A major force in 21st century concert music, Victoria Bond leads a dual career as composer and conductor. Her compositions have been praised by the New York Times as “powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding,” and her conducting has been called “impassioned” by the Wall Street Journal and “full of energy and fervor” by the New York Times.
Bond has been commissioned by The American Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Houston and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, Cleveland and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras, Women’s Philharmonic, Soli Deo Gloria, The Young Peoples’ Chorus, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, Choral Society of the Hamptons and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Anchorage Opera, Irish National Orchestra (RTE), Shanghai Symphony and members of the New York Philharmonic, among others. She is the recipient of the Victor Herbert Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Walter Hinrichsen Award, the Perry F. Kendig Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize.
Bond has served as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony and guest conducted throughout the United States, Europe, South America and China. The first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, Bond has served as Music Director of the New Amsterdam and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras, Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, Harrisburg Opera and Bel Canto Opera, Music Adviser of the Wuhan Symphony in China and is Principal Guest Conductor of Chamber Opera Chicago.
She has guest conducted the Honolulu, Buffalo, Richmond, Louisville, Albany, Anchorage, Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras; Cleveland and St. Paul chamber symphonies; Opera Carolina; Festival of Contemporary Music in Santos, Brazil; Radio Telefis Eirann in Dublin, Ireland; Center for Contemporary Opera in New York; and the Shanghai, Hunan, and Wuhan symphony orchestras and Beijing Central Opera in China. She was assistant conductor of New York City Opera under Beverly Sills, and conducted orchestral concerts for Ray Charles, leading his 70th birthday concert in Warsaw, Poland. She has worked with Andre Previn, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sixten Ehrling, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Herbert Blomstedt, and Herbert von Karajan.
Recent performances of her compositions include: Bridges by the Michigan Philharmonic and the National Repertory Orchestra; Soul of a Nation by the Riverside County Philharmonic; How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place from Psalm 84, commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria at Temple Emanuel and St. John the Divine sung by a combined choir; Rashomon by Kyo-Shin Arts, Instruments of Revelation by Ballet Chicago and the Orion Ensemble, and the workshop performance of her opera Clara about Clara Schumann. Scenes from Bond’s opera Mrs. President were performed by the New York City Opera as part of VOX in 2001 and the complete opera was performed in concert by the Anchorage Opera in October 2012. Of the opera, Allan Kozinn in The New York Times wrote: “Victoria Bond has struck gold.” Bond’s Hanukkah opera Miracle! Was commissioned by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and will be premiered in 2016. She has composed eight operas, six ballets, two piano concertos and numerous orchestral, chamber, choral and keyboard compositions. Ms. Bond produces Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival in New York and is a frequent pre-concert lecturer for the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall and for the Metropolitan Opera’ HD simulcasts at Guild Hall. She has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and on NBC’s Today Show and featured in People magazine and in the New York Times. Her music is published by Theodore Presser, C.F. Peters, G. Schirmer, and Subito Music and recorded on the Koch International, Albany, GEGA, Protone, and Family Classic labels.
Bond has a masters and doctorate from the Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. Her teachers include Ingolf Dahl (composition, USC), William Vennard (voice, USC), Roger Sessions (composition Julliard), Jean Morel, James Conlon and Sixteen Ehrling (conducting, Juilliard), Leonard Slatkin and Herbert Blomstedt (conducting, Aspen) and Herbert von Karajan (master class, Juilliard). She has taught at Juilliard, The Conductor’s Institute, New York University and in the spring will design and teach online courses for Nyack College. She has honorary doctorates from Hollins and Roanoke Colleges, and Washington and Lee University. She was voted Woman of the Year, Virginia in 1990 and 1991.
Equally at home with both orchestral and vocal genres, Teresa Cheung is in frequent demand for symphonic, choral, and operatic productions in the US and Canada. Her recent conducting appearances include the Amarillo Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Bakersfield Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Portland Symphony, Regina Opera, Stamford Symphony, Western Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Besides maintaining an active schedule with professional orchestras, Cheung often appears as conductor for colleges and universities, with All State/All County orchestra festivals, and has served as a conducting clinician for Lincoln Center’s “Meet The Artist” program.
The 2016-2017 season marks Cheung’s ninth season as the Music Director and Conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. Recently Cheung made her conducting debut with the New York City Ballet, and is delighted to be making her first appearances with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta this season. A resident in New York City, Cheung was Resident Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra. While she was Assistant Conductor for the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape she was rehearsal/offstage conductor for a number of rarely performed operatic masterworks. Some of the most outstanding examples include the 2010’s highly acclaimed US premiere of Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, the first US fully-staged production of Robert Schumann’s Genoveva in 2006, and the 2004 production of Mark Blitzstein’s Regina.
Known for her creative concert programming, collaborative projects and outreach programs, Cheung is a passionate advocate for music education for all ages. Since the beginning of her tenure with the Altoona Symphony, Cheung has created numerous programs that engaged area children and high school musicians and choristers. The orchestra also performed in numerous occasions with university ensembles such as the ones from Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Juniata College on works such as Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9. Cheung’s vision of taking Altoona Symphony beyond Central Pennsylvania has led to a collaborative project with Pennsylvania Council for the Arts’ Commonwealth Speaker Karl Middleman in “Dvorak’s New World”, a Humanities on the Road program that was broadcasted throughout the state of Pennsylvania in December, 2011.
Cheung began her career as Resident Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, where she was also conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Evansville Philharmonic Chorus. Amongst her many initiatives, she led the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on its first international concert tour to Japan in 2002. A native of Hong Kong, Cheung received her Masters Degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. She is a recipient of the JoAnn Falletta Conducting Award for the most promising female conductors.
Young American conductor Brandon Keith Brown is quickly garnering international attention. As the 3rd Prize Winner of the 2012 Sir Georg Solti Competition for Conductors, his final performance found him “…the stand-out audience favorite…”(Norman Lebrecht) leading the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance characterized in klassik.com as an “… exciting affair.” Selected by the Vienna Philharmonic as winner of 2011 Ansbacher Fellowship, he was in residence at The Salzburg Festival, and conducted Vienna Philharmonic members in the opera camps for youth. In February, he made his New York debut with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra.
Orchestras conducted in concert include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, members of the Vienna Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Yakima Chamber Orchestra, the Macon Sinfonia, the Astoria Symphony and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. Other conducted orchestras include the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian Radio and Television Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Baltimore Symphony, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
Brown conducted at The 2010 Castleton Festival in Virginia USA under the direction of Lorin Maazel and at the 2009 American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, with David Zinman. Solely representing the United States, he competed in Zagreb Croatia at the 2011 Matacic International Competition for Young Conductors and second round of the 2012 Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen.
Versatile in opera, Brown has been music director for Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Suor Angelica, assistant for Britten’s Albert Herring and studied Puccini’s Il Trittico with Lorin Maazel. Previously, he served as cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony, Assistant Conductor at the Peabody Institute, and assistant conductor/fellow of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
Winner of the Peabody Career Grant, Mr. Brown holds a Master’s of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Initially trained as a violinist, he is a pupil of Roland and Almita Vamos. Primary conducting mentors and teachers include David Zinman, Lorin Maazel and Gustav Meier.
Christopher James Hisey has conducted throughout the United States, Europe and in Mexico. He has appeared with the Ruse Philharmonic, and the Plevin Philharmonic in Bulgaria as well as the St. Petersburg “Klassika” Symphony, formerly the Leningrad State Philharmonic Orchestra, in Russia.
Mr. Hisey is the Music Director and founder of the American Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra’s mission is to bring high quality music to the people of the community, as well as promote local artists through featuring them as soloists or premiering their work. The Orchestra has given three successful concert tours through Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy and Scotland, with a scheduled concert tour of Spain in the summer of 2012. The American Chamber Orchestra also sponsors a concerto competition every year, in which three young people are given the opportunity to play with an orchestra.
In addition to his duties with the American Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Hisey is the Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven. The Civic Orchestra was founded over 70 years ago and Mr. Hisey is only the 3rd person to be named as it’s Music Director.
A respected and sought after music educator Mr. Hisey’s is Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and conductor of their Principal Orchestra. The Youth Orchestras program consists of five ensembles and more than 250 young musicians ranging in ages from 4th grade to seniors in high school.
Mr. Hisey is in his second season as Music Director of the Orchestra and Professor of Conducting, and Orchestration at Manhattanville College, in Purchase, NY.
Committed to community service and out reach, Mr. Hisey just completed a project to raise money for the Pilot House, a non-profit organization that helps children with special needs by providing occupational, physical, and music therapy at affordable costs. This joint fundraising effort involved the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, and the Fairfield County Children’s Choirs and over 400 kids from around Connecticut performed together. Concert costs were covered by a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Mr Hisey also serves on the String Faculties of Greens Farms Academy, and the Westport School of Music.
Michael F. Tietz is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of The Broadway Bach Ensemble, a 50-piece orchestra on New York’s upper west side, which he founded in 1985. His conducting repertoire spans baroque, classical, romantic and 20th-century works. Mike has had the privilege of working with numerous professional musicians as soloists, including members of major New York orchestras and chamber ensembles.
Mike started his conducting activities at the University of Pennsylvania Law School Light Opera Company, which he founded in 1978. He is a member of New York’s Village Light Opera Group, where he has served as Music Director, Assistant Music Director, Chorus Master, member of the company/chorus, and orchestra member. Mike has pursued conducting studies with Michael Adelson, Diane Wittry and Joseph Gifford, and at conducting workshops in New York and Nevada.
An active ‘cellist and violist, Mike plays in numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in the New York City metropolitan area. He is also a bagpiper with the Mount Kisco Scottish Pipes and Drums, performing parades and shows in the tristate area.
Conductor Guerguan Tsenov has led most of the top orchestras in his native country Bulgaria: the Sofia Sate Philharmonic, New Symphony Orchestra, FM Classic Symphony Orchestra, Pazardjik Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the National Academy of Music in Sofia. Since moving to the United States in 1999 Mr. Tsenov has collaborated with orchestras such as AACA Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, Detroit Civic Orchestra, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and Juilliard Conductors’ Orchestra, among others. During the 2007-2008 season Mr. Tsenov served as a Resident Conductor of the NYU Symphony Orchestra, having performed with the orchestra works such as Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919), Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Bartok’s Viola Concerto and others. In the summer of 2007 Mr. Tsenov was invited to the Aspen Music Festival as a conducting fellow having the opportunity to perform with the AACA Orchestra in series of concerts.
Mr. Tsenov is a recipient of many awards and distinctions including the Award of the International Academy of Arts “for his contribution to the contemporary Bulgarian art”, as well as the Award of the Open Society Foundation “for his musical achievements.” He has been a finalist at two of the most prestigious international conducting competitions, Dimitris Mitropoulos in Athens and Gennady Rozhdestvensky in Sofia.
Mr. Tsenov holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School where he studied under the direction of James DePreist. Other conductors with whom he has closely collaborated are Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, George Manahan and Larry Rachleff. In addition to his degree from The Juilliard School he also holds a second Master’s Degree in Opera and Orchestral Conducting from The State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied with Vassil Kazandjiev.
Guerguan Tsenov is also an accomplished pianist with international career and numerous awards from international piano competitions. In Europe he has performed in Germany, France and Italy. In Bulgaria he has been broadcast on Bulgarian National Television, Bulgarian National Radio and has recorded for UNISON Records. He holds a master’s degree in piano performance from Montclair State University where he studied with Mark Pakman.
International conductor Diane Wittry specializes in conducting American music abroad, and is known in the United States for her innovative programming and her engaging audience rapport. During the past few seasons, she has conducted concerts in Japan, Canada, Bosnia, Russia, Slovakia, New York, Washington D.C, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and California, as well as her regularly scheduled concerts with the orchestras in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. She is known as a conductor who “specializes in finding creative ways to make the music fresh, accessible, and exciting.”
In the United States, Diane Wittry has led performances by, among others, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Little Orchestra Society of New York, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, San Diego, Houston, New Jersey, Santa Barbara, Augusta, Stockton, Pottstown, Wichita, and Wichita Falls; while her international engagements include concerts with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Russia’s Maikop and Sochi symphony orchestras, Slovakia’s State Orchestra-Kosice, Italy’s Sinfonia Dell’Arte di Firenze, Canada’s Niagara Symphony, and Japan’s Orchestra Osaka Symphony. She has also conducted at the music festivals of Ojai (CA), Penn’s Woods (PA), and I-Park (CT).
Diane Wittry was recently named the Artistic Director (USA) for the International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians through the Sarajevo Philharmonic (Bosnia) and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy for Arts and Sciences (Chicago). She is also the Music Director of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (PA), a professional orchestra that performs about 22 concerts per season. In the past, Diane Wittry has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Norwalk Symphony (CT), Artistic Director of the Ridgewood Symphony (NJ), and Music Director and Conductor of The Symphony of Southeast Texas (TX) where her artistic leadership garnered national attention.
Over the years, Diane Wittry has received many honors and awards, including the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Helen M. Thompson Award for outstanding artistic leadership of a regional orchestra. She has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times and Newsweek. Ms. Wittry received the Women of Excellence Award in Beaumont, Texas, the Arts Ovation Award and the Woman of Distinction Award from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Most recently, she became only the third American to be named – in recognition of her leadership in the arts and humanities – the recipient of the prestigious Fiorino Doro Award from the City of Vinci, Italy.
Her book Beyond the Baton, (Oxford University Press) about artistic leadership for young conductors and music director was recently re-released in paperback. It is the focus of a yearly International Conducting Workshop which helps emerging conductors put to practical use the elements in the book.
More information about Diane Wittry’s work is available at: www.DianeWittry.com
Richard studied conducting with Daniel Lewis and Henry Holt at the University of Southern California.
He was active in southern California opera companies. An interest in the music of Bach led Richard to study with Helmuth Rilling, who invited him to the Frankfurt Musikhochschule. Richard co-conducted the premiere of Robert Moran’s “Hagoromo” at Lehigh University, and was principal conductor of the Turnpike Camerata contemporary ensemble in New York.
Richard is music director and conductor of the Cornerstone Chorale, performing repertory from renaissance to contemporary. In addition, he was the conductor of the Third Street Music School Settlement Chamber Orchestra. Under Richard’s baton, they performed with acclaimed soloists, including Maxim Vengerov and Claude Frank. In 2000, the Chamber Orchestra performed, as one of four invited groups from all over the U.S. and Canada, at the conference of the Suzuki Association of the Americas in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Richard conducts the Sinfonia Orchestra at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division. In that past several years Richard has served as a guest conductor in Ottawa, Canada, at concerts for the Prime Minister, and has conducted at the National Arts Centre, with noted artists Anne Murray and Holly Cole.
Jonathan Schiffman is an exciting new presence in the musical world. Now in his second season as principal conductor of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Schiffman also maintains an active career in Europe where he serves as assistant conductor to both the Orchestre National de France and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Mr. Schiffman made his conducting debut in 2001 at age twenty-four with the Fort Worth Symphony. His success there led to his immediate reengagement for future concerts, as well as appearances with the Eugene Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Riva Music Festival (Italy), Florida West Coast Symphony, and National Symphony orchestras.
Mr. Schiffman, an active composer himself, has also been especially involved in new music. In 2001, he was invited to conduct the U.S. premiere of a work by avant-garde Italian composer Fausto Romitelli in Juilliard’s Focus Festival. Mr. Schiffman has since returned to conduct works by Zoltan Jeney and Stravinsky in subsequent Focus Festivals. More recently, Mr. Schiffman recorded young composer Sarana Choi’s flute concerto, which took first prize in the 2002 ASCAP Composers Contest.
A native of New York City, Mr. Schiffman began studying cello at age five. While an undergraduate at Yale, Mr. Schiffman was appointed music director of the Yale Bach Society Orchestra & Chorus. During his two-year tenure, Mr. Schiffman led the orchestra in the world premiere performance of Stravinsky’s last work, Four Preludes & Fugues.
Upon graduating from Yale with honors, Mr. Schiffman was accepted into the 1999 Aspen Music Festival Conducting Seminar. He returned the following year as a fellowship recipient. Mr. Schiffman received a masters degree from Juilliard in 2004, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller.
Mr. Schiffman currently resides in Paris, having spent the past year studying composition with Narcis Bonet as a Fulbright scholar.
Robert Alan Radmer lives in Austin, Texas, where in 1998 he founded and became Music Director of the Balcones Community Orchestra, now in its fourth season. He has conducted youth, festival, community and professional orchestras in ten states, and maintains an active schedule of high-school orchestra clinics and workshops.
Mr. Radmer’s primary conducting teacher is Gurer Aykal, and he has received additional training at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under the direction of David Zinman and Murray Sidlin.
Mr. Radmer holds the position of Instructor of Viola at Southwest Texas State University, and has served on the music faculties of the College of Saint Scholastica and Eastern New Mexico University, where he was Music Director of the ENMU Symphony Orchestra for ten seasons.
Mr. Radmer has performed as a violist with the Paganini Duo since 1981, and has been a member of chamber ensembles and orchestras in over two thousand performances in North America and Europe. This season he will serve as violist in the Arco Voce String Quartet in San Antonio and The Roundabouts in San Marcos, Principal Violist in the Sun Valley (ID) Orchestra and Chorale, and violist in the Broadway Bach Ensemble in New York City.