A citation accompanying Shih-Hui Chen’s Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters states: “Among the composers of Asian descent living in the U.S.A., Shih-Hui Chen is most successful in balancing the very refined spectral traditions of the East with the polyphonic practice of Western art-music. In a seamless narrative, her beautiful music, always highly inventive and expressive, is immediately as appealing as it is demanding and memorable.” According to the New Music Box review of 66 Times (Albany Records), Chen “…completely blurs the line between traditional Chinese music and contemporary American composition.” Her most recent CD, Returning Souls (New World), was hailed by Wire Magazine for its “deep musical intelligence.”
Born in Taiwan, Shih-Hui Chen has lived in the United States since 1982 and received her doctorate from Boston University. In addition to garnering a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Harvard/Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Scholar, a Fulbright Senior Scholar and an American Academy in Rome Prize, her compositions have been performed widely throughout the U.S. and abroad, including China, Japan, England, Germany, and Italy. Chen’s compositions have brought her into contact with many orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Utah Symphony. Her chamber music has been presented by the Arditti Quartet, Network for New Music, Voices of Change, and the Freon Ensemble in Rome, Italy. Chen’s work has also been the subject of analysis by scholars such as German ethnomusicologist Barbara Mittler, who wrote Chen’s biographical entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Chen currently serves on Asia Society Texas Center’s Performing Arts & Culture Committee. She is the director of 21C: Contemporary Cross-Culture Asian Music Festival and a Professor of Composition and Theory at The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. Recent projects include a 45 minute site-specific work for the Cy Twombly Gallery at the Menil Collection; Withholding the Umbrella for the Chinese Orchestra; Ten Thousand Blooms, Falling Petals for the Pacific Rim Music Festival; and Messages From a Paiwan Village, a 75-minute storytelling musical drama. Her music can be heard on Albany Records, New World Records, and Bridge Records.
Rice University: https://music.rice.edu/faculty/shih-hui-chen
American percussionist Cameron Leach is a bold, high-energy performer acclaimed for his expressive virtuosity, musical athleticism, and daring interpretations. An engaging and thoughtful soloist, Leach has concertized across the United States, Canada, and Europe. He frequently appears as a guest artist at some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and Norwegian Academy of Music. Leach recently won both the Percussive Arts Society International Solo Artist Competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, in addition to receiving the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Along with his active touring schedule, he regularly performs with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and serves on the faculty of Kent State University. Leach is endorsed by Black Swamp Percussion, Beetle Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Malletech.
Highlights from the 2017-2018 season include the debut of his new electroacoustic solo show ELISION, a European Tour as Co-Principal of the World Percussion Group, the world premiere of Paul Lansky’s Metal Light for the Percussive Arts Society, and a performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he performed Peter Maxwell Davies’ seminal Eight Songs for a Mad King with Ensemble id, a Rochester, NY-based chamber collective. His latest project, the Leach | Peters Percussion Duo, debuted on the Eastman Summer Concert Series in July 2018.
Leach’s 2018-2019 season is marked by a diverse array of solo appearances, guest artist engagements, and world premieres. Kicking off with a performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, Leach then embarks on recital and clinic tours of California, Florida, and the Midwest, featuring newly commissioned solo works by David Skidmore and Matt Curlee. In March 2019, Leach will give the world premiere of Dave Maric’s Percussion Concerto, commissioned for him by the Capital University Conservatory of Music. To close out the season, Leach will serve on faculty at the MalletLab Summer Intensive in West Palm Beach, FL, and will spend a week in residence as the featured artist for the Space City New Music Festival in Houston, TX.
Devoted to the creation and performance of new music, Leach continues to commission diverse works for solo percussion, with a focus on the inclusion of electronics. During his time at the Eastman School of Music, the institution supported his vision through the Eastman/ArtistShare Partnership, allowing Leach to organize a commissioning consortium for Decay No. 2, a massive electroacoustic solo work by Matt Curlee. Other premieres include pieces by composers Michael Burritt, Paul Lansky, Jeff Tyzik, Alejandro Viñao, Annie Gosfield, Tim Feeney, Jon Lin Chua, and Frédéric Chiasson.
Leach makes regular appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, having performed with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and on the Competition Winner’s Showcase Concert in 2017, on the Focus Day Series and as a member of the All-Star International Percussion Ensemble in 2015, and with the Rhythm X Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2011. In addition to his work as a concert artist, Leach also has a strong background in marching percussion, having won world titles with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and Rhythm X.
Daryl Robinson has earned critical acclaim as a solo and collaborative artist, described by London-based Choir and Organ Magazine as a performer with “…a driving muscular poetry underpinned by nimble technique and nuanced sense of style…” Winner of both First Prize and Audience Prize in the 2012 American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Performance, Mr. Robinson maintains an active career as a teacher, collaborative artist, church musician, and recitalist under the auspices of Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.
Notable recital venues include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), the Shanghai Oriental Art Center (Shanghai, China), Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (Poitiers, France), Baylor University (Waco, TX), Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), and the 2013 and 2016 Spreckels International Summer Organ Festival (San Diego, CA). Mr. Robinson has also been a featured artist for recent national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, including Boston (2014), St. Louis (2015), and Houston (2016), where his performances were praised by The American Organist Magazine as demonstrating “...flawless technique and rhythmic verve…” His collaborative career has included performances with the Houston Symphony and Chorus, Mercury Baroque, the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival®, and serving as Collaborative Keyboard Artist for Houston’s two internationally-acclaimed choral ensembles: the Houston Chamber Choir and the University of Houston Moores School of Music Concert Chorale. In the summer of 2016, he served as Organist-in-Residence for the Choral Institute at the University of Oxford in England.
Multiple critically acclaimed commercial discs featuring Mr. Robinson are available, including his debut solo album,Sempre Organo (ProOrgano Records), which was released in 2013 and quickly garnered rave reviews internationally. Selections from the disc have been heard on nationally syndicated radio programs, including Pipedreams® and With Heart and Voice. Collaborative recordings include: Carolae - Music for Christmas (Naxos Records), recorded with the GRAMMY®-nominated Williamson Voices of Westminster Choir College and conductor James Jordan, and As you set out for Ithaka (Albany Records), featuring music of David Ashley White performed by the Moores School Concert Chorale under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber. Committed to routinely commissioning new solo and collaborative works featuring the organ, recent works include: Fantasy on a Theme of Gustav Holst, 2016 (Aaron David Miller), Two Scherzos, 2016 (Jason Roberts), Rumba for Organ, Percussion and Dancers, 2015 (George Baker), Great is Thy Faithfulness for Organ and Tenor, 2015 (Tom Trenney), Concert Variations on ‘Nicaea’, 2014 (David Briggs), andCome, Pure Hearts: Introduction, Theme, and Variations, 2012 (David Ashley White).
In 2017, Mr. Robinson was appointed Assistant Professor and Director of Organ Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and joined the ministry staff of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) as Cathedral Organist. He holds degrees from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University; his major teachers include Robert Bates, Ken Cowan, and David Higgs. Previous positions have included Organist & Artist-in-Residence for South Main Baptist Church in Houston, TX and Assistant Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.
Hub New Music is “one of the most talked about younger contemporary classical ensembles” (Oregon ArtsWatch). With its unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, the ensemble of “intrepids” (WQXR, New York) has been praised for performances of adventurous repertoire that are “gobsmacking and perfectly played” (Cleveland Classical), with the Boston Globe encouraging audiences, "next time the group offers a concert, go, listen, and be changed."
The ensemble celebrates the fluidity and diversity of voices in today’s classical music landscape, and has championed the works of leading composers such as Mason Bates, Matthew Aucoin, Anna Clyne, Kati Agócs, Nico Muhly, Robert Honstein, Laura Kaminsky, Angel Lam, and more. Highlights for the 2018/19 season include festival appearances at the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music Festival (Bowling Green, OH), Sacramento State Festival of New American Music, Blue Sage Arts Center Modern Music Festival (Paonia, CO), Connecticut Summerfest (Hartford, CT) and Space City New Music Festival (Houston, TX); new quartets by award-winning composers Kati Agócs and Matthew Aucoin; and its international debut in mainland Japan with the Silkroad Ensemble’s Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi).
Also fueled by the spirit of collaboration, Hub New Music has brought several large-scale initiatives into fruition in addition to its quartet programming. These include Matsuri, an evening length collaboration with shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki and the Asia/America New Music Institute (AANMI); a 25 minute collaborative work with the renown composer/harpist Hannah Lash slated for Spring 2020; and Blue, a geo-politically charged music & dance film program with the Wilder Project that debuted at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For its visionary programming as both a quartet and as collaborative artists, HNM was named one of WQXR’s (NYC Classical Radio) "10 Cutting-Edge Artists That Have Captured the Imagination" in 2016.
Hub New Music is a group of passionate educators whose approach to teaching places contemporary music within the context of a centuries old yet rapidly evolving musical tradition. Working with student performers and composers alike at residencies across the country, HNM trains future generations of contemporary artists and places strong emphasis on arts entrepreneurship as a vital component of a musical education. Hub New Music has held and looks toward residencies at the New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, Lehigh University, Cleveland State University, Washington & Lee University, Texas State at San Marcos, and several others.
Hub New Music owes thanks to its supporters including the Cricket Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, the Florence & Joseph Mandel Family Foundation, Johnstone Fund for New Music, Alice Ditson Fund for Contemporary Music at Columbia University, and New England Conservatory Office of Entrepreneurial Musicianship. The ensemble’s name is inspired by its founding city of Boston and the notion that a hub is a center of innovation.