Joseph Di Ponio, composer
Joseph Di Ponio has composed music for concert performance, theater, art installations, and silent films. His concert music can be heard on solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is often inspired by the visual arts, especially the paintings of Barnett Newman, the video installations of Gary Hill, and the sculptures of Richard Serra. In general, his work is concerned with issues of aural history and temporality and is influenced greatly by contemporary thought on time and being.
Based in New York City, Joseph has composed pieces or Timetable Percussion, Yarn/Wire, Benjamin Robison/ Ardesco, the violinist Jubal Fulks, Iktus Percussion, the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, and the 2009 Armory Show (NYC). His music has been performed as part of the North River Music Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, concerts presented by Alia Musica (Pittsburgh) as well as at institutional venues including Luther College, Davidson College, Goucher College, Yale University and the Juilliard School.
Future projects include a work for electric guitar, oboe and electronics commissioned by Chris Belt, and a work for flute, viola, and harp for Trio Kavak. In addition to his acoustic and electro-acoustic works, he is increasingly interested in large-scale electronically generated sound environments. His work has been honored by ASCAP, and New York Performing Arts Spaces (ConEd Composer’s Residency). He has recently been named Composer in Residence for the 2015 Accidental Music Festival in Orlando.
Joseph holds degrees from Western Michigan University (B.Mus.), the Hartt School - University of Hartford (MM), and completed his Ph.D. in music composition at SUNY Stony Brook where he studied with Dan Weymouth, Daria Semegen and Sheila Silver. While at Stony Brook, he studied philosophy and aesthetics with Hugh Silverman and Donald Kuspit earning an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Philosophy and the Arts. Increasingly active as an art theorist, he has presented papers on the aesthetic relationship between music and the other arts.
Miguel Frasconi, composer/performer
Miguel Frasconi is a composer and improvisor specializing in the relationship between acoustic objects and musical form. His instrumentarium includes glass objects, analog electronics, laptop, and hybrid constructions of his own design. His compositions include chamber music, opera, site-specific theater/sound events and numerous dance scores. He has worked closely with composers John Cage, Jon Hassell, James Tenney and Morton Subotnick. He is a member of the chamber ensemble Ne(x)tworks and his CAGE100 Festival in 2012 was called "one of the best observances of John Cage's 100th birthday" by the New York Times. This festival included performances by his ensembles The Noisy Toy Piano Orchestra and the John Cage Variety Show Big Band. Miguel's music has been released on New Albion Records, Porter Records, clang.cl, and a recording of his string quartets will soon be released on the Tzadik label.
Max Giteck Duykers, composer
Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty, unique forms, and collaborative processes. He frequently incorporates technology in performance in a manner which gives the performers room for individual expression. A veteran of multidisciplinary performance, Duykers is also interested in reworking developmental processes for artists to find their collective "sweet spot" and produce work which is personal, confronting, and starkly beautiful.
Duykers was recently commissioned by New Music USA and the Jerome Foundation to create a chamber opera for tenor, soprano, baritone, electro-acoustic percussionist (performing on Buchla Instruments' Marimba Lumina) and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Featuring a libretto by acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Philip Kan Gotanda, the piece is a comment on the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. It received two workshops in 2016: at the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies in January, and The University of Nevada in July under the direction of Virko Baley, The piece will be premiered in 2018 in San Francisco, Sonoma County, CA and in NYC.
Duykers was recently chosen for the Third Angle/Russell New Ideas In Music Competition resulting in the commission of A Breath of Arches for string quartet and four MIDI foot controllers. The piece was chosen as the grand prize winner for the competition, and was premiered in Portland, OR. 2016 will bring a new music/theater piece composed for Margaret Lancaster for flute and MIDI foot pedals, and a premiere by the New York Composers Circle at Symphony Space in NYC. His numerous other commissions and premieres include the Avian Orchestra, The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, The Seattle Chamber Players, The Glass Farm Ensemble, PUBLIQuartet, Iron Works on the Edge, Anti-Social Music, Trio Tara, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, HERE Arts Center, PS122, La Mama ETC, Horizon Theater Rep., and the Stony Brook Department of Theater Arts. Duykers' Glass Blue Cleft was recently released by the Escher String Quartet on Bridge Records. Of the piece, Three Village Patch writes "[Glass Blue Cleft] is a piece for lovers of the string quartet, those amazed by how fiery and how dulcet these four-stringed instruments can range in expression." This and other pieces have been featured at music festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Seattle Chamber Players’ Icebreaker IV, curated by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross.
Duykers has been commissioned to compose music for over 35 theatrical, dance, film, and multimedia projects in the New York City area, and is currently the composer in residence with the dance company Iron Works on the Edge. With the theater group Prototype he was an artist-in-residence at HERE Arts Center in 2002-2004, and in 2000-2001 he worked for Philip Glass’ The Looking Glass Studios and Dunvagen Music Publishers, where he did studio recording, Pro-Tools post-production, music sequencing, music copying and music editing for the Philip Glass Ensemble, film scoring projects, and operatic works. He holds a BM from Oberlin Conservatory where he studied composition with Randy Coleman, and has recently completed his PhD at Stony Brook University where he studied with Sheila Silver. At Stony Brook he was also honored with the 2012 Ackerman Award for Excellence in Music. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rebecca and sons Quinlan and Liev.
Ricardo Gallo, composer/curator
Colombian pianist and composer Ricardo Gallo has written for acoustic and electro-acoustic formats, for short films, videos, dance and multimedia stage productions, and has performed and written for improvisatory groups. He has published nine albums as a leader, his music has appeared in several compilations in Colombia, USA, and Europe, and has participated in recordings of several other groups.
Among his main projects is the quartet he leads since 2005 with some of the best musicians from Bogotá’s scene: drummer Jorge Sepúlveda, bassist Juan Manuel Toro, and percussionist Juan David Castaño, developing repertoire and an improvisational approach that integrates an avant-garde and free language with rhythmic and melodic elements from folkloric musical traditions. Ricardo Gallo Cuarteto has released four albums: Los Cerros Testigos (2005), Urdimbres y Marañas (2007), Resistencias (2010), and Tribu del Asfalto (2013), all of them published under the catalogue of the musician’s collective La Distritofonica.
In New York he leads since 2007 the group Tierra de Nadie, with seasoned musicians such as trombonist Ray Anderson, saxophonist Dan Blake, bassist Mark Helias, and percussionists Pheeroan akLaff and Satoshi Takeishi. With this project he released the album The Great Fine Line in 2010 under the portuguese label Clean Feed Records.
Two notable ongoing duos are his long-lasting project with guitarist Alejandro Flórez, publishing in 2009 the album Meleyolamente as a debut for the label Festina Lente Discos. Most recently with singer Juanita Delgado they published independently Canciones internas y de otras partes in 2016.
With the multimedia group La Quinta del Lobo he has participated as composer and performer on piano, keyboards and electronics on two large scale stage pieces: Vanitas Libellum and Cuentos de la Mangleria, performing in several theaters in Colombia as well as in Peru, Hong Kong and U.S.A.
Gallo has participated in projects led by Ray Anderson, Peter Evans (Live in Lisbon), Santiago Botero (MULA, El Ombligo), Edson Velandia (Bin Ban, Aputoi), Pedro Ojeda (Romperayo) among others.
He has performed his own music in Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada, Kenya, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Germany, Chile, Argentina, U.S.A. and Colombia. Gallo has received commissions from Colombia Symphony Orchestra and Big Band Bogotá, and funds for tours and residencies from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, The Banff Centre and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec in Canada.
He finished his undergraduate at the University of North Texas with honors and holds a Masters and PhD in music composition from Stony Brook University.
Ben Grow, conductor
Conductor Benjamin Grow has worked with a wide array of ensembles in New York City and serves as Music Director/Principal Conductor of Chelsea Opera, Associate Conductor of the sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé, and was a guest conductor of The Broadway Chamber Players. As music director of Tom Cipullo's opera, Glory Denied, in 2015 at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia, Grow "expertly coached the singers and led the orchestra" (Broad Street Review), and his "fine detailing delivered the ferocious power of this score" (Huffington Post), in what The Philadelphia Inquirer said was the "most unforgettable opera" of the year. He conducted the studio recording of I Have No Stories To Tell You, a commissioned work by Opera Philadelphia's then Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher. He has participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur and Larry Rachleff, and in 2015, he won the International Conducting Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, GA.
As a music educator, Mr. Grow has been guest conductor at the Manhattan School of Music, assistant conductor at The Juilliard School, and currently conducts the chamber orchestra at Berkshire Summer Music. For several years, Mr. Grow co-presented an annual lecture at the 92nd Street Y, "The Physics of Music," as part of their Mysteries of Science series, and has given pre-concert talks at the Museum of Biblical Art. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and his Master of Music under Jeffrey Milarsky at the Manhattan School of Music.