The Ariel Quartet. From left to right: Alexandra Kazovsky, Jan Grüning, Amit Even-Tov and Gershon Gerchikov.

CCM Extends Residency of Internationally Acclaimed Ariel Quartet

Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), has announced that the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet will continue to serve as the college’s string quartet-in-residence for the next seven years. An ensemble-in-residence since 2012, this extension will keep the Quartet at CCM through the 2021-22 academic year and concert season.

“I am thrilled that the Ariel Quartet will call CCM its permanent home for the foreseeable future,” said Landgren. “Their residency has already had a notable impact on both our college and the city of Cincinnati. In their first three and a half years, the members of the Ariel Quartet have provided unparalleled coaching and mentorship to our students, presented our community with its first complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets, performed as part of Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival, collaborated with distinguished CCM guest artists like Menahem Pressler and David Geringas, and served as ambassadors for the Queen City as part of the CINCYinNYC initiative.”

The Ariel Quartet is comprised of Alexandra Kazovsky, violin; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gershon Gerchikov, violin; and Jan Grüning, viola. The group was formed in Israel in 1998, and they have been playing together ever since. 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Quartet directs CCM’s chamber music program as part of this residency, in addition to their annual series of concerts at the college.

“The past three and a half years exceeded our initial expectations of this residency in every respect,” the members of the Ariel Quartet explained. “The eagerness of CCM’s students paired with the incredible support of our esteemed faculty colleagues has enabled us to help cultivate the active and enthusiastic chamber music community of our dreams. We are thrilled to be able to make Cincinnati our permanent home and are excited at the prospect of continuing to be a part of this community’s musical life.”

The Ariel Quartet will continue to perform four concerts per year in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium for the duration of this new seven-year agreement. The Quartet will continue to coach 20 – 25 student string quartets in the fine art of chamber music performance, as well. The members of the Ariel Quartet will also expand their pedagogic roles at CCM by adding one-on-one teaching to their responsibilities.

CCM’s new agreement with the Quartet also provides a fund to attract guest artists who will perform with the Ariels and provide masterclasses for students, along with funding to support an annual student string quartet competition.

The Ariel Quartet will also be able to maintain its impressive international performance schedule thanks to support from the University of Cincinnati, which was key in assisting the members of the Quartet in obtaining their H-1B visas.

According to Paul Katz, the scope of the Ariel Quartet’s new arrangement with CCM is quite noteworthy. Founding cellist of the world-renowned Cleveland Quartet and a master teacher at the New England Conservatory, Katz said, “The long-term nature of this agreement brings both deserved economic security to this amazing young string ensemble, and gives CCM and the Ariel Quartet time together to build a first class string chamber music program for the school.”

Prior to its residency at CCM, the Ariel Quartet was the resident ensemble of the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, which is led by Katz. “I am delighted that my 26 years in the Cleveland Quartet and our groundbreaking residency arrangement at the Eastman School of Music was able to serve as a successful model for CCM’s relationship with the Ariel Quartet,” he observed.

Katz concluded, “In 45 years of mentoring extraordinary young groups, seldom have I seen an arrangement of comparable perception, detail and mutual benefit.”

“This has all been made possible by a group of individuals who understand how their investment in this young quartet revives a proud tradition initiated by the LaSalle Quartet,” Landgren explained, referring to CCM’s storied string quartet-in-residence from 1953-88. “Cincinnati and CCM will continue to benefit from the remarkable talents and engaging personality of the Ariel Quartet, whose members are writing an exciting new chapter in our community’s strong history of chamber music.”

A poster for the Ariel Quartet's 2015-16 concert series at CCM.

Learn more about the Ariel Quartet’s upcoming CCM Concert Series by visiting ccm.uc.edu/ariel.

A New Era Dawns: The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 Concert Series
For its next season in residence at CCM, the Ariel Quartet will present concerts at 8 p.m. on Sept. 1, Nov. 10, Jan. 26 and March 1. These Tuesday night concerts will be held in CCM’s acoustically stunning Corbett Auditorium and will feature works by Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Brahms, Haydn and others.

Series highlights will also include a performance of Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite and a collaboration with CCM artist-in-residence Awadagin Pratt on Dvorák’s Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81. Complete concert series repertoire is available online at ccm.uc.edu/ariel.

Audiences can experience the Ariel Quartet’s next concert series in its entirety for just $75 per subscription, a savings of 25% off single ticket prices. Subscription packages can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office or over the telephone at 513-556-4183.

Single tickets become available on Monday, August 24, and are $25 for general audiences and $15 for non-UC students. Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.

About the Ariel Quartet
Characterized by its youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation.

The Quartet was formed in Israel 17 years ago when its members were young students, and they have been playing together ever since. Recently awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Quartet serves as the faculty quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where its members direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts – a remarkable achievement for an ensemble so young.

Highlights of the 2014-15 season include a groundbreaking Beethoven cycle performed at New York’s SubCulture that featured a midnight performance of the Grosse Fuge; a performance featuring music by three generations of Israeli composers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; performances resulting from the Cleveland Quartet Award in Kansas City, Austin and Buffalo; and a tour of South America.

The Ariel Quartet performs widely in North America, Europe and Israel, including two recent record-setting Beethoven cycles, performed before all the members of the quartet turned 30. The Ariel continues to astonish with its performances of complete works by memory and has remained committed to performing extensively in Israel. In addition, the Ariel has collaborated with the pianist Orion Weiss; violist Roger Tapping; cellist Paul Katz; and the American and Jerusalem String Quartets. The Quartet toured with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein during the 2013-14 season, and performs regularly with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Additionally, the Ariel was quartet-in-residence for the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival and for the Perlman Music Program.

Formerly the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, the Ariel has won a number of international prizes including the Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and First Prize at the international competition “Franz Schubert And The Music Of Modernity” in Graz, Austria, in 2003, when the Quartet’s members were remarkably young. After they won the Székely Prize for their performance of Bartók, as well as the overall Third Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2007, the American Record Guide described the Ariel Quartet as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power” and called their performance of Beethoven’s Op. 132 “the pinnacle of the competition.”

The Ariel Quartet has been mentored extensively by Itzhak Perlman, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian and Martha Strongin Katz, among others. The Quartet has received extensive scholarship support throughout its studies in the United States from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Dov and Rachel Gottesman, the Legacy Heritage Fund, as well as The A. N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 CCM concert series is made possible by the generous contributions of The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg, Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman.

A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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UC's Digital Media Collaborative.

Digital Media Cluster Hires Bring Filmmaking, Program-Building Expertise to UC

Matt Irvine.

Matt Irvine.

Building a digital media program from the ground up comes naturally to Matt Irvine, who joins the University of Cincinnati in fall 2015 as the inaugural director of the Digital Media Collaborative (DMC), a collective effort between the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP), the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences and UC Libraries.

The DMC began with seed funding from President Santa Ono’s Transformation Fund matched by CCM, DAAP and A&S, and was successfully launched as part of Provost Davenport’s Cluster Hiring initiative.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Irvine, who joins UC with appointments across all of the related areas, comes to Cincinnati from DePaul University, where he was instrumental in founding DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts. The school, which is ranked in the top 20 film schools in the nation, includes bachelor’s degrees in animation and digital cinema, bachelor’s of fine arts in animation and graduate degrees in animation, cinema production, documentary, cinema and screenwriting. Irvine will be joined at UC by Kristyn Benedyk, an accomplished screenwriter and teacher who helped launch DePaul’s screenwriting program in 2011. Benedyk, who is also Irvine’s wife, will also be appointed across the same three colleges and UC Libraries.

“These dual-career cluster hires exemplify the power of aggressive recruitment and collaboration,” said Provost Beverly Davenport, whose office led the call for cluster hiring in summer 2014. “Together, these three colleges and our libraries were able to woo industry and educational leaders to build an exciting and forward-looking program in Cincinnati.”

The Digital Media Cluster includes multiple departments in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media, and Graphic Communication Design and Media Art out of DAAP, as well as technology and other resources from UC Libraries. “Speaking on behalf of my fellow deans who are involved in this collaborative, we are extremely enthusiastic about Matt and Kristyn’s hire,” said Peter Landgren, dean of CCM, the home college for both new faculty members.

“Their talents will enhance the existing strengths of our colleges, allowing us to provide our students with the creative, intellectual and interdisciplinary skills necessary to make an impact in the constantly changing digital media landscape.”

“There’s an excitement in Cincinnati,” Irvine said. “There has been so much support from everybody.”

Benedyk, who leaves her post as chair of the screenwriting program at DePaul, agreed. “There are already so many incredibly talented faculty at UC working in established, interesting and successful programs,” said Benedyk, who founded and produced a successful annual entertainment writers’ conference in Chicago. “I think it is great that the Digital Media Cluster is going to bring all of those people together working towards a shared objective that will result in UC becoming one of the top destinations for media education in the country.”

Both Benedyk and Irvine credited UC’s Cluster Hiring initiative and Dual Career Assistance program, both led by Provost Beverly Davenport, for sparking their interest in and eventually their commitments to Cincinnati.

“We’re better together than we are apart,” he said.

For Benedyk, whose background in Education fuels her passion for teaching, the move, in the end, was about quality of life.

“The dual career program was a huge draw for me,” said Benedyk, who was impressed by the reaction she got from faculty and administrators when she visited campus. “I immediately felt very welcomed as a potential faculty member.”

UC’s Cluster Hiring Initiative, launched by the Office of the Provost, supports existing and emerging partnerships within and between colleges, divisions and areas. Cluster hiring investments harness the power of faculty members focused on solving the world’s biggest challenges through leading-edge research and interdisciplinary collaborations that erase boundaries and embrace creative, bold ideas. Designed to attract top-quality faculty from around the world, UC’s Clusters represent the university’s commitment to investing in faculty and interdisciplinary problem-solving. The Provost’s Dual Career Assistance program dedicates funds and resources to accommodate job candidates and employees with opportunities to sustain healthy, connected families.

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The logo for CET's "arts Bridge" television program.

CET Spotlights Revolutionary New iPad App Developed by CCM and DAAP Faculty Members

Two University of Cincinnati faculty members will appear on local PBS member station CET at 6 p.m. this Saturday, July 18, to discuss a revolutionary new project that could change the world of psychiatry.

The CET program arts Bridge will feature CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media John Hebbeler and DAAP Assistant Professor of Design Emily Verba. The duo are developing an iPad application entitled Brain to Screen, which is a visual and auditory interactive tool for patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as their psychotherapists.

The proposed app converges cross-disciplinary expertise in design, sound, psychology, neuroscience and software development in order to deliver immersive, interactive experiences. The Brain to Screen app works in conjunction with a biofeedback headset and allows patients complete control of all visuals and sounds on their iPad screen using only their brainwaves.

The two UC professors and co-investigators bring a great deal of professional experience and expertise to this ambitious project. Professor Hebbeler has over a decade of experience in sound, video and web production, and 10 years of teaching experience in a variety of production-based courses. His area of expertise is creating interactive trans-media compositions that integrate a wide range of technological devices. His focus in this project is the sound development of Brain to Screen, as well as its interaction with the biofeedback headset.

Meanwhile, Professor Verba brings several years of experience in the field of graphic design and design education to this empirical research project. Her area of expertise and research focus is data visualization — the simplified depiction of complex content for ease of understanding by the masses. She is spearheading the visualization of biofeedback headset data and the design of an interface for psychotherapists to access and interpret the information collected from the app.

The arts Bridge segment will also bring Hebbeler together with several current and former students from CCM’s Division of Electronic Media and UC Blue Ash’s Department of Electronic Media Communications. Alumnus Don Hancock (BFA Electronic Media, 2006) is producing the story, and Deshon Able (AAS Electronic Media Technology, 2013) acts as the production assistant; furthermore, current E-Media student Ari Kruger is also working at CET as an intern, writer and editor.

arts Bridge is a locally-produced program that is part of a unique public television collaboration. Features about Cincinnati area arts and artists are paired with stories from across the country. In addition, Cincinnati area segments from arts Bridge are made available to public television stations nationally, extending the reach of greater Cincinnati arts well beyond southwest Ohio.

For more information, please make sure to visit www.cetconnect.org/arts-bridge.

The Brain to Screen segment will premiere at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, on CET (Channel 13 or 1013 on Time Warner Cable; Channel 48 on DirectTV). There will also be several repeat airings:

  • 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 19 (Channel 16 Time Warner and Direct TV)
  • 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, July 20 (Channel 987 Time Warner)
  • 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday July 21 (Channel 987 Time Warner)

Learn more about CCM E-Media by visiting ccm.uc.edu/emedia.

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Students in UC's Production Master Class documenting 'Expedition Alaska 2015.'

UC Production Master Class Films 2015 Expedition Alaska Adventure Race

This summer, the University of Cincinnati’s Production Master Class changes venues from California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the pristine wilderness of Alaska to document Expedition Alaska 2015, a 350 mile, seven day non-stop adventure race from June 28 to July 5.

A crew of seven UC students is in Alaska now, working with media professionals to develop a documentary film covering this extraordinary sporting event!

A premier qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series, Expedition Alaska 2015 features ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Four person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, will navigate by map and compass through the stunning scenery of the world’s most remote, famous and beautiful terrain, the Kenai Peninsula.

The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

UC Production Master Class.Developed by CCM Professor Kevin Burke and UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), the UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which allowed the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period.

The goal was to create a transformative, “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce the documentary series that could be distributed to a national television audience.

The project’s initial three years focused on the Gold Rush Expedition Race, a grueling 275-mile race through the California wilderness. Three 90-minute films were produced to document that race. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

The 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film was recently nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical. You can learn more about that nomination by visiting http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=21859.

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CCM Village in the spring of 2014. Photography by Dottie Stover.

UC College-Conservatory of Music Dean Peter Landgren Reappointed to New Seven-Year Term

The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the reappointment of CCM Dean Peter Landgren to a new seven-year term, extending his tenure through June 30, 2023.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren

Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM.

The standard procedure for college deans at UC requires that they go through a decanal review during the penultimate year of their appointment to determine if they will be reappointed for a new term.

This exhaustive process includes a comprehensive review by faculty and staff at the college, as well as UC leadership.

“I feel such a close connection to those with whom I work at UC, to the students who become remarkable fellow alumni of our college and to the generous community who invests in CCM’s UnCompromising Excellence,” said Landgren. “I am proud to continue guiding my alma mater, providing consistent leadership through the next UC comprehensive campaign.”

Landgren was named dean of CCM in September of 2011, and his leadership has resulted in a long list of accomplishments already, including:

  • securing the internationally acclaimed Ariel Quartet as CCM’s string quartet-in residence;
  • creating a collaboration with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati World Piano Competition and CCM, which completed a successful third year earlier this month;
  • realizing the mantra Get CCM Off the Hill through enhanced community engagement efforts, which were made possible by key staff hires and grant support from ArtsWave, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and other regional private and foundation support;
  • refocusing CCM’s vision and mission for the 21st century through the college’s ONECCM initiative;
    • Vision: CCM-UnCompromising Excellence
    • Mission: CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment
    • Objective: To educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world’s stage
  • partnering with faculty search committees to hire over 20 new full-time tenure-track faculty in four years – these new faculty, working collaboratively with current faculty, will ensure CCM remains and excels as a preeminent institution for the media and performing arts;
  • participating in the Provost’s Cluster-Hire initiative through the Digital Media Collaborative, along with two other UC colleges (the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences);
  • overseeing the creation of The Village News, CCM’s new electronic newsletter.

In the review confirming Landgren’s reappointment, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beverly Davenport noted, “We couldn’t be more pleased to reappoint a UC alum to lead our world class College-Conservatory of Music for a second term as dean. Through his engagement at the local, regional, national and international level, Peter has helped elevate CCM and the University of Cincinnati to great heights. I look forward collaborating with Peter to build upon CCM’s renowned reputation at the University of Cincinnati.”

The new term for Landgren will officially begin in July 2016 and will run through June 2023. He will also continue to serve as the Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM.

Please join us in congratulating Dean Landgren on his reappointment!

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The 2013 UC Gold Rush team at Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

UC Production Master Class Documentary Film Receives Regional Emmy Nomination

We are happy to report that the University of Cincinnati student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film has been nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences! The nomination is in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical.

UC Production Master Class.A three-year project of the UC Production Master Class, the Gold Rush Expedition Race documentaries chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network (you can view upcoming broadcast times here).

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

The project was conceived by CCM Division of Electronic Media Professor Kevin Burke and professional television director/producer and distinguished CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), who advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentaries development.

Student teams shoot, edit, script and produce the Gold Rush Expedition Race films on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. “Although there is professional mentoring and oversight during the project,” Burke explains, “it is primarily produced and edited by the students, which makes it a unique example of successful experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

The UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which will allow the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period. The presidential investment represents Ono’s ongoing support of interdisciplinary digital media projects and experiential learning at the University of Cincinnati.

“We are delighted with this nomination and are grateful to President Ono, UC Provost Beverly Davenport and the UC Forward Collaborative for their support of yet another successful example of experiential learning at UC,” says Burke.

Burke and Leitten served as Executive Producers on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race, alongside UC students Callie Peters and Ben Proctor.

The 51st Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards will be held at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Winners will be announced on July 25. The Ohio Valley Region includes Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, most of West Virginia, southern Indiana, southern half of Ohio and northern half of Kentucky. Learn more by visiting http://ohiovalleyemmy.org/awards.

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'The Birth Song Cycle' rehearsals featuring Audrey Luna, Libby Larsen, Lydia Brown and Gwen Detwiler. Photography by Joseph Fuqua II.

CCM Faculty and Alumni Artists Premiere New Work by Grammy Award-Winning Composer Libby Larsen at SongFest 2015

This summer, a trio of faculty and alumni artists from CCM will premiere a new work by Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

The Birth Song Cycle will be performed at the Colburn School’s Thayer Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12, as part of this year’s SongFest Signature Series of concerts. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Birth Song Cycle was written for CCM Associate Professor of Voice Gwen Coleman Detwiler and CCM alumna Audrey Luna (MM Voice, 1988). The two sopranos will collaborate with internationally renowned pianist and CCM Associate Professor of Opera Lydia Brown in performing this cutting edge composition, giving fresh and current perspective to the powerful subject of childbirth.

While the canon of vocal literature touches on many deeply felt human experiences, the profound transformation of childbirth is scarcely addressed. Larsen’s The Birth Song Cycle breaks that taboo, exploring those human sensations of exuberance and loss, of pain and triumph that are the emotional fabric of childbirth.

Through humor and lyricism, Larsen illuminates our humanity with a genius blending of music and the words of modern authors including Pheobe Damrosch, M. K. Dean, Jennifer Gilmore, Lauren Groff, Langston Hughes, Heidi Pitlor, A. E. Stallings, Cheryl Strayed, Akiko Yosano and Gina Zucker.

You can learn more about this and other SongFest 2015 events by visiting www.songfest.us/2015-festival.

Following the work’s world premiere at SongFest, The Birth Song Cycle will be performed as part of CCM’s 2015-16 Faculty Artist Series on Saturday, Sept. 26.

About Libby Larsen

Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen.

Libby Larsen is one of America’s most prolific and most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over 12 operas. Her music has been praised for its dynamic, deeply inspired and vigorous contemporary American spirit. Constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles and orchestras around the world, Larsen has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

Larsen has been hailed as “the only English-speaking composer since Benjamin Britten who matches great verse with fine music so intelligently and expressively” by USA Today; as “a composer who has made the art of symphonic writing very much her own” by Gramophone; as “a mistress of orchestration” by Times Union; and for “assembling one of the most impressive bodies of music of our time” by Hartford Courant. Her music has been praised for its “clear textures, easily absorbed rhythms and appealing melodic contours that make singing seem the most natural expression imaginable” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Libby Larsen has come up with a way to make contemporary opera both musically current and accessible to the average audience.”

Larsen has received numerous awards and accolades, including a 1994 Grammy as producer of the CD The Art of Arlene Augér, an acclaimed recording that features Larsen’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Her opera Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus was selected as one of the eight best classical music events of 1990 by USA Today. The first woman to serve as a resident composer with a major orchestra, she has held residencies with the California Institute of the Arts, the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, the Philadelphia School of the Arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. Larsen’s many commissions and recordings are a testament to her fruitful collaborations with a long list of world-renowned artists, including the King’s Singers, Benita Valente and Frederica von Stade, among others. Her works are widely recorded on such labels as Angel/EMI, Nonesuch, Decca, and Koch International.

As a past holder of the 2003-04 Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the Library of Congress and recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Larsen is a vigorous, articulate champion of the music and musicians of our time. In 1973, she co-founded (with Stephen Paulus) the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum, which has been an invaluable advocate for composers in a difficult, transitional time for American arts. Consistently sought-after as a leader in the generation of millennium thinkers, Larsen’s music and ideas have refreshed the concert music tradition and the composer’s role in it.

About Gwen Coleman Detwiler

CCM Associate Professor Gwen Coleman Detwiler.

CCM Associate Professor Gwen Coleman Detwiler.

Soprano Gwen Coleman Detwiler has been praised by music critics for possessing a voice of “divine beauty” with “sparkling coloratura” and “impressive high-flying top notes.” Her solo concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Detwiler made her European debut as the soprano soloist for the Klassiche Musikfest’s performances of Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. Her opera role repertoire includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Blonde in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Monica in The Medium and the title role in Cendrillon, among others. Dr. Detwiler can be heard on the Newport Classic’s CD recording of Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe and as the leading soprano, Suleika, on Centaur Record’s world-premier recording of Schubert’s Der Graf von Gleichen.

In recital, Dr. Detwiler’s repertoire includes literature spanning Baroque chamber music, German lieder, and the modern American art song. Audiences have enjoyed her performances at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, Summerfest Chamber Music Festival in Missouri, the Grandin Chamber Music Festival in Ohio, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Ohio, the Fredonia Opera House in New York, the Château de Vianden in Luxembourg and in Central City, Colorado, among many others.

A 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council regional winner, Dr. Detwiler has won numerous national awards for her artistry, including a MacAllister Award, the Italo Opera Award, a Presser Award and the Naftzger Young Artists Auditions first prize. She received her vocal and opera training at Northwestern University, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Opera Center Merola Young Artist Program.

Dr. Detwiler is currently an associate professor of voice at CCM. In the summer of 2012, she joined the faculty of SongFest at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. In addition, she has taught at the Spoleto Festival in Italy (2011), the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg (2010) and the State University of New York at Fredonia (1999-2010). Her vocal students have sung on the some of world’s most illustrious stages from the New York Metropolitan Opera to the stages of Broadway, others have attended prestigious graduate schools in the United States and in Europe. Dr. Detwiler was the recipient of the 2006 Revolutionary Woman on Campus Award and the 2001 Outstanding Professor Award. Dr. Detwiler performs and provides vocal master classes throughout the United States. She currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her husband, Jim, and two children, Jacob and Katelyn.

About Audrey Luna

CCM alumna Audrey Luna.

CCM alumna Audrey Luna.

Audrey Luna has been heard in international festivals and concert halls across the US, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. She launched her career abroad on tour with the famous Hagen Quartet and in Germany as a fest soloist in Bremen, where she was lauded as “musically and theatrically first class… with technical sovereignty, she laid before us so much warmth, expression, and sensitivity that it was pure joy.”

Luna has enjoyed a widely varied career opera, oratorio, chamber music, art song recitals and contemporary music. Among her credits are the Salzburger Festspiel, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiel, Mettlach Chamber Music Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Shanghai Spring Festival, Lexington Bach Festival, Konzerthaus Wien, Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Queens Hall, the Louvre, St. John the Divine and the Kennedy Center to name a few.

Luna’s love of chamber music has led to collaborations with not only the Hagen Quartet, but also the Artis Quartet, Baseler Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Amernet Quartet, Carpe Diem Quartet and the Bennewitz Quartet. She works regularly with renowned percussionist and CCM faculty member Allen Otte in recital and experimental theatre and recently performed at the Lucerne Festival with Walter Levin (of CCM’s legendary string quartet-in-residence the LaSalle Quartet) in his lecture recitals. A frequent collaborator with pianists Brad Caldwell and CCM Eminent Scholar in Chamber Music James Tocco, she has appeared in numerous recitals across the Midwestern United States and at the Great Lakes Chamber Festival. Recent performances with Laura Hynes and their soprano duo Detour de Force, have received wide acclaim.

Luna’s extensive work in contemporary music is marked by her invitation to sing with the Hagen Quartet at the historic opening of the Schoenberg Institute in Vienna and to premier music of Chinese composer Qu Xiao-Song at the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival. Dramatic work with Dagmar Birke led to the commission of the monodrama CLOTHO, based on original writings of Camille Claudel, for soprano, percussion and computer. Her most recent contemporary music projects include work in Paris with Hungarian composer György Kurtag, which resulted in her recording of his Kafka Fragmente, as well as work with Chinese composer Chen Yi, German composer and guitarist Wolfgang Netzer and American composers Moiya Callahan, CCM Professor Mara Helmuth, Allen Otte and John Corigliano. Luna also appeared in New York City Opera’s Showcase of American Composers series.

Luna currently teaches at Miami University of Ohio and during the summer teaches voice and the Alexander Technique at SongFest at the Colburn School. Her students are singing in opera houses internationally, have toured worldwide with William Christie and Chanticleer and are winners in competitions in the US including the Metropolitan Opera Regional and District Council Auditions, Columbus Opera and NATSAA. Luna’s students sing with young artist programs and in opera houses across the US and attend some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the US and Europe: CCM, Eastman, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Rice University, the Royal College of Music in London and Paris Conservatory. Luna has mentored students to win Fullbright, Marshall and Frank Huntington Beebe scholarships.

Luna has sung with such noted conductors as Niklaus Harnoncourt, Marcello Viotti, Anthony Pappano, Jesús López-Cobos, Helmut Rilling, José-Luis Novo, Stephen Cleobury and Stephanie Gonley. Luna is recording the music for soprano and percussion in Mode Records’ integrated edition of the complete music of John Cage with Percussion Group Cincinnati, as well as the voice and percussion music of Qu Xiao-Song for Peer Publishers. She can be heard on the Bonneville Classics, Oehms Classics, and arsmoderna labels.

About Lydia Brown

CCM Associate Professor Lydia Brown.

CCM Associate Professor Lydia Brown.

Lydia Brown has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the world. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she currently serves as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.

Brown won the Second Prize of the 1996 New Orleans International Piano Competition and was honored as an NFAA Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her recital appearances include notable venues such as the Salle Cortot, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, the Dusseldorf InselFestival, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St. Y, Caramoor, the Goethe Institute of New York, the Phillips Gallery and Steinway Hall among others.

Brown holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School as well as degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. She studied art song with Elly Ameling and pianist Rudolf Jansen and has served on the musical coaching staffs of the Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Cleveland, Chautauqua Institute Voice Program, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Ravinia Steans Institute.

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