Violist ERIKA ECKERT, Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Colorado Boulder, is a summer faculty member at the Brevard Music Center, and also served on the faculties of The Cleveland Institute of Music and The Chautauqua Institution. She was a co-founder of the Cavani Quartet and appears frequently as guest violist with the Takács Quartet. Performing engagements include 400th Galileo Anniversary at the American Academy in Rome, El Paso Pro Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Sitka Summer Music Festival, and solo performances at SEAMUS and ICMC. Teaching engagements include the North American Viola Institute in Orford, Canada, ASTA International Workshops in Australia and Norway, Perlman Music Program, and Quartet Program.
WILLIAM HILL has been critically acclaimed as a composer, soloist, visual artist, recording artist, and conductor. Currently he is Principal Timpanist with the Colorado Symphony, Music Director of the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, and teaches composition at Denver University’s Lamont School of Music. Mr. Hill has served as a composer with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, National Music Festival, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains Festival, Denver Public Schools, Grand Rapids Symphony, Colorado and Denver Symphonies, and the Nova Series of Salt Lake City.
Hill has also performed as Principal Timpanist with the Honolulu and Omaha Symphonies, the Colorado Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Hill’s Symphony #3 premiered in January 2012 with Larry Rachleff conducting the Colorado Symphony. Symphony #3 was nominated for both the Pulitzer and Grawemeyer Awards in Music Composition. William Hill’s Symphony #2 was performed and recorded for Albany Records in March 2010 by the Lamont Symphony, with Lawrence Golan conducting. The two CD set Bill Hill and Friends Live Jazz/Latin/Fusion was released in September of 2011 by Raccoon Hollar Music. Two new video and CD projects of Global Music and Jazz Fusion will be released in 2015.
Recent projects include video music for Oh! Heck! Yeah! which Mr. Hill composed, conducted and recorded with the Colorado Symphony in February 2014, a new chamber piece Beguiling My Sad Fancy Into Smiling which premiered on the Dazzle Classical Series in May of 2014 and a large work for orchestra and chorus based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven commissioned by the CSO for performances in March 2015. Hill was also commissioned by the Colorado Symphony to compose, conduct, and record music for the opening of the renovated Union Station in July 2014 The Grand Rapids Symphony with Music Director David Lockington opened its 2010 Classical Masters Series with William Hill’s tone poem Aurora Borealis. The success of this led to an invitation to be guest composer and curator for the first concert of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s highly successful new MusicNow Series in October 2013. Mr. Hillʼs Percussion Concerto, was premiered by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in May 2006 with Peter Oundjian conducting and the composer as soloist.
The theatric overture A New Direction was commissioned for the Gala Opening of Denver’s Buell Theatre, and Hill was recognized by Governor Romer for his contribution to the event. His compositions range from symphonic, to chamber music, modern jazz, and ethnic influenced music. He has been chosen four times as a winner in the Percussive Arts Society International Composition Contest, and has won prizes and commissions from Meet the Composer, the Colorado Music Teacher’s National Association, the Denver Foundation, and many others. Mr. Hill has performed on several Grammy nominated recordings.
A CD of Hillʼs chamber compositions featuring performers from the Colorado Symphony and Denver University Faculty was released in the spring of 2007 on Centaur Records. The Moravian Philharmonic of the Czech Republic recorded four of his orchestral compositions for Albany Records, and these 2 CDs were also released in the Spring of 2007.
A multi-instrumentalist, William Hill has been featured with numerous orchestras as a soloist on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, drum set, ethnic percussion, and multiple percussion concertos. He is equally at home in classical, jazz, pop, folk, and world music idioms. Hillʼs first solo CD Rhythms of Innocence, featured him on over 75 percussion instruments, recorders, wood flutes, didjeridoo, and piano. His jazz compositions have been featured in live performance on Colorado Public Television. As a conductor, Hill has led the Colorado Symphony, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Greeley Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Symphony, Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, various chamber groups at the Grand Teton Music Festival, and numerous Denver area professional and amateur groups. Hill has been the subject of PBS Profiles on Western Artists, cover stories in On the Air Fine Arts Magazine, and Altitudes Entertainment Magazine, and articles in the League of American Orchestrasʼ Symphony Magazine, Denver Magazine, the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Grand Rapids Press, and the Salt Lake Tribune.
William Hill holds the Bachelor of Music with High Distinction (1977) from Indiana University, and the Master of Music (4.0 GPA) (1980) from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was awarded the Performerʼs Certificate from Indiana University, the Maurice Abravannel Music Directorʼs Award from the Music Academy of the West, and the Drum Set Soloistʼs Award from the Ohio Collegiate Jazz Competition.
William Hill is married to violinist Natalie Schmitz Hill and they have two children, Nadya, born June 17,1988, and Colin, born August 2, 1994, both terrific musicians. The Hillʼs love to enjoy Coloradoʼs wonderful outdoors skiing, hiking, swimming, and horseback riding. The family also enjoys art work, and performing concerts for various community and family oriented events. An avid mountaineer, Hill has climbed and skied from the summit of more than 60 of Coloradoʼs highest peaks.
“It was one of those rare occasions when the ears could bask in almost total enchantment…….if one piece stood just a bit above the rest it was Hillʼs Seven Abstract Miniatures.” the Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Hillʼs Sonata for Marimba and Strings (with the composer as marimbist extraordinaire) stole the show. His music is unabashedly accessible and undeniably fun. The staid Nova audience whooped and hollered at the eye popping conclusion.” the Salt Lake Tribune
“Bill Hill Rocks the Concert Hall with New Percussion Piece” (headline) “Remarkable skills, colorful orchestration, and blazing virtuosity that canʼt fail to win over his listeners, who responded with a thunderous ovation.” Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News
“Hillʼs pieces are marked by a high level of rhythmic inventiveness, a strong sense of lyricism and a wide range of harmonic languages. Colorful, impressionistic orchestration, sweeping gestures, and the feral sound of James Pelleriteʼs native flutes beautifully evoke the wild openness of the landscapes touched by the northern lights. The Moravian Philharmonic, led by Lawrence Golan, performs with passion and vigor.” Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide
“William Hillʼs Funky Little Crustceans is as charming as the title suggests…..his colorful writing for percussion (and everyone else) comes as no surprise, but he also has some memorable musical ideas. Aurora Borealis is atmospheric and often aptly luminous, and the sound of the Native American flutes is haunting. The Seven Abstract Miniatures are delightful and far more substantial than their title suggests. The composer himself is the superb percussion soloist and the orchestra sounds terrific throughout.” David Hurwitz, Classics Today
“A superb timpanist, outstanding percussionist, inspired composer and, above all, a tremendous colleague. Billʼs passion for music and making music are palpable.” Marin Alsop, internationally known conductor
“The highlight of the night was Colorado composer Bill Hillʼs tone poem “Aurora Borealis,” a 23 minute work that featured the symphonyʼs long time principal flutist Christopher Kantner. Kantner wove a spell with warm, bewitching tones, here commanding attention in rhythmic bursts, there lulling the listener with long soulful sounds of nature. Concert goers reacted with a well-deserved standing ovation.” John Phipps, Grand Rapids Press
“This was a very different kind of jazz concert. Every work on the program (composed by William Hill) was extremely sophisticated and reveled in complexities. Chiaraluce, Haverstick, Hanson, Bland, and Nadya and Bill Hill are capable of some of the most difficult improvisations that I have heard in many years. Hill can do with one hand what most other percussionists can do with two. Absolutely amazing, it will bring tears to your eyes.” Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado
“I was riveted and delighted by the CSO’s performance of William Hill’s new Symphony #3, a thrilling and mature work premiered to huge acclaim. It just doesn’t get any better than this.” Lorenz Rychner, Editor, Recording-The Magazine for the Recording Musician
“William Hill is a major composer, and his Third Symphony will find its place in the history of music as one of the finest symphonies of its time.” Robin McNeil, Opus Colorado
“Hill’s Meditation and Ritual Dance takes pride of place because of his imaginative orchestration and the contrasting colors and moods that he evokes. Hill’s Aurora Borealis invokes a haunting and dark atmosphere which must be a sonic equivalent to the visual spectacle that many have witnessed. His works demonstrate a secure technique, and accessible but original style, and an abundance of substantial and contrasting musical ideas. In Seven Abstract Miniatures Hill has succeeded in effectively setting seven of his own pen and ink drawings, and given that he is the featured solo percussionist in this recording, he is a triple threat. The music is full of the angular energy depicted in his art, clearly delineated by the lines, often driving and virtuosic, of the solo percussionist, and is quite a tour de force.” David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine
“William Hill’s Ancient Rituals is a dynamic work inspired by Colorado’s Mesa Verde and the rites of its ancient cliff dwellers. It pushes the musical envelope in a host of ways, moody and languid passages that inspire vivid imagery, and robust percussion driven explosions. All of this makes a highly entertaining presentation-aurally and visually-with a less than stuffy vibe in the concert hall. Indeed the innovative material challenges the players as well as the audience: Many of the veteran, ultra-talented musicians clearly found the music provocative, breaking into wide grins or hollering out a hearty Bravo” GRNOW.com John Sinkevics
Violist LEAH KOVACH grew up in Salt Lake City and is thrilled to join the Colorado Symphony and return to the Rocky Mountains! Leah has performed and taught across four continents with ensembles such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the New World Symphony, and the Houston Symphony.
She completed her studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where her primary teachers were Atar Arad and James Dunham. Other recent engagements include a two-year fellowship in the Da Camera Young Artist Program for chamber music and community outreach, a position in the Austin Symphony Orchestra, performances with the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, as well the acclaimed Britten-Pears Young Artist Program in Aldeburgh, UK. Leah is also a founding member of the Houston-based Calliope String Quartet, which completed its first concert tour this July, visiting cities in Italy, Austria, and Slovenia.
Leah is dedicated to music education and bringing live classical music performances to underexposed communities. Her outreach work with Da Camera included performances and workshops at schools, hospitals, community centers, and even local bars. For the past three years, Leah also maintained a private studio in two Houston area school districts and was a chamber music coach for the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at the Shepherd School. She served as a string coach for the Kinkaid School Orchestra’s 2012 tour of China and has taught master classes at the Conservatorio Anna Maria Valencia in Cali, Colombia.
CAROLYN KUNICKI is a native of Pennsylvania. She showed an interested in music at an early age playing the family piano and her father’s old boy scout bugle which often led to her and the bugle being sent outside. At age nine she started studying the French horn mostly due to her mother telling her she thought it sounded pretty and a strong desire to play something loud. She was accepted to the Julliard School when she was 16.
Her Studies with Julie Landsman (retired principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera) led her to winning the Juilliard Strauss Horn Concerto competition, the Aspen Music Festival Fellowship Award, and the Aspen Wind Solo Competition as well as cultivating a love for the operatic repertoire. Carolyn spent many evenings attending the Metropolitan Opera during her schooling.
When Carolyn was twenty-one she earned a position in the Colorado Symphony horn section through a national audition. As she was currently in the second year of her fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival she was delighted to start a life in Colorado having fallen in love with the state. She left briefly to play Assistant Utility Horn in the Saint Louis Symphony but was eventually relieved to return to Colorado mostly due to the weather of the Mid-west.
Carolyn plays principal horn for the Central City Opera during the summer. She has a passion for educational outreach and plays and narrates stories throughout the Denver Public School system. When not playing horn she is often visiting the Denver Art Museum, Denver Zoo, and Denver Museum of Science with her two daughters who are two and four. She enjoys biking, hiking and crossfit.
Pianist MARGARET MCDONALD, a native of Minnesota, is an Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. She helped to develop the College’s graduate degree program in Collaborative Piano and the undergraduate collaborative curriculum. Praised for her poetic style and versatility, McDonald enjoys a very active performing career and has partnered many distinguished artists including the Takács Quartet, Zuill Bailey, Paula Robison, David Shifrin, and Joseph Alessi. McDonald is an official accompanist at the Music Teachers National Association competition and the National Flute Association annual convention. McDonald spends her summers as a member of the collaborative piano faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA.
Violinist SUSAN PAIK joined the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in the 2016-2017 season. Prior to moving to Denver, she played with the Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. She served as co-concertmaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for its 2013-2014 season, and was selected as a Citizen Musician Fellow by Yo-Yo Ma and The Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Active and experienced as a recitalist and chamber musician, Susan has performed as soloist with the Juilliard Theater Orchestra and appeared in performances with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series, at the Indiana University Summer Festival, and in faculty recitals at Indiana University and Roosevelt University. An advocate for contemporary music, Susan frequently performs with her husband, Chicago-based composer-pianist Teddy Niedermaier; as a duo they have premiered new works in the Chicago area, as well as in England, Germany, France and South Korea. Their performances have been featured on Chicago’s WFMT radio.
Outside the concert hall, Susan is an avid educator who has provided guest instruction at Loyola University Chicago and Western Kentucky University. She held an Associate Instructor position at Indiana University, where she served as teaching assistant to internationally renowned professor Mauricio Fuks while pursuing her graduate studies under his tutelage. She has additionally served as a faculty member at the Chicago Chamber Music Festival at Northeastern Illinois University, a chamber music coach at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and an adjudicator for the Sejong Cultural Society Music Competition and the Chinese Fine Arts Society Music Competition in Chicago.
Susan earned performance degrees from Seoul National University in South Korea, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Indiana University. She holds her Master’s degree from The Juilliard School as a recipient of the C.V. Starr Scholarship and Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship. In 2016, Susan completed her Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University, with her dissertation entitled “Brahms’s violin sonata in G major, op. 78 as the summation of the Regenlied tetralogy.” Her major teachers include Kwang-Koon Kim, Chongsuk Li, Hyo Kang, Sylvia Rosenberg, and Mauricio Fuks.
MARC SABATELLA is a jazz pianist, composer and educator based in Denver, CO (USA). His music has been characterized as “happily subverting the mainstream,” combining the “unpredictability of Thelonious Monk and lyricism of Bill Evans.”
For two years, Marc could be heard leading the band every Friday night at Denver’s most famous jazz club El Chapultepec and he was the house pianist there for six years. He has also headlined at virtually all other Denver area jazz clubs over the years including Dazzle, Vartan Jazz, Trios and Sambuca. Marc has worked with the area’s top players such as Keith Oxman, Fred Hess, Ron Miles, Art Lande and Hugh Ragin as well as jazz greats Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Shew, John Fedchock, Allan Harris, Greg Abate, Red Holloway, Pete Christlieb, Marcus Printup, Wessell Anderson, Javon Jackson, Chico Freeman, Mel Martin, Sunny Wilkinson and others.
Marc has released several recordings as a leader in addition to appearing as a sideman on several CDs by Fred Hess and by Hugh Ragin. Marc’s latest release is Determination, a quartet session.
Marc received an MM in composition (jazz emphasis) from the University of Denver. He currently teaches Jazz Theory and Aural Skills at DU’s Lamont School of Music. He also leads ensembles for Colorado Jazz Workshopand has done so for the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts as well.
Marc is recognized internationally as the author of A Jazz Improvisation Primer . This work is perhaps the oldest and best known online jazz reference in the world. It has been translated into several other languages and is published in printed form as A Whole Approach To Jazz Improvisation. Marc has also published The Harmonic Language of Jazz Standards, and he has worked as an arranger and editor on the acclaimed Real Book series from Hal Leonard.
Marc is a technical contributor to MuseScore, the free and open source music notation software. He is the author of the comprehensive guide Mastering MuseScore. He is the founder of the Accessible Music Notation Project, which seeks to make it easier for blind musicians to read and write music through the use of innovative software tools.
LINDA WANG is among the premier violinists of her generation, consistently praised for her artistry, warm, singing tone and charismatic performances.
Since her debut with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic at the age of nine, Linda Wang has performed concerti with more than 70 ensembles and maintains a worldwide presence as a performer and educator. In the US she has been soloist with the symphonies of Virginia and West Virginia, and with orchestras throughout California, Colorado, New York, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, Washington, Georgia, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota, South Carolina, Massachusetts; collaborating with such eminent conductors Sir Georg Solti, JoAnn Falletta, Jorge Mester, Chistian Tiemeyer, Daryll One, Steven Lipsitt, Andrew Sewell and Stephen Gunzenhauser. Abroad her concerto performances include the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra in Germany, Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, Paris Sinfonietta, Sächsische Kammerphilharmonie Dresden and Philharmonisches Orchester des Vogtland (Germany) and The Czech Republic’s Southern Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she toured. In Asia, her solo appearances include Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, a televised performance with China’s Harbin Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonia Musical, and the Phillipines Philharmonic Orchestra.
Linda Wang has performed solo engagements worldwide to critical acclaim in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Amsterdam’s Beurs van Berlage and the Berlin Schauspielhaus. In recital she has performed 42 states as a roster artist for Community Concerts. She has been a faculty and/or performing artist at international music festivals including the Montecito Summer Music Festival (CA), Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival (AK), Savannah Music Festival (GA), Garth Newell Music Center (VA), Norfolk (CT), Aspen and Rocky Ridge (CO), Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende Festival, Canada’s Orford Centre d’Arts, Japan’s Okhust, England’s Aldeburgh Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Austria’s Salzburg Festival and the Interharmony Festival in Tuscany, Italy.
Domestic and international audiences have seen Linda Wang’s televised performances on PBS, Arts and Entertainment, Germany’s ZDF and Japan’s NHK, while radio broadcasts include NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR (New York City), WFMT (Chicago), KUSC (Los Angeles), MDR (Germany), Leipzig Rundfunk and Deutschland Radio, Berlin. Numerous first prizes include the International Markneukirchen Instrumental Competition in Germany, the National Federation of Music Young Artists Auditions, the International Kingsville Competition and the Waldo Mayo Award honoring New York’s best young performer.
An avid chamber musician, Linda Wang has been privileged to collaborate with such artists as Schmuel Ashkenazi, Ivry Gitlis, Cho-Liang Lin, Lynn Harrell, Heinrich Schiff, Roberto Diaz, the Ives Quartet, members of the San Francisco and Dallas Symphonies, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics.
A native of New York City, Linda Wang has studied at The Juilliard School, Colburn School and University of Southern California. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, she pursued advanced studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum. She began Suzuki violin studies with Nicole DiCecco and her principal teachers have been Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Alice Schoenfeld and Ruggiero Ricci.
A dedicated teacher herself, Linda Wang is String Chair and Professor of Violin at University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, also on the Fulbright Specialists Roster for teaching at overseas institutions. An international reputation as an exceptional performer and teacher garners her frequent invitations to perform and present master classes at distinguished music institutions nationally and internationally. Her students perform as soloists and in orchestras throughout Colorado and have been accepted to graduate programs at such prestigious institutions as the Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Yale University, Eastman School of Music, London’s Guild Hall, Royal Academy and the Vienna Hochschule fur Musik. As a juror, she was Chair at the International Schoenfeld String Competition in China, adjudicator for the Hong Kong International Music Competition, San Francisco International Guitar Competition, Chicago’s Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Music Teachers Association National Competition, among many others.
Linda Wang currently performs on a 1767 J.B. Guadagnini, and has recorded for Albany, Equilibrium, Centaur, MGS Productions and Beauport Classical. Additional information can be found on her website, www.lindawang.com.
“Dance in the Flames: The Feminine Voice in the Fusion of Jazz and Art Song”
In this 50 minute lecture recital, DONNA WICKHAM will be performing and discussing her unique genre bending compositions which derive inspiration from jazz, rock and classical art song. Ms. Wickham will discuss the composition of each of these pieces, including text selection and/or writing, formal structure, and harmonic and rhythmic elements.
Many of her works are set to classic poetry. Examples of this include her “Three Anna Akhmatova poems,” which incorporate aleatoric elements with jazz, “You Are the Future,” with a text by Rainer Maria Rilke, and “Golden Apples of the Sun,” a swinging waltz with a text by William Butler Yeats.
The composer has also written the text for several of these works, including “Pajaros,” which utilizes a Rondo form and combines aleatoric elements with jazz, and “Spruce,” which uses elements of classical harmony with jazz and rock rhythms.
The final two pieces use longer forms not typically found in jazz: In “Muse,” the poetry explores a love-hate relationship with ephemeral inspiration. This piece uses mixed meters and exotic harmonies not often found in jazz. Completing the program is “Dance in the Flames,” which explores the life cycle of creative women who dare to dance in metaphorical flames by choosing artistic risks over safety and mediocrity. Dedicated to one of her students, this piece pays homage to all women who dare to live a creative life.
YAO (Youth Artists Orchestra) , the most advanced of our ensembles, performs four to six concerts annually, including one side-by-side concert with the Colorado Symphony. Concerts are performed at Boettcher Concert Hall and Gates Concert Hall. Past repertoire for the orchestra includes Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Brahms’ Symphonies 1, 3, and 4, Dvorak’s Symphonies 6, 7 and 9, Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet Suite No. 2, and Rite of Spring.
YAO is conducted by DYAO’s Music Director, Wes Kenney. Placement in YAO is determined by audition. Membership is open to musicians between the ages of 13 and 23. Composed of approximately 70 members, DYAO rehearses Saturday mornings from 9:00am-12:30pm at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (2344 E Iliff Ave, Denver).