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Praised by The New York Times for his “thrilling virtuosity”, violinist Curtis Macomber is recognized as one of the most versatile musicians before the public today, equally at home playing Bach or Babbitt. He has performed in hundreds of premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Mario Davidovsky, George Perle, Charles Wuorinen, and Steven Mackey, among others. From 1982-93, he toured the United States and abroad as a member of the New World String Quartet. Macomber is violinist for the Da Capo Chamber Players, a founding member of the Apollo Trio and violinist for Speculum Musicae. His most recent recordings include Casting Ecstatic (CRI), the complete Grieg Violin Sonatas on Arabesque, and music of Steve Mackey (Interior Design) and the complete Brahms Sonatas, both for Bridge. Macomber is a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School, where he earned B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees as a student of Joseph Fuchs. He is also on the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and has taught at the Tanglewood, Taos and Yellow Barn Music Festivals.
Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile pianists today. Comfortable as both performer and improviser, his solo repertoire runs the gamut, from late-medieval keyboard manuscripts to challenging scores from the 21st century. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Aspen Music Festival, Caramoor, Bard Summerscape, CalArts, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and Bargemusic, and as soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra and the Albany Symphony. His 2004 recording, Soundings, received wide critical acclaim, and more recent solo projects have included Powerhouse Pianists (Lumiere), The Concert Music of Fred Hersch (Naxos), and Multiplicities: Born in ‘38 (Centaur).
Dedicated to groundbreaking projects, McMillen is intensely committed to commissioning and performing the music of today. In addition to Da Capo, he plays regularly with the American Modern Ensemble, the downtown NYC-based Avian Orchestra, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and the Locrian Chamber Players, among others. An active educator, a self-taught jazz pianist, and a fledgling electric guitar novice, McMillen serves on the piano and chamber music faculty at Bard College.
For more information, see Blair McMillen's home page.
Historic career peaks for flutist Patricia Spencer include premieres of Elliott Carter’s Enchanted Preludes, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kathinkas Gesang (US premiere), Harvey Sollberger’s Riding the Wind, and Shulamit Ran’s concerto, Voices. In August 2009 she gave the world premiere of Shirish Korde’s Lalit, written for her and renowned tabla player Samir Chatterjee. Other career highlights include the Boulez Sonatine for the Bard Music Festival, Joan Tower's Flute Concerto for the National Flute Association Convention in Nashville, and a guest appearance with the Avalon String Quartet in Mario Davidovsky’s Quartetto for the Washington Square Music Society. Recent New York Times reviews have cited her work in Tania León’s Alma, and her "passionate, warm-blooded performance" of the Berio Sequenza. Spencer has commissioned dozens of pieces, including Thea Musgrave's now-classic Narcissus and Judith Shatin's Kairos (Neuma Records). Ms. Spencer has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University.
For more information, please visit Patricia Spencer's Home Page.
Clarinetist Meighan Stoops considers herself privileged to be actively involved in both the classical and new-music realms as a solo, chamber, and orchestral performer. Since 2002 she has enjoyed tenure as a member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, which has commissioned and premiered over one hundred new works by American composers, toured nationally and internationally, and produced several critically acclaimed recordings. Luminous Spirals: The Chamber Music of Chinary Ung was recently named one of NPR’s Top 5 Contemporary Classical Recordings of 2010. As ensemble in residence at the extraordinarily creative community of Bard College and Conservatory for over thirty years, Da Capo continues to collaborate with student composers, performers, and distinguished faculty in the formation and performances of new works.
For several summers Stoops has been a member of the Walden School Players, the resident ensemble at the Walden School for Young Musicians in Dublin, New Hampshire. She is also certified as a Walden Musicianship teacher, emphasizing the fundamentals of music through creative engagement in improvisation and composition. She holds degrees from Northwestern and Yale where her teachers included Russell Dagon and David Shifrin and this year will complete her Doctorate of Musical Arts at SUNY Stony Brook as a student of Alan Kay. Stoops currently serves as Music Director of the Calhoun School in Manhattan, where she fosters community involvement through inspired music making with students, parents, and faculty.
For the past twenty years, cellist James Wilson has consistently performed to the delight of audiences throughout the world, from small towns to the world's most illustrious venues. Acclaimed for his singing tone, and intelligent and soulful approach to music, the Los Angeles Times described Wilson as a musician "with something to say and a commanding way of saying it." In demand as a player of Baroque and modern cello he has appeared in many of the world's most illustrious venues, including America's Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, Casal's Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam's Ysbreker, the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Montreal, the Philharmonie in Köln and the Musikverein in Vienna. He has performed at music festivals around the world such as the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the City of London Festival, the Deutches Mozartfest in Bavaria, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland, Ravinia in Chicago, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. A devoted advocate for the arts and arts education, Mr. Wilson is currently the Artistic Director of the Richmond–based Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, and teaches cello and chamber music at Columbia University in New York.