Nina Dante, soprano vocalist
Nathalie Colas, soprano vocalist
Elisa Sutherland, mezzo-soprano vocalist
Dalia Chin, flute
Emily Beisel, clarinet
Jonathan Thompson, oboe
Weston Olencki, trombone
Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass
Samuel Rowe, guitar
Shawn Lucas, electric guitar
Daniel Walden, piano
Ryan Packard, percussion
David Cubek, conductor
Soprano/vocalist Nina Dante is a soloist, chamber musician, improviser and composer based in New York City. Musical experimentation and the continual discovery of the voice’s technical ability and emotive power are the inspiring forces behind her work.
Hailed for her “amazing performance of vocal versatility by a uniquely gifted young artist” (Chicago Classical Review), Dante has performed at Resonant Bodies Festival, BAM, Lampo, Issue Project Room, Roulette, the Kitchen, National Sawdust, the University of Chicago’s Contempo, Performa, Indexical, Visiones Sonoras, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo, the Experimental Sound Studio, New Music Miami, the Latino Music Festival, the Frequency Festival, Festival Interfaz, the Poetry Foundation, and the Renaissance Society, among others.
Dante is co-founder, manager and soprano of the avant garde chamber ensemble Fonema Consort. With Fonema and as a soloist, Dante has given been in residence and given performances at Oberlin Conservatory, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Scripps College, UNAM, the 113 Composers Collective, and New England Conservatory, among others.
Dante’s recent compositions have been featured on the Resonant Bodies Festival, Indexical, the Center for New Music, the 113 Twin Cities New Music Festival and the Essential Indexical recent release Early MMXVIII.
Chicago-based Costa Rican flutist Dalia Chin is a founding member of Fonema Consort, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and the Dante-Chin Duo, all of which are dedicated to performing music by living composers. She has been in residence and given performances at institutions including New England Conservatory, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conversarory, Harvard University, the Universidad de Costa Rica, Scripps College, UNAM, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the 113 Composers Collective and North Central College; and in festivals and at venues including Visiones Sonoras, the Florida Flute Convention, Festival Interfaz, Omaha Under the Radar, the Ear Taxi Festival, the Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo, the Teatro Sucre, and the City of Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion.
She has performed Pablo Chin’s flute concerto Inside the Shell with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Costa Rica Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia, and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Orchestra. She is the featured soloist on the album Three Burials, and can be heard on Fonema Consort’s albums Pasos en otra calle and FIFTH TABLEAU.
Dalia earned a Post-Masters degree from DePaul University, a Masters Degree in Flute Performance at Florida State University, and a Bachelors Degree in Flute Performance at the Universidad de Costa Rica.
Emily Beisel’s most enriching artistic experiences involve extended collaborations characterized by in-depth comprehension and interpretation of musical works. She is fascinated by the communicative possibilities of joint composition and free improvisation and the potential for reaching otherwise un-explored territory.
She is greatly interested in the parallels between the ideas in contemporary music and genres that fall outside of the classical academic sphere. She feels that mining these relationships can provide deeply current means of relating to sound both physically and intellectually as well as serving to erode problematic value hierarchies in our culture.
Emily find the greatest satisfaction in working in a wide range of musical styles and groups. She is the second clarinetist with Orchestra Iowa, a member of the contemporary ensemble Fonema Consort, and performs regularly with the Marriott Theater. Emily is also an avid free improvisor, particularly as it contributes to collaborative composition. These collaborative projects range widely from her work with Fat Pigeon to incubating a new death metal band.
Emily has a private teaching studio and studios at Harold Wshington College and the British International School. She appreciates the reciprocal relationship between her dual role as performer and pedagogue.
Emily completed her Masters in Music Performance degree at Northwestern University.
Jonathan Thompson is a Mexican-American oboist based in Dallas/Fort Worth. He is an international recitalist, collaborator, scholar, and educator. He has performed in Mexico, Spain, and across the United States. His artistic mission is to engage audiences in performance, with a focus in presenting new works as well as fresh takes on classic works.
Thompson is the oboist for Fonema Consort, and has performed with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the South Bend Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Evanescence, and Josh Groban.
Thompson is the recipient of the 2017-2018 Presser Graduate Award, a $10,000 grant for music graduate students. With the grant, Thompson traveled to Mexico City to conduct research and to perform his international debut at the Faculty de Música UNAM. In 2019, he will record his debut album of previously unrecorded Mexican music for the oboe.
Thompson is currently completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of North Texas. Thompson received both his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from Northwestern University. Upon graduation, he became the first recipient of the Ray Still Award.
Bassist Kathryn Schulmeister brings radiant energy and rigorous expression to her musical performance ranging from classical to experimental. With a fearless curiosity for collaborative environments, Kathryn’s enthusiasm for seeking opportunities to integrate improvisation, movement and theatre into her creative practice have led her to thrive as an active performer in festivals and venues around the world.
Kathryn is one of the newest members of the renowned ELISION Ensemble. She also currently performs as a guest with Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Dal Niente, Fonema Consort, and various others.
Equally passionate and experienced as an orchestral musician, Kathryn served as a core member of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra for three consecutive seasons from 2014-2017, and has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, the California Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Lyric Opera, the Maui Chamber Orchestra, and Hawaii Opera Theater.
Kathryn is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego, studying with internationally acclaimed bassist/improviser/composer Mark Dresser. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and completed her Master of Music degree at McGill University in Montréal.
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.
Sam is a graduate student in the English department at the University of Chicago where he is a Humanities Teaching Fellow and studies the relationship between narrative form and social and economic history during the long eighteenth century. His book manuscript, Imaginary Wants: Avarice, Luxury, and the Rise of the Eighteenth-century Villain, is about villain characters and political economy in British fiction. He maintains an interest in poetry, new and old, and has published essays on Charlotte Smith and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Praised for his “extreme virtuosity” (Alex Ross, New Yorker) and “effortless elegance” (Mathew Guerrieri, NewMusicBox) on piano and harpsichord, Daniel Walden has been featured in the United States, Europe, and Latin America in solo and chamber recital programs that span the fullest range of the keyboard repertory. He is committed to experimentation in both performance and research as means for blurring the boundaries between historical and contemporary music, composition and improvisation, and foreign and familiar sounds in compelling new ways.
Daniel is a 2016-2018 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellow for the Performing and Visual Arts, and has recently released his first CD, featuring Tristan Perich’s Dual Synthesis for harpsichord and electronics. He is a founding member of ensemble Oerknal!, a new music collective based in The Netherlands. He has appeared at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, The Hague’s Korzo Theater, Harvard’s Memorial Hall, and NYC’s The Kitchen; and on festivals including Bang on a Can, Norfolk New Music Workshop, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Piano Masterclass, Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht and the Delian Academy for New Music in Mykonos, Greece.
He is currently a PhD Candidate in Music Theory at Harvard University, and is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory.
Ryan Packard is a percussionist, composer, and sound artist based in Chicago. His recent projects and collaborations explore the sonification of lived experiences through their accompanying objects and interpersonal relationships. A curiosity towards listening environments, physical space, and psychoacoustics drive the work as it seeks to promote a heightened state of consciousness even in the most understated spaces and moments.
Featured performances include appearances at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, High Concept Laboratories, Galeria Labirynt, Experimental Sound Studio, Constellation Chicago, Elastic Arts, Random Walks Festival, B-Sides Festival, Montreál Nouvelles Musiques, the Frequency Festival, Visiones Sonoras, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, Scripps College, among many others.
He is a member of the new music ensembles Fonema Consort and Arkiteck Percussion Quartet, and bands including Skeleton$, Wei Zhongle, Nestle, ZRL, Gunwale, kiTTybOOst, SWAM, and 4eyes.
He can be heard on the following labels: Parlour Tapes+, New Focus Recordings, Kohlenstoff Records, Shinkoyo Records, Aerophonic Records, and No Index Records.
Ryan has a Masters of Music from McGill University and Bachelors of Susic from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
David Cubek has been the director of the Claremont Concert Orchestra of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges since 2010, where he is recipient of Scripps College’s Mary W. Johnson Award for excellence in teaching, and an enthusiastic advocate of new music. He serves as Assistant Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony, Conductor of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic, and Conductor of new music ensemble Fonema Consort. He is a firm believer in the power of music to foster social change, and has conducted various ensembles from Venezuela’s admired music education program El Sistema in Venezuela and the US.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Cubek moved to Montreal in 1999 to continue his music education, studying piano and music theory at McGill University and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Montreal. 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 has led ensembles in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, and Ukraine. In California, recent engagements include guest appearances with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra and the Eastern Sierra Symphony.
Hailed for her “floating, silky soprano” and a deemed “a standout in acting and voice” (Chicago Classical Review), Nathalie Colas was born and raised in Strasbourg, France. She is a current soloist and founder of Third Coast Baroque, Petite Musique Collective, Liederstube, and new music ensemble Fonema Consort. Nathalie was recently heard in Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company production of Cavalli’s Calisto, in Handel’s Messiah with the St Louis Bach Society, and in the title role of Rita by G. Donizetti in Switzerland. An avid recitalist, Nathalie studied art song with the late German baritone Udo Reinemann and regularly performs such repertoire (Symphony Center, Pianoforte Foundation, Omaha Under the Radar, Chicago Arts Club, Driehaus Museum). A graduate of DePaul University School of Music and of the Brussels Royal Conservatory, she completed her opera training at the Swiss Opera Studio/Hochschule der Kunst Bern. She was awarded 1st prize in the Music Institute of Chicago competition last winter.
Elisa Sutherland is a mezzo-soprano known for her detailed, stylistic interpretations of both early and new music. She is a member of The Crossing, Ekmeles, Fonema Consort, and her own early and new music sextet, Variant 6. She has performed as a guest with the Clarion Choir, the New Chamber Ballet, Roomful of Teeth, and Miami’s Seraphic Fire; and as a soloist with TENET Vocal Artists, Apollo’s Fire, American Bach Soloists, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and Quicksilver Baroque. She has sung art song with LyricFest and the Brooklyn Art Song Society.
She was a 2015 winner of the Philadelphia District of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, a 2014 winner of the Lynne Harvey Cooper Award, and the first-place winner of the inaugural Handel Aria Competition at the Madison Early Music Festival in 2013. Recent opera roles include Hera in Chris Cerrone’s All Wounds Bleed, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Meg in Little Women, Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Nancy in Albert Herring.
Elisa graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. She lives in Brooklyn.
Weston Olencki is a South Carolina-born musician working at the intersections of improvisation, contemporary composition and extended instrumental performance, new media technologies, and noise-based practices. His work is concerned with the material properties of sound and sonic media, its: diffusion, circulation, physical reality, emotional connections, cultural signifiers and artifacts, and material ontologies within acoustic and electronic territories. He has presented work at the Borealis Festival, ISSUE Project Room, REDCAT, bludenzer tage zeitgemäßer musik, Ghent Jazz Festival, Blanton Museum of Art, Squeaky Wheel, Mostly Mozart, the American Academy in Rome, Frequency Festival, Indexical, and the OPTION series, and was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for performance from the 2016 Darmstadt Ferienkurse. He has received commissions from line upon line percussion, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink Ensemble, wild Up, and the Talea Ensemble.
Weston has held residencies at the University of California Santa Cruz, Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Northwestern, and was a 2018 visiting artist at CalArts. Various recording projects have been released by HatHut, Not Two, Sound American, Parlour Tapes+, Carrier Records, Clean Feed, Anticausal Systems, and Dinzu Artefacts. He is an active member of RAGE THORMBONES, Ensemble Pamplemousse, the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, tunnels, and performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble member on low brass instruments, modular synthesizers, and various electronic media.