photo: Duke Winn

vertex 

noun ˈvər-ˌteks a point where two or more curves, lines, or edges meet.

Vertex Duo, comprised of Jeremy Chan (piano) and Kristin Gornstein (mezzo-soprano), bring the perspective of multiple cultures, backgrounds, and musical aesthetics to their work, sharing a love for freshness and improvisation in classical music. They have performed together in recitals at Seiji Ozawa Hall, Caramoor Center for the Arts, and the DiMenna Center in New York City. Chan and Gornstein met performing the works of William Bolcom, and this shared focus on performing the works of living composers has brought them to their current project, a recording of contemporary songs exploring the ways in which we find joy through sorrow. Featuring a newly commissioned song set by Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer Alex Weiser as well as works by Kamala Sankaram, Annika Socolofsky, James Primosch, Max Johnson, and Robert Balaguer, the album is entitled JOY TOO, and will be released on Navona Records in 2024.

Praised as “a fine actress with a deep, spacious sound” [Parterre], American mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein brings her “rich-voiced mezzo-soprano” and “lines of an uncannily silky legato” [New York Times] to her work, ranging from the traditional to the edgy and imaginative. She was lauded for her recent portrayal of Piramo in Johan Hasse’s baroque gem Piramo e Tisbe with The Little Opera Theatre of New York, with Opera News calling her performance, “…masterful. She sang the difficult role with a truly flawless lyric mezzo.” In October 2022 she enjoyed her Lincoln Center debut in the role of Wang Sheng in the China Now Music Festival’s production of Painted Skin. Recent performances include the role of Mars in the Peruvian opera La púrpura de la rosa with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and the title role in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Fort Collins. She will return to the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado next season to appear as Antonio in Hasse’s Antonio e Cleopatra

In previous seasons she has been lauded for her portrayal of Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera in a co-production by On Site Opera and Atlanta Opera, a role she reprised in 2018 at Caramoor. She performed in the ensemble of Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman’s groundbreaking opera Acquanetta, both in the 2018 world premiere at the Prototype Festival, and in its reprisal at the Bard Summerscape Festival in 2019. In addition, the past seasons have included several role debuts: Angelina in Rossini’s La cenerentola with Salt Marsh Opera, Lady-in-Waiting in Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Company of Middlebury, and Paul in the world premiere of Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Clark’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June with Indianapolis Opera.

Gornstein made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Spring of 2018, winning third place in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition. She has joined Sacred Music in a Sacred Space as alto soloist for both Vivaldi’s Gloria, the NY Wind Symphony for de Meij’s 4th Symphony, Sinfonietta Riverdale as Bessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, and the American University of Beirut as soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Gornstein toured with Mark Morris Dance Company’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as an ensemble member, appeared at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic for Honegger’s Jean D’Arc au Bûcher, and has made numerous appearances in recital at Caramoor. Gornstein is also a regular soloist with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and an ensemble member of the Colorado-based groups the St. Martins’ Chamber Choir, and Gaudium Verum. 

Jeremy Chan is an Australian pianist and vocal coach based in New York City. His playing has been praised as “superb” and for “summoning about as much color as can possibly be coaxed out” (New York Classical Review). Chan is on staff at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music and serves as Director of Music at Advent Lutheran Church. 

Chan has worked on over 30 opera productions around the United States, as well as the 2017 China tour of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. This 2023–2024 season includes productions of West Side Story (Opera Australia), Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Manhattan School of Music), Massenet’s Cendrillon, performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, NYU, and appearances with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, American Opera Projects, Central City Chorus, and the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. 

Engagements include official pianist for the distinguished Naumburg 2020 International Vocal Competition, residencies at Yellow Barn, performances at Wigmore Hall, Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festival, and St. John’s in the Village. 

Chamber music credits include performances with the American String Quartet and the Hector del Curto Quintet. Chan sat on the selection committee for the Steinway & Sons 2019 Junior Piano Competition and on the peer review committee for the 2020 Arts Fund with the American Australian Association. Outside of music, Chan enjoys yoga, tea, and food adventures. Follow Chan @jeremychanpiano and jeremychanpianist.com