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Programs 2018


Wednesday, May 16, 2018: 8:00pm
Kick-off Concert: Queens College New Music Group with the RAM Players String Quartet

The Secret Theatre

Since 1979, the Queens College New Music Group (QCNMG) has provided world premiere performances to the Queens College community and the Greater New York City Area. Writing in various styles, genres and idioms, QCNMG interacts with music of all types ranging from tonal harmony, serialism, minimalism, electronic music and more. Avid proponents of collaboration, members of QCNMG routinely participate in interdisciplinary projects in opera and theatre, as well the visual and performing arts.

Christopher Thomas Emery: Quartet No. 1: Four Confessions
Joe Landi: As it Were
Michael Barrett Donovan: New Work
Philip Henry Garcia: New Work
Riccardo Maira: New Work
Ebin Samuel: New Work

RAM Players String Quartet:
Maya Bennardo, Violin
Sabina Torosjan, Violin
Andy Lin, Viola
Kate Dillingham, Cello

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.

About the Queens College New Music Group & RAM Players

The Queens College New Music Group is comprised of composition students at the Aaron Copland School of Music. We present several programs of new music throughout the academic year.

The RAM Players are high caliber New York musicians who specialize in new music dedicated to delivering exciting performances of works by living American composers. Musicians in the RAM Players have been described as passionate, brilliant, sensitive, and energetic in their careers as ensemble performers and as soloists with orchestras from around the world. The RAM Players are seasoned performers of music by RAM composers and share in the supportive and collaborative spirit of RAM.

aaron copland.jpg

Thursday, May 17, 2018: 8:00 pm
Opening Headline Concert; Four Decades of Exploration

The Secret Theatre

Music written in every decade from 1970 until the present day, spanning several continents and countries
(USA, United Kingdom, Turkey, Estonia, Argentina); from dreamy and improvisatory to rhythmic and dance-like.


George Crumb: Makrokosmos for piano four hands
Arvo Pärt: Fratres for cello and piano
Thomas Adès: From Mazurkas, for solo piano
Fazil Say: Violin Sonata
Fernando Otero: Pagina de Buenos Aires & La Vista Gorda
Lowell Liebermann: Piano Trio No. 1
Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango for cello and piano

Guest Artists:

Vladimir Valjarević & Mirna Lekić, Piano
David Lisker, Violin
Tali Roth, Guitar
Kate Dillingham, Cello

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.

Friday, May 18, 2018: 8pm

icarus Quartet

The Secret Theatre

The 2 piano, 2 percussion icarus Quartet presents a compelling program of music written in the last five years including works by Steve Reich, Paul Lansky. Also two New York premieres by Thomas Kotcheff and Ensemble Signal’s Brad Lubman.


Steve Reich: Quartet
Brad Lubman: Tangents (New York premiere)
Thomas Kotcheff: and more and more and more and this (New York premiere)
Paul Lansky: Textures

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.

About icarus Quartet

Like the mythological figure from which it draws its name, the half piano, half percussion icarus Quartet dares to fly towards the sun, aspiring to new heights of artistry. Following their Carnegie Hall debut, composer Paul Lansky simply remarked, “This is music making of the highest order.” While pursuing their graduate degrees at the Yale School of Music, the members of iQ were brought together to represent the school in its prestigious concert series, Yale in New York, with the Yale Percussion Group under the guidance of Robert van Sice. Composition chair Martin Bresnick regarded an appearance of the Quartet as “one of the best student performances of any work I have ever heard… They played with great energy, sensitivity and precision.” They have since performed throughout the northeast as well as in a recent set at the 2017 New Music Gathering in Bowling Green, Ohio. In the 2017-18 season, icarus serves as Ensemble-in-Residence for Music at St. David’s in Baltimore, and will also be featured on Yale’s distinguished Horowitz Piano Series. Passionate about educating and engaging with the next generation of musicians, iQ often works in school and university settings.

Larry Weng, Yevgeny Yontov, Matt Keown, and Jeff Stern are all celebrated soloists in their own rights, with international prizes to their names, and together they have found a special chemistry and inimitable joy playing chamber music. They are dedicated to the discovery, creation, and performance of new music, but what distinguishes their approach to contemporary music is a strong training and background in the classical genre. icarus Quartet is committed to performing new works with a studied and convincing interpretation that mirrors the validity of works with performance practices developed over centuries.

Friday, May 18, 2018: 6pm

The Bowers-Fader Duo

The Secret Theatre

Our mission is to promote new American art songs for mezzo and guitar, and this program features seven living composers who wrote or arranged music for us in the past year. Most of these pieces were premiered last fall.


Frank Brickle: City of Orgies
Hilary Purrington: Two Songs (for mezzo-soprano and guitar)
Scott Wheeler: Canzone Italiane
David Claman: Two Herman Melville Songs
Tim Mukherjee: Three Folk Song Settings
Erin Rogers: The Lone Tenemen
Paul Salerni: Finding One Self

The Bowers-Fader Duo
Jessica Bowers, Mezzo-soprano
Oren Fader, guitar

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door

About the Duo

“Her diction and communicative skills were a masterclass in song interpretation while his accompaniment was sensitive and playful.”

–Ladd Boris,

Created in 2009, The Bowers-Fader Duo performs both classical and modern repertoire. Their ongoing mission is to promote new American art songs for mezzo and guitar, through commissions, performances, and recordings. To date, they have presented over 15 world premieres written for them. The Duo has played in New York City and across the US. Recent concerts have taken them to Washington State, Virginia, Vermont (Taconic Music), Pennsylvania (Classical Guitar Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Lehigh University), Make Music NY, Spectrum NYC, Tenri Cultural Institute, and Scholes Street Studio. Outreach activities for the Duo include free concerts each year for the Lighthouse Guild for the Blind, and Beginnings, a social program for seniors supported by Renewal Care. Last year, they recorded two song cycles by Paul Salerni, produced and recorded by Grammy winner, Adam Abeshouse, and recorded three songs by David Claman, professor at Lehman College. In the coming months, the Duo will be recording the music of Tim Mukherjee, performing as guests of Cygnus Ensemble, playing on a concert with Composers Concordance, returning to Vermont to perform with Taconic Music, and preparing for the Third Annual New American Art Song concert in October at Tenri Cultural Institute.


Saturday, May 19, 2018: 3pm

Percussionist Zack Baltich

The Secret Theatre

Utilizing guitar effects pedals, found objects, a slew of drums, and a tiny synthesizer, Minneapolis based percussionist and composer Zack Baltich will present a concert of original works for percussion and marimba, as well as some adaptations of other works for percussion.


Zack Baltich: Cavernous (New York premiere)
Sarah Neufeld: From Our Animal
Zack Baltich: Ghosts of Household Objects (New York premiere)
Andrew Bird: Hover I.
Andy Akiho: Karakurenai
Zack Baltich: /səˈklo͞oZHən/- (World premiere)

Zack Baltich, percussion

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.

Zach Baltich

Minneapolis based percussionist/composer Zack Baltich is interested in blending the world of experimental music with more familiar sounds. By combining years of playing in rock bands and the study of classical percussion, he often finds this intersection by placing these styles in context with one another, weaving in and out of textural exploration to create unique long-form music. Zack has received commissions from the Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, the Cedar Cultural Center, and Minnesota State Arts Board and his percussion chamber music has been performed by others throughout the United States and in Mexico City.

Saturday, May 19, 2018: 5pm

Pianist David Holzman with violoncellist Franklin Verbsky and oboist Joan Dawidziak

The Secret Theatre

“a master pianist,” Andrew Porter, The New Yorker
“the Horowitz of modern music,”  Jerry Kuderna, The San Francisco Classical Voice


John McDonald: Variants on Jim Wilson’s Lanterne Melody, Monet’s Anguish, You Don’t Love Me,
Forthright Wednesday Poem After Hearing Wolpe’s Palestinian Notebook
Stefan Wolpe: Waltz for Merle
James Ricci: Waltz
James Ricci: Sonata (World premiere)
George Perle: Lyric Piece
with Franklin Verbsky, in memorium George Perle
Joan Dawidziak: Summer Song
with Joan Dawidziak
Alba Potes: El Jardín de tómas
William Bland: Sonata #17 (New York premiere)


David Holzman, Piano
Franklin Verbsky, Violoncello
Joan Dawidziak, Oboe

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here or at the door.

David Holzman

Prize-winning pianist and Queens resident David Holzman has received international acclaim for his pe15rformances, recordings, and writings. He has recorded eleven cd’s which feature many of the 20th and 21st Century’s greatest keyboard masterpieces. The McDonald, Ricci, Potes and Bland will be released in 2018 and 2019. Holzman has won acclaim for his writings. His cd on the Bridge label featuring music of Stefan Wolpe won awards both for the pianism and the notes. His essay The Battle of the Senses, which deals with Holzman’s struggles with hearing loss, was just published in Sonus. His upcoming essay Balancing Act deals with his struggles with epilepsy and the pianistic challenges which arose from medication. More information on David Holzman can be found at

Joan Dawidziak, oboist and composer, has performed with New York Virtuosi, Nassau Symphony and many chamber groups in the tri-state area. She composes primarily for oboe as well as symphony and opera. Joan resides in Forest Hills. She has taught at Adelphi University.

Franklin Verbsky taught public school music from 1965 to 1998. He has been Conductor/Music Director of Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra for the past fifty years. From 1985 to 2017 he was Assistant Professor of Music at Hofstra University. He is a frequent collaborator with Mr. Holzman on the cello repertoire of the past 200 years.


Saturday, May 19, 2018: 8pm

The Blagoeva-Massicotte Duo and The New Music for Strings Festival

The Secret Theatre

The Blagoeva-Massicotte Duo, a NYC based flute and piano duo, is pleased to present their program, Points of Contact, as a part of their 2018 Bulgarian and American Composers Festival. The Duo aims to present compositions written for their instrumentation by contemporary and Bulgarian and American composers, including works written specifically for the Duo. The program will feature works by notable composers including Krasimir Taskov, Seth Boustead, and George Crumb, among others, and will be presented in conjunction with featured artists from the New Music for Strings Festival.


Krasimir Taskov: Reflexions
Seth Boustead: Sonata
George Crumb: Vox Balanae (The Voice of the Whale)
Simon Steen-Andersen: Study for String Instrument No. 1
Sheila Silver: Six Beads on a String
Eivind Buene: Landscape with Ruins

The Blagoeva-Massicotte Duo:
Hristina Blagoeva, Flute
Miles Massicotte, Piano

The New Music for Strings Festival

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free

Tickets available here and at the door.

The Blagoeva-Massicotte Duo

Hristina Blagoeva is a New York based flutist and educator. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Spectrum, The Players Theater, Suffolk Community College, le Poison Rouge, Long Island Conservatory of Music in NYC and Queens Park Theater, Western Australia. In her native Bulgaria, she was a winner of the German/Austrian Chamber Music Competition, The Earth and People Music Competition, and the Young Virtuosi National Music School Competition as well as the First European Meeting Competition in Pachino, Italy. In the USA, Hristina won the Louisiana State University and the Mississippi Jackson Concerto Competitions in 2005-2007. In 2015 she was a second prize winner of the Gershwin International Music Competition (NYC), and a semi-finalist of the Concert Artist Guild Music Competition (NYC) and the Astral Music Competition in Philadelphia, PA. Hristina has collaborated with ThingNY, Les Amies Trio and is the co- founder of the Iktus Duo. Hristina is also a co-founder of Spectrum Trio which just performed at New Music for Strings, Aarhus, Denmark, Mise-en StudioMs. Blagoeva has performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Festival Hill Symphony, Natchez Festival Opera Orchestra, Opera Vista Company and the Long Island Choral Society Orchestra. Hristina is on the faculty of the Long Island Conservatory of Music, Sound Beach Music and Amadeus Music School. Ms. Blagoeva is currently a Doctor of Music Arts Candidate at Stony Brook University.

Pianist Miles Massicotte has been hailed as a “truly extraordinary” artist showing “a dazzling display of pianistic prowess” (The News-Times). Born in 1990, he began studying piano at the age of 10, and gave his first public performances shortly thereafter. He enjoys a diverse musical career that began in his native Connecticut and has taken him across the United States and abroad, where he has been featured variously as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestras, a chamber musician, as well as a composer and improviser. Miles was the winner of the 2015 Stony Brook Concerto Competition, the 2011 James Furman Memorial Competition, and is additionally the recipient of over 15 scholarships and awards. As a soloist and guest artist he has been invited to perform in venues such as the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, Ives Concert Hall, and Infinity Hall, among many others. As a young jazz musician, Miles was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Award. He has gone on to perform on stage alongside jazz greats such as John Scofield, Dave Liebman, and Vic Juris. His original compositions in this genre have been noted for their “suite-like shifts” and their “amazing vibrancy and chordal modalities” (Hartford Courant). Miles initial musical education came at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and upon graduating he had twice received the Academy’s “Most Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist” award (2006, 2008). He continued his studies at Western Connecticut State University, where he studied with Russell Hirshfield and Patricia Lutnes, receiving the institution’s “Music Chair” award in his final year (2012). Miles is now pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University, under the tutelage of Gilbert Kalish, where he also works as a teaching assistant.


New Music for Strings

Based in Denmark, Iceland, and New York, New Music for Strings fosters an interdisciplinary space between the fields of string instrument performance and composition. Composers and performers interact and inspire one another while working on the different aspects of creating and interpreting compositions for string instruments. Events hosted by NMFS showcase a roster of world-class musicians alongside accomplished student participants, ranging from members of the Emerson String Quartet and faculty from Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus to graduate students from top conservatories and universities in the U.S. and Europe.

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 5pm
RAM Trio Expo

The rich, colorful, and sometimes edgy nature of the trio combination of violin, clarinet, and piano will be explored in the final program of RAM’s 2017-2018 season. In RAM Trio Expo, RAM Players Maya Bennardo on violin, Thomas Piercy on clarinets, and Marija Ilic on piano coalesce into trios, a duo, and a solo for this program of music for clarinet, violin, and piano by Croatian composer and RAM’s 2018 Call for Scores winner, Ivan Božičević, David Fetherolf, Gilbert Galindo, Katherine Hoover, Frances White, and Japanese composer, Joji Yuas.


Ivan Božičević: Shaken from a crane’s bill (New York premiere & 2018 Call for Scores Winner)
David Fetherolf: Dialogue (World premiere)
Gilbert Galindo: Microcosm for clarinet, violin & piano (World premiere)
Katherine Hoover: Images
Frances White: The arc of the bird (World premiere)
Joji Yuasa: Solitude

RAM Players Trio
Thomas Piercy, Clarinets
Maya Bennardo, Violin
Marija Ilić, Piano

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.
Festival passes available here.


The RAM Players are high caliber New York musicians who specialize in new music dedicated to delivering exciting performances of works by living American composers. Musicians in the RAM Players have been described as passionate, brilliant, sensitive, and energetic in their careers as ensemble performers and as soloists with orchestras from around the world. The RAM Players are seasoned performers of music by RAM composers and share in the supportive and collaborative spirit of RAM.

Sunday, May 20, 2018: 2pm;

The Resurgam Quartet presents Breaking Point

The Secret Theatre

The Resurgam Quartet is excited to present “Breaking Point,” a high-energy concert featuring works by some of the leading composers for the saxophone quartet. This program showcases genre-bending new music that draws its inspiration from a wide range of non-classical sources including world music, classic rock, jazz, and more!

Zack Browning: Howler Black
Ted King-Smith: Breaking Point (Commissioned by the Resurgam Quartet)
Guillermo Lago: Ciudades
Jacob T.V.: Jesus is Coming
Roshanne Etezady: Keen
John Mackey: Unquiet Spirits

The Resurgam Quartet
Harrison Kliewe, Soprano Saxophone
Colette Hall, Alto Saxophone
Sean Tanguay, Tenor Saxophone
Michael Raposo, Baritone Saxophone

General/Student/12 and under: $20.00/$15.00/Free
Tickets available here and at the door.

The Resurgam Quartet

The Resurgam Quartet formed in 2015 at the Hartt School in Hartford, CT. Recently, the quartet was a semi-finalist at the international Fischoff Chamber Music Competition for the second time. The quartet also won the 2016 Paranov Concerto Competition at the Hartt School performing William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso. Resurgam enjoys an active performing schedule. Dedicated to expanding the saxophone quartet repertoire, the quartets latest commission Breaking Point, is set to be premiered in March, 2018 at the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Biennial Conference. The Quartet also presented a concert of new works at the Hartford New Music Festival, and will continue to create new music for the saxophone quartet. Education is an important part of Resurgam’s mission, and has presented masterclasses and educational concerts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Indiana. The Resurgam Quartet is dedicated to engaging audiences in exciting saxophone quartet repertoire.

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