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Women in Music at PONCHO

Women in Music at PONCHO

: Violist Mara Gearman; photo courtesy of the artist.

Saturday April 13, brings Women in Music to the PONCHO Concert Hall; featured are works by composition faculty members Emily Doolittle and Janice Giteck.

For composer and Cornish faculty member Emily Doolittle, equality in music has not come as fast as it should have. Despite years of progress, programs that bring the talents of female composers to the attention of the public are still very much needed. Doolittle spoke at length with Gavin Borchert of Seattle Weekly on the need for programs like the upcoming Women in Music, taking place on Sunday, April 13, at PONCHO Concert Hall. Women in Music, a presentation of the Cornish Music Series, will explore chamber and solo works for viola by female composers Rebecca Clarke, Emily Doolittle, Janice Giteck and Sofia Gubaidulina. “I think women composers are often reluctant to talk about this [lack of exposure],” said Dr. Doolittle. “I was for years — because we don’t want to seem like we’re complaining, or saying our careers aren’t what they could be. I feel like I have lots of great opportunities and performances, and so do most of my composer friends who are women. . . . Seeing my students face the same issues that I did 20 years ago is really what made me start speaking out ...”

Women in Music will take place at 7 PM at PONCHO Concert Hall in Kerry Hall on Capitol Hill. Violist Mara Gearman will be featured. She is joined by Paul Taub (flute), Valerie Muzzolini Gordon (harp), Oksana Ezhokina (piano), and Matt Kocmieroski (percussion).  The musicians are professionals from both inside and outside of Cornish, as are the composers. Two of the featured composers, Emily Doolittle and Janice Giteck, are on the composition faculty of the Cornish Music Department.  Featured violist Mara Gearman teaches at Cornish, as do percussionist Matt Kocmieroski, who also plays with the Seattle Symphony, and Paul Taub, who plays with the Seattle Chamber Players.  Tickets are available by clicking here.

Women in Music, April 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m. PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle. Presented by the Cornish Music Series.

Artist Bios

While still early in her career, violist Mara Gearman is already an accomplished player with extensive experience in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She regularly performs with the chamber groups American String Project and Seattle Chamber Players, and has collaborated with such prestigious performers as Ani Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Vladimir Feltsman, and Dale Clevenger, the legendary principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is also a founding member of the Barston String Quartet as well as Trio Tara with pianist Oksana Ezhokina and Laurie DeLuca, clarinet. Gearman has held or been awarded a number of orchestral appointments, including principal viola (at age twenty) under maestro Rossen Milanov, and principal viola at the Kansas City Symphony and at the Oregon Symphony under music director James DePriest. Currently she is the second desk violist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under maestro Gerard Schwarz. As a solo performer Gearman has won solo awards at the Primrose and Tertis International Viola Competitions, performing viola solos ranging from American composers Alan Shulman and Derek Bermel to Hungarian composer Miklos Rozca. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, her primary teachers included Roberto Diaz, Pinchas Zukerman, and Karen Tuttle, as well as additional study in Canada, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland with Nobuko Imai, Barbara Westphal, and Gerard Causse.

Pianist Oksana Ezhokina is a native of Ryazan, Russia. The winner of piano competitions in Russia and the United States, Ezhokina has given numerous chamber and solo performances in both countries. Her collaborations have included concerts with such ensembles as the Seattle Chamber Players, Klimt Piano Trio and the Contemporary Chamber Players. A dedicated performer of works by contemporary composers, she has premiered music by Laura Kaminsky and Paul Dresher, among others. Ezhokina was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Ryazan School of Music in Russia, a Master of Music in piano from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music from Walla Walla College. Her principal teachers were Christina Dahl, Donald Walker, Leonard Richter and Eleanor Oragyoff. She has coached chamber music with pianists Gilbert Kalish and Seymour Lipkin as well as members of the Juilliard, Emerson, Orion and Vermeer String Quartets. Ezhokina is Resident Pianist and Co-Artistic Director at the Icicle Creek Music Center, where she teaches piano.

Valerie Muzzolini Gordon is Principal Harp of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, a position which she has held since the age of twenty-three. In demand both nationally and internationally, she has performed as guest Principal Harp of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France and the Nice Philharmonic, and has also appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra. As soloist, she has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Nice Philharmonic, and the Vancouver Symphony. She has performed at prestigious festivals worldwide, including Tanglewood and Verbier, Switzerland, and has played under the batons of such renowned conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, and Bernard Haitink. An active chamber musician and avid proponent of new music, she performs regularly with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, and Music of Remembrance. Born in Nice, France, she began her musical education at the Nice Conservatory, from which she received top honors. She continued her studies at the Curtis Institute with Marilyn Costello and Judy Loman, followed by graduate work at Yale University with Nancy Allen.

Matthew Kocmieroski is principal percussionist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He regularly performs with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera and is on the faculty of the Cornish College of the Arts. He is also currently the President of the International Guild of Symphony, Opera and Ballet Musicians. In the field of chamber music he served for ten years as artistic director and percussionist of the New Performance Group, and was a founding member of Taneko, and currently, Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet. In the Northwest he regularly performs with the Seattle Chamber Players, and has appeared at the Seattle Chamber Music Society Festivals, the Icicle Creek Music Festival, the Marrowstone Music Festival, the Methow Music Festival, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle International Chamber Music Festival and the Bellingham Festival of Music. Internationally he has appeared at the Bergen, Moscow Autumn, Moscow Cold Alternativa, St. Petersburg’s Sound Waves, Kiev MusicFest and Warsaw Autumn festivals. One of his greatest satisfactions is his work with numerous composers on their music and the emergence of a number of new works and recordings from these collaborations. He may be heard on many recordings of solo, chamber, and orchestral music as well as a wide variety of both major and independent motion picture, television, and video game soundtracks.

Born in New York City, Paul Taub has been a resident of Seattle and a Cornish faculty member since 1979. He holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, and has studied with some of the world’s greatest flutists including Michel Debost, Samuel Baron, Marcel Moyse, and Robert Aitken. As a founding member of the Seattle Chamber Players, Taub has played an active role in the Seattle contemporary music scene and has performed and recorded American and world premieres by internationally known composers such as Robert Aitken, John Cage, George Crumb, Janice Giteck, Sofia Gubaidulina, Wayne Horvitz, Ned Rorem, Toru Takemitsu, Reza Vali, and Peteris Vasks among others. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, the Everett Symphony, the Young Composers Collective, and the Esoterics. Taub’s program of international solo flute music has been presented at numerous festivals and universities throughout the U.S., Canada, and France. He has been a featured performer at National Flute Association conventions in Los Angeles (1992), Atlanta (1999), and Las Vegas (2003). He has recently completed terms as a member of the Boards of Directors of both Chamber Music America and the National Flute Association.


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