Duo Scordatura's Carnegie Hall Debut
When: March 12, 2016 | 8:00 pm
Duo Scordatura’s debut performance at Carnegie Hall is part of the celebration of our 10th anniversary season. This event will take place on March 12th, 2016 in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. This has always been a dream of Duo Scordatura. We are reaching out to you to consider making a donation to our project.
Our Carnegie Hall program is an exciting and innovative program including 3 world premieres, as well as select compositions we have commissioned from the past 10 years. The highlighted premiere, being commissioned especially for our Carnegie Hall debut, is a single piece composed collaboratively by 5 talented, emerging composers.
Meet the Composers
Jack Benson completed his BA in Music Composition from Lamar University and his MM degree from University of Houston. He has studied with notable composers including: William Latham and Martin Mailman, at the University of North Texas, Nick Rissman, at Lamar University, and Robert Smith, Marcus Maroney, Robert Nelson and Michael Horvit at the University of Houston where he pursued his Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts. In addition to his academic endeavors, Mr. Benson owns a recording and production studio. He also serves on the composition and theory faculty at Lamar University. He recently has published a text book titled, The Music of our Culture;Music Appreciation with Great River Learning. The book was released in 2015 and will be ready for distribution nationally in 2016.
Mr. Benson’s influences include a wide spectrum of composers, such as Igor Stravinsky, Michael Torke and Louis Andriessen. The uniqueness of his musical language combines post-minimalism with jazz and popular elements, interlaced with chromatic textures.
Several of his works have been performed throughout the country with the most recent, Tightrope for Violin and Viola commissioned by Duo Scordatura. “Guns blazing” is how Tightrope is described by Andrew Sigler in his article Sounds Heard: Duo Scordatura, The Act of Loving You and Ritual in Newmusicbox.org.
In addition to the performances of his works by Duo Scordatura throughout the U.S. Catalyst, for Trombone Choir, was first premiered by the University of Houston Trombone Choir and performed at Potsdam University in New York in 2008. In 2010 he received first place in the Moores School of Music Sarofim Composer’s Contest for Wall Street, a percussion work for 12 percussionists, which led to the commission by the Moores School of Music new music ensemble, Aura, to compose his most performed work to date, Fringe, thanks to Duo Scordatura who, after its premiere, has taken the work and made it their own. He won second place from the Sarofim Composer’s Contest in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for his works, In the Bag, for mixed ensemble; Surreal, for flute and clarinet; and Perpetual for brass quintet. He has received several commissions for musical arrangements and compositions from professional ensembles, individuals, churches, schools and universities.
Alexandra T. Bryant
Hailed as a “promising composer” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Alexandra T Bryant has been lauded for her “ability to convey myriad moods through clear thematic materials and coloristic contrasts.” The 2008 world premiere of her piece Apostrophe was presented by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in Severance Hall. In addition to being commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, she has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra Association, the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, the Aeolus Quartet in collaboration with the Friends of Chamber Music of Reading and through a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Scordatura Music Society, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She has participated in the Cabrillo Festival (2012), is the 2010 winner of the Avalon Composition Competition, and the 2007-2008 recipient of Darius Milhaud Award at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In the summer of 2011, Alexandra served on the faculty of the Luzerne Music Center as composer-in-residence.
Miss Bryant currently lives in New York City with her husband. She is working toward completing her dissertation at the University of Maryland where she is pursuing her Doctoral Studies in Composition and has taught written theory, aural skills, and music fundamentals. She is a recipient of the school's Flagship Fellowship and the School of Music's Dean's Fellowship and has studied with Mark Wilson and Lawrence Moss.
Robert Jay Garza, III
Bio coming soon!
George Heathco composes music for a variety of ensembles in a wide range of styles. His music blends elements of contemporary concert music with rock, jazz, and various other pop genres. Ensembles and organizations he has written for include the Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Da Camera of Houston, HGOco, Scordatura Music Society, Divergence Vocal Theater, the University of Houston’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble, and The Ornery Theater, for their 2013 production of Cthulhu: A Puppet Play. In addition, his music has been performed by Musiqa, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Sound Hive, and was the winner of the 2013 Forecast Music call for scores. George composed the music for ReGifting Lions, an evening length dance collaboration with choreographers Toni Leago Valle, Catalina Molnari, and photographer/ choreographer Lynn Lane, which premiered in October of 2012.
George was a member of the 2010-2011 Da Camera of Houston Young Artist Program, and in 2011 was the graduate division winner of the Sarofim Composition Contest at the University of Houston. He is the Co-Artistic Director and guitarist for Liminal Space Contemporary Music Ensemble, a new Houston-based ensemble founded by George and percussionist Luke Hubley.
His varied professional compositional activities include a commissioned orchestral work for the Arkansas Symphony, major works for chorus and orchestra, a documentary film score, numerous chamber works (including a piece commissioned by clarinetist Dick Nunemaker entitled ...For Two Bass Clarinets... recently released by AUREC Recordings), numerous commissioned sacred and secular choral works, over twenty-five published (by Hope Publishing) arrangements for handbells and piano, and several commissioned improvisatory works for Houston choreographer Joan Karff.
Dr. Kramlich served on the National Executive board of the MTNA, during which time he was chair of the MTNA National Composition Commissioning Program and competition.
A full-time member of the School of Music faculty since 1981, Dr. Kramlich is also quite active as a pianist as well, performing frequently in chamber recitals and other venues. Active in the community and the church, he is also the Music Director at Mission Bend United Methodist Church. His favorite extracurricular activities include racquetball, softball, and golf.
Jordan Kuspa’s music has been praised in the New York Times as “animated and melodically opulent” and “consistently alive and inspired.” His compositions have been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, 21st Century Consort, Xanthos Ensemble, Ensemble SurPlus, Duo Scordatura, Linden String Quartet, organist Chelsea Chen, violist Brett Deubner, Yale Camerata, and the Yale Philharmonia, among others. Jordan’s music has been performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, as well as in Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, South Korea, Switzerland, and Turkey. His works have been commissioned by the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the American Festival for the Arts Summer Conservatory, and the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band. In addition, his music has been performed in workshops by ensembles such as the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, California E.A.R. Unit, the Enso String Quartet, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. He has been a composition fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, Atlantic Center for the Arts, June in Buffalo, MusicX, and the Chamber Music Institute at UNL with the Chiara String Quartet. Among his many honors, Jordan was the winner of the 2011 Pittsburgh Symphony Audience of the Future Competition, the 2010 League of Composers–ISCM Competition, and the 2007 Robert Avalon Young Composers Competition. Jordan’s work Iterations was selected for the 2011 American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, one of the most coveted opportunities for emerging composers.
Mr. Ng’s music has been described by The New York Times as "invigorating" with "intricate rhythms". The South China Morning Post has observed that Mr. Ng's "attractive contrapuntal features are begging to be heard again". His 2014 - 15 season includes collaboration and commissions from the American Ballet Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, New York Symphonic Brass, HK New Music Ensemble, Duo Scordatura and EtM Con Edison Composer Residency at Lighthouse Guild International, and The Bright Sheng Partnership: The Intimacy of Creativity 2015. A NYU resident composer, his commissioned composition for their orchestra, Cité en l’air , had its premiere in February 2012 at Symphony Space in New York City. He won the American Prize, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and Robert Avalon International Music Composition Competition for his Grand Jeté on a Violin, which had its US premiere as a dance piece choreographed by Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, in April 2012 at the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. It has subsequently been performed at the Indianapolis Old National Center, New York City Center, Los Angeles and the 2012 ACL Music Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2009, he was awarded First Prize for his musical re-imagining of MC Escher’s works, Liberation of Souls at the ACL Young Composers Competition. He has also conceived, composed and co-directed two theatre pieces: Pas d’Electronique and Bang.
Mr. Ng has composed music for the NYU Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, JACK Quartet, andPlay, Susanville Symphony, the NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, City Contemporary Dance Company, Some Dance Company, the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival, Fire Island Dance Festival, violinists Charles Yang and Tessa Lark, and pianist Dimitri Dover. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Igual , his second collaboration with Marcelo Gomes, had its re-debut at the Joyce Theater featuring dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet in the Fall of 2014. His new ballet, performed by the American Ballet Theatre JKO School, The Idea of Becoming will have its premiere this Spring in New York City.