BiographiesThe following biographies were current as of the date of the festival.
Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas is Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony; and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer and creator of new opera and music-theater works. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique,” she has been hailed as a “magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers.”
Joan La Barbara
Joan La Barbara, composer, performer, sound artist and actor, is renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques—multiphonics, circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks—influencing generations of composers and singers.
The breath and width of Jessye Norman’s eclectic repertoire share equal richness with that of her innovative programming and scholarship. She brings her passion for singing to all that she surveys on the opera and concert stages of the world, as well as her newest expansion into the world of jazz.
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s unique blend of musicianship and virtuosity brings forth interpretations remarkable for their freedom, originality and prodigious mastery of the piano’s resources.
Patricia Birch has worked with Michael Tilson Thomas on projects ranging from Gershwin to Stravinsky to The Thomashevskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater, which premiered last March on PBS.
Reuben Blundell conducts the Hunter College orchestra, where he has launched programs with composers, choreographers and museums, as well as performances in non-traditional spaces.
K. Blair Brown
Born in Miami, K. Blair Brown has worked as a costumer for more than seven years in South Florida. She has designed and provided support for Mosaic Theatre, New Theatre, Florida International University’s dance department and Broward College’s theatre department.
Brandon Collwes trained at the Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Pittsburgh, The Juilliard School and SUNY Purchase; then on scholarship at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, Dance Theatre of Harlem and twice at American Dance Festival.
Born in 1955 in Dallas, Kyle Gann is a composer and was new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997, he has taught at Bard College.
Joshua David Gersen
Joshua David Gersen, winner of the prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, as well as the 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra (GBYO) in Bridgeport, CT.
Daniel Hubp is a four-time Emmy-nominated and two-time Emmy Award-winning production designer. His design collaborations with the San Francisco Symphony include the original staging of John Cage’s Song Books, which concluded its tour in Carnegie Hall, as well as designs for Beethoven’s Fidelio, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and John Adam’s El Niño. Mr. Hubp has designed more than 90 commercials, music videos and television shows, and his acclaimed short films have also won several awards.
Laura Kuhn enjoys a lively career as writer, performer, scholar and arts administrator. During her graduate school years in the early 1980s, she worked with the Russian-born enfant terrible of musicology Nicolas Slonimsky, becoming successor editor of his acclaimed music dictionaries Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians and Music Since 1900. From 1986, she worked with John Cage in New York on a variety of large-scale projects, including his Europeras 1 & 2 for the Frankfurt Opera, for which she designed costumes and created stage actions.
Adam Larsen is a filmmaker and projection designer. He has designed nearly 100 productions both on and off Broadway, including Hal Prince’s LoveMusik (Broadway); The Gospel at Colonus (Athens, Edinburgh and Spoleto Festivals); The Wind Up Bird Chronicle (Edinburgh Festival); Brief Encounters and My Fair Lady (Shaw Festival); The Women of Brewster Place (Alliance/Arena Stage); Christmas Carol 1941, Light in the Piazza, The Book Club Play (Arena Stage); 26 Miles (Alliance);
Patricia Lent was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984 to 1993 and White Oak Dance Project from 1994 to 1996. She was on the faculty of the Merce Cunningham Studio for more than 20 years, teaching technique classes and repertory workshops.
Joe Levasseur is a New York City-based lighting designer and production manager. He has collaborated with many dance and performance artists including John Jasperse, Rose Anne Spradlin, Sarah Michelson, David Dorfman, Jodi Melnick, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Lee Saar the Company, Palissimo, Anna Sperber, Megan Sprenger and Christopher Williams.
Pianist, percussionist, conductor, arranger and educator, Michael Linville is currently New World Symphony’s Associate Dean for Chamber Music. Mr. Linville is also the artistic coordinator of the New World Percussion Consort, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music that features percussion.
Born in Caracas in 1957 and a Miamian since 1979, Gustavo Matamoros is a composer/sound artist who received two Venezuelan National Composition Awards before completing his bachelor of music degree at the University of Miami in 1983. Since then, his work has mostly consisted of projects that address situations where sound is used, less as a vehicle for expression of artistic intent and mostly as design tool for community problem-solving.
Rashaun Mitchell is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer and teacher, recently listed in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” Since graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000, he has worked with an array of dance artists, including Chantal Yzermans, Donna Uchizono, Pam Tanowitz, Risa Jaroslow, Sara Rudner, Jonah Bokaer, Richard Colton, Deborah Hay, Rebecca Lazier and Silas Riener.
New World School of the Arts
The distinguished history of New World School of the Arts began in 1984 when the Florida State Legislature established the institution to provide artistically talented high school and college students the means to achieve both an academic education and artistic training.
James Pritchett was one of the first musicologists to deal with John Cage’s music on its own terms—as music. His research presented the first clear documentation of Cage’s chance operations of the 1950s and provided a model for the analytical study of this work. Mr. Pritchett is the author of The Music of John Cage (Cambridge University Press, 1992), the first critical study of the whole of Cage’s work.
Joan Retallack’s conversations with John Cage, MUSICAGE: Cage Muses on Words. Art. Music, won the 1996 America Award for Belles-Lettres. (A three-volume Spanish translation is currently appearing in Chile.) She has published widely on Cage, with particular attention to relations between his experimental attitude, contemporary science and utopian aesthetics.
Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist hailed by The New York Times as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” His works include 25 records, seven films and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End of Cinematics.
Baritone Joey Quigley is the managing director of Seraphic Fire, Miami’s twice Grammy-nominated professional chamber ensemble. Mr. Quigley has sung with Seraphic Fire for the past five seasons and has performed numerous operatic roles across the country, including his operatic debut as Sciarrone in Tosca with New Orleans Opera.
Patrick Dupré Quigley
Patrick Dupré Quigley, baritone, is the founder and artistic director of Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Quigley was nominated for two 2012 Grammy awards for his work with Seraphic Fire.
Clyde Scott is a director and digital artist who has created national commercial spots, in-concert visuals for stadium tours, short films and highly synchronized works of video art to accompany classical music.
Named a “Face to Watch” in 2012 by the Los Angeles Times, Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work exploring the interdisciplinary potential of opera. His productions have been described as “dizzyingly spectacular” (New York Magazine), “magical” (The Village Voice) and “ingenious” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Daniel Stewart, recipient of the 2010 Aspen Music Festival’s James Conlon Conducting Prize, was appointed by James Levine to the position of conductor with The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in 2012.
Born in 1978 in Boston, Jesse Stiles is a new media artist, composer/musician and designer of electronic instruments. Through the adaptive misuse of emerging digital technologies, Mr. Stiles creates works that are entertaining, disorienting, immersive and transformative.
Jason H. Thompson
Projection designer Jason H. Thompson’s Broadway credits include Baby It’s You! and his Off-Broadway credits include Remember Me (Parsons Dance Company, Joyce Theatre/ National Tour) and This Beautiful City (Vineyard Theatre).
Andrea Weber was a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company through its final eight years, performing roles in over 25 works. Ms. Weber received her bachelor of fine arts degree from The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy.