BIOGRAPHIES

MARGARET BRANDMAN

In a career spanning 50 years, composer Margaret Brandman has received wide acclaim for her powerful compositions. In 2019 she received the award for ‘Best Foreign Composition’ from the Artemis Film Festival - Women Powered Music in Los Angeles, USA, for her Firestorm Symphony recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

The Brandman catalogue includes orchestral works, chamber works, vocal and choral works, as well as solo instrumental pieces, composed across a wide range of genres from contemporary classical through to Jazz and Latin-American. “The music is melodious and intricate, beautifully played.... pieces straddle that indefinable line between jazz and contemporary classical / new music.” Jane Mann, London Jazz News 2017

 

To date, Parma Recordings has produced three albums of her works. Two solo composer albums—SensationsWind, Waves, Birds and Fire (NV6041) featuring Firestorm Symphony along with many of her celebrated orchestral and chamber works, and Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac – a song cycle for the 12 signs of the Zodiac (NV6160) written to the lyrics of Astropoet Benita Rainer and recorded in 2017 by the Prague Mixed Chamber Choir.  Her lively Warm Winds in Havana suite for saxophone quartet and percussion, performed by the Javier Zalba ensemble, is included on the compilation album Abrazo (AR0001) recorded in Cuba in 2015. Brandman’s expansive symphonic tone-poem Spirit Visions was recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Pavel Šnajdr in September 2020. In April 2021 she received the ‘Best Foreign Composition’ award from the Artemis Film Festival for this work.

 

For more biographical information please view the Enhanced Content Website for SENSATIONS, and the Enhanced Content Website for COSMIC WHEEL OF THE ZODIAC.

www.margaretbrandman.com

 

"The music of Margaret Brandman is superb – modern works with a tonal basis, a melodic richness and yet possessed of a clear and innovative compositional voice, characterized by an engaging harmonic world, a great sense of architecture and a powerful and poetic expression." — Marilyn Schock, Presenter FINE MUSIC FM Sydney, Australia

 

Photo: Roger Dilernia

Beth Mehocic (USA, b. 1953, Youngstown, Ohio), composer, poet, visual artist, filmmaker and author received her M.M. and Ph.D. in music composition from Michigan State University, East Lansing and is currently the Music Director/Composer-in-Residence and full professor for the Department of Dance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 

 In 2016, she became a recoding artist for Parma Recordings and her chamber music work Piece by Piece was recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Chamber Players.  In 2017, her work for solo cello, Somewhere Between D and C# was recorded by acclaimed Romanian cellist, Ovidiu Marinescu on the Moto Bello CD for the Moto III Series for Parma Recordings and was released in March, 2018 with a CD release concert at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, May 19, 2018.  Her Concerto for Piano and Orchesta was recorded July 2, 2018 by the renown Croation Chamber Orchestra with the celebrated Maltese pianist, Charlene Farrugia as soloist and MiranVaupotic conducting.  In September 2018, her orchestral work Left of Winter was recorded by the Janáček Philharmonic, conducted by Jiří Petrdlík and her string quartet, Picasso’s Flight was recorded by the renown Altius Quartet in January, 2019.  In 2020, her Concerto for Piano, Accordion/Bandoneon and Chamber Orchestra also known as Tango Concerto was recorded by the Zagreb Festival Orchestra with Charlene Farrugia, piano and Franko Bozac, accordion/bandoneon and in 2021 the London Symphony will be recording her Fanfare for Jacob Grayson.

 

 Dr. Mehocic has written over one hundred works for orchestra, concert band, chamber music, dance ensembles, theatre and film and her works have been performed throughout the United States, Japan, China, Korea and Europe.  She has produced works in several Las Vegas Hotels including The Mirage, Caesar's Palace and the Las Vegas Hilton.

 

 From 2000-19, several of her music compositions written for choreography have been performed at the Endinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, the Adaliade Fringe Festival, Adalaide, Australia and for joint concerts between UNLV and the Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea. Her video dance poem Perpetual Motion with original music for vibraphone quartet, was also performed in Seoul, Korea and the video is in the Jerome Robbins Dance Library of the NYC Library at Lincoln Center.

 

 Shadows, a dance poem with her original music, and her video dance poem, Hands were presented at the 2005 International Taishan Congress of Cultures and the 19th World Congress of Poets in Tai’an City, Shandong Province, China for which she was awarded a “Gold Medal in Innovation” for digital poetry, dance and music by the Peoples Republic of China.

 

 As a multimedia performing artist, her music, poetry, visual art and dance were presented in her one-woman exhibit entitled Poetic Visions which was on tour in the Clark County Library Galleries in Las Vegas.

 

 She has received several grants from The Nevada State Council on the Arts as well as receiving a grant for her participation in the China Conference. Her other grants include awards from New Music Across America, the Southwest Gas Corp., The Western States Arts Foundation and Meet-the-Composer as well as awards in music composition from ASCAP.

 

 Her article "Learning to Dance with Live Music" was published by Dance Teacher Now and her article "Chamber Music in Las Vegas" was featured in the directory edition of Chamber Music America.

 

 She was proclaimed "Distinguished Composer" of the City of Las Vegas by Former Mayor, Jan Laverty Jones and received commissions from New Music Across America, the Sierra Woodwind Quintet, the University of Utah for a musical score to a documentary film that commemorated fifty years of dance history at that university as well as commissions from Artists Embassy International and the Natica Angilly Poetic Dance Theater.

 

 She was awarded the First Performing Artist's Fellowship in Music Composition from the State of Nevada and became a founding member for the International Guild of Musicians in Dance, the first guild in western history devoted to the advancement of concert dance music and musical education of dancers.  She was also the founding editor for the Guild's Journal. www.bethmehocic.com

 

Photo: Louis Kavouras

Larry Wallach is a composer, pianist, and musicologist whose compositions, mostly of chamber music, have been performed throughout the United States. He was educated at Columbia University, from which he holds a PhD in Musicology. He currently holds the Livingston Hall Chair in Music at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where he has taught since 1972. From 2001 to 2014 taught composition in the Bard MFA Program for Conductors. He received an NEH Fellowship to study historical piano performance practices for the year 1977-78 and is a recipient of two “Meet the Composer” grants from New York State. His composition “Echoes from  Barham Down” for flute, string trio, and piano, based on an English country dance tune, won the New School of Music, Cambridge, composition prize in 1985.

 

Compositions, mostly of piano and chamber music, include “Chamber Concerto for Harp and Percussion,” premiered by the Atlanta Sinfonietta (1992), which Alex Ross, writing for the New York Times, called “smooth and sophisticated” and of which he wrote “Mr. Wallach opened up the texture with ingeniously varied scoring.” Other chamber works have been performed by the Da Capo Players, by the Avanti Wind Quintet, at the Mannes College Percussion, by the  Prometheus  Piano  Quartet, the  Walden Chamber Players, The Arcadia Viols, and others. “Winter Music” for percussion sextet (2014) was commissioned and premiered by the New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, and “Berkshire Rhapsody” for large orchestra was commissioned and premiered by the Claflin Hill Orchestra of Milford, Massachusetts in 2017.

 

As a keyboard player Larry Wallach performs on both  piano and harpsichord, in repertory for small and large chamber ensembles, including those with historical instruments. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1977–78  for a year-long seminar in  performance  practices of early piano music, particularly  Mozart  and  Schubert, and in 1982 he participated  in  the  Aston  Magna Summer Academy on German Music and Culture. An expert on the music of Charles Ives, in 1996 he performed at the Bard Music Festival devoted to Ives, and has presented papers about him at several conferences.  Larry Wallach’s writings have appeared in the Musical Quarterly and the Dictionary of  Twentieth-Century Music  and  he has written entries for “The Compleat Brahms,” edited by Leon Botstein. Since 2009, his music reviews have appeared in the on-line magazines Berkshire Review and New York Arts. website

 

Photo: Sara S. Wallach. Taken in Kellogg Music Center, Bard College at Simon's Rock

Kamala Sankaram

Praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times) and “new voice from whom we will surely be hearing more” (LA Times), Kamala Sankaram writes highly theatrical music that defies categorization. Recent commissions include the Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Opera on Tap, among others. Awards, grants and residencies include: Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, NY IT Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the Civilians, HERE, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center. Known for her work with emerging technologies, her recent genre-defying hit Looking at You (with collaborators Rob Handel and Kristin Marting) featured live data mining of the audience and a chorus of 25 singing tablet computers. Sankaram, Handel, and Marting also created all decicions will be made by consensus, a short absurdist opera performed live over Zoom and featured on NBC and the BBC3, and Only You Will Recognize the Signal, a psychedelic space opera created for remote performance. With librettist Jerre Dye and Opera on Tap, she created The Parksville Murders, the world’s first virtual reality opera (Samsung VR, Jaunt VR, Kennedy Center Reach Festival, “Best Virtual Reality Video” NY Independent Film Festival, Future of Storytelling, Salem Horror Festival and the Topanga Film Festival.) Also a performer, notable appearances include the LA Philharmonic, LA Opera, and the PROTOTYPE Festival, among others. Kamala is the leader of Bombay Rickey, an operatic Bollywood surf ensemble (recipient of two awards for Best Eclectic Album from the Independent Music Awards). Dr. Sankaram holds a PhD from the New School and is currently a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase. www.kamalasankaram.com

 

photo: Dario Acosta

Mel Mobley

A native of Texas, Mel Mobley currently resides and teaches in Monroe, Louisiana. Early influences included the evocative sounds of eclectic percussion instruments at the University of Texas. This passion for new sounds intensified in his later studies at the electronic studios of the University of Illinois. Through this lens he came to view music as an intersection of rhythm and timbre and composition as the process of segmenting time through sound color.

 

A composer, conductor, performer, and advocate of new music, he has been part of numerous premieres and festivals around the country. In 2016 he cofounded the New Music on the Bayou Festival that connects composers from around the world with the communities of north Louisiana and highlights the connection between music and the natural world. As a proponent of live performance, he has created the performance art duo M2 with dancer Tina Mullone. Their works attempt to break down the barriers between dancer and musician, performer and audience, and live and recorded performance.

 

Performed in the U.S. and abroad his works include orchestral, band, chamber, choral, and electronic music. Commissions include: Labored Breathing (Monroe Symphony Orchestra), [pleez], (plēz), /pliz/ (Three-Headed Monster), Tributaries (Louisiana Music Teachers’ Association), and N.O. 2005 (Hamiruge Percussion Ensemble). Mobley’s music can be found on the Ansonica, Navona, and Revello labels. For more information visit melmobley.com.

 

Dr Brian Latchem

Brian Latchem (b 1948) is an English composer who was born in Bath and started to learn the piano at the age of 5. He comes from a musical family with both parents, grandparents and great grandparents playing a variety of musical instruments. He trained to be a music teacher and started his career in Felixstowe, where he taught Music and Drama to pupils aged 11 to 14. In 1972 he moved to a new school to become responsible for music, teaching children from 5 to 11.

 

Throughout his 32-year teaching career he was involved in many musical productions working with children and adults in the local community including “The Wizard of Oz” and “HMS Pinafore”. In 1974 he wrote a new cantata/musical “The World Tree” with a friend based on the Norse Legends of the Gods which has since become an established youth opera.

 

He was also Musical Director for an Operatic Society performing “A Sound of Music” and “Gigi”. For many years he was Assistant Musical Director of the Dorian Singers, a local amateur choir conducting works from the romantic era to the modern period.

 

Brian is a member of the English Concert Singers, a national choir, who have performed some of his music, particularly “We Praise Thee” in Salzburg in 2009 and “King Edgar”, a large choral work about the first King of All England who was crowned in Bath Abbey in 973. This used the form of coronation service we would recognise today. It was given a workshop performance a few years ago.

 

Towards the end of his career, he studied with the Open University from which he gained a Master of Arts degree followed by a Doctorate in Education in 2001.

 

Brian has spent most of his life composing and when he retired decided to transfer his handwritten manuscripts to the computer using “Sibelius”.

 

His choral work “An Abundance of Blessings” for SATB, Baritone and Harp has recently been performed several times by a local choir, the Gippeswyk Singers in which he sang the baritone solo.

During the pandemic Brian has been busy composing various pieces including a Wind Quintet, a collection of choral works entitled “Canticles” and a companion work to the “Suffolk Variations” called “Suffolk Variations 2 for Cello and Strings.”

 

photo: David Coutts

 

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