US-based New Zealand pianist Nicola Melville has been described as “having an original and intelligent musical mind” (Waikato Times), “a marvelous pianist who plays with splashy color but also exquisite tone and nuance” (American Record Guide), and “the sort of advocate any composer would love” (Dominion Post). Her live performances and recordings have been broadcast internationally, and she has been involved in interdisciplinary projects with dancers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Nicola attended Victoria University School of Music, Wellington, NZ, and the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Lizzie T. Mason prize for Outstanding Graduate Pianist, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Nicola won both the National Concerto Competition while in New Zealand, and was a winner of the SAI Concerto Competition at the Chautauqua Music Festival, NY. Nicola has recorded for the Innova and Equilibrium labels, and in 2014 joined the Twin Cities-based group, Zeitgeist. She is Professor of Music at Carleton College, Minnesota, and is Co-Director of the Chautauqua Music Festival Piano Program in New York.
Hannah Spivey is a native of Tucson, Arizona. She began her harp studies at the age of six with Patricia Harris of the Tucson Symphony. As a high school student, Hannah participated in both Regional and All-State orchestras. She has been featured as a soloist with Civic Orchestra of Tucson, Tucson Pops Orchestra, and University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. Hannah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Arizona in 2012 and her Master of Music in Harp Performance from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Hannah was a member of HarpFusion, a touring harp ensemble, with whom she performed in Brazil and China. She is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Harp Performance under the tutelage of Kathy Kienzle at the University of Minnesota.
Aleksandr Brusentsev tells abstract stories with sound. Through shifting perspectives, his works articulate spaces and paradoxes that invite listeners to empathetically engage with fundamental questions and draw personal conclusions. His music has been performed internationally by renowned ensembles and artists such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the CHROMA Ensemble, and Alexandra Wood and Huw Watkins. He is a Soundhub Associate of the London Symphony Orchestra and a Leverhulme Fellow of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he is a recipient of The American Composers Forum Jerome Fund for New Music and multiple honors from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he completed his master’s studies in composition.
Brusentsev’s compositions are published exclusively by his company, ‘i do dots music.’
More info at brusenta.com.
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About the Host
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe). With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.