The Musicians of Twickenham Fest 2012
Alabama-born Susanna Phillips, winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, returns to the Met in the 2012-2013 season to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni this winter. Other 2012-2013 highlights include performing Stella in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Renee Fleming in performances at Carnegie Hall and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She will kick off a recital tour here in Huntsville in January, which will proceed to Sarasota, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall. Phillips recently released two recordings: Paysages (Bridge), her debut solo album of French songs by Debussy, Faure, and Messiaen, and a disc featuring music by Philip Lasser entitled Colors of Feelings (Delos). The latter recording, with Margo Garrett as pianist, includes In Colors of Feelings, which Phillips commissioned and sang at Alice Tully Hall in 2009, and Nicolette et Aucassin, a duet cycle with soprano Elizabeth Futral. in the coming months: a new CD of Poul Ruders’s opera A Handmaid’s Tale (Bridge Records) and She will record an album of Mozart arias in the coming months, also on the Bridge label.
In August of 2011 Susanna was featured in the televised Live from Lincoln Center opening night singing arias of Mozart, conducted by Louis Langree. Recent opera highlights include the roles of Lucia di Lammermoor, Countess Almaviva, Donna Anna, Helena, Euridice, Pamina, and Musetta at opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grand Théatre de Bordeaux, Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, Minnesota Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera. In recital, Phillips has appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Concert performances include Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Chicago Symphony; Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall; Dvorák’s Stabat Mater with the Santa Fe Symphony; Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem with the Santa Barbara Symphony; Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Performances with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder.
The American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Holloway studied at the University of Georgia with Dr. Gregory Broughton and the Manhattan School of Music with Marlena Malas before springing to international prominence in 2006 when as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera she took over the leading role of Le Prince Charmant in Massenet’s Cendrillon opposite Joyce DiDonato in the title role. Her success led to invitations to appear in leading opera houses in both the United States of America and Europe.
Her repertory is concentrated on the major roles for lyric mezzo by Mozart and Handel including Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte (Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York City Opera), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Dallas, Portland), Idamante in Idomeneo (Opéra National de Bordeaux), Irene in Tamerlano (Teatro Real Madrid, Los Angeles Opera) and the title role in Serse (Pittsburgh). She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in December 2010 as Flora in Willy Decker’s new production of La Traviata and has also appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival in new productions of Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel) and Falstaff (Meg Page), the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse (Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie with Emmanuel Haïm), the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. Concert appearances include the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (Mercedes in Carmen with Gustavo Dudamel and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Leonard Slatkin) and she has also formed a strong partnership with Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus in works by Rossini and Vivaldi.
Current engagements include a return to the Opéra National de Bordeaux for Cherubino in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro directed by Laurent Laffargue, Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, Anne de Boleyne in Saint-Saëns rarely-performed Henry VIII at the Bard Music Festival and her first Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Chautauqua Music Festival in New York State.
Enagagements in 2012/13 include a return to Pittsburgh Opera to sing Elvira in Paul Curran’s new production of Don Giovanni, Tebaldo in Don Carlos at the Metropolitan Opera, Dorabella the New National Theatre of Tokyo and her debut with Washington National Opera as Magnolia in Francesca Zambello’s production of Show Boat. Among the highlights of her concert work will be her first appearance with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in a program including DeFalla’s El Amor Brujo and the world premiere of Frédéric Chaslin’s Love and a Questionwhich he composed for her.
Since recently graduating from both The Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute, tenor Dominic Armstrong has been entertaining and moving audiences around the world, having been seen in Germany, Ireland, Italy, China, and across the United States in companies such as New York City Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Memphis, Wolf Trap Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wexford Opera and Opera Regio Torino. An avid recitalist as well, the 2009 winner of the Liederkranz Art Song Competition has performed many song recitals, most recently with Twickenham Fest co-founder Susanna Phillips at his alma mater Truman State University, where the pair performed the entirety of Henri Duparc's song compositions.
In the coming season, Mr. Armstrong will perform his first Britten War Requiem in Bari, Italy, as well as return to New York City Opera for a new production of Turn of the Screw and his debut with Chicago Lyric Opera in Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.
American baritone Chad Sloan is recognized as much for his warm, elegant vocalism as he is for deft interpretations of diverse characters. In the 2011-2012 season, Chad returns to the role of Prosdocimo, in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia for Tacoma Opera, and debuts with the Lexington Philharmonic in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Anchorage Opera as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette for Dayton Opera and the Bar Harbor Music Festival. He also participates in a multimedia concert entitled, “Fashioned Forward” with the Dallas Museum of Art, based on the life and design portfolio of celebrated fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. He also covers the title role of Willy Wonka in The Golden Ticket with Atlanta Opera and the role of Pluto in Telemann’s Orpheus for the New York City Opera. In the previous season, he returned to Kentucky Opera to debut his Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, to Utah Opera for John Brooke in Little Women, and debuted with the Bar Harbor Music Festival as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He also sings the baritone solo in Carmina Burana with the Midland Symphony Orchestra, covers the role of Cosimo for the world premiere of John Musto’s The Inspector for Wolf Trap Opera, and performs Nate Ackerman in the North American premiere of Death Knocks with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
A frequent collaborator of composer Ben Moore, he premiered his new song cycle entitled, “Ode to a Nightingale” in New York this past fall. Last season, he portrayed Herman in Moore’s new opera Enemies, A Love Story for Kentucky Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Atlanta Ballet, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro for Tacoma Opera, and took on the role of Clyde Griffiths in the West Coast Premiere of An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker. Additionally, Chad returned to Wolf Trap Opera this spring to workshop the role of Cosimo for John Musto’s new opera, “The Inspector,” and then essayed Rossini’s poet in Il Turco in Italia and Britten’s Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in his second summer as a Filene Young Artist. In addition, he sang Laertes for the collaborative workshop of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead for American Opera Projects and Mark Morris, followed by the role of Rosencrantz for the first orchestral performances of the opera with Boston Classical Orchestra.…
He recently performed Telemaco in the critically acclaimed Wolf Trap Opera production of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria under the baton of Gary Wedow and was also featured as Harry or Larry in both the stage and film version of Elliott Carter’s What Next? at the Tanglewood Music Festival under maestro James Levine. Chad has also appeared as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory for Tacoma Opera, Second Mate in Billy Budd for Santa Fe Opera where he covered Schaunard in La bohéme, and Masetto in Don Giovanni for Utah Opera, where he also covered Dandini in La cenerentola. He has previously sung the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Claudio in Béatrice et Bénédict, and Le Fauteuil in L’enfant et les Sortileges.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Chad is an active recitalist who recently performed a program responding to an installation of French Impressionism at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. He has performed in concert with Steven Blier at Wolf Trap Opera in a program entitled “The Pursuit of Love”, and recently offered the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s “Dream Songs” at Carnegie Hall and performed at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh,
England under the tutelage of Roger Vignoles and Philip Langridge.
On the concert platform, Chad was heard in Vaughan-Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, as well as Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon and Faure’s Requiem with the Louisville Choral Arts Society. Under the baton of Keith Lockhart, he performed Peer Gynt with the Utah Symphony where he was also heard in performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Born in Turin in 1985, Gabriele Carcano began to study the piano at seven and graduated from the Conservatory G. Verdi in Turin at seventeen, with the highest grades and honors. He continued his studies with Andrea Lucchesini at Accademia di Musica in Pinerolo with Aldo Ciccolini and Nicholas Angelich, and in Paris at the Conservatoire National Superior de Musique with Marie Françoise Bucquet. He also receives the advice of Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida.
He has won various prizes, among which the Casella Prize at the Competition Premio Venezia, where he made his debut at Teatro La Fenice. Many invitations from the most prestigious Italian institutions then followed: Teatro Regio and Unione Musicale in Turin, Accademia Filarmonica in Verona, MiTo Festival. Supported by De Sono Foundation, in 2008 Gabriele Carcano was sponsored by the Fondation des Banques Populaires Françaises - Natexis. He received a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award, which places him among the most talented young artists on the international musical scene.
He has appeared in many prestigious venues in Paris (Salle Pleyel, Theatre des Champs Elysées, Cité de la Musique) Rome, London, Bologna, Milan, Montpellier, in festivals including Radio France Festival, Festival Musique en Cote Basque, and French May festival in Hong Kong and conductors such as Stephan Solyom, Alain Altinoglu, Lawrence Foster. Upon the invitation by Mitsuko Uchida, he appeared at the Marlboro Festival in the Summer 2010, where he returns in summer 2011 and 2012. In Spring 2012 he will take part in a chamber music project with Marlboro musicians for an USA tour with venues such as Philadelphia CMS, People Symphony Concert in New York, Gardner Museum Concerts in Boston. Highlights of the present and next season also include concerts in Florence, Rome, Montpellier, Toulouse for Piano aux Jacobins Festival, Tonhalle in Zurich, Scherzo Series in Madrid and Herkulees Saal in Munich.
Yasuko Oura has received national recognition as a virtuoso collaborative pianist, with concert appearances in notable venues as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Also known as a noted vocal coach and repetiteur, she has worked with such distinguished conductors as Harry Bicket, Jane Glover, and Christopher Larkin. Ms. Oura is the principal production pianist and coach for Florentine Opera and is also on the music staff for Des Moines Metro Opera, and formerly for Fort Worth Opera, Madison Opera, and AIMS in Graz, Austria. Active as a recitalist, past seasons include performances with singers such as Susanne Mentzer and Susanna Phillips, as well as performances for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Bel Canto Foundation, WFMT, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. In addition, she is the artistic director of the NSUC Concert Series. She currently resides in Chicago, where she is on the faculty of Roosevelt University as a vocal coach. Locally, she has worked with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Grant Park Orchestra Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Light Opera Works, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Wisconsin District, and Ars Viva Symphony. Ms. Oura has received fellowships to San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Opera Theater Center and Music Academy of the West and has performed for numerous masterclasses, including those for José Van Dam, Rudolf Piernay and Marilyn Horne’s Song Continues series. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where she was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow.
David McCarroll has been described by the IndieLONDON as “a great talent” who plays “with an impressive depth of feeling.” He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras including the London Mozart Players and the Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra and hasappeared in halls throughout the U.K. including Wigmore Hall, QueenElizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St. Johns, Smith Square, and FairfieldHalls. Silver medalist at the 2007 Klein International Competition, he has received numerous prizes and awards and given performances in Switzerland, Tunisia, Thailand, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Panama, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Israel, and throughout the United States.
Upcoming performances include Stravinsky’s violin concerto at theKonzerthaus Berlin, chamber music at Marlboro Music Festival, and continued performances of György Kurtág’s powerful and profound songcycle “Kafka Fragments” for violin and soprano with Tiffany DuMouchelle.
An active chamber musician, he has played in many chamber ensembles with musicians including Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Anthony Marwood, Roger Tapping, Atar Arad, Peter Wiley, Paul Katz, Timothy Eddy, Laurence Lesser, Mitsuko Uchida, and Richard Goode. He has performedat festivals including Marlboro, Caramoor’s Rising Stars Series, Ravinia, Prussia Cove’s Open Chamber Music (England), Yellow Barn, Moab, Windsor Festival (England), Menuhin Festival Gstaad (Switzerland), Gower (Wales), Manchester Quartetfest (England), Wyastone (Wales), and Spittalfields (London).
David was born in Santa Rosa, California in 1986 and began studying the violin with Helen Payne Sloat at the age of 4. At 8, he attendedthe Crowden School of Music in Berkeley studying with Anne Crowden.When David was 13, he received an invitation to join an international group of 60 young music students at the Yehudi Menuhin School outside London where he studied with Simon Fischer. David continued his studies with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and with Antje Weithaas in the Konzertexamen program at the Hanns Eisler Academy in Berlin.
In addition to music, David maintains an active interest in social concerns, including the needs of those impacted by the AIDS pandemic, and is currently working on projects of the Starcross Community to help AIDS orphans in Africa. He has played in programs encouraging world peace promoted by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and has given benefit concerts for Doctors Without Borders. With other members of his family, David has worked to get strings to young music students in Cuba where such items are very difficult to obtain. David plays a 1761 violin made by A & J Gagliano.
Michelle Ross is enjoying a career as a soloist, chamber musician, and composer. This fall Michelle will become a Fellow of the Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, and was recently awarded a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, with which she will be recording her debut CD. A current participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, she will be touring with Musicians from Marlboro in their 2013 and 2014 seasons. Michelle has also been invited to festivals such as Music@Menlo, the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, and Kneisel Hall. As a soloist, she has performed with the Westchester Philharmonic, Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, and the Yonkers Philharmonic. She has given recitals and lectures at the Neue Galerie, Westbury Gardens, Grand Central Academy, and the WMP Concert Hall.
As a composer and improviser, Michelle is extremely interested in collaborative works. Recently, her work went on tour with the Aspen Sante Fe Ballet, and she has had premieres in Lincoln Center's Beyond the Machine Festival, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Michelle has worked with filmmakers, choreographers, visual artists, and actors. Michelle can also be seen playing with the rock band Reserved for Rondee.
Trained with Itzhak Perlman since the age of 12, Michelle holds a M.M. from the Juilliard School and a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She originally moved to New York to study with Ms. Dorothy DeLay, and has also studied with Catherine Cho, Ronald Copes, Joel Smirnoff, Pinchas Zukerman, and Patinka Kopec. Michelle has studied composition with Dr. Samuel Adler and Dr. Andrew Thomas.
Originally from Bloomington, IL, Philip Kramp graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. His primary teachers have included Joseph DePasquale, Michael Tree, and Roger Tapping. Philip studied chamber music with Steve Tenenbom, Pamela Frank and members of the Guarneri String Quartet. Currently, Philip enjoys a diverse career as an orchestral player and a chamber musician. Phil is a regular substitute violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He tours regularly across the globe with the Mark Morris Dance Group. He has performed chamber music with Pamela Frank, Philip Setzer, Gil Kalish, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Soovin Kim, Michael Tree, Miriam Fried and many more. Philip has participated in many esteemed chamber music festivals, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, Music From Angel Fire, and Sarasota. Philip has performed across the country with Musicians from Marlboro. He was a top prize winner at the 2010 Irving Klein International String Competition.
Angela Park was born in Los Angeles in 1987 and started to play the cello at age 10 in Seoul, with Sung-eun Hong. She studied with Peter Wiley and Orlando Cole at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she received her Bachelor degree in 2007, and also with Kyungmi Lim. She has performed with Leonidas Kavakos, Peter Wiley, Miriam Fried, Christoph Eschenbach, Bruno Canino, the Philadelphia Orchestra, KBS (Korean Broadcast) Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic, among others, and has participated in the Steans Institute of Ravinia Festival, Kronberg Masterclasses, Piatigorsky Cello Seminar, Verbier Festival Academy, Marlboro Festival, and Music Seminar at Prussia Cove. Her performances include recital and concerto appearances throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, as well as on national radio and television programs.
Angela received a Master of Music degree with academic honors in 2009 and a Graduate Diploma in 2010 as a student of Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory, where she was a recipient of the Gregor Piatigorsky Scholarship and a member of the Honors Ensemble, Trio ING. Currently she is a student of Jens Peter Maintz in the Konzertexam
program of the Universität der Künste Berlin.
Acclaimed and eclectic cellist Paul Wiancko has performed all over the world, from solo appearances in Warsaw's National Philharmonic and Brazil's Teatro Nacional to chamber music performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to jazz shows at the Hollywood Bowl and the Blue Note in New York. The scope of his talent and passion extend well beyond performance—Wiancko is an accomplished composer, producer, and collaborator, and has worked with an array of iconic artists, from jazz greats Chick Corea and Etta James to rock legends Dave Stewart and Joe Cocker. Flip through a portfolio of Wiancko's own work and you may land on anything from an electronic cartoon soundtrack to an experimental suite for strings to a Hip-Hop Cello Concerto, the New York premiere of which was described by Sequenza21 as "surprising, fun, fresh, and even innovative."
Wiancko has soloed with orchestras across the United States, South America, and Europe, but remains a chamber player at heart. Over the years, Wiancko has cultivated his love of chamber music--and hiking--in the beautiful settings of the Aspen, Perlman, Olympic, and Marlboro music festivals, and has shared the stage with many of today's classical masters, including Richard Goode, Midori, Joseph Silverstein, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Ysaye quartets. As cellist of the Harlem Quartet, Wiancko performed and taught extensively throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Africa. Wiancko regularly appears with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Wiancko's multifaceted musical personality was established early on. In his youth, Paul was described by many as a child prodigy, which belied the fact that much of his practicing was stealthily devoted to improvising, playing songs from his favorite albums, and composing. Wiancko attributes this to a relatively short attention span--which has "since elongated, but not by much"--as well as an early introduction to classic rock, folk, and hip-hop. At 17, he moved to Los Angeles, where he studied cello with Ron Leonard while winning top prizes at competitions around the world. Simultaneously, Wiancko gained a reputation as an innovative and virtuosic studio musician, able to improvise in any style and compose parts on the spot. In 2006, he founded LiveStringTheory, a studio devoted to recording live strings in collaboration with bands, artists and producers. Wiancko's compositions and arrangements can be heard on numerous albums, films, and commercials.
The desire to create and ability to self-teach have been the driving forces behind Wiancko's carreer and hobbies. These days, Paul is proficient enough on a classical guitar to stumble through Albéniz's Asturias and Led Zeppelin's Since I've Been Loving You on the electric, as well as Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight on the piano. Paul is an amateur blues harmonica, berimbau (single-stringed Brazilian instrument), and theremin enthusiast, and is a self-described "fairweather photographer" and "karaoke tenor."
Paul Wiancko performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles cello commissioned for him by the Maestro Foundation in Santa Monica, California. He resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Masha Popova, twenty-two, from Oak Park, IL, began studying flute at age eleven. She continued her studies through high school with Donna Milanovich. Most recently, Masha was the first prize winner in the woodwind/brass division at the Young Texas Artist Competition. Masha was the Albert M. Greenfield concerto competition senior division winner, and performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2009-2010 season. Masha has also performed as a soloist with the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, and Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra. In most recent summers, Masha has attended the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), National Repertory Orchestra, and Spoleto Music Festival USA.
Masha Popova received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Khaner, principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She recently finished her Master of Music at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, where she studied with Leone Buyse.
Matthew McDonald is the Principal Bassoonist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to his appointment there, he was the co-principal bassoonist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. McDonald has performed as soloist with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the International Double Reed Society conference. He has appeared with festival orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Matthew began studying with Hunter Thomas, and later with Benjamin Kamins. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, his other teachers include Barrick Stees, Bernard Garfield, and Daniel Matsukawa. Besides playing the bassoon, Matt enjoys poetry and wine.
American composer William Harvey has written over fifty works, which have received over 100 performances, including a national radio broadcast of the Sonata for Solo Violin (From the Top, NPR) and a national television broadcast of the Tarantella for Strings (Musical Encounters, PBS). The Indiana University String Academy commissions him frequently, playing his works all over the United States, France, Argentina, and Japan. He has scored films for Jaron Henrie- McCrea (winner of a Student Academy Award).
In October 2011, cellist Peter Myers and pianist Sarah Gibson gave the world premiere in Los Angeles of “Woodcuts,” a piece based on War, a series of woodcuts by Käthe Kollwitz. In 2006, Harvey’s piano work, Cuerpo Garrido, received Columbia University’s prestigious Bearns Prize. In 2005, When I Have Fears for soprano and piano received its premiere at the Wolf Trap Festival in Virginia, with a repeat performance at New York Festival of Song. In 2003, a string quartet from Kneisel Hall played William's Four Romances throughout Maine. The previous year saw his Colors, scored for soprano and four cellos and based on a Yevtushenko poem, receive its premiere at New York's Society for Ethical Culture. William has studied composition with Samuel Adler, Sven-David Sandstrom, and Michael Schelle.
Also a professional violinist, William has served as Violin and Viola Teacher at Afghanistan National Institute of Music since March 2010. He has collaborated with many of the most renowned Afghan musicians to record, perform, rehearse, or arrange their compositions: Homayoun Sakhi, Ustad Gulzaman, Qasem Rameshgar, Ustad Gholam Hossein, and Ustad Arman, among others. His guest appearances on the national televised singing contest, Afghan Star, have made him instantly recognizable on the street for most Afghans. He has conducted the Afghan Youth Orchestra five times for President Hamid Karzai and numerous times for various ambassadors, members of parliament, and Ministers of the Afghan cabinet. He has frequently given command performances on the street for Afghan national police officers.
He has previously served as concertmaster of the Spokane Symphony and has performed concerti with orchestras in the USA, Mexico, and Philippines. William earned a Master's degree with the William Schuman Prize from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor's of Music with highest distinction from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
In 2005, William founded Cultures in Harmony, an NGO that promotes cultural understanding through music. Cultures in Harmony has created compositions with underprivileged children in Egypt, AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe, and indigenous groups in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. In Pakistan, Cultures in Harmony performed for thousands of children at schools run by The Citizens Foundation; additionally, William collaborated with rapper Adil Omar and rock band Irtaash. Workshops in Qatar, Egypt, the Philippines, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, and Mexico have benefited thousands of young classical musicians.
Born in 1982, William grew up in Indianapolis, USA, where he graduated from North Central High School, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2011. He lives in Kabul, Afghanistan, where his interests include community service projects and watching Bollywood movies.
J. Cooper Schrimsher
J. Cooper Schrimsher is a senior majoring in music composition at the Florida State University College of Music. His passion for the arts extends from writing choral, instrumental, and chamber pieces to singing and performing in musicals and operas. As a previous member of the Birmingham-Southern College New Music Ensemble, where he studied for two years, four of Cooper's compositions premiered in various concerts.
Awards include first place from the state of Alabama in the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) senior category division 2007 for his choral piece, "Come to the Lord." His duet for violin and piano, "Field of Dreams," was selected for performance at BSC's Composition Honors Day Concert, the Ars Nova Annual Gala in Huntsville, Alabama, and for the Birmingham Art Music Alliance's first concert of the season, 2010-2011, at Samford University. Cooper's most recent accolade includes winning the FSU Society of Composers Competition where his piece "Lo V'amo Sol Perche," written for soprano, cello, and piano, was one of three selected compositions to receive a premiere performance in February of 2012 by guest soprano artist Rachel Eve Holmes.
Cooper plans to pursue a career in conducting and composition. His studies include voice instruction with Dr. David Smith and Dr. Ginger Beazley, piano with Steinway Artist Professor William DeVan, and composition with Dr. Charles Norman Mason, Dr. Dorothy Hindman, Mr. K. Lee Scott, and current studies with Dr. Clifton Callender at Florida State University.