JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a unique talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. NPR calls her “one of today’s most eclectic composers.” Highlights of upcoming performances include the world premiere of two operatic scenes with librettist Royce Vavrek, part of Edmonton Opera’s The Wild Rose Opera Project; a UK tour of new work with the Tangram Collective; the premiere of Fung’s fifth String Quartet in Canada; the French premiere of Earworms; and the UK premiere of String Sinfonietta. Mary Elizabeth Bowden tours her Trumpet Concerto and records it for future release on Çedille Records. Fung is currently at work on a new project about identity with soprano Andrea Nunez and Royce Vavrek, an expanded version of her Flute Concerto, and upcoming percussion works for Katie Rife and also for Ensemble for These Times. Recent season highlights include the world premiere of new flute concerto, Storm Within, by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and principal flutist Christie Reside; the UK premiere of Birdsong, performed by violinist Midori at Kings Place in London; the world premiere of a new trumpet concerto with trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the Erie Philharmonic; and the world premiere of String Quartet No. 4 “Insects and Machines,” performed by the American String Quartet. In July 2020, the CBC and Toronto Symphony’s Virtual Orchestra gave the world premiere of Fung’s Prayer, a work recorded in isolation during the pandemic for an online performance led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. With a deep interest in exploring different cultures, Fung has traveled to Cambodia, Southwest China, North Vietnam, Spain, and Bali to connect with her roots and collect research for her compositions. Passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation, Fung has mentored young composers in programs at the American Composers Forum, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, San José Youth Chamber Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Born in Edmonton, Canada, Fung received her doctorate from The Juilliard School. She currently lives in California and is on the faculty of Santa Clara University. Learn more at www.vivianfung.ca.
2023 GUEST FACULTY
After been awarded the diploma on piano at the Conservatorio “G. Verdi” in Turin, and completing his studies at the Accademia Internazionale di Musica in Novara (Italy), Giacomo Platini studied composition with Ivan Fedele at the Conservatorio “G. Verdi” in Como (Italy) and at the Conservatoire National de Région in Strasbourg (France). He was selected by the I.R.C.A.M. (Paris) to attend the Stage of Computer Music, and courses of the “Académie d’Été”. His compositions have been performed at the Cité Internationale Universitaire of Paris, at the Théatre Des Lisières and Italian Cultural Institute of Strasbourg, at the Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, at the Museum of Art of Lugano (Switzerland), at the Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea of Madrid, at the “MILANO MUSICA” Festival in Milan, at blurred edges 2016 – Festival für aktuelle Musik Hamburg, at the MUSICAHORA Festival of La Serena (Cile), at the Sala Mozart in Bologna – ‘Città Europee della Cultura 2000’ -, PianoCity Milano, in New York for the exhibition “Pellizza da Volpedo e i divisionisti piemontesi” (Guggenheim Museum) and at the Jack Space of Brooklyn, in China (PRC) at the Electronic Music Week of Shanghai 2011 & the 6° Chamber Music Festival of Beijīng, and at the Alba Music Festival. His music has been performed by musicians such as Mario Caroli, Françoise Kubler, Zorina Valeria, Carlo Boccadoro, Henri-Michel Garzia, Eliza Garth, Jeff Silberschlag, Orchestra Filarmonica di Stato della Romania, l’Orchestra Filarminica Italiana (OFI), Quartetto d’Archi di Torino, Ensemble In Extremis, Ensemble Accroche Note, Ensemble de Musique Interactive, Mdi ensemble, the Ensemble Vocal “Contraste”, the Antidogma Ensemble, SENTIERI SELVAGGI, il New Made Ensemble. He is one of the founders of the PRISMA project, an international group of composers which works on computer-aided composition and new axes in musical research. He is member of SYNTONO project in Paris and boarding member of “The Villa of Composer”, international project for the promotion and preservation of contemporary music. He is teacher of composition and C.A.C. (computer assisted composition) at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montbéliard (France) and at the IUP – Université de Franche-Comté of Montbéliard, département PSM – Musique et Son pour le Multimédia – (Master 1 and Master 2).
Enrico Merlin (Musicology, Jazz Studies)
Enrico Merlin is one of those unusual cases of an accomplished musician and composer who is at the same time an acclaimed expert on the subject of 20th century music. These two worlds which rarely come together in a single person, have infused the artist with an exceptionally creative and expressive performing talent and at the same time have inspired numerous successful literary publications. As a musician he has played on more than 35 different recordings alongside artists such as Steven Bernstein, Giorgio Gaslini, Michael Manring, Markus Stockhausen, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, to name but a few, and has also performed at numerous international Music Festivals together with artists such as Carla Bley, Mederic Collignon, Garrison Fewell, Paolo Fresu, Mark Baldwin Harris, Lee Konitz, Boris Savoldelli, Maria Schneider, Giovanni Sollima, Elliott Sharp, John Surman, Steve Swallow, Henry Threadgill, Tino Tracanna, and many more besides. He also writes music for the theatre and for documentaries and promotes, together with Andrea Brunello, an innovative form of interaction between words and sounds which they call "Jazz Teatrale" (Theatre Jazz). At the Fringe Festival of Edinburgh in 2013, Enrico performed for an entire month in the show "The Principle of Uncertainty". In 2015 he was elected one of the 10 best Italian guitar players by Jazzit Magazine readers. On the musicology front, Enrico has an undisputed worldwide reputation as one of the most important experts on the music of Miles Davis. His comprehensive and painstakingly detailed catalogue of released and unreleased works, parts of which have been published both in written and in multimedia form (first and foremost the DVD «A Different Kind of Blue – Miles Davis at Isle of Wight», Eagle Vision), led to his nomination back in the 90's by Gordon Meltzer (Davis' last producer) as the official discographer for the milesdavis.com website. In November 2012, he published a new book "1000 dischi per un secolo. 1900-2000", (960 pages, Il Saggiatore) dedicated to the history of Western Music seen through the evolution of recording techniques and the innovation in musical languages. Enrico holds regular seminars and workshops in many of the most important music schools and italian conservatories and in 2014 he became a member of the prestigious teaching staff of the Nuoro Jazz Seminars. He has also been the artistic director of the NonSoleJazz Festival (now known as TrentinoinJazz) from 2003 through 2016
2023 RESIDENT FACULTY
Elliott Miles McKinley
Elliott Miles McKinley has had music performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Commissions include those from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, the SOLI Chamber Music Ensemble, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Martinů String Quartet, the Mirari Brass Quintet, and the Janaček Trio. The Minnesota Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Czech Radio Symphony have performed his orchestral music, and his works have been featured in international festivals; he is the recipient of a number of awards, grants, and fellowships including those from BMI, ASCAP, SCI, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, and Indiana University. McKinley earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, and University of Minnesota. He has taught at the University of Tennessee, Washington and Lee University, and is currently Associate Professor of Music Composition, Theory, and Technology at Roger Williams University.
New Orleans born composer, Terry Vosbein has received numerous commissions to write works from such organizations as the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He has composed works for orchestra, wind ensemble, various chamber ensembles, and choir. He has written works for jazz bands of all sizes. And his compositions have been performed all over the world. “Stunning” is what jazz writer Will Friedwald wrote in the Wall Street Journal about Fleet Street, Vosbein’s second release with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. It is “full of surprises and is infused with a sense of humor that adds a special dimension that is too often missing in contemporary big band writing” (Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz). Vosbein is the founder and curator of the Stan Kenton Research Center, the only center dedicated solely to the music and career of the legendary big band icon and music educator. And he is the co-leader of the Vosbein Magee Big Band, an ensemble made up of the top musicians in the area, performing his compositions and arrangements. When not spending his summers composing in exotic corners of the world, Vosbein is a professor of music in beautiful Lexington, Virginia. He received his Masters in Composition from James Madison University under the tutelage of John Hilliard, and his Doctorate in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was a student of Donald Erb. He resides in Staunton, Virginia with his wife, Shannon, and their Alaskan husky, Luna.