The Notion of Melody – An Interweaving of Culture and Spirit
Bios of Visiting Artists
Composer, cultural practitioner and cross genre collaborator, Horomona Horo has fused the traditional instruments of the Maori, taonga puoro (singing treasures), within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms. Horomona performs and handles the full spectrum of the taonga puoro instruments with a measured skill, historical and cultural understanding as passed down to him by his mentors, first the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and since 2006, Dr Richard Nunns - two of the men credited with the revival of the art-form. His ability to perform solo as well as collaborate so broadly through and extensive musical knowledge of style and process, has led to Horo performing and presenting as a New Zealand representative in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America and becoming the international Maori face of Taonga Puoro. In 2001, Horo won the inaugural Dynasty Heritage Concerto Competition. Performances including orchestral work with the Weimarer Staatskapelle Orchestra, hip-hop with Pao Pao Pao, Opera in the Park with Kiri Te Kanawa, guest artist at the 90th Commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele, and international tours with Moana and the Tribe, Canti Maori, Irish collaboration with Green Fire Islands, and the Voices NZ Choir have enabled Horomona to extend his knowledge and skills across diverse genres whilst remaining a cultural and musical educator in his own right.
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, is a classical composer, citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma and is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition. His Washington Post review states that "Tate is rare as an American Indian composer of classical music. Rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism." Tate's recent commissions include his bassoon concerto, Ghost of the White Deer, for Dallas Symphony Orchestra, his Chickasaw oratorio, Misha' Sipokni' (The Old Ground), for Canterbury Voices and Oklahoma City Philharmonic and his Ponca Indian Cantata for Hildegard Center for the Arts. His music was recently featured on the HBO series Westworld. His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Canterbury Voices, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Colorado Ballet, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Philadelphia Classical Symphony and Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Tate has held Composer–in–Residence positions for Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, the Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, Oklahoma City's NewView Summer Academy, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Grand Canyon Music Festival Native American Composer Apprentice Project. Tate was the founding composition instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and has taught composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis, the Hopi, Navajo and Lummi reservations and Native students in Toronto. Mr. Tate is a three–time commissioned recipient from the American Composers Forum, a Chamber Music America's Classical Commissioning Program recipient, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award recipient, a governor–appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma and an Emmy Award winner for his work on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority documentary, The Science of Composing. In addition to his work based upon his Chickasaw culture, Tate has worked with the music and language of multiple tribes, such as: Choctaw, Navajo, Cherokee, Ojibway, Creek, Pechanga, Comanche, Lakota, Hopi, Tlingit, Lenape, Tongva, Shawnee, Caddo, Ute, Aleut, Shoshone, Cree, Paiute and Salish/Kootenai. Among available recorded works are Iholba' (The Vision) for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, recorded by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, on the Grammy Award winning label Azica Records. Tate earned his Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Donald Isaak, and his Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb. He has performed as First Keyboard on the Broadway national tours of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and been a guest pianist and accompanist for the Colorado Ballet, Hartford Ballet and numerous ballet and dance companies. Mr. Tate's middle name, Impichchaachaaha', means "his high corncrib" and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name. A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables. In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corncrib was built high off the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals.
Ian Munro, composer and pianist, has emerged over recent years as one of Australia's most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for composers (2003) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his Second Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile. After completing his early training in Melbourne under the guidance of Roy Shepherd, a pupil of Alfred Cortot, Ian furthered his studies in Vienna, London and Italy with Noretta Conci, Guido Agosti and Michele Campanella. His international career began in the UK, where he performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Concert Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, broadcasting widely for the BBC. Elsewhere, he performed with orchestras in Poland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, the USA, China, New Zealand and with all the major orchestras in Australia in over sixty piano concerti. Also a widely experienced chamber musician, Ian joined the acclaimed Australia Ensemble in Sydney in 2000. With an extensive piano discography on ABC Classics, Hyperion, Cala, Naxos, Marco Polo, Tall Poppies and Warehouse labels, Ian is now equally in demand as a composer. He was Featured Composer for Musica Viva in 2011 and his Flute Concerto and Song Cycle Three Birds received their premieres in 2016 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australia Ensemble respectively, among many other of his chamber works for various ensembles.
Ruthe Margaret "Maggie" Boyett (Shawnee–Kiowa) dancer / choreographer
As a dancer, Maggie began as a baby at powwows and ceremonial functions, but her studio training began at age four with Moscelyne Larkin — Tulsa Ballet co–founder and one of the "Five Moon" Oklahoma Indian ballerinas who gained international acclaim with the Ballet Russes. Maggie is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Dance where she studied under Austin Hartel (Hartel Dance Group, Pilobolus) and Derrick Minter (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater). Her interests in cyclical rituals, mortality, individual–collective relationships, ego and identity show up in her choreography as repetition and dynamic shifts from raw athleticism to stillness. Maggie's work draws influence from visual art and sculpture, personal stories, traditional stories, her mentors and ancestors. Her choreography and teaching has been sought for concert dance and site–specific festivals and has also been featured in music videos and collaborative concerts with rock bands and chamber groups. Maggie also works full time for the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and resides in Oklahoma City.
The Guest String Quartet:
Wilma Smith, violinist, is Artistic Director and violinist of Wilma & Friends, a chamber music series based in Melbourne and presenting concerts throughout Australia and New Zealand. She is also Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and teaches violin and chamber music at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Scotch College and Korowa Anglican Girls' School. Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She studied in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the legendary Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner then was founding First Violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music and multiple prizes at the Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions. She was Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra and Handel and Haydn Society and performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra. Invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was First Violinist until she was appointed Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for nine years before moving to Melbourne to be Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2014. Wilma has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with Sydney, Adelaide, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Queensland Festival Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria, Orchestra Wellington and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Gillian Ansell, violist, born in Auckland, made her concerto debut as a violinist with the Auckland Philharmonia at the age of 16. At 19, an Associated Board Scholarship took Gillian to the Royal College of Music in London for 3 years to study violin, viola and piano. She then won a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholarship for further study in Germany at the Musikhochschule Cologne with Igor Ozim and the Amadeus Quartet. After working professionally in London for three years she returned to New Zealand to become a founding member of the New Zealand String Quartet in 1987. She was second violinist for two years before taking up the position of violist of the group. In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with fellow quartet member Helene Pohl, of the Adam New Zealand Chamber Music Festival. In 2008 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her outstanding services to music in New Zealand. Gillian plays on a 1619 Nicolo amati viola, generously loaned by the Adam Foundation.
For over two decades, cellist Rhonda Rider was a member of the Naumburg Award-winning Lydian Quartet and Triple Helix Piano Trio. An advocate of contemporary music, Rider has premiered and recorded works by composers including John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Yu-Hui Chang and Elliott Carter. Always interested in bringing classical cello music to unusual places, she has been an Artist-in-Residence at both Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks. Eighteen works for solo cello were commissioned for these residencies. She has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America and adjudicated at the Fischoff, Stulberg and Concert Artists Guild Competitions. Recently, she has performed with Shelter Music Boston and the New Gallery Series. In the summer months, she performs and teaches at festivals including Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Music From Salem, Tanglewood and the Asian Youth Orchestra (Hong Kong). Rider holds degrees from Oberlin and Yale and is Head of Strings at Boston Conservatory at Berklee where she was twice awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year/Best of Berklee.
Second violinist and a founding member of the Lydian String Quartet, Judith Eissenberg is Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University, where she has been on the faculty since 1980. With the LSQ, she has won numerous international prizes, including the Naumburg Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. She has also commissioned new works, recorded, and toured extensively in the United States and abroad, performing on period and contemporary instruments. With an expertise in chamber music, she has played, in the Boston area, with the Boston Chamber Music Society, The Boston Conservatory Chamber Players, Emmanuel Music, and others. Ms. Eissenberg is co-founder of Music from Salem, a chamber music festival in upstate New York; is on the faculty of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East; and is Head of Chamber Music at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. At Brandeis, she founded and directs MusicUnitesUS whose mission is to further the understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures through music, and enjoys teaching Intro to World Music as well as Chamber Music Performance.