Betty Wishart and music are synonymous. Her earliest memories involve singing in church choirs and playing the piano. She was introduced to contemporary music while studying with Richard Bunger at Queens University. At the end of her junior year, she wrote her first composition, submitted it to a music fraternity and was invited to perform a mini-recital of her music at their international conference. That event inspired her to continue composing while earning an M.M. degree in piano performance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While pursuing further study in piano and composition in New York City, she accepted and won a challenge from a writer to see who could get published first.

 

Since those early years, her music has been performed in France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Russia, South Korea, and throughout the United States at festivals, universities, concert halls, and conferences of the Society of Composers Inc., National Association of Composers USA, International Alliance of Women in Music, American Pen Women, Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers, Delta Omicron, and the Southeastern Composers’ League.

 

Her premiere solo album PIANO SONORITIES was described as “an utterly beguiling collection of piano music” (Classical Nowhere) while Fanfare said, “Wishart’s music demands attention and holds it.” She has written a wide variety of music including instrumental solos, chamber ensemble, vocal, and orchestral. Concertante No.1….Journey into the Unknown is included on PASSAGE (Navona) and Stress was included on Ovidu Martinescu’s Moto Virtuo concert (PARMA). Other instrumental music has been recorded on Capstone, Sarton, and PHASMA.

 

Wishart has been artist-in-residence at Weymouth Center for the Arts, received awards from the National League of American Pen Women, ASCAP, American College of Musicians, and three Regional Artist Project Grants from the Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County. In 2019 she received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in Music. bettywishart.com

 

photo by Lifetouch

Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi is a Canadian-born pianist whose playing has been lauded as “brilliant” (New Music Connoisseur), “persuasive” (Sequenza21), and “beautiful” (American Record Guide). Her repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance era through the present, clearly affirms her keen interest in new music, which has led her to commission and premiere many new solo and collaborative works – music that has been featured on live radio broadcasts and released by Albany Records (David Lefkowitz: Music of Contradictions), Innova Recordings (Here (and there): music for piano and electronics), Ravello Records’ Capstone Collection (Phillip Schroeder’s Music for Piano and also his Songs of My Affinities), Ravello Records (Wisconsin Soundscapes and Piano Sonorities, Music by Betty Wishart), as well as various recordings for the Society of Composers Inc. Performers Recording Series including the inaugural disc, mélange:  new music for piano and its successors, Sonance:  new music for piano and Chroma: new music for piano. Of these recordings, Mainly Piano has hailed, “Astolfi is the rare artist who seems as comfortable with traditional classics as she is with more experimental music … [A]stonishing pianism…her recordings never fail to impress.”

 

The recipient of numerous performance and research awards and grants, Astolfi’s passion for new music has been recognized by invitations to many regional, national, and international music forums, where she has premiered and spoken about new piano music. An enthusiastic educator, she frequently serves as a piano clinician, coach, and masterclass instructor and is an active member in various local, state, and national music associations including her service as Commissioning Chair for the Georgia Music Teachers Association and as a governing board member of PianoArts (a North American piano competition, festival, and fellowship organization). As a chamber musician, Dr. Astolfi is a founding member of duoARtia with pianist Holly Roadfeldt, and of Piedmont Camerata, the resident chamber ensemble of Piedmont College, where she is an Artist-in-Residence. Her advanced studies in piano performance were with pianists Helmut Brauss (University of Alberta), Tom Plaunt (McGill University), and Lydia Artymiw (University of Minnesota), with whom she completed doctoral studies.

 

photo by Byargeon Media

 

 

 

 

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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.

 

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