We’re so thrilled to release David Conte’s 2-disc vocal album Everyone Sang, on the Arsis label, a project which has been several years in the making. The performers on this album are all very accomplished, so we wanted to make this post to give them all a shout-out and share their bios.
[In order of appearance on the album]
Brian Thorsett, Tenor
Hailed as “a strikingly gifted tenor, with a deeply moving, unblemished voice” (sfmusicjournal.com), tenor Brian Thorsett excels in opera, oratorio and recital across the world. He has been seen and heard across the US and Europe in over 100 roles and a fosters a stylistically diversified oratorio repertoire of over 250 works. An avid recitalist, Brian is closely associated with expanding the vocal-chamber genre and has premiered over 100 works, including those of David Conte, Ian Venables, Shinji Eshima, Stacy Garrop, Scott Gendel, Gordon Getty, Brian Holmes, Eric Choate, Joseph Stillwell, Gregory Zavracky, Michel Bosc and Peter Josheff. His recordings include Transpire (works of Daron Hagen), two song cycles on David Conte’s forthcoming vocal album, Remebering the Voice of Firestone and several as a member of the award winning Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. Brian has also been heard in commercials and movies as the voice for SoundIron’s library Voice of Rapture: Tenor. He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist program, American Bach Soloists’ Academy, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Music Academy of the West. Brian is currently Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts.
John Churchwell, Piano
One of the leading collaborative pianists of his generation, John Churchwell enjoys a career on the concert stage as well as in the nation’s leading opera houses.
In 2011, Mr. Churchwell was named Head of Music for San Francisco Opera. Prior to that Mr. Churchwell spent fourteen years as an assistant conductor for both the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera. In that time he has assisted on more than 95 productions and has collaborated with some of the world’s leading conductors. Since 2000, Mr. Churchwell has spent his summers teaching at the Music Academy of the West working with young singers and pianists.
On the recital stage, Mr. Churchwell has partnered some of today’s most sought-after vocalists including Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Diana Damrau, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Carol Vaness, David Pittsinger, and Patricia Schuman. Recent appearances include his debut with San Francisco Symphony and the Mondavi Center for Performing Arts with tenor Michael Fabiano as well as Prairie Home Companion at the Hollywood Bowl with soprano Ellie Dehn.
A native of Knoxville, TN, Mr. Churchwell is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.
Kindra Scharich, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano Kindra Scharich has been praised by The San Francisco Chronicle for her “exuberant vitality”, “fearless technical precision”, “deep- rooted pathos” and “irrepressible musical splendor.” As a dedicated recitalist, she has given solo recitals the The American Composer’s Forum, The Wagner Society, Lieder Alive and Sala Cecilia Meireles. In May 2018 she and the Alexander String Quartet will record new arrangements of the great orchestral Lieder of Mahler (Rückert, Kindertotenlieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) and in the summer of 2018, Ms. Scharich will return to Brazil, where she and pianist Ricardo Ballestero will concertize songs of Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno and his contemporaries, which until now have remained in relative obscurity. In the world of opera, Ms. Scharich has sung over 25 roles in the lyric mezzo repertoire. Enthusiastic about working with living composers, she has frequently collaborated with David Conte, Kurt Erickson and Janis Mattox.
Kevin Korth, Piano
Since graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s renowned Chamber Music program in 2008, Kevin Korth has held a position at the Conservatory as both collaborative pianist and vocal coach. Now an in-demand recitalist and coach in the Bay Area, he has collaborated with artists such as Robert Mann, Axel Strauss, Joel Krosnick, Frederica von Stade, Suzanne Mentzer, Nadine Sierra, Lise Lindstrom, Marnie Breckenridge, Kristen Clayton, and Brian Asawa. This fall, Mr. Korth released his debut album Out of the Shadows, a CD of American art song with soprano Lisa Delan and cellist Matt Haimovitz for Pentatone Classics. Recorded at Skywalker Ranch, the album features premieres by Jack Perla, Gordon Getty, and David Garner, in addition to previously unrecorded works by Norman Dello Joio, Paul Nardoff, and John Kander.
Emil Miland, Cello
Cellist Emil Miland is an acclaimed soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. He made his solo debut at age 16 with the San Francisco Symphony, the same year he was selected to perform in the Rostropovich Master Classes at UC Berkeley. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America. He has been a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1988 and has collaborated with Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, and the late Zheng Cao and Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. In 2010 Miland was invited by von Stade to perform with her at Carnegie Hall for her farewell recital.
Many composers have written and dedicated works for him, including Ernst Bacon, David Carlson, David Conte, Shinji Eshima, John Grimmett, Lou Harrison, Jake Heggie, Richard Hervig, Andrew Imbrie, James Meredith and Dwight Okamura. Recordings include David Carlson’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Utah Symphony on New World Records and his Sonata for Cello and Piano with David Korevaar on MSR Records. Miland is featured on David Conte’s recently released CD of chamber music for Albany Records, on which he performs Conte’s Concerto for Violoncello and Piano (written for Miland) with Miles Graber, as well as Conte’s Piano Trio with violinist Kay Stern and pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi. This recording has been met with critical acclaim, with reviewers praising Miland’s “impeccable playing in terms of both technique and taste,” and lauding him for “extracting every ounce of passion from this passionate work.” Miland is featured on many of Jake Heggie’s recordings, beginning with the RCA Red Seal CD The Faces of Love: The Songs of Jake Heggie and, most recently, the 2013 release Here/After: Songs of Lost Voices on Pentatone.
Miland is presented in “The Heart of a Bell,” a film by Eric Theirmann and Aleksandra Wolska, performing Smirti, a haunting elegy for cello, Tibetan chimes and bells with the Sonos Handbell Ensemble. Miland joined Sonos in December 2012 as a soloist on their nine city tour of Japan. He also appears in the 2012 documentary “Lou Harrison: A World of Music” by Eva Soltes. In 2013 he made his Paris recital debut under the auspices of The European American Alliance. Earlier this year, Miland toured to Hawaii and Australia performing chamber music and in July was presented in recital at The Bear Valley Music Festival. He performs on Love Life, a recording featuring soprano Ann Moss and music by Jake Heggie, Liam Wade and Joni Mitchell. He performs regularly as a member of The Lowell Trio with Janet Archibald, oboe, and Margaret Fondbertasse, piano.
Matt Boehler, Bass
Hailed by The New York Times as, “a bass with an attitude and the good to back it up,” Matt Boehler is a singer equally at home on the international opera stage, as well as the concert platform. He has appeared as a principal artist with The Metropolitan Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Theater St. Gallen, and Canadian Opera Company, as well as the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the New York Festival of Song, among many others. Frequently in demand as a collaborator and interpreter of new music, his discography features several world premieres. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, he trained as an actor at Viterbo College, an opera singer at Juilliard, and as a composer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he received his Master of Music studying with David Conte.
A. J. Glueckert, Tenor
Tenor A. J. Glueckert is a former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow who made his Company debut in various roles in the world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in 2013. Other Company appearances include Mr. Knox in Dolores Claiborne, the Steersman in Der Fliegende Holländer, Ambrogio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Barber of Seville for Families, Flavio in Norma, Elder Gleaton in Susannah, and the Chief Magistrate in Un Ballo in Maschera. Glueckert is an alumnus of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where he performed Mr. Owen in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. Upcoming engagements include Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and roles with the Glyndebourne Festival and English National Opera. In the 2014–15 season he was seen as the Prince (Rusalka) with Frankfurt Opera. As a former resident artist with Minnesota Opera, Glueckert was heard as Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and also created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Puts’s Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the young artists programs at Santa Fe Opera and Utah Opera. A two-time winner of the regional Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, he holds a degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and appeared as the Drum Major (Wozzeck) with Opera Parallèle in San Francisco.
James Moore, English Horn
James A. Moore III was appointed Professor of Oboe and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2001. As a performer, he can be heard with the San Francisco Ballet and Opera orchestras, the California Symphony, and frequently with the San Francisco Symphony with whom he’s recorded and toured extensively. In addition to his work at the Conservatory, he is a coach for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has also taught at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Aspen School of Music, where he was assistant to John de Lancie. Mr. Moore received B.A. and B.M. degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music and an M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory. He has performed for the national touring productions of Ragtime, Aida, James Joyce’s The Dead, Beauty and the Beast and Fiddler on the Roof as well as the world premiere of Wicked. His teachers were James Caldwell and John de Lancie.
Scott Macomber, Trumpet
Scott Macomber has served as Acting 2nd Trumpet of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since August of 2016. Scott frequently appears with the San Francisco Symphony and Ballet Orchestras in addition to maintaining permanent positions in the Santa Rosa Symphony, California Symphony and Sacramento Philharmonic. A regular in the Skywalker Symphony, Scott has appeared in several commercial game recordings and soundtracks. Currently Scott is on faculty at California State University, East Bay. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Marika Kuzma, Conductor
Conductor Marika Kuzma is a versatile artist with a particular sensitivity to text in music. Her performances have been praised as “electric” (New York Times) and “beautifully nuanced” (SF Chronicle). As the director of choirs at the University of California, Berkeley for twenty-five years, she led ensembles in performances of works ranging from the Machaut Lais de la fonteinne to Monteverdi Vespers, Bach B minor mass, Brahms Requiem, Stravinsky Svadebka, Reich Tehillim, Feldman Rothko Chapel, to premieres of new works. Her recordings have been released on the Wild Boar, Koch International, and Naxos labels. She has also been a chorusmaster for luminary conductors including Gustavo Dudamel (Simon Bolivar Orchestra), Nicholas McGegan (Philharmonia Baroque), Kent Nagano (Montreal Symphony), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (Philharmonia Orchestra). Of Ukrainian descent, she is an internationally recognized and published scholar-interpreter of Slavic choral music. Marika has also appeared as an actor in various roles on stages such as La Mama Theater in New York City and the Berkeley Repertory Theater.
Marnie Breckenridge, Soprano
From Bel Canto heroines to the comic and modern leading ladies, acclaimed soprano Marnie Breckenridge is enjoying a career throughout the US, Europe and South America in opera, concert and recording. She has sung with the San Francisco Opera, The English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival, Bard Music Festival, Arizona Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Prague State Opera, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Teatro Sao Paulo, Opera Parallèlè, National Sawdust, San Francisco Symphony and many other US and European houses. As a favored interpreter of living composers’ music, her in-depth portrayals and excellent musicianship have established her as a go-to performer of critically acclaimed new works with her “lovely soprano” voice (The New York Times), “lyrical poignancy and dramatic power” (The Chicago Tribune). Recent favorite roles include, LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Mother in Little’s, DOG DAYS, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, La Princesse in Glass’, ORPHÉE, Margarita Xirgu in Golijov’s, AINADAMAR, and Cunegonde in CANDIDE deemed “simply terrific” (Opera Magazine UK). She trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in voice (MM) and at The American Conservatory Theatre in drama.
Nicole Paiement, Conductor
Nicole Paiement has an international reputation as a conductor of contemporary music and opera. As Artistic Director of Opera Parallèle in San Francisco, Paiement has been responsible for helming the world or American premiere of many new works. Under her baton, the company has earned rave reviews for its innovative work in Contemporary Opera. Paiement is Principal Guest Conductor at The Dallas Opera where she also serves as mentor for The Dallas Opera’s new Institute for Women Conductors. She is an active guest conductor and has recently appeared with the Glimmerglass Festival, Saratoga Opera, The Atlanta Opera, The Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Upcoming engagements include debuts at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and a return to Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass and The Dallas Opera. Her numerous recordings include many world premieres, including David Conte’s “The Gift of the Magi” (Arsis Audio CD 141). Last year, Paiement was awarded the American Composer’s Forum “Champion of the New Music” Award, for her outstanding contribution to New Music. She also holds the Jean and Josette Deleage Distinguished Chair in New Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Ann Moss, Soprano
Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music who collaborates with a dynamic array of living composers. Her high, silvery, flexible voice has been singled out by Opera News for “beautifully pure floated high notes” and by San Francisco Classical Voice for “powerful expression” and “luminous tone.” Her newest solo album Love Life (Angels Share Records, 2016), produced and recorded by multi-GRAMMY® award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, features music of Jake Heggie, Liam Wade, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Lennon/McCartney with pianists Heggie and Steven Bailey, cellist Emil Miland, violinist Isaac Allen, and GRAMMY® award winning ensemble Chanticleer. Moss has also recorded on PARMA, Naxos, Albany, Navona Records and Jaded Ibis Productions labels. In addition to working closely with well-known composers such as John Harbison, Kaija Saariaho and Aaron Jay Kernis, Ann seeks out and performs music by emerging voices at forums and festivals across the USA. As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, Moss has been personally responsible for the creation and premiere of over ninety art songs, works of vocal chamber music and operatic roles, and has been a featured soloist with Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, SF Contemporary Music Players, Earplay, Eco Ensemble, the Ives, Alexander, and Hausmann String Quartets, Composers in Red Sneakers, at FENAM, Other Minds Festival, Fresno New Music, PARMA and Switchboard Music Festival, among others. Highlights of the 2016-2017 concert season include a Texas recital tour with pianist Cheryl Cellon Lindquist, previews of new operas by David Conte and Alden Jenks with West Edge Opera, and the World Premieres of A Line Becomes A Circle (2016) by Miya Masaoka, Down the Deep Stair (2017) by Jared Redmond with the Lydian String Quartet, and Finite Differences (2016) by Kenneth D. Froelich (libretto: John Grimmett) with the Hausmann Quartet, all of which were composed specifically for her. Ms. Moss has lectured on vocal composition and led masterclasses on interpretation of contemporary song at institutions including MIT, UC Davis, NYU Tisch School For The Arts, Longy School of Music of Bard College, University of Houston Morse School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sacramento State University and CSU Los Angeles. She holds degrees from Hampshire College, Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Kay Stern, Violin
Kay Stern is Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. She has served as assistant to Dorothy DeLay at the Aspen Music Festival, assistant to the Juilliard Quartet at the Juilliard School, and has been a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has taught and coached at various music festivals around the world, and has been in residence at Wellesley College and San Diego State University. She has appeared in PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, CNN’s Women Today, Minnesota Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor A Prairie Home Companion and St. Paul Sunday Morning, and WQXR-NY Robert Sherman’s Listening Room. As former first violinist and founding member of the Lark String Quartet, she performed and gave master classes throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Kay is an active chamber musician, collaborating with colleagues in numerous venues in and around the Bay Area. Kay attended the Juilliard School as a student of Dorothy DeLay. While there she received full scholarships for her Bachelor, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs. Kay Stern’s concerto and chamber music recordings can be heard on Phillips, Nonesuch, Innova, MusicMasters, Koch International and Gramma Vision. In 2017 she joined the violin faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Douglas Rioth, Harp
Douglas Rioth is Principal Harpist of the San Francisco Symphony. He studied Piano from age 6, and harp from age 15. He attended Interlochen Arts Academy studying harp with Elisa Smith Dickon, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying harp with Alice Chalifoux. He served as Principal Harp of the Indianapolis Symphony from 1975-1981, and as Principal Harp of the San Francisco Symphony since 1981. He has been the Harp Instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2007, and the Harp Coach of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 1981.
Eric Dudley, Conductor
Eric Dudley leads a multi-faceted musical career as a conductor, singer, pianist and composer. Following distinguished tenures as assistant conductor for the Cincinnati and Princeton symphony orchestras, his recent guest engagements include the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ojai Festival, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Bendigo Festival and Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia. Having served for four years on the conducting faculty of Mannes College and The New School in New York, he currently directs the orchestra program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has recently been appointed as the next artistic director for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. A founding member of the Grammy Award-winning octet Roomful of Teeth, he regularly records and tours worldwide with the group in its ongoing mission to create a new body of work for the 21st Century vocal ensemble. While living in New York, he performed and conducted with ensembles as diverse as the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Ekmeles, Talea Ensemble, Tenet, Ensemble Signal, American Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. As a pianist and chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of Novus New York and the Cincinnati, Princeton and Albany symphony orchestras, and his own music has been premiered and recorded by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Quey Percussion Duo, and by Roomful of Teeth. He holds a degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, and a doctorate in orchestral conducting from Yale.