Stefan Poetzsch composer
Alan Beeler composer
McCormick Percussion Group ensemble
Michael Veloso composer
Kate Boyd piano
Amy Briggs piano
Craig Madden Morris composer
Lisa Miles composer
Hubert Howe composer
Shelly Tramposh composer
Alan Schmitz composer
Scott Brickman composer
Ravello Records is pleased to announce the first installment of its compilation series, VANGUARDS 1, presenting a deep cross-section of the label’s contemporary and eclectic catalog. The album features performances by the London Symphony Orchestra, pianist Kate Boyd, the McCormick Percussion Group, the New Hudson Saxophone Quartet, pianist Amy Briggs, the Grammy-nominated Strung Out Trio, and many more in works by contemporary composers such as Alan Beeler, Stefan Poetzsch, Michael Veloso, Lisa Miles, Hubert Howe, Scott Brickman, Alan Schmitz, and others.
Since its launch in 2008, the Ravello label has established a reputation as a strong advocate for new and innovative music and artists, being hailed for “shedding light on the wealth of great present day classical composers” (babysue). From traditional and tango-esque works to punk-inspired and atonal pieces, this collection covers a variety of styles, representing the diversity of contemporary music.
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Stefan Poetzsch (b. 1963 in Magdeburg, Germany) began studying violin in his early youth in what was formerly East Germany. At the age of 16, he happened to catch a radio show broadcasting a piece focused on the music of Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert and his subsequent death. Upon hearing Seifert's approach to the instrument, Poetzsch's interest in music from this moment on was forever changed. It instantly made the teenager look at the violin differently and how he approached the sound of its strings.
Alan Beeler completed his graduate study in theory and composition at Washington University, where he received an M.A. and Ph. D. He studied composition with Robert Wykes, Robert Baker, and Harold Blumenfeld, theory with Leigh Gerdine, and musicology with Lincoln Bunce Spiess and Paul Amadeus Pisk.
McCormick Percussion Group
The McCormick Percussion Group is recognized by critics and composers throughout the world for their unique recordings and interpretations of music decidedly outside of the mainstream. MPG often collaborates with other non-percussion musicians to explore and develop new trends of compositional thought. Among the most recorded ensembles of the genre, MPG has recorded many award winning albums for Ravello Records (dist. by Naxos). To ensure the original intent of each work, composers are often invited to rehearse with the ensemble and supervise recording sessions. Under the direction of Robert McCormick, MPG is a resident ensemble at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Michael J. Veloso
Michael J. Veloso (b. 1977) was born in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his B.A. in Music in 1998 from Williams College, where he studied composition with Lewis Spratlan, Robert Suderburg, Karl Korte, and David Kechley. After graduating Cum Laude and with Highest Honors in Music, he continued his education at New England Conservatory, earning an M.M. in 2001 and Graduate Diploma in 2002 while studying composition with Michael Gandolfi and piano with Douglas Buys. Michael has written dozens of works for a wide range of musical forces. He has composed music for Joshua Lawton, David Stansbury, Sharon Hsin-Yi Chen, Fireworks, New Century Voices, and Roseae Feminae, and has received commissions from the NOW Ensemble and the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus.
An active soloist and chamber musician, American pianist Kate Boyd has performed solo recitals at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Schubert’s birth house in Vienna, the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Musikhalle Hamburg, in addition to many places throughout the US, Greece, Ireland and Canada. As a faculty member at Butler University, she has appeared as a soloist with each of the University’s large ensembles in performances ranging from Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Boulder, Colorado-based pianist Amy Briggs has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of living composers, while also bringing a fresh perspective to music of the past. From 2001 to 2016 she was a featured soloist and chamber musician on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series, and played world, US and Chicago premieres of works by Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Simon Bainbridge, Tania Léon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Rakowski, and others. She has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Craig Madden Morris
Craig Morris began his compositional studies at eleven years old. Since then he has added violin, piano and voice to his musical education and studied under Shirley Bloom, Kevin Scott and Joelle Wallach. He has been a violinist with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra for forty years and has worked professionally as a cantor. His music has been performed by the Bronx Symphony Orchestra, the CETA Orchestra of New York, the North Jersey Symphony, Fifth International Music Festival of Buenos Aires, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the Chamber Music Society of Formosa, members of the Amasi Trio, the Gregg Smith Singers and the Nyack College Chorale.
Lisa Miles is a creative artist of 25+ years from Pittsburgh PA. Uniquely blending the arts and humanities, she composes and performs, is the author of two books and a personal and professional development consultant. She has a B.A. in English and Applied Music minor (Youngstown State). Grants have included Meet the Composer and PA Arts & Humanities Initiative; recent recognition has been inclusion in John Shelton Ivany's "Top 21" (Natl. News Bureau).
Hubert Howe was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he began his musical studies as an oboist. He was educated at Princeton University, where he studied with J. K. Randall, Godfrey Winham and Milton Babbitt, and from which he received the A.B., M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees. He was one of the first researchers in computer music, and became Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music studios at Queens College of the City University of New York. He also taught at the Juilliard School from 1974 through 1994. In 1988-89 he held the Endowed Chair in Music at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. From 1989 to 1998, 2001 to 2002, and Fall 2007, he was Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
Shelly Tramposh has enjoyed a varied career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. She has performed as recitalist in venues across the United States and Canada and in Central America and Europe, including the American Viola Society national conference. Tramposh has also presented lectures and master classes at the ASTA National Conference and various colleges and music schools in the United States and abroad; her first article was published by The Strad in the Fall of 2011. She has been performing with Cullan Bryant for the last five years; in addition to the pieces presented here, they have performed works by Hindemith, Shostakovich, Brahms, Enesco, Kiel, Clarke, and Milhaud. Other chamber music affiliations include The Perron Trio, the Potsdam Piano Quartet, and the Ariel Chamber Players.
Alan Schmitz (b. 1950) is Emeritus Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music. He earned bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in music theory/composition from Rutgers University. Schmitz has received awards, commissions, and grants for composition from several agencies including the Alaska Council of the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, the University of Northern Iowa, and the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Foundation. His music appears on numerous Ravello Records releases, including NINETIES TIMEFLOW (chamber pieces), LYRIC IMAGES (guitar works performed by Todd Seelye), and ACE COMPOSERS, 21st Century Music by Alan, Christopher, and Eric Schmitz. Schmitz retired from the University of Northern Iowa in June, 2017, after 23 years as Associate Director of the School of Music and now resides in the Houston TX area.
Illinois native Scott Brickman (b. 1963) was educated in the Chicago Public Schools and holds a B.M. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and theory from Brandeis University. Brickman learned under both Chester Biscardi and Yehudi Wyner, whom he regards as his most important and influential composition teachers. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he is Professor of Music and Education.