was musical director of the Eugene Chamber Theater. As an instrument builder he has received commissions from the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Boston and San Francisco Symphonies, the Exploratorium,  North Texas State University, and Sonoma State University. He primarily composes for gamelan, builds gamelan instruments, and performs.

Daniel Brevil, Haitian Drumming Ensemble

Daniel "Brav" Brevil was born into a drumming family. His father, Joseph Brevil, a respected community activist, houngan (Vodou priest), and accomplished drummer, was Daniel's first teacher and source of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration. As a young boy, Daniel would accompany his father to the all-night ceremonies in the Vodou temples of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he was in much demand.

As a student, Daniel deepened his knowledge of Vodou, the religion of the Haitian people, and its drumming, dancing, and singing, as he attended Ecole Nationale des Arts, Haiti's premiere school of the arts. He is the former Musical Director of Artcho/Ayikodans Company and Tamboula, two of Haiti's premiere folkloric dance troupes. He is the Musical Director of Rara Tou Limen Haitian Dance Company. Over the past 25 years, Daniel has worked to foster an understanding of Haiti, its traditions, and its distinct cultural expressions.

Daniel has recorded and performed with luminary figures of Haitian music, such as Azor, Emeline Michel, James Germaine and Daniel Beaubrun (Boukman Eksperyans), among others. His performing career has brought Mr. Brevil to the world's stages including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Martinique, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Canada, Spain,France, Greece, Japan, and Puerto Rico. Theater credits include: "Haiti: The Rhythms, The Dances and The Gods," which starred Danny Glover. Mr. Brevil toured the United Kingdom with the production "Vodou Nation," to critical acclaim, and was a featured orchestra percussionist in the December 2004 Lincoln Center performance "How Papa Noel Forgot Haiti." Mr. Brevil is an accomplished drum teacher, leading classes and workshops for youth and adults worldwide. He exemplifies a unique insight into the relationship between dance and drum, which informs his compositions, arrangements, performances, and teachings. Most recently Daniel was awarded a grant as master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program, with apprentice Kendrick Freeman. Currently, Daniel teaches drumming to youth at various schools and enrichment programs. Mr. Brevil also conducts TRINITY, a monthly drum, song and dance workshop that demonstrates the integration of these three forms in traditional Haitian culture.

"... an inspiration for many, a culture bearer preserving musical traditions of Haiti, and a true ambassador of his country..."

William Winant, Percussion Group

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.

Kate Campbell, Performance Collective

Hailed as a "brilliant pianist" (Financial Times) and a “powerful player” (Santa Cruz Sentinel), Kate Campbell performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician specializing in 20th and 21st century music. She is the pianist for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the Eco Ensemble in Berkeley, CA, and is the co-founder and pianist of the interdisciplinary duo K A T E S, which intertwines new solo piano music with new dance. Kate is the recipient of a 2019 Paul Dresher Artist Residency, and was recently honored as a distinguished fellow at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts. She can be heard on New Amsterdam Records, Pinna Records, and New Focus Recordings.

Molly Holm, Vocal Jazz Improvisation Ensemble

Molly Holm has been performing in the Bay Area and abroad since 1976. She is a well-known soloist, vocal ensemble director, composer and arranger, working with a wide range of multi-cultural groups. Having graduated from Mills with a BA in Music, (specializing in jazz voice) and an MA in Composition, Molly studied composition with Terry Riley, Allaudin Mathieu, and Lou Harrison; and Indian Raga singing with the late Pandit Pran Nath.  Molly toured the US and Italy in Riley's band, Khayal, during the early '90's, and spent seven years as a singer and "right hand person" in Bobby McFerrin's a cappella ensemble, Voicestra. The group toured throughout the US, Brazil, and Japan; recorded on McFerrin's CD, "Medicine Music" and appeared on numerous television programs, including Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, and NBC's The Today Show. Later, Molly was the featured vocalist for Zakir Hussain's commissioned piece at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.  She is now completing her first CD as a solo artist and songwriter.

Lesson Instructors

Banjo

Bill Evans

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 JD 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.

Bass

Peter Barshay (Electric & Acoustic)

David Belove (Electric)

David Belove has been a mainstay bassist in the jazz, Latin, and Gospel music communities in the San Francisco Bay area for over 30 years. He has played with a diversity of artists such as Charro, Patty Page, Joel Grey, Bobby Rydell, Della Reese, Gladys Knight, The Four Tops, Pat Metheny, Blue Mitchell, Mark Levine, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Max Roach, Danilo Perez, Louis Bellson, and Eddie Harris, to name a few.

He currently performs with Ray Obiedo, the Wayne Wallace Latin jazz Quintet, (nominated for four Grammys in the Latin Jazz catagory) and The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. David is honored to have played bass on 10 Grammy nominated records.

In addition, he teaches Afro-Cuban ensembles for the community school at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California. David is a writer, contributing the chapter on the Cuban clave to Oscar Stagnero's 'Latin Bass Book' by Sher publishing.

Recorded tracks with David playing bass are not hard to find in the world of San Francisco Bay Area Latin music as he has recorded on well over a hundred cd's. Two double albums where David plays on tracks with several different groups are the compilation "Salsa de la Bahia" (salsa of the bay) Volume 1 and Volume 2. Other albums include jazz singer Mark Murphy (Grammy nominated), The Machete Ensemble (two Grammy nominations), Grupo Folklorico Kindembo (two Grammy nominations), Sandy Cressman (Brazilian), Que Calor (Latin Jazz), Pete Escovedo Orchestra (Grammy nominated), Edgardo Cambon y Candela (salsa), and many more.

Stephen Tramontozzi (Double)

Stephen Tramontozzi is the Assistant Principal Double Bass of the San Francisco Symphony, on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is the Principal Bass of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Formerly on the faculties of UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, Stephen is active in chamber music performances, presenting double bass workshops and master classes, editing, and publishing solo and chamber works for the double bass.

Bassoon

Rufus Olivier

Cello

Gianna Abondolo

Gianna Abondolo cellist, leads a dynamic career performing regularly as soloist, chamber musician, improviser, and composer. Top prizewinner of the 1988 Young Musician’s Foundation Debut Competition, she gave her New York solo debut performance in 1991 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she started playing the cello at age eight and subsequently began concertizing, including at the age of 15 a performance of Vivaldi’s double concerto with Yo-Yo Ma and the Crossroads School Orchestra of which Terry McQuilkin of the LA Times wrote, “clearly a musician of exceptional talent”. In 1991, upon receiving her masters degree from the Juilliard School, she won a position with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Esa Pekka Salonen, with whom she played for four years. She has played in numerous festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood, Steamboat Springs, Santa Clara University New Music Festival, Other Minds SF, the Santa Barbara Academy of the West, and in Italy at the Accademia Chigiana and the Festivale Positano. Ms. Abondolo resides in the Bay Area where she has played with the Adorno Ensemble, Quartet San Francisco, SF Contemporary Music Players, and as principal cellist of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the SF Chamber Orchestra, and the Berkeley Akademie. Among the noteworthy composers she has worked with include Joan Tower, John Adams, Esa Pekka Salonen, Lou Harrison, Gabriela Frank, Karen Tanaka, and Alex Shapiro. As a composer herself, her compositional style blends ethnic influences with western classical tradition. Her compositions have been commissioned by dance companies such as The Perks at the Cunningham Space in NY City and at Jacob's Pillow, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, and performed at Oakland Dance Festival, UCSB, Old First Concerts, Santa Clara Univ. New Music Festival, Cal State LA, Strings Showcase in Berkeley, and with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. In 2014 she wrote and scored music for the independent film entitled, “Of Stones and Water” that was featured at Santa Barbara Dance Alliance and the Ojai Film Festival. A former lecturer at UC Berkeley, Gianna is on the faculty of Mills College and teaches privately at her home studio.

Jennifer Culp

Jennifer Culp, cellist, is professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, in addition to teaching at Mills College. This year, Culp was named Chair of the SFCM String Department. She enjoyed membership in the Kronos Quartet (1998 –2005) during which time the quartet was named Musical America's 2003 'Musicians of the Year' and awarded a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance of Berg's 'Lyric Suite'. Culp is a former member of the Philadelphia String Quartet and Dunsmuir Piano Quartet and has collaborated with diverse artists such as Asha Bhosle, Irina Schnittke, Tom Waits, Sandor Vegh, Dawn Upshaw, Zakir Hussein, David Bowie and the Romanian Gypsy Band ' Taraf De Haidouks'. She has recorded numerous world premieres on Nonesuch, New Albion, CRI, Orion, New World and Sony. Recently, Thomas Sleeper's Cello Concerto, a world premiere recording with the Brno Philharmonic, was released on Albany Records. When away from the cello, favorite activities include bird-watching, hiking and staring out at the Pacific Ocean, while drinking 'Mariage Frères' Earl Grey Tea (avec blue flowers).

Michael Graham

Michael Graham has been hailed by the San Francisco Classical Voice for his “almost painfully pretty…expressive richness,” and by the San Jose Mercury News as “super-good”. Michael Graham studied at the Eastman School of Music with Steven Doane, and at Yale University, where he was a founding member of that institution’s first secret chamber music society, Skull and Bows. His intensive chamber music studies included work with members of the Amadeus, Tokyo, and Cleveland quartets. He has toured and recorded with Van Morrison, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and John Densmore of the Doors, and has appeared and performed on ABC’s Regis and Kelley and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Mr. Graham is currently a member of the Oakland Symphony and has appeared with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Hamilton national tour, the Midsummer Mozart Festival, Quartet San Francisco, the Del Sol Quartet, and other ensembles throughout the Bay Area. Internationally, he is a frequent performer at the annual Ben Feng Music Festival in Taiwan. Mr. Graham can be heard on New Century’s recently released albums “Live” and Together,” and on Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks Live from Hollywood Bowl.”

Joan Jeanrenaud

Cellist and Composer Joan Jeanrenaud has been involved in music for over 45 years. Growing up in Memphis Tennessee she was exposed to the sounds of the blues, Elvis, soul and classical music. She learned to play her instrument from cellists Peter Spurbeck, Fritz Magg and Pierre Fournier, studied jazz with David Baker and Joe Henderson and worked with Kronos Quartet as cellist for 20 years. For the past 20 years she has been involved with solo and collaborative projects in composition, improvisation, electronics, and multi-disciplinary performance. She has completed more than 80 compositions for cello, small ensembles and multi-media. Her compositions and recordings are featured in films (‘Born This Way’; ‘John Brown’s Body’; ’Saltwater’), installations (‘Chrysopylae’ by Doug Hall; ‘ARIA’ with collaborator Alessandro Moruzzi), museums (‘Body Language’ at the MET), theater and dance performances (Joe Goode, AXIS, ODC). Her CD, ‘Strange Toys’, was nominated for a 2008 Grammy and her recent 2016 release, ‘Visual Music’, appears on her record label Deconet Records. Go to http://www.jjcello.com for more information.

Elisabeth Reed (Baroque Cello & Viola de Gamba)

Elisabeth Reed teaches Baroque cello and viola da gamba at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is co-director of the Baroque Orchestra. Her playing has been described in the press as, “intense, graceful, suffused with heat and vigor” and “Elisabeth Reed provided the authentic Baroque sound, with her delicately nuanced and powerful playing of the Baroque cello and viola da gamba.” A member of the American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, and Wildcat Viols, she has also appeared with the Seattle, Portland, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras, and at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Ohai Festival, the Whidbey Island Music Festival, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University's Early Music Institute, she can be heard on the Virgin Classics, Focus, and Magnatune recording labels. She also teaches baroque cello and viola da gamba at the University of California at Berkeley. Highlights of this current season include performances of Haydn trios with Ian Swensen and Ken Slowik at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.; 17th century German chamber music with Monica Huggett in Portland, OR; French Baroque chamber with Byron Schenkman and Ingrid Matthews and the St. John Passion with Steven Stubbs and Pacific Musicworks in Seattle, WA. She is a Guild-certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement, with a focus on working with musicians and performers.

Clarinet

Beth Custer (Clarinet & Composition)

Beth Custer is an Emmy award winning composer, performer, recording artist, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records. She has numerous recordings out with ensembles: The Beth Custer Ensemble, Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission and Club Foot Orchestra. Beth has composed for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatres, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, and Cornerstone Theatre; for the dance troupes AXIS Dance Company, Joe Goode Performance Group, Roco Dance, Flyaway Productions, Ledoh, Harupin Ha, and Osseus Labyrinth; for the films of William Farley, Brad Coley, Cathy Lee Crane, Julie Wyman, Melinda Stone, George Spies, Koohan Paik, KQED’s Independent View and Deep Look, and with Club Foot Orchestra, a season of CBS/Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.

Ben Goldberg

Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path." (NPR). Through his many bands and compositional projects The New York Times has noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. In 2015 Ben released Orphic Machine, a song-cycle with lyrics from the “speculative poetics” of Allen Grossman, performed by a nine piece ensemble including Nels Cline, Ron Miles, Myra Melford, and Ches Smith, and sung by violinist Carla Kihlstedt. The LA Times called Orphic Machine “knotted and occasionally spooky composition marked by dazzling interplay.” Ben is on the Music faculty at UC Berkeley. He leads or co-leads The Out Louds, Invisible Guy, Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home; Ben Goldberg School; and Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. He is a member of the avant-chamber jazz ensemble Tin Hat; and performs in a duo with pianist Myra Melford called Dialogue. Other affiliations include plays monk; Myra Melford’s Be Bread; Kris Davis’ Infrasound; Nels Cline’s New Monastery; Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors; Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom; and Clarinet Thing. The 11-piece Ben Goldberg's Brainchild performs Ben's on-the-spot compositions.

Lawrence London

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 (B-flat, Alto, Bass)

Tom Rose earned a BA in Music Education from San Francisco State University in 1962 and an MFA in Performance from Mills College in 1973. While studying at Mills he performed in several concerts for Darius Milhaud, including Mr. Milhaud’s farewell concert. He studied clarinet with Earl Smith, Leon Russianoff, and Rosario Mazzeo. After earning his BA he served in the military, played with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Symphony and taught instrumental music in the Oakland and Berkeley Public Schools. He has been Principal Clarinetist with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, Grass Valley, CA since its founding in 1982. From 1988 until 2010, he served as Personnel Manager of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Rose is a member of two performing ensembles: Trio Brillante (clarinet, viola, and piano), and Graham-Graber-Rose TRIO (cello, piano, and clarinet). With pianist Miles Graber he has released two CDs—in 2004 and 2016—Music for Clarinet and Piano, Volumes 1 & 2. Tom has been on the Mills Music Faculty since 1974.

Clavichord, Harpsichord, & Organ

Sandra Soderlund

Sandra Soderlund is an 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.

Composition

John Bischoff
(See Bischoff Faculty CV)

Chris Brown

Composer, pianist, and electronic musician, makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. His compositions are designs for performances in which people bring to life the musical structures embedded in scores, instruments, and machines. He is Professor Emeritus at Mills College where he taught electronic music, composition, theory, and ethnomusicology for 30 years.

Steed Cowart

(See Cowart bio under "Ensemble Directors")

Beth Custer (Clarinet & Composition)

(See Custer bio under "clarinet")

Larry Dunlap (Composition; Jazz & Pop Orchestration)

Larry Dunlap is an extraordinary pianist and arranger, a player with taste and sophistication. He has been praised as a “remarkable and versatile accompanist” and “one of the best jazz pianists around—anywhere” (San Francisco Examiner). Besides his ongoing career with his wife, vocalist Bobbe Norris, Larry has served since 1983 as pianist for the British diva Dame Cleo Laine and has performed and/ or recorded with such luminaries as vocalists Mark Murphy, Joe Williams and Sheila Jordan and instrumentalists Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Bud Shank and Ernie Watts, to name a few.

Larry has composed works for chamber orchestra and jazz ensembles of all sizes as well as many songs and jazz sketches. He received a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts and has been commissioned to compose several pieces. He has orchestrated and arranged music for the Marin and Peninsula Opera Companies as well as big bands and orchestras and has acted as musical consultant to the composer/tycoon Gordon Getty.

For the past 30 years Larry has worked closely with the Cape Verdian composer Amandio Cabral, recording several cds of his own interpretations of Mr. Cabral’s music. He has also recorded music by composer Earl Zindars.

In the pop music field Larry has toured with The Pointer Sisters, Mary Wilson (or The Supremes), Country Joe McDonald and others. He appears as keyboardist, arranger and producer on many recordings.

Larry transcribes and edits music for publications from Sher Music Company and The Hal Leonard Corp. These include The New Real Book, Volumes 2 & 3, The Standards Real Book, The European Real Book and others. His most recent publication for Hal Leonard is The Oscar Peterson Omnibook (April, 2017).

At home in jazz. classical and popular styles of music, Larry Dunlap brings a wide range of talents and a unique perspective to each of his musical undertakings.

Ellen Fullman

Ellen Fullman has been developing her installation, the Long String Instrument, for over 30 years; exploring the acoustics of large resonant spaces with her compositions and collaborative improvisations. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and residencies including: Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists (2015); Center for Cultural Innovation Grants (2008 and 2013); Japan/US Friendship Commission/NEA Fellowship for Japan (2007); and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin residency (2000). Fullman has recorded extensively with this unusual instrument. The Long String Instrument (Superior Viaduct, 2015) was first issued on Apollo Records in 1985 and was selected as the number one reissue for 2015 by the Wire. Her work was cited by Alvin Lucier in his Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). In addition to instruction on just intonation tuning, instrument building, graphic notation design and music composition, Ellen offers lessons on the Ainu tonkori. The Ainu are the indigenous people of Japan. The tonkori is a 5-string harp. Ellen studied in Japan with scholar Tomoko Tomita.

Zeena Parkins

Maggi Payne

Maggi Payne is a composer primarily of electronic and electroacoustic music, a flutist, and a video artist. She is a recording engineer/editor, archivist, and historical remastering engineer.

She architects/sculpts the acoustic space, building a geometric shape that contracts or expands to a different geometric shape, stretches to an entirely different shape, pulls down to a pinpoint, then stretches again to form yet another “world,” etc. At times multiple spaces coexist. There is always a sense of “place,” an atmosphere, in these acoustic constructs. The sounds are choreographed in three-dimensional space, with no walls, ceilings, or floors to constrain them.

Her electroacoustic works often incorporate visuals, including dancers outfitted with electroluminescent wire and videos she creates using images ranging from nature to the abstract. Many works address issues around the environment, especially noise pollution. She has composed music for dance, theatre, and video, including the music for Jordon Belson's video Bardo. She collaborated for several years with video artist Ed Tannenbaum in his Technological Feets performances.

She received numerous awards, and her works have been presented world-wide. Her orks appear on Aguirre, Air Texture, The Lab, Lovely Music, Innova, Starkland, Music and Arts, New World Records (CRI), Root Strata, Ubuibi, Asphodel, and/OAR, Centaur, MMC, Digital Narcis, Capstone, Mills, and Frog Peak labels.

She obtained music degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College. She was Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College (1992-2018), teaching recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. She began teaching at Mills in 1972.

Wendy Reid

Composer Wendy Reid is known for her Tree Pieces, an on-going set of musical processes which attempt to reflect nature’s manner of operations. Contextual in nature, these electro-acoustic cross-species compositions attempt to reflect the inter-connection of all things (including ourselves) in nature. In performance, with 'formation as process', an attempt is made at a spontaneous unforced and unblocked growing of sound and silence in which emphasis is placed on formation rather than pre-established form, as in the building and shaping of cell-like units in living processes.

Wendy Reid received degrees from Mills College (MA), USC School of Performing Arts (BM), and attended Stanford University, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Between 1975-77, she was a private pupil of Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Les Ecoles D’Art Americaines at Fontainbleau. Composers she has studied under include Terry Riley, Robert Ashley, Halsey Stevens, James Hopkins and film composer David Raksin. Her works have been performed and broadcast throughout the United States, Europe and Asia by the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Kronos Quartet, the New MusicWorks Ensemble, the San Francisco String Quartet, Ruffled Feathers, Brassiosaurus, the Tree Ensemble, Charles Amirkhanian-Other Minds, Tom Dambly, William Banovetz, Nathan Rubin, and many more wonderful musicians/ensembles. Scores, CDs, CV, etc. can be found at treepieces.net.

Daniel Schmidt

(See Schmidt bio under "Ensemble Directors")

Laetitia Sonami

Oluyemi Thomas

Flute

Michelle Caimotto

Michelle Caimotto made her international debut with the San Francisco Symphony sight reading a performance of Mahler’s Symphony #7 at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. In great demand as a valued extra and substitute musician, she performs in every chair of the section with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras. Ms. Caimotto has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Honolulu Symphony. She has recorded with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera, plays for Broadway touring shows, and is active in the commercial recording industry. Michelle Caimotto is the principal flutist with the West Bay Opera, and Festival Opera Orchestras, piccoloist with the California Symphony, and a section member of the Symphony Silicon Valley.

Ms. Caimotto was the featured flute guest artist and clinician for the Music Teacher’s Association of California’s 2015 Convention. She has appeared as soloist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Diablo Wind Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Cal State East Bay Orchestra and Wind Ensembles, and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra.

Ms. Caimotto studied with Barbara Breeden and Paul Renzi in San Francisco, and with William Bennett in London. She has performed in masterclasses of Sir James Galway, Emmanuel Pahud, Thomas Nyfenger, Geoffrey Glbert, Keith Underwood, and Jan Gippo.

Philip Gelb (Shakuhachi)

French Horn

Douglas Hull

Douglas Hull (horn) played 16 seasons, starting in 1995, with the San Francisco Symphony, and he is currently principal horn of the California Symphony. 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 Berkeley Symphony.

While teaching at Mills, Mr. Hull is also a private teacher and coach shaping the lives of young musicians in the Bay Area. 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.

Gamelan

Stephen Parris

Stephen Parris is a composer, instrument builder, and improviser. He currently directs Gamelan Encinal, a new music American aluminum gamelan ensemble, and is a performer with Gamelan Sari Raras at UC Berkeley. Before his relocation to the Bay Area, he performed as a member of Gamelan Pacifica. As a guitarist,he played and recorded as a member of various groups as part of the Monktail Creative Music Concern including but not limited to Special OPS, Non Grata, and Figeater. His playing can be heard on Lou Harrison—Scenes From Cavafy on New World Records, Gamelan Pacifica—Nourishment on Blind Stone Records, Special OPS—Backdoor Draft on Monktail Records, and Figeater—Sweet Figeater Surprise on Bunny Blasto Records. As a member of the Monktail Creative Music Concern, he has been in projects that were awarded two Earshot Jazz Golden Ear awards, and the Pretty Good Artist award from Tablet magazine. Stephen holds a bachelors of music from Cornish College of the Arts and a masters in music composition from Mills College.

Daniel Schmidt

(See Schmidt bio under "Ensemble Directors")

Guitar

Paul Psarras (Classical, Acoustic, Electric)

Guitarist and versatile musician, Paul Psarras was nominated for a Grammy with period music specialists El Mundo. He has also performed with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Symphony. He has appeared with various orchestras performing the Concierto de Aranjuez and performed at the Fete de Geneve in Switzerland. Paul was chosen as one of eight semifinalists from around the world for the 2016 Falletta International Guitar Competition.

Harp

Jennifer Ellis

Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (DMA University of Michigan, MM Cleveland Institute of Music, BM Oberlin) has performed ninety premieres. She embraces firsts; she was the first harpist to be a One Beat Fellow, a fellowship through the US State Department, the first harpist to attend Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc., and Splice summer festivals. She has served as a featured performer for the Festival of New American Music, Sound of Late, Spitting Image Collective, Kerrytown Edgefest, Creative Arts Orchestra, and OINC. Her recordings run the gamut from American Indian fusion (Dha Re Dha with Sumkali) to solo improvisation (“January Lullaby” on Persist) to new music for harp and saxophone (Launch with Jonathan Hulting-Cohen).

From kinesthetic music education to ergonomics to teaching for diverse learning needs, Dr. Ellis is dedicated to innovative music pedagogy. In addition to the classical tradition, she welcomes the opportunity to teach electroacoustic harp performance and improvisation. She enjoys helping harp students design and meet their own creative goals. Her passion for teaching harp composition has led her to provide workshops for composers at institutions including Atlantic Music Festival, CSU Sacramento, Cleveland State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Miami University, Splice Festival, UC Davis, University of Hartford, University of Michigan, and University of North Carolina Greensboro. She was a featured clinician at the 2017 International Harp Festival, 2018 harp faculty at Nief Norf Summer Festival, a 2017-2018 Artist-In-Residence at UC Davis, and currently teaches for Harps Etc. and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Janice Ortega

I was very fortunate to have great harp teachers, and I wish to continue their legacy at Mills. My teachers include Julliard Professor Nancy Allen, Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic, Phia Berghout, Principal Harpist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and Susann McDonald, Professor Emeritus at Indiana University-Bloomington and former Chair of the Harp Department at the Julliard School of Music.

Besides performing harp, with over 30 years of performance experience, I am very committed to teaching others in the performance of this jewel of an instrument. Graduating Magna Cum Laude, bachelor of arts in music from California State University East Bay, I was often featured as soloist in the music department chamber and orchestral concerts. The Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands was home to my graduate studies in harp performance where I received the Artist Diploma and subsequently earned the master of music degree in Harp Performance with a Pedagogy Minor from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Oboe

Thomas Nugent

Tom Nugent holds a bachelors of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he was a student of renowned oboist Marc Lifschey. Mr. Nugent is a founding member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and currently holds the Principal Oboe position in the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera, Sacramento Choral Society, Stockton Symphony, Mendocino Music Festival and the Bear Valley Music Festival. He has also performs with the Oakland Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, San Jose Symphony, Fremont Symphony, and the Marin Symphony. Mr. Nugent has performed as soloist with the Sacramento Philharmonic, Stockton Symphony, Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, Bear Valley Music Festival, Reno Baroque Ensemble, and the Diablo Ballet.

An avid teacher, he is on the faculty of the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music and performs as Artist-in-Residence with the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet. Mr. Nugent is also the oboe instructor at Mills College and former faculty of the University of California Santa Cruz. Mr. Nugent also plays electric bass in a blues band in the bay area. A passionate home winemaker, Mr. Nugent has been making wine for 10 years and studied enology at Napa Valley College.

Percussion

William Winant

(See Winant bio under "Ensemble Directors")

Piano

Belle Bulwinkle

Belle Bulwinkle is known as a performer on both early and modern pianos. The San Francisco Chronicle described her playing as “terrific technically as well as expressively. One seldom hears so much finesse…”. Lou Harrison dedicated his Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan to her. She played the world premiere of this work at Mills College and a second performance at the Cabrillo Festival. She has given the first US performances of works by international composers Jack Body, Marcello Panni, Anthony Payne and Makiko Nishikaza

As a fortepianist she has performed at Davies Symphony Hall, UC Santa Cruz, Cornell University, Santa Rosa Symphony Summer Festival, Hausmusik, Old First Concerts, Cascade Head (OR) Music Festival, Musicsources and Mills College. She gave the dedicatory recital of a new fortepiano at Palomar College, and she was a soloist at the Antverpiano91 Festival in Belgium. In May 2014, she was both a performer and a panelist at the Keyboard Festival at UC Davis.

Her recordings include the Harrison concerto on the Leonardo label, songs of Darius Milhaud on Music & Arts, and Jose Maceda’s Sujeichon on Tzadik. Ms. Bulwinkle is on the performance faculty at Mills College where she frequently appears in concert. She has taught music history and theory at Mills and at the California College of Arts.

Larry Dunlap (Jazz & Pop Piano, & Composition)

(See Dunlap bio under "composition")

Lynne Garrett

Robert Schwartz

Winner of numerous awards, including the 1975 Ravel Prize at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris, pianist Robert Schwartz has performed extensively in the US and abroad. Of his performance of the Shostakovich first piano concerto with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Scranton Times wrote: "His playing was crystal clear and his poetic insights remarkable." Mr. Schwartz made his formal New York debut in 1983 at the Merkin Concert Hall, having already appeared in New York City on the concert series' of the American Landmarks Festivals, Trinity Church and the Maison Française at NYU. Musical appearances on radio have included the WNYC "Americathon" broadcast live from Merkin Hall, WQXR in New York, NPR affiliates KXPR-Sacramento and WGBH-Boston. Klavier Records has released his recording of Romero’s Spirals for piano and orchestra, with the San Francisco Camerata and his CD of French piano music was released in 2010. A recording of Iberia by Isaac Albéniz will appear in 2018.

Mr. Schwartz has recently given recitals and master classes at the Young International Pianists Festival in Vienna, the Chautauqua Institution, the Mendocino Music Festival, the Portland, Oregon International Piano Festival, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Ambialet Music Festival in France, and the Beijing Conservatory in Beijing, China. He was invited back to Vienna to participate as professor in the Vienna Master Courses in July 2010. Schwartz has appeared in the Bay Area on the concert series' of Old First Concerts, The Steinway Society, Noontime Concerts, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mills College, and San Francisco Performances, and has appeared as soloist with the Redding Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Camerata and the Orquesta de Cámara Municipal de Rosario, Argentina. Schwartz has taught at Santa Clara University and is currently on the piano faculty at Mills College in Oakland, CA and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was featured on the California Arts Council Touring Roster for two seasons 2003-2005. Mr. Schwartz holds a Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University, a Masters Degree from Juilliard, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Saxophone

Steve Adams

Steve Adams is active both as a composer and a performer on saxophones, flutes and electronics. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, with whom he has played for over twenty five years and released more than twenty five recordings. Rova has been called "one of the most daring ensembles of any instrumentation to emerge in recent years" by Downbeat magazine. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Tin Hat Trio, Yo! Miles with Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith and Ted Nugent, as well as many other jazz, rock, dance and theater groups. Steve has performed the premieres of numerous classical compositions, including Prisoner of Love by Robert Aldridge for soprano saxophone and piano, Thomas Oboe Lee’s Saxxologie… A Sextet for Saxophone and Louie MCMLV for saxophone quartet, and Passing Time by Jon Nelson for tenor saxophone and computer-generated tape. He performed Edmund Campion’s Corail for saxophone and computer-generated electronics with the Berkeley Symphony and at the Ojai Music Festival.

Steve has appeared on more than fifty recordings, and has six recordings as leader or co-leader on the 9 Winds, Clean Feed and pfMENTUM labels. His piece Cage (for John Cage) was performed at the 1993 Bang on a Can festival, and his piece The Gene Pool was commissioned in 1993 by Meet the Composer and performed at their festival “The Works” in Minneapolis in 2002. He received a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2000. Steve is a graduate of the School of Contemporary Music in Brookline, MA and studied composition with Alan Crossman, Christopher Yavelov and Thomas Oboe Lee, saxophone with David Birkin and Indian music with Peter Row and Steve Gorn

Trombone

Andy Strain

Andy Strain received a bachelor of arts degree in music performance at the University of Nebraska under Dr. Scott Andersen, then studied with Prof. Abbie Conant in Trossingen, Germany. He performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles across Europe and North America before coming to Mills College in 2006 to earn a master of arts in free improvisation. He plays regularly with the East Bay Brass Band, the Tamalpais Brass Quintet, and performs trombone tales in libraries, parks, and schools. He has recorded and performed with Roscoe Mitchell and toured with harpist Joanna Newsom.

Trumpet

Jay Rizzetto

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 for well over a decade. Recently he has contributed his performance and composition to Paul Brody’s 2018 sound installation, “Webern from the Inside Out” at Daniel Barenboim–Said Academy (Pierre Boulez Saal) and has performed with Emmy award winner Peter Coyote performing Rizzetto’s “Five Poems of Emily Dickenson for Trumpet and Narrator”. With Pauline Oliveros and dancer June Watanabe he performed one of the first live interactive internet performances “Calpurnia’s Dream Obscured by Movement”. 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, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Arturo Sandoval. Mr. Rizzetto has premiered numerous solo compositions for trumpet, including “King Lear Sonata” for Trumpet and Organ by the award-winning composer Larry Delinger. He is the author of various works for trumpet including his recent text “Foundational Method 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.

Tuba

Peter Wahrhaftig

Peter Wahrhaftig is the Principal Tubist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, and the Bay Brass. Additionally, he performs frequently with the San Francisco Opera, and many other Bay Area groups. He is active as a recording musician, on movie and video game soundtracks, as well as orchestral and chamber music recordings. He maintains an active private studio, in addition to being on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His primary studies were with Arnold Jacobs and Floyd Cooley.

Viola

India Cooke

Aaron Westman (Baroque & Modern)

Aaron Westman was a “metal-head” growing up in California. He now plays the electric guitar of the 17th-century. A “brilliantly virtuosic violinist” (Early Music America) and violist, Aaron has made a career for himself as “one of the most popular period instrumentalists on the west coast” (Press Democrat). Since 2005, he has performed as a chamber, principal player, or soloist with most of the major baroque ensembles in California, and toured extensively throughout the world. As a principal player, Aaron works with American Bach Soloists, Bach Collegium San Diego, California Bach Society, El Mundo, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Musica Angelica, Magnificat, New Hampshire Music Festival, and Seattle's Pacific Music Works Underground, and he has played with with Hip Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Orchester Wiener Akademie, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and regularly since 2006 with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Aaron co-directs the chamber ensemble Agave Baroque, which performs and records regularly with star countertenor Reginald Mobley. He is also Associate Director of the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, which is in residence at Schroeder Hall of the Green Music Center, and violist in the Sylvestris Quartet, which will be in residence at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in Summer of 2018. Also in 2018, Aaron is involved with two album releases. Sylvestris will release The Good Song, an all-Fauré album on gut strings, with pianist Michael Seregow and baritone Harry Baechtel, and VGo will release Agave’s fourth album—their second with Mr. Mobley—entitled Peace In Our Time

Aaron holds degrees from Indiana University and Wesleyan University. His principal teachers were Stanley Ritchie, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Geraldine Walther, and Alan de Veritch. He also studied composition with Alvin Lucier and Neely Bruce. Aaron currently directs the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, teaches in Italy each summer at the Chamber Music Adventure program, and has guest taught at Sonoma State University, Appalachian State, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and for three years at CalArts.

Viola Da Gamba

Elisabeth Reed (Baroque Cello & Viola de Gamba)

(refer to Reed bio under "Cello")

Violin

Hrabba Atladottir

Icelandic violinist Hrabba Atladottir studied in Austria and in Berlin, Germany. Hrabba worked as a freelancing violinist in Berlin for five years, regularly playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Oper, and Deutsche Symphonieorchester. In 2004, Hrabba moved to New York, playing on a regular basis with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke's and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra among other orchestras. Hrabba has worked closely with major composers such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Helmut Lachenmann and Kaija Saariaho. She has also toured with pop artist Björk and violinist Nigel Kennedy.

Since August 2008, Hrabba is based in Berkeley, California, where she has been performing as a soloist and with most major ensembles in the area, and also serves as lecturer in Violin at UC Berkeley. Joshua Kosman, music critic of San Francisco Chronicle, praised her performance of Vivaldi's "Spring" with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and called her violin playing "delicate but fervent".

India Cooke

Daniel Kobialka

Kobialka holds a unique place in the world of music. Clearly a prodigy, an accomplished and creative performer, Kobialka’s interest in contemporary music was sparked while he was a boy. His father played violin with the Stradivarius String Quartet, and the household was filled with music, from Beethoven to Bartok and Schoenberg. Kobialka was the founding concertmaster and soloist at the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he played alongside John Adams, one of his high school friends who is now regarded as one of the foremost contemporary composers of our time. Other important relationships that influenced Kobialka’s musical talents include such legendary musicians and composers as Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, Vivian Fine and Henry Brant. "A sensitive and intelligent performer with a natural gift for his instrument," –Aaron Copland.

Kobialka is widely sought after internationally as a performer and lecturer, as well as composer. He has performed at major events in Europe, Taiwan and Japan where his recordings are best sellers. The Japanese government awarded him a Medium Term Grant to study traditional and contemporary music. During this same period Kobialka performed a newly commissioned work of Benjamin Lees, Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano, the world premiere a the International Cultural Center in Tokyo. He also gave a lecture recital at the Fukushima Music Arts Festival. One of his most recent appearances was documented on a commercial video released by Prem Promotion Ltd. Of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Aiyoshi Kawahata, states, "The gentle, sweet melodies pulsing form your music relaxes my heart and fills my mind with happiness."

He is completing a new book on the effects of music therapy, and the healing arts arenas, which will be a powerful work representing some of the tremendous research and new techniques that are being used to reduce stress, illness, and increase longevity in a more balanced living style of all ages. Kobialka is continually pioneering new explorations into music that will be a wonderful resource for the both the general public and the various medical modalities in the healing arts.

Kala Ramnath (Hindustani Music)

Maestro Kala Ramnath with her ‘Singing Violin’ stands among the best instrumentalists of the world. She has been a featured composer in the 2015 Grammy Winning Album “In Twenty Seven Encores”, Grammy nominated for her album ‘Miles from India’, and recognized as one of the fifty best instrumentalists of the world by the prestigious ‘Songlines’ Magazine. Her album ‘Kala’ selected again by ‘Songlines’ magazine as one of the 50 best recordings of the world, was the first Indian violinist to be featured in the violin Bible, ‘The Strad’, as well as a solo essay in the ‘Encyclopedia—Rough Guide to World Music’ for her contributions in the field of violin in music. Her music is frequently featured in Hollywood soundtracks including the Oscar nominated “Blood Diamond” and many more such recognitions.

Born into a family of prodigious musical talent, which has given Indian music such violin legends as Prof. TN Krishnan and Dr. N Rajam, Kala’s genius with the violin manifested itself during her childhood. Recognizing her innate talent, her astute grandfather, Vidwan A Narayan Iyer took her under his tutelage. Thus began her journey on the road to astounding renown and acclaim worldwide. She then went on to become a pre-eminent disciple of the legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj. During this mentorship Kala revolutionized the violin technique and produced a sound so unique, evocative and akin to classical Indian vocal music that today her violin is called ‘The Singing Violin’.

Today a virtuoso of staggering proportions, Kala has performed at all the major music festivals in India, as well as the most prestigious stages throughout the world, including the Sydney Opera House, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and New York’s Carnegie Hall to name a few.

Kala is at the vanguard of the present generation of Indian instrumental super-stars. Due to her rigorous training in the classical tradition she comfortably forges musical alliances with artists of renown from different genres around the globe incorporating elements of Western Classical, Jazz, Flamenco and traditional African music into her rich and varied repertoire.

Aaron Westman (Baroque & Modern)

(refer to Westman bio under "Viola")

Voice

Christine Abraham (Contemporary & Classical)

Performing a varied repertoire to great acclaim, Christine Abraham has been declared “radiant” by the Los Angeles Times and “glamorous and melting of voice” by the Wall Street Journal. She has performed leading roles with New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Bard Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, and Spoleto Festival USA, and has appeared as soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, and St. Louis, as well as Boston Baroque and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. She has performed many new works by composers such as Tan Dun, James MacMillan, Tod Machover, Peter Lieberson, Paul Moravec and David Carlson. Recordings on Signum Classics, Naxos American Classics, BIS Music, Arabesque Recordings, and BBC Music.

Miriam Abramowtisch (Classical)

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.

Paul Flight (Contemporary & Classical)

Paul Flight, countertenor, has performed across the US and internationally. His interpretations of 18th-century operatic and concert repertoire have been critically acclaimed, and include the title role in Handel's Solomon for the Sacramento Early Music Society, the role of Montezuma in Karl Heinrich Graun's Montezuma, Dardano in Handel's Amadigi di Gaula, Bach’s Mass in B Minor at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater with the Sacramento Baroque Soloists, and Bach’s Passion According to Saint Matthew in San Francisco.

Flight made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in John Adams' oratorio El Niño, and has sung the work for the Norwegian State Opera (Oslo), the Atlanta Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, and at the Ravinia Festival (Chicago). His portrayal of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaten in the Oakland Opera production of Philip Glass' Akhnaten received glowing reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle. A strong proponent of new music, Flight has performed new works by Mexican composer Mario Lavista at the 31st Festival Internacional Cervantino and by Cuban-American composer Aurelio de la Vega at the Library of Congress. He sang the US premiere of Stephen Hartke's Tituli with eighth blackbird in Chicago, and he gave the first performance of Ballad of the Drowned Solitude by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.

Flight has sung in many outstanding professional ensembles including Theatre of Voices, The New York Collegium, Aguavá New Music Studio, Piffaro, The Waverly Consort, The Folger Consort, Pomerium Musices, and The Concord Ensemble, an award-winning male sextet; he has performed with Sting in his Songs from the Labyrinth concerts at Disney Hall.

Also an active conductor, he directed the operas Savitri by Gustav Holst and Les malheurs d'Orphée by Darius Milhaud at Mills College, has directed the choral programs at the University of California, Berkeley and at Smith College (MA), and is in his twelfth season as Artistic Director of the California Bach Society (CalBach). Heralded by the San Francisco press for its “dazzling” and “sublime” performances, CalBach gave the opening night concert of the 15th Biennial Berkeley Early Music Festival and Exhibition, and earned a distinction for “Best Baroque Performance” by San Francisco Classical Voice with its production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall in 2016.

Flight earned his doctorate at Indiana University, where he studied conducting with Robert Porco. His research focused on the Venetian composer Giovanni Croce (1557-1609), and he has recorded a program featuring Croce’s works for Harmonia, a nationally syndicated radio show. He as appeared as a guest on three of KALW Radio’s performing arts programs, My Favorite Things, Voice Box, and Open Air.

Anne Hege (Contemporary & Classical)Molly Holm (Jazz, Pop, Improv)

Born in Oakland, CA, Anne Hege began her musical studies singing with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir and the Oakland Youth Chorus. Hege received a BA in music with honors from Wesleyan University, CT and an MA in music composition from Mills College, CA. In 2014, she completed her PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University where she studied the role of the body in the creation of meaning in musical performance. Her research was guided by and has influenced her work as a vocalist, composer, and conductor.

Working as a choral conductor since 1999, Hege studied conducting with Melvin Strauss, Marika Kuzma, and Judit Hartyanyi, among others. She founded and directed the Folk3000 (1999), Albany Community Chorus (2000), Cuatro Vientos (2004), and Celestial Mechanics (2007). Currently, Hege is the director of Level IV of the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

As a vocalist, Hege has performed regularly as a choral singer, small ensemble vocalist, and soloist. She has premiered new works by Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, Dmitri Tymoczko, Daniel Trueman, Matt Marble, and others. Hege has taught voice privately since 2004. Her method focuses on teaching with an understanding of how the voice works in the body.

Hege has composed for film, installation art, dance, and concert settings. Her works have been performed by the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Ensemble Klang, NOW Ensemble, Newspeak, Flux Quartet, New York Virtuoso Singers, Princeton Chamber Singers, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, Voce in Tempore, Carmina Escobar, and Jason Calloway, among others. The New York Times praised her score for Ahern’s SenSate as “convincing” and “strangely environmental.” Influenced by her deep listening practice, her latest compositions include aspects of ritual, movement, and theater with some homemade instruments thrown in for good measure.

Molly Holm

(refer to Holm bio under "Ensemble Directors")

Kala Ramnath (Hindustani Music)

(refer to Ramnath bio under "Violin")