Steeplechase Arts & Productions
Ridgewood, NJ O7451-1234
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Steeplechase Arts is a music publishing, recording, and production company that integrates innovation and tradition in music and collaboration among the arts. Since 2003, the company has produced concerts and operas at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Theatre Project, Georgetown University, the President's House of Stony Brook University, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, St. John's College, Guild Hall, and many other locations. Steeplechase has had press coverage from National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, Johns Hopkins Magazine, The East Hampton Star, and Baltimore City Paper. Over the next year, Steeplechase will be engaged in collaborative projects in the US and Europe in film, dance, poetry, and opera.
Damon Ferrante is a composer, guitarist, and music writer with 30 scores and books in print. He has had performances throughout the US and Europe, most notably, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and Guild Hall. Over the next year, he will be on tour in the US, Spain, France, Italy, and Greece for performances of his music. Some of the artists and groups performing Ferrante's music are Duo Resonances (France), SYREN Modern Dance (US), Cadence Ballet (Canada), the Anderson/Fader Guitar Duo (US), Svetlana Tovstukha (Spain), and the pianist Sheng-Yuan Kuan (US). In 2011, he wrote the film scores for Gabriela Jaime's Flor (Spain), Sonya Zolotaryovais's White Winter (Japan), and is working on the scores for several new films. Ferrante was appointed composer-in-residence for Montauk, New York from 2006 to 2010 (funded by New York State Council for the Arts). His successful series brought world-famous composers, such as Mark Adamo, David Del Tredici, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Robert Aldridge, to Montauk for performances and talks on their operas and music. He has been the subject of feature articles in the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, The East Hampton Star, and Johns Hopkins Magazine, and has appeared several times on National Public Radio. Ferrante has taught on the music faculties at Seton Hall University and Montclair State University. His scores and books are available on Amazon.com and his recordings are available on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, and Rhapsody.
Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun calls Ferrante's music "focused and colorful...with an unexpected, decidedly poetic touch." Geoffrey Himes of Baltimore City Paper states, "If the tune has the elegance of traditional opera, the harmonization is very modern as the vocal lines climb and descend the melodic staircases that Ferrante has constructed for them." Anne Midgette, writing in the New York Times on Friday, December 2, 2005, cited Ferrante's opera Jefferson and Poe as one the three operas to see in New York in early December; the two other operas listed were productions of La bohème and Carmen at the Met. Mary MacCauley of the Baltimore Sun describes his music as "ebullient and full of shifts of direction." Betsy Murphy of the Ridgewood News calls him "a star on the rise."
In 2003, he founded Steeplechase Arts & Productions, a company integrating innovation, tradition, and collaboration between music and the arts. As director of Steeplechase, Ferrante has presented concerts and operas throughout the United States.
Amy Lee Martin is a director and an actress. Her most recent performance credit, in Some Story! (John Drew Theater) was hailed by the East Hampton Star as "a triumph of charm and playfulness." Some other acting credits include: School for Scandal and A Christmas Carol (both at The McCarter Theater), Twelfth Night (Bridgeport Free Shakespeare), Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, As You Like It (Hamptons Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Romeo and Juliet (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Diary of Anne Frank (National Tour, National Theater), and her one woman show Iphigenia, Daughter of Privilege (The Ground Floor Theater, NYC). As a director, her credits include the world premiere of the operas Super Double Lite! and Jefferson and Poe (Theater Project, Baltimore, and Symphony Space, NYC), Inventors! (National Tour, National Theater). This year Amy is co-producing the National Tour of Jefferson and Poe, which makes it way across the country the fall of 2008. Amy is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Daniel Mark Epstein is a poet, dramatist, and biographer with twelve books in print at Farrar Straus & Giroux, Harcourt, Henry Holt, Overlook/Putnam, and Random House. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and is widely anthologized. His work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Epstein's dramas have been staged in regional theaters and Off-Broadway, and in productions on National Public Radio. Jenny and the Phoenix premiered at Baltimore's Theatre Project in 1977, and was later optioned by Joseph Papp for the Public Theatre; The Midnight Visitor was presented Off-Broadway in 1981, and The Leading Lady was produced at Theatre Hopkins in Baltimore in 1999.
His biography of Aimee Semple McPherson, Sister Aimee (Harcourt, Brace, 1992) is in its third printing. In 1998 he published an acclaimed translation of Euripides' play The Bacchae. Epstein's biography of Nat King Cole was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and was a New York Times "notable book" of 1999; his biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay was a New York Library "Books to Remember Selection" in 2001. His most recent book is Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington.
United Press International wrote of Daniel Mark Epstein, "The poet may be the most important literary figure to come out of Baltimore since H.L. Mencken." The New Republic said, "He is centrally a love poet, and a splendid one, an advent most welcome on the landscape of 20th century literature." Poet Richard Wilbur has praised his "artful openness and his power to touch the heart."
Duo Resonances (www.duoresonances.com
) has performed on many prestigious stages throughout the world, including Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, and the Ukraine. In April 2012, they will be will be making their U.S. debut on tour throughout the East Coast. They have shared the bill with Odaiuml;r Assad, inaugurated the Music Studios at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris with the Ensemble Itinéraire, performed for the Quebecois television, and played for the Dutch National Classic Radio 4. In 2010, the duo performed a concert tour and gave masterclasses in the Ukraine in their most prestigious Philharmonic halls and was invited to play during the 29th International Music Festival 'Virtuosi'. Postgraduate guitarists of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and First-Prize winners of French Conservatories, Frédérique Luzy and Pierre Bibault have studied with the most current, renowned teachers. As a duo they have followed international masterclasses and have won (in 2010) the 2nd Prize in Chamber Music Category at the 5th International Guitar Competition in Olsztyn, Poland. In 2011, they will both finish two Master's degrees: Didactics at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Liège (Belgium), and Performance at the Maastricht Conservatorium (Netherlands). They made numerous guitar duo transcriptions of works by Domenico Scarlatti, Enrique Granados, Alberto Ginastera, and Manuel de Falla. Renowned guitarist Carlo Marchione has written of Duo Resonances, "They are incredibly high talented guitar-players, not only as regards the technical aspects - they are both extremely skilled - but, much more, as regards the musical side. Their musicality and their creativity make them for sure an outstanding young guitar-duo."
Oren Fader (www.orenfader.com
), guitarist, has performed hundreds of concerts in the U.S., Europe and Asia with a wide range of classical and new music groups, including the Met Chamber Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mark Morris Dance Group, Da Capo Chamber Players, New World Symphony, Absolute Ensemble, Poetica Musica and Speculum Musicae. Recent concerto performances include the Aranjuez Concerto
with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and a new concerto, Zephyr
by David Del Puerto, with the New Paths in Music Chamber Orchestra. A champion of contemporary music, he has premiered over 250 works with guitar. He also performs, tours and records with the new music ensembles Cygnus, and Fireworks. The past 2 summers he performed works of Carter, Davidovsky and Chin at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Mr. Fader can be heard on over 40 commercial recordings and film, including the classical guitar parts for the recent film Everything is Illuminated
. His latest solo recordings include Another's Fandango
, featuring 500 years of guitar music, and First Flight
, a disc of 10 premiere solos written for Mr. Fader by New York City composers. Mr. Fader has been on the guitar and chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music since 1994.
Cellist Julia MinJeong Kang has played with the "Arco" Moscow chamber orchestra, Seoul Pops Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Neeme Järvi. She was the winner of the Associated Music Teacher's League of NY and ASTA state competition, New Jersey Symphony Young Artist Audition, and the Lillian Fuchs chamber music competition. Other awards and honors include the Governor's Award in Arts Education of NJ, the Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award, and Irene diamond Graduate Fellowship. She has attended Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Castleton Music Festival. Her education includes Bachelor's degree from Manhattan School of Music and Master's of Music degree from the Julliard School under the instructions of Marion Feldman and Bonnie Hampton. She is currently a member of the Paumanok Trio, the Riverside Symphonia and the Salome Chamber Orchestra.
Gabriela Jaime grew up in Madrid, Spain with a passion for writing and the visual arts. Gabriela moved to London to study Journalism at The University of the Arts London, where she developed her interest for documentaries and fiction. Winner of a Fulbright scholarship, she went on to study film at the New York Film Academy and pursue a career as a filmmaker. Upon graduating Gabriela began working with Bayard Studios in Brooklyn as an assistant director and director. She is currently collaborating with Damon Ferrante in a number of projects, as wells as working her own fiction and documentary films. Gabriela is also about to publish her first collection of poems and short stories, Windows into a Short History
. For a sample of her spoken word and other works please visit: www.gabrielajaime.com
Tenor Christopher Swanson is a co-founder and the Director of Vocal Studies of the Asolo Song Festival. Swanson performs a wide range of repertoire around the United States and in Europe. His operatic roles include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus; as well as leading roles in twentieth century masterpieces such as Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and Robert Ward's The Crucible. Christopher has been recorded on the 2000 Newport Classics release of Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida as well as a 2003 recording of John Eccles's opera Semele, the first complete recording of the opera. Christopher's concert repertoire includes works by Bach, Buxtehude, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Carl Orff. A frequent recitalist as well, Christopher has given performances throughout the United States, in Canada and Italy. His repertoire specializes in the Lieder of Schubert and Schumann and songs of Benjamin Britten, but also encompasses a wide range of literature from medieval chant to contemporary twenty-first century composers, and all stops in between.
Dr. Swanson is a published researcher, specializing in the area of vocal interpretation and has presented several lectures and lecture recitals on the topic. He is a co-founder and the Director of Vocal Studies of the Asolo Song Festival. Dr. Swanson holds degrees in music from Michigan State University and University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and has a Doctorate in Music from Florida State University.
A Michigan native, Christopher now lives in Farmville, Virginia with his wife Jennifer and their three children Ellie, Abigail, and Charles. Dr. Swanson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Longwood University.
Mei Rui is an internationally award-winning concert pianist, an avid chamber musician, a dedicated piano teacher of over 30 students, and Adjunct Professor at the Sophie Davis Biomedical School at the City University of New York, where she lectures in both Organic and General Chemistry. Born in Shanghai in 1983, Mei has given solo recitals in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, New Haven, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taiwan, Fort Worth, and Vienna, and has soloed with the Beijing and Shanghai Philharmonias, the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, and Yale Symphony Orchestra. Currently a DMA candidate, she received her Bachelor's in Molecular Biochemistry from Yale, M.M. and A.D. with Claude Frank and Peter Frankl from Yale School of Music. Her awards include the Van Gelder Memorial Award, McDermett Scholarship, Lowenthal Fellowship, Joseph Selden Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts, Sheffield Scientific Scholarship, Bruce Simonds Scholarship, and the George W. Miles Scholarship; top prizes in China National Piano Competition, MSM Concerto Competition, W. Waite Concerto Competition, Friends of Music Recital Competition and Chamber Music Celebration at Yale, Kingsville International, and Kosciusko Chopin Competition. Her summer festival appearances include the Van Cliburn Piano Institute, Music Academy of the West, Norfolk, Taos, and Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festivals.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Sheng-Yuan Kuan is currently a candidate for the DMA program at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She obtained her Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers have included Peter Frankl, Scott McCarrey and the late Constance Keene. Before coming to the United States for her undergraduate studies, Sheng-Yuan had won top prizes at the Taipei Western Area Youth Competition, in the piano and violin categories, and the first Richard Clayderman Piano Competition in Taiwan. While a full-scholarship recipient at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Sheng-Yuan won Honolulu Morning Music Club Scholarship and BYU-H Concerto Competition, which led her to a performance of Shostakovich's Second Piano Concerto with BYU-H orchestra, combined with members from the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. In May 2000, Sheng-Yuan participated in BYU-H Concert Choir's Asia Tour 2000 to Singapore and Taiwan, acting as both a soloist and an accompanist to the choir. Her performances have won her great acclaims. Sheng-Yuan was also a prize winner at New York's Kosciuszko Chopin Piano Competition in April, 2003. Sheng-Yuan has appeared in master classes conducted by Boris Berman, Philippe Bianconi, Claude Frank, Leon Fleisher, Marian Hahn, Dajin Kim, Robert Levin, Victor Rosenbaum, Seymour Lipkin, Vladimir Shakin, Susan Starr and Nelita True. As an active chamber musician, Sheng-Yuan has performed at music festivals such as Bowdoin, Aria, Sarasota, and Yellow Barn. Her current teacher is Mr. Boris Slutsky.
Baritone Ryan Scott Ebright is a native of southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Economics from Westmont College and is currently a master's student studying both Voice and Musicology at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studies voice with John Shirley-Quirk. Equally at home on the opera stage as well as in the recital hall, Mr. Ebright has appeared in Peabody Opera's productions of Gianni Schicchi and The Threepenny Opera and given recitals on both the East and West coasts. An avid performer of new music, Mr. Ebright last year appeared in the New York City and Baltimore premieres of Super Double Lite, by Damon Ferrante. This past February he premiered the song cycle Mountain and Tidewater Songs, again by the same composer and written by Daniel Mark Epstein. In March of 2005 he appeared with the Peabody Opera Theatre as George Bland in the world premiere of The Alien Corn, by former Peabody faculty member and renowned composer Thomas Benjamin. In November of 2005 Mr. Ebright created the role of Edgar Allen Poe in the world premiere of Damon Ferrante's opera Jefferson and Poe. Mr. Ebright is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The New York Times states that mezzo-soprano Margaret Peterson, "sings attractively and posses a sense of easy authority." Musical America writes that "As Grandmother, mezzo-soprano Margaret Peterson was wonderfully wicked and sexy in her blonde wig and spike heels, easily finessing wide-ranging vocal lines and sounding especially commanding in the upper registers." Peterson is the Recipient of the Orvis Opera Award and 2006 ASCAP Award Recipient; she was a member of New Jersey Opera in 2007. Her performance credits include Estelle in Later the Same Evening, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Jan in The Golden Gate, and Sara in the Binding of Isaac. Equally at home in musical theater, she has performed the roles of Edwin Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Cinderella in Into the Woods. She has sang roles in the American Musical Theater Ensemble's Defying Gravity, Stephen Schwartz Review, and George & Lenny, Bernstein and Gershwin in Review. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Manhattan School of Music and is a candidate for the Master's Degree in 2010.
Countertenor Pascal Horn was born in Guadeloupe (the French West Indies). He began his singing career, at five years old, in his father's choir. At fifteen years old, he moved to Paris to study in the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNR-CSP). In Paris he met and continues to works with some of Europe's most prominent musicians, such as Didier Lockwood, François Rolland, and Michel Legrand. At eighteen years old, he performed in his first starring role in Etienne Mehul's La Legende de Joseph en Egypte. Following his early successes, Pascal Horn has been engaged to sing at some of the world's most prominent opera houses and concert halls, including L'Opera de Paris, Mexico's Theater, and Saint Patrick's Cathedral. An opera singer, as well as an expert in French cabaret, he also performs regularly in "Aux trois Mailletz" in Paris. His unique and otherworldly voice, which has not changed since boyhood, has won him praises on both sides of the Atlantic.