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2021 Festival Artists

Conrad Tao | piano & festival artistic director

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, who also cited him “one of five classical music faces to watch” in the 2018-19 season. Tao is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and was named a Gilmore Young Artist—an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation.

He has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra Nazionale della Santa Cecilia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and upcoming debuts include the SWR Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, and Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra. He works with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Jurowski, Sakari Oramo, Manfred Honeck, Daniele Gatti, Kirill Petrenko, Krystof Urbanski, Juraj Valcuha and many others. From 2012-2015 he was resident at the Dortmund Konzerthaus and in 17/18 will be an “Artist Focus” with the Berlin Radio Symphony.

In the 2019-20 season, Tao will be presented in recital by Carnegie Hall, performing works by David Lang, Bach, Julia Wolfe, Jason Eckhardt, Carter, Rachmaninoff, and Schumann. He will also make his debut in recital at Walt Disney Hall, where the LA Phil will present him in works by Copland and Frederic Rzewski. Following his debut at Blossom, The Cleveland Orchestra will present Tao in Severance Hall in a special program featuring music by Mary Lou Williams and Ligeti, and improvisation alongside pianist Aaron Diehl. Concerto highlights in the upcoming season include performances of his own work for piano & orchestra, The Oneiroi in New York, with the Seattle Symphony, as well as performances with the Baltimore, Charlotte, and Pacific Symphonies. He will also perform The Oneiroi alongside Galina Ustvolskaya’s Piano Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony.

In addition to concert halls, he will also tour to college campuses, including the University of Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, and Princeton University. Tao’s acclaimed evening-length collaboration with choreographer Caleb Teicher, More Forever, will be presented by Celebrity Series of Boston, and will make its west coast premiere at Segerstrom Hall in Orange County, CA. His ongoing electroacoustic collaboration with improviser and vocalist Charmaine Lee continues with an opening-night performance at the 2019 Resonant Bodies Festival in New York. In the spring, Tao will tour with the Junction Trio — his ensemble with violinist Stefan Jackiw and cellist Jay Campbell — to Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Ohio, Texas, and New Mexico. He will also celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday at the 92Y with Anthony de Mare, premiering a new two-piano take on “Move On,” from Sunday in the Park with George.

Caleb Teicher | dancer

Caleb Teicher is a NYC-based dancer and choreographer specializing in American dance traditions and musical collaboration.

Teicher began his career as a founding member of Michelle Dorrance’s critically acclaimed tap dance company, Dorrance Dance, while also freelancing in contemporary dance (The Chase Brock Experience, The Bang Group), swing dance (Syncopated City Dance Company), and musical theater (West Side Story International Tour and London).

Since founding Caleb Teicher & Company (CT&Co) in 2015, Teicher’s creative work has expanded to engagements and commissions across the US and abroad including The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, the Guggenheim Museum (NYC and Bilbao), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Over the next year, Caleb’s work will be presented in over a dozen cities across the United States.

Caleb is the recipient of a 2019 New York City Center Choreographic Fellowship, two Bessie Awards,a 2019 Harkness Promise Award, and a 2019 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant. His work has been featured by The New York Times, NPR, Forbes, Vogue, Interview Magazine, and most recently, as the cover of Dance Magazine’s September 2019 issue.

JACK Quartet

Hailed by The New York Times as the “nation’s most important quartet”, the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment toward performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America’s 2018 “Ensemble of the Year”, named to WQXR’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch”, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Through intimate relationships with today’s most creative voices, JACK embraces close collaboration with the composers they perform, leading to a radical embodiment of the technical, musical, and emotional aspects of their work. The quartet has worked with artists such as George Lewis, Julia Wolfe, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, Philip Glass, and many more.

JACK is comprised of violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell.

The Westerlies

The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone.

Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.

The ensemble has produced two critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines), and a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies (Songlines). Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes (Nonesuch), Vieux Farka Touré (Six Degrees Records), Common (Lakeshore) and Dave Douglas (Greenleaf). The group will be releasing their third full-length album, Wherein Lies the Good, in early 2020.

Education and community engagement are core elements of The Westerlies' mission. Each season, the ensemble reaches thousands of students around the country with their innovative and inspiring assemblies and masterclasses.