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Alumni Enterprise Awards

Daring. Inspiring. Blazing new trails.

How to Apply for an Award

Every fall, all Music Academy alumni are invited to apply for this opportunity to launch or develop projects that address a need in the performing arts or beyond. Each awardee receives:
  • Significant funds to support a creative project
  • Educational and training opportunities specific to each awardee’s needs
  • Networking and promotional opportunities with the Music Academy community
The 2024 funding cycle is now open. Deadline Nov 15, 2023.

Meet the 2023 Awardees!

This year, nine Music Academy alums, representing seven ventures, received Alumni Enterprise Awards (at either the Founder or Prototype Award levels). 

Founder Awards were given to leaders with a track record of spearheading innovative projects. These awardees received training at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Design Thinking Program and up to $10,000 in support for entrepreneurial projects at their organization. 

 Prototype Awards were given to alums developing new ventures poised for impact. The awardees received project development opportunities at Music Academy’s Summer Festival and up to $2,500 in entrepreneurial funding. 

The Alumni Enterprise Awards (AEA):

  • incubate and accelerate innovative alum projects;
  • seed the music industry with bold, new ideas while advancing alumni projects and careers;
  • support entrepreneurship in areas such as artistic expression, audience development, community engagement, education, social justice, and technology.
The Innovation Institute is generously supported by: Ladera Foundation, Mary Myers Kauppila, George Myers

With additional support provided by: Marcy Carsey, Roberto Arboleda and the Arboleda Family, Sonos, Cheryl and Peter Ziegler

35+

ALUMNI AWARDEES

$437K+

Distributed to Alums

345

APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED

2023 Awardees

2023 aea winners
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Niv Ashkenazi

ABOUT
alumni
2011
distinction
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. Praised for his “extremely colourful interpretations, characterized by maturity and authority” (Pizzicato Magazine), he has made several Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across North America.

In the 2019-2020 season, he was the first ever Artist in Residence at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya). His debut album, Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope, released in March 2020 on Albany Records to international critical acclaim and was named one of the 10 best classical recordings of 2020 by the Chicago Tribune. Niv was one of the featured soloists, alongside Yo-Yo Ma, for the soundtrack of the PBS documentary Harbor from the Holocaust. His performances and educational work with Violins of Hope have been featured on ABC7, Good Day LA, Spectrum 1 News, Telemundo, in the Los Angeles Times, and other major news outlets.

Niv has performed with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juilliard String Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and Ariel Quartet. Niv holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where his teachers included Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow.

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Molly Carr

ABOUT
Alumni
2007
Distinction
2018, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Violist MOLLY CARR enjoys a diverse musical career as recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. Hailed as “one of the most interesting interpreters of the viola today” (Codalario Spain) and praised for her “intoxicating” (New York Times) and “ravishing” (STRAD) performances, she has been the recipient of numerous international prizes and awards from the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chamber Music America, ProMusicis Foundation, Davidson Institute, Virtu Foundation, MAW Alumni Enterprise Awards, ASTA, and ARTS among many others.

Her performances have taken her across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and been broadcast on BBC World News, CNN, Forbes, PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio in the US, as well as on Canadian, Bulgarian, Israeli, Argentinian and Hungarian National Television and Radio. In 2018 she was named by the Sandi Klein Show as one of America’s leading “Creative Women,” honored at the United Nations and awarded the International Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service for her work in prisons and with refugees around the globe as the Founding Director for the nonprofit Project: Music Heals Us.

Ms. Carr is the violist of the Juilliard String Quartet and the Carr-Petrova Duo and is the former violist of the Iris Trio and the Solera Quartet – the first and only American chamber ensemble chosen for the ProMusicis International Award, and the recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2018 Guarneri Quartet Residency Award. She has appeared as both performer and guest faculty in festivals around the world, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Mozartfest, Huberman Course, Hyderabad SOTA Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program. Ms. Carr has collaborated with such renowned artists as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Miro, Orion and American Quartets, performing in such premier venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.

Highlights of recent seasons included the Carr-Petrova Duo’s sold-out debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, praised by the Classical Post as “deeply moving […] categorically astonishing in its beauty, ensemble, artistry, quality of sound, and almost uncanny ability to draw into the music.” Other appearances included recitals in the Smithsonian Museum, Jerusalem Music Center, Malaga’s Sociedad Filarmonica Chamber Music Series, Clarke Arts Center at the Perlman Music Program, and Sala Clemente in Valencia. Future engagements include a tour of China, performances and masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Israel, and the US.

Both the Carr-Petrova Duo and Iris Trio recently released debut albums to international critical acclaim. The Duo’s Novel Voices, released on the Melos label, was immediately chosen by Spain’s Classical Music Magazine Ritmo as one of its “Top 10 CDs of the Month,” praising the Duo’s performance of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata as “the best interpretation of this sonata to date.” Codalario Magazine also gave the album its “Superior Quality” award, named it as their “Top Album of 2020,” and stated, “It would be hard to debut better than this.” Fanfare Magazine listed the album as a “recording to have and hold dear, […] one of the most compelling and successful viola and piano recitals – technically perfect and musically involving.” The Iris Trio’s release of Hommage and Inspiration on the Coviello Classics label was chosen by CBC as one of its “Top 10 Classical Albums to Get Excited About,” and reviewed by Fanfare as “superb […] a five-star stand-out release, writ large with the spirit of chamber music.” Other discography includes the Solera Quartet’s debut studio album Every Moment Present on Contact Point Records, as well as an album of the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Higdon on the NAXOS label in 2012.

Ms. Carr serves on the Viola Faculties of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning non-profit Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) – an organization which brings free chamber music performances and interactive programming to marginalized populations with limited ability to access the Arts themselves.

While Ms. Carr has had the great honor of performing around the globe in such revered venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, etc., through her work with Project: Music Heals Us she has had the even greater honor and privilege of stepping behind prison walls to witness “hardened criminals” soften and weep at the sound of Beethoven’s string quartets; of standing at the bedside of hospital ICU patients to hold their hands and offer her best in their final minutes of life; of seeing opposing gang members in a federal correctional institution miraculously becoming musical bandmates through composers workshops; and of visiting refugee camps to offer the creative space for traumatized children to dance, sing, smile and freely express themselves for the first time in years.

Ms. Carr resides with her husband Oded Hadar in Harlem, where she is mother to six plants and a crazy oversized pooch named Moochie. She is honored to be the recipient of an instrument loan from an anonymous donor through the Tarisio Trust, performing on the late Michael Tree’s viola, a Domenico Busan dated c. 1750.

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Timothy Jay Maines II

ABOUT
alumni
2022
distinction
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Timothy is earning his master’s degree at Yale School of Music where he studies with Stephen Lange and Scott Hartman. Timothy was co-winner of the 2020 International Trombone Association's Lewis Van Haney Excerpt Competition and Frank Smith Solo Competition and appeared with the Central Texas Philharmonic under the baton of Stefan Sanders.

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John Irrera

ABOUT
alumni
2008
distinction
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Praised by the Santa Barbara Daily Sound for his “moving” and “hypnotic” performances and Fanfare magazine for his “impeccable precision”, violinist John Irrera is flourishing as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and pedagogue. Irrera’s Carnegie Hall debut was lauded as a “riveting and dynamic performance’ by the New York Concert Review. His concerto debut was with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto under the baton of Maestro Jeff Tyzik.  Irrera has gone on to be heard in concert halls such as Lincoln Center, a return to Carnegie Hall, the Eastman Theatre,  Spivey Hall, and across North America, Latin America and Europe.

As a chamber musician, he has co-founded, with his brother Joseph, the Irrera Brothers Duo, which has concertized around the globe.  The duo premiered “Drawn Onward- Fantasy for Violin and Piano” by composer Robert Morris in November of 2014. Since then the duo released Morris’ complete works for violin and piano, on the Centaur label, having received positive reviews, with Fanfare Magazine stating “The Irrera’s are impressive. John negotiates an often demanding, disjunct violin part with subtle finesse, without sacrificing a sense of musical line.”

As an active orchestral musician, Irrera has performed with the New World Symphony under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Thomas Adès, with the Grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble under the baton of composer Tan Dun and with the Charleston Symphony. Additional collaborations have included appearances with Peter Oundjian, Larry Rachleff, Nicholas McGegan, and Daniel Hege.  Currently, he regularly performs in principal positions, with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

He received his Bachelor’s degree with High Distinction from the Eastman School of Music in 2007, where he was awarded the Howard Hanson Scholarship, as well as the coveted Performer’s Certificate. He continued at Eastman where he completed his Master’s degree in 2009 as the recipient of the Christakis S. and Agnes C. Modinos Graduate Merit Scholarship, as well as his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2014. HIs long time teacher and mentor during all three of his Eastman degrees was the late Zvi Zeitlin and Federico Agostini. Additionally John has had supplementary studies with violinists Ilya Kaler, Lewis Kaplan, Sergiu Schwartz, Juliana Athayde, Lynn Blakeslee, and Almita Vamos.

Dedicated to performing and teaching, He has previously taught at the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music, being selectively chosen as the Teaching Assistant for Professor Zeitlin, a position he continued to hold with Federico Agostini. Additionally, he has served as a guest teaching artist presenting performances, masterclasses, presentations, and lectures at Virginia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Clayton State University, Lee University, Bridgewater College and the Atlanta Music Project, as well as presenting at the 2015 MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former students have been accepted to continue their studies at major institutions, including The Eastman School of Music. Currently he resides in Blacksburg, VA, is Assistant Professor of Violin at Virginia Tech, and is on the artist roster of Parker Artists Management Group.

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Bruno Luiz Lourensetto

ABOUT
Alumni
2012
Distinction
2021, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Described as “impressively confident” by the New York Times and “simply stupendous” by the British Art Desk, Bruno Lourensetto acts as guest trumpet of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and principal of the Bachiana Philharmonic. As an active educator and music ambassador, Bruno is the co-founder and co-artistic director of La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara (The Bolivian Chamber Music Society).

In demand for his versatile on both modern and natural trumpet, Bruno is a member of the Portland Baroque Orchestra, performs at the Staunton Music Festival, Bach Oregon Festival, Musica Ocupa Ecuador and teaches at the Festival Música nas Montanhas and Festival Internacional de Música de Bauru in Brazil.

Bruno Lourensetto has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, toured Asia, Europe, and Latin America multiple times and played under the baton of Valery Gergiev, Zubin Metha, and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Winner of the Chicago Brass Competition and the National Trumpet Competition, Bruno has also served as principal trumpet of the Miami Symphony, Queretaro Symphony, and Guanajuato Philharmonic, played with the Allentown Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Mineria Symphony, Orchestra of the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, and Minas Gerais Philharmonic.

Bruno was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West (2012), YOA Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Britten Pears Young Artists,Grafenegg Academy, Global Leaders Program, and earned diplomas from the Mannes College in New York City and Indiana University, master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and bachelor’s degree from the University of São Paulo in Brazil.

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Camila Barrientos Ossio

ABOUT
Alumni
2011, 2012
Distinction
2021, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Camila Barrientos Ossio is the Principal Clarinet of the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo. Originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia Camila has played with the New York Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Miami Symphony, among others. She has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Kennedy Center, (le) Poisson Rouge and other unexpected concert spaces such as the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Island of the Sun in lake Titicaca. A passionate chamber musician, she is a former member of the award-winning quintet The City of Tomorrow. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and has appeared at the Banff Center of the Arts in Canada, the Britten Pears Festival in the UK and the MostArts Festival in Alfred, New York.

She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara (The Bolivian Chamber Music Society.)

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Brenda Patterson

ABOUT
Alumni
2000
Distinction
2018, 2019 , 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson has been at the forefront of innovation in operatic and concert performance for 20 years, recognized as much for her artistic bravery as for the beauty and warmth of her voice.  A graduate of The Juilliard School (where she was awarded the Taranow Prize in Voice and was the Winner of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Competition) and Barnard College, Brenda was in the Ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera for many years before continuing to La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera, where she was a Principal Artist for seven seasons, and at Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among many others.  

Brenda has performed most of the major lyric mezzo roles, such as Idamante, Octavian, Dorabella, Niklausse, Hänsel, Cherubino, and Rosina, and has premiered over 30 vocal works. She has been an official vocal consultant to the Composers-in-Residence of Opera Philadelphia, and teaches classes in vocal performance as well as entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. She has also presented classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Tanglewood, and for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists.

Patterson is a co-founder of the pioneering, ensemble-based Victory Hall Opera in Charlottesville, VA, launched in 2015 ("the future of the field" - Washington Post), and is one of only two singers in America to hold the title of Director of Music of an opera company. She is also the Exec. Director and a co-founder of SINGTANK, an artist-advocacy think tank for singers that VHO launched in 2021.

Her groundbreaking work with VHO has won multiple awards for innovation from The Jefferson Trust, the NEA, New Music USA, among many others, and she has been awarded the Music Academy of the West's Alumni Enterprise Award three times, a national prize recognizing projects in the arts that are "revolutionary, daring & inspiring".

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Alexandra Smither

ABOUT
alumni
2016
distinction
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

An adventurous performer and one of the CBC’s 2017 “30 Young Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither is a fresh fixture on the worldwide stage. Her “sunny, cloudless top” and “silky, light, soprano” are an organic fit in staple repertoire of Mozart and Monteverdi; Ms. Smither’s signature rapport with new music shows her as “an extraordinarily adept soprano, one who can shriek, gurgle, cackle, mutter, gesture, and declaim as well as sing beautifully.” (The Threepenny Blog). During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Smither sings Iphigenia #1 in Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding’s new opera Iphigenia at MASSMoCA, ArtsEmerson, The Kennedy Center, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, and The Broad Stage in Los Angeles as well as her debut with California Symphony as the soloist in Katherine Balch’s Illuminate (rescheduled from 2020) and a return to Ars Lyrica to sing Belinda in Dido and Aeneas.

Ms. Smither’s 2020-2021 season saw her debut with Tapestry Opera in a workshop of Brian Current and Liza Balkan’s Gould’s Wall. A welcome presence at Houston Grand Opera, she covered all seven von Trapp children in their spring 2021 event, My Favorite Things: Songs from The Sound of Music.

In 2019, Ms. Smither debuted with the Boston Symphony, and earned rave reviews in her role debut as Susanna in Against the Grain Theatre’s contemporary adaptation of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Figaro’s Wedding. “Lyric soprano Alexandra Smither was an ideal Susanna in voice and in looks – I daresay this will become her signature role.” (Joseph So, Ludwig Van Toronto)

In recent seasons, Ms. Smither has cemented her place as an interpreter and champion of even the most intricate new music scores. In 2018 she made her New York debut at the Baryshnikov Arts Centre, performing Luciano Berio’s Sequenza III to enthusiastic reviews. Her impactful 2017 debut with Houston Grand Opera as Younger Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, was followed by her return to HGO as Diana in their acclaimed mariachi opera, Cruzar la cara de la Luna. Ms. Smither is a two-time Fellow at the Tanglewood Festival, where she debuted at Seiji Ozawa Hall for Schubert’s “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen” with Emanuel Ax and Bill Hudgins; her time at Tanglewood also included Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder, Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are, the world premiere of Theo Chandler’s “Two Taylor Songs”, and performances under the batons of John Harbison and Thomas Adès. In 2017, Ms. Smither was the Grand Prize winner at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, earning wins for first prize and the prize for best performance of the year’s commissioned work, “Malfunctionlieder” by Canadian composer and turntablist Nicole Lizée.

Ms. Smither holds both Canadian and British passports, in addition to an American O-1 visa. When she’s not singing, Ms. Smither is a volunteer for West Street Recovery, a non-profit organization working to rebuild homes damaged by disasters, and an organizer with Stop TxDOT I-45, which opposes the expansion of Houston’s I-45 freeway.

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Annie Stevens

ABOUT
alumni
2006
distinction
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Annie Stevens, an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and internationally, is the Associate Professor of Percussion at Virginia Tech. She has performed internationally at music conservatories in England, Spain, China, France, Germany, and Trinidad. In 2017, she was invited as a fellow to attend Ensemble Evolution, a performance seminar hosted by the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada. Nationally, she has collaborated with New York’s Ensemble Signal and the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble, as well as performed and lectured at over 35 universities, at four international conferences, and featured on NPR’s "Performance Today."

As a member of the percussion duo Escape Ten, Annie maintains an active performance calendar around the United States and abroad, having recently performed in 2022 at the Eastman School of Music, Steinmetz Hall in Orlando, and the Percussive Arts Society East Region Day of Percussion in Greensboro. In 2019, Escape Ten was featured at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference (WASBE) in Buñol, Spain, and the 3rd Meeting of Contemporary Percussionists in Xabia, Spain. Escape Ten collectively contributes to the growing repertoire of percussion music by commissioning composers, and publishing these new works under the Escape X Series through Keyboard Percussion Publications. Their Escape Ten Signature Mallets are available through Malletech, a series that includes 5 different types of mallets, perfect for chamber percussion repertoire. The duo has also performed a keyboard showcase concert at the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Festival, Atlanta's prestigious Spivey Hall, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum, and numerous universities.

As an advocate for new percussion solos and chamber music, Annie has been a part of commissioning over 45 new works for percussion. She has been featured in performances at the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S., and the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference. She performs in a faculty quartet, October Sky, whose mission is to actively commission, record, and perform works for tenor, violin, cello, and percussion. Their debut album will be released on the MSR Label in 2023.

Annie is the principal timpanist for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, where she was recognized as "impeccably responsive" by the Roanoke Times. On March 25, 2023, Escape Ten will be soloists on the U.S. premiere of John Psathas’ The All-Seeing Sky, with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the festival orchestras of the Music Academy of the West, the National Orchestral Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (Florida). She can be heard on the albums, Our Favorite Things (Ravello Records) and Colours of a Groove by Escape Ten, and Blue Earth County with the Kelly Rossum Quartet. Annie's primary teachers include Michael Burritt, Alan Abel, Chip Ross, Bill Cahn, She-e Wu, and Tom McGowan, and she holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.M.), Rutgers University (M.M.) and The Eastman School of Music (D.M.A).

Annie endorses Malletech instruments, Remo drumheads, Blackswamp Percussion, and Dream Cymbals and Gongs, and she is the Chapter President for the Percussive Arts Society, Virginia/D.C. Region. She lives in Blacksburg, VA with her husband and violinist, John Irrera, and their two young daughters.

Annie Stevens is the Associate Professor of Percussion in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech where she teaches studio percussion and directs the VT percussion ensemble (VTP).  As a member of the percussion duo, Escape Ten (www.escapeten.com), she maintains an active performance calendar around the United States and abroad, having recently performed with the Escape Ten duo at the 2019 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference (WASBE) in Buñol, Spain, and the 3rd Meeting of Contemporary Percussionists in Xabia, Spain. Escape Ten, comprised of Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet, performs new repertoire throughout the U.S. and abroad, collectively contributing to the growing repertoire of percussion music by commissioning composers, and publishing these new works under the Escape X Series through Keyboard Percussion Publications. The duo has also performed a standing room only showcase concert at the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Festival, Atlanta's prestigious Spivey Hall, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Jacksonville's Cummer Museum, as well as numerous universities.

As a chamber musician and soloist, Stevens has performed internationally at music conservatories in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Xi’an, China, The Academy for the Performing Arts in Trinidad, the Paris Conservatory with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, and has toured throughout Germany as timpanist with the Detmold Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, she was invited as a fellow to attend Ensemble Evolution, a performance seminar hosted by the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada. Nationally, she has collaborated with New York’s Ensemble Signal and the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble. Local engagements include those with the Roanoke Symphony as the principal timpanist, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, and the Garth Newell Music Center. She can be heard on albums, Blue Earth County with the Kelly Rossum Quartet, and Escape Ten’s, Colours of a Groove and Our Favorite Things​ (Parma Recordings label).

Annie has been featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on numerous occasions, the Virginia Music Educator’s Association annual conference, the New Interfaces for Musical Expression international conference, the International Computer Music Conference, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, the International Trumpet Guild, the College Music Society National Conference, and the International Trombone Festival.

Stevens earned a D.M.A. degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied percussion with Michael Burritt. Her research interests are in the area of chamber percussion, percussion pedagogy,  and world percussion. She has pursued research on the music of Paul Lansky, having presented a lecture recital entitled, "From Electronic to Acoustic: A Study on Paul Lansky's Acoustic Percussion Music."  She also holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.M.) and Rutgers University (M.M.), and spent a semester abroad at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany.  Her teachers include Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Bill Cahn, Alan Abel, Chip Ross, and Tom McGowan. Previously, she has served as a faculty member at Christopher Newport University and the University of West Georgia.  Annie is a Malletech Performing Artist, a Remo artist, a Dream Cymbals and Gongs artist, and serves on the Board of Advisors and music technology committee for the Percussive Arts Society. Annie currently lives in Blacksburg with her husband and violinist, John Irrera.

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2023 Founder Awardees & Projects

Molly Carr / ’07 alum, viola

New York, NY
Founder & Artistic Director, Project: Music Heals Us: global performance and education initiatives for refugees, elderly, and those hospitalized and incarcerated

Bruno Lourensetto ’12 alum, trumpet / Camila Barrientos Ossio ’11, ’12 alum, clarinet

Bolivia & Brazil
Founders & Artistic Directors, La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara | Recent Projects: Música para Respirar Festival in Sucre, Bolivia, featuring the commission of "MATILDE en las Ojeras de la Noche", the fifth opera written in Bolivia; Real-time video concerts for patients across Latin America and beyond

Brenda Patterson / ’00 alum, mezzo-soprano

Charlottesville, VA
Co-Founder and Director of Music, Victory Hall Opera | Recent Projects: producing "Orpheus & Erica"; a ground-breaking production for Deaf & hearing performers & audiences; multi-city tour of Ned Rorem’s rarely-performed, epic masterwork "Evidence of Things Not Seen"

Tim Maines / ’22 alum, trombone

New Haven, CT
Social media influencer, @trombonetimo with millions of views on multiple platforms, increasing exposure for classical music

2023 Prototype Awardees & Projects

Niv Ashkenazi / ’11 alum, violin

Los Angeles, CA
Project: Eye for Technique; an online consulting practice introducing slow-motion technology developed to guide violinists towards greater artistry and understanding of their playing

John Irrera ’08 alum, violin / Annie Stevens ’06 alum, percussion

Blacksburg, VA
Project: Practice 10K; an app/practice hub that helps musicians reach their performance goals by assisting in structuring practice sessions (with functionality to plan sessions, share data, and gamify key processes)

Alexandra Smither / ’16 alum, soprano

Houston, TX
Project: New Community Songbook; expanding the tradition & impact of communal singing by creating movement songs, in collaboration with organizers, poets, and composers, that demonstrates how classical music can operate in new, vital spheres

2022 Alumni Enterprise AwardEES & projects

AMANDA CRIDER / IlluminArts presents: To Reach the Light

To Reach the Light is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary work presented and curated by IlluminArts, performed by Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami and vocal ensemble Variant 6. Elliott Cole, Shawn Crouch, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Carla Kiehlstedt, and Evelin Seppar have been commissioned to compose works to be choreographed by Yanis Eric Pikeris. Industry Advisor: Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director, Joffrey Ballet

STEVE PARKER / FIGHT SONG

FIGHT SONG uses the marching band to examine themes of virtuosity, spectacle, labor, inequities, and traumatic injury in Texas football, drawing from the work of Hildegard von Bingen and Pauline Oliveros and the history of the marching band as a political tool. It will materialize as a gallery exhibition and site-specific marching band performance. Industry Advisor: Jon Rubin, interdisciplinary artist and Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

CHRISTOPHER JANWONG MCKIGGAN / Pain of Silence

Pain of Silence is a feature length documentary in Thai focused on the struggles endured by traditional artists of Thailand and how the pandemic has magnified their challenges. The film will explore Thai puppet theater, grand shadow play, Thai Song Dam, and Thai ‘Pin’ music. Industry Advisor: Jamila Wignot, Peabody, Emmy, and NAACP award-winning documentary filmmaker and PBS series director

SAEUNN THORSTEINSDÓTTIR / The NOW Concerto

The NOW Concerto is a reimagining of the genre of the concerto, reclaiming its art of improvisation and expanding the possibilities of the orchestral concerto experience. This project will be a collaboration with composer Halldór Smárason to introduce the concerto to orchestras to secure future performances. Industry Advisor: Teddy Abrams, Music Director, Louisville Orchestra and The Britt Festival

2021 Awardees

2021 aea winners
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Rich Coburn

ABOUT

2021 Alumni Enterprise Award winner
vocal piano ('14)

Project: BIPOC Voices: The Library of Music for Voice and Orchestra by BIPOC Composers
Database of orchestrated vocal works by Black, Indigenous, and other Composers of Color, featuring samples of many previously un-recorded works; in partnership with Amplified Opera, Black Opera Productions, the Association for Opera in Canada (formerly Opera.ca), and the Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia.

Rich Coburn leads a dual career as a musician and educator. Musically, he works as a pianist, organist, vocal coach, music director, and arranger. He teaches entrepreneurship at McGill University and helps musicians and entrepreneurs across Canada to collaborate, negotiate, and better navigate the sometimes-tricky relationships of their careers and lives.

Rich also shares:

"I have performed across North America and China. I have had the wonderful opportunity to perform music for two pianos with my twin brother. But a decade into my career as a musician, I realized that though this is who I am, it is not all of who I am. I began asking myself how I could do the most good in the world.

It seemed to me that our biggest challenges weren’t climate change or the eventual surpassing of human capability by Artificial Intelligence. It was the difficulty we have working together. So I trained as a mediator to learn about conflict resolution. I began volunteering at a suicide prevention hotline to learn about changing people’s opinions. I began leading workshops on empathetic communication.

Though I still work as a musician, I spend an increasing amount of time helping people across Canada to disagree better. As a result, they are better able to collaborate, negotiate, network, and navigate and sometimes perilous relationships of their personal and professional lives."

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Cristina Cutts Dougherty

2021 Keston MAX Winner

ABOUT

  • Cristina is a graduate student at Curtis Institute of Music where she studies with Craig Knox and Paul Krzywicki;
  • The 2021 Alumni Enterprise Awardee served as an instructor for the Colburn School Jumpstart Program from 2016-2019 and is a Performance Today 2021 Young Artist in Residence.

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Adanya Dunn

ABOUT

2021 Alumni Enterprise Award winner
mezzo-soprano ('14, '15)

Project: InsideOut: Pop-Up Concerts & Walking Concert Tour (Red Light Arts & Culture)
Inside and outdoor, socially distanced concerts, following a range of COVID protocols in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Canadian-Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Adanya Dunn (she/her) is the 2020-21 recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Grant and a District Winner of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is also a three-time grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Arts. Adanya was named by the CBC as one of Canada’s “Top 30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30” and was featured in The Globe & Mail as one of six Canadian women who are “turning opera on its head and making the future bright for the art form.” Currently based in Amsterdam, Adanya studies with Don Marrazzo and coaches with Nathalie Doucet.

A versatile performer, her 2019-20 season highlights included Mozart’s Così fan tutte as Dorabella with the Bergen Symphony Orkest, Sesto in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Berio’s Sequenza III at Belgium’s Festival 20/21 with the New European Ensemble, and various concerts in Amsterdam’s Dutch National Opera and Het Concertgebouw.

In the upcoming 2020-21 season, Adanya debuts at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in December 2020 in the Jonge Grote Zangers series in an in-person and livestreamed recital from the Grote Zaal with baritone Rolfe Dauz and pianist Nathalie Doucet. Adanya also performs an opening recital in the Grote Zangers series and performs a concert tour in the Netherlands with Irish pianist Seán Morgan-Rooney in their POPARTSONG Duo, showcasing popular and art music styles through original compositions and arrangements.

Adanya is an alumna of Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the Music Academy of West, the Rebanks Family Fellowship & International Residency at the Glenn Gould School, the University of Toronto, and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Born and raised in Toronto, she was a resident performer with the interdisciplinary arts collective FAWN Chamber Creative and was the Co-Founder of the innovative chamber music series The Happenstancers. Adanya has performed with companies such as Against the Grain Theatre, Soundstreams, the Luminato Festival, Tapestry Opera, and the Canadian Music Centre. Through consistent collaboration with composers, librettists, and collectives.

Adanya’s diverse musical interests has led her to pursue musical activities in various roles such as Co-Founder of Red Light Arts & Culture, the vocalist in the poly-genre electronic project #operEMIX, and Artistic Director of a new project Rosebud Opera: Queering the Opera Narrative.

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Christina Giuca Krause

ABOUT

2021 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
vocal piano (‘13, ‘17)


Project: Composition of a City: Digital
Chicago-based musical education & mentorship endeavor bridging classical music and hip hop

Hailed as a “sensitive partner” by the New York Times, Romanian-American pianist Christina Giuca Krause enjoys a dynamic career as a performer, collaborator, vocal coach, and educator.

Heard on the stages of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, and Preston Bradley Hall, Christina is a 2013 and 2017 alumna of the Music Academy of the West, and has also performed at Aspen Music Festival and International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England. She has been a member of the music staff at the Houston Ballet, SongFest, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Chicago Opera Theater, Music of the Baroque, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick W. and Shirley G. Ryan Opera Center.

As the pianist winner of the Music Academy of the West's 2017 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, Christina and soprano Hannah Rose Kidwell gave a recital tour that included sold-out performances in Houston, Santa Barbara, and New York City. They premiered Jake Heggie’s These Strangers, a new song cycle written for them for this tour. Christina also played in Carnegie Hall’s 2018 “The Song Continues” series in masterclasses with Renée Fleming, Graham Johnson, and Marilyn Horne.

Christina has performed many works by living composers and assisted in the premieres of new operas, most recently Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) and Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride (Chicago Opera Theater). She is a founding member of contemporary piano duo 4x5 with composer Benjamin Krause.

Christina holds a bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and master's degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Her teachers include the late Emilio del Rosario, Monique Duphil, David Breitman, Brian Connelly, and Frank Corliss. Christina was also a recipient of the Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship from the Bard College Conservatory, where she worked with the Graduate Vocal Arts Program under the direction of soprano Dawn Upshaw and pianist Kayo Iwama.

Christina is currently the Artistic Director of LYNX, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying diverse voices through new song commissions, inclusive recital programming, and innovative educational initiatives. Christina is on faculty at Lutheran Summer Music Festival and also works at Hope College, where she is a Lecturer in Music and Coordinator of Accompanying.

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Composition of a City is a songwriting program is the educational program of LYNX that uses hip hop and classical art song to empower students to share their stories through original songs. LYNX is developing a digital curriculum to be used in Chicago-area schools, featuring high-quality videos, lesson plans, creative prompts, and performances showcasing Chicago's diverse artistic community.

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Bruno Luiz Lourensetto

ABOUT
Alumni
2012
Distinction
2021, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Described as “impressively confident” by the New York Times and “simply stupendous” by the British Art Desk, Bruno Lourensetto acts as guest trumpet of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and principal of the Bachiana Philharmonic. As an active educator and music ambassador, Bruno is the co-founder and co-artistic director of La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara (The Bolivian Chamber Music Society).

In demand for his versatile on both modern and natural trumpet, Bruno is a member of the Portland Baroque Orchestra, performs at the Staunton Music Festival, Bach Oregon Festival, Musica Ocupa Ecuador and teaches at the Festival Música nas Montanhas and Festival Internacional de Música de Bauru in Brazil.

Bruno Lourensetto has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, toured Asia, Europe, and Latin America multiple times and played under the baton of Valery Gergiev, Zubin Metha, and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Winner of the Chicago Brass Competition and the National Trumpet Competition, Bruno has also served as principal trumpet of the Miami Symphony, Queretaro Symphony, and Guanajuato Philharmonic, played with the Allentown Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Mineria Symphony, Orchestra of the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, and Minas Gerais Philharmonic.

Bruno was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West (2012), YOA Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Britten Pears Young Artists,Grafenegg Academy, Global Leaders Program, and earned diplomas from the Mannes College in New York City and Indiana University, master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and bachelor’s degree from the University of São Paulo in Brazil.

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Camila Barrientos Ossio

ABOUT
Alumni
2011, 2012
Distinction
2021, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Camila Barrientos Ossio is the Principal Clarinet of the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo. Originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia Camila has played with the New York Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Miami Symphony, among others. She has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Kennedy Center, (le) Poisson Rouge and other unexpected concert spaces such as the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Island of the Sun in lake Titicaca. A passionate chamber musician, she is a former member of the award-winning quintet The City of Tomorrow. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and has appeared at the Banff Center of the Arts in Canada, the Britten Pears Festival in the UK and the MostArts Festival in Alfred, New York.

She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara (The Bolivian Chamber Music Society.)

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Camila Barrientos Ossio/Bruno Luiz Lourensetto: Música para Respirar

Based in Cochabamba, Bolivia and São Paulo, Brazil, Camila and Bruno are co-founders and co-artistic directors of La Sociedad Boliviana de Música de Cámara. La Sociedad conceived and launched a direct musical response to the COVID-19 crisis in August 2020. Top international musicians representing major institutions performed online concerts for COVID-19 patients, their relatives, health care professionals, seniors, children, and others. In 2021, La Sociedad presented four week-long editions of Música para Respirar 24/7. Eighty musicians performed 3,399 concerts for over 12,000 listeners. Future plans include an in-person tour in Bolivia to connect with their online audiences. Industry Advisors: Bobby and Eduard Arboleda, entrepreneurs

Rich Coburn: BIPOC Voices

In 2021, Rich created a prototype of BIPOC VOICES, an online library with orchestrated vocal works by Black, Indigenous, and other Composers of Color, featuring samples of many previously un-recorded works. He is developing the library into a permanent resource for educational and artistic institutions. This project is in partnership with Amplified Opera, Black Opera Productions, the Association for Opera in Canada (formerly Opera.ca), and the Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia. Industry Advisor: Laura Lee Everett, Chief Programs Officer, OPERA America

Cristina Cutts Dougherty: The Resilience Project

The Resilience Project highlights fourteen trailblazing women in brass. Active between the 1940’s and today, these orchestral brass players are uniquely relevant to today’s aspiring musician – these are artists who have succeeded against all odds. Following a year of research, The Resilience Project is set to soon emerge as a book of biographies, pedagogies, and testimonies with supplemental educational resources online. Industry Advisor: Kimberly Ayers, Shariff, Executive Vice President, Director of Strategy for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Penguin Random House.

Adanya Dunn: InsideOut

Adanya’s collaborative project, part of her organization Red Light Arts & Culture consists of a series of indoor and outdoor, socially-distanced pop-up concerts (following a range of COVID protocols), in unconventional locations throughout Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The series culminates in a weekend of “walking concerts” in which audience groups rotate between different special location performances during their concert experience and come together at final location. These concerts also create the opportunity for the small business owners and local entrepreneurs of the district to share their stories. Industry Advisor: Odette Bosman, Founder of 24 Carrot Public Relations

Christina Giuca Krause: Composition of a City

Christina is the Artistic Director of LYNX, a nonprofit art song organization that amplifies diverse voices through new song commissions, inclusive performances, and innovative educational programming. LYNX’s initiative Composition of a City addresses the challenges facing youth on Chicago’s South Side by providing students with positive mentorship and a safe musical outlet to share their stories through a curriculum incorporating elements of both hip hop and classical music. Industry Advisor: Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer & Director, Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall

2020 Awardees

2020 aea winners
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Doyle Armbrust 

ABOUT

Chicago violist and Music Academy alumnus Doyle Armbrust ('01, '03) graduated with honors from Northwestern University and went on to study with Donald McInnes at the University of Southern California where he earned a master's degree in Viola Performance. Mr. Armbrust is a founding member of the Spektral Quartet and formerly, a core member of Ensemble Dal Niente and principal violist of the Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami, Florida.

After returning to Chicago having completed a three-year fellowship in the New World Symphony as rotating principal violist under Michael Tilson Thomas, Mr. Armbrust began an active freelance career including commercial engagements as sideman for Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard, Barbra Streisand, The Beach Boys, Richard Marx, Lupe Fiasco, Peter Gabriel, and ...wait for it... The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Mr. Armbrust was also violist for Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues for a lovely, memorable stint of five years. Positions not involving pyrotechnics include sectional coach of the DePaul and Roosevelt University orchestras, as well as adjunct viola instructor at the University of Chicago, where the Spektral Quartet is ensemble-in-residence.

A rabid advocate for new music, Mr. Armbrust is a contributing writer for WQXR’s Q2 MusicChicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and formerly, Time Out Chicago and Crain's Chicago Business. He currently writes program notes and essays for UMS (University Musical Society) in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

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Bernardo Bermudez

ABOUT

2019 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
tenor (‘11)
Project: The Enchanted Tail

The Enchanted Tail is an original children’s fairytale opera in English set to music from traditional opera repertoire including Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Lehar, Ponce, and Rossini. In this production, children will have fun, interact with lovable characters, and listen to the likes of The Magic Flute, Carmen, Don Giovanni, and The Merry Widow. May 16 and 17, 2019, 5,000 elementary school students will take a field trip to the historic Balboa Theater in San Diego to watch the orchestral debut of the opera. Partially sponsored by Classics 4 Kids, all 42 San Diego School Districts will attend The Enchanted Tail with 64% of participants qualifying as Title 1, low-income schools. Leading up to the performance a video curriculum and lesson plan will be provided for teachers. The goal of the experience is to educate thousands of children through fun and engaging music; fostering creative thinking, cultural awareness, and problem solving.

Learn more about The Enchanted Tail.

Learn more about the May performances here.

Venezuelan American singer Bernardo Bermudez, has recently started essaying roles and repertoire for the tenor voice, he started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, in Caracas Venezuela.  Mr. Bermudez also holds a degree in Cognitive Psychology from The University of California Irvine specializing in Child Development, he worked with Foster Youth in San Diego County for over five years as a Family support and Rehabilitation specialist, and currently continues to work with children as a lead voice faculty member at the Claremont Community School of Music in Claremont California.  As a musician he has performed in productions and concerts with companies including San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera North, Union Avenue Opera, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, The La Jolla Symphony, The San Bernardino Symphony, Marina Del Rey Symphony, and the Claremont Symphony to name a few and has been a featured soloist at the Tucson Song Festiva in 2015 and 2016. His operatic roles performed include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Diego Rivera in Frida. Silvio in Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, Schaunard in La Boheme, Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas, Melchior in Amahl and The Night Visitors, Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Teniente Cantalapiedra in Cecilia Valdes, Count Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, El Dancairo and Morales in Carmen, Marullo in Rigoletto, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, as well as Morald in the North America stage premier of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. He participated as a voice fellow at the prestigious Summer Festivals at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California under the direction of famous American Mezzo Soprano Marilyn Horne, Opera North in New Hampshire under the direction of Louis Burkot as well as Opera Neo in San Diego California under the direction of Peter Kozma. He received 1st place in NATS LA singing competition, 1st place winner in AEIOU, 39th Annual Opera Scholarship and Competition, finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, recipient of the Anne and Michael Towbes Scholarship in Voice, Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and 2nd place winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition.

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Clara Lyon

ABOUT

Violinist and Music Academy alumna Clara Lyon ('03, '04) is an accomplished performer who cultivates musical experiences that delight, embolden, and challenge through a diverse and active repertoire. A graduate of The Juilliard School, SUNY Stony Brook, and Ensemble Connect, Ms. Lyon has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across the world, and nationally at such venues as the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and Carnegie Hall. Ms. Lyon is a prize-winner of the International Irving M. Klein Competition, the Schadt International Violin Competition, the National Foundation for the Arts Awards for young musicians, and the Prix de Musique de Chambre of the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau.

Upcoming projects include the audio release of “Air,” an ethereal new work for solo violin by Hans Thomalla, and a trans-disciplinary performance/installation at the iconic Farnsworth House with the Theorem Collective, a team of artistic collaborators that include visual artist Antonia Contro, poet Elizabeth Bradfield, composer Eliza Brown, and animator Joseph Merideth. Ms. Lyon is on the faculty of the Decoda Chamber Music Festival and is the Co-Director of Kneisel Hall-Blue Hill Together in Music, an immersive outreach and community-building program facilitated by the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, since its inception in 2014.

Ms. Lyon is currently a violinist with the multiple-nominated GRAMMY-nominated Spektral Quartet. With a tour schedule that encompasses some of the country’s most notable venues, the quartet is known for high-energy performances featuring bold, inquisitive programming, and have been described by the New York Times as “they have everything: a supreme technical command that seems to come easily, a capacity to make complicated music clear, and, most notably…an ability to cast a magic spell.” Named “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 2017, Spektral Quartet is most highly regarded for its creative and stylistic versatility: presenting seasons in which, for instance, a thematic program circling Beethoven seamlessly coexists with an improvised sonic meditation at sunrise, a talent show featuring Spektral fans, and the co-release of a jazz album traversing the folk traditions of Puerto Rico. As Spektral Quartet’s Director of Programming, Ms. Lyon relishes the opportunity to work with a nimble ensemble dedicated to changing the musical landscape by thinking creatively and taking risks with like-minded presenters and forward-thinking collaborators.

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John Popham

ABOUT

2019 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
cello (‘05, ‘06)
Project: The Resonant Lens: A Musical Videography

Conceived by new music specialists immersed in the classical tradition, this project aims to produce a vibrant videography series that brings musical works to life, resonating with viewers emotionally, socially, and culturally. A modular project structure will be used to reach a variety of audiences: virtually, through interactive content on a dedicated website; person-to-person, in live performance by the Longleash Trio supplemented by videography; and remotely, via screenings and gallery exhibits. The scope will include cinematic performance documentation, documentary shorts, and edifying content, presenting four works that illuminate 20th century pieces that “bridge the gap” and older works that have significant contemporary resonance, including Hildegard von Bingen’s O virtus sapientiae, Pauline Oliveros’ Tree Peace, Charles Ives’ Trio, and Anthony Cheung’s Flyway Detour.

Learn more about the Longleash Trio.

Cellist John Popham is a cellist, educator, and musical organizer based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. His playing has been described as “brilliant” and “virtuosic” (Kronen Zeitung), “warm but variegated” and “finely polished” (The New York Times). Mr. Popham is a founding member of Longleash, an “expert young trio” praised for its “subtle and meticulous musicianship” (Strad magazine). He has performed internationally with contemporary music ensembles including Either/Or Ensemble, Klangforum Wien, and the Talea Ensemble. Mr. Popham has appeared as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the Red Light Ensemble, and the Kunstuniversität Graz Chorus. Recent festival appearances include Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), reMusik (St. Petersburg), Beijing Modern Music Festival (China), Brücken (Austria), Internationales Musikfest Hamburg (Germany), Open Music (Austria), Wiener Festwochen (Austria), Bay Chamber (Maine), and the Contemporary Classical Music Festival (Peru). He has recorded for Tzadik, Carrier, New Focus, Albany, and Arte Nova records. Mr. Popham co-directs The Loretto Project, a composition seminar and concert series held in his home state of Kentucky. He is cello faculty for the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and was recently appointed Artistic Administrator for the school’s Office of Community Engagement. Mr. Popham is a DMA candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and the recipient of a Fulbright Research Grant. His research interests include contemporary performance pedagogy, as well as the relationship between notation, gesture, and perception in contemporary works for string instruments.

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Andrew Zimmermann

ABOUT

ANDREW ZIMMERMANN 29, born in Santa Monica, California, earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University and master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Zimmermann has appeared with Sarasota Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, The Martina Arroyo Foundation, Opera on the Avalon, SongFest, and on the first Broadway National Revival Tour of Cats.

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Bernardo Bermudez ('11): Musical Make Believe

The digital program uses classical music, guest musicians, characters, puppetry, and animation to tell stories about music, musical instruments, and the performing arts with the potential to reach millions of kids. The first 10 episodes will be streamed via YouTube. Musical Make Believe will also promote The Enchanted Tail and other Opera4Kids productions. Industry Advisor: Lisa Mitchell, director of education & audience engagement, Disney Theatrical Group

Clara Lyon ('03, '04), Doyle Armbrust ('01,'03): Enigma

Spektral Quartet will record and release an immersive, 360-degree format visual album of Enigma by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir and video artist Sigurdur Gudjonsson. A dome video will be adapted for personal viewing devices such as a VR headset, to be released in November and featured on a New York City premiere. Industry Advisor: Luke Ritchie, head of innovation & partnerships, Philharmonia Orchestra London

Andy Zimmermann ('19): Opera Jukebox

An opera jukebox musical will be created to showcase opera’s greatest hits in a medium better suited to the 21st century audience, using English lyrics and new arrangements. Hosted by Zimmermann, 60 minutes of music with a nine-piece band will be presented at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, featuring leaders in Broadway, modern dance, and opera. Industry Advisor: Ty Johnson, producer  

John Popham ('05, '06): States of Listening

Critically acclaimed trio Longleash will curate and produce five pilot episodes of States of Listening, a music podcast that offers a guided listening experience through mindfulness practices. An introductory conversation between a musician and a meditation, spirituality, or music therapy expert will guide the listener throughout. Industry Advisor: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, music critic, New York Times  

2019 Awardees

2019 aea winners
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Bernardo Bermudez

ABOUT

2019 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
tenor (‘11)
Project: The Enchanted Tail

The Enchanted Tail is an original children’s fairytale opera in English set to music from traditional opera repertoire including Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Lehar, Ponce, and Rossini. In this production, children will have fun, interact with lovable characters, and listen to the likes of The Magic Flute, Carmen, Don Giovanni, and The Merry Widow. May 16 and 17, 2019, 5,000 elementary school students will take a field trip to the historic Balboa Theater in San Diego to watch the orchestral debut of the opera. Partially sponsored by Classics 4 Kids, all 42 San Diego School Districts will attend The Enchanted Tail with 64% of participants qualifying as Title 1, low-income schools. Leading up to the performance a video curriculum and lesson plan will be provided for teachers. The goal of the experience is to educate thousands of children through fun and engaging music; fostering creative thinking, cultural awareness, and problem solving.

Learn more about The Enchanted Tail.

Learn more about the May performances here.

Venezuelan American singer Bernardo Bermudez, has recently started essaying roles and repertoire for the tenor voice, he started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, in Caracas Venezuela.  Mr. Bermudez also holds a degree in Cognitive Psychology from The University of California Irvine specializing in Child Development, he worked with Foster Youth in San Diego County for over five years as a Family support and Rehabilitation specialist, and currently continues to work with children as a lead voice faculty member at the Claremont Community School of Music in Claremont California.  As a musician he has performed in productions and concerts with companies including San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera North, Union Avenue Opera, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, The La Jolla Symphony, The San Bernardino Symphony, Marina Del Rey Symphony, and the Claremont Symphony to name a few and has been a featured soloist at the Tucson Song Festiva in 2015 and 2016. His operatic roles performed include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Diego Rivera in Frida. Silvio in Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, Schaunard in La Boheme, Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas, Melchior in Amahl and The Night Visitors, Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Teniente Cantalapiedra in Cecilia Valdes, Count Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, El Dancairo and Morales in Carmen, Marullo in Rigoletto, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, as well as Morald in the North America stage premier of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. He participated as a voice fellow at the prestigious Summer Festivals at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California under the direction of famous American Mezzo Soprano Marilyn Horne, Opera North in New Hampshire under the direction of Louis Burkot as well as Opera Neo in San Diego California under the direction of Peter Kozma. He received 1st place in NATS LA singing competition, 1st place winner in AEIOU, 39th Annual Opera Scholarship and Competition, finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, recipient of the Anne and Michael Towbes Scholarship in Voice, Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and 2nd place winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition.

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Brenda Patterson

ABOUT
Alumni
2000
Distinction
2018, 2019 , 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson has been at the forefront of innovation in operatic and concert performance for 20 years, recognized as much for her artistic bravery as for the beauty and warmth of her voice.  A graduate of The Juilliard School (where she was awarded the Taranow Prize in Voice and was the Winner of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Competition) and Barnard College, Brenda was in the Ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera for many years before continuing to La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera, where she was a Principal Artist for seven seasons, and at Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among many others.  

Brenda has performed most of the major lyric mezzo roles, such as Idamante, Octavian, Dorabella, Niklausse, Hänsel, Cherubino, and Rosina, and has premiered over 30 vocal works. She has been an official vocal consultant to the Composers-in-Residence of Opera Philadelphia, and teaches classes in vocal performance as well as entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. She has also presented classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Tanglewood, and for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists.

Patterson is a co-founder of the pioneering, ensemble-based Victory Hall Opera in Charlottesville, VA, launched in 2015 ("the future of the field" - Washington Post), and is one of only two singers in America to hold the title of Director of Music of an opera company. She is also the Exec. Director and a co-founder of SINGTANK, an artist-advocacy think tank for singers that VHO launched in 2021.

Her groundbreaking work with VHO has won multiple awards for innovation from The Jefferson Trust, the NEA, New Music USA, among many others, and she has been awarded the Music Academy of the West's Alumni Enterprise Award three times, a national prize recognizing projects in the arts that are "revolutionary, daring & inspiring".

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Steve Perdicaris

ABOUT

2019 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
trombone (‘86)
Project: Crescendo 2020

Mr. Perdicaris co-founded Music Mission San Francisco (MMSF) in 2015, with the goal to inspire children and create positive social change throughout their lives. MMSF uses a philosophy based on Venezuela's EI Sistema, a visionary global movement that transforms the lives of children through music. MMSF provides free after-school music instruction that culminates in public performances at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In just 3 1/2 years, the program has grown to include approximately 40 children receiving instruction on violin, cello and voice. His long-term goal is to create a full orchestra including winds, brass and percussion. With the support of the Music Academy of the West, MMSF will add viola and woodwind teaching artists expanding the instrumentation of the program’s current offerings as it aims to launch a chamber orchestra program by 2020. The Crescendo 2020 project will help strengthen the ability of MMSF to meet the needs of San Francisco’s underserved children.

Learn more about Music Mission San Francisco.

Steve Perdicaris currently serves as Associate Professor of Practice, Director of Operations and Pacific Music Camps at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas, his master's degree from the University of San Francisco, and was awarded an Associate Certificate with Honors in trombone performance from the Royal College of Music in London.

Mr. Perdicaris has been a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic for 22 years and has performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), Houston Symphony, and many other northern California orchestras. In addition, he can be heard on numerous recordings with Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO. Throughout his career, Mr. Perdicaris has performed under many notable conductors such as Andre Previn and Robert Shaw.

 

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John Popham

ABOUT

2019 Alumni Enterprise Award Winner
cello (‘05, ‘06)
Project: The Resonant Lens: A Musical Videography

Conceived by new music specialists immersed in the classical tradition, this project aims to produce a vibrant videography series that brings musical works to life, resonating with viewers emotionally, socially, and culturally. A modular project structure will be used to reach a variety of audiences: virtually, through interactive content on a dedicated website; person-to-person, in live performance by the Longleash Trio supplemented by videography; and remotely, via screenings and gallery exhibits. The scope will include cinematic performance documentation, documentary shorts, and edifying content, presenting four works that illuminate 20th century pieces that “bridge the gap” and older works that have significant contemporary resonance, including Hildegard von Bingen’s O virtus sapientiae, Pauline Oliveros’ Tree Peace, Charles Ives’ Trio, and Anthony Cheung’s Flyway Detour.

Learn more about the Longleash Trio.

Cellist John Popham is a cellist, educator, and musical organizer based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. His playing has been described as “brilliant” and “virtuosic” (Kronen Zeitung), “warm but variegated” and “finely polished” (The New York Times). Mr. Popham is a founding member of Longleash, an “expert young trio” praised for its “subtle and meticulous musicianship” (Strad magazine). He has performed internationally with contemporary music ensembles including Either/Or Ensemble, Klangforum Wien, and the Talea Ensemble. Mr. Popham has appeared as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the Red Light Ensemble, and the Kunstuniversität Graz Chorus. Recent festival appearances include Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), reMusik (St. Petersburg), Beijing Modern Music Festival (China), Brücken (Austria), Internationales Musikfest Hamburg (Germany), Open Music (Austria), Wiener Festwochen (Austria), Bay Chamber (Maine), and the Contemporary Classical Music Festival (Peru). He has recorded for Tzadik, Carrier, New Focus, Albany, and Arte Nova records. Mr. Popham co-directs The Loretto Project, a composition seminar and concert series held in his home state of Kentucky. He is cello faculty for the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and was recently appointed Artistic Administrator for the school’s Office of Community Engagement. Mr. Popham is a DMA candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and the recipient of a Fulbright Research Grant. His research interests include contemporary performance pedagogy, as well as the relationship between notation, gesture, and perception in contemporary works for string instruments.

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John Popham ('05, '06): The Resonant Lens

This vibrant videography series brought musical works to life, presented in Brooklyn, NY and Louisville, KY. A modular project structure was used to reach audiences virtually, through interactive content online; person-to-person, in live performance paired with videography; and remotely, via screenings and gallery exhibits.

Steve Perdicaris ('86): Crescendo 2020

Mr. Perdicaris co-founded Music Mission San Francisco which provides free after-school music instruction that culminates in public performances at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The award will support funding additional teaching artists with the goal of establishing a chamber orchestra.

Brenda Patterson ('00): Ready.Set / Armida

The Director of Music of Victory Hall Opera [VHO] sought to invent a modern, modular stage set that was affordable, transportable, and reconfigurable. With the Ready.Set Competition, designers and architects were challenged with creating that set design. The winning set was used in VHO's production of Haydn's Armida, a Virginia Premiere.

Bernardo Bermudez ('11): The Enchanted Tail

The Enchanted Tail is an original children’s fairytale opera set to music from traditional opera repertoire. In May 2019, 5,000 elementary school students watched the orchestral debut of the opera in San Diego's Balboa Theater. All 42 San Diego School Districts attended with 64% of participants qualifying as Title 1, low-income schools.

2018 Awardees

2018 aea winners
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Ben Bliss

ABOUT
Alumni
2012

Hailed as a “gifted young tenor” by The New York Times, Ben Bliss is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting performers on today’s operatic stage, both in his native America and internationally. Ben has been cited as “an exemplar of the Mozartean tenor” for his “purity of tone, vocal control and artistic sensitivity” (Opera Warhorses).

He was the 2016 recipient of the Martin E. Segal award at the Lincoln Center, as well as the Mozart and Plácido Domingo awards at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Competition in Barcelona. Ben’s numerous other accolades include first prize at the 2014 Gerda Lissner and Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competitions, and the 2013 Operalia Don Plácido Domingo Sr. Zarzuela prize.

Recent highlights include Don Ottavio Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera Chicago and Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, and Ferrando Così fan tutte at the Metropolitan Opera. While in the Lindemann Program Ben made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut as Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under James Levine, and has since returned as Steuermann Der Fliegende Höllander under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Tamino Die Zauberflöte and Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Ben made his European debut in this role with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera on tour in 2015.

Other operatic highlights have included Tamino at the Los Angeles and Philadelphia Operas, Ferrando at the Seattle and Canadian Operas and Oper Frankfurt, Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress for the Boston Lyric Opera, and Flamand Capriccio and Robert Wilson in Peter Sellars’ new production of Dr. Atomic in Santa Fe.

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Molly Carr

ABOUT
Alumni
2007
Distinction
2018, 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Violist MOLLY CARR enjoys a diverse musical career as recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. Hailed as “one of the most interesting interpreters of the viola today” (Codalario Spain) and praised for her “intoxicating” (New York Times) and “ravishing” (STRAD) performances, she has been the recipient of numerous international prizes and awards from the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chamber Music America, ProMusicis Foundation, Davidson Institute, Virtu Foundation, MAW Alumni Enterprise Awards, ASTA, and ARTS among many others.

Her performances have taken her across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and been broadcast on BBC World News, CNN, Forbes, PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio in the US, as well as on Canadian, Bulgarian, Israeli, Argentinian and Hungarian National Television and Radio. In 2018 she was named by the Sandi Klein Show as one of America’s leading “Creative Women,” honored at the United Nations and awarded the International Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service for her work in prisons and with refugees around the globe as the Founding Director for the nonprofit Project: Music Heals Us.

Ms. Carr is the violist of the Juilliard String Quartet and the Carr-Petrova Duo and is the former violist of the Iris Trio and the Solera Quartet – the first and only American chamber ensemble chosen for the ProMusicis International Award, and the recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2018 Guarneri Quartet Residency Award. She has appeared as both performer and guest faculty in festivals around the world, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Mozartfest, Huberman Course, Hyderabad SOTA Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program. Ms. Carr has collaborated with such renowned artists as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Miro, Orion and American Quartets, performing in such premier venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.

Highlights of recent seasons included the Carr-Petrova Duo’s sold-out debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, praised by the Classical Post as “deeply moving […] categorically astonishing in its beauty, ensemble, artistry, quality of sound, and almost uncanny ability to draw into the music.” Other appearances included recitals in the Smithsonian Museum, Jerusalem Music Center, Malaga’s Sociedad Filarmonica Chamber Music Series, Clarke Arts Center at the Perlman Music Program, and Sala Clemente in Valencia. Future engagements include a tour of China, performances and masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Israel, and the US.

Both the Carr-Petrova Duo and Iris Trio recently released debut albums to international critical acclaim. The Duo’s Novel Voices, released on the Melos label, was immediately chosen by Spain’s Classical Music Magazine Ritmo as one of its “Top 10 CDs of the Month,” praising the Duo’s performance of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata as “the best interpretation of this sonata to date.” Codalario Magazine also gave the album its “Superior Quality” award, named it as their “Top Album of 2020,” and stated, “It would be hard to debut better than this.” Fanfare Magazine listed the album as a “recording to have and hold dear, […] one of the most compelling and successful viola and piano recitals – technically perfect and musically involving.” The Iris Trio’s release of Hommage and Inspiration on the Coviello Classics label was chosen by CBC as one of its “Top 10 Classical Albums to Get Excited About,” and reviewed by Fanfare as “superb […] a five-star stand-out release, writ large with the spirit of chamber music.” Other discography includes the Solera Quartet’s debut studio album Every Moment Present on Contact Point Records, as well as an album of the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Higdon on the NAXOS label in 2012.

Ms. Carr serves on the Viola Faculties of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning non-profit Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) – an organization which brings free chamber music performances and interactive programming to marginalized populations with limited ability to access the Arts themselves.

While Ms. Carr has had the great honor of performing around the globe in such revered venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, etc., through her work with Project: Music Heals Us she has had the even greater honor and privilege of stepping behind prison walls to witness “hardened criminals” soften and weep at the sound of Beethoven’s string quartets; of standing at the bedside of hospital ICU patients to hold their hands and offer her best in their final minutes of life; of seeing opposing gang members in a federal correctional institution miraculously becoming musical bandmates through composers workshops; and of visiting refugee camps to offer the creative space for traumatized children to dance, sing, smile and freely express themselves for the first time in years.

Ms. Carr resides with her husband Oded Hadar in Harlem, where she is mother to six plants and a crazy oversized pooch named Moochie. She is honored to be the recipient of an instrument loan from an anonymous donor through the Tarisio Trust, performing on the late Michael Tree’s viola, a Domenico Busan dated c. 1750.

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Brenda Patterson

ABOUT
Alumni
2000
Distinction
2018, 2019 , 2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson has been at the forefront of innovation in operatic and concert performance for 20 years, recognized as much for her artistic bravery as for the beauty and warmth of her voice.  A graduate of The Juilliard School (where she was awarded the Taranow Prize in Voice and was the Winner of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Competition) and Barnard College, Brenda was in the Ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera for many years before continuing to La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera, where she was a Principal Artist for seven seasons, and at Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among many others.  

Brenda has performed most of the major lyric mezzo roles, such as Idamante, Octavian, Dorabella, Niklausse, Hänsel, Cherubino, and Rosina, and has premiered over 30 vocal works. She has been an official vocal consultant to the Composers-in-Residence of Opera Philadelphia, and teaches classes in vocal performance as well as entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. She has also presented classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Tanglewood, and for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists.

Patterson is a co-founder of the pioneering, ensemble-based Victory Hall Opera in Charlottesville, VA, launched in 2015 ("the future of the field" - Washington Post), and is one of only two singers in America to hold the title of Director of Music of an opera company. She is also the Exec. Director and a co-founder of SINGTANK, an artist-advocacy think tank for singers that VHO launched in 2021.

Her groundbreaking work with VHO has won multiple awards for innovation from The Jefferson Trust, the NEA, New Music USA, among many others, and she has been awarded the Music Academy of the West's Alumni Enterprise Award three times, a national prize recognizing projects in the arts that are "revolutionary, daring & inspiring".

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Anna Petrova

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Bulgarian pianist, Anna Petrova, is praised for her “artistic, clear and enlightened” performances [BBC Magazine.] At her New York orchestral debut with conductor Philippe Entremont, Ms. Petrova was noted for her “ultra-smooth playing style” (New York Fine Arts Examiner). She is an Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Louisville, Kentucky and performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician.

This season Anna Petrova is making her debut with the Louisville Orchestra, performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with conductor Roderick Cox, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the DC Strings Orchestra in Washington, DC and Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with Port Angeles Symphony and conductor Jonathan Pasternack. Solo engagements include recitals in the US and Spain, masterclasses in the US and Canada and the release of her first solo album A Slavic Heart, featuring works by Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Vladigerov.

Additionally, Ms. Petrova is working on a two-CD set of the complete piano sonatas of Russian composer Samuil Feinberg for NAXOS. She is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Alberto Jonás International School of Music in Valencia, Spain and one of the founding members of the Festival Malaga Clasica.

Highlights of recent seasons include a recording of Stravinsky's Les Noces with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta, Virginia Arts Festival (NAXOS, 2016); a solo tour of China; performances of Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini and the Second Concerto, Prokofiev First and Third Piano Concertos, and the Beethoven Triple Concerto. At her return engagement with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra, California, the Peninsula Reviews wrote: “There was a lot of vitality in her crisp playing […]bringing out in Petrova an impetuous excitement that stirred the audience to its feet!” (Lyn Bronson).

Prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including the José Roca (Spain), Bösendorfer (Bulgaria) and Maria Yudina (Russia), Ms. Petrova was a semifinalist at the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in Belgium, where she performed as a soloist with the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia under Paul Goodwin. Other conductors she has worked with include Max Bragado-Darman, Bruno Aprea, Ramón Tébar, and Francisco Valero – Terribas.

Anna Petrova has given solo recitals in halls such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’ Conservatoire Royal, Chicago’s Preston Bradley Hall, Vienna’s Bösendorfer Hall, Auditorio Ciudad de Leon, Spain and Palau de la Musica Valencia, Spain.

Ms. Petrova's performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio Performance Today, New York’s WQXR, Chicago’s WFMT, and Bulgarian National Radio and Television. A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Petrova is a member of two ensembles: the viola-piano Carr-Petrova Duo and the clarinet-viola-piano Iris Trio.

During the past two seasons the Carr-Petrova duo toured internationally with the interdisciplinary project Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, presenting interactive performances and workshops to refugee communities. This season the Duo release their debut album "Novel Voices" to critical acclaim on the Melos label and made their Carnegie Hall debut in October, 2019.

The Iris Trio recently toured Germany with an innovative program featuring contemporary composers and recorded their debut album "Hommage and Inspiration" with works by Schumann, Mozart, Kurtág and Weiss. Their future engagements include a CD release tour of Canada and Germany in 2021. Ms. Petrova holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music, where her main teachers have been Horacio Gutiérrez and André-Michel Schub.

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Evan Shinners

piano

ABOUT
Alumni
2009
Distinction
2018 Alumni Enterprise Awardee
Distinction
2024 Alumni Performance Awardee

Founder of 'The Bach Store' and host of 'The WTF Bach Podcast,' Evan Shinners began his musical studies at age 9 and made his orchestral debut at age 12. Mr. Shinners grew up in the tradition of European sacred music, receiving lessons in singing and choral conducting from a young age. He attended The Juilliard School in New York where he studied piano with Jerome Lowenthal. Mr. Shinners holds two degrees from the institution (BM'08, MM '10.)

Since 2010, Evan has devoted himself almost exclusively to the study and performance of the works of J.S. Bach. In 2011 he began studying the clavichord, and in 2018 began his ongoing harpsichord studies with harpsichordist Béatrice Martin. In 2012 Evan began a campaign to 'Bach-upy America,' to perform Bach in non-traditional venues in 48 states. The tour was featured on national television.

Mr. Shinners became a Yamaha artist in 2015 and began experimenting with Disklavier technology. Using the Disklavier, he was able to record Bach's 'organ sonatas' on piano- the first of its kind. He also commenced on a massive recording project of Bach's complete solo keyboard music on Bösendorfer instruments. In 2018 Mr. Shinners founded a non-profit organization with the goal of 'bringing Bach to the masses in non-typical venues'. Using funds awarded by the Music Academy, in November of 2018, Evan opened 'The Bach Store' in a 5,000 sq. ft. former bank on 56th and Broadway in Manhattan. There, he performed Bach for five hours, every day, for 37 consecutive days. In the evenings, Mr. Shinners hosted different guest artists every night, seeing nearly 70 different musicians perform Bach in the space during the run. His efforts landed him on the front page of the New York Times Arts. He was interviewed by German Public Radio and other international news sources.

In 2019, Mr. Shinners launched a second Bach Store around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange. Between the two installations, the repertoire that was covered - in free nightly concerts was impressive: the complete works for solo keyboard, violin, cello and flute, complete cycles of violin and harpsichord works, the flute and harpsichord works, motets for acappella chorus, three of the Brandenburg Concertos, and more. Both installations were visited by some 10,000 people. He is scheduled to open a third Bach Store in Germany in 2022.

Mr. Shinners hosts 'The WTF Bach Podcast' which seeks to explain the beauty and structure of 'The Art of Fugue' to someone with no previous musical knowledge. Fugues are dissected, played with voices isolated into different speakers, even played backwards or upside-down. Even with such daunting subject matter, the podcast has 20,000 listeners in over 50 countries. The guests interviewed are among the most important in current Bach thought: jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, harpsichordist Robert Hill, mandolinist Chris Thile and former director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, Christoph Wolff.

Since 2015 Mr. Shinners has performed nearly all of the solo keyboard works of J.S. Bach from memory.

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Ben Bliss ('12): MESS Core Ensemble

Under the leadership of stage director Paul Curran, the group spent five days preparing operatic scenes for a Manhattan performance on the final day of their Initial Ensemble Session, geared toward a millennial demographic.

Brenda Patterson ('00): The Forgotten

A Halloween double-bill that interweaves Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with Menotti’s The Medium, The Forgotten explores American poverty, economic anxiety, and teenage gender identity.

Theresa Kim ('06): International Music Sessions

The founding director of International Music Sessions launches Social Integration Workshops, offering 5-weekend musical workshops to young people from diverse communities.

Evan Shinners ('09): The Bach Store

A pop-up storefront in NYC where those walking by can see and hear musicians play Bach every day, for five hours a day, over 30 days. Learn more in the New York Times feature article by Michael Cooper: A Pop-Up Shop That Offers Bach Preludes, Fugues and Condoms

Molly Carr ('07) & Anna Petrova ('17): Novel Voices

This debut album for the Carr-Petrova Duo premiered this fall as part of their "Refugee Awareness" concert in Carnegie Hall, mounted to raise awareness about the lives and struggles of refugees across the globe.

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