Ryan MCMASTERS is a music maker in Pittsburgh. His work focuses on the relationship between performer, sound object, and audience in traditional and non-traditional settings. Recent commissions include pieces for pianist Keith Kirchoff, Kamratōn, So Much Hot Air, and Real Loud. A frequent collaborator for theater and dance, Ryan’s work has supported productions by City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, No Name Players, Seton Hill University, and others. Ryan is currently an Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies music composition and theory and his research focuses on the use of timbre, distortion, and noise as both a musical element and a means of societal agency.
The music of Curtis Rumrill explores the intersection of literary form and modern chamber music. His works with writer, naturalist and visual artist Zachary Webber tell darkly comic stories of animals in desperate or violent predicaments. He is also the composer of instrumental chamber music with and without electronics, works for tape, and studio compositions (multi-track fixed media works composed on acoustic instruments played primarily by himself). In September 2017 NAT 28 will premiere his new work The Domestic Beasts of Vinland Char for soprano and eleven instrumentalists. In October 2017 Kamratōn will premiere his new work In this Styrofoam Room for soprano and chamber ensemble. Ensemble Dal Niente featured his piece The Parasite, and Her Sister on their 2015 tour of Latin America. Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble premiered in 2016 and will take on tour his recently completed concert-length work, The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers, and will give it a studio recording. His music has been premiered and performed by, among others, Tony Arnold, Thomas Rosenkranz, Aiyun Huang, Jordan Dodson, the Syracuse University Contemporary Music Ensemble, Lisa Cella and Juna Winston. Alia Musica has treated both Sex Poem for Lightbulb by Beetle and Rover to studio recordings. He has been performed in the United States and internationally, including Vienna, Austria; Basel and Baden, Switzerland; Maccagno, Italy; Panama City, Panama; Bogota, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico; Boston, MA; Bowling Green, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Syracuse, NY, in venues including the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Teatro Amador and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Panama, the University of Pittsburgh; Syracuse Univerity; Bowling Green State University; and Boston University. Works of his have been included in the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, JazzWerkstatt Wien, Vienna Roomservice Festival, Numu: Neue und Unentdeckte Musik, the soundSCAPE Festival, and Alia Musica Presents. In 2013 he co-founded MusicArte Panama, a bi-annual new music festival in Panama City, Panama. He is also Board Chair of Alia Musica, a Pittsburgh based New Music ensemble and presenting organization. Since 2011 he has been the web designer for soundSCAPE Festival in Italy and is in the process of designing a website for Frederic Rzewski. He holds a BMus in composition from Syracuse University and a MM in composition from Bowling Green State University. His primary composition teachers have been Elainie Lillios, Christopher Dietz, Kyle Gann, Daniel Strong Godfrey, Sally Lamb McCune and Patrick Long.
Mark Fromm (b. 1982) is a composer and woodwind player from Pittsburgh, PA, whose music is inspired by science, nature, astronomy, and the unknown. He holds degrees in music composition from Carnegie Mellon (BFA), McGill (MMus), and University of Pittsburgh (PhD). Primarily writing orchestral and chamber music, major works include Symphony No. 1, written for Baltimore-based ensemble Symphony Number One; Lingua Cosmica: Concerto for Contrabassoon and 15 Players, for the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Music Ensemble; and Silent Spring (for flute, clarinet, and singing pianist), for Pittsburgh trio Trillium Ensemble. He currently teaches composition and music theory at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School.
Hannah Ishizaki (b.2000) of Pittsburgh PA, is the youngest female composer ever to have a world premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO). Her composition City of Bridges was played by the PSO at a Fiddlesticks concert in February 2017. The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO) also played City of Bridges in 2017, once at Heinz Hall in May and 3 times during their tour of Spain in June 2017. Hannah was asked to write a composition for the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh’s (COP) 2017-2018 season opening concert, Sounds of Youth. Her composition Up/Down was premiered by COP on September 10, 2017. In August 2017, Hannah was invited to attend the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, in Burlington, Vermont, where her composition Seven Morals was played and recorded at a public reading. In both 2017 and 2016, she was named an Emerging Composer in the Tribeca New Music’s Young Composer Competition Division II for her chamber works: Chronicles and The Hypothetical Machine. The Hypothetical Machine was premiered by Face the Music in Brooklyn, NY, in November 2016, during the Mata Jr. Festival. In 2015, she won the inaugural Pittsburgh Philharmonic’s Young Composer Contest for her orchestral work The Variance of a Trio, which was premiered in March 2015. Hannah is also a violinist and an aspiring conductor. In the 2016-2017 season, she was a co-concertmaster of PYSO, where she has performed since 2013. As a chamber musician, Hannah was the first violin of the Imperial Quartet. They won the Montgomery Fellowship for 2016-2017. Previously, she was the first violin for the Penn Quartet. They won the Montgomery Fellowship for 2015-2016 and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artists Competition. Hannah won the PYSO 2015-16 Conducting Competition judged by Maestro Leonard Slatkin. She is both the youngest person and the only female to win that competition since it began. Hannah currently studies composition with Chris Massa and Dr. David Ludwig and violin with Hong Guang Jia of the PSO. She also studied composition at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute during the summer of 2016, and at Curtis Summerfest in 2014 and 2015.
Christine received a Master's Degree from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Nomi Epstein and Josh Levine (composition) and Maurita Murphy Marx and Jorge Montilla Moreno (clarinet). She was previously a student of David Stock (composition) and Jack Howell (clarinet) at Duquesne University.
Laura Schwartz is a composer, horn player, and music theorist. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, she grew up in a much warmer place: Carlsbad, California. She attended the University of California, Davis (B.A. in music 2013). Laura completed her Masters in Music Composition from Illinois State University (M.M. 2015). Currently, she is a graduate student in the Music Composition and Theory PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh and is studying with Mathew Rosenblum. Laura’s music was performed during the Oregon Bach Festival Composer’s Symposium (2014), the Oregon Symposium of Graduate Musicians (2015), Nief Norf festival (2015), and the Yarn/Wire Institute (2016). She was artist in residence with the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physics and Astronomy (2016), culminating in System Cooling, an illustrated set of six miniatures for clarinet, baritone saxophone, violin, and double bass. Her piece, For My Mother (2017) was commissioned by Durward Chamber ensemble to raise money for cancer research. In 2017, she won The Margert Blackburn and Dead Elf awards for her string quartet Wreathes (2017).
The music Laura writes uses electric fans, egg shakers, and combs. For more information visit: Lauraroseschwartz.com