National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award- winner William Bolcom (born 1938) is an American composer of chamber, operatic, vocal, choral, cabaret, ragtime, and symphonic music.
He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Music in 1973, was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in 1994, and retired in 2008 after 35 years. Bolcom won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano , and his setting of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience on the Naxos label won four Grammy Awards in 2005. He has written four violin sonatas; nine symphonies; four operas, plus several musical theater operas; eleven string quartets; two film scores; incidental music for stage plays; fanfares and occasional pieces; and an extensive catalogue of chamber, choral, and vocal works.
As a pianist, Bolcom has performed and recorded his own work frequently in collaboration with his wife and musical partner, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Cabaret songs, show tunes, and American popular songs of the 20th century have been their primary specialties in both concerts and recordings.
Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/ Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Gabriela Lena Frank explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions.
Gabriela’s work has been described as “crafted with unself- conscious mastery” (Washington Post), and “brilliantly effective” (New York Times). Gabriela is regularly commissioned by luminaries such as cellist Yo Yo Ma, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and the King’s Singers as well as many of the country’s top orchestras. In 2017, Gabriela is collaborating with Pulitzer playwright Nilo Cruz for an opera for Fort Worth Opera about famed painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. 2017 also sees the founding of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy for Music, a non-profit school for emerging composers from around the world who study with Gabriela and various of her renowned performer colleagues.
Gabriela received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rice University, and her Doctorate from the University of Michigan. She resides with her husband Jeremy on their farmstead in the Anderson Valley of northern California and is published/managed exclusively by G. Schirmer.
Noted for its presentation of “bracing sonic adventures” (Chicago Tribune), Ensemble Dal Niente, “a superb contemporary-music collective” (The New York Times), aims to drive musical discourse with adventurous projects that exhibit an ambitious range of aesthetic values tied to contemporary life and culture. The ensemble performs music written for large ensemble, chamber music, and solo works, each with relentless attention to interpretation. Dal Niente works with a range of composers, from emerging and established living artists to the post-World War II avant-garde generation. Recent projects include a collaboration with Deerhoof and Marcos Balter; a tour of Latin American countries; performances and recordings of works by George Lewis; an East Coast tour of German music; the Hard Music, Hard Liquor concert series and its annual Party. With each project, programs are curated and presented in ways that highlight the music’s relationship with our culture and society.
The ensemble’s introduction to the international music community was expedited by their acclaimed performances at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music in 2010 and 2012; in 2012, Dal Niente became the first-ever ensemble recipient of the coveted Kranichstein Music Prize and was invited to give the 2014 festival’s culminating performance in Darmstadt, Germany. Recordings of Dal Niente’s performances of new and recent repertoire have been released on the New Amsterdam, New Focus, Navona, Parlour Tapes+, and Carrier labels. The ensemble also shares performance videos and discussions with their audience through YouTube and other social media. Dal Niente’s outreach includes educational activities of all kinds, exhibited most commonly in university settings with composition workshops, masterclasses, discussions, and performances. The ensemble’s residencies have included work with faculty and students at various universities including Northwestern, Chicago, Harvard, Stanford, Indiana, Illinois, and Western Michigan, among others.
The ensemble’s name, Dal Niente (“from nothing” in Italian), is a tribute to Helmut Lachenmann’s Dal niente (Interieur III), the revolutionary style of which serves as an inspiration for its musicians. The name also references its humble beginnings – founded in 2004 by a group of student composers at Northwestern University, the ensemble has risen from obscurity to a position as one of North America’s most prominent new music groups.