Daniel Burwasser, a composer, percussionist and teacher, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Burwasser grew up in a musical family. He began piano lessons at age five, and at eleven, he turned his interests to percussion instruments, which he began studying both in school and privately. Burwasser shifted his focus from performance to composition while working on his Bachelor of Music in percussion performance at Temple University. After graduating from Temple University, he went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in theory and composition from Rutgers University, where he studied with Charles Wuorinen, Robert Moevs, and Noel DaCosta . Burwasser went on to complete his Ph.D. in composition from the Graduate School of the City University of New York where he studied with David Olan and David Del Tredici.
Burwasser has taught at Columbia Teacher’s College, New York City College of Technology, Queens College, and currently at Hunter College. He is currently Director of Instrumental Music at Talent Unlimited High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. Burwasser is also currently Principal Conductor of the New York All-City High School Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as a music panelist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Delaware Division of the Arts.
Burwasser's compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Armenia, Slovakia, and Russia and combines classical traditions with jazzy harmonies and lively rhythms. He has composed numerous soundtracks for children's stories and arranged for television. Burwasser has been the recipient of numerous ASCAP composer awards in addition to grants from The American Music Center and Meet the Composer. His orchestral music has been performed and recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concordia Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. He has received commissions from Downtown Music Productions and electric violist, Martha Mooke. His work FLUX for string orchestra was recently re-released on Navona Records on a CD called Dimensions. Another of Burwasser’s orchestral works, CATCHING FIREFLIES, has also been re-released on Navona. Burwasser’s music is published by Imagine Music and Ensemble Publications.
Allan Crossman was born into an artistic family in New York City, 1942, and has always been active musically. He has had the great pleasure to write for many notable soloists and ensembles worldwide on both concert and theater stages, including many commissions. Compositions have received special awards and commentary, as has his teaching.
Music for Human Choir shared Top Honors at the Waging Peace through Singing Festival in Oregon; Millennium Overture Dance appeared on a GRAMMY-nominated album from North/South Consonance ("...a brilliant and fleeting work of beguiling melodic character and supple rhythmic life. It dances between a variety of festive episodes with élan and robust invention."); Flyer was written for the centenary of the famous Wright Brothers flight (N/S, Max Lifchitz, conductor "...a swooping, glissando-obsessed tribute to the first powered flight...The feeling of weightlessness is by no means unpleasant."); and his Gypsy Ballads was performed by pianist Nannette Solomon at the International Lorca Conference in Spain. His work has been supported by Canada Council for the Arts, American Composers Forum, and Meet the Composer, among others.
He has composed for many theater companies. The Log of the Skipper’s Wife was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Co. at Stratford, England and the Kennedy Center, with music drawn from Irish/Scottish shanties; it also appeared at the Camden Opera House, Maine, where Dorothea Balano, the skipper’s wife, saw many operas in the early 20th century. He was music director of the Anne of Green Gables musical tour of Montreal and Hong Kong and was creator of the soundtrack for the award-winning animated film X MAN, by Christopher Hinton (National Film Board of Canada).
His frequent appearances accompanying concert soloists includes a recent recital by Richard Mix at the Beethoven Center, San Jose CA.
He has taught at Concordia University, Montreal (Professor Emeritus), San Francisco Conservatory, Wheaton College, Pacific Conservatory, and the John Adams Young Composers Program (Crowden Music Center); a number of his students are active as concert and film composers. His teachers were George Rochberg, George Crumb and Hugo Weisgall at the University of Pennsylvania, and principal piano studies with Irwin Gelber.
The Eusebius Duo
Praised for their “sensitive and ingenious” interpretations, Monika Gruber and Hillary Nordwell formed the Eusebius Duo in 2005, following their graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2006, they took first prize in the CMFONE International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in Boston, MA, resulting in a performance at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York. Based in the Bay Area, they appear regularly in San Francisco’s many chamber music venues, including Noontime Concerts, Old First Concerts, and 405 Shrader.
The duo’s mutual love of Robert Schumann’s life and music brought them together under the name “Eusebius,” one of the pseudonyms Schumann used in writing for his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. The German press states, “It is the split between the lyrical ‘Eusebius’ and the wildly open ‘Florestan’ (both pseudonyms of Schumann), that also characterizes the playing of the Eusebius Duo. Quick-tempered displays of strength pair themselves with irresistibly melting tone… The musical partners seem, even in the smallest nuances, to be in agreement with one another.” Another reviewer comments on Nordwell’s “musical zeal,” and Gruber’s “soft, clear tone, which she can also imbue with gripping fire.”
The shared education of the Eusebius Duo at the San Francisco Conservatory includes chamber music study with Mark Sokol, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen, and master classes with Gilbert Kalish (SUNY Stony Brook), Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio) and Martha Katz (Cleveland Quartet).
David DeVasto (b.1979) has presented works in the United States and Europe; including The IAEF International Summer Arts Institute, The Council for Undergraduate Research, Society of Composers, Charlotte New Music Festival, Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers, Electronic Music Midwest, The Iowa Composers Forum, Nevada Encounters of New Music, and The Electro-Acoustic Juke Joint.
DeVasto’s work has been broadcast from coast to coast in North America and internationally in Asia and Africa, and his recent CD, “Crimson & Lace” (2015), received positive reviews in Gramophone Magazine. DeVasto’s works are published by The SCI Journal of Music Scores and Bergmann Edition, and recordings of his works appear on Navona Records. Additionally, DeVasto is featured as a pianist on several albums, including Dreams of Pangea (Southport Records), and Reflection (Flitterswift), featuring renowned saxophonist Mark Colby.
DeVasto earned his Ph.D. from The University of Iowa in 2009, studying under David Gompper and John Rapson, and has formerly served on the music faculties at Lindenwood University and McKendree University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Elmhurst College in the Chicago area.
For more on David DeVasto, please visit www.devasto.net
Michael Lee born in Atlanta, GA and raised in Maryland, is a doctoral candidate in music composition at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Michael is a former graduate of the Juilliard School (M.M.) and the Eastman School of Music (B.M.). His teachers include Samuel Adler, Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.
Michael’s influences range from Stravinsky to hints of early rock, jazz, and electronic music, as well as 16th century polyphony. Growing up in Maryland and New York, his first musical experiences were through trumpet performance, primarily in jazz improvisation and baroque music. Eclectic in styles, notations, orchestrations, and ensembles, his music has been cited by the Portland Herald Press for its “rhythmical drive [and] traditional harmonic touches that are both surprising and inevitable.”
Michael’s music has been performed recently by the Thornton Edge, Albany Symphony, USC Symphony, Seattle’s Classical Radio station 98.1 FM, Juilliard Orchestra, New York Virtuoso Singers, members from the Moravian Philharmonic, Kharkov Philharmonic, Oradea State Philharmonic, Serenata String Quartet, Gamper Festival at Bowdoin, ALEA II Contemporary Ensemble, Boston New Music Initiative, and the Chamber Music of Rochester, among others. His music has received recognition from MusicNow (Indiana State Univ.), the Baltimore Sun, the Portland Herald Press, and the Chronicle (NYC).
His music is a recipient of several honors and awards, including The Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy of Arts and Letters, Winner of the USC New Music to Orchestra Composition Competition, the Arthur Friedman Prize from the Juilliard Orchestral Composition Competition (Top Prize), the 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Award, two time ASCAP Morton Gould Composers’ Award Finalist (’14/’15), the 28th International ALEA II Competition, letter of praise from BMI, 1st Prize NACUSA Competition, the Howard Hanson Prize, the Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize, 2014 Finalist in the Apollo Chamber Players Contest, and most recently, his orchestral work "Amped" was performed by the Albany Symphony in 2015. www.michaelleecomposer.com
Georges Raillard was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1957. There he completed primary and secondary studies, as well as studies in foreign languages at university. From 1983 to 2001 he lived in Madrid, Spain, as a language teacher, translator, and writer. Since 2001 he has lived as a writer, composer for guitar, translator, and archivist mainly in Basel, though still spending longer periods of time in Spain looking for inspiration.
From 1973 to 1978 he took private classes on classical guitar and composition with Elfin F. Vogel, who now lives and works in New York City. Since 1974 he has composed more than 50 pieces for guitar. He publishes them on his website www.georges-raillard.com. His composition „Disintegration“ (German title: „Zerfall“) won the second prize of the composition competition at the Festival Claxica 2010 in Castel d’Aiano, Italy, the first prize not being assigned.
In German he has published short stories, articles, and reviews in magazines and anthologies in German-speaking countries, as well as five books with short stories: Hirnströme eines Stubenhockers [Brain Currents of a Homebody] (1994), Das Wort und der Schrei [A Word and a Shout] (1997), Herr Monza oder Herr Monza [Mr. Monza or Mr. Monza] (2002), Der Lauf des Amazonas [The Course of the Amazon] (2009), Aus dem Hintergrund Chorgesang [Choral Singing from the Background] (2013).
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