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Guest Artists Day 2


Andrew Filmer, viola

Mathew Marshall, guitarist

Feature Artist Concert

7 June 2023, 7 PM, MACM


Karin Dolman

Workshop: Creating your own cadenza for Hoffmeister or Stamitz

7 June 2023, 9:30 AM PC 807


Juliet White-Smith 

Lecture: New Frontiers for Pre-Collegiate Viola -  Building Skills and Musicianship Holistically at Any Level

7 June 2023, 11:00 AM, PC 807

Juliet White-Smith is an accomplished violist, an engaging and dynamic teacher, and an expert string pedagogue. With a career spanning over three-and-a-half decades, she has a particular passion for chamber music performance and is an advocate of music by Black composers, having recently been interviewed on the topic by the Boston Globe and WBUR Boston. She has presented on the topics of diversity/equity/inclusion/accessibility/belonging as an invited clinician at the 2022 American String Teachers Association conference in Atlanta and as a panelist at the University of Minnesota, Penn State University, the Juilliard School, James Madison University, among others. White-Smith proudly serves on the Advisory Board of Music by Black Composers, a project of the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation.


White-Smith is an in-demand teacher and clinician having presented master classes at premier music schools, festivals, and conferences worldwide. She was an invited clinician at the 2022 and 2012 annual conferences of the American String Teachers association where she was the Collegiate and Pre-Collegiate Viola Master Class clinician, respectively, as well as at the 70th anniversary conference of the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 2016. She has presented master classes at prestigious music schools around the world including Mahidol College of Music in Thailand, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music. She is a frequent adjudicator for competitions including Primrose International Viola Competition, and her views on pedagogy, talent, and effective practice have been featured in publications such as The Strad, Strings, and American String Teacher. Additionally, she served as President of the American Viola Society from 2008-2011 and has been an Artist-Faculty at the Brevard Music Festival since 2018.


In addition to teaching, she enjoys an active performance career across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She performed the Walton Viola Concerto with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013 under the baton of Norwegian conductor Terje Mikkelsen and has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Denver (Centennial) Philharmonic and the Fort Collins Symphony. Her 2009 album Fashionably Late: Juliet White-Smith Debuts! on the Centaur Records label features the premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize winner George Walker’s Viola Sonata (1989). Performance and pedagogical videos can be found on her YouTube channel


A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, White-Smith joined the faculty at The Ohio State University School of Music in 2012, having previously held positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Western Michigan University.


Kathryn Dey

Lecture: New Frontiers for Pre-Collegiate Viola -  Building Skills and Musicianship Holistically at Any Level

7 June 2023, 11:00 AM, PC 807

Committed to using music as a tool for social justice, violist Kathryn Dey is originally from Lake Mills, Wisconsin. She is an innovative performer and educator, and has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Ms. Dey is a Surdna Foundation fellow and was awarded a grant to study and perform works for unaccompanied viola by American composer Lillian Fuchs.

She plays regularly with organist David Turner as The Lila Duo. Together the duo founded the Haiti Music Project, a program bringing over 2000 donated instruments to music schools and performing ensembles in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. Ms. Dey has also served as a program consultant and guest artist at the Palotti School of Music in Belize City, Belize.

Her teaching has been recognized by ASTA, the American Viola Society and MTNA, among others, and students from her studio are now performing and teaching around the world. Ms. Dey regularly presents workshops to teachers and students throughout the United States and has been recognized for her unique emphasis on interdisciplinary connections between music, creative writing and acting. She is committed to building and sustaining rural South Carolina string programs in Chester, Fairfield, Jasper, Laurens, and Pickens counties. 

Ms. Dey is on the faculty of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, and the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival workshop. She is a co-founder of the Eastman Summer Viola Workshop, as well as the Viola Intensive Workshop.

Ms. Dey earned degrees in viola performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a student of Sally Chisholm, and at the Eastman School of Music, where she served as teaching assistant to John Graham. 

Ms. Dey speaks fluent German, rides her bike wherever she can and together with her husband cellist Robert O’Brien, has been renovating a home in downtown Greenville, SC for over twenty years.


Sharon Wei


7 June 2023, 11:00 AM A 113


Krzysztof Maria Komendarek-Tymendorf

Lecture Recital: VIOLAND made in POLAND - 20th century and contemporary Polish literature and arrangements for viola

7 June 2023, 12:00 PM, PC 807

Photo - G. Gawryszewski - Verden Foto

Krzysztof Maria Komendarek-Tymendorf has been among the eminent Polish musicians of his generation for many years now. He comes from a family with deep musical traditions and is a descendant of the renowned Polish composer Michał Kleofas Ogiński. In 2012, Komendarek- Tymendorf graduated with honors from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk in the Master’s viola class of professor Irena Albrecht.

He perfected his skills at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien with Prof. Wolfgang Klos and Ulrich Schönauer and as a guest student of the Swedish National Orchester Academy in Göteborg. He has also studied under eminent viola masters such as Alexander Zemtsov, Matthias Buchholz, Avri Levitan, György Gulyás Nagy (Auer String Quartet) and Piotr Szumieł.

In 2019, he graduated with honors from postgraduate studies in Culture Management in Government, Local Government and Non-Governmental Organizations at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, also receiving the award of the Director of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
In 2021 he defended his thesis of the postgraduate MBA studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University and the University of Economics in Poznan.

Komendarek-Tymendorf is a laureate of many music competitions, e.g. he took the 1st place at the Macroregional Competition for Young Violists in Warsaw, 1st place at the 25th Young Musician International Competition 'Città di Barletta' in Italy, Polish Rising Music Stars Competition.

At the age of 24, after winning two official competitions for the position of assistant, he began to teach at his Alma Mater where he currently works as assistant professor (PhD) in the viola and chamber music class. In 2018, he defended his doctoral dissertation and received habilitation degree with honors in 2022.

In 2021 he began working as a nominated teacher in the viola class at the Zygmunt Noskowski Music School in Gdynia. He is the national consultant for the Center for Artistic Education (CEA).

He made his debut as a soloist with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot and as a chamber musician with the famous Polish oboist Tytus Wojnowicz in Tadeusz Baird Zielona Góra Philharmonic.
Komendarek-Tymendorf has been invited to perform concerts as a viola soloist with the National Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Warsaw, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot, the Lower Silesian Philharmonic, Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra, Cappella Gedanensis, Progress Chamber Orchestra, Capella Bydgostiensis, Gdingener Symphonieorchester, Baltic Youth Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko Music Academy.

He has worked as a soloist-leader of the viola section in many international symphony and chamber orchestras. From 2007 to 2012 he was the main leader of the viola group in the world's oldest youth orchestra - RIAS Jugendorchester in Berlin. He also performed the role of group leader and solo voice in such orchestras as: Verler Vier Jahreszeiten Sinfonie Orchetser, Landesjugendorchester Bremen, Junges Philharmonisches Orchester Niedersachsen and International Mahler Orchester, EURO SFK Symphony Orchestra, Verler Vier Jahreszeiten Sinfonie Orchetser, Landesjugendorchester Bremen, Junges Philharmonisches Orchester Niedersachsen, Deutsch-Skandinavischen Jugend-Philharmonie, Salzburger Philharmonie Orchester, Royal Johann Strauss Orchestra oraz International Mahler Orchestra. He also cooperates with such orchestras as: AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot, Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra (USA Tournée – 46 concerts), Elblag Chamber Orchestra, Baltic Opera, Hanseatic Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Nordica Chamber Orchestra, Detmolder Kammerorchester Orchester, Webern Symphonie Orchester, Studentische Philharmonie Hannover, Klangforum Mitte Europa Orchester, Landestheater Detmold Orchester, Pan-European Orchestra, Jasna Gora Ensemble, Gorzów Philharmonic and as violinist with Morphing Vienna Chamber Orchester.

He has performed under the baton of such excellent conductors as Pierre Boulez, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Krzysztof Penderecki, Marek Moś, Tadeusz Strugała, as well as with prominent soloists: Ivry Gitlis, Kolja Blacher, Quatuor Ebène, Krystian Zimerman, Piotr Beczała, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, and Łukasz Długosz.

Komendarek-Tymendorf has acquired his knowledge of chamber music from renowned musicians such as: Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartett), Peter Schuhmayer (Artis Quartett), Apollon Musagète Quartett, Quatuor Ebène, Eberhard Feltz, Peter Matzka and Averis Kuyumjian.

He is co-founder and member of the Balthus Quartet and Duo del Gesù; he performed together with eminent artists such as Christoph Hartmann, Avri Levitan, Wolfgang Klos, Joanna Woś, Krzysztof Podejko, Janusz Wawrowski, Bartosz Koziak, Anna Staśkiewicz, Bartosz Woroch, Mateusz Smoczyński, NeoQuartet, Mitch&Mitch, Daniel Olbrychski or Jan Englert.

He has performed in many ensembles and orchestras in the most prestigious European halls, including Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin, Herkulessaal in Munich (Germany), Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Musik Theater Schönbrunn (Austria), Tivolis Konzertsal (Denmark),

Konserthuset Gothenburg (Sweden) and Obecní Dům (Czech Republic).

He has also performed and participated in various international festivals: Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival-Usedomer Music Festival, La Folle Journée, Baltic Sea Festival, Puplinge Classique Festival, Alba Music Festival, International Viola Congress, Spectrum Music Festival, Aurora Music Festival, Apollon Musagète Festival – Internationales Musikfest, Wörthersee Classics Festival.

He has recorded for radio stations such as Deutsche Kultur Radio, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ORF Vienna Radio, Radio 1 (Poland) and television, notably TVP 1 and Telewizja Polsat. As a musician, he worked on the set during the shooting of Agnieszka Holland's film In the Dark.

In 2020 he made his phonographic debut with the CD entitled ReVIOLAtion with the label NAXOS (Germany). CD won numerous awards, such as the prestigious Supersonic Pizzicato Award in Luxembourg, Clouzine 9. International Music Awards Fall 2021 (USA), Music & Stars Awards - The World Shining Talent (Gold Star - Best Instrumentalist CD), 2 Awards - Global Music Awards (USA)
- Instrumentalist and Emerging artist - Silver Medal Winner, 5 camertones in Diapason Magazine in France, laureate of the Musical Eagle Award in the field of classical music (Poland) and very high national and international reviews. The album was nominated (4 categories - Solo recording - instrument, Instrumentalist of the year, Young artist of the year, Classical music without borders) for the most important music award in Germany - Opus Klassik Award 2021.

In 2021, he released a second album - Quantum of Silence with the label ODRADEK RECORDS (USA), album received 5 notes in Pizzicato Magazine in Luxembourg, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (longlist 3/2021), Music Island Recommends and very high national and international reviews.

He receives outstanding reviews from leading industry media: Diapason (France), Fanfare (USA), American Record Guide (USA), MusicWeb International (UK), Pizzicato (Luxembourg), El Eniversal (Mexico), Český rozhlas (Czech Republic), Music Island Recommends – June 2021, Ruch Muzyczny, Magazyn Presto, Gazeta Wyborcza, etc. His recordings are broadcast around the world.

Komendarek-Tymendorf is the winner of prominent scholarship programs: Nordic Baltic Festival Platform Fellowship, Erasmus +, The Festival Academy - Atelier for Solidarity, Cultural Scholarship of the City of Gdańsk, Scholarship of the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship for creators of Culture, Gdańsk "Mobility Fund" Scholarship, ZAIKS Creativity Fund Scholarship, Scholarship Program of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage “Young Poland”, Easter Festival Ludwig van Beethoven, Scholarship to participate in workshops leaded by the Apollon Musagète Quartet as part of the Apollon Musagete Festival - 8th Internationalen Musikfest in German Goslar - Harz. As the only lecturer in music universities, he received from the Minister of Science and Higher Education a prestigious 3-year scholarship for the most outstanding young scientists.

In 2016, he won the City of Gdańsk Award for Young Artists in the field of Culture and was awarded the Gazeta Wyborcza audience award. In the same year, he received the title of ambassador of the national social campaign Save the Music. Dziennik Bałtycki and Poland Press have honored him with the titles Personality of Pomerania and Personality of Gdansk of the Year 2016 in the Culture category. In 2017 he received the honorary award "Distinguished for Polish Culture" and an occasional award from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and in 2022 he was awarded the departmental Bronze Medal for "Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis". Rector's Awards of the second and third degree (2018, 2021, 2022). The EURO Chamber Music Festival, which artist is the director,

received the international EFFE mark (Europe For Festivals Festivals For Europe) awarded by the European Festival Association.
In 2021 he received the Award of the President of the Gdańsk City in the Field of Culture.

He is regularly invited to lecture in viola master classes, among others by Conservatory M. R. Korsakov in St. Petersburg, Tallinn Music Academy, Turku Arts Academy, 46. International Music Courses Z. Brzewski in Łańcut; he also sits on the jury of music competitions.

He has been art director of many initiatives, including EURO Chamber Music Festival, Space Art Festival, Viva Viola Festivity, Baltic Music Workshops. From 2012, he was associated as an activist of the Association of Polish Musicians in Warsaw, from 2013 a member of the Polish Viola Society in Krakow. In 2013, he was appointed the vice president of the Association of Artists Capable of everything in Zielona Góra, which he hold to this day, while since 2018 he has been the president of the Ars Sine Qua Non Foundation in Sopot.

The artist is a protagonist of viola and new music and has performed over 50 world premieres. Contemporary composers dedicate his works to him. His articles are published, among others in the Journal of the American Viola Society (USA) and on

Artist leads intensified concerts, pedagogical and didactic activity in Poland and abroad.


Emlyn Stam

Masterclass Artist

7 June 2023,1:00 PM, PC 807

Violist Emlyn Stam is active as a chamber musician, soloist, pedagogue and performance researcher in the Netherlands and internationally. Since 2014 he has been artistic director of the New European Ensemble an
international ensemble for contemporary and 20th century music.
As a soloist Emlyn Stam has made numerous appearances for Dutch radio and television. He performed concertos with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra d’Espinho (Portugal) and the Schönberg Ensemble. Emlyn
has also performed at numerous festivals such as Festival Vlaanderen, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Sound of Stockholm, Connect Festival, Giverny Chamber Music Festival, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Grachtenfestival Amterdam. His many chamber music performances have included concerts with the Parkanyi Quartet and regular appearances with the Ysaÿe Trio of which he is a founding member. The trio released two c.d.’s for the Dutch Record Company.
As a teacher Emlyn regularly gives masterclasses in both viola playing and chamber music. He taught at numerous conservatories in the Netherlands, Estonia, China and Sweden. He currently teaches at the Fontys University for the Arts in Tilburg.
Emlyn is an active music researcher and completed his doctorate at the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts at the Leiden University in 2019 with a dissertation entitle In Search of a Lost Language: Performing in Early-Recorded
Style in Viola and String Quartet Repertoires. His research focuses on late 19th and
early 20th century performance practices. He is regularly invited to give guest
lectures on his research such as at the University of Leeds, the Hochschule der
Künste in Bern and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

The Disseration can be found here:

A playlist with musical recordings made for this research project can be found


Meagan Barnett

Partial Concert: Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
Richard Auldon Clark  Viola

Melinda Benzel   Viola
Meagan Barnett   Viola

7 June 2023, 1:00 PM, MACM

Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

The Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is a chamber ensemble based in New York City specializing in American music. MCCE performs in venues including Carnegie’s Weill & Zankel Halls, New York’s Symphony Space, the Liederkranz Club and the Church of Christ & St. Stephens. They have been featured several times on WXXI’s live radio show “Backstage Pass” with host Julia Figueras on Rochester Public Radio, WCNY radio, performed at the San Diego and Orlando National Flute Conventions and have been the resident ensemble at the annual Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival each summer. MCCE can be heard on the Keuka Classical recording label.

Meagan Barnett is currently an Orchestra Director in Avon, Indiana. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Viola Performance and Music Education from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. At Butler, she studied viola with Richard Auldon Clark and was Principal Violist in the Butler Symphony Orchestra. Meagan has also performed in the ballet orchestra for several ballets with the Butler Ballet Department including Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle and Cinderella. She is an active member of several orchestras throughout Indianapolis including the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and DEOC Ensemble.


Nehir Akansu

Partial Recital: AcCeSs Interdisciplinary Project by viola, contemporary dance and audivisual art

7 June 2023, 1:00 PM, MACM


VIOLA Born in Izmir/Turkey.
Based in Valencia/Spain.

Valencia Polytechnic University, Faculty of Fine Arts. Ph. D. candidate of Art: Production and Investigation, 2022.
Berklee College of Music Valencia | Master of Contemporary Performance, 2018.
School of High Music Studies Santiago de Compostela | Orchestra Academy, 2016.

Izmir Dokuz Eylul University | Master of Classical Music / Viola, 2016.
Regional Conservatory of Rueil-Malmaison | Degree of Music Studies / Viola, 2014.
Anadolu University State Conservatory & Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Erasmus Exchange program) | Bachelor Degree, 2011.

Solo Projects

¡MPROV! Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Production & Performance: Improvisation in folk and jazz music interrelating with audiovisuals and contemporary dance. Bo Bartlett Visual Art Center, Columbus/GA USA, June. ANIAV Congress of Audiovisual Art Valencia July, 2022.
20 years with music and will be forever: Recording original songs, covers, improvising with musicians in my life 2021- present.

Bach in Church: Playing and recording J. S. Bach ́s solo partitas, sonatas & suites in the churches of Valencia City, 2020.
Jam Every day: Improvisation in various genres of music. Solo and collaboration with musicians in the Valencia area, 62 videos recorded, 2019.

¡ULTREIA! Improvisation in World Music from the Perspective of Contemporary Harmony. Culminating Experience Project: Research and Production, 2018.
Application Methods of Special Effects in Viola in 20th Century. Master of classical music, viola research thesis, Izmir 2016.

Ensemble Experiences

Improvisation on viola & dance Botanica with contemporary ballerina Christine Cloux. Women ́s Legacy day, botanic garden of Valencia, May 2022.

Ensemble Pau Parga & el Rosal original songs by Paulina Parga. Veles e Vents, February 2022. Ramakrishna Trio jazz and flamenco fusion. Llit del Turia, December 2021.
Cia. Matteria ANIMA improvisation between music, contemporary dance & sculpture, Russafa

Sporting Club, Festival Cabanyal Intim February, May 2021.
Cienfuegos Danza Requiem, interpreter, violist. Principal Theatre of Valencia, December 2019,

Madrid Dance Festival at the Theatre Canal, May 2021.

Improvisation on viola & dance Before the Storm with contemporary ballerina Natalyd Altamirano, Festival Migrats Valencia, November 2019.

Improvisation on viola & dance Accretion with contemporary ballerinas Eva Florez; Sara Arthur-Paratley; Sara Trujillo in Festival Intramurs Valencia, October 2019.

Onofre Rodrigo Musical Project, tours of North and South of Spain, August 2019.
Noe Lira Musical Project, concert tours in Valencia, February-March 2019.
Oro Velvet: Mediterranean Music Ensemble, Veles e Vents, 2017 & La Nit de Berklee, 2018

International Women’s Day at Ubik Café Luz Rio Duo, March 2018
Black History Week at Berklee Valencia Campus Luz Rio Duo, February 2018.
Inari Quartet in Berklee Showcase, Veles e Vents, January 2018.
Borja Navarro Concert: Solo Viola. Sala Jerusalem, November 2017.
Berklee Flamenco Ensemble with Sergio Martinez Sala Russafa & Teatre Martin i Soler Valencia, Auditoria Nacional de Música Madrid, November 2017.

Berklee Indian Ensemble with Annette Philip. Fundación Bancaja, 2017.

Dan Caton & Ladies Waitin’: American Old Times. La Cuidad de las Artes y Ciencias 2017-18.

Crann Taca: Fiddle & Viola: Bluegrass and American Old Times, 2017-18. Orchestra Experiences

Orchestre Philarmonic de University of Valencia, direction of Beatriz Fernandez, 2018-present. Orquesta Vigo 430, Various symphonic programs. Vigo Galicia. 2016- 19.
Voices of Love Project Orchestra & Choir, Palau de la Musica, February 2018. Berklee Film Orchestra. Valencia, Palau de la Música, 2017.

Real Filarmonia de Galicia, Director: Paul Daniel, Santiago de Compostela, 2016.
Baltic Sea Youth Philarmonie, Director: Kristjan Jarvi | Europe Tour, 2014.
Melo’dix Orchestre de l'Université Paris Nanterre, Director: Fabrice Parmentier | Paris, 2014. L’Orchestre de l’Universite Paris-Sorbonne, Director: Vincent Barthe | Paris, 2012.
Les Cles d’ Euphonia, Director: Laetitia Trouve | Paris, 2012.


Language: Turkish, English, French, and Spanish are fluent. Hungarian and German are basic levels.
Radio Program Producer & Presenter of Les Chansons Francaises, Voices from Opera, Música Mundo & Stage-Backstage-Foyer at Radio Café Turc:

Flamenco Dancer at Izmir Flamenco Dance and Music Atelier.
Modern dance class of Clara Barbera at Berklee College of Music/Valencia.


Erasmus Student in Budapest Franz Liszt Academy 2010-11.

Orchestra Academy in Real Filarmoni de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, 2015-16. Likes reading, biking, swimming, and practicing Yoga & Pranayama


Melinda Benzel

Partial Concert: Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
Richard Auldon Clark  Viola

Melinda Benzel   Viola
Meagan Barnett   Viola

7 June 2023, 1:00 PM, MACM

Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

The Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is a chamber ensemble based in New York City specializing in American music. MCCE performs in venues including Carnegie’s Weill & Zankel Halls, New York’s Symphony Space, the Liederkranz Club and the Church of Christ & St. Stephens. They have been featured several times on WXXI’s live radio show “Backstage Pass” with host Julia Figueras on Rochester Public Radio, WCNY radio, performed at the San Diego and Orlando National Flute Conventions and have been the resident ensemble at the annual Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival each summer. MCCE can be heard on the Keuka Classical recording label.

Melinda Benzel holds degrees in viola performance from Rutgers University (B.A.) and Butler University (M.M.). Melinda attended the Manhattan School of Music preparatory division where she began her studies with Richard Auldon Clark. She has performed with musicians Ray Charles, Ruth Laredo, Michael Riesman, Tessa Lark, Jinjoo Cho and comedian Jerry Lewis. A freelance violist, she has performed in both the New Jersey and Indianapolis areas as an orchestral and chamber musician. She serves as the principal violist of the Danville Symphony Orchestra in Danville, Illinois. An advocate of world music, Melinda also performs with the Middle Eastern band Indy Raqs. Melinda has performed with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Butler Ballet Orchestra and was a member of the Woomblies Rock Orchestra from 2014-2019. An advocate for solo viola repertoire, she performs annual viola recitals. Melinda is the director of orchestras at Herron High School since 2012.


Wojciech Kołaczy

Partial Recital: Polish Music for viola solo

7 June 2023, 1:00 PM, MACM

Wojciech Kołaczyk - polish violinist and violist. He graduated Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz in the violin class of prof. Henryk Keszkowski, and in the viola class
of prof. Zbigniew Frieman. He conducts a rich concert activity as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. He was associated with the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz until 2012. Currently, professor at the Academy
of Art in Szczecin. As a member of the Barock Quartet, he is the originator and co-organizer of the Chamber Music Festival Muzyka u Źródeł, which has been taking place since 2009 in Bydgoszcz. On his initiative, an annual scientific and artistic conference is organized at the Academy of Art. ; Polish Chamber Music.
He is invited to participate in scientific conferences, jury works, and doctoral and postdoctoral commissions.
Member of the Polish Viola Society and the Violaarte; Association. Head of the Department of String Instruments Academy of Art.


Libere Quartet

Mahakit Lerdcheewanan, violin

Inga Causa, violin

Danny Keasler, viola

Marcin Szawelski, cello

Partial Recital

7 June 2023, 2:00 PM, MACM


Joy De La Cruz & Aimee Mina De La Cruz

Partial Recital: DE LA CRUZ DUO - Viola and Marimba

7 June 2023, 12:00 PM, MACM

Husband and wife Joy Allan De la Cruz (Principal Violist) and AimeeMina-De la Cruz (Percussionist/ Marimbist) are members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra ( PPO). As orchestra members, they regularly perform at the Cultural Center of the Philippines(CCP). Some of their significant performances abroad include those
at the infamous Carnegie Hall in New York City, numerous concert halls in Japan and Hong Kong.
Aimee as a soloist, performed in several concerts in the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. She
performed in concerts together with the PPO under the baton of Maestros Oscar Yatco, Herminigildo Ranera, Gerard Salonga and Ruggero Barbieri. She also performed in recitals at the Santa Isabel College Manila, St. Paul University Manila and at the University of Oregon, USA. Meanwhile, Joy Allan has also been featured as a soloist with the UST Symphony Orchestra for the UST Tribute to the Thomasians at the CCP, and solo recitals in Casa San Miguel Zambales, UST Conservatory of Music and
Santa Isabel College Music Department. In 2013, Joy Allan and Aimee started to collaborate Viola and Marimba music, in which they found challenging and fulfilling. Some of their notable performances are their rendition of “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas” by Willie Cruz at the Aimee Mina-De la Cruz Special Concert Series in 2013 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the 2014 “Sagut ti Ayat” Concert in Laoag City. The marimba-viola duo continued even during the pandemic through recordings and virtual performances. They are part of the Musicgear Manila (MGM) Soloists and performed Piazzolla’s Violentango during Musicgear Manila’s 2nd Concert Series(Online).


Andrea Houde

Partial Recita

7 June 2023, 12:00 PM, MACM

Andrea Priester Houde is an American violist whose genuine love and dedication to her craft can be seen in performances around the world and in the unique environment of her teaching studio. Houde is Associate Professor of Viola and String Area Coordinator at West Virginia University. She serves on the artist faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp and was a board member of the American Viola Society from 2016-2022. She was recently honored to serve as a first-round judge for the 2021 International Primrose Competition.

Houde has performed as soloist, chamber musician, and in orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. She has recorded for the Delos, Parma, and Albany record labels. Her solo album, The American Viola, features early to contemporary American works for the viola, including the historic world premiere of the first American viola composition.

Houde has a zeal for teaching and pedagogy that equals that of her performances. She has served on the faculties of the University of Delaware, Orfeo Music Festival (Italy), Endless Mountain Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Master Players Festival. She has given performances, presentations, and master classes at the 44th and 47th International Viola Congresses, American Viola Society Festivals at the Colburn School and Oberlin Conservatory, American String Teachers Association National Conferences, and at many universities across the US and in Canada. Studies were at the University of Memphis with Lenny Schranze and at the Peabody Conservatory with Victoria Chiang. Other teachers include Heidi Castleman, Jeffrey Irvine, Mark Jackobs, and David Holland. Houde lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, with her horn-playing husband Albert and their four children.


Alicia Marie Valoti

Partial Recital

7 June 2023, 2:00 PM, MACM

Alicia Marie Valoti has held an internationally fruitful music career as a young violist. Beginning as a pianist at Indiana University Bloomington, she eventually came to study the viola and later completed a performance degree at McGill University in Montréal. Following her time in Canada, Dr. Valoti continued her studies of viola and chamber music in Italy at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, the Scuola APM di Saluzzo and the Conservatory of Florence “Luigi Cherubini”, where she received a Master’s degree in viola performance with the highest honors as well as a Performance Diploma in Viola and Chamber Music. Her residency in Europe allowed for much experience as an orchestral player, and Ms. Valoti consequently served as principal and in section orchestral positions, also completing tours in places such as Italy, Egypt, Montecarlo, and Switzerland. As a chamber musician, she participated in competitions and recitals throughout Italy and Europe.

In 2009 Alicia Valoti began further graduate studies at Rice University with James Dunham, where she received the Cheri and Andy Fossler Award. Her participation in

masterclasses and festivals includes the Accademia Chigiana of Italy, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival of Finland, International Meisterkurse Bratsche of Germany and Le Domaine Forget in Canada, among others. She has been fortunate to study the viola with incredible artists such as Lawrence Dutton, Bruno Giuranna, Garth Knox, Nobuko Imai, Hatto Beyerle and Atar Arad. Dr. Valoti was selected in 2013 as an orchestral fellow for the Castleton Festival, where she played under the direction of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Dr. Valoti has been an integral part of both past and present genres in music. In Florence, Italy, she gave the premiere performance of “SorellaViola”, composed in 2005 for viola sola by Gaetano Giani-Luporini, and in 2009-2010 toured the United States with the chamber music group Astraios, also making a premiere recording of a Sally Beamish work. Also in 2010, Ms. Valoti gave a premiere of Sergio Mesa’s String Quartet in affiliation with Aperio, Music of the Americas. As a member of Ars Lyrica and the Houston Bach Society, Dr. Valoti has performed, toured and recorded as principal viola, using true baroque instruments and bows. She can be heard, as Principal Viola, on the World Premiere Giovanni Paolo Colonna CD with the Houston Chamber Choir and Orchestra. Dr Valoti has a special interest in the scores and performance of original Italian viola compositions from the 19th century, and has given lectures and recitals highlighting the music of Giorgetti, Campagnoli and Cavallini. As a member of New Music for Strings, Ms Valoti has also performed alongside Emerson String Quartet colleagues in Denmark, Iceland and New York. She served as the violist for the world premiere in Copenhagen of Suite for String Quartet, a 12 movement quartet work written by Eugene Drucker.

A committed educator, Dr. Valoti served on the faculty of Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University School of Music, where she was a member of the Kolenneh String Quartet. In addition, Dr. Valoti was an Affiliate Artist at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and an Artist-Teacher at the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. Her masterclasses have been held in places such as Brazil, Ecuador, Jordan, Italy, Ireland, New York, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Texas. In China in 2010, Ms. Valoti received a distinguished guest professorship at the Wuhan Conservatory, and held a month-long residency at Liaocheng University as a violin and viola professor. Ms. Valoti also served on the string faculty at the Interlochen Summer Academy in 2014. She has a passion for El Sistema programs, and recently worked and performed with students in Soweto, South Africa.

After initial doctoral studies and research at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, Ms. Valoti completed a doctorate in viola performance at Stony Brook University in New York, where she also served as an instructor. Recently, she was the first prize winner of the “David Dalton” American Viola Society Competition, and performed as a “Rising Star of the Viola” in the American Viola Society Congress in Oberlin. Additionally, she has performed as a member of the Associazione Italiana della Viola, and gave the premiere of her own “Sonata per viola sola (2019)” in Siena, Italy. Further lectures were given for the International Viola Society Congress in Italy, Holland and New Zealand. Dr. Valoti serves as Associate Professor of Viola at Central Michigan University since Fall 2016, where she won the Provost Award in 2019.


Ettore Causa Masterclass

7 June 2023, 6 PM, MACM


Richard Auldon Clark

Partial Concert: Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
Richard Auldon Clark  Viola

Melinda Benzel   Viola
Meagan Barnett   Viola

7 June 2023, 1:00 PM, MACM

Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

The Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is a chamber ensemble based in New York City specializing in American music. MCCE performs in venues including Carnegie’s Weill & Zankel Halls, New York’s Symphony Space, the Liederkranz Club and the Church of Christ & St. Stephens. They have been featured several times on WXXI’s live radio show “Backstage Pass” with host Julia Figueras on Rochester Public Radio, WCNY radio, performed at the San Diego and Orlando National Flute Conventions and have been the resident ensemble at the annual Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival each summer. MCCE can be heard on the Keuka Classical recording label.

Composer, conductor, violinist, and violist Richard Auldon Clark is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival. A strong proponent of American music, Mr. Clark has performed and/or recorded hundreds of world premiers, and his work has received extraordinary praise in the New York Times, Fanfare, American Record Guide, Washington Post, and dozens of others. Mr. Clark has recorded the music of David Amram, Henry Cowell, Seymour Barab, Lukas Foss, Alan Hovhaness, Otto Leuning, Osvaldo Lacerda, Dave Soldier, Alec Wilder, and many more. An active studio musician as well, Mr. Clark has performed and recorded for Broadway, television, commercial, and film music, including several films for Philip Glass. Mr. Clark’s compositions have been praised in the New York Times and broadcast on NPR stations around the country. With more than twenty chamber works to his credit, Mr. Clark has premiered six new compositions in the past three years at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in September 2016, his opera Happy Birthday, Wanda June with a Libretto by Kurt Vonnegut was premiered by Indianapolis Opera. A frequent collaborator, Mr. Clark works with dancers, choreographers, and visual artists in the creation of new works. Currently, Mr. Clark is Professor of Music at Butler University where conducts the Butler Symphony Orchestra and Butler Ballet.


Felix Ungar

Partial Recital: 3 G's

7 June 2023, 2:00 PM, MACM

Violist Felix Ungar has performed as soloist and chamber musician at concert halls around the world. Recent engagements as soloist with the Wairua Sinfonietta in Auckland and chamber music at National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Ungar has given masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing International Music Festival, Dragonfly Festival in Tianjin, Taipei National University of the Arts, Cleveland Institute of Music, the American Viola Society Festival at Oberlin, as well as International Viola Congresses in Wellington and Rotterdam, and on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.

Ungar holds Bachelor and Master degrees from CIM, and a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. Ungar also received a double-minor in East Asian Studies and Mandarin from Case Western Reserve University. A former Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, Ungar teaches at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and HKBU, and in summers at the Heifetz Institute. His students have matriculated at institutions including The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory among others and have been accepted to prestigious programs including the Heifetz Institute, IMS Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program.


Vinciane Beranger

Lecture Recital: Rebecca Clarke's  manuscripts for viola

7 June 2023, 3:00 PM, MACM

Vinciane Béranger is a multi-facetted violist who aims to bring the viola into the spotlight and build bridges between various forms of artistic expression.

The years she spent with the Manfred Quartet and her time and dedication as a chamber- music player have led to invitations to perform on some of the greatest stages worldwide, including the Salle Gaveau and the Salle Chopin-Pleyel in Paris, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Kennedy Center in Washington.

She is also a performer favoured by contemporary composers such as György Kurtag, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Thierry Pécou, Betsy Jolas, Edith Canat de Chizy, Suzanne Giraud, Martin Matalon and Nicolas Bacri.

Released in 2022 under the label Aparté, the record: Rebecca Clarke, Works for viola, with the collaboration of Dana Cioccarlie, Hélène Collerette and David, is warmly welcomed by the media. As part of a research program at HEMU (Haute Ecole de Lausanne, Switzerland), Vinciane Béranger initiated a work on the manuscripts of Rebecca Clarke.

Links between spoken text and music enrich her work. In 2019 following a residence at the Abbaye de Royaumont, she created a play named “Harold in Italy,” based on Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece. In addition, she has performed in shows based on Mozart and Debussy, created by the Helios Ensemble, at Théâtre du Ranelagh in Paris.

She performs as a soloist with European and American orchestras, and has taken part in numerous festivals including Marlboro USA, Les Arcs, Ile de France, Aix en Provence, Auvers- sur-Oise, Juventus in Cambrai, the Folles Journées in Nantes and Tokyo, the Rencontres musicales d’Evian, and the Flâneries de Reims.

Her discography, mostly with ZigZag Territoires, includes the works of Robert Schumann for viola and piano; a baroque recital for viola and harp; Mozart quartets and a quintet for clarinet and strings, as well as Werg/Webern/Schönberg for quartets and voice. In addition, a Bach/Coltrane disc for quartet, organ and saxophone highlights the links between Bach and jazz.

Having won the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, Vinciane Béranger’s Robert Schumann disc also received a very warm welcome from the music press:
“The extreme finesse of Vinciane Béranger’s hypersensitive, ethereal, and always skilful bow ... is a major addition to the discography. (Répertoire)

“The young musicians possess a charming je-ne-sais-quoi that makes their performance both alive and subtly refined” (Classica)
“An artistically and musically exemplary vision” (Piano magazine)

A much sought-after teacher, she works at the Haute Ecole de Musique of Lausanne (HEMU) in Switzerland, and at the Saint-Maur-des-Fossés Conservatory in France. She is a qualified viola teacher who regularly gives Master Classes and also sits on juries. Her interest in education has led her to run teacher training courses at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.

Her passion for the quartet can be seen in her teaching work for Pro Quartet.

At the age of 16, Vinciane entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where she studied under Gérard Caussé and was unanimously awarded First Prize for viola, also receiving First Prize for chamber music. She continued to study with Kim Kashkashian in Freiburg, Germany on the DAAD scholarship. She went on to complete her training at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia as a recipient of the Fullbright scholarship and the French Lavoisier scholarship (awarded by the Foreign Ministry).

She won the Connelly Memorial Prize at the International Music Competition in Washington, as well as an award at the International Music Competition in Rome. She received Second Prize in the Lyceum Club de Berne Competition, First Prize in the Illzach competition, and was also given the Fondation Natexis-Banques Populaires award.

She plays a viola made by Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza in 1770.

Joachim Besse, piano.jpg

Joachim Besse, piano

Lecture Recital Rebecca Clarke's  manuscripts for viola

7 June 2023, 3:00 PM, PC 807

Joachim Besse is a French pianist born in 2000. He has performed in several festivals in France (Le vent sur l’Arbre, Un piano dans l’Herbe, Jeunes Pousses MCNN) and as a soloist in Haydn’s Concerto No. 11
in D Major.
As a chamber musician, he played in duet with flute and trio with flute and cello. He is now playing in duo with cello, and continues accompanying singers. He founded the Aldébaran Trio, which has been working with Vincent Coq, Hans Egidi, Gyula Stuller and François Salque. The recent string trio was awarded a second prize at the Lavaux Classic Competition in 2022, and has performed the works of various composers in concerts (D. Shostakovitch, F. Schubert, L. Boulanger, M. Bonis, J. Turina, F. Farkas).
With a particular interest in French music, especially that of Ravel, he continues to expand his work of the repertoire, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. He is also interested in the works and aesthetics of other composers such as Brahms, R. Schumann, Scriabin, Dutilleux. Joachim Besse is interested in less known composers such as Rebecca Clarke. He had the chance to participate in the research project on her viola's pieces' manuscript led by Vinciane Béranger at HEMU.
He learned the piano with Roger Sala and Antoine Mourlas at the Conservatoire de Nevers, and furthered his studies with Matthieu Stefanelli, and Christophe Bukudjian at the CRR de Saint-Maur-des-Fossés in the Paris suburbs. He is currently completing his Bachelor's degree in the class of Jean- François Antonioli at the HEMU in Lausanne, Switzerland. In parallel to these studies, he graduated a

Musicology Licence Degree at Sorbonne University.


Daphne Gerling

Full Recital: Encircling - repertoire from women composers contemporary with Rebecca Clarke

7 June 2023, 5:00 PM, MACM

Daphne Gerling enjoys an international career teaching, performing, and writing about the viola. She began her research on the 1919 Viola works  as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge faculty of music in 2005. Her dissertation, “Connecting Histories: Identity and Exoticism in the 1919 Viola Works of Ernest Bloch, Rebecca Clarke and Paul Hindemith (2007) is available digitally through Rice University.  From Holland to Portugal, and New Zealand to Honduras, Daphne’s travels and performances have taken her to 30 universities around the United States, and to 14 countries overseas. In recent years she has been a summer fellow  at Lincoln Center Education in New York, and enjoyed performing on Baroque viola with the Washington Bach Consort, Karlsruhe Handel Festspiele, and the American Baroque Opera Company. She has participated in commissioning projects with composers Libby Larsen and Jorge Variego, leading to American premieres in Tennessee, Georgia, Los Angeles, and in Rome and Cremona, Italy. As a concerto soloist she has performed works by Clarke, Mozart, Hindemith, and Weber in Texas, Brazil, and at the storied Saigon Opera House in Vietnam. As a chamber player, she has appeared with Dallas’ Chamber Music International and Art Music series, as well as Sounds Modern in Fort Worth. She is currently developing recital projects featuring works by female composers who may have participated in the 1919 Coolidge competition, as well as a solo program of modern compositions. Dr. Gerling studied viola, vocal performance, and historical musicology at Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Rice University. She is deeply grateful to have been mentored by viola professors Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Karen Ritscher, and James Dunham, and to have served as their graduate teaching assistant throughout her degrees. She undertook further studies with Heidi Castleman, Thomas Riebl, and Simon Rowland-Jones. She completed long-term Suzuki teacher training in Books 1-4 with Teri Einfeldt, and books 5-9 with Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, and loves working with younger students. Dr. Gerling’s students currently hold teaching and performing positions throughout the United States, Brazil, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. She is currently Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of North Texas, and Secretary of the American Viola Society. Her website is


Patcharaphan Khumprakob

Partial Recital: Rebecca Clarke's Viola Sonata

7 June 2023, 5:00 PM MACM

Born in Bangkok, Patcharaphan started piano at age of 5, and viola at age of 14, while she was a student at College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand. After moving to Singapore, she received a Bachelor’s degree in viola performance from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, where she studied under Prof. Zhang Manchin. She continued her study under Prof. William Coleman at Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and graduated with a Master’s degree in viola performance. Patcharaphan has been awarded 1st prize with “Jury Prize of Excellence” from Thailand International Strings Competition, A Gold Medal from SETTRADE Young Musician Competition, which she has performed as a soloist with Salaya Philharmonic Orchestra, and 1st prize from the Golden Strings of America to perform the winner concert at the Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall, New York.


At age of 15, she was selected to be a viola principal of the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Woodwinds Ensemble and won an audition for Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. While studying, she was a viola principal of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra, a viola principal of Sinfonieorchester der Universität Mozarteum, and performed with Oper im Berg and Austrian Festival Orchestra as a guest musician. In 2016-17, she also joined Asian Youth Orchestra for Asian and World Tour concerts in many famous music festivals, including Young Euro Classic Music Festival in Berlin, Merano Südtirol Classic Festival in Italy, Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland, Ravello Music Festival in Italy, 78 Quincena Music de San Sebastian in Spain, with great conductors, Richard Pontzious, Maestro James Judd, Matthias Bamert, and World renowned soloists, Sarah Chang, Vadim Repin, and Gerhard Oppitz.


Patcharaphan participated in viola masterclass with Tatjana Masurenko at Musikschule “Johann Sebastian Bach” Kurt-Masur-Saal, Leipzig, Germany, Saarburg Musik Festival, Music Academy of the West Summer School and Festival in Santa Barbara, California, which she was selected to take part for an intensive coaching in the String Quartet Seminar (SQS) led by Takács Quartet, and Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum with Lars Anders Tomter and Veronika Hagen. Patcharaphan Khumprakob was an associate principal viola of Sun Symphony Orchestra, Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently a  freelance musician of Singapore Symphony Orchestra and a full time violin/viola teacher at the Melody Strings in Singapore.


Ames Asbell, viola

Richard Novak. tenor

Joey Martin, piano

Kevin Salfen composer

Lecture Recital: Stations of Mychal (2020) for Viola, Tenor, and Piano: Developing a New Long-Form Dramatic Song Cycle

7 June 2023, 4:30 PM, PC 807

The Purgatory Creek Trio is committed to exploring and expanding the repertoire of works for the sonorous combination of tenor, viola, and piano. Violist Ames Asbell, tenor Richard Novak, and pianist Joey Martin, all internationally recognized performers, initially joined forces in 2019 on a program of works by Vaughan Williams and Rachmaninoff, culminating in a performance at the 46th International Viola Congress on Poznán, Poland.

For the ensemble’s inaugural commissioning project, they worked with librettist Rick Davis (George Mason University, Virginia, USA) and composer Kevin Salfen

(University of the Incarnate Word, Texas, USA) to develop Stations of Mychal, an 80-minute dramatic song cycle commemorating the life and service of Fr. Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York Fire Department who lost his life during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The cycle was premiered in September 2021 in New York City as part of the 20th anniversary commemoration, and a recording is currently being prepared for release.

NOTE: The trio was scheduled to perform selections from this work at the 47th IVCI, but unfortunately that performance was canceled on short notice due to illness.

Individual Bios
Kevin Salfen, composer

Kevin Salfen (Professor of Music, University of the Incarnate Word) is a composer, scholar, and producer. His principal composition teachers were Martin Mailman and Cindy McTee. Salfen lived in Japan for almost two years, and he is a Company Member of international performing ensemble Theatre Nohgaku. Salfen's music has been performed in Japan, England, China, and throughout the U.S. He was a finalist for the ASCAP Young Composer Award, was nominated for the 2019 Artist Foundation of San Antonio People’s Choice Award, has been recognized twice for his music by the American College Theater Festival, and in 2022 was a finalist in the Vocal/Instrumental Chamber Music Division for The American Prize. Salfen was executive producer for two film projects – Made in SA – New Performers, New Musicians (2020) and SA24 – Two Dozen Songs from Now (2021) – and his intercultural work Phoenix Fire received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He curates and writes for the blog Sound Trove.

Ames Asbell, viola

Violist Ames Asbell has performed classical, tango, and popular music on six continents in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to rock clubs. Significant recent performances include International Viola Congresses in New Zealand, Poland, and the US, and recitals in Mexico, South Africa and Australia. Her performances appear on recorded releases by Nonesuch, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and Sony and many more, including eight episodes of PBS’ Austin City Limits. Ames is violist of the Tosca String Quartet, Principal Violist of Austin Opera and a member of the Austin

Symphony Orchestra, and performs regularly with Arizona Musicfest, Victoria Bach Festival, and acclaimed choral group, Conspirare. Ames is currently Associate Professor of Viola at Texas State University, where she founded and directed the Texas State String Project from 2010 to 2020. She has served on the board of the American Viola Society since 2016 and coordinated the 2021 AVS Festival. She begins a three-year term as AVS President in 2023.

Richard Novak, tenor

Richard Novak has performed across the U.S., Italy, Germany, Poland, & Mexico. Operatic credits are Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Alfredo, Don José, Nemorino, Ernesto, Werther, Eisenstein, Tamino, and Roméo. Training programs include Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, the Wesley Balk Institute, and the Evelyn Lear/Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program. In 2005 & 2006, Novak won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Tulsa District). Dr. Novak holds a B.M. & M.M. from Stephen F. Austin State University and a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. Dr. Novak is an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. In 2019, Novak made his

Carnegie Hall debut singing songs by James Simon. He was the driving force behind the commissioning of Kevin Salfen’s song cycle Stations of Mychal and premiered the role of Dr. Mengele in Thomas Yee’s Holocaust Remembrance Opera Eva and the Angel of Death.

Joey Martin, piano

Joey M. Martin is Professor of Music at Texas State University where he serves as the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Director for the School of Music. He directs internationally acclaimed Texas State Chorale and teaches graduate courses in conducting, choral literature, and rehearsal technique. For seven years he served as the National American Choral Directors Association Repertoire and Resources Chair for College/University Choirs and continues his professional service with the National Collegiate Choral Organization. Dr. Martin has conducted

honor choirs and presented master classes and clinics in twenty-seven of the United States and in fifteen countries on six continents.

As a collaborative artist, Dr. Martin has joined with vocal and chamber musicians for recitals, competition, and conference presentations, most recently with tenor, Richard Novak and violist, Ames Asbell with performances in Poland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. He is a member of the Fulbright Specialist roster and represents the United States throughout the world. In his spare time, he dreams of culinary school.

Full description for consideration:

Stations for Mychal (2020), a new long-form dramatic song cycle for viola, tenor, and piano, was commissioned in commemoration of the life and ministry of Father Mychal Judge (1933–2001), Chaplain for the New York Fire Department until his death while assisting with the evacuation of the towers during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. preview performances in Texas in August 2021, the official premiere was offered at St. Francis of Assisi Church in midtown Manhattan on September 11, 2021 during the week of commemorative events marking the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy.

The product of three years of research, interviews, and collection of the writings, sermons, and personal notes of Father Judge, Stations of Mychal illuminates the transformative power of an individual to bring healing and reconciliation. The cycle tells the story of Fr. Judge’s life, from birth through childhood and ordination as a Franciscan friar, his struggles with alcoholism and sexual identity, his outreach to the homeless and the gay community in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, and finally up to moment of his death.

Progressing from invocation to dismissal, the music evokes a broad spectrum of emotion: the sonic suggestion of the falling towers that bookends the work; the contemplative Prayer of St. Francis that runs throughout; bittersweet memories of family (the Irish tune Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór, a favorite of Mychal’s father); frenetic music reflecting the doubt and fear of both the personal struggles of Fr. Judge and the unstoppable progress of planes that brought down the Twin Towers; and a central reflection on the transcendence of love in all forms. Various musical styles inform the work, including an Irish jig, and a Blues-inspired lament. Voice, viola and piano interact in various roles and as independent characters, telling a story of the fullness and richness of a life in all its

contradictions – tragedy, beauty, and, ultimately in the ability of an individual life to mean more than the sum of its parts.

Discussion of the work will include initial inception and research and the collaborative experience of preparing the work for performance. An overview of the work’s structure will refer to particular episodes in Fr. Judge’s life, including brief musical examples from movements which portray Judge’s mission to reach across geographic and societal borders. The lecture will be followed by a performance of selected movements in their entirety.

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