Get to Know the Guest Artists…

By Rooms | January, 12, 2012 | 0 comments

February is going to be an exciting month at ROOMS! And one of the things we are most excited about is introducing you to some new friends we’ve made.

Come by the Gallery for an amazing evening of music, art, and mingling on February 18 8pm [doors open @ 7:30pm] or February 19 3pm [doors open @ 2:30pm] for a lovely evening of contemporary harp music that features Chicago-based composer Gustavo Leone’s Preludes for Solo Harp with accompanying artwork inspired by the preludes by Elizabeth Albertson. Also on the program will be Ricardo Lorenz’s Jaromiluna for harp and violin featuring violinist Andrew McCann, and John Cage’s In a Landscape for harp solo. Admission is free with a reception to follow.

Here is some information about the people behind this wonderful presentation – after reading all about them we know you won’t be able to stay away! So read on and we’ll see you at the gallery in February for the show….

BEN MELSKY a harpist who has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Millennium Stage Conservatory Project, was a 2008 winner of the Northwestern University Concerto Competition with Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto, and has performed major concerti with the Instituto Cervantes Orchestra of Chicago, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, Middletown Symphony Orchestra, Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival, and Music Institute of Chicago’s World’s Fair Concert Series. Recently he was recorded at the Goodman Theater for their production of Animal Crackers and was the harpist for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Follies. As an orchestral musician he currently serves as principal harp of the Ann Arbor Symphony and has played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival Orchestra, Evanston Symphony Orchestra, Classical Symphony Orchestra, Northern Illinois University Symphony, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and has appeared with the Dal Niente New Music Ensemble and Naperville Chamber players. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northwestern University.

ELIZABETH ALBERTSON received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design. Entering school as a representational figure painter, she grew more interested in abstraction using water-based techniques to explore movement, agitation, chance, and resultant forms, shapes, and textures. While in Baltimore, her work was shown at the Load of Fun Gallery and MICA Fox Galleries at the Eureka! and Abstructions exhibitions and her work has recently been shown in the 2011 Abstractions Show at Chicago’s Woman-Made Gallery. The paintings inspired by Leone’s Five Preludes for Harp are the result of a two-year collaboration with Ben Melsky.

ANDREW McCANN is a violinist in the New Millennium Orchestra and serves on the Executive Committee as Development Director and sits on the Board of Directors as Secretary. An active chamber musician, Andrew has performed across the country in his duo with eighth blackbird violinist, Matt Albert, appearing recently at the 2009 Ojai Festival, and has been a guest artist with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Present Music Milwaukee and Contempo. Andrew received his undergraduate degrees in History and Violin Performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory and his Masters of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal teachers include Lee Snyder, Greg Fulkerson, Jorja Fleezanis and Sherban Lupu.

Andrew is an AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, training with master teachers Joan and Alexander Murray. He maintains teaching studios in Hyde Park and Andersonville, Chicago, and his given workshops on the Alexander Technique at many universities, including Roosevelt University, Wheaton College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Richmond, VA, Florida State University, and the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan.

Composer GUSTAVO LEONE is a Professor at the Department of Fine and Performing Arts of Loyola University Chicago. His principal composition teachers included Gerardo Gandini, Marta Lambertini, Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran, and John Eaton. He also studied electronic music with Howard Sandroff. Leone is a recipient of a Walter Hinrichsen Award given by the American Academy of Art and Letters. His music is included in the catalogs of C.F. Peters, New York and Naxos Recordings.. Ensembles such as Grant Park Festival Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of Michoacán, Pro Musica, Concertante di Chicago, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra have played and commissioned Leone’s works. His work for the theater includes productions at the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Goodman Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, and Teatro Vista. Leone’s music is intense and angular; it conveys propulsion through rhythm and makes use of clear forms and associations.

RICARDO LORENZ’s compositions have received praise for their fiery orchestrations, harmonic sophistication, and rhythmic vitality. These impressions have accompanied performances of his works at prestigious international festivals such as Carnegie Hall’s Sonidos de las Américas, Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, France’s Berlioz Festival, Spain’s Festival Internacional de Música Contemporanea de Alicante, the Festival Cervantino in Mexico, and Turkey’s Uluslararasi Summer Festival among others. Lorenz’s orchestral compositions have been performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, New World Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic among others, and by premier orchestras in Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil. One of his latest compositions is a concerto of sorts for Latin ensemble and symphony orchestra commissioned by a consortium of major orchestras and festivals, and composed in collaboration with Grammy-nominated band Tiempo Libre. Featured in NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Rumba Sinfónica has been performed by Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas, and National Arts Center (Ottawa) orchestras, among many others.