Jeffrey Jacob has written four symphonies, three piano concertos, three string quartets, and numerous works for piano and chamber ensemble. Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony premiered his “Symphony: Winter Lightning.” The London Symphony recorded his Symphony No. 3. The Moscow and St. Petersburg Symphonies premiered respectively his Piano Concertos 1 and 2 with the composer as soloist. The Gregg Smith Singers premiered his “Sleeping At Last” for mixed chorus and solo cello. Mr. Jacob’s “Persistence of Memory was premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony at the 1999 College Music Society National Convention and was selected by the Charles Ives Center for American Music for a performance by the Charleston Symphony at the 2002 Spoleto Festival. Other works have been premiered and recorded by the Orquesta de Baja California, the Chamber Orchestra of the Rhein, the North Czech and Moravian Philharmonics, the Cavani and New England Quartets, and sopranos Mary Nessinger and Laurel Thomas. Three CDs of Mr. Jacob’s orchestral music have been released by Centaur Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and PARMA Recordings. He is one of the first composers of the past 50 years to have his work chosen for a recording by the Cuban National Symphony under its Music Director.
As a pianist, he has been described by the Warsaw Music Journal as “unquestionably one of the greatest performers of 20th century music,” and the New York Times as “an artist of intense concentration and conviction.” Mr. Jacob received his education from the Juilliard School (Master of Music) and the Peabody Conservatory (Doctorate) and counts as his principal teachers, Mieczyslaw Munz, Carlo Zecchi, and Leon Fleisher. Since his debut with the London Philharmonic in Royal Festival Hall, he has appeared as piano soloist with over 25 orchestras internationally including the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Seattle, Portland, Indianapolis, Charleston, Saõ Paulo and Brazil National Symphonies, the Silesian, Moravian, North Czech, and Royal Queenstown Philharmonics and recently the London Symphony and New Jersey Philharmonic. A noted proponent of contemporary music, he has performed the world premieres of works written for him by George Crumb, Vincent Persichetti, Gunther Schuller, Samuel Adler, Francis Routh, Jianjun He, and many others. He has performed solo recitals in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest, Milan, Madrid, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Saõ Paulo, Havana, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Ottawa, and throughout the U.S.
Mr. Jacob has recorded over 120 works for solo piano and piano and orchestra including his critically acclaimed series of CDs of the complete piano music of Samuel Barber and George Crumb and major works of Bela Bartok. Fanfare Magazine recently devoted a feature article to his series of CDs for New Ariel Recordings entitled “Contemporary American Eclectic Music for the Piano.” Additionally, he has made radio recordings for Radio Warsaw, Radio Prague, and Brazil National Radio, as well as a series of recordings of American music for the BBC. He was recently named “Musician of the Year” by the International New Music Consortium at New York University for his work as pianist, composer, and educator.
Composer, cellist, and conductor, Heidi Jacob is Associate Professor of Music at Haverford College. Born in Orinda, California, Heidi Jacob attended both the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Ms. Jacob completed her D.M.A. in composition from Temple University, where she studied with Maurice Wright, Richard Brodhead and Matthew Greenbaum.
As a cellist, Ms. Jacob has distinguished herself both as a soloist and in chamber music. She has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Bedford Springs Festival, "Mozart on the Square" in Philadelphia, the Dubrovnik Festival and on National Public Radio. She has recorded solo cello and chamber music works by Larry Nelson for Albany Records, and the cello sonatas by John Davison with pianist Charles Abramovic. In a recording for Capstone Records she conducts the Ensemble Solarium in Curt Cacioppo’s Concerto for Oboe and String Chamber Orchestra with Harpsichord, featuring Philadelphia Orchestra oboist Jonathan Blumenfeld. Curt Cacioppo's orchestral piece "Invocation and Dance of the Mountain Gods," from the album LAWS OF THE PIPE and conducted by Ms. Jacob, was selected by Parma Recordings for inclusion on the label’s online digital release FINE MUSIC, Vol. 4. in June, 2011.
Ms. Jacob’s solo and chamber music works have been performed at the Kimmel Center as part of Network for New Music’s Poetry Project, Tania León's 2014 Composers Now Festival, Summer Stars Classics series in Ocean Grove New Jersey, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Rutgers University’s Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art installation, Amphibian; New Music and Video HIArt Gallery, New York City and by The Argento Ensemble, the Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir, the Hildegard Chamber Players and by Temple University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. Her works have been performed by violinists Miranda Cuckson and Barbara Govatos, cellists Jeffrey Solow, Michal Schmidt and cellist Thalia Moore of Earplay, flutists Mimi Stillman, Adeline Tomasone, Jeffrey Khaner, pianist Charles Abramovic, and bassoonist Pascal Gallois. Her String Quartet, “…on enameled tablets,” was premiered at The Stone in New York City by the Momenta String Quartet. She was a winner of Network for New Music’s Poetry Project, the American Composers Forum, Pascal Gallois bassoon composition competition and won an Honorable Mention in the International Alliance for Women in Music Competition (Judith Lang Zaimont Prize division) for her work for piano, Regard a Schubert: a Fantasy Impromptu. Her cycle of songs on the poetry of Julia Alvarez, Beginning Again for soprano, violin and piano (2009), was commissioned by Vermont-based L’Ensemble. This work appears on L’Ensemble’s CD, “Poetry into Song.”
Ms. Jacob’s Winter Light for violin and string orchestra was performed by I Solisti Veneti (conducted by Claudio Scimone) in March 2016. Her string orchestra piece, Many in One was commissioned by First Editions Chamber Orchestra and was premiered in spring of 2016. The CD of her compositions, Beneath Winter Light, produced by PARMA Recordings, was released in January 2015.
Steven Block was born in New York City on November 5, 1952. He is currently Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley after having served as Chair of the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico for 17 years. As Dean, he is building new Arts programs, including that of the School of Music, from two separate legacy campuses. Block has appeared in the various personae of composer, music theorist, music critic, pianist, and both classical radio and disco d.j., among others. His compositions have been performed worldwide including performances in Australia, Paris, and Poland. His articles as a music theorist and music critic have appeared in such journals and magazines as Perspectives of New Music, Integrales, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Music Library Notes, and High Fidelity.
Block has studied with some of the most innovative composers and theorists in the world including David Stock, a pioneer in the promotion of contemporary music; Robert Morris, one of the leading contemporary music theorists and composers; A. Wayne Slawson, who has led the exploration of timbre as a musical component; and the internationally known and important late composers Franco Donatoni and Luciano Berio.
William Zagorski of Fanfare writes of Block’s orchestral movement Shadows: "His skillful use of tuned percussion gives several passages a gamelanlike quality reminiscent of Messaien. The long-note passages...and their harmonic suspensions are wonderful. I impatiently await the completion of this Symphony."
Sergio Cervetti is a Uruguayan-born American composer who came to the U.S. in 1962 to study composition. By 1966 he had attracted international attention on winning the chamber music prize at the Caracas, Venezuela Music Festival. After studying with Ernst Krenek and graduating from Peabody Conservatory he was invited by the DAAD to be composer-in-residence in Berlin, Germany in 1969-70.
From 1972 to 1997 and 2007-08 Cervetti was Master Teacher of Music at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. During this time he composed over one-hundred works for the concert stage, dance, theater, and film; many were commissioned, recorded and performed in venues and festivals in the U.S. and abroad.
Cervetti's works range from acoustic to electronic and deftly blend folk elements, European tradition, and minimalist aesthetics. After an early brush with twelve-tone and minimalism his current approach is free and flexible. As much a traditionalist as innovator, he continues to straddle musical worlds with new works that showcase a post-modern synthesis of techniques from diverse periods and sources. Many often reflect his rich South American heritage as well as interest in literature, painting, dance, and socio-political issues.
Critics summarize that Cervetti is a markedly independent composer, almost an outsider spanning distant musical worlds of distinct originality and poetry; a boundless creator and master at his craft who combines elements from dance, classical, and electronic music into one cohesive whole that show us his essential qualities as melodist and colorist, rhythmic vitality, and harmonically modern sophistication.
In addition to his twenty-five year tenure at NYU and Berlin residency, there are Cervetti’s important contributions to the minimalist movement with early works such as Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg), Madrigal III, …from the earth…, and Concerto for Trumpet and Strings. Extensive collaborations with New York City’s dance world include three Next Wave Festivals at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Alicante Festival in Spain commissioned the harpsichord concerto Las Indias Olvidadas; and the opera Elegy For A Prince was premiered in excerpted scenes by New York City Opera/VOX 2007. Among other career highlights were two tours in Spain with Joven Orquesta Nacional de España (JONDE); and The Hay Wain, an electroacoustic symphonic poem inspired by the Bosch triptych, sections of which are heard in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers. Starting in 2009 he has recorded fourteen works with PARMA Recordings for numerous albums.
Christina Rusnak is a multifaceted composer whose work reflects a diversity of styles and points of view. Passionate about composing about place and the human experience, she actively seeks to integrate facets of landscape, culture, history and art into her work. Her goal is to compose music that is thought provoking, engages the performers and the audience.
She began composing at nine, and by high school was regularly performing her works at recitals. She earned her masters in Music Composition and Arts Leadership from the University of North Texas, graduating with honors. She has written for chamber ensemble, as well as jazz, women’s choir, and orchestra. An avid hiker, Ms. Rusnak has explored and composed several pieces for our National Parks, including Free Land, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act and in 2015 The Way Through at North Cascades National Park.
Commissions include 161 Glass, (Dallas Contemporary Museum) for a new art space; Canyon Voices (Oregon State Parks) for the new Cottonwood Canyon state park; The Life of Ashes (U.S. Forest Service) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. A new work (Third Angle Ensemble) will be premiered in 2017. Her electro-acoustic piece, FEAR: The Unspoken Geography was chosen in 2013 for the 12th Annual CSUF New Music Festival: Voice in the 21st Century. Her jazz album, Chat, Chill, Highline was released in 2014 on Big Round Records.
Ms. Rusnak works with communities and organizations to bring music, culture, and heritage into public spaces. She has written essays for LandscapeMusic.org, New Music Box, and Oregon Arts Watch. She lives in Portland Oregon, and sits on the board of the International Alliance of Women in Music. Her recordings are available on ERMMedia and Parma Recordings. For more information, visit http://christinarusnak.com
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