Orchestras

ASU’s orchestras provide high-level training for music majors and minors as well as opportunities for non-music majors to continue playing at the college level.

Home / Orchestras / Current season

2021-22 season

Assistant conductors

Sergio Freeman
Sergio Freeman, conductor, instrumentalist and vocal coach was born in Mazatlán, México. He was principal clarinetist of Camerata Mazatlán and has played with orchestras like Orquesta Sinaloa de las Artes and Orquesta del Teatro del Bicentenario. As a pianist and vocal coach he collaborated with the Mazatlan opera studio and at the Bellas Artes opera studio in Mexico City. He has served as rehearsing pianist and vocal coach at productions of operas like Traviata, Rigoletto, La Medium, L’elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Tosca, Sour Angelica, Gianni Schicchi among others.

As a conductor he holds a master’s degree from the University of Veracruz from which he graduated with honors, his conducting mentors were Lanfranco Marcelletti Jr. and Gaetan Kuchta. He has conducted groups like Enigma Ensemble, Orquesta Universitaria de Música Popular de la UV, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo. Sergio is currently Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orquesta del Teatro Ángela Peralta. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral in Musical Arts at Arizona State University and serves as Assistant conductor of the ASU orchestras under the guidance of Jeffery Meyer.

Kara Piatt
Born and raised in Arizona, Kara Piatt began her conducting studies during her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance at Northern Arizona University. Her voice and piano background led her to become an Assistant Conductor and Pianist with the NAU Lyric Opera Theatre and Director Dr. Daniel Keith O’Bryant in their rehearsals and performances. Simultaneously, Kara was the accompanist for multiple instrumental and choral ensembles in the NAU School of Music, which exposed her to a wide variety of conducting styles. These experiences ignited a true passion for conducting and led Kara to pursue many educational opportunities across the country with various renowned conducting pedagogues. She most recently graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with her Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting under the tutelage of Mark Gibson. There, her conducting engagements included serving as Assistant Conductor of the CCM Philharmonia, CCM Concert Orchestra, and the CCM Dance and Opera programs. She also had the opportunity to work closely with talented conductors such as Maestro Louis Langree from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,
and she even joined the CCM Philharmonia as a pianist on numerous occasions. Kara is incredibly excited to continue her studies at ASU for her Doctorate in Orchestral and Opera Conducting. She feels it will push her to new heights as a conductor, educator, and musician, and bring her closer to her eventual goal of sharing classical music with modern audiences around the world.

Sunny Xuecong Xia
Recognized for her innate musicality, compelling presence, and technical precision, conductor Sunny Xia’s ability to forge an immediate and captivating connection with orchestras and audiences alike has led to engagements around the country. Sunny currently serves as Assistant Conductor of the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra and Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra while pursuing a doctorate in Orchestral Conducting. In the 2020-21 season, she appeared as guest conductor with the MusicaNova Orchestra and was invited to the National Music Festival and Pierre Monteux Music Festival as Assistant Conductor. In January 2020, she made her successful debut with the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, who celebrated its 85th season shortly before the pandemic. Other highlights of the 2019-20 season include being selected by Marin Alsop as a Conducting Fellow in the Peabody Conducting Workshop and serving as Apprentice Conductor at the North American New Opera Workshop. Sunny was also Cover Conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra under Vinay Parameswaran, and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra under Carl Topilow. Chosen from a pool of 75 first-round competitors, she was one of ten semifinalists in the 2019 NRTA Conducting Competition in Tirana, Albania. Equally at home in the opera world, Sunny served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater from 2017 to 2020, where she assisted in productions of Die Zauberflöte, The Juniper Tree, Le Rossignol, and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Please visit sunny-xia.com for additional information.

Schedule of Performances

ASU Orchestras

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, September 25, 2021
7:30 p.m.  purchase tickets
Madison Center for the Arts, Phoenix  directions

The ASU Symphony Orchestra welcomes audiences back to the thrill of live, in-person music making with Stravinsky’s ecstatic Firebird Suite. In its debut at the Madison Center for the Arts, the ASUSO also presents Sound and Fury, Anna Clyne’s recent masterpiece which takes its inspiration from the works of Haydn and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The concert begins with Brahms’ beloved “Haydn Variations.” 

Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn
Anna Clyne: Sound and Fury (2019)
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

ASU Chamber Orchestra
Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 7:30 p.m. purchase tickets
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts  directions
Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:30 p.m.  purchase tickets
Madison Center for the Arts, Phoenix  directions

The ASU Chamber Orchestra presents two of ASU’s emerging stars: DMA composer Daniel Taborda Higuita, Winner of the 2020 ASU Composition Competition, who has written a new work for the ASUCO, as well as bassist Nathaniel De la Cruz, Winner of the 2021 ASU Concerto Competition, who will perform Frank Proto’s virtuosic Nine Variants on Paganini. The concert begins with Haydn’s The Soul of the Philosopher and concludes with a world premiere performance of a newly-created edition of Beethoven’s brilliant Symphony No. 8.

Haydn: Overture to Orfeo ed Euridice (The Soul of the Philosopher)
Frank Proto: Nine Variants on Paganini (2002)
                     Nathaniel De La Cruz, bass          
Daniel Taborda Higuita: New Work (2021) (World Premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 (World Premiere, Nicholas Kitchen Edition)

ASU Studio Orchestra and ASU Chamber Winds
Sunday, November 14, 2021, 3 p.m. 
ASU Gammage

ASU Chamber Winds and Studio Orchestra present ASU’s graduate wind and orchestral conductors in a program offering works for winds and Beethoven’s brilliant Symphony No. 7.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
Other works, TBD

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, November 20, 2021, 7:30 p.m.  purchase tickets
ASU Gammage

In collaboration with the reboot of ASU’s SolPower Hip Hop festival, the ASU Symphony premieres Carlos Simon’s Graffiti performed with art created in real time by internationally renowned graffiti artists. A new work by ASU composer Garth Paine begins the concert and includes sounds amplified by the audience’s own cell phones as part of the orchestral landscape. The concert also features pianist John Solari, Winner of the 2020 ASU Concerto Competition, performing Ravel’s American jazz club inspired Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and concludes with Arturo Márquez’s exuberant Danzón No. 2.

Garth Paine: FraKture (2021) (World Premiere)
Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand 
           John Solari, Piano 
Carlos Simon: Graffiti (2021) (World Premiere)
Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2 (1994)

ASU Chamber Orchestra with Xavier Foley
Thursday, February 10, 2022, 7:30 p.m. purchase tickets
Mesa Arts Center

The ASU Chamber Orchestra appears at the Mesa Arts Center as part of an evening with bassist Xavier Foley featuring For Justice and Peace, a new work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Sphinx Organization.

Xavier Foley: For Justice and Peace   
                      Sunny Xia, conductor

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, February 20, 2022, 4 p.m. purchase tickets
ASU Gammage

Baritone Nathan De'Shon Myers joins the ASU Symphony Orchestra performing Nkeiru Okoye’s tragic and thought-provoking Invitation to a Die-In, a work that responds to the murders of Black men, starkly telling the story from the perspective of the deceased, their families, police officers, and citizens on all sides of the issue. The work is preceded by Valerie Coleman’s newly-written Fanfare for Uncommon Times and Molly Joyce’s haunting Over and Under for organ and orchestra. The concert concludes with 2021 ASU Concerto Competition winner Vladislav Kosminov performing Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto No. 3.
Valerie Coleman: Fanfare for Uncommon Times (2021)
Molly Joyce: Over and Under (2016)
Nkeiru Okoye: Invitation to a Die-In (2017)
                        Nathan De'Shon Myers, Baritone
Prokofiev: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3
                 Vladislav Kosminov, piano

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Young Person’s Concert
Thursday, March 3, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.  purchase tickets
Madison Center for the Arts, Phoenix  directions

The ASU Symphony Orchestra presents a concert aimed to engage, inspire, and educate a young audience.

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, April 3, 2022, 3 p.m.
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
Saturday, April 9, 2022, 7:30 p.m. purchase tickets
ASU Gammage

Winners of the 2020 and 2021 ASU Concerto Competition Julian Nguyen, violin, and Ty Chiko, baritone, headline this concert with works by Korngold and Mahler. The concert begins with the blazing energy of Grażyna Bacewicz’s Overture and concludes with Debussy’s shimmering and tempestuous masterpiece La Mer.

Grażyna Bacewicz: Overture
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto, I. Moderato nobile        
                                          Julian Nguyen, violin
Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)
             Ty Chiko, baritone
Debussy: La Mer

ASU Studio Orchestra
Wednesday, April 13, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Katzin Concert Hall, Tempe campus

Conductors Sunny Xuecong Xia, Kara Piatt, and Sergio Freeman lead the ASU Studio Orchestra in Brahms Symphony No. 3 as well as selections from the opera repertoire featuring guest vocalists from ASU’s Music Theatre and Opera program.

Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Other repertoire TBA

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, April 23, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Nelson Fine Arts Plaza

Join the ASU Symphony Orchestra for a short evening concert outdoors at ASU’s Nelson Fine Arts Plaza. The concert will feature Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture and Respighi’s popular Pines of Rome. Admission is free.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Wind Symphony
Thursday, April 28, 2022, 7:30 p.m. purchase tickets
ASU Gammage

Carl St.Clair, guest conductor

Internationally renowned conductor Carl St.Clair leads the ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Wind Symphony in the 2021-22 season finale with works by Berlioz and Ticheli, ending with Respighi’s thunderous Pines of Rome.

Frank Ticheli: Rest
Ticheli: Blue Shades
            ASU Wind Symphony
Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Respighi: Pines of Rome
                ASU Symphony Orchestra

ASU Philharmonia

“Celebration”
Thursday, October 7, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
purchase tickets
The Madison Center for the Arts  directions

The ASU Philharmonia invites you to our first party of the 2021-22 season! The orchestra celebrates being back together in-person and sharing the joy of live music with audiences performing works by Fauré, Price, and Coleman, as well as several that will make the brass section shine by Márquez, Méndez, and Moncayo.

Gabriel Fauré: Masques et Bergamasques, op.112, Overture
Florence Price: Symphony No. 3, Mvt 3 and 4
Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2
Valerie Coleman: Umoja: Anthem of Unity
Rafael Méndez: Tre-Méndez Polka
José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango

“Legends”
Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
more information
ASU Gammage

Staff Appreciation Concert: dedicated to all the wonderful staff members at ASU who make life on campus safe and smooth for everyone. The music is our way of saying thank you for all you do!

The ASU Philharmonia presents an evening of storytelling through meaningful collaboration.  Exploring the sonic worlds of Mozart, Coleridge-Taylor, Piazzolla, Bartók, and Ravel, the Philharmonia collaborates with ASU Professor Carley Conder’s dance class, adding a new dimension to the music presented on stage. Also featured is a world premiere created out of our ongoing collaboration with ASU Professor Fernanda Navarro’s composition class.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Magic Flute Overture
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Novelette No. 1
Ástor Piazzolla: Tangazo: Variations on Buenos Aires
Béla Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances for String Orchestra Sz.56 BB 68
ASU Composition Student: New composition
Maurice Ravel: Mother Goose Suite

“Resilience”
Thursday, February 17, 2022, 7.30 p.m.

ASU Gammage

The ASU Philharmonia presents our very first collaboration with the ASU Gospel Choir, led by Professor Nathan De’Shon Myers! The concert begins with theThird Symphony of Florence Price. Price was an inspiring example of resilience who in 1933 became the first African-American woman composer to be performed by a major American orchestra (Chicago Symphony). In the second half of the program, the orchestra collaborates with the Gospel Choir and celebrates this wonderful new artistic union.

Florence Price: Symphony No. 3
Other works to be announced

“Metamorphosis”
Friday, April 8, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

ASU Gammage

In collaboration with the ASU Choral Union led by Professor David Schildkret, the ASU Philharmonia presents an evening inspired by metamorphosis and transcendence, performing works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, and a world-premiere by Jocelyn Chambers.

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings
Ludwig van Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Jocelyn Chambers: New commission, Title TBD (World Premiere)
Antonio Vivaldi: Gloria

Guest artists

Jocelyn Chambers
composer

Jocelyn C Chambers is a Composer-creative passionate about using her gifts to
diversify musical arts. She began studying piano at age 7, but discovered the magic of composition at 13 and honed her writing skills by reworking existing film scores and arranging popular songs by ear. She won the Texas Young Composers Competition with her first orchestral piece “My Heart,” having her work performed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Chambers was the first woman and Black composer to win. She won once more with her piece “Paradise (So This is Love, My Dear).”

She entered the Butler School of Music’s composition program at the University of
Texas at Austin. Seeing the lack of representation for female composers of color,
Chambers created her own platform. She produced The Gospel According to Jocelyn, a threefold work with original music, poetry, and film to document her experiences as an American black woman. At age 20, Chambers graduated with her bachelor's degree.

In 2018, Chambers moved to Los Angeles to earn a graduate certificate in film
scoring from UCLA. In 2019, she worked as a post-production assistant on Netflix's Designated Survivor, eventually working on Netflix’s Grand Army. She also scored temporary music for both Netflix programs, including her first feature documentary, Mama Gloria, an award-winning documentary highlighting the life of Black trans elder Gloria Allen.

In 2020, she he completed the short documentary In Favor of Fetus, sharing the experiences of women affected by the Wisconsin’s Cocaine Mom law. Chambers also began scoring ad music for industry-leading production agencies including Found Objects, Barking Owl Sound, and The Teenage Diplomat. She pitched work for Nike, the NBA, Ubisoft, Peloton, and recently accepted a position as an in-house ad composer for Butter International Music and Sound. She is also composing music for an upcoming Masterclass course.

Chambers’ concert work has been programmed and commissioned by numerous
ensembles nationwide. Her latest commissions include Splinter Tongue Clarinet Quartet
and the Arizona State University Phiharmonia. She is also composing a piece for harp
in collaboration with world-renowned harpist Yolanda Kondonassis for her project FIVE
MINUTES for Earth.

Chambers continues to advocate for diversity in musical arts. She contributed to the Society of Composers and Lyricists’ Score Magazine with her article “#ScoringSoWhite: Examining Genre Bias and Representation as Composers Compassionately Advocate for Colleagues of Color.” Chambers was featured in composer, author and educator Nate Holder’s book “Where Are All the Black Female Composers?” and on his podcast “The Why Music Podcast” in February 2021. Chambers is determined to ensure Hollywood reflects real world diversity, so she and other creatives of color do not feel alone.

When not composing, Chambers runs her home bakery Sweets by Jocelyn, specializing in gourmet cakes and pies inspired by her family traditions.

Garth Paine
composer

Garth Paine (USA/AU) born 1962, is a composer, performer and scholar. He was awarded a Green Room Award for Outstanding Creativity, for Escape Velocity (Company in Space) and was a finalist for the Best new Musical Score for Dance in Australia, 2014. In 2018, Garth was researcher-artist in residence at IRCAM/ZKM, developing Future Perfect for spatial audio, cell phones and VR which toured Europe in 2019-2020. He presented the Keynote at NIME2016 and a keynote at 2014 Ecomusicologies conference on listening to place. Dr. Paine is a Professor of Digital Sound and Interactive Media at Arizona State University and co-directs the Acoustic Ecology Lab. His music has been performed internationally.

Ty Chiko, voice
concerto competition winner

Celebrated as one of the Bahamas’ Top 40 Under 40, Baritone, Ty Chiko is known as one of the premier voices of his country. While living in the Bahamas, Ty was a member of the country’s national choir, The Bahamas National Youth Choir, where in 2013, he was the Featured Artist for their 23rd annual concert season. Currently, Ty is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University, where he studies with renowned Baritone, Gordon Hawkins. He is also one of the 2021 Concerto Competition Winners at Arizona State University. Ty has been featured on National Public Radio and numerous other podcasts and radio shows while living in Arizona. Most recently, Ty has been selected as one of fifteen finalists for the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition, through the Kurt Weill Foundation. In addition to his performance career, Ty is deeply passionate about youth advocacy. He volunteers yearly for the Amputee Coalition of America as a Summer Camp Counselor and works at a Youth Home as a House Parent for at-risk LGBTQ+ youth. Ty is the owner and operator of a small bakery in Phoenix, Arizona, Broken Breadhaus, where he serves the most delightful baked breads and cinnamon rolls He also serves as Musician-In-Residence Coordinator for a senior living facility, Mirabella at ASU.

Julian Nguyen, violin
concerto competition winner

Julian Nguyen currently studies with and serves as a teaching assistant for Dr. Jonathan Swartz at ASU where he is earning his DMA in violin performance. Prior to pursuing his M.M. with Dr. Swartz, he studied with Kenneth Goldsmith at Rice University where he earned his B.M. in violin performance. After graduating from Rice, Julian won the title of Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Symphony of Southeast Texas, performing three seasons with them. Additionally, he has performed as a substitute for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, augmenting the violin sections as needed at their home in New Orleans. He taught at the University of Houston Moores School of Music Preparatory Program and Vivaldi Music academy and maintained a private studio serving the Houston area before moving to Tempe, where he continues teaching his private students, his ASU students and young artists enrolled in the Phoenix Harmony Project and East Valley Youth Symphony programs through guest teaching, masterclasses and workshops. Most recently, Julian has been appointed as Concertmaster of Musica Nova Orchestra and looks forward to leading the ensemble’s post-pandemic return. Additionally, Julian regularly serves as concertmaster for the ASU Symphony, has performed with his string quartet in masterclasses for Brooklyn Rider, The Brentano String Quartet and The Borromeo String Quartet, and continues experimenting with creating aesthetically tailored compositions and performances designed to engage and excite new audiences. You can view some of his work and
find social media links here: https://linktr.ee/julz9999.

.

 

Nathan De'Shon Myers
baritone

American singer/conductor, Nathan De'Shon Myers has established himself as a versatile artist with international appeal. His hybrid career spans more than 23 years and includes professional performance in opera, jazz and gospel, choral & opera conducting, private voice instruction, classroom teaching, and leading and managing teachers. He has been a featured soloist with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and across Europe including Theater Neustreliz, Stadttheater Trier, Salzburg Landestheater, Chautauqua Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Louisiane, the Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy and Deutsche Oper Berlin where, as a fest soloist he, performed roles such as Dandini in La Cenerentola, Dancairo in Carmen, Schaunard in La Boheme, Ping in Turandot, Marullo in Rogoletto and Matthieu in Andrea Chenier, and more. Other roles performed include the title roles of Gianni Schicchi, Don Giovanni, and Johnny in Ernst Krenek’s Johnny Spielt Auf. During the summer of 2018, Myers revamped his role as Julian in the South African premiere of the American opera Wading Home.

He has collaborated with notable artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Maurice Brown, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Tamela Mann and maintains a national and international presence in the gospel and jazz worlds. He released his debut urban gospel album, Making A Way in 2014 and was a member of the recording ensemble for Kirk Franklin’s Grammy Award-Winning album, Losing My Religion in 2015 and lent his voice and musicianship to the soundtracks of the movies Hidden Figures in 2016 and The Star in 2017.

Myers holds music degrees from the University of Tulsa, Mannes College of Music, and Southern Methodist University. A former member of the music faculty at the highly-acclaimed Booker T. Washington HSPVA in Dallas, he served as the Music Conservatory Director and Head of Opera & Vocal Studies.

Myers joined the music faculty at ASU and serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and conductor of the Gospel Choir. Learn more about Myers at https://thenathanmyers.com/.

Carlos Simon
composer

Carlos Simon is a multi-faceted and highly sought-after composer, whose music ranges from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores with influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism.

Recently announced as Composer in Residence at the Kennedy Center, Carlos’ commissioning highlights include premiere works with: New York Philharmonic; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Opera; Philadelphia Orchestra; and Washington National Opera. The Philadelphia Enquirer described his music as “perfectly engaging and propulsive”.

Simon’s latest album My Ancestor’s Gift, which was released in April 2018 on Navona Records, epitomises Simon’s work incorporating spoken word and historic recordings alongside traditional classical music, crafting a multi-faceted record that speaks to audiences past and future.

In 2017, Carlos Simon joined the inaugural class of the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music. He then went on to be named a Sundance/Time Warner Composer Fellow in 2018, seeing him work at the legendary Skywalker Ranch and he was a recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence in 2021. Learn more about Carlos Simon at http://coliversimon.com/.

Nathaniel De la Cruz, bass
concerto competition winner

Peruvian born double bass player Nathaniel De la Cruz started learning the piano at the age of six, and was introduced to the double bass at the age of 16. Nathaniel took lessons from Dante Bereche from the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, and in 2012 he went to study with Marcos Machado at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music. He is currently working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theater with world famous double bassist Catalin Rotaru, with whom he earned his master’s degree. As an orchestral player, he performed in concerts with renowned soloists and conductor like Midori, James Galway, Deborah Voigt, Juan Diego Florez, Gustavo Dudamel, Apo Hsu among others. He took private lessons and master classes with world-class bass players such as Leonid Finkelshteyn, DaXun Zhang, Owen Lee, Thierry Barbe, Michael Cameron and Jeff Bradetich. He is currently the double bass instructor at the Harmony Project Phoenix and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He also participated in the legendary Giovanni Bottesini International Double bass Competition in Italy, and was a semifinalist in the Latin Orchestra Of Europe International Double Bass Competition. In addition, Nathaniel was the first prize winner of several competitions including the MTNA Strings Solo Competition, the National Young Artists Solo Competition in Washington state, the Talent Show of the Charleston International Music Competition and the Grand Prize of the Art Festival Bass Strings International Competition in Campina, Romania.

John Solari, piano
concerto competition winner

John Solari is a pianist currently pursuing a master’s degree at Arizona State University under Dr. Baruch Meir. An avid soloist, John has performed nationally and internationally, appearing as a guest performer at the 2020 Walled City Music Festival and as a student participant at the 2021 Piano Texas Festival and the 2018 White Nights festival in St. Petersburg. He was also recently awarded 2nd prize in the 2021 MTNA Young Artist’s Competition. Aside from solo performance, John is very enthusiastic about collaboration and early keyboard instruments. He maintains a busy schedule playing for student recitals and competitions, and is premiering a new work for clarinet and organ in April. Prior performances have involved collaboration with live musicians and dancers, orchestra pits and a recital with Jim Miller of the LA Philharmonic. Early in the pandemic, John was featured in a series of short music videos in various styles, and has continued to create music asynchronously where live performance has not been possible. He has also studied under organist and early music scholar Dr. Kimberly Marshall since 2016, working on music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras both on harpsichord and organ. Besides repertoire study, he has worked on diverse projects such as continuo realization for both small and large ensembles, as well as transcriptions of several preludes and fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

 .

 

Nkeiru Okoye
composer

Nkeiru Okoye is an internationally recognized composer of opera, symphonic, choral, chamber, solo piano and vocal works. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in music composition and is perhaps best known for her opera, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom; the orchestral work, Voices Shouting Out, composed as an artistic response to 9/11; and her suite, African Sketches, which is performed by pianists around the globe.
Dr. Okoye’s works defy ilk and are known for infusing a wide range of musical styles and influences that evoke all the senses and palpably conjure context for time and place. This results in an extraordinary musical experience that transports the listener to a specific emotion, event, or reckoning. One of her most recent symphonic works, Black Bottom, demonstrates this signature style, and The New York Times named it "one of the most engrossing musical portraits of Black history in the available repertoire." In 2020, the State of Michigan issued a proclamation acknowledging Dr. Okoye’s “extraordinary contributions” to the history of Detroit, Michigan, for Black Bottom which was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in celebration of the centennial season of Orchestra Hall.
Dr. Okoye is a gifted writer of poetry, prose, essays, and lyrics. She writes many of her own libretti and lyrics but also collaborates with noted librettists and writers around the world. She is in demand as a speaker and educator, particularly about community engagement and music as an agent of change.
Profiled in the Music of Black Composers Coloring Book and Routledge’s African American Music: An Introduction textbook, she is also the inaugural recipient of the Florence Price Award for Composition. Dr. Okoye is a board member of Composers Now!. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a PhD in Music Theory and Composition from Rutgers University.
Other recent works include Tales from the Briar Patch, a sung story, commissioned by The American Opera Project; Charlotte Mecklenburg, commissioned by the Charlotte Symphony; Euba’s Dance, for cellist Matt Haimowitz; When young spring comes for pianist and NPR Host, Laura Downes; and a micro-opera, 600 Square Feet, for Cleveland Opera Theatre. For a comprehensive list of Dr. Okoye’s works, please visit nkeiruokoye.com.

Carl St.Clair
conductor

Carl St.Clair is internationally recognized for his distinguished career as a professional conductor and master teacher. He has had a continuing relationship with the USC Thornton School of Music for over 25 years as conductor of the USC Thornton orchestras and a faculty lecturer in conducting. The 2019-20 season marks his 30th year as music director of the Pacific Symphony. He is one of the longest-tenured conductors of the major American orchestras. During his tenure, St.Clair has become widely recognized for his musically distinguished performances, his commitment to building outstanding educational programs and his innovative approaches to programming. St.Clair’s commitment to the development and performance of new works by composers is evident in the wealth of commissions and recordings by the Symphony. In 2014, St.Clair became the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Costa Rica. His international career also has him conducting abroad several months a year, and he has appeared with orchestras throughout the world. He has also appeared with orchestras in Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South America, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and summer festivals worldwide. In North America, St.Clair has led the Boston Symphony Orchestra (where he served as assistant conductor for several years), New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver symphonies, among many.
Carl St.Clair is a strong advocate of music education for all ages, and is internationally recognized for his distinguished career as a master teacher. And, for over 25 years, he has had a continuing relationship with the USC Thornton School of Music where he is artistic leader and principal conductor of the orchestral program.

Vladislav Kosminov, piano
concerto competition winner

Pianist Vladislav Kosminov, a native of Uzbekistan, is the winner of ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre Concerto Competition 2021. He made his California debut in January 2015 performing Chopin's Piano Concerto no.1 with Maestro Jon Robertson and The Redlands Symphony. This performance was described by Redlands Daily Facts as “concert.. with music simply flowing through his fingers and floating like liquid gold in intricate patterns up and down the keyboard.” In 2017, Kosminov was featured in the prestigious concert series “Rising Star” organized by Portland Piano International where he played a world premier of David Schiff’s Songs Without Words. In 2013, Kosminov made his USA debut as a winner of Lynn Concerto Competition playing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto no.1 with Lynn Philharmonia and Maestro Guillermo Figueroa. Kosminov is a prize-winner of several International and National Competitions. Including the International Rubinstein Piano Concerto Competition (France-Paris 2004) and
G.Gershwin International Competition in Brooklyn in 2015 and Shabyt Inspiration International Competition (Astana, Kazakhstan). Currently Mr. Kosminov is working on his doctoral degree at ASU in the studio of Dr. Baruch Meir.

Daniel Taborda, composer
concerto competition winner

Daniel Taborda, A Colombian born composer, holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia. In 2014 he won the National prize of Composition of the Colombian Ministry of Culture with his piece “Primera suite para banda sinfónica basada en ritmos colombianos”. In the same year, Daniel won the second prize of the national contest of unpublished Colombian Music in San Pedro – Valle del Cauca with his piece “Fansaxo” for alto saxophone and wind band. In the Fall of 2014, Daniel was awarded with a full scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in Music Composition in the United States with Dr. Edward Knight at Oklahoma City University. In 2015 Daniel applied in the same university for a second master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting with Dr. Eric Garcia. His piece “Iris” for Wind Band was published by Piles Music in Europe in 2015. In 2018, Daniel was accepted to pursue his studies in the field of Conducting in different conservatories and universities in Europe such as: Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Codarts and Fontys University (The Netherlands), and Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland). His pieces “Fansaxo” was premiered by Honk Kong Tak Ming Philharmonic Winds in Hong Kong in June 2019. In the Spring of 2019, Daniel was accepted in a Doctoral Program in Music Composition with a scholarship and a teaching assistantship at Arizona State University. In spring of 2020 Daniel won
the composition competition at Arizona State University. The same year ASMTA commissioned a piece for piano solo the ASMTA piano conference of 2020. Recently was awarded the 3rd place at the Kathleen Mykytyn Distinguished Composition Award and the "Composition Award - Symphonic Band Format" of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá.

Listen and Watch

Musicians playing

Harp of Nerves

JIJI performs Harp of Nerves, a guitar concerto by Hilary Purrington, with the ASU Symphony Orchestra.

An orchestra playing on stage

Don Juan

The ASU Symphony Orchestra opens the 2018-19 with Strauss’s explosive tone poem Don Juan, which launched him to international fame when he was only 25 years old.

Orchestral opportunities