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MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN executive director   LEAHA MARIA VILLARREAL artistic director   JAMES HOLT host   MEG ZERVOULIS music director   KATIE COX flute   DOMENICA FOSSATI flutes   ISABEL KIM clarinet   ANDIE TANNING SPRINGER violin/viola/ukulele   KALLIE CIECHOMSKI viola   GILLIAN GALLAGHER viola   CAROLINE BEAN cello   ROSE BELLINI cello   SHAWN LOVATO bass   DAVID FRIEND piano   KIRSTEN VOLNESS piano   NICK GLEASON percussion   JOSH PERRY percussion   CAITLIN MCKECHNEY mezzo-soprano   HANNIS BROWN guitar   KELLI RUDICK guitar   PETER BUSSIGEL electronics   JASCHA NARVESON electronics   JOANNA SZU director of marketing & p.r.   DOMINICA ERIKSEN resident photographer  


MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN (executive director) is dedicated to composing music that pushes the boundaries of expectation and musical tradition. As a first generation Armenian-American, she uses a sonic pallet that draws on her heritage, interest in folk music, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new. With commissions from the American Composers Forum, REDSHIFT, and the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble, her compositions range from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores.

 

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LEAHA MARIA VILLARREAL (artistic director) blends literature and visual art with experimental composition to bring a contemporary focus to classical music. Fascinated by themes of home, loss, and memory, her works side-step boundaries and defy convention. Villarreal's music has premiered on both coasts featuring the JACK Quartet, violinist Andie Tanning Springer, and members of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and is pursuing her M.M. at New York University with Michael Gordon.

 

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JAMES HOLT (host) is a composer, podcaster, and arts administrator. His music has been performed across the country and internationally, including recent performances in New York, Boston, St. Paul, and San Francisco. His bi-weekly podcast, My Ears Are Open, is dedicated to contemporary composers and performers. This ever-growing library of interviews features contemporary music’s most important advocates from around the world. Holt is originally from Seattle and now lives and works in New York City.

 

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MEG ZERVOULIS (music director) is a musical director and pianist, collaborating in the realms of Broadway and chamber music alike. Zervoulis’ current residencies include Paper Mill Playhouse (M.D./Arranger/Accompanist) and Montclair State University (Adjunct Professor, Mainstage M.D., Accompanist). Her Off-Broadway credits include Chuckleball at the Snapple Theatre (M.D./Arranger/Stage Pianist) and Rated P…for Parenthood (M.D., Upcoming). Zervoulis received a B.F.A. with honors in Piano Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

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KATIE COX (flute) is an active chamber musician, having co-founded the award winning the Los Angeles-based wind quintet Quintessential Winds and the Alaska-based Wildshore New Music Festival. She has been a finalist in the National Flute Association Competition and the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and has performed with the National Professional Flute Choir, Fargo/Moorehead Opera Company, Beverly Hills Chamber Music Institute, and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, among others. Cox holds a B.M from Concordia College and an M.M. from California State University, Long Beach.

 

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DOMENICA FOSSATI (flutes) earned her M.F.A. at New York University with Robert Dick, where she also served as adjunct faculty. An advocate of fusing contemporary techniques with pop and non-western music, she performs with some of today’s leading artists, ensembles, and composers, blurring genre lines to allow for a unique and eclectic sound. She is a founding member of Concert Black and is the front-woman of the multicultural ensemble Underground System, one of the only afrobeat bands to exclusively feature a female at front.

 

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ISABEL KIM (clarinet) has performed with the Arabesque Winds, Nouveau Classical Project, Rochester City Ballet, Chesapeake Orchestra, New York Chamber Virtuosi, and Eastman BroadBand, appearing at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, (le) poisson rouge, and Galapagos Art Space. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she has recorded for Bridge Records and ArkivMusic. Additional engagements include the Wooster Chamber Music Series, Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Series, and the Sanibel Music Festival.

 

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ANDIE TANNING SPRINGER (violin/viola/ukulele), a native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Springer specializes in contemporary music and is also a founder and co-director of new music ensembles TRANSIT and REDSHIFT. Springer has premiered and commissioned solo works by Mary Kouyoumdjian, Leaha Maria Villarreal, Rich Shemaria, Bryan Jacobs, and Robert Ashley. Recent highlights include the premiere and European tour of Richard Maxwell’s Neutral Hero, and the premiere of Redshift’s large-scale commissioning project “Arctic Sounds.”

 

KALLIE CIECHOMSKI (viola) splits her time between Miami and New York as a member of the New World Symphony and an active participant in New York’s new music scene. Recent engagements include her solo debut with New World Symphony as part of their John Cage festival, concerts in Austria at the Ensemble Modern festival, a European tour with Aldeburgh World Orchestra and 29 premieres of new compositions. Ciechomski’s 2013–14 season engagements include a lecture/recital tour featuring unaccompanied contemporary viola works, concerts as guest violist of Friction Quartet in San Francisco, and a Carnegie Hall debut with new music ensemble Hotel Elefant as part of David Lang’s residency.

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GILLIAN GALLAGHER (viola) is making a considerable name for herself as a multi-dimensional artist and chamber musician, having collaborated with such performers as violinist Arnold Steinhardt, pianists Claude Frank and Jerome Lowenthal, the Tokyo String Quartet, and violinist/composer Mark O'Connor. She has been on viola faculty at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Mark O'Connor's String Camps, and the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival. Gallagher received both her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory, and Hsin-Yun Huang.

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CAROLINE BEAN (cello) has performed as soloist with the Florida Orchestra, the Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, and the Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra; has been a member of the New World Symphony; and has also performed with the San Francisco and Berkeley symphonies. She has collaborated with such composers as John Adams, Thomas Adès, Oliver Knussen, and Michael Gordon. Bean holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, and is currently a doctoral teaching fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center.

 

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ROSE BELLINI (cello) is an avid performer of a wide variety of music including classical, amplified, improvisational, crossover, and experimental. She regularly performs with contemporary music ensembles, modern dance companies, bands, and chamber and orchestral groups around New York City and across North America.

 

 

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SHAWN LOVATO (bass) works as a freelance jazz bassist performing in New York City’s finest venues. Lovato tours the country regularly, performing with jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, Celtic groups, independent contemporary composers, and dance choreographers. Lovato is a dedicated music educator, teaching jazz and classical bass throughout the New York Area. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Jazz at Hofstra University.

 

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DAVID FRIEND (piano) is dedicated to ensuring the continued relevance of the art of the piano in contemporary culture. As a champion of new and experimental music, he has performed at top venues including Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall (London), and the Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid). As a soloist, he presents programs that seek to revitalize the experience of a piano recital for the 21st century.

 

 

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KIRSTEN VOLNESS (piano) is a composer, pianist, and educator. Volness enjoys collaborating with a myriad of contemporary ensembles, writing music for others to play (Colorado Quartet, NOW Ensemble, and REDSHIFT) and performing with groups like Hotel Elefant, Erik Ehn’s Tenderloin Opera Co., and Awesome Collective. She resides and teaches privately in Providence and works with the non-profit Boston New Music Initiative.

 

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NICK GLEASON (percussion) is a devoted advocate for contemporary music. He actively works with composers including Salvatore Macchia, Francesco Hoch, Margaret Schedel, and Charles Bestor, among others. Gleason is co-founder of the Sinopia Quartet and has performed with the Boston New Music Initiative, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and Winged Harmony Ensemble.

 

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JOSH PERRY (percussion) is a passionate advocate for contemporary music and interdisciplinary performance mediums. Acclaimed by The New York Times as a "creative percussionist," Perry is a core member of Iktus Percussion, a collective-based new music group in NYC. A proponent for composer-performer collaboration, he consistently works with living composers and has premiered multiple new works for percussion and mixed ensemble. He has recently been heard at performance venues including Carnegie Hall, Issue Project Room, Galapagos Art Space, Trinity Church, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Roulette, and Lincoln Center.

 

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CAITLIN MCKECHNEY (mezzo-soprano) is a vocalist from Lake Bluff, Illinois. Operatic credits include Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly with Opera New Jersey, The Wife/Mother in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek and Inez in No Exit with Chicago Opera Vanguard, and Carmen in an outreach production with Opera Santa Barbara. McKechney apprenticed with Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. McKechney also loves to draw and paint and maintains a private voice studio.

 

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HANNIS BROWN (guitar) has performed under the direction of notable musicians including former Tonight Show bassist Joel DiBartolo, jazz composers Maria Schneider and Ed Neumeister, legendary guitarist John Abercrombie, trumpet great Bobby Shew, and Quincy Troupe, poet and Miles Davis biographer. His résumé includes extensive tours of the Western United States with the noise-funk outfit LOBE as well as performances in New York City, the POP Montreal Festival 2011, and a tour of Poland as bandleader of the Hannis Brown Ensemble.

 

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KELLI RUDICK (guitar) is an American-born composer and instrumentalist. Her distinctive style is marked by her passionate curiosity and imagination as she plays guitar with original tunings and chords, percussive rhythms, and looped beats. Exploring new territories and mixing genres, she is passionate about scoring film. Beyond the studio and with a full fleet of instruments and players, Rudick has toured the U.S. and has played internationally in the U.K. and Israel.

 

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PETER BUSSIGEL (electronics) is a composer and intermedia artist interested in abrupt cuts, zooming in, science fiction, recursion, waiting, multiples, wormholes, smashing things together and looking through binoculars. His work has been performed in concerts and festivals throughout North America and Japan. Bussigel is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments at Brown University.

 

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JASCHA NARVESON (electronics) was raised in a concert hall and put to sleep as a child with an old vinyl copy of the Bell Labratories mainframe computer singing Bicycle Built for Two. He now makes music for people, machines, and interesting combinations of people and machines. To hear more of his work, go to www.jaschanarveson.com

 

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JOANNA SZU (director of marketing & p.r.), a California native, began her career in non-profit arts administration as a Development Assistant at La Jolla Music Society. Before moving to New York's Hudson Valley, she was the Publicity Assistant at the Department of Music at University of California, San Diego and the Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Longy School of Music in Boston. She now serves as the Marketing Manager at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

 

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DOMINICA ERIKSEN (resident photographer) was born in California and currently lives and works in New York City. A photographer and graphic designer, she is fascinated with the power images have to tell stories. Eriksen holds B.A.’s from CSU Sacramento in Multimedia and Photography and is pursuing her M.F.A. in Cinematography at New York University. Her work, which explores the relationship between contrast, shape, and mood, has been exhibited on both coasts.

 


 

© 2011 Hotel Elefant

 

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