RICHARD AULDON CLARK
RICHARD AULDON CLARK is one of the youngest conductors ever to appear on the stage of Carnegie Hall. A fervent proponent of American music, Mr. Clark has conducted more than one hundred world premiere performances and has 30 CD recordings in his rapidly expanding discography. He has committed the MCO to premiering and recording the music of young composers as well as that of more established artists whose works have been overlooked or forgotten. Recent guest conducting appearances include: the Long Island Philharmonic, Broadway’s “Annie Get Your Gun”, Long-Island Opera, Mercyhurst Opera Company, Mexico City, Jalapa (Mexico), and “Broadway on Broadway”.
In addition to his conducting, Mr. Clark is an active recitalist and chamber musician. Originally from Apalachin, NY, Mr. Clark studied violin and viola in New York City with Raphael Bronstein, Ariana Bronne, and Lillian Fuchs. Mr. Clark is on the faculty of Rutgers University – Mason Gross School of the Arts and the Manhattan School of Music, where he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees.
KAREN ROSTRON studied violin with Raphael Bronstein and Ariana Bronne. As concertmaster and principal violinist of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (MCO) for eight years, she has participated in over 100 premiere performances in New York City, and twenty-two CD recordings. She also appears regularly in New York City as soloist and chamber musician, and tours extensively throughout the United States and internationally.
Recent performances include recitals in Weill and Merkin Halls, the Donnell Library, and several solos with the MCO. Ms. Rostron is on the faculty of the Preparatory Division of the Manhattan School of Music, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
As a free-lance violinist in New York City, WOLFGANG TSOUTSOURIS’ schedule includes Broadway, orchestral, chamber, studio, and solo playing. He has appeared as soloist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony and the Northshore Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed in Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, The Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse, at Northwestern University, and the Park City International Music Festival where he has collaborated with such artists as Oleh Krysa, Arturo Delmoni, Jeff Solow, and Jeff Irvine. In addition to the standard repertoire, Wolfgang also enjoys performing contemporary works, and has given several world, United States, and New York premiers. For the past three seasons, he has been involved with ModernWorks!, directed by Madeline Shapiro, and recently collaborated with the composer Ronn Yedidia on his works for violin and piano.
A young violinist/composer, Meg Okura creates unique sounds on her violin, incorporating classical and jazz music. During the recent years, she has toured extensively in Japan and the U.S., performing as a soloist and the leader of her band. Ms. Okura’s versatility as an improvising violinist has led her to play with various musicians including the saxophone legend Lee Konitz, rock star David Bowie, R & B vocalist Mary J. Blige, composers Philip Glass, Elliot Sharp, groups such as the Kronos Quartet, the Soldier String Quartet, Vince Giordano Nighthawk Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble at venues from Carnegie Hall to the Knitting Factory.
She now has three solo albums on the Word of Life Music label in Japan. She also has recorded with many artists including Sam Newsome, Darryl Hall, and Steve Sacks. Native of Japan, Meg Okura graduated from Toho Gakuen High School of Music with honors, then moved to the United States and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. In addition to her career as a concert violinist, Meg is also a talented composer. She was commissioned to write the symphonic work “Fanfare” premiered by the New York Symphonic Ensemble in 1998. She also arranged for the group’s performances at the United Nations and the 2000 Japan Tour. Her composition “Creation” received the Honorable Mention in The 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
ERIC HAMMELMAN performs regularly in the New York metro area, performing with groups such as the New Jersey Symphony and the New York Pops. Eric is also on the roster of Chamber Players International, playing chamber concerts throughout Long Island. He spent two summers coaching and playing chamber music at Point CounterPoint in Vermont. Eric earned a Masters of Music from the Mannes College of Music in New York, studying with viola with Karen Ritscher and quartets with Felix Galamir and the Orion String Quartet, and a Bachelors of Music from the University of Illinois in Urbana, studying with Emanuel Vardi.
British cellist ALEXANDRA MACKENZIE has toured throughout Europe and North America as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Alexandra made her professional debut at ten years of age at London’s Royal Albert Hall where subsequent newspaper articles led to performances on television. Radio performances include NPR, Classic FM, World Service, and German National Radio. Ms. Mackenzie has recorded for VOX, SONY, and Oxford Classics. She frequently performs with the Construction Company String Quartet, SEM ensemble and SEM orchestra, Downtown Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso and the Jupiter Chamber Players. Alexandra Mackenzie graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Manhattan School of Music where she was a scholarship student of David Soyer and Peter Wiley.
ALEXANDER KADVAN, a native New Yorker, received his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in Urban Studies and went on to do his graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music in Cello Performance. Now residing in Brooklyn, he is an active freelance orchestral player, chamber musician and music coordinator. He has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, New York Grand Opera, The New York Pops, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. In addition to those activities, he performs chamber music whenever possible and plays with several different pop/rock artists. This past summer, Alex put together the big bands that backed up comic Don Rickles and Regis Philbin at NJPAC and supplied the brass section for the legendary Temptations.
Double Bassist Marc Schmied is a versatile musician, equally at home in both the classical and jazz idioms. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Marc has played with the Sarasota Opera, the Greenwich Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, and many others, as well as the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has performed in the Broadway productions of Cabaret, The Music Man, and Oklahoma!. Marc is also a member of the eclectic chamber group the Abaca String Band.