Spring 2020 Visiting Artists

Lucia Mense

Lucia Mense will be a guest during Wintersession in “The Recorder Today & Yesterday.” Lucia presently resides in Cologne, this after completing her studies in that city as well as Milano and Amsterdam. Her repertoire encompasses works from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as the contemporary flute literature, which she is actively expanding and developing. She has concertized throughout Europe, Russia, China and the United States as a soloist and as chamber musician.

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Antonio Sánchez

Antonio is the Charlie Haden/CalArts Artist in Residence and will teach "The Spirituality of Improvisation" during Wintersession

Five-time Grammy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Antonio Sánchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers of his generation, and that was before he caught the attention of the world with his score for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s acclaimed film Birdman.

Born in Mexico City on November 1, 1971, he started playing drums at the age of five and began performing professionally early in his teens. He pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico and in 1993 he moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee College of Music. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Jazz Studies. He’s made New York City his home since 1999.

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Thana Alexa

THANA ALEXA will be at CalArts for a Wintersession class that is open to the Institute, "Singing with Thana Alexa." 

Surprising is the word that perhaps best describes Thana Alexa, an extraordinarily creative force in music.  An awe-inspiring vocalist, composer, and arranger – for whom the voice is both a lyrical and experimental instrument – her music pushes the boundaries of the genre into new and unexplored territory with deep seeded roots in jazz and overtones of contemporary soul and world music.

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Vera Ivanova

Ivanova's compositions have been described as "... humanistic and deeply felt works ..." (John Bilotta, Society of Composers, Inc.). In her early Fantasy-Toccata (2003) for violin and piano, "the humor takes on a harder, sardonic edge recalling the composer's roots in the work of Shostakovich and Schnittke" (Ted Ayala, Crescenta Valley Weekly). In her later "Three Studies in Uneven Meters for Piano" (2011), "the greatest power of her brief, angular, crystalline music lies in its power to provoke the gods of symmetry" (Laurence Vittes, Lark Gallery Online Blog). After teaching as Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at the Setnor School of Music of Syracuse University (NY), she was appointed as Associate Professor of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University (Orange, CA). Ivanova also teaches at the Colburn Academy. 

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Aaron Drake

Drake will hold a discussion on how to continue meritorious 'artistic practice' while working professionally as a composer for contemporary visual media.

Classically trained as a pianist from age 5, Drake performed competitively between ages 8 and 15 throughout the West Coast (US and Canada). Drake received an MFA in Composition from CalArts where he studied with James Tenney (microtonal music), Mark Trayle, David Rosenboom and Michael Pisaro. CalArts pushed him to conceptualize music beyond the intricacies of advanced music theory which lead to his first film collaborations.

 

 

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Neal Acree

Neal Acree is a BAFTA nominated film, television and video game composer and conductor whose work includes the massively popular game franchises World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Overwatch, Revelation Online, shows like Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Witchblade and over 30 feature films. A versatile and prolific composer with roots in classical, rock and electronic music, Acree's music has been recorded and performed by orchestras and choirs around the world, including the hit concert tour Video Games Live.

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Fall 2019 Visiting Artists

Alex Rosson

Best known as the Founder and Former CEO of Audeze, Alex Rosson has enjoyed a storied history with the love of music as his underlying motivation. Beginning with drums at 11 and DJing at 12, the LA-native joined his first band at 15 playing any venue or show that would invite them. These days you may catch him playing a 4-hour durational set at Moogfest or opening for A Perfect Circle.  Rosson founded Audeze and with the development of the LCD-2 planar magnetic headphone made a substantial impact on the personal audio industry. Relieving himself as CEO after years of product development and taking his company from a garage, having to ship products on his lunch break, to opening distribution in 40 countries and being accepted into Apple retail. He also co-founded heavy bass music label Play Me Records with his wife, DJ Reid Speed. Since then he’s directed Shinola’s foray into audio and while not consulting continues refining his passion for reference level audio equipment combined with unique design.

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BEAM SPLITTER

Utilizing the pure sounds of acoustic and closely amplified sound sources, the duo of Nørstebø and Chen join together two individual voices into a distinct dialog that delve beyond the borders of the corporeal elements of extended technique and sound. There is an intimacy and conflict that becomes evident as the two personas intertwine, in moments joining together seamlessly and in the next, being left with the feeling of irrevocable fracture. The two manage between these extremes with a kind of improvised grace that reveals an effort towards a common goal. It is an honest metaphor for a human relationship in process that even in the most serene moments can leave one raw and entirely exposed.

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John Beasley

Grammy-Nominated Pianist / Composer / Arranger / Music Director / Producer

“Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, reflects a variety of generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice.” –LA Times

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Ben Monder

A musician in the New York City area for over 30 years, Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists He also contributed guitar parts to the last David Bowie album, “Blackstar”. Ben conducts clinics and workshops around the world, and has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory and the New School. He was the recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014, and a Shifting Foundation grant in 2013.  Ben continues to perform original music internationally in solo and trio settings, and in a long standing duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. He has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman, and has released 7 as a leader.

 

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