A classically trained composer with an ongoing fascination for popular culture, Philip Thompson's music explores a wide array of styles, from his baroque-metal professional wrestling opera The Final Battle for Love to the intimate and introspective Nocturnes for string trio. His compositions have been performed by IonSound Project, Thompson Street Opera, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, violinist Roger Zahab, and bassist Andrew Kohn among others. Performances of his work have taken place in venues including the Virginia Arts Festival, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Centre for Intercultural Music at Churchill College (UK), Music on the Edge, The Listening Room (Grand Valley State University), and Concordia University’s EuCuE (Montreal). His work has been supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and the Sprout Fund.
Thompson was born in Baltimore and grew up in Forest Hill, Maryland. He received his early musical training through Harford County’s excellent public education system and Peabody Conservatory’s preparatory school studying trombone and composition. Thompson completed his undergraduate work at Oberlin Conservatory where he studied trombone with Per Brevig and Raymond Premru and composition with Michael Daugherty. He earned his MA and PhD in composition and theory from the University of Pittsburgh where his principal teachers were Mathew Rosenblum, Eric Moe, David Keberle, and Anne LeBaron.
Thompson lives in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood with is wife, two children, and a miniature poodle named Tonks. Along with composing, he runs his own recording studio where he makes a point of producing as many genres as he possibly can.
IonSound Project comprises flutist Peggy Yoo, clarinetist Kathleen Costello, violinist Laura Motchalov, cellist Elisa Kohanski, and pianists Rob Frankenberry and Jack Kurutz. IonSound seeks to add to Pittsburgh's cultural life by programming innovative concerts, commissioning works of new music, collaborating with artists in a variety of disciplines, and exploring the boundaries between concert and popular music. The members represent some of the most in-demand young musicians in the Pittsburgh area. Collectively, they perform with such ensembles as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Wheeling Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and have also appeared with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Akron Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Praised by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for “exemplary taste” in programming and for playing that “generates sparks,” IonSound has sought to include a commissioned work or premiere on almost every program; including premieres of works by Roger Zahab, Philip Thompson, Jeremy Beck, Jonathan Kolm, Daniel Perttu, Nizan Leibovich, and Jed Distler.
Engaging and experimental collaborations with artists in other disciplines are an essential part of IonSound Project's programming and performance. Collaborators have included poet Barbara Edelmann, actor Benjamin Greenstone, filmmaker Chris Ivey, dancers from Attack Theater and KNOTDance, photographer Charles Biddle, environmental artists Lauren Braun and Amy Rappa, and singer/songwriters Heather Kropf and Mark Dignam.
A native of Québec City, Canada, Marylène Gingras-Roy has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1997. She is an avid chamber music performer and was featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2012 and 2013 and with the Duquesne University Orchestra in 2015. She has taught at summer music festivals including Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Italy, Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh, and Zodiac Music Festival in France.
She studied at Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both viola and chamber music. As a recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councilsʼ Scholarship Grants, she was able to attend the Harid Conservatory with Victoria Chiang and the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale, where she earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.
Ryan Socrates is a musician, producer and digital media consultant. By combining acoustic hand percussion and electronically triggered drum sounds, Ryan’s unique approach to drumset gives him the opportunity to perform an eclectic range of music. Notable musical achievements include playing for the Henry Mancini Institute, recording and touring with rising singer/songwriter Joy Ike, and co-leading his group Trio+. His production credits include writing creative arrangements and transcriptions for studio recording artists and engaging live performances. Ryan has lectured in jazz, theory, and American Music and led percussion and steel band ensembles at Slippery Rock University, Duquesne University, and the PA Governor’s School for the Arts. He counts both his teachers and colleagues at Ithaca College and the University of Miami as important mentors and friends. Ryan develops apps in music, commerce, and productivity and also designs percussion instruments and accessories.
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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