Ron Nagorcka (born 1948) composes in his hand-built solar-powered studio in a remote forest in Tasmania (the island state off Australia's south coast) where the natural world provides him with much of his inspiration. He has been exploring both music and nature since his childhood on an Australian sheep farm and studied music - including pipe organ, harpsichord, and composition - at the University of Melbourne and the University of California, San Diego. In the 1970s he was a prominent and influential figure in Melbourne as an innovative composer, teacher, keyboard performer and improviser with electronics. He was also one of the first non-indigenous musicians to master the didjeridu and pioneered its use in classical composition.
After moving to Tasmania in 1987, his unique and distinctive rhythmic and harmonic style soon gained him a popular local following, and since the late1990s, his audience has greatly expanded, with successful concerts in Japan, Rome, London, New York, Los Angeles, Sweden and Norway in recent years.
The New Hudson Saxophone Quartet possesses a rare combination: a dedication to playing accessible new American music, combined with a beautiful, blending saxophone sound. Their repertoire can range from newly commissioned works by Robert Kyr, David Noon, Elias Tanenbaum, Dexter Morrill, Steve Rosenhaus and Ron Mazurek, to original repertoire by 19th-century American composer Caryl Florio and Russian Romantic Alexander Glazounov, to classic Hollywood Sax Quartet versions of popular song standards. Deeply involved with education, the four members are on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New York University, Rutgers, William Paterson University and Montclair State University, and regularly are asked to present residencies and master classes as part of their annual touring schedule. The members of the Quartet all are veteran chamber musicians and accomplished soloists, with credits that include the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Absolute Ensemble, and the Kirov and Juilliard Orchestras, as well as jazz musicians Clark Terry, James Moody, Muhal Richard Abrams and Milt Hinton. They bring their widely varied experiences toward a dedication to beautiful ensemble, a pure sound, and the ability to turn on a stylistic dime.
Composer/pianist Ketty Nez joined the Boston University School of Music in 2005. Her ethnographic chamber opera, The Fiddler and the Old Woman of Rumelia, was premiered in 2011 by Xanthos Ensemble, and staged by Juventas Ensemble in 2012. Her portrait CD with Albany, Listen to a Wonder Never Heard Before!, was released in 2010. Ketty's first opera, An Opera in Devolution: Drama in 540 Seconds, was premiered at the A*Devantgarde Festival in Munich in 2003. A visiting composer/scholar at Stanford Universityís Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) in 2001, Ketty studied at IRCAM in 1998-9, after working for two years with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam.