Emily Beisel finds that her most enriching artistic experiences are those involving extended collaborations characterized by in-depth comprehension and interpretation of musical works. She is also fascinated by the communicative possibilities of free improvisation and the potential for joint exploration and experimentation. In addition she is greatly interested in the relationship between visual arts and music and the intensely interrelated influences which are possible to see and experience.
Emily’s musical activities are best characterized by diversity. She is the second clarinetist with Orchestra Iowa with which she performs masterworks, ballet, opera and pops concerts. She is a member of the contemporary ensemble Fonema Consort, touring most recently in Mexico, New York, and Minneapolis, and working with composers including Julio Estrada and James Dillon. She is also a founding member of the collaborative unit “Without Fear of Wind or Vertigo” and appreciates this curatorial platform for commissioning and performing works which she finds artistically challenging and culturally vital. Emily enjoys work as a woodwind doubler in her resident city of Chicago, most recently performing the world premiere of October Sky at the Marriott Theater.
Emily works as an active teacher in Chicago, and she appreciates the reciprocal relationship between her dual role as performer and pedagogue. Emily completed her Masters in Music Performance at Northwestern University where she studied with Steve Cohen and J. Lawrie Bloom.
Dalia Chin (flute), of Costa Rican origin, is an active performer in Chicago. She is a member of new music groups like the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and Fonema Consort, and freelances in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Dalia has performed in several American and World premieres such as Dai Fujikura’s Still Sweet and Stefano Gervasoni’s Quattro Voci, among others. Her passion and commitment to new music has led her to commission and premiere pieces by established and emerging Chicago composers, as demonstrated by her recent project “In the Same Breath” featuring new works by D. Edward Davis, Scott Scharf and Monte Weber, which was presented in the Florida Flute Association Convention in Orlando, Florida, in Chicago’s Comfort Station, and in July at the Under the Radar Festival in Omaha. This project won her a Cultural Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Dalia is an active educator—a career that she is currently developing in the Chicago area. She is currently a faculty member at the Music House, DePaul Community Division, Near North Montessori Elementary School and the Ortegon School of Music while also building her private studio around the city.
Dalia holds a Post-Master Certificate in Flute Performance from DePaul University and a Master in Flute Performance from Florida State University. She studied with Eva Amsler, Mary Stolper, and has had masterclasses with Jonathan Keeble, Walfrid Kujala, Robert Dick, Hernan Jara, Christopher Krueger, Alberto Almarza.
David Cubek has been the director of the Claremont Concert Orchestra of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges since 2010. He was also recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and Conductor of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic. In addition to being passionate about conducting and teaching, he is a firm believer in the power of music to foster social change. Since 2009, Mr. Cubek regularly conducts ensembles from Venezuela’s acclaimed music education program known as “El Sistema.” He has also collaborated with several El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States, including Youth Orchestra of LA (YOLA), Gustavo Dudamel’s initiative committed to providing intensive music training to underserved neighborhoods in the LA area. Mr. Cubek’s collaboration with El Sistema and YOLA led to his appointment as faculty of the Masters of Arts in Teaching Program of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, which provides training for professional musicians wishing to become agents of social change.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Cubek began private piano and composition lessons at the age of 7 before entering the Simón Bolívar Conservatory. In 1999, he moved to Montreal to continue his music education, studying piano and music theory at McGill University and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Montreal. At the latter institution he was awarded First Prize with Great Distinction in orchestral conducting. Mr. Cubek completed his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where he served as assistant and guest conductor of the opera program, and the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras. He was music director of the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra and a lecturer in music theory at both Northwestern and McGill. In addition, Mr. Cubek has led orchestras in Canada, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Italy.
A recipient of Scripps’ Mary W. Johnson Award for excellence in teaching (2012-2013), Mr. Cubek also performs contemporary music with professional organizations. Most recently, he conducted concerts with member of ensembles Dal Niente and Fonema Consort at Constellation Theater in Chicago. 2016-2017 appearances with Fonema Consort will include concerts at the University of Minnesota and at Chicago’s Ear Taxi festival of new music.
Nathalie Colas made a critically acclaimed stage debut as Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at Theater Biel Solothurn, Switzerland. She sang Julia in Boris Blacher’s Romeo und Julia with the Amadeus Orchester Bern, Serpina in Anfossi’s Il curioso indiscreto, Rosina in Paisiello’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opéra de Chambre de Genève), Alceste in Myslivecek’s Antigona in an award winning production in Hungary and Switzerland, and most recently 2nd Lady/ Amaryllis with Haymarket Opera Company in their new production of Dido and Aeneas.Also in demand as a concert soloist, Nathalie sang Bach’s Trauerode with the Brussels Baroque Ensemble, F.X. Richter’s Mass in C, Gounod’s Messe Solennelle, the Dvorak Requiem, and Schubert Mass in B in Switzerland. She was featured in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass in St Louis MO as well as in an Opera Aria concert with the Park Ridge Orchestra under Maestro James Setapen.
A versatile and curious artist, Nathalie has participated in world premiers of works by Aperghis, Dusapin and Christophe Bertrand. She is a founding member of Fonema Consort; and with French ensemble Voix de Stras’, she recorded a CD premiering vocal pieces by European composers. Also a fervent performer of early music, she was featured as the soprano soloist in The Chicago Bach Ensemble debut concert series, including BWV 82 Ich habe genug and BWV 57 Selig ist der Mann.
A graduate from DePaul University School of Music, Nathalie holds a MA in Classical singing and baroque Chamber Music from the Brussels Royal Flemish Conservatory as well as a Specialized MA in Opera from the Swiss Opera Studio/Hochschule der Künste Bern. She sang in Masterclasses with Edith Wiens, Roger Vignoles, Hartmut Höll and others as part of the Udo Reinemann’s International Lied Masterclass in Brussels. She will be touring the UK in the spring with a program of Mélodies Françaises.
Soprano Nina Dante, a classical chamber musician based in Chicago and NYC, draws deep artistic satisfaction from the continuous rediscovery of the expressive and technical capabilities of the voice in both contemporary and traditional repertoire.
Dante has performed on concert, festivals and as a guest of venues such as National Sawdust’s Original Music Series, the University of Chicago Presents, the Renaissance Society of Chicago, the Goethe Insitut, the City of Chicago’s Loops and Variations, the Strasbourg Conservatoire (France), the Pianoforte Foundation’s Schubertiade, the New Music Miami Festival, Oberlin Conservatory Modern Music Guild series, Experimental Sound Studio’s Outer Ear Series, Chicago’s Frequency Series and Festival, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneous (Mexico City), Visiones Sonores (Morelia), the Latino Music Festival of Chicago, De música y músicos (Costa Rica), New York’s Performa 15, and LAMPO. In Chicago, she has served as soprano soloist for works such as Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden, Fauré’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the world premiere of Jeff Enns’ Gloria.
Dante is a founding member of the contemporary chamber music ensemble Fonema Consort, which specializes in new chamber music for the voice and instruments. She can be heard on the ensemble’s debut album Pasos en otra calle with label New Focus Recordings, and label Parlour Tapes’ compilation Glitteringadingding: Frequency Series Mixtape. She looks forward to the release of Fonema Consort’s second album in spring 2017 featuring works of young American composers. She is a recipient of honors such as a 2015 DCASE grant, a 2012 CAAPS grant and was a 2014 artist in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.
Dante is dedicated to educating young musicians on traditional and new classical music. In addition to her private voice and piano studios, she is currently on faculty at Art House Astoria Conservatory; and has led numerous workshops and lectures at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Oberlin Conservatory, UNAM (Mexico City), the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Saint Xavier University, and North Central College.
Dante graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University in 2010, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance, where she studied with Sunny Joy Langton and Theresa Brancaccio. From 2008-09, she studied voice and chamber music in Paris at the École normale de musique; and in 2012 she studied and performed at the Darmstadt Courses for New Music, studying voice with Donatienne Michel-Dansac, and working in chamber settings under the tutelage of such recognized soloists/chamber musicians as violinist Graeme Jennings, saxophonist Marcus Weiss and pianist Nicholas Hodges.
Shawn Lucas is a composer, guitarist, and artist living in Chicago. His music is inspired by raw imagination, using natural physical elements, fragments of dreams, memories, and images as musical inspiration. In his work, improvisation and the utilization of new notation play a key role. The identity of sounds are ever changing, often musical elements are transformed or transported to different acoustic atmospheres unexpectedly, forging volatile sonic progression.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Lucas moved to Chicago in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in composition from DePaul University. While attending DePaul, he studied with Juan Campoverde, Christopher Jones, Kurt Westerberg, and Frederick Gifford, while also serving as a graduate assistant teaching music theory and history. Since obtaining his master’s degree, Lucas works as a freelance composer, guitarist, and artist in the Chicago area, while also working as a guitar and music theory teacher.
Weston Olencki is a San Francisco-based trombonist specializing in the performance and production of new music. Weston is a member of Fonema Consort (Chicago), and has performed extensively with Ensemble Dal Niente (Chicago), Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series, a.pe.ri.od.ic (Chicago), Chamber Cartel (Atlanta), Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and the Spartanburg Philharmonic (SC), under conductors including Alan Pierson (Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Philharmonic), Cliff Colnot, JoAnn Falleta (Buffalo Philharmonic), Michael Lewanski (Dal Niente), and Matthias Bamert (Royal Scottish National Orchestra). He has given numerous world, United States, and regional premieres of works from composers such as Katherine Young, Aaron Cassidy, Ming Tsao, Elliott Carter, Dave Reminick, Hans Thomalla, Alexandre Lunsqui, Alex Mincek, and many others. Upcoming solo projects include new works by Pablo Santiago Chin and Monte Weber. He graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in 2014 with degrees in Trombone Performance and Musicology. His teachers include Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony), Peter Ellefson (Indiana University), Timothy Higgins (San Francisco Symphony), and Colin Williams (Atlanta Symphony/New York Philharmonic). He is currently a M.M. candidate at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Ryan Packard is a percussionist, improviser, and composer currently based in Chicago. He studied percussion at Oberlin Conservatory of Music under Michael Rosen and recently finished his Masters of Music at McGill University under Aiyun Huang and Fabrice Marandola.
As an avid performer of contemporary and experimental music, Ryan has worked closely with composers Vinko Globokar, Tristan Perich, David Lang, Josh Levine, and Lewis Nielson. He is a founding member of Architek Percussion, a percussion quartet in Montréal, QC focused on commissioning contemporary percussion works from North American composers, and has performed with L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchestre 21, and Ensemble Punctum. He has been featured at the Kennedy Center (D.C.), Montréal Nouvelles Musique Festival (Montréal), The Random Walks Xenakis Festival (Toronto), the Oberlin Percussion Institute (Oberlin, Ohio), and toured Asia with the Oberlin Orchestra.
As a composer, he has written pieces for the Wiseacre String Quartet and the cellist, Jane Chan. He composes and plays drum set for the punk-bop trio, Feefawfum (Montréal). Ryan also improvises with composer and drummer Preston Beebe, in their drum set, video, and electronics duo, 4eyes. They recently released their first CD, Mountain, this past year.
Samuel Rowe performs a wide range of music from the guitar’s recent repertoire. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory with Stephen Aron, and has performed in master classes with such luminaries as Lorenzo Micheli, Matteo Mela, Benjamin Verdery, and Seth Josel. Recent projects have included the music of Helmut Lachenmann, Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, and Milton Babbitt. In addition to performing the guitar, Sam appears with Chicago’s Javanese Gamelan ensemble, and is a graduate student in the English department at the University of Chicago.
Jeff Siegfried combines a commanding musical presence with “beautiful and delicate playing” (Michael Tilson Thomas) to deliver “showstopper performances” (Peninsula Reviews). Solo and orchestral appearances around the world, from Budapest’s Bartók Hall to New York City’s Carnegie Hall, highlight Siegfried as one of the rising talents of his generation.
Siegfried has been honored at several national and international competitions. He received first place at the 2014 Luminarts competition and the 2014 Frances Walton Competition. He was runner up in the 2014 Carmel Music Society Competition, the 2014 North American Saxophone Allience Quartet Competition, and the 2012 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Competition. Other awards include the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
Siegfried has appeared as a soloist with the University of Portland Wind Ensemble, the Oregon State University Wind Ensemble, and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” His orchestral ensemble credits include work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, both as a saxophonist and as a clarinetist.
As a champion of new music, Siegfried has commissioned many new works for the saxophone, expanding the instrument’s ever-growing role in the world of new music. His training as a musicologist has made possible a new generation of transcriptions. His soprano saxophone arrangement of César Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, supported by extensive archival research, is forthcoming on the Potenza label.
Siegfried’s work as a musicologist also includes scholarly publications. His work is slated to appear in the Revue Belge de Musicologie and Studia Musicologica. He has presented his research at conferences in Nottingham, Brussels, and Budapest.
Chamber music is an important part of Siegfried’s work. His saxophone quartet, the Estrella Consort, has performed for diverse audiences around the world, from Ecuador to Tennessee. Siegfried also works with the Fonema Consort, a modular contemporary music ensemble on the cutting edge of Chicago’s new music scene.
Siegfried studies with the internationally acclaimed Grammy winning artist, Dr. Timothy McAllister.
Elisa Sutherland is a mezzo-soprano from Milwaukee, WI. She recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Voice and Opera program, where she has appeared as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Meg in Little Women, Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lucrezia in William Bolcom’s Lucrezia, Nancy in Albert Herring, Jennie Hildebrand in Street Scene, and as a special guest, Marlena von Schnapps, in Die Fledermaus.
Elisa has performed in masterclasses with Joyce DiDonato, Martin Katz, Roger Vignoles, Warren Jones, Gidon Saks, and Christine Brewer. Elisa was selected to represent Northwestern University in the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Conservatory project in April in Washington DC.
Elisa has also appeared as a soloist with the NU Baroque Music Ensemble, the NU Chorus, NU Chorale, and the Contemporary Music Ensemble, with which she sang Stacey Garrop’s In Eleanor’s Words in 2012 and the world premiere of Michal Novotny’s A Birthday Present in 2013. Elisa was a recipient of the Encouragement Award in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the first place winner of the 2013 Chicago Council Student Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is also the first place winner of the 2013 Handel Aria Competition in Madison, WI, and the 2014 winner of the Lynne Harvey Cooper Scholarship. Elisa has performed with the Chicago Bach Project, the Grant Park Festival Chorus, the Prometheus Choir, and as a soloist with Fonema Consort and at the Chicago Calling Arts Festival. She covered the mezzo-soprano solo in the world premiere of Robert Lombardo’s Against Forgetting with the Fulcrum Point ensemble in September, 2013. Elisa will be singing with Philadelphia’s The Crossing for their 2014 Month of Moderns II and III concerts, and with the Lucerne Festival Academy Choir in August.
Elisa graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern’s double degree program in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Opera, where she studied with Pamela Hinchman, and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. Elisa was the winner of the J. Scott Clark Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, and was invited to read at the 13th Annual Columbia College Citywide Undergraduate Poetry Festival. Elisa continues to write, and recently performed in The Testing Fields, a multimedia performance piece based on texts written by her. Elisa frequently collaborates with composers, and has premiered many new works. She studies with Theresa Brancaccio and Alan Darling.
Jonathan Thompson is a performer, collaborator, and educator based in Dallas, Texas. His artistic mission is to engage audiences in performance, whether he is presenting classic or new works. He eagerly conjures up projects and collaborates with composers and performers to realize exciting programs for solo and chamber audiences.
He has given many world and US premieres: in solo performance, with Fonema Consort, the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and at the University of North Texas. He has commissioned and premiered works by C.J. Darnieder and William Dodson, with seven exciting new works to come, all part of his initiative to expand the oboe repertoire. Thompson has participated in masterclasses with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King, Erin Hannigan, Drew Perry, Paquito D’Rivera and the Dorian Wind Quintet. Listen to him on Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s recent recording “Rising” and on Sasha Bayan’s and Plee’s premiere albums: “Do I Know You?” and “Heirloom”. He has performed with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Thompson is currently working on his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of North Texas, where he also serves as the oboe studio Teaching Fellow. He teaches secondary students, reed-making classes, and coaches student chamber groups. He also teaches privately in the DFW area.
Thompson received both his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Scott Hostetler, Michael Henoch, Robert Morgan, and Grover Schiltz. Upon graduation, he became the first recipient of the Ray Still Award.
Daniel Walden, a performer on both modern piano and historical keyboards, has earned praise for his wide-ranging repertoire and his “extreme virtuosity” (Alex Ross, New Yorker). A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Piano, Historical Performance, and Classics, he studied piano with Peter Takács and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. While at Oberlin, he performed Arnold Schönberg’s Piano Concerto, Op. 42 with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, appeared as a soloist with the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C Major, BWV 1064, and was featured in Rand Steiger’s Double Concerto during the composer’s 2011 residency at Oberlin. Daniel performed regularly with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Daniel has participated in masterclasses with Joseph Kalichstein, Ann Schein, Matti Raekallio, Malcolm Bilson, and Ton Koopman. He was selected as Artist-in-Residence Fellow in 20th- and 21st-century Music with the Cleveland Orchestra and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, performing in masterclasses at Severance Hall. He has performed at Aspen Music Festival, Banff Piano Masterclasses and Mannes Beethoven Festival. Daniel was pianist in Trio KLOPP, an ensemble for piano, percussion, and voice that has commissioned new compositions from emerging international composers, and the contemporary sextet Amusia. He was invited to perform with composer Tristan Perich at The Kitchen in New York City as part of Carnegie Hall’s American Maverick’s Festival.
Daniel has premiered new music as a fellow at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s New Music Workshop, Bang on a Can, and New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. He has worked with eighth blackbird and composers David Lang and Matthias Pintscher at Music11 New Music Festival in Blonay, Switzerland.
Daniel is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Presidential Scholar in Music Theory at Harvard University. Daniel’s other interests include instrument building and musical production/curation.