Gilbert Kalish, Piano
Gilbert Kalish leads a musical life of unusual variety and breadth. His profound influence on the musical community as educator, and as pianist in myriad performances and recordings, has established him as a major figure in American music making.
A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, Mr. Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabella Vengerova. He has been the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players since 1969 and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; a group devoted to new music that flourished during the 1960's and 70's. He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world's most distinguished chamber ensembles. His thirty-year partnership with the great mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani was universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of our time. He maintains long-standing duos with the cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and he appears frequently with soprano Dawn Upshaw.
As educator he is Leading Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1968-1997 he was a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center and served as the "Chairman of the Faculty" at Tanglewood from 1985-1997. He often serves as guest faculty at distinguished music institutions such as the Banff Centre and the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and is renowned for his master class presentations.
Mr. Kalish's discography of some 100 recordings encompasses classical repertory, 20th Century masterworks and new compositions. Of special note are his solo recordings of Charles Ives' Concord Sonata and Sonatas of Joseph Haydn, an immense discography of vocal music with Jan DeGaetani and landmarks of the 20th Century by composers such as Carter, Crumb, Shapey and Schoenberg. In 1995 he was presented with the Paul Fromm Award by the University of Chicago Music Department for distinguished service to the music of our time.
Augusta Read Thomas, Composer
Augusta Read Thomas (born in 1964 in New York), was Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1997-2006) and, until 2008, Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, on which she has served for the past five years. Her works have been performed and commissioned by such ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz, David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, and Dennis Russell Davies, and soloists Lang Lang, David Finckel, Rachel Barton, and Norman Fischer.
Upcoming projects include Helios Choros a triptych for orchestra (2006-2007) jointly commissioned by the Dallas Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a new violin concerto, co-commissioned by Festival Présences with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the BBC Proms, and the Philadelphia Orchestra to be premiered in January 2009 with Frank-Peter Zimmermann, violin soloist will be premiered in the Salle Pleyel, Paris, and a new orchestral work commissioned by the Juilliard School scheduled to premiere in Fall 2009.
Augusta Read Thomas has formerly held tenured faculty positions at Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and also participatesd in artist residences and festivals at Cornell University, Bowling Green State University, Smith College, and the New England Conservatory. She studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, and with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University.