Violist Helen Callus has been described by critics as a player with impeccable sensibilities and a beautiful sound, infinitely malleable into all kinds of musical subtleties. The Seattle Times.
As a recitalist, chamber music collaborator and concerto soloist, Ms. Callus has delighted audiences in major cities around the world. In 2003, whilst a guest at Brigham Young University for the Primrose Memorial Recital, Ms. Callus performed with the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City to an audience of 4,000 and broadcast to over 2,000 television stations internationally. A busy chamber music artist, Ms. Callus has performed at chamber music festivals including the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Palaces of St. Petersburg (Russia) Chamber Music Festival and the Dilijan Chamber Music Series at Zipper Hall, Los Angeles to name a few. Ms. Callus has performed at several major international viola congresses since 2001, including those of New Zealand, Seattle (of which she was the host-chair), Kronberg in Germany and Minnesota and is due to perform at the 35th International Congress in Adelaide, Australia in 2007.
Ms. Callus is a regular solo artist on radio and TV and can be heard regularly on such programs as Performance Today and in interviews on National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Radio New Zealand. She was heard for the second time on National Public Radio.s broadcast Saint Paul Sunday in 2005 as solo guest with pianist Phillip Bush in a program called Hidden Treasures, a compilation of beautiful previously unknown works for viola and piano. The show broadcasts to over 1 million listeners around the globe.
Ms. Callus currently serves as Associate Professor of Viola at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the President of the American Viola Society. She is also the Viola Forum Editor for the American String Teachers Association Journal and was the founder of the educational outreach organization BRATS (Bratsche Resources And Teaching in the Schools) first brought to national attention in the February 2002 issue of STRAD Magazine. Her first teaching appointment at the age of 26 was to the faculty of The University of Washington where she taught for seven years. Herself a prize winner at several major competitions including the Tertis International Viola Competition, she has adjudicated for ASTA and was Chair of the jury for the Primrose International Viola Competition in 2003. Most recently, Ms. Callus has accepted the position of Artistic Director of the Centrum Chamber Music Festival situated on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend just north of Seattle.
A native of Kent, England, Ms. Callus graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Ian Jewel. She was most recently bestowed an Honorary ARAM (Associate of the RAM) for her achievements in the field. She continued her graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland. Ms Callus plays on a viola made by Gabrielle Kundert.
Cellist Hilary Clark received her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her MM in cello performance from Western Michigan University. Upon completing her Master of Music degree, Hilary moved to Chicago and was active in the freelance scene for 6 years, playing in orchestras including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, South Bend Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, and Principal Cello in the Elmhurst Symphony. She is currently in the DMA program at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she is the recipient of a Young Artist String Quartet Fellowship.
Jeremy Haladyna, Director of the ECM (and Associate Director of New Music Festivals II-X), holds prizes and academic qualifications from three countries. He is a diplòmè of the history-rich Schola Cantorum on Paris' Left Bank. He also holds the Master's degree with Distinction from the University of Surrey (U.K.). He has taught undergraduate composition at UCSB since 1991 and was awarded the Ph.D. in composition in 1993. In addition to his responsibilities with ECM, he teaches orchestration and is on the faculty of the College of Creative Studies, UCSB. As pianist, composer, conductor and organist, he has long been committed to the espousal of new music. Prizes from the Friends of Lili Boulanger and Britain's MCPS Ltd. bear witness to his creativity, and his own music has recently been heard at St. John's Smith Square, London; South Bank Centre, London; St. Paul's Cathedral, London; BMIC, London; and the National Museum of Art, Mexico City. His On The Mat of The Jaquar Priest, written for Jill Felber, appears on Neuma records.
Nate Keezer started playing music at age seven, and at age nine he found his true passion for drums. In 2005 he moved to Santa Barbara, California where he is currently the Senior Musician in the Modern Dance Department at UCSB. Nate was featured in the "Lompoc Pops" holiday concert for 2007. In March of 2008, Nate will be traveling to Namibia for ten days to teach at The Mondesa Youth Opportunity as a Volunteer Music teacher.
Pianist Natasha (Natalia) Kislenko has concertized extensively as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout Russia, Europe and the United States. Critics praise her "great artistry," "perfect technique," and "extraordinary richness of nuance and color." Born in Moscow, Russia, Ms. Kislenko began piano studies when she was six, gave her first solo Moscow recital at fourteen, and appeared with several symphony orchestras while still in the Special Music School for Gifted Children of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Her graduate performance degree is from the famed Moscow Conservatory (1994), where she majored in Piano Performance, Accompanying, and Teaching. Averaging forty solo recitals a year, she toured Russia, the other Republics of the former USSR, and Germany. International awards include a Third (1992) and a Second (1995) prize at the "J. S. Bach" competition in Saarbrücken, Germany, and various prizes in piano competitions in France, Slovak Republic, Italy and Portugal. Summer studies at the famed Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, brought its highest award: the Diploma di Honore.
Ms. Kislenko moved to the USA in 1995 to study with the world-renowned Spanish pianist Joaquín Achúcarro at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and earn another Masters Degree. For her Doctorate in Piano Performance she studied with the distinguished American pianist Gilbert Kalish at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, graduating in 2004. Concentrating on broadening her solo and collaborative piano repertoire, she became particularly interested in twentieth-century music.
She made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in 1996 at Weill Recital hall, after taking Grand Prix in the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition at Joplin. Winning the Texas Steinway Society Career Development Award resulted in several Dallas area recitals. Subsequent international recitals included an all-Bach program at the festival "J. S. Bach-Tage" in Germany. Natasha's interest in musical collaboration led to summers with the Sarasota (FL) Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where she was a fellowship student of Anne Epperson.
Natasha has had unique and broad experience in the field of music. She collaborated with many famed artists including Sarah Chang, Zvi Zeitlin, James Buswell, Theodore Kuchar, and Gary Gray, to name a few. She is equally at home performing solo and collaborative recitals, chamber music concerts, and playing piano in the orchestra. She also enjoys coaching singers in the opera productions and teaching piano in the academic environment. Dr. Kislenko served as a full-time collaborative pianist and a piano studio instructor at the Department of Music, California State University, Fresno, for five years. In the summers, she has been a collaborative piano faculty member at the Meadowmount School of Music, NY (2003) and the Music Academy of the West (2004-present).
Patrick Lindley received two masters degrees in harpsichord and musicology from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. He was the first harpsichordist to receive the prestigious Beebe Award for European study/travel, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger (Paris) and Gustav Leonhardt (Amsterdam) and has played recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe. Also an accomplished pianist and composer, he is currently Principal Musician for the Dance Division, and has composed music for several drama productions for the Department of Dramatic Art. Lindley has collaborated with both ballet and modern teachers from most major U.S. and European companies. He has composed film scores, choral music, keyboard works, and has had several multimedia works premiered by UCSB's CREATE concert series. He has taught harpsichord performance practice to doctoral candidates for UCSB's Music Department, as well as playing solo harpsichord recitals. For the past three years he has directed and performed in multi-disciplinary improvisation concerts for the Primavera Festival.
As a musician, Sally Mosher has been active as pianist, newspaper music critic, teacher and concert manager, and presently concentrates on performing early music and her own compositions on the harpsichord and piano. Mosher has recorded Elizabethan harpsichord works as well as her own compositions, and has written a book on the 16th century. After studying at Manhattanville College and the University of Southern California for degrees in music history and piano, Mosher obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Law School, and is a member of the California Bar. Long interested in contemporary music, Mosher is President of Piano Spheres Concerts (founded by Leonard Stein), a recital series presenting notable piano compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries at Zipper Concert Hall of the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Los Angeles. For information on the CDs and book, as well as a link to a website with many of her paintings, please visit her website.
Pali-X-Mano is a prolific artist in the Santa Barbara, California art scene. He is the creator of gigantic floats and whimsical costumes in the annual Santa Barbara Solstice Parade. Wildly flamboyant, he struts around town and attends public receptions, arriving in his hand-painted cars and suits. He enjoys directing and creating multi-media videos in which he is dancing, painting, and interacting with live musicians and the audience. Every year, he attends the Burning Man Festival with his illuminated inflatable sculptures attached to the top of his decorated Art Car.
He graduated from the Hungarian Academy of Art and Design, Budapest, in 1982 and has taken a variety of Art and Multimedia Arts classes at Santa Barbara City College (1998-present).
Justin Weaver studied music composition with Jeremy Haladyna and William Kraft at the University of California Santa Barbara's College of Creative Studies (1996-2000). In 2000 he entered UCSB's linguistics program and completed the MA degree requirements in 2003. Since 2002 he has worked for Community Arts Music Association, a classical music presenter in Santa Barbara, as Concert and Publicity Manager. He has been improvising with Patrick Lindley since 2004.