The year 2015 has been an extremely busy one for James Bassi. In January his new composition Five Prayers, an oratorio for men’s chorus, baritone soloist and Orchestra, was premiered in Saint Paul with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, on a concert commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz. In February he was pianist and music director for a sold-out run of a cabaret show at NYC’s 54 Below, starring legendary Broadway actress Tovah Feldshuh (who is now starring in the hit AMC television show The Walking Dead). Since then James has resumed his work as a rehearsal pianist for the New York Philharmonic, playing choral rehearsals for Pierre Vallet, staff conductor of the Metropolitan opera, in preparation for the Philharmonic’s staged production of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, featuring Academy award-winning actress Marion Cotillard. In this production James was also an ensemble singer. He then served pianist and chorus master for two projects at Lincoln Center: Danny Elfman’s Music from the films of Tim Burton (to be broadcast on PBS television October 30th), and The Cleveland Orchestra’s production of the Strauss opera Daphne. In August he will be playing rehearsals for Haydn’s creation at the Mostly Mozart Festival. He is currently composing a new piece of chamber music that will be premiered in New York this fall with his new music ensemble, The Source to Sound Collective.
James Bassi is a composer, pianist and music director who enjoys a diversified career. His compositions encompass vocal, choral, orchestral, chamber, and theatre music. His works have received premieres and performances at Avery Fisher, Carnegie and Merkin Hall. His Petrarch Dances for chorus and orchestra was commissioned and premiered by Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Three of Mr. Bassi’s works were commissioned and premiered by Dennis Keene and Voices of Ascension: O Lux Beata Trinitas; Quem Pastores Laudavere; and Dialogue: Angel of Peace, Angel of War, which features a text by poet Dean Kostos. Other commissions include works for Equal Voices, Charis Vocal Ensemble, and Western Wind. His Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for choir and organ was premiered at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. His work has also been performed by St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony. Mr. Bassi has received composition grants from NEA, Meet the Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. His music publisher is Oxford University Press. In concerts he has collaborated as pianist/arranger with Deborah Voigt, Ute Lemper, Jessye Norman, Judy Kaye, and other renowned artists. His music direction credits include Lincoln Center and York Theatre in NYC, numerous Off-Broadway and regional theatres, and Bard Summerscape. He is frequently engaged as a classical recital accompanist, pianist/arranger for cabaret, and as rehearsal pianist for the New York Philharmonic.
Mika was born in Osaka, Japan. She began to play marimba when she was 6 years old. She studied classical music at Osaka College of Music. She was inspired by Makoto Ozone, a pianist and then her study of jazz vibraphone began after graduation. She attended the Berklee Mallet Week 2003. She won a Berklee World Scholarship in Tokyo in February 2004. She entered Berklee College of Music in fall of 2004. She studied with Dave Samuels, Ed Saindon, Tiger Okoshi, Ed Tomassi and Hal Crook, among others. She was a regular member of Phil Wilson’s Rainbow Big Band and Rainbow All Stars. She had a chance to perform with Greg Osby in February 2007. She joined in “The BandA ecLectics”; the leader of the band, Petros Sakelliou won the first prize at Thelonious Monk Institute Composition Competition and Mika played in Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles as a member of the band in October 2007. She works energetically in performance, composition and arrangement regardless of genre, jazz or classic. She is a regular member of “The BandA ecLectics” and “The Marimba Music of Guatemala” with Ricardo Monzon. She is in full activity in New York and Boston.
Jorn Swart is a young and spirited up-and-coming jazz pianist, composer, and teacher, currently living and performing in New York City. His refined playing and touching compositions already gained him much international and national recognition; in 2010 he received a Fulbright grant, Huygens Scholarship, and a fund from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds in order to pursue his Master’s Degree in New York City. In 2011 he was one of the 20 musicians from around the world selected for the “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency” in Washington, D.C. That same year he was the winner of the Sir Roland Hanna Award, a yearly award presented to an excelling jazz pianist. Jorn performed and toured all across Europe and the East Coast of the U.S. His debut album, “A Day in the Life of Boriz”, featuring some of New York’s most thrilling and fearless jazz musicians, will be released in Spring 2013.
Jeremy Jordan is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he studied on the Howard & Ethel B. Ross, the Bruno Raikin, and the Van Cliburn Scholarships with renowned concert pianist Matti Raekallio. Jordan is presently studying on the Irene Diamond Scholarship in the Graduate Program at The Juilliard School. Jordan has received much notoriety for his many performances including his televised performance at age 9 of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1; and subsequent performances on the acclaimed radio program From The Top, and From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall performing Liszt. He has since appeared in concerto performances with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Czech National Symphony Orchestra; and solo appearances in Colorado, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Canada, Prague, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands in such halls as the Concertgebouw, Orchestra Hall, Carnegie Hall, Rudolfinum and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. Other notable performances include his concert with clarinetist Anthony McGill and cellist Yo-Yo Ma; performance and interview on Chicago’s WFMT Impromptu with Kerry Frumkin and his appearance at the United Nations Arts Council sponsored by the grandchildren of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jeremy Jordan has won numerous competitions including the Rembrandt Chamber Ensemble Competition, Walgreens Concerto Competition, Steinway Piano Concerto Competition; and the Chicago Music Association and the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. Piano Scholarship Competition. His Piano Fantasie No. 3 and his Nocturne for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon were premiered on National Public Radio in 2002. Music critic Bryant Manning proclaimed after hearing Jordan’s performance of Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral March from Gotterdammerung, “Jordan’s impressive playing filled out the work’s violent episodes creating a three-dimensional canvas. It was inspiring to see a young musician so confidently setting his place at the table with a musical god.” After Jordan’s 2009 performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Sinfonietta at Chicago’s Symphony Center, music critic Dwight Casimere proclaimed, “History has been made – Jordan’s singing tone and thunderous cadenzas are reminiscent of the fire generated by Andre Watts at the peak of his youthful powers – Jordan is a true ‘Wunderkind.’ Anyone attending this inaugural concert can truly say they witnessed the ascendancy of the next Andre Watts.”
Aaron is an active accompanist in New York City, teaches Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the Lucy Moses School, and is Resident Pianist for Mind The Art Entertainment. He is comfortable in a variety of styles; classical chamber music, Early Music, non-jazz improvisation, 20th-century music, opera, and Broadway. M.M. (piano), Longy School of Music; Dalcroze Certificate, Longy School of Music; Artist’s Diploma, Brandeis University, B.A. Amherst College; Piano with Lois Shapiro, Lanfranco Marcelletti; Eurhythmics with Lisa parker, Anne Farber, Ruth Alperson; Figured Bass with Frances Conover Fitch, Peter Sykes.
Jestin Pieper is a versatile and intuitive coach, accompanist, teacher and solo pianist. He frequently appears with collaborates with singers and appears with opera companies throughout the NYC area. He was the Assistant Conductor on the world premiere of “A Certain Quiet” at the Theater for a New City the Martha Cardona Opera Theater, and Conducted Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas” at LICAM.
As a soloist, he has performed the piano solo in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, as a guest artist for the Discovery channel and appeared as a recitalist at venues throughout the US including at the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Mediterranean Opera Studio in Palermo, Italy.
He holds a BM with honors from Lawrence University and an MM from the Butler School of Music at UT Austin. He has been invited to speak at piano pedagogy conferences and holds the belief that every individual has the capacity to achieve musical proficiency and benefit from the knowledge and practice of music.
Miss Seo received early training in her native city Seoul while growing up in a musical household where Bel Canto arias were played daily as “nursery rhyme”. Winner of several national competitions and first major performance with Korea Symphony at age 9 in her native city and later at Klavier House, Yamaha Piano Salon, Symphony Space with Mannes Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini as an alternative winner of concerto competition, Greenfield Hall, Becstein Piano Center, and Scandinavian House in NYC.
As an experienced artist/teacher, she uses a pedagogical approach emphasizing technical proficiency as melodic & harmonic movement of the music which succeeded in resulting radical growth of a number of students advancing from barely reading lesson book material to acclaimed performance of major composer’s main works. At more fundamental level, as a creative, encouraging teacher intuitively custom-tailoring all the basic teaching points appropriate to each student’s present rate of advancement, and his/her varied personality and aptitudes while the focus of discipline is on hearing/experiencing/creating the reality of sound using conceptual approach engaging your 5 senses w/ ample emphasis on tone, articulation, and phrasing that are in line with the authentic periodic style (“classical”, “romantic”, “impressionistic”) rather than mindless, manual repetitions.
She believes piano is the most beautiful instrument and teaching as discovering journey, collaborating with students.
Graduate of Mannes College on a scholarship and Manhattan School of Music, she has also participated in summer academy at Mozarteum where she was guided by Christopher Lieske. In addition, she has been coached by masters such as James Tocco, Abby Simon, John Occonor, John Perry, Emanuel Krasovsky, Nina Tichman, Dmitry Rachmaninoff, Massimiliano Ferrati, Victor Rosenbaum and Alexander Kobrin.
Cameron Pieper’s musical achievements includes scholarships to the Eastern Music Festival, Rocky Ridge Music Center, and the Atlantic Music Festival, and performances in masterclasses for Martin Canin, Robert McDonald, Douglas Humphrys, and Christopher O’Riley. Cameron has garnered numerous awards during his college career: this past year he won first prize in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate Biennial Competition, and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto competition. He is also a third prizewinner of the Concord Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, a finalist of the Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition, and a winner of the Wisconsin Public Radio Neale Silva Competition. At Lawrence University while studying for his degrees in Mathematics and Piano Performance, he was a recipient of an Accompanying Fellowship, the Daniels Prize, the Warch Music scholarship, and the Irvin Prize for his work in piano. He also worked for four years as a music instructor at the Lawrence University Academy of Music. He is currently a Master of Music student at the Manhattan School of under the tutelage of Solomon Mikowsky.
ammy Angstman is a native of Williston, VT, where she began taking piano lessons when she was seven. She studied classical piano with Paul Orgel and jazz piano with Tom Cleary in middle and high school, winning many awards including first prize in three concerto competitions, the VYOA Hermance Prize, and the Ellis Music Award. Sammy is currently working towards her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at Stony Brook University, where she received her Master of Music in Piano Performance last May. She is a recipient of the Staller Scholar Award. Sammy studies with Christina Dahl and Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook, and has also worked with Ann Schein, Xak Bjerken, and Oksana Ezhokina. She is active as an accompanist and chamber musician, performing in the school’s Baroque Ensemble, in a piano-woodwind quintet coached by Pedro Diaz, Ann Ellsworth, Frank Morelli, and Christina Dahl, and accompanying multiple graduate student recitals and juries per year.