Brian Belet lives in Campbell, California (USA), with his partner and wife Marianne Bickett. He performs with the ensemble SoundProof using Kyma, viola, and bass. He has performed in symphony orchestras, rock and jazz bands, avant-garde ensembles, and a wide variety of recording sessions. He earned his DMA degree in composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. His music is recorded on the Centaur, Capstone, Frog Peak Music, IMG Media, Innova, PARMA/Ravello, SWR Music/Hänssler Classic, and the University of Illinois CD labels; with research published in Contemporary Music Review, Organised Sound, Perspectives of New Music, and Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference. To finance this real world Dr. Belet works as Professor of Music at San Jose State University.
Pianist and composer Keith Kirchoff has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Pacific Southwest. A strong advocate for modern music, Kirchoff has premiered over 100 new works and commissioned over two dozen compositions. As part of his commitment to fostering new audiences for contemporary music, Kirchoff has appeared at colleges and universities across the United States as a lecture-recitalist. He has played with orchestras throughout the U.S., performing a wide range of concerti, including the Boston premiere of Charles Ives's Emerson Concerto and the world premier of Matthew McConnell's Concerto for Toy Piano. Kirchoff has won awards from the Steinway Society, MetLife Meet the Composer, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and was named the 2011 Distinguished Scholar by the SMSA. Specializing on works which combine interactive electro-acoustics with solo piano, Kirchoff's Electro-Acoustic Piano Tour has been presented in eight countries, and the first album in the Electro-Acoustic Piano series was released in 2011 on Thinking outLOUD Records. He has also recorded on the New World, Zerx, Tantara, New Focus, and SEAMUS labels.
Janis Mercer is a pianist/composer/educator living in San Francisco, CA. She has been performing contemporary classical music for over thirty years, from Berg to Cage to living composers. She has been a featured performer and composer at the Knitting Factory, roulette, New Music Circle, Spectrum, Tom’s Place, San Francisco Center for New Music, and the Herbert Brün Society, in addition to performances at music conferences, festivals and universities. She has recorded music by Brian Belet and Paul Rudy and is in the process of releasing a CD of Anton Webern’s complete piano music on Centaur Records. (Ms. Mercer has a keen interest in the Second Viennese School and has performed Webern’s piano music and/or other chamber works throughout the United States.) Solo works have been written for her by Zack Browning, Erik Lund, Brian Belet, and Jim McManus and she commissioned chamber works through her schwungvoll ensemble. Ms. Mercer is an active chamber musician and accompanist as well, and has performed music by Komitas, Eisler, Hindemith, Berg, Webern, Bartók, Harding, Cage, and more. She recently achieved a longtime dream to perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Part I, for four hands (with Hadley McCarroll) and plans to perform Part II in the soon. Ms. Mercer holds residencies at Villa Montalvo, Ragdale, Centrum and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. She teaches piano and composition and believes mentoring is vital for young musicians. Her website is www.janismercer.com.
Stephen Ruppenthal is Principal Trumpet and Contemporary Music Advisor for the Redwood Symphony (CA). Ruppenthal was a founding member of the Electric Weasel Ensemble, has written articles for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and composes and performs text-sound composition. Ruppenthal holds a M.A. degree in contemporary musicology from San Jose State University, where he studied with Allen Strange and Lou Harrison. He held academic university positions, then later worked as Senior Technical Director for Oracle, BEA, Adobe, and Sony. Ruppenthal released an album of music for trumpet and electronics, Flamethrower, on Ravello Records, containing works composed for him by Brian Belet, Bruno Liberda, Elainie Lillios, and Allen Strange. He a founding member, along with Patricia Strange and Brian Belet, of the electro-acoustic music group, SoundProof. As a champion of contemporary music, Ruppenthal has performed at ICMC, SEAMUS, and KISS festivals.
Patricia Strange is an active performer of contemporary violin literature and has concertized throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Ms. Strange has held positions in the orchestras of the San Diego Symphony, Opera San Jose, San Jose Ballet, and was Principle Second Violin with the San Jose Symphony. She and her late husband, Allen Strange have published a book entitled The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques, available from Scarecrow Press. She currently lives on Bainbridge Island, WA., where she performs chamber music as well as serving as concertmaster of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra.
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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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