Fascinated by the art of storytelling and capturing human expression, the music of American composer/pianist Alex Berko
(b. 1995) has been performed by Monterey Symphony, Cape Symphony, Bloomington Symphony, The Crossing, NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Del Sol String Quartet, and the Boston New Music Initiative among many others. His music has received national recognition from ASCAP/SCI, ACDA, The American Prize, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and more. Berko is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, holding a BM in composition with an outside concentration in piano and a certificate in entrepreneurship. Primary teachers included David Dzubay, Claude Baker, Keith Fitch, Aaron Travers, Don Freund (composition) and Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Edmund Battersby, and Sandra Shapiro (piano). Berko is now pursuing his MM in composition at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying
with Karim Al-Zand. He is a member of ASCAP.
Rachel DeVore Fogarty's works have been commissioned, awarded and performed by organizations in the U.S. and internationally, including ACDA, KMEA, IAWM, NATS, the Bryan Symphony, the Oak Ridge Symphony, St. Olaf College, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, SACRA/PROFANA, Oklahoma State University, University of Kentucky, Conundrum, Tapestry Singers, Muse (Cincinnati Women's Ensemble), Making Waves (Ukraine), the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, the Concert Chorale of Nashville, the Astoria Choir, Fresh Squeezed Opera Company NYC, the Six Degree Singers, the Astoria Music Project, the Princeton Girlchoir, Dulciana (Ireland), Voces Inauditae (Scotland), the Luna Nova Music Ensemble, Roane Choral Society, Marble City Opera Company, the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, the Capital Hearings and VocalEssence. Her works have been chosen for inclusion in Vox Reflexa's New Millennium Composers project, the Cro Patria Choir Festival, and in the London Contemporary Church Music Festival. Her string quartet, sky darkening early, was selected as part of a reading session with the Grammy nominated JACK Quartet.
Daniel E. Gawthrop has been the recipient of over one hundred commissions to write original music. His published choral and organ works are in the catalogs of Dunstan House, Alfred Publishing, Alliance Music, Lorenz Publishing Co., and others. His a cappellamotet "Sing Me to Heaven" is among the most frequently performed choral pieces of modern times and has sold more than a half million copies.
Gawthrop's music has premiered in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle, and Washington National Cathedral among dozens of other prestigious venues. His choral pieces have been performed and recorded by such eminent ensembles as The United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Paul Hill Chorale, the American Boychoir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Cathedral Choral Society (of Washington National Cathedral) and literally hundreds of other groups in the U.S. and abroad.
In addition to his work as a composer, Gawthrop has been active as a broadcaster, clinician and adjudicator, organist, conductor, teacher and writer, including a period as music critic for The Washington Post.
Sean Ellis Hussey (b.1991) sees music as an opportunity to engage vulnerability, inspire introspection, and generate collective action toward solving social issues. In this sense, Sean pursues collaborative artistic projects that directly engage the community. This includes orchestral miniatures that chronicle perceptions of marginalized identity, a ethnographic multi-media vocal oratorio revealing latent aspects of the United States foster care system in collaboration with Constellation Men’s Ensemble, a collaboratively devised opera that demonstrates the misrepresentation of women and minorities within the opera canon, and an ongoing collaborative music project meant to bridge disparate perspectives regarding refugees living in Sweden.
Sean’s music and activism have been recognized through numerous awards including selected student composer at the Chicago Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, the Grammy-Award winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony’s Emerging Composer Award, the 2017 OperaFEST featured composer, an artistic research residency at Lund University InterArts Center in Malmö, Sweden, and the 2018 Matthew Freeman Social Justice Award through the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation.
Dr. Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano, is a singer, conductor, educator, and composer. She was a member of the world-renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4 from 2000-2015. She recorded twelve award-winning CD’s with the group, including American Angels which twice topped Billboard’s classical music charts, and The Cherry Tree, one of the top selling classical CDs of 2010. Anonymous 4′s performance of the Irish lament “Caoineadh” on Christopher Tin’s album Calling All Dawns, with Jacqueline as featured soloist, led to a Grammy for Best Classical Music Crossover Album. She is currently Artistic Director of ModernMedieval Voices, a women’s ensemble dedicated to creating programs that combine early music with new commissions. The ensemble has performed and given residencies all over the U.S. As a composer, Dr. Horner-Kwiatek has written pieces for MMV and the Folger Consort, amongst others, and her music has been described by The Washington Post as “beguiling and succinct.”
As a soloist she has sung with many renowned ensembles and opera companies, including English National Opera, Washington Bach Consort, Royal Opera Covent Garden, The Folger Consort, Armonia Nova, Ensemble Modern Frankfurt and Ensemble InterContemporain Paris, performing at many of the world’s leading venues, including Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Disney Concert Hall. Dr. Horner-Kwiatek has a D.M.A. from The Juilliard School and is on the Performance Faculty at Princeton, where she teaches voice and is faculty advisor/conductor of the Early Music Princeton vocal ensemble. She also teaches voice at Columbia University and Fordham University, where she was music director and conductor of the Fordham Collegium for several years. She is in demand as a clinician and gives masterclasses, ensemble technique workshops, and vocal pedagogy for composers seminars all over the USA. For more information please visit ModernMedieval.org.
Andrey Stolyarov is a Russian-born American composer, conductor, singer, and educator. His compositions have been performed nationally and internationally, with recent commissions by CONCORA, the Young New Yorker’s Chorus, the Bassless Trio, and the Alturas Duo. He has studied with a variety of renowned composers, including Steven Sametz, Paul Salerni, Gilda Lyons, Robert Carl, David Macbride, Ken Steen, Larry Alan Smith, Ofer Ben-Amots, Jan Jirasek, Steven Stucky, Tania León, and Aaron Kernis. Andrey is Director of Music at West Avon Congregational Church in Avon, CT and Co-director of The Hartford New Music Festival. He is an adjunct music theory professor at The Hartt School, and is a private vocal instructor. He is an active professional singer currently performing with Voce, CONCORA, and the Composers’ Choir. Andrey received his D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in music composition from The Hartt School, and his B.A. in music from Lehigh University.