Muhal Richard Abrams
Mr. Abrams is one of the most highly respected musicians in the contemporary music scene. He is co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founder of The AACM School of Music, and the first recipient of the grand international jazz award, The JazzPar Prize, by the Danish Jazz Center (1990).
Except for a brief period of study at the Chicago Musical College and Governors State University in Chicago where he studied electronic music, Abrams is predominantly a self-taught musician who, as a result of many years of observation, analysis, and practice as a performing musician, has developed a command of a variety of musical styles both as a pianist and composer. Abrams and members of the AACM are responsible for some of the most original new music approaches of the last three decades.
Abram’s compositions have been commissioned and /or performed by New Band, The Rova Saxophone Quartet, The String Trio of New York, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, Ursula Oppens, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Cassatt String Quartet, and countless others. He has recorded and toured the United States, Canada and Europe with his orchestra, sextet, quartet, duo and as a solo pianist. His musical affiliations include Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Clifford Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw, Anthony Braxton, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Eddie Harris. His recordings are available on Delmark, Why Not, Black Saint, Arista Novus, UMO, and New World Records.
John Luther Adams<
Adams has been called "one of the few important young American composers" by Lou Harrison and "one of Alaska's great artistic resources" by the Anchorage Daily News. He has received commissions, awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Trust, the Rockerfeller Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, among others. He is currently composer-in-residence with the Anchorage Symphony, the Anchorage Opera and the Alaska Public Radio Network, as part of the Meet the Composer "New Residencies" program. About his work, Adams says: "My music has always been profoundly influenced by the natural world and a strong sense of place. Through sustained listening to the subtle resonances of the northern soundscape, I hope to explore the territory of 'sonic geography' - that region between place and culture...between environment and imaginatio
Born in Tokyo, Michiko Akao is a pioneering artist of the yokobue. She is recognized for establishing transverse bamboo flutes as solo instruments in contemporary music. Akao has commissioned an original repertory of over 100 compositions for the yokobue. She made her US debut in 1972 in Maki Ishii's Sogu II with Seiji Ozawa and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. She was awarded the Distinguished Artist Prize by the Japan Ministry of Education in 1982. She has performed widely in Japan and North America and participated in major music festivals in Europe and Asia.
Amirkhanian is a leading proponent of text-sound composition in the United States. Most of his works are electroacoustic. In a radical departure from his earlier, more spare and minimal style, his recent works typically incorporate ambient and found sounds manipulated via Synclavier. He has served as Music Director of KPFA FM in Berkeley since 1969. In 1988 he co-founded the annual summer Composer-to-Composer summit conference on new music, sponsored by the Telluride Institute in Colorado.
David Arner (piano, harpsichord, percussion) is a long time proponent of innovative music and spontaneous composition. While well known for his solo work, Arner is also actively working with bassists Michael Bisio and Adam Lane, saxophonist Avram Fefer, cellist Tomas Ulrich and percussionist Jay Rosen. He has also collaborated with poets Chuck Stein and Mikhail Horowitz, and choreographer Susan Osberg. Arner has performed throughout the country for more than 30 years, including many performances at the Knitting Factory (in the 1990s), and more recently at the Center for Performing Arts (Rhinebeck) and Deep Listening Space. He has also pioneered a re-vitalization of new music for silent film for many years.
Larry Austin's music is composed for diverse combinations of instruments, voices, audio and/or video tape, film, computers and live electronics. His works have been widely performed, recorded, and published. His realization and completion of Charles Ives's Universe Symphony was premiered in 1994 by the Cincinnati Philharmonia. The compact disc recording on Centaur Records was acclaimed by the New York Times. Austin is Professor of Music and Chair, Division of Composition Studies, University of North Texas. Fellow composers know, too, his editorial and leadership roles as co-founder/editor of SOURCE: Music of the Avant Garde (1966-1974) and President of both the International Computer Music Association (1989-1994) and CDCM (1986-present), producer of the CDCM Computer Music Series on Centaur Records.