APOLLO CHAMBER PLAYERS
Apollo Chamber Players is a nonprofit chamber music organization that explores the cultural and folkloric influences in classical music through innovative, thematically-programmed concerts and educational activities, and the commissioning of new music. Founded in 2008 and based in Houston (TX), Apollo presents season concerts at Rice University and Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) and is presented by organizations both regionally and nationally. Recent touring engagements include concerts for Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, Seattle University (WA), Grand Junction Symphony (CO), and in Lake Charles (LA) and Fredericksburg (TX). Apollo is a featured member of Young Audiences of Houston, a non-profit arts-in-education provided reaching 330,000 students annually.
Composer Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 500 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over 15 operas. Grammy award-winning and widely recorded, including over 50 CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony.
Henry Thacker Burleigh
Henry Thacker Burleigh was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1866. Burleigh was surrounded by music from the start - his mother began his musical training at an early age and his grandfather taught him old ‘sorrow songs’ (now known as spirituals). When his mother’s employer heard him sing and was impressed with his talent, she made it possible for him to have access to many musicales she hosted in her home by employing him as a doorman. In this capacity he heard many prominent performers of his time.
In 1892, Burleigh received a full scholarship to the National Conservatory of Music. He met Czech composer Antonin Dvořák at St. George’s Episcopal Church where he was working to make ends meet. Dvořák soon became Burleigh’s most influential mentor, their relationship blossoming into one of mutual admiration and friendship over time. Burleigh began assisting Dvořák - copying scores and running errands - and he would sing the spirituals he had learned from his grandfather when he dined at the Dvořák home. Dvořák was so moved by Burleigh’s renditions of the spirituals that he urged him to arrange and notate the folk traditions of his ancestors. According to Burleigh, he tells that he “..sang our Negro songs for him very often, and before he wrote his own themes, he filled himself with the spirit of the old Spirituals." Dvořák famously professed: "In the negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music.”
Particularly unique to Burleigh’s work was his arrangement of spirituals for the solo voice. By arranging spirituals in the form of fine art songs, Burleigh made African American music accessible to concert singers for the first time. G. Schirmer published three of Burleigh’s early songs between 1899 and 1900, and soon after Burleigh became an editor for G. Ricordi. The prosperous New York synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, hired him in the coveted position of soloist: He was the first African-American to hold such a position and sang there for 25 years. Burleigh also served on the faculty of his alma mater, the National Conservatory, for several years and received honorary degrees from both Howard and Atlanta Universities. Burleigh was a charter member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and he had a successful career as a touring artist, composer, arranger, teacher, and editor.
In his lengthy career, Burleigh wrote 265 vocal works and made 187 choral arrangements. In 1916 he published Jubilee Songs of the United States of America, a book of arrangements of spirituals for solo vocal performance. Henry Burleigh entered a nursing home in 1946, and died in Stamford, Connecticut on December 12, 1949.
Turkish composer, pianist and conductor Erberk Eryılmaz was born in Samsun, Turkey in 1989. He started his music education when he was three and has studied at the Samsun Conservatory, Hacettepe University - Ankara State Conservatory and at the Hartt School. He has studied composition with Serdar Mukhatov, Stephen Gryc, Robert Carl, David Macbride and Leonardo Balada; piano with Nuran Taşpınar, Oxana Yablonskaya, Gulmira Tokombaeva and Margreet Francis; conducting with Christopher Zimmerman, Edward Cumming, and Robert Page. He is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma in composition at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studies with Reza Vali. He has also had private studies with world-famous pianists such as Andrej Jasinski, Vicenzo Balzani, Stanislav Pochekin, Felix Gottlieb, and composers Bright Sheng, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, William Bolcom, and John Corigliano.
Eryılmaz has received numerous awards such as 1st prize for his Sonata for Piano in the SCI/ASCAP(North East) Composition Competition, grand prize as a pianist at The Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, the Diemente Prize from the Hartt School's Composition Department, 2013 Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition with his Miniatures Set No.4, Silberman Chamber Music Competition with the performance of Crumb's "Vox Balanae", and he is also the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Student Composers Competition with Tepki 2 which also won Carnegie Mellon University, Harry G.Archer Orchestra Composition Competition, and his recent work, "Dances of the Yoğurt Maker" won 2014 Carnegie Mellon String Quartet Competition. In the same year, he received the BNY Mellon Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, and won Apollo Chamber Players' International Composition Commissioning Contest, and in 2015, he won TURNmusic Composition Prize with "Dances of the Yoğurt Maker”.
As a composer, pianist, and a conductor he has collaborated with many ensembles including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Hacettepe Chamber Orchestra, Gazi Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Hartt Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Foot in the Door, Carpe Diem and Tesla String Quartets as well as with musicians including Vakhtang Matchavariani, Dmitry Yablonsky, Leonard Slatkin, Edward Cumming, Glen Adsit, Andrés Cárdenes, Alberto Almarza, Robert Black (from Bang on a can), and Esra Pehlivanlı. He is the founder and former artistic director/conductor of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. Eryılmaz has been featured several times on Turkish State Radio, WWUH in Connecticut, and also Açık Radyo in Istanbul. Turkish State Television produced a documentary based on his musical career as part of series called "The Succesful Turkish People in the United States". The Ministry of Education's required English Class Book for 7th grade elementary schools in Turkey includes a unit on Erberk Eryılmaz. His piece Tepki 1 (Reaction 1) was the subject of a short film by Aytaç Akkan Karagüzel. His compositions, performances and recordings have received praise by Fanfare Magazine, CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, and the Washington Post where his music has been described as a “dervish-like explosion”.
Marty Regan (b. 1972) has composed over 60 works for traditional Japanese instruments and since 2002 has been affiliated with AURA-J, one of Japan's premiere performance ensembles of contemporary-traditional Japanese music. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 with a B.M. in Composition and a B.A. in English and East Asian Studies. From 2000 to 2002 he studied composition and took applied lessons on traditional Japanese instruments as a Japanese government-sponsored research student at Tokyo College of Music. In 2002, his composition Song-Poem of the Eastern Clouds (2001) for shakuhachi and 21-string koto was premiered at the 5th Annual Composition Competition for Traditional Japanese Instruments at the National Theatre of Japan. He completed his Ph.D. in Music with an emphasis in Composition at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa in 2006.
His works for Japanese instruments have been recorded and released on various record labels in Japan. In 2010, Navona Records released a compact disc of his works entitled "Marty Regan's Selected Works for Japanese Instruments, Vol. 1: Forest Whispers..." The second volume in the Selected Works for Japanese Instruments series, subtitled Magic Mirror, was released in 2012 by the same label. His newest work, a chamber opera entitled The Memory Stone, was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera as part of the HGCOco's Songs of Houston: East + West initiative and was premiered in April 2013 at the Asia Society Texas Center. Splash of Indigo, commissioned by Apollo Chamber Players, has been featured on American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated program, Performance Today. Mr. Regan is currently Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University.
Macedonian/Turkish clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski grew up in the Balkans cherishing his recordings of Western classical music, jazz, hip hop and rock. His ability to perform both Western Classical music and Balkan folk music with such inimitable skill is a rarity in this day. None but a few distinguished musicians have truly mastered two opposite musical styles.
Lumanovski is perhaps the first Roma (Gypsy) clarinet player to graduate from the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York, and his understanding of Classical repertoire and orchestral playing is as developed as his profound passion for and skill in playing the music from his ethnic childhood. His performances have been widely reviewed. He is also the founder of the New York Gypsy All-Stars.
Timothy Pitts has distinguished himself as one of the most versatile double bassists of his generation. As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, he has been heard in many of the world’s greatest concert halls.Mr. Pitts’ orchestral career began as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra after which he was appointed principal bass of the Houston Symphony, a position he held for seventeen years. Mr. Pitts also served as principal double bass of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of John Williams.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Pitts has appeared as a guest artist with Bay Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestras. In April of 2006, Mr. Pitts gave the United States premiere of John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol with Hans Graf conducting the Houston Symphony. A dedicated educator, Mr. Pitts has presented master classes at the National Orchestral Institute, the New World Symphony, Boston University, Indiana University, the Glen Gould School, and the Pacific Music Festival. His students can be found among the ranks of the world’s finest ensembles. Formerly on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory, Mr. Pitts is currently a Professor of Double Bass at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. For three weeks each summer he teaches and performs at the Montecito Music Festival in Montecito, California. During the summer, he is on the artist faculty of the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, in residence at China’s Central Conservatory of Music. Mr. Pitts lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, violinist Kathleen Winkler, and two daughters, Nina and Kiri, both aspiring cellists.
Equally at home with orchestral, solo and chamber music, Dr. Matthew McClung has performed with a wide variety of prestigious ensembles throughout the United States. He has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, the Hawaii Opera Theater, the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, OrchestraX, Symphony of Southeast Texas, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, plus the symphony orchestras of Arkansas, Austin, Corpus Christi, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston, Kentucky, Lexington, Maui, Phoenix, San Antonio and Victoria. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Alisa Weilerstein, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, the Tierkreis Percussion Ensemble, the So Percussion Group, Elemental Percussion, Strike 3 Percussion, Apollo Chamber Players, Musiqa, Chaski, the Houston Composers Alliance, Da Camera (Houston), NOVA (Salt Lake City), the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, the Contemporary Dance Theater of Cincinnati, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Music in Time series in Charleston, South Carolina, the Cinco de Brasso Quintet, the Corpus Christi Brass Quintet, and Terra Nova, among others.
Matthew has played on the national tour of a Broadway show, a steel drum concerto with the Kentucky Symphony, jazz vibes with the Rusty Burge Quartet, and his own composition, in collaboration with Rounder recording artist Rachel Buchman, for hundreds of school children. As a winner of a Presser award, he studied for a summer with the Master Drummers of the Ewe tribe in Ghana, West Africa. Matthew holds an engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music, and he is the recipient of the first Doctoral degree ever awarded in percussion performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and the principal percussionist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.
Biographer of Florence B. Price
Rae Linda Brown, Ph.D., Associate Provost, Loyola Marymount University.
Rae Linda Brown came to Loyola Marymount University in 2008. She currently serves as Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and holds the faculty position of Professor of Music. Dr. Brown earned her B.S. in Music Education from the University of Connecticut, a M.A. in African American Studies, and a Ph.D. in musicology from Yale University. Prior to coming to LMU she held full-time faculty and administrative positions at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Michigan. In 2004-2005 she was a Fellow of the American Council on Education and served as a member of the President David Oxtoby’s leadership team at Pomona College.
Brown has completed a biography of composer Florence B. Price, The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price, 1887-1953 (forthcoming University of Illinois Press) and has been involved in editing many of Price’s scores for performance and recording, including on the Koch and Cambria labels . Ensembles that have performed Brown’s editions include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Women’s Philharmonic (San Francisco), the Chicago String Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series (Minneapolis), the Savannah Symphony, the Albany (Georgia) Symphony, the Springfield (Missouri) Symphony, and the Camellia Symphony (Sacramento). Her published editions of Price’s music include the Sonata in E Minor for piano (G. Schirmer, 1997), the Symphony in E Minor and the Symphony No. 3 in C Minor in Music in the United States of America (A-R Editions, 2008), and selected art songs (Classical Vocal Reprints, 2009, 2011). Professor Brown lectures nationwide on American and African American music. Her articles have appeared in American Music, Black Music Research Journal, Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance: A Collection of Essays (1990), and the New Grove Dictionary of Music. She was the music editor of the five-volumeEncyclopedia of African American History and Culture (Macmillan, 1996).
The Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education works closely with the deans and faculty of the colleges and schools to promote an integrated approach to education where students are empowered to be independent learners through research and creative activity, international education, and engaged learning experiences. The Associate Provost oversees Study Abroad, the Academic Resource Center, Disability Support Services, the University Honors Program, Undergraduate Research programs, and National and International Fellowships and Scholarships. In collaboration with the Associate Vice President of Residential Life, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education is responsible for Retention and Student Success, the Living/Learning Communities, Faculty-in-Residence and Faculty Fellows Programs. The Office plays a leadership role in promoting academic success for student athletes and serves as the Academic Affairs liaison to the university wide emergency management operations.
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