In Tandem

Lucia Lin violin

Michael-Thomas Foumai composer
Akshaya Avril Tucker composer
Nicky Sohn composer
Nicolas Lell Benavides composer
Rajna Swaminathan composer
Iman Habibi composer
Kerwin Young composer
David Reminick composer
Dustin Carlson composer
Roger Zare composer

Release Date: June 10, 2022
Catalog #: RR8059
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Percussion
Piano
Violin

10 emerging composers assemble and offer insight into our societal world through music on IN TANDEM from violinist Lucia Lin. Each work featured on this album represents a social cause close to its composer’s heart, commenting on inequality and breaking down barriers by building social awareness. Orchestrated in intimate duo settings, Lin’s virtuosic violin playing is complemented by a variety of selected string, percussion, piano, and vocal performers, each offering a fresh ingredient to a diverse and conversation-igniting program.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Printing Kapa Michael-Thomas Foumai Lucia Lin, violin; Charles Overton, harp 8:54
02 Dictionary of Falling Flowers Akshaya Avril Tucker Lucia Lin, violin; Maria Finkelmeier, percussion 6:04
03 Lullaby for Those Fast Asleep Nicky Sohn Lucia Lin, violin; Gloria Chien, piano 8:20
04 Cuates Nicolas Lell Benavides Lucia Lin, violin; Shaw Pong Liu, violin 6:08
05 Illuminance: scattered truths Rajna Swaminathan Lucia Lin, violin; Rajna Swaminathan, mrudangam/voice 9:30
06 Âhūye Kūhī Iman Habibi Lucia Lin, violin; Leo Eguchi, cello 5:05
07 Lyric for Violin and Harp Kerwin Young Lucia Lin, violin; Charles Overton, harp 5:40
08 Security David Reminick Lucia Lin, violin; Maria Finkelmeier, percussion 4:07
09 short myths in many tongues Dustin Carlson Lucia Lin, violin; Dustin Carlson, guitar 8:44
10 Okjökull Requiem Roger Zare Lucia Lin, violin; Gloria Chien, piano 8:46

Printing Kapa, Dictionary of Falling Flowers, Cuates, Illuminance: scattered truths, Âhūye Kūhī, Lyric for Violin and Harp, Security, short myths in many tongues
Videographer and Audio Engineer Aaron Lockhart

Printing Kapa, Dictionary of Falling Flowers, Cuates, Illuminance: scattered truths, Âhūye Kūhī, Lyric for Violin and Harp, short myths in many tongues
Recorded at Komoloh Studio

Security
Recorded at Studio of Maria Finkelmeier

Lullaby for Those Fast Asleep, Okjökull Requiem
Recorded at M. Steinert & Sons in Boston MA
Videographer and Audio Engineer Patrick Elisha
Post Production Editor Aaron Lockhart

Cover artwork Jing Jing Tsong

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Mastering Brad Michel

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Content Manager Sara Warner

Artist Information

Lucia Lin

Lucia Lin

Violinist

Lucia Lin has performed as soloist, as chamber musician, and in orchestras throughout the United States and internationally in a diverse multi-faceted career that also includes teaching and collaborative efforts with both visual and performing arts. Lin made her debut at age 11, performing the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Chicago Symphony and went on to be a prize winner in numerous competitions, including Moscow’s prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition. Described as a soloist with “virtuosity and insight” who is “passionate and graceful” (Indianapolis Star), and whose playing has “a genuine fresh quality not often heard” (Cincinnati Enquirer), Lin’s performances include solo appearances with orchestras in Europe as well as a solo recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

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Michael-Thomas Foumai

Composer

Michael-Thomas Foumai is a composer of contemporary concert music, arranger, educator, and currently serves on faculty at the University of Hawai‘i West O’ahu. Recent work includes the Hōkūleʻa choral symphony Raise Hawaiki, a multi-organization collaboration that brought together the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, Oʻahu Chorale Society, Choirs from the University of Hawaiʻi System, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus, University of Hawaiʻi Foundation and the Polynesian Voyaging Society to the concert stage.

His original works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and by the orchestras of Minnesota, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Cabrillo, and Portland, among others. As an arranger, he has composed for guest artists, including Jake Shimabukuro, Raiatea Helm, and the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Amy Hānaiali’i and the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, and Iwalani Kahalewai and the Royal Hawaiian Band.

In 2014, he was awarded the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award and a grant from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. As an arranger, he has composed for ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, Raiatea Helm, and Amy Amy Hānaiali’i.

His honors include a Fromm Foundation grant from Harvard University for Manookian Murals, commissioned by the Dolce Suono Ensemble, the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award, Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, three BMI composer awards, and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award.

For more information visit www.michaelfoumai.com.

Akshaya Avril Tucker

Composer

Akshaya Avril Tucker is a composer who draws inspiration from the music and dance traditions of South Asia, having trained as a cellist and Odissi dancer from a young age.

Recent commissions and projects include works for Johnny Gandelsman (Brooklyn Rider), WindSync, Marianne Gedigian, Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak, Duo Cortona, Englewinds, invoke string quartet, Thalea String Quartet and Density512. In 2019, she won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. She also received an honorable mention from ASCAP in 2018, was a finalist for the award again in 2020, and received an honorable mention from National Sawdust’s Hildegard Competition in 2018.

Tucker holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Music from Brown University, and she attended the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in 2017-2018. In 2017, she received a Rainwater Innovation Grant from the University of Texas for her collaboration with Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak. In 2015, she received a Brown University Distinguished Senior Thesis Award. Her teachers have included Yevgeniy Sharlat, Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Donald Grantham, Russell Pinkston, Shep Shapiro, and Butch Rovan.

Tucker studied the Classical Indian dance form for nearly twenty years with Guru Ranjanaa Devi in Massachusetts. She has performed Odissi dance worldwide with Nataraj Dance Company, and has performed her own choreography at National Sawdust (2018; Brooklyn, NY) and at Luminarium Dance Company’s National ChoreoFest (2020). As a cellist, Tucker has led an eclectic path through North Indian music, new music, and early music. In 2012, she won the Brown University Orchestra Concerto Competition, and in 2014, she studied Hindustani music on cello in Mumbai. She also studied with Professor Stephen Slawek, disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar, in Austin TX.

For more information visit www.akshayatucker.com.

Nicky Sohn

Composer

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional-orchestra, the wide-ranging talent of composer Nicky Sohn is sought after across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Characterized by her jazz-inspired, rhythmically driven themes, Sohn’s work has been described as “like John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine on steroids” (YourObserver), “dynamic and full of vitality” (The Korea Defense Daily), and having “elegant wonder” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). As a result, Sohn has enjoyed commissions from the world’s preeminent performing arts institutions, including sold-out performances at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The National Orchestra of Korea, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sohn’s music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä, GRAMMY-winning soprano Jessica Rivera at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy, and Misato Hanawa at Tokyo City Opera. She was recently commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Her music has been featured at renowned music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, Ars Nova with Unsuk Chin and the Seoul Philharmonic, and Chelsea Music Festival with Ken-David Masur, among others.

Sohn is currently pursuing a fully-funded doctoral degree at the The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University with Anthony Brandt and holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music. She is grateful to her pedagogues, which include Robert Beaser, Chris Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Richard Danielpour.

For more information visit www.nickysohn.com.

Nicolas Lell Benavides

Composer

Nick Benavides’ music has been praised for finding “…a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines…” (Anne Midgette, Washington Post) and cooking up a “jaunty score [with] touches of cabaret, musical theater and Latin dance.” (Tim Smith, OPERA NEWS). He has worked with groups such as the Washington National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, West Edge Opera, Nashville Opera, New Opera West, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Friction Quartet, and Nomad Session. He aspires to be a storyteller through music, frequently drawing on his Nuevo Mexicano roots and culture. His interview with I Care if You Listen about the importance of culture in music was widely shared.

Benavides’ work with librettist Marella Martin Koch has produced a number of operatic collaborations. In addition to its premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with The Washington National Opera, Pepito has been or will be performed by The Glimmerglass Festival, New Opera West, Nashville Opera, Shreveport Opera, and Texas Christian University Opera Studio. Music of Remembrance has commissioned a new work from Benavides and Koch called Tres Minutos, which is slated to premiere in 2022.

Recent or upcoming premieres include a new cycle called Canto Caló for New Moon Duo, a narrated story piece called Ocho Bendiciones for Nomad Session, and Rinconcito for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. He workshopped scenes from his new opera Gilberto at The Glimmerglass Festival in conjunction with the young artist program as well as West Edge Opera as part of their Snapshot series. He was recently awarded a Presser Foundation grant to record Pepito with the original cast.

He was a fellow of the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab in and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Benavides was the first ever Young Artist Composer in Residence at the Glimmerglass Festival. He was previously composer in residence with Nomad Session and Elevate Ensemble. He also held residencies at Avaloch Farm in New Hampshire, and at the Visby International Composers Centre in Visby, Sweden.

Benavides has studied composition primarily with Donald Crockett, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Dan Becker, David Conte, and Kurt Rohde and has studied music at Santa Clara University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. He has also worked with Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Nico Muhly, Jake Heggie, and Gene Scheer. He was the managing director of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Academy of Art University, and a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera.

For more information visit www.nicolasbenavides.com.

Rajna Swaminathan

Composer

Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam (South Indian percussion) artist, composer, and scholar. In her music and research, she explores the undercurrents of rhythmic experience and emergent textures in collective improvisation. Described as “a vital new voice” (Pop Matters), Swaminathan’s creative trajectory blossomed through a search for resonance and fluidity among musical forms and aesthetic worlds.

One of only a few women who play the mrudangam professionally, Swaminathan received her creative foundation on the instrument from her father, P.K. Swaminathan, and mrudangam legend Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman. While Swaminathan spent much of her youth performing in the karnatik music and bharatanatyam scenes across the diaspora and in India, her music has also been informed by her study of Western classical piano, an affinity for Indian film music and other popular musics, and extensive collaborations with improvisers in New York’s creative music scene.

Swaminathan’s compositions draw on a deep knowledge of South Indian rhythm, polyrhythmic sensibilities from jazz and African diasporic music, and the melodic essence and harmonic potential of Indian ragas. In 2013, she founded the ensemble RAJAS, writing expansive, boundary breaking music for herself and like-minded improvisers, spanning multiple musical approaches.

Rajas is a Sanskrit word describing the human energy that compels us toward action, creation, and change, and the ensemble members embody this spirit in their creative, open-ended approach to improvisation. Swaminathan’s debut album with RAJAS, Of Agency and Abstraction (Biophilia Records, 2019), has been lauded as “music of gravity and rigor… yet its overall effect is accessible and uplifting” (Wall Street Journal) .

In addition to her projects, Swaminathan performs extensively in ensembles led by Vijay Iyer, Amir ElSaffar, María Grand, Ganavya Doraiswamy, and Aakash Mittal. As a composer-performer for dance and theater works, Swaminathan has toured widely with Ragamala Dance (Minneapolis), and collaborated with playwright/actress Anu Yadav. Swaminathan is also an experienced educator, and has taught as faculty at the Banff International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop, Jazz Camp of Philadelphia, and KoSA International Percussion Workshop, among others.

Swaminathan is a founding member of the We Have Voice Collective, which seeks to shift the cultural landscape of the performing arts, bringing awareness to issues of inequity and creating safe(r) spaces. Swaminathan holds degrees in Anthropology and French from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music (Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry) at Harvard University.

Some recent commissions include Chamber Music America New Jazz Works (2019-2021), Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series (2020), Bang On A Can Marathon (2020), and National Sawdust Digital Discovery Festival / JACK Quartet (2020).

For more information visit www.rajnaswaminathan.com. 

Iman Habibi

Composer

Iman Habibi, D.M.A. (University of Michigan), is an Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist, and a founding member of the piano duo ensemble, Piano Pinnacle.

Hailed as “a giant in talent” (the Penticton Herald) Iman has been commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Prince George Symphony Orchestra, and The Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and has collaborated with noted ensembles and performers such as The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kamloops Symphony, The Standing Wave Ensemble, The Aventa Ensemble, The Calidore String Quartet, JACK Quartet, The Chiara Quartet, Del Sol String Quartet, The Emily Carr String Quartet, The Vancouver Bach Choir, DaCapo Chamber Choir, conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bramwell Tovey, John Adams, Jerry Blackstone, Eugene Rogers, Alexander Mickelthwate, Leonard Enns, Leslie Dala, Anthony Elliott, and Bruce Pullan, among many others.

Dr. Habibi’s music and performances have been programmed by The Carnegie Hall and The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company and Tapestry Opera (Toronto), New York Festival of Song, Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, Vox Novus (New York), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BCScene Festival (Ottawa), and the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver), among many others.

He has received numerous awards including First Prize at the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Audio Visual Composers for two consecutive years (2011-2012), The International Composers’ Award at the Esoterics’ POLYPHONOS (2012), The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Artist in Music (2011), Brehm Prize in Choral Music (2016), as well as numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and BC Arts Council. He also received second prize at the 2008 Vancouver Bach Choir’s national Competition for Large Choir Works for his work Erroneous Kudos, and first prize for his work Black Riders at the 2009 Guelph Chamber Choir’s national competition. His music and interviews are broadcast regularly and have been heard on CBC radio one, CBC radio two (Canada), NPR, South Carolina Public Radio, WRTI, and WQXR.

His portfolio of compositions include dozens of commissions for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, soloists, and film. Habibi earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of professors Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng, and his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Dorothy Chang, Jeffrey Ryan, Stephen Chatman, and Sara Davis Buechner. He has also pursued private studies with the piano duos of Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham in Vancouver, and Tal and Groethuysen in Munich. Habibi is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Center, and is represented by SOCAN in Canada.

As a pianist, Habibi’s recent appearances included a performance of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as the premiere of Habibi’s concerto for two pianos and orchestra, Amesha Spenta, with Ann Arbor Camerata. He has performed his own Piano Concerto with the Atlantic Music Festival and The Prince George Symphony Orchestras, and has also performed with Dearborn Symphony, and Dexter Community Orchestras, among others. Iman was a finalist at the Inaugural Knigge National Piano Competition, and is well-known for his collaborations with pianist Deborah Grimmett. The two pianists formed a duo in 2010, which won first prize at the United States International Duo Piano Competition, and second prize at the North West International Piano Ensemble Competition, and has twice attained the audience choice award at the latter.

For more information visit www.imanhabibi.co.

Kerwin Young

Composer

Kerwin Young is a prolific international concert and media composer and recording producer, whose music has served as social commentary the world over since 1989.

A member-producer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Public Enemy, Young is a multi-platinum, GRAMMY-winning composer/producer of popular music in multiple genres including film, television, and video games. His works have been performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, University City Symphony, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Music From China, Del Sol String Quartet, Tesla Quartet, ROCO, and other well-known ensembles.

Young studied music composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance with Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Jazz Messenger legend Bobby Watson.

Since 2019, Young has served as Performing Rights Associate with Next Level, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center.

Internationally, Young is a traveling scholar, lecturing on music composition and production across multiple genres, and entrepreneurship.

For more information visit www.kerwinyoung.com.

David Reminick

Composer

With his music described as “bracing, original, and often jaw-dropping” (New Music Box), composer David Reminick brings a rigorous and frequently hyper-kinetic approach to contemporary concert music, and a cogent and structurally complex approach to his post-punk endeavors.

As a dedicated composer in the Chicago new music scene and the singer/guitarist for the post-punk band Paper Mice, Reminick’s writing doesn’t so much blur the perceived boundaries between genres as augment and exchange the virtues and idiosyncrasies of each. In his relatively young career as a composer, David includes such notable groups as the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Spektral Quartet, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Ogni Suono, the Anubis Quartet, the H2 Quartet, Tim Munro, Marcus Weiss, Wild and Wulliman, Weston Olencki, Shi-An Costello, and the New York Miniaturist Ensemble in his inventory of commissions and collaborators. As the frontman for Paper Mice, which enjoys a robust underground following in Chicago and beyond, he was instrumental in the creation of the band’s 2012 album, The Funny Papers, which was released on the notorious San Diego label Three One G. An accomplished performer and improvisor, Reminick was the founding saxophonist for the path-carving International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). His piece for singing string quartet, The Ancestral Mousetrap (2014), was released by the Spektral Quartet on the Sono Luminus label in January of 2016. The album was nominated for the GRAMMY award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

Reminick received his Doctorate in Composition from Northwestern University where his primary composition teachers included Lee Hyla, Chris Mercer, Hans Thomalla, and Jay Alan Yim. He also received Masters Degrees in Saxophone (M.M.) and Music Theory (M.A.) from the University of Michigan, as well as a B.M. in Saxophone Performance and a B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin Conservatory and College. An avid pedagogue, Reminick currently teaches at Northeastern Illinois University, and formerly at Northwestern University and Columbia College Chicago.

For more information visit www.davidreminick.com.

Dustin Carlson

Composer

Dustin Carlson is a Brooklyn based guitarist with his own voice, but a voice that keeps shifting around in further and otherly ways; he’s still in motion. His work reflects his deep fascination with time, music, physical movement, soul, and culture. He has two releases under his own name, Air Ceremony (Out Of Your Head Records), and Shakes/The Noise of Wings (Very Special Recordings) as well as many collaborations spanning worlds known by such words as dance, theater, jazz, math rock, ambient music, revolutionary folk, chamber music, noise, and pop. For more information visit www.dustinjcarlson.com.

Roger Zare

Composer

Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” Often inspired by science, nature, and mythology, he seeks to create compositions that are vividly descriptive.

His works have been performed across the United States and on five continents by such musicians and ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, the Symphony Orchestra of Minas Gerais, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.

Zare’s awards include the ASCAP Nissim Prize, three BMI Student Composer Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, a Copland House Residency Award, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He has served as composer-in-residence at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and the SONAR new music ensemble, and has collaborated with CERN to present his music in Switzerland and Bulgaria in programs about the collision of music and physics. Zare was one of the participants in the second cycle of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and contributed to the #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID initiative during the spring of 2020. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Southern California. His teachers include Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfield, Kristin Kuster, Christopher Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Morten Lauridsen. Zare currently serves as instructional assistant professor of music composition and theory at Illinois State University.

For more information visit www.rogerzare.com.

Charles Overton

Harpist

Equally at home in an orchestra or in a jazz club, it is the goal of Boston-based harpist Charles Overton, regardless of the genre of music, to create a musical environment that is accessible, exciting and can resonate deeply with any audience. Originally from Richmond VA, Overton moved to Boston in 2012 to attend the Berklee College of Music where he was the first harpist to be accepted to Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute. Also while in school, he attended summer music festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Castleton Festival. Since graduating in 2016, Overton has quickly been making a name for himself.

As a jazz musician, he has played in festivals abroad like the Harpes au Max festival in Ancenis, while locally frequenting jazz series like Jazz at Indian Hill, and Mandorla Music’s Dot Jazz Series. As a classical musician, he appears frequently with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with Boston-based ensembles the Walden Chamber Players and Collage New Music, as well as at the Marlboro Music Festival. Today, Overton resides in Boston where he serves on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He is actively writing & arranging new music for upcoming projects, as well as taking advantage of every opportunity to collaborate with others in this new virtual space.

For more information visit www.charlesovertonmusic.com.

Maria Finkelmeier

Percussionist

Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe and Boston’s Best 2018 “Creative Catalyst” by The Improper Bostonian, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, public artist, educator, and arts entrepreneur. Finkelmeie has created large-scale multimedia events in public spaces from Cincinnati to Northern Sweden, with several locations in Boston, including Fenway Park, Charlestown Navy Yard, Edison Power Plant, and Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

Empowered by and curious about the sonic world, Finkelmeie finds music, narrative, and collaboration in unexpected places. She has created entire works from found, non-traditional sounds, and transformed iconic structures into percussive playgrounds. She has been commissioned by the National Parks Service, BLINK Cincinnati, TEDx Cambridge, New Gallery Concert Series, i = u festival, the Illuminus Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Outside the Box Festival. In 2018, she released her debut album A Line that Terminates at the Present, which according to I Care if You Listen, “skillfully weaves together her talent as an improviser with her technical prowess as a percussionist into a lively narrative.”

For more information visit www.mfdynamics.com.

Gloria Chien

Pianist

Taiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has a diverse musical life as a noted performer, concert presenter, and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the year. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and performed again with the BSO with Keith Lockhart.

In recent seasons she has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Kissinger Sommer festival, the Dresden Chamber Music Festival, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. She performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program.

In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga that has become one of Tennessee’s premier classical music presenters. The following year she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, a post she held for the next decade. In 2017, she joined her husband, violinist Soovin Kim, as Co-Artistic Director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington VT. The duo is the new Artistic Directors at Chamber Music Northwest, celebrating its 50th season, in Portland OR.

Chien received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She is an artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee and is a Steinway Artist.

For more information visit www.gloriachien.com.

Shaw Pong Liu

Violinist

Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu activates dialogue, community-building, and healing through multidisciplinary creative collaborations centered on listening. Her ongoing project Code Listen, which began in 2016 under the City of Boston Artist-in-Residence program, uses songwriting and music performance to build relationships between Boston police, teen artists, family members surviving homicide, and musicians to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices.

Recent projects include Sing Home, a song-sharing project that builds on Liu’s bicultural and bilingual Chinese-American roots to documents songs from home as sung by individual residents, workers, students, and visitors to Boston’s Chinatown, and composing music for Conference of the Birds, a movement theater project inspired by the 12th-century Persian literary masterpiece exploring migration, refugee experiences, and the search for the divine in collaboration with an international ensemble of dancers, musicians, and artists directed by choreographer Wendy Jehlen. She is a 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and an MAP Fund grantee with Community MusicWorks in Providence RI for Traces, a neighborhood sound and story-tracing project.

Liu’s compositions have been commissioned by Silkroad Ensemble, A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, New Gallery, Anikaya Dance Theatre, and Community MusicWorks. As a violinist and erhu player, she performs with groups including Silkroad Ensemble, Soul Yatra, and Castle of Our Skins. Liu has worked as a teaching artist with the New England Conservatory of Music, the Urbano Project, Celebrity Series of Boston, and Young Audiences. She has taught internationally at the Cuerdes Oaxaca strings festival in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at Yo-Yo Ma’s invitation, Youth Music Culture Guangdong in Guangzhou, China. She has a Bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley, and a Master’s in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.

For more information visit www.shawpong.com.

Leo Eguchi

Cellist

Leo Eguchi has been described as “copiously skilled and confident” (New York Times) with performances that were “ravishing” (New Bedford Standard-Times) and “played with passion and vitality” (Boston Music Intelligencer).

A native of Michigan, Eguchi has performed extensively across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and enjoys an active and multi-faceted performance schedule. Eguchi can be heard in myriad chamber music settings, including the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival and Sheffield Chamber Players, in larger ensembles as principal cellist of the New Bedford Symphony, a member of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the New Hampshire Music Festival and the Portland Symphony, and in frequent appearances with the Boston Pops and Boston Ballet.

A strong advocate of new music, Eguchi has premiered dozens of pieces and worked closely with many notable composers including George Crumb, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Jessie Montgomery, Lukas Foss, Joan Tower, Ken Ueno, Yehudi Wyner, Marti Epstein, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Gabriela Lena Frank, Evan Ziporyn, and Kati Agocs.

Recent performing highlights include several GRAMMY-nominated recording releases from PARMA Recordings, concerto appearances, an artist residency and solo performances in Kabul, Afghanistan, and opportunities to share the non-classical stage with the likes of Pete Townshend, Queen Latifah, Melissa Etheridge, Demi Lovato, Brian Wilson, Kelly Clarkson, C-3P0, Peter Gabriel, Billy Idol, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Jonas, Josh Groban, and Audra McDonald, to name a few.

Leo’s degrees include a B.M. in Cello Performance and a B.S. in Physics cum laude from the University of Michigan, and a M.M. in Cello Performance from Boston University, where he received the String Department Award for Excellence. He has served on the faculties of the Gabriela Lena Frank – Creative Academy of Music, MIT, Brookline Music School, and the University of Maine at Farmington. Eguchi, along with violinist and wife Sasha Callahan and cat-obsessed daughter Freya, live in Boston and spend their non-musical free time appreciating the outdoors, food, and wine.

For more information visit www.leoeguchi.com.

Notes

Created by violinist Lucia Lin, In Tandem is a non-profit initiative dedicated to bringing new voices to classical music through co-commissions of ten emerging composers with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.

IN TANDEM is dedicated to bringing new voices to classical music, helping to break the barriers of color in classical music, as well as introducing the younger generation to music that relates to current social issues.

When I met Gabriela Lena Frank about 20 years ago at a festival created by my music teacher Sergiu Luca, I was struck by her vision, tenacity, integrity, and musicianship. True to Gabi’s spirit, she disposed of convention and five years ago, created her own academy where the applicants’ main requirement is to express their music with heart and integrity. More recently, we spent hours talking about the inequities in classical music and the barriers she has had to overcome.

Most people of color in the United States have to deal with racism. As an Asian American, I grew up with the subtle racial discriminations that so many Asians have suffered as the ‘model minority’. We are also viewed by many as perpetual foreigners. My African American partner, formerly a police officer, has had to deal with more blatant discrimination. When a superior officer casually mentioned to my partner to do “n***** jumping jacks,” he had enough and reported the incident to his chief, crossing that thin blue line. He risked everything, spent three years fighting for justice, and saw little support from a reputably liberal and tolerant town. The experience I shared with him was eye-opening, humbling, and infuriating. It also left me feeling incredibly ineffective.

When the whole country went into quarantine, it gave me a lot more time to think about the hurdles Gabi had to overcome in the classical music world. Issues of non-diversity and elitism have been systemic in so many of the larger organizations such as symphony orchestras. As a member of the Boston Symphony, I have had to look more closely at my own lack of awareness, and as a result, my own inertia regarding truly diverse programming.

As a result, with Gabi’s help, I created the large-scale project, In Tandem.

Co-commissioning with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy, 10 composers from GLFCAM were invited to compose a short duo for violin and one other instrument of their choice, each work written to express a social cause close to each composer’s heart. My duo partners were professional musicians whose livelihoods had been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 quarantine. I had the fortune of having two of the composers perform with me as duo partners. Each virtual premiere also featured an interview with the duo composer (see the notes section for a link to each interview). It was eye-opening to learn what inspired each composer as well as the creative process in composing each duo.

It is my hope that In Tandem can raise social awareness inspired by the emotional connection to music and break the stereotypes associated with classical music. It is also my hope that this project will be a springboard to connecting other art forms with music, including visual art, dance, and literature in order to facilitate positive change and growth in our world.

— Lucia Lin

Michael-Thomas Foumai’s music has been described as “vibrant and cinematic” (New York Times) and is often inspired by the people and culture of his Hawai’i home.

“Printing Kapa belongs to a category of work inspired by indigenous knowledge and arts. Kapa (bark cloth) is a native Hawaiian fabric used from birth to death, symbolizing the nurturing and reciprocal relationship of nature and humanity. The fabric is often stamped with linear elements that cross to form geometric patterns of triangles, chevrons and diagonal forms, and this printing process, with short motives stamped in repetition to create larger patterns, is mirrored in the music.”

— Michael-Thomas Foumai

Akshaya Avril Tucker is a composer who draws inspiration from the music and dance traditions of South Asia, having trained as an Odissi dancer and a cellist from a young age.

“Dictionary of Falling Flowers is a meditation on flowers falling from the sky. The “white flower meditation” is a meditation from my spiritual path, where one visualizes white flowers of peace falling all over the earth. My piece shows these flowers from different perspectives: first one flower, caught in the breeze, and eventually a chaotic sky full of flowers, jostling one another and dancing together. I’m inspired by simple, peaceful things (like just one falling flower!) and describing its story through music and dance.”

Akshaya Avril Tucker

We are thrilled to include her choreography and dance of her duo on this Blu-ray disc.

Nicky Sohn’s compositions widely range from solo and chamber pieces to larger works for ballet, opera, and Korean traditional orchestra. She has enjoyed commissions and performances from preeminent performing arts institutions like the Stuttgart Ballet, Minnesota Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

“Violinist Lucia Lin and I had a conversation before I began writing. We had discussed the widening division between people around the world, whether it be racial divide as shown throughout America, or the physical and political divide of nations and peoples made from the recession of international trade, talk, and travel. This piece is based on a Korean lullaby called The Baby on an Island. It tells the story of a baby all alone at night while its mother picks oysters by the shore.”

— Nicky Sohn

Nicolas Lell Benavides’s music has been praised for finding “…a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines…” (Washington Post). He has worked with groups such as the Washington National Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival.

“Cuates is Spanish for twins, and the work is inspired by my younger twin sisters. I’ve always written music about my background and my family, but at the height of the pandemic, my younger twin sisters gave birth a month apart to two beautiful babies, my niece and nephew. When Lucia and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music approached me about IN TANDEM, it was right around the same time, and I felt the need to focus on the light in the world that was these children, not the darkness in the news cycle. My work is for two violins, and like twins, they sometimes work together and sometimes look for ways to stand out and be individuals. My sisters are vastly different people living in different parts of the country, but nonetheless they coincidentally had babies exactly one month apart. There is something beautiful about them taking different paths only to intersect once again as new mothers. I dedicate this work to them.”

— Nicolas Lell Benavides

An acclaimed mrudangam artist, Rajna Swaminathan has been described as “a vital new voice” (Pop Matters), creating “music of gravity and rigor… yet its overall effect is accessible and uplifting” (Wall Street Journal). Her compositions draw on concepts and sensibilities from South Asian and African diasporic musical practices.

I began composing illuminance: scattered truths during the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the ensuing chaos, which revealed the precarity of our democracy. In the following months, many individuals and organizations set out to make public statements outwardly proclaiming their commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusivity. Social media was ablaze with these buzzwords, as well as with discussions about the urgent need for accountability. I wondered about how the truth can be lost in the fray, dispersing like scattered light, or illuminance— light reflected from other surfaces rather than from the source. This piece provides a space to listen and push beyond our comfort zones as performers, with the hope of engaging our most vulnerable truths.”

— Rajna Swaminathan

Hailed as “a giant in talent” (The Penticton Herald), Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist Iman Habibi has had works performed by noted ensembles like the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

“A concern for the destruction of our habitat has been present in the arts for centuries. My duo is inspired by one of the oldest known verses of Persian poetry in Arabic rhythm, written by the 8th century poet Abu Hafs, which expresses concern (at least on a literal level) regarding the displacement of animals. It asks how a mountain gazelle (Âhūye Kūhī) may be expected to survive on a plain, away from its home and companions. This piece explores the idea of displacement, of the shrinking and destruction of one’s habitat, which is a deeply concerning outcome of climate change.”

— Iman Habibi

A versatile composer, Kerwin Young is known for his work in hip hop, film, and television. He also composes in the genres of jazz and classical music, having composed eight symphonies to date. His music reflects his passion for the Eastern arts through melody and modal harmonies.

“Lyric for Violin and Harp is a creative example of self expression. Beginning in G Locrian and ending in G minor, the work captures my fascination for story-telling through music. Though unrelated to any musical inspiration, the title draws from George Theophilous Walker’s work “Lyric for Strings.” My aim was to compose an intimate, thought-provoking duo for these two instruments.”

— Kerwin Young

With his music described as “bracing, original, and often jaw-dropping” (New Music Box), composer and singer/guitarist David Reminick brings a rigorous and frequently hyper-kinetic approach to contemporary concert music. His powerful and virtuosic duo Security is demanding for not just the individual performers but challenging for its intrinsically complex ensemble writing.

“Security deals with the unjust and immoral separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the piece’s loud and often harsh nature sending the message that we should never flinch in the face of painful issues, even when they fall out of the news cycle. The percussion instruments used are all made of metal, evoking the images of chain link fences and the iconic silver emergency blankets that immigrant children were forced to use in the makeshift tent cities in which the U.S. government detained them.”

— David Reminick

Reminick has donated all proceeds from the piece to RAICES and the ACLU to support their continuing efforts to reunite and compensate separated families. He hopes you will consider donating to these important organizations as well.

Dustin Carlson is a Brooklyn-based guitarist, composer, and improvisor. His work reflects his deep fascination with time, music, physical movement, soul, and culture. He has two releases under his own name Air Ceremony (Out Of Your Head Records) and Shakes / The Noise of Wings (Very Special Recordings) as well as many collaborations spanning dance, theater, jazz, math rock, ambient music, revolutionary folk, chamber music, noise, and pop.

“short myths in many tongues is a reflection on perception and the scattered nature of contemporary understanding, an engagement with multiple musical traditions and perspectives, an acknowledgement of the soul connection to ideas and sounds that my own “eduction” has yet to understand.”

— Dustin Carlson

Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.”

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by science, nature, and the wonders of the universe. My compositions often use tangible concepts directly observable in nature to shape their musical ideas and structures. Okjökull Requiem takes the alarming trends in climate data from the past century and converts them into sound; over the course of its eight minutes, its pitch and tempo gradually rise to create a sobering reflection of the dangerous state of our planet today.”

— Roger Zare

Videos

Interview with Michael-Thomas Foumai

Interview with Akshaya Avril Tucker

Interview with Nicky Sohn

Interview with Nicolas Lell Benavides

Interview with Rajna Swaminathan

Interview with Iman Habibi

Interview with Kerwin Young

Interview with David Reminick

Interview with Dustin Carlson

Interview with Roger Zare