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presents the
2023 Queens New Music Festival
May 4, 5, 6, 7

2023-RAM-QNMG collage-01.JPG

Queens New Music Festival 2023
May 4, 5, 6, 7

Secret Theatre

38-02 61st St.  Woodside, NY 11377
(2 blocks from the 7 Train 61 St-Woodside stop)


General Admission
Individual Concerts: $20
(Students/Seniors: $10)

Festival Pass for all seven concerts: $75

Payment by cash or credit at the venue.
Doors open 30 minutes before the performances.

Reservations / More Info


May 4, 8pm: RAM Composers & Players and Guests
May 5, 8pm: Kinga Augustyn, violin
May 6, 4pm: Hypercube
May 6, 6pm: Composers Concordance
May 6, 8pm: Sugar Hill S

May 7, 4pm: Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki
May 7, 7pm: RAM Composers & Players and Guests

Scroll down for program information for each concert.

May 4, Thursday

8pm QNMF opening concert - RAM Composers & Players and Guests
Thomas Piercy, clarinet
                           Giacomo Baldelli, guitar
                           Sabina Torosjan, violin
                           Jay Julio, viola
                           Molly Aronson, cello
                           Tengku Irfan, piano
                              RAM Composers
                              Gilbert Galindo “Darkness is not dark for you” for piano (2020) (New York Premiere)
                              Allen Schulz “FURIOUS, THEN TRANQUILITY” for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano (2023) (World Premiere)
                              Frances White “Written on water” for violin, acoustic guitar, and electronic sound
                              Guest Composers
                              Viet Cuong "Wax and Wire" for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2014)
                              Whitney George “Somewhere in Between” for clarinet, cello, and piano (2020)
                              Shoichi Yabuta “AfterImages
” for clarinet, violin, and piano (2018) (US Premiere)


Random Access Music
Thomas Piercy, clarinet

Giacomo Baldelli, guitar
Sabina Torosjan, violin

Jay Julio, viola
Molly Aronson, cello
Tengku Irfan, piano

Viet Cuong "Wax and Wire" for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2014)

About a year ago, I was introduced to the figurative wire sculptures of Michael Gard. Though his sculptures are made of metal wire, many of them are depictions of dancers in gentle poses that impart a delicate quality to their innately harsh material. Gard describes his artistic process: “Each figure begins as a block of clay and a spool of wire. The clay is sculpted. This sculpture is reproduced in wax. Individual lengths of wire are woven and knotted stitch-by-stitch around the wax form. Finally the wax is melted away, leaving a rigid figure, both light and strong.” The wax sculpture provides a firm foundation, but disappears from the final work, becoming at first soft and then formless. The wire, at first bent to the will of the wax, preserves the structure, but in a way that gives bounce to the remarkably intricate skeleton. Wax and Wire is a translation of Gard’s process, using musical “smears” as an aural representation of such duality. The smears are constructed of chromatic scales in the piano that are successively destabilized by quartertone embellishments in the clarinet, and then by glissandi in the violin. By the end, these smears melt away, revealing a transformation of a rigid idea presented earlier in the piece.

Gilbert Galindo “Darkness is not dark for you” for piano (2020) (New York Premiere)
Commissioned by the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music for Stanton Nelson and written during the COVID shutdown, the piece takes a line from Psalm 139 as its title, interpreted as looking toward hope within darkness, that with the Most High, nothing is dark. The musical work itself uses the concept of theme and variations, but in a more expanded and abstract manner. Various moods and characters give the listener a journey of peaks and valleys that culminates with a wholehearted song-like melody.

Whitney George “Somewhere in Between” for clarinet, cello, and piano (2020)
When George began Solitude & Secrecy during the 2020 lockdown, she did not know it would be a set: the undefined course of the pandemic provided indeterminacy and ultimately informed the instrumental groupings for each movement, which range from solos to a trio. Somewhere In between is the largest arrangement in the series (with two alternative instrumentations), and the final movement to be completed as the quarinte orders were coming to a close. In its final form as a six-movement work, Solitude & Secrecy is a meditation on the strain of social distancing, the quiet complexities of solitude, and the longing for musical collaboration. For the performers as well as listeners, the piece offers the opportunity to sit alone for a moment—fear and anxiety hopefully sidelined—with the daunting secrets of an uncertain future.

Allen Schulz “FURIOUS, THEN TRANQUILITY” for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano (2023)                          

Fury, Then Tranquility is a wholesale reworking of a composition wrote almost 16 years ago—a different instrumentation, added length, and order of sections, new harmonies and some new melodic lines. It is typical of my style—a heavy focus on rhythm, harmony that is neither atonal nor tonal, but with a good deal of playfulness. 

Because I suffered a cardiac arrest and a severe brain injury in 2014, I was not able to compose for many years, but in 2021, I began composing again, completing my first full-length work that year. Now, in 2023, I am moving ahead, composing more than I ever had before. But, occasionally, I look back at my previous successes, trying to create recreate better, fuller music.

Frances White "Written on water" for violin, guitar, and recorded sound (2019)
I have always loved Elizabethan lute music. This music seems to be haunted by the idea of impermanence, and I found its sensibility informing Written on water. In addition, the sound of water has always been a deep and primary source of inspiration for me, and it permeates the electronic soundscape of the piece. The instruments dwell in this sonic space, playing fragments of melody that appear and disappear almost like found objects submerged in the water.

Shoichi Yabuta “AfterImages” for clarinet, violin, and piano (2018)



May 5, Friday

8pm Kinga Augustyn, violin

                          "FANTASY" with  violinist Kinga Augustyn and pianist Alla Milchtein


                          Cynthia Lee Wong Sonatina for Violin and Piano (2001) 1.Fantasy

                          Yui Kitamura Momiji for Violin and Piano (2011)

                          Yui Kitamura Yumezakura for Violin and Piano (2009)

                          Dina Pruzhansky “AM New York” for Solo Piano (2015) 

                         Milena Zhivotovskaya Variations on a Jewish Theme for Violin and Piano (2001) 

                          Romuald Twardowski Niggunim: Melodies of the Hasidim (1991)

                          Debra Kaye Turning in Time for Violin Solo (2018)

                          Arvo Pärt Fratres for Violin and Piano (1980)

Kinga Augustyn, violin

Alla Milchtein, piano

Cynthia Lee Wong "Sonatina" for Violin and Piano (2001)

Fantasy for Violin and Piano (2001)

The Fantasy was composed for violinist Tanja Becker-Bender while I was an undergraduate at Juilliard.  Tanja was a Graduate Diploma student at the time, and I was inspired by her expressive, beautiful playing.  The Fantasy is based on a simple descending melody, which is introduced by the violin and unifies the entire movement.  Twenty years after composing this short work, I began exploring a brand new genre – the animated music score.  I featured my handwritten sketch of the Fantasy in an animation experiment ( The video reveals a stage in the composing process rarely seen by the public and highlights notes from the messy sketch that are heard in the final version. I extend my genuine gratitude to Kinga Augustyn and Alla Milchtein for performing the Fantasy and bringing my music to life.

Yui Kitamura "Momiji" for Violin and Piano (2011)

Momiji was written in 2011 for violin and piano and premiered in Japan. About six months before that concert, Japan was hit by one of the most devastating natural disasters in the country which is now known as The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Even though the buildings in Japan are built considering the effect of earthquakes, the strong tsunami swiped off the coasts and thousands of people have lost their lives and the survivors faced a very difficult time for months and years. Japan celebrates its autumn with the beautiful colors of momiji (Japanese maple) leaves. And that September happened to be the 10th year memorial from 9.11, therefore, I wrote this piece wishing that we can create our future with peace in this world; no natural disasters, no wars, and no terrorism. 

Yui Kitamura "Yumezakura" for Violin and Piano (2009)

Yumezakura for violin and piano was written in 2007 as a part of "Hope with Sakura Project" by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). JAXA started this project (known in NASA as “Cosmo Flower 2008”) which had a unique space mission involving many citizens of Japan. They asked the citizens of different parts of Japan to collect the seeds of cherry blossoms and launched them on Endeavour in Nov. 2008. When the seeds returned to Earth in July 2009, they were planted. This was a new challenge to create the cultural utilization of space. Yume means "dream" and zakura (sakura) means "cherry blossoms" in Japanese. Please imagine petals dancing in the sky around the sakura trees which grew from the seeds that came back from space. 


Debra Kaye "Turning in Time" for Violin (2018)

Written for and performed by violinist, Kinga Augustyn. World Premiere on November 16, 2018 as part of Composers Concordance & Project 142 Present Around The World. The DiMenna Center – Benzaquen Hall, New York, NY. European Premiere on January 4, 2019.

I wrote Turning in Time for violin virtuoso, Kinga Augustyn. She wanted a piece with a connection to Bach’s Chaconne in D minor. 

As I listened to the Chaconne, its repeated bass line and slowly unfolding variations got me thinking about time, and cycles in life, of returning to the same themes in a different way, and how the same things, events etc, carry different meaning over time.

Turning In Time reflects upon this idea through its form. 21st-century music intersperses with Bach-like phrases, motifs return in new variations, juxtaposing past & present, reflecting on things that have changed and what remains the same, in a conversation between the “then” and the “now.”


Milena Zhivotovskaya "Variations on a Jewish Theme" for Violin and Piano (2001) 

Variations on a Jewish Theme were written sometime between 2001-2002 after I immigrated to the US. The theme itself is original, written in a traditional Jewish style,and is followed by a set of short variations.The piece starts with a sorrowful violin melody and piano accompaniment.Once variations begin, the music becomes more dynamic and energetic employing chromatic harmonies and contrapuntal textures. I had the pleasure of performing this piece with friends on numerous occasions in NYC.

Romuald Twardowski “Melodies of the Hasidim” (1991)

Niggunim ‘Melodies of the Hasidim’ brings together authentic melodies of Hassidic Jews collected from the regions of Góra Kalwaria in Poland and Belz in Western Ukraine (near the Polish border). Twardowski was introduced to them by Marian Fuks, owner of a vast collection of Jewish music, and the composer eagerly seized the opportunity to preserve these remnants of a now nearly extinct Polish Hassidic culture. This orchestral arrangement of the violin/piano original premiered at the first Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków in 1991, with Roman Lasocki as soloist.

Dina Pruzhansky "AM New York" for Piano (2015) 

‘AM New York’ is a humorous love letter to New York City. Commissioned by the performer Alla Milchtein, it alludes to a play on words (initials A.M. = AM morning hours). The piece opens with a depiction of the musicians’ daily struggle with the alarm clock

(represented by the trill and the cluster chords), followed by the portrayal of an NYC morning rush hour - with its hustle and bustle, never-ceasing energy, bright colors, sharp contrasts, and occasional moments of quiet reflection.


Arvo Pärt "Fratres" for Violin and Piano (1980)

Fratres (Latin for “Brothers”) was composed in 1977 and belongs to the many works (Für Alina, Cantus, Tabula rasa etc.) that were created explosively after recognising the principles of tintinnabuli music. Fratres was initially composed as three-part music without fixed instrumentation that can be performed with various instruments. The composition was premiered in 1977 by the composer’s like-minded friends from the early music group Hortus Musicus. Fratres also exists as three-part music with added variations for the solo instrument. The first among these was written for violin and piano and was commissioned by the Salzburger Festspiele festival. It was premiered in 1980 at the festival, performed by Gidon and Elena Kremer to whom this version is dedicated.

Structurally, Fratres consists of a set of variations separated by recurring percussion motifs (in the case of instrument settings without percussion, the drum-like sound is imitated). Throughout the composition we can hear a recurrent theme that starts each time in a different octave. We can clearly recognise three voices: two melodic lines mainly moving stepwise and the central tintinnabuli voice moving on the notes of minor triad. These are accompanied throughout the entire composition by a resounding low drone. The technically demanding part of the solo instrument was added to the recurring three-part theme as a new layer, placing even more emphasis on the contrast between the changing and constant elements. Characteristically for Arvo Pärt, the apparent simplicity of the composition is governed by strict mathematical rules that determine the movement of voices, length of the melody and phrases, time signature alternations and so much more. Both versions can be performed by various instrument combinations.




May 6, Saturday
4pm Hypercube

                            Jay Sorce, saxophones 

                            Andrea Lodge, piano and accordion 

                            Erin Rogers, saxophones 

                            Chris Graham, percussion 


                           Richard Carrick - Mimesis
                           Ricardo Gallo - Transmutable Music (selected movements)
                           Kunal Gala - Mosaic
                           Manny Hernandez - Vectors
                           Annie Hui-Hsieh - "untitled" World Premiere


May 6, Saturday         

6pm Composers Concordance: Guitars & Poems
                            CompCord Ensemble: William Kentner Anderson, Gene Pritsker, Sean Satin - guitars
                                                                       Imelda O'Reilly, Erik T. Johnson, Robert C. Ford, John Pietaro, Kelsea Brunner,  - poets 
                            Poetry by: Ruthie Adamson AKA Wonky Wordsmith, Imelda O'Reilly, Erik T. Johnson, Robert C. Ford,
                                                John Piet
aro, Kelsea Brunner
                            Music by: William Anderson, Dan Cooper, Jonathan Dawe, Jane Getter, Milica Paranosic, and Gene Pritsker


1 The Lion Tamer - Gene Pritsker /  poetry of Robert C. Ford
Gene Pritsker - electric guitar, Sean Satin & William Kentner Anderson
 - classical guitars. Robert C. Ford - recitation
2 One Of Us    - Gene Pritsker / poetry of Erik T. Johnson
Gene Pritsker - electric guitar (e0bow), Sean Satin  - classical guitar. Erik T. Johnson - recitation
3 Extreme Whisper   - Jane Getter
Gene Pritsker - electric guitar; Imelda O'Reilly - recitation
4 Duet for 2 - Milica Paranoisc 
Gene Pritsker - electric  guitar, William Kentner Anderson  - classical guitar. Kelsea Brunner  - recitation
5 Last Train to Mariupol - Suzanne Vega / William Kentner Anderson 
William Kentner Anderson - classical guitar. John Pietaro - recitation 
6 Mama, I Can't Breathe Chorale #2 Version II    - Gene Pritsker /  poetry of Robert C. Ford
Gene Pritsker - electric guitar, Sean Satin - classical guitar. Robert C. Ford - recitation
7 Love Through Chants A Thousand-mouths Wide  - Gene Pritsker / poetry of Erik T. Johnson
William Kentner Anderson  - classical guitar. Erik T. Johnson - recitation
8  Glass Harmonica - Johnathan Dawe 
Gene Pritsker - Electric Guitar, Sean Satin  - classical guitar. Imelda O'Reilly - recitation
9 Mantra #2 - Gene Pritsker 
Gene Pritsker - Electric Guitar, Sean Satin & William Kentner Anderson  - classical guitars. Kelsea Brunner  - recitation
10 Bowery - Dan Cooper
Gene Pritsker - Electric Guitar, Sean Satin & William Kentner Anderson - classical guitars. John Pietaro - recitation 
11 Improvisation on the poem: Cinco de Mayo - Lest We Forget by Ruthie Adamson AKA Wonky Wordsmith
Full ensemble               



May 6, Saturday

8pm Sugar Hill Salon

                            Jay Soleil St. Flono, Soprano 

                            Alyssa Mercedes Mena, Flute 

                            Alexander Davis, Bassoon

                            Thierry de Lucas Neves, Violin  


                            Sarah Kirkland Snider "Chrysalis"   

                            Reena Esmail "Nadiya"
                            Daniel Catan "Encantamiento"  

                            Lori Laitman "I never saw another butterfly" 

                            Jay Soleil St. Flono "Once Upon A Time, We Birds of Africa" 




May 7, Sunday

4pm Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki
                             Karolina Mikołajczyk, violin & Iwo Jedynecki, accordion

                             Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) – Sonata (1953)

                             Philip Glass (1937-) – Piano Etudes no. 9. no. 2, no. 3 (1994)
                             Paweł Janas (1988-) – Sonata {Infinity” (2015) *

                             Edward Smaldone (1956-) – Tom's Song* (2023) & Stephane's Dance (1992)
                             Marcin Błażewicz (1953-2021) – Sonata for violin and accordion "Night Full of Sins” (2019)

                                 * World premiere

May 7, Sunday
7pm QNMF Closing concert - RAM Composers & Players and Guests
     Risa Harman, soprano
                            Seth Gilman, baritone
                            Lish Lindsey, flute, bass flute, ryuteki
                            Thomas Piercy, clarinet, bass clarinet, hichiriki
                            Sabina Torosjan, violin
                            Molly Aronson, cello
                           Tengku Irfan, piano
                            Iwo Jedynecki, accordion


                           RAM Composers
Seth Boustead  “The Marble Palace” for bass clarinet, violin, and cello
                           Zhihua Hu "The Legend of Magpie Bridge" for flute/ryuteki, clarinet/hichiriki, violin, cello, and piano (2023) (Premiere)                                   Masatora Goya "Ovid Suite
" for baritone, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2023) (World Premiere)
                           Beata Moon "Awakening" for soprano, clarinet, cello, and piano (2023) (World Premiere) 
                           Guest Composers
                           Tyson Gholston Davis "Roswell Incident" for clarinet, violin, and piano (2018)
                           Miho Sasaki  “the midnight sun” for clarinet and accordion (2020) (World Premiere)
                           Michael Schelle “K
urashikku” flute/bass flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, and piano (2020) (World Premiere)


Random Access Music    

Risa Harman, soprano
Seth Gilman, baritone

Lish Lindsey, flute, bass flute, ryuteki

Thomas Piercy, clarinet, bass clarinet, hichiriki

Giacomo Baldelli, guitar
Sabina Torosjan, violin

Iwo Jedynecki, accordion
Tengku Irfan, piano


Seth Boustead  “The Marble Palace” for bass clarinet, violin, and cello
The Marble Palace was commissioned by Access Contemporary Music for their video series Songs About Buildings and Moods in which they commission composers to write music inspired by architecture and film a performance of the piece in the space that inspired it. I was inspired to write a piece for the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago. The building was built during the Gilded Age and shares many features of that period's excess but what inspired me was the fear that lay at the heart of its design. Nickerson made his money in whiskey distilleries which, then and now, have a tendency to burn down. This had happened enough to give him a lifelong fear of fire which must have made moving to Chicago just before the Great Fire especially difficult for him.  He responded by building the city's first fireproof house. As such it is built of marble and quite beautiful but it is also a lightless place during the day. I wrote a piece that responds to the elegance of the building but which also contains angst and fear at its core.

Tyson Gholston Davis "Roswell Incident" for clarinet, violin, and piano (2018)

Masatora Goya "Ovid Suite" for baritone, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2023)                         

Ovid is one of the most known Roman poets for his Metamorphoses and Art of Love, but not too many people are aware that he was exiled from Rome at age 50 to the remote town of Tomis on the Black Sea. He just had his third marriage with a very young wife (whose name or details are still unknown to us). He kept sending poems in the letters to be published in Rome by his friends, to claim his innocence and beg the emperor Augustus for his mercy, but to no avail. Kate Light was a published poet, lyricist, and a long time violinist in the New York City Opera. I met Kate at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and we started collaborating on a short musical based on the Ovid's version of Echo and Narcissus story in his Metamorphoses. We thought there are more stories we could musicalize and soon found that his story in exile could be a great resource for a drama. We wrote a few songs for Ovid and the story of Midas, but Kate fell terminally ill and eventually passed away. It was very sudden. After a couple of years of hiatus, we spoke and she said she felt well enough to resume the project. She looked fine and healthy, but a couple of months later she was gone. Visiting these songs from 15 years ago today seems surreal, as if meeting a part of my estranged soul, yet they bring back vivid memories to me. And I cannot help thinking about how elegantly these words reflect the way Kate spoke. She was my friend, mentor, and collaborator.

Zhihua Hu "The Legend of Magpie Bridge" for flute/ryuteki, clarinet/hichiriki, violin, cello, and piano (2023)
“The Le
gend of Magpie Bridge” (“The Cowherd and The Weaver Girl”) was composed to commemorate the legendary love story and the well-known Qixi Festival (Chinese Valentine's Day). In Japan, Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. Besides several Western classical woodwind and string instruments, composer Ms. Hu added the Eastern instruments Ryuteki, Hichiriki and the percussion Tingsha Bells in this ensemble work to express the legendary love story.


Beata Moon "Awakening" for soprano, clarinet, cello, and piano (2023)                       

During the pandemic, I learned a lot about myself and became curious how we as humans in a society react to fear and the unknown. The text is excerpted from Caitlin Johnstone’s poem of the same title. I was drawn to these stanzas because of the hopeful message it gives. If we all could try to be a little more curious, about ourselves and about each other, then I believe we can work towards a more caring world that values our human connections over money, inclusivity over power and control, and respect for our only planet and all the creatures who inhabit it.

Miho Sasaki "The Midnight Sun" for clarinet and accordion (2020)
Composed for Thomas Piercy and Rocco Anthony Jerry during the Covid pandemic in 2020. The concert was sadly cancelled. This piece expresses the feeling of being lost in time and place, directions reflecting the ambience of strange phenomenon as if we were experiencing the never ending midnight sun.

Michael Schelle “Kurashikku” flute/bass flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, and piano (2021)
Old buildings, babbling brooks, deep dark forests, rainbows and sunsets, all classic romantic inspirations for dozens of composers, poets, painters, etc. over the centuries - but Kurashikku (“classic / classical”) takes a brief, edgy look at these romantic traditions through the lens of the increasingly dangerous 21st Century. Composed for Thomas Piercy and Lish Lindsey.

1. Old Buildings
(standing once proud of their past, but now vacant, ghostly, condemned)
2. The Babbling Brook
(but contaminated by toxic run-off, raw sewage and nuclear waste)
3. Deep Dark Forests
(but they're burning, and infested by weevils, beetles and borers)
4. Rainbows and Sunsets
(but obscured by smog and air pollution)
5. Furry Four-legged Friends
(but now they're RATS: uptown rats vs. Hell's Kitchen rats)

Random Access Music's programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts
with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Random Access Music's Queens New Music Festival
Thomas Piercy, Artistic Director

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