THUNDER: PERFECT MIND – Performers
Harrah Friedlander is a soprano from Mobile, AL. She earned her Master’s degree from Northwestern University where she appeared as Amy in Little Women, Emmie Spashett in Albert Herring, Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, and Elle in a production of La voix humaine, which she produced and directed. She served as the Assistant Director for the Northwestern Opera Production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and directed Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as well as The Loop by Jivin Misra. Harrah performed Bach’s charming Coffee Cantata at the Aspen Music Festival under the direction of Harry Bicket. She has premiered several works by Northwestern composers as well, including Jivin Misra, Michal Novotny, and Conner VanderBeek. Harrah was awarded the Dr. Gerald L. Smith Scholarship for scholastic and musical achievements and graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Performance and an ad-hoc degree in Theatre Studies. She currently studies with Pamela Hinchman and Alan Darling.
Emily Cox has experience in musical theatre, opera and solo orchestral works. Her numerous opera roles include Donna Elvira in UNC Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, Despina in the Greeley Philharmonic’s production of Cosi fan tutte, Nella in UNC’s Gianni Schicci, Isabel in UNC’s Pirates of Penzance, Contessa Almaviva in UE Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Marianne in UE Opera’s Tartuffe. In 2014, Ms. Cox made her Chicago debut as the Second Spirit in W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberfloete. This fall, Ms. Cox will be performing with the Chicago Folks Operetta’s production of The Girl in the Train. She is a featured Teaching Artist with the Chicago Opera Theater Educational Outreach program and a returning member of the Chicago Chapter of Opera on Tap. An enthusiastic supporter of new music, Emily worked with the Fort Collins Art Commission and the Bas Bleu Theater on the world premiere of Colorado composer Previn Hudetz’s opera Salem: 1692. Ms Cox directed, produced and starred as Margaret Scott. Ms. Cox holds a Masters of Music from the University of Northern Colorado and Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Evansville; she graduated from both establishments with honors. She is currently a student of Ms. Julia Faulkner and Ms Emily Birsan.
Hailed for her “floating, silky soprano”, Nathalie Colas, soprano, was born and raised in Strasbourg, France. A curious and versatile artist, Nathalie is a founding member of Chicago new music ensemble Fonema Consort, with whom she has premiered numerous new works, collaborated with an array of international composers, and performed around the US, in Mexico, Costa Rica and Europe. An avid recitalist, Nathalie studied art song with the late German baritone Udo Reinemann and regularly performs such repertoire in the midwest and in Europe, aside from her operatic engagements. She is a current soloist with the Chicago Bach Ensemble, Aestas Consort and Voix de Stras’ – Ensemble de Chambre de Strasbourg. Nathalie was recently heard in Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company production of Telemann’s Don Quichotte, in Handel’s Messiah with the St Louis Bach Society, and in the title role of Rita by G. Donizetti in Ardez, Switzerland. A graduate of DePaul University School of Music and of the Brussels Royal Conservatory, she completed her opera training at the Swiss Opera Studio/Hochschule der Kunst Bern. Nathalie was awarded 1st prize in the Music Institute of Chicago competition last winter.
Hope Littwin is a Chicago based singer, composer and producer who grew up in Seattle and Miami where she performed with Miami’s New International Ballet Company and New World School of The Arts’ Musical Theater Ensemble. She recently graduated from the Music Conservatory at Chicago College of Music (2013), with a double major in Classical Voice and Music Composition. She has performed at Chicago Symphony Center, Old Town School of Folk, The Auditorium Theatre and The Congress Theater. As a composer, Hope has written for Chicago New Music Vocal Quartet, Gaudete Brass, Roosevelt String Quartet, Chicago’s Electro Acoustic Music Festival and Kokopeli Production Studios. Most recently Hope has worked with Artemisia, Erica Mott productions, CUBE Ensemble, Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, Baroque Band and Renegade Stage. As a singer, Hope has performed with Celia Cruz, the SamaSama Project, The Lira Ensemble, High Concept Labs/Parlour Tapes and TKesh Productions. Hope is currently working as the Artistic Director of Chicago’s CUBE ensemble and a freelance composer and singer.
Daniel Grambow is a professional teaching artist based out of Chicago, IL. He received his Bachelors in Music from University of Miami: Frost School of Music and his Masters of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music. As a teacher he has worked at Cleveland School of the Arts, and with Cleveland Institute of Music’s Distance Learning program. Some of his operatic credits include Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), Schaunard (La Bohème), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Betto, (Gianni Schicchi), and Geronimo (Il matrimonio segreto). He also sings with St. Alphonsus Church Choir and is the general director of Floating Opera Project here in Chicago. He was a finalist in the Seven Stars Project in Los Angeles California and at Inspiration Point, he was given the Marie Prudie Brown Emerging Young Artist Award. Since Daniel moved to the Chicago, he has collaborated with a number of local opera companies including Vox 3 Collective, Candid Concert Opera, Main Street Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, American Chamber Opera, Verismo Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, Music at Unity Temple and Chicago Opera Theater. He has worked as a performer, educator, voice teacher, playwright and marketing assistant with many of these organizations. Daniel currently works in the education department of Chicago Opera Theater and is helping produce Opera For All’s “Chicago: Once Upon a Windy City” in local Chicago Public Schools.
Daniel Johanson is a classical singer working primarily in the city of Chicago. He made the city his home upon attending the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and has since been working locally. When not performing, he spends his time as the Production Manager for WS Sound Productions, a local recording company, and co-managing the Chicago chapter of Opera on Tap. He is particularly drawn to chamber music, having recently presented Ibert’s Chanson de Don Quichotte and Ravel’s Don Quichotte a Dulcinee for his brainchild, Operatic Book Club. Recent roles include Don Diego in El Huesped del Sevillano, David in A Hand of Bridge, and L’Ambasciatore in Resphigi’s El dormente nel bosco. Upcoming roles include Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Leporello in Don Giovanni. In November he will presenting another recital, featuring Brahms’ Vier Ernste Gesänge and the six songs with texts by Heine from Schubert’s Schwanengesang.
Samuel J. Weiser, bass, is a current graduate student of Bruce Hall at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Samuel graduated cum laude from The Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.S.Ed. Music Education. Samuel has appeared in such roles as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in 2014 with Undercroft Opera Company in Pittsburgh, PA and as Sicario in Verdi’s Macbeth in 2013 with Resonance Works Pittsburgh which was a finalist in the professional division of the American Prize for Opera Performance. He has also performed the role of Elder Ott in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in 2012, which was awarded 3rd place in the American Prize for Opera Performance in 2013. He has also performed as both Dr. Cajus and Falstaff in Otto Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor in Weimar, Germany in 2014 with the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. In the Spring of 2015, Samuel appeared as Colline with Windy City Opera. In May of 2015, he recorded and premiered Call Your Dad by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko for the “Make Music Chicago” festival. He is also an active and avid member of Chicago’s chapter of Opera on Tap. Currently, Samuel is performing the roles of Don Alfonso in Così fan Tutte, David in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and as Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni all with Floating Opera. Samuel recently received the Michael Brick Scholarship from Roosevelt University. In May of 2015, Samuel was a finalist in the student division in the annual Monastero’s Bel Canto Contest. Recently, Samuel was chosen as a Gerdine Young Artist and will appear with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the summer of 2016.
Allison Poh is a Chicago-based fluter who currently plays with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She received her BM from Northwestern University, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala and Richard Graef, and her MM from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Paula Robison. She also spent a year studying in London at the Royal Academy of Music. Allison has always been drawn to new music and has premiered many new works. As a member of the Wabash Winds, a Civic Engagement Ensemble, Allison performs at public schools and community centers throughout the city of Chicago.
Eric Hollander is a multidisciplinary artist in search of mind-opening concepts and better methods for the globalization of original ideas. With extensive exposure in classical viola repertoire (especially focused on 20th and 21st century performance practice), traditional Irish and Celtic music, big band jazz, ska, funk, and free improvisation, Eric has found his way into a wide variety of ensemble, composer-collaborative, and creatively driven experiences. Most notably, he has participated in a number of competitions and festivals including Fleadh Chiol (1st place), the Massachusetts 2014 ASTA competition (2nd place), the Alexander and Bueno International Flute Competition (2nd place in chamber division), The Bowdoin International Music Festival, Gamper New Music Festival, and The Lucerne Festival Academy. Besides his musical adventures, Eric is deeply involved in creative writing and charitable projects for global initiative. Eric has written several collections of poetry and creative prose and has been published in “The Garden”, a Boston-based literary journal and “Farm Town Magazine”. Eric received his BM in viola performance from the Boston Conservatory in 2014 and is currently pursuing an MA in writing and publishing at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Recently, Eric has been in Mongolia bringing aid to the struggling orphans of Ulaanbaatar under the project name: “The UB Project” and working as the editor-in-chief of Crook & Folly literary magazine.
Nick Meryhew is a Chicago-based trombonist, improviser, and performance artist. Specializing in new and radical music, Nick’s work heavily deals with the performing body and the politics of performance. Nick is primarily involved with the co-artistic direction of the young Chicago ensemble Mocrep, a group that formed in 2013 and is currently in its third season. With this ensemble, Nick has performed works by Malin Bang, Mathias Kranebitter, Jessie Marino, Johannes Kreidler, Marina Rosenfeld, and many others. Among these and other performances have been numerous Chicago, U.S., and world premieres. Nick received his undergraduate degree in trombone performance from DePaul University.
Lilianna is an accomplished Chicago based classical and jazz cellist playing for over 2 decades with primary focus on cello solo and chamber music performance. She received her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Lilianna is a regular studio musician and she released three of her own CDs, ‘My Christmas’, ‘Edited to Form’ and ‘Episodes 1-12’. She regularly performs with classical, jazz, new music, and international folk ensembles in Chicago and abroad.
Myra Hinrichs, violinist, is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory. Now relocated to the Chicago area, you can see her on stage with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and the Madison Symphony, as well as with her string trio, Chartreuse. She has recently started a living room concert series which aims to create an intimate, inter-disciplinary arts experience. She is always searching for new ways to access the joy that is inherent in listening and performing music and to share her findings with others. In addition to performing, she teaches private lessons in the Chicago area at Above and Beyond Music, Naperville Music Academy, and Music House, Inc.
Violist Carrie Frey, an enthusiastic proponent of new music, has premiered over 100 compositions. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Peter Slowik, she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program. A recent New York City convert, Carrie performs regularly with Petros Klampanis Group, Aeon Ensemble, and Tactus. She has also appeared with Wet Ink Large Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, the Lester St Louis Ensemble, and GADADU. When not color coding music or carrying around giant scores, Carrie indulges her passion for experimental cookies and muffins in her tiny kitchen.
Born in New York City, Lia Kohl is a cellist and performance artist based
Chicago. Her work as a performer is deeply collaborative, and she is constantly seeking the meeting point between creative minds. She has worked extensively with dancers, poets and visual artists, and is inspired by new and different ways of thinking. Fascinated by the antiquated and illusory medium of performance, she endeavors to blur the lines between the pedestrian and the formal, and the obvious and the absurd in an attempt to bring her artistic practice into daily life—and vice-versa. She is a passionate interpreter of contemporary music and an avid improviser. She holds a B.M. and an M.M. in Cello Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts, respectively.
Peter Ferry is a young American percussion soloist and artistic collaborator based in Chicago, Illinois. As a concerto soloist and recitalist, Ferry champions works for solo percussion by living composers and reimagines the classical concert experience through multimedia collaborations. In 2013, he delivered the closing TEDx Talk on interdisciplinary collaboration, “Striking the Edge.” Recognition for such partnerships include First Prize at the Savvy Musician in Action competition (with video artist Xuan) and acceptance into the European Museum of Modern Glass’s permanent collection (with glass artist Carrie Fertig). Ferry has toured as a guest percussionist with established contemporary music ensembles such including Alarm Will Sound and Ensemble Dal Niente. An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, Ferry graduated with the first ever John Beck Percussion Scholarship, an Arts Leadership certificate, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate recognizing “outstanding performing ability.”
KG Price hails from the wine region of Upstate NY. He studied composition, audio technology and percussion at SUNY Fredonia then spent six years honing and tuning his skills in Buffalo. Having played a few shows prior to moving to Chicago he fell in love with the Windy City and changed homes in 2010. Currently, he plays as a member of the free-improv scene, is the music director and singer for The Lucky Trikes, sound technician at Honky Tonk BBQ, turntablist for “Lessons in Musicology” and recently started a custom jewelry line.
Phillip Sudderberg is a composer, improviser, and percussionist in Chicago. He has pursued independent studies with a number of singular drummers, the likes of Ricardo Flores, Chad Taylor, Frank Rosaly, Ches Smith, Dana Hall, and Tim Daisy. Sudderberg has also performed extensively with beacons of Chicago’s improvised music scene. He continues to pursue musical relationships with Keefe Jackson, Nick Mazzarella, Josh Berman, Anton Hatwich, and Eli Namay. Sudderberg is a member of touring rock bands Grandkids and Wei Zhongle. Sudderberg is a cofounder of Gilded Records, an independent record label based in Chicago that focuses on exclusive releases, as well as curation through its ongoing live music series in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.
Andrew Tham is a Chicago-based composer, performer, and sound artist. Most recently, he designed sound for the Neo-Futurist production Haymaker and scored a short film by Ronnie Cramer that was performed by the Palomar ensemble. He performs in the musical duo Kai-Ye and is a founding member of Parlour Tapes+, a contemporary classical tape label in Chicago.