Earning widespread notice for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores, Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and “immediately captures one’s attention with its strong gesture and vitality” (American Academy of Arts and Letters). Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Fromm Foundation commission, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Stoeger Award, given biennially "in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory", and an Academy award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Jalbert has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources, from plainchant melodies to natural phenomena. His music has been performed worldwide in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Barbican. Recent orchestral performances include those by the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Louis Langrée. His Violin Concerto was recently premiered by a consortium of three orchestras and soloists; Steven Copes with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Margaret Batjer with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Frank Almond with the Milwaukee Symphony. His recent orchestral song cycle, From Dusk to Starry Night, written for mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke, was recently performed in Montreal with the Orchestre Métropolitain, under the baton of Cristian Macelaru. He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the California Symphony under Barry Jekowsky, and Music in the Loft in Chicago. Select chamber music commissions and performances include those of the Ying, Borromeo, Maia, Enso, Chiara, Escher, Del Sol, and Emerson String Quartets, and violinist Midori. Three new CDs of his music have been recently released: Violin Concerto, with Margaret Batjer and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Kahane, Piano Quintet and Secret Alchemy, performed by the Jupiter String Quartet and Bernadette Harvey, piano, and Piano Trio No. 2, performed by the Morgenstern Piano Trio.
Jalbert is Professor of Music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, and he is a co-founder of Musiqa, a Houston-based new music collective. His music is published by Schott Helicon Music Corporation, New York.
Honduran violinist/violist Jackson Guillen is currently the Director of the El Sistema-based CODA Music Program of the Houston Youth Symphony, an organization for which Jackson also serves as the Conductor of the Debut String Orchestra. Additionally, Mr. Guillen has a position as professor of violin and viola at Lone Star College-Tomball. Dr. Guillen completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the University of Southern Mississippi and Texas Tech University where he studied with Dr. Stephen Redfield and Dr. Kirsten Yon respectively. He also received his Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the University of Houston where he continued his studies with Dr. Kirsten Yon.
Jackson has performed in venues in United States, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, and Chile, and has toured most countries of Latin America with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA). He has served as Principal Second Violin of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. He also serves regularly as guest concertmaster of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Jackson completed a two-year Young Artist Fellowship with Da Camera of Houston. In the same area, he also performs regularly with professional chamber ensembles in the city. In 2016 he co-founded the Terra Nostra Ensemble, an innovative chamber music group that aims to promote and perform music by Latin American and Iberian composers. The Terra Nostra Ensemble serves as the Ensemble-in-residence at Houston Baptist University.
As an arts entrepreneur Jackson plays an important role in the yearly organization of the Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas, a string-focused festival that takes place in Honduras. In 2012 Jackson was accepted as a member of the first generation of the Global Leaders Program participating in missions in Honduras, El Salvador, and Chicago.
Mr. Guillen has also been invited as guest artist to the International Music Festival in Medellin, Colombia, The International Music Festival in Naolinco, Mexico, the Victoria-Bach Festival, the Quartz Mountain Music Festival, the Texas Music Festival, and the Masterworks Festival Orchestra among others.
Texas New Music Ensemble is dedicated to the enrichment of Texas communities through the performance of contemporary art music created by Texas composers and performed by Texas musicians.
TNME makes an unique contribution to the new music scene in Texas. The organization's focus on Texas composers connects audiences with what's going here and now. The roster of outstanding performers are always up for any challenge. The concerts, expertly curated by Artistic Director Chad Robinson, just keep getting better and better. Texas composers are producing outstanding new music, and TNME is there to share the best with the audience. - Sherry Cheng (she cannot represent ACTX with this quote since it is not for publication, but people can google her if they'd like to know who she is). Feel free to edit for length as needed.
Houston native, Dr. Chad Robinson, is the Artistic Director and founder of Texas New Music Ensemble, a Houston-based, mixed chamber ensemble focused solely on the work of Texas composers. As a composer, he has worked with many other prestigious ensembles and soloists, such as: Ethel, Lontano, The Jack Quartet, The Parker Quartet, Musiqa, George Vosburgh, Mary Dullea, and Emma Steele. His music is regularly performed throughout the world and he has received multiple awards and grants throughout his career, including: 1st Prize in the CMU Orchestral Composition Competition, 2nd Prize in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Composition Competition, KCL Music Research Grant, and the KCL Arts and Humanities Research Grant. Chad has learned from some of America’s and Europe’s most distinguished composers, including Marcus Maroney (University of Houston - BM), Leonardo Balada (Carnegie Mellon University - MM), and Rob Keeley (King’s College, London - PhD). He currently serves on the faculty of Texas Southern University. His works are recorded by Navona Records.
The Terra Nostra Ensemble is Houston's innovative ensemble dedicated to the performance, promotion, and preservation of music by Latin-American and Iberian composers.
Born out of the necessity to establish a Houston-based musical group that would speak to the heritage of the area’s sizeable Latino population, the Terra Nostra Ensemble has captivated audiences with vibrant performances that included works by Villa-Lobos, Turina, Atehortua, Anton Garcia Abril, Gabriela Ortiz, Enrique Granados, Abelardo Valdez, Manuel de Ponce, Miguel Bernal Jiménez, and the premiere in the United States of the Piano Trio by Honduran composer Jorge Santos. The ensemble also frequently performs arrangements by founding violinist, Mauricio Oliveros, of popular and traditional songs.
Newly appointed as the Ensemble-in-Residence at Houston Baptist University, Terra Nostra is dedicated to education as well as performance. In addition to being 2017 Guest Artists for the the Festival South Chamber Music and Orchestral Academy in Hattiesburg Mississippi, where they worked alongside with the Grammy-Award winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the ensemble has performed educational concerts at institutions such as the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, and has presented a Latin American Arts Festival at the Wharton Dual Language Academy.
The 2019-2020 Season will bring the Terra Nostra Ensemble’s New York City debut as a featured ensemble in the Latin American Cultural Week in NYC (LACW).