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Gilad Cohen

"Short Goat Blues"


Máté Balogh

"Der Rhein am Tomasee"

Bracha Bdil

"Planned Chaos"


Matt Browne

"Great Danger, Keep Out"

Daniel Fawcett


Elizabeth Start


Luca Sutto

"Stay Close"

Roger Zare

"Rice and Peas"

Meet the 2024

Gilad Cohen - "Short Goat Blues"

Gilad Cohen is an active composer, performer, and theorist in various genres including concert music, rock, and music for theater. Highlighted engagements include commissions by Chamber Music America, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Concert Artists Guild, and ASCAP; performances by the Nash Ensemble of London, Israeli Chamber Project, Brentano Quartet, Mivos Quartet, PUBLIQuartet, and principal players of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Budapest Festival Orchestra; and releases on Albany Records, Naxos/Delos and Navona Records. Notable awards include the Barlow Prize, the Israeli Prime Minister Award for Composers, and top prizes in international competitions in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East. Gilad performs regularly with various ensembles around the US, playing piano, bass guitar and guitar. An Associate Professor of Music at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Gilad holds a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University. His research about the music of Pink Floyd has resulted in publications in academic journals, lectures in the US and Israel, and the first-ever academic conference devoted to the band that Gilad produced in 2014 at Princeton University together with composer Dave Molk. 


About "Short Goat Blues"

This piece is an excerpt from my string quartet Three Goat Blues, which is based on an old Provençal tune of the Jewish Passover “Chad Gadya.” While the original prayer tells the story of one little goat in a fable about the power of nature, my piece portrays three goats, each one featuring a different adaptation of the original melody, allowing the last goat to reach salvation; "Short Goat Blues" focuses on this last goat. Three Goat Blues was commissioned by Apollo Chamber Players for their "Oppression to Expression" season program, which connects works that are influenced by Provençal Jewish and African-American traditions, and it was released on their 2017 album Ancestral Voices. 

Máté Balogh - "Der Rhein am Tomasee"

Máté Balogh is a Hungarian composer and associate professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. His pieces have been performed and awarded all over Europe and in Turkey, China, Taiwan, Japan, Canada and the United States. His music has been presented in many international festivals, such as Manifeste Festival (IRCAM-Paris), Milano Musica, MicroFest Prague, Open Recorder Days Amsterdam, ECCO Concert Series (Bruxelles), Opus Amadeus (Istanbul), Ungarn (Bern), Listening to China (Shanghai), Secret Kiss (Tokio), Ostrava Days, Axes Kraków, Festival Academy (Budapest), Café Budapest, St. Gellert Festival (Szeged), Bartók Szeminárium (Szombathely), etc. He is the composer of Zsófia Szilágyi’s film entitled One Day, which was awarded the FIPRESCI-Prize in Cannes in 2019. His pieces are published by Editio Musica Budapest, Impronta Edition (Mannheim) and Universal Edition (Vienna).


About "Der Rhein am Tomasee"

Máté Balogh’s string quartet Der Rhein am Tomasee (The River Rhine at the Tomasee Lake) is both a musical landscape and a program music. Rarely for rivers, does Rhine originate from a lake, thanks to the underwater springs of Tomasee in Switzerland. Very low-intensity currents created in the depths of stagnant water can easily be associated with musical movements. The other layer of the work reflects on the first scene of Richard Wagner’s opera Das Rheingold. Alberich, the evil dwarf deep in the Rhine, wants to get the ring guarded by the three Rhine mermaids. The cello represents Alberich, and the two violins and viola represent the mermaids. In 2021, the piece won the 3rd prize of the international composer competition ‘Impronta’ in Mannheim, Germany.

Bracha Bdil - "Planned Chaos"

Bracha Bdil (1988) is an Israeli-British composer, conductor, and pianist, winner of the Prime Minister's Award for Composition (Israel, 2022) and the ACUM Award (2019). Her repertoire spans different mediums including orchestral music, chamber, vocal and electronicmusic. 

Bracha has a B.Ed. in Music Education from Levinsky College and a Master's Degree in Music Education and Composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, led by Professor Andre Hajdu, o.b.m. and Professor Haim Permont. Throughout her education Bracha studied classical piano with Dina Orlov and Dr. Irena Berkowitz, jazz with Marina Lewinsky, and piano chamber music with Professor Alexander Tamir o.b.m. Furthermore, Bracha studied classical singing with Hadassah Ben-Haim and conducting with Elli Jaffe and Evgeny Tzirlin.


Bracha Bdil is a member of the Israel Composers' League, her works are broadcast on the Israel Radio Voice of Music program and published by the Israel Music Institute. 

Bracha has been a lecturer for the faculty of music at the Levinsky College of Music Education, the Jerusalem College, and at the Ron Shulamit Conservatory, she has also worked as a pianist in dance classes at the Wingate College and in theater performances. Beginning in the fall of 2018, Bracha became the artistic director and chiefconductor of the Zmora Women's Orchestra in Jerusalem.

About "Planned Chaos"

"Planned Chaos" for string quartet strives to express an existential state, the fruit of the post-modernist chaos: A kind of indifference, in which if everything is right and wrong at the same time - it has lost direction, flattening has been created, uniqueness has been lost. The music zigzags alternately between opposing divisions in character: a dance-comedy division alongside a dramatic-tragic one, a counterpoint-artistic section alongside an heteroponic aesthetic; The arbitrary fragmentation between the divisions seeks to shirk responsibility, to express indifference and even deliberate nonchalance, from a sense of "I do not care." Further to this random character the whole work is allegorical and gives the musicians the freedom to switch as they wish between the divisions - as individuals and as a group - as in the cube game; In this way the work may sound different each time, convincing each time - but different. 


However, despite the atmosphere of "whatever will be", and of "everything holds and does not hold" at the same time, the seeming coincidence gives rise to a unique one-time performance each time, and thus the work actually transcends the degenerate postmodernist rift. During the composition, the instruments maintain their independence, occasionally merging with each other, and sometimes uniting into one common statement. If in one of the divisions one can recognize a quote from "The Unanswered Question" by Charles Ives - which echoes the meaning of the work, then towards the end the bass line can be heard in the melody of the ode "To Joy" - from the movement that seals Beethoven's 9th Symphony - in a kind of possible answer; The famous melody that has become the official anthem of the European Union is based on Schiller's words that emphasize the human ideal of universal joy and brotherhood whilst relying on freedom, equality and mutual respect. The almost-human discourse that develops between the instruments, and in general, the very writing of the work - that is, the very artistic act of creation - indicates that despite the indifference and a sense of banality there is a recognition of the values ​​of human experience and appreciation of the cube game of life.

Matt Browne - "Great Danger, Keep Out"

Colorado-based composer Matt Browne (b. 1988) strives to create music that meets Sergei Diaghilev’s famous challenge to Jean Cocteau: “Astonish me!”, through incorporating such eclectic influences as the timbral imagination and playfulness of György Ligeti, the shocking and humorous polystylism of Alfred Schnittke, and the relentless rhythmic energy of Igor Stravinsky. His music has been praised for its “unbridled humor” (New Music Box) and described as “witty” (The Strad) and “beautifully crafted and considered” (What’s On London).Dr. Browne has had the honor to collaborate with such ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Quartet, Albany Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. His music has received honors such as the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers award, and a BMI Student Composer award. He received his DMA from the University of Michigan. Previous teachers include Michael Daugherty and Carter Pann.


About "Great Danger, Keep Out"

This piece was written for my good friends of the Tesla Quartet. And (not coincidentally) it is meant to be a musical portrait of the famed scientist, Nikola Tesla. Tesla was famous for many inventions and discoveries, including alternating current, wireless radio transmission, and even a fabled death ray. The title “Great Danger, Keep Out” is a variation on a sign that was posted outside of his Colorado Springs laboratory, which housed an fifty-seven-foot tesla coil (one of Tesla’s more famous inventions) that reportedly generated the largest manmade lightning bolts to this day (and was also the cause of a citywide blackout). The music is greatly inspired by the following account of the phenomenon by Tesla biographers, Hunt and Draper:"The crackling and snap repeated and then came a tremendous upsurge of sound as the power built up. There was a crescendo of vicious snaps above. The noises became machine-gun staccato, then roared to artillery intensity. Ghostly sparks danced a macabre routine all over the laboratory. There was a smell of sulfur that might be coming from hell itself. A weird blue light spread all over the room. Flames began to jump from the ball at the top of the mast- first a few feet long- then longer and brighter- thicker, bluer. More emanations until they reached rod like proportions thick as an arm and with a length of over 130 feet. The heavens reverberated with a terrific thunder that could be heard 15 miles over the ridge to Cripple Creek."While the programmatic “electrifying” essence of the work is clearly evident, I also wanted to include a few “easter eggs” about Tesla’s life, in order to more faithfully represent the famous inventor. These include things like his lifelong obsession with the number three (many of the melodies are based off of thirds; the tritone features prominently in harmonic and melodic material) and the opening tempo indication (“With vigor and vitality”), which is a direct quote spoken by Samuel Clemens upon experiencing some of the therapeutic vibrations caused by one of Tesla’s oscillators.This piece was written for and is dedicated to the Tesla Quartet.

Daniel Fawcett - Pulsations

Daniel Fawcett (b.1991) is a composer, cellist, visual artist and instrument builder from the United States. He is a graduate of New York University’s Steinhardt School with a M.M. degree in music composition where he studied privately with Joan La Barbara and Morton Subotnick. Prior to this, he completed his B.M. studies at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts, studying with Stacy Garrop and Kyong

Mee Choi. Much of his work deals with the interaction between performer and technology as part of a focused performance. In his free time, he enjoys participating in long distance running and triathlon events. He is currently a Nationally Registered EMT and is working towards a career in pre-hospital emergency medicine.

About Pulsations

This piece part of series of pieces exploring performance art, as well as various instrumental practices within the string quartet medium. These Pulsations I-III seek to extend performance practice and force different means of artistic interaction upon the performer. In addition to composed musical material, the performer is required to come to terms with elements of vocalization. These presented elements find their influence in both ancient and modern art, dance, poetry, popular music, and many other forms of

artistic expression.


When writing for string quartet, I wanted to try and create a piece that used unique sounds and techniques which I had explored through my own performances as a cellist. The various vocalizations and percussive sounds used in this piece are not part of my natural sound palette. Typically, I deal with ambient and atmospheric textures, but for this piece, I took a step in a new direction and dealt with a diverse range of overlapping rhythmic patterns. Additionally, I intended to create music that leans

towards a more raw and un-refined kind of sound.

Elizabeth Start - "Conclusions"

Composer, cellist, arts administrator, and union officer Elizabeth Start (b. 1959) performs with the Kalamazoo Symphony (who commissioned a work from her for their 100th anniversary) and the Elgin IL Symphony, is Executive Director of the Connecting Chords Music Festival, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Kalamazoo Federation of Musicians.


She is a member of the Chicago Composers’ Consortium, Chicago Musicians Club of Women, and the International Alliance of Women in Music (for whom she has provided CD reviews). Her “Echoes in Life” appears on Thomas Mesa’s 2022 Global Music Award-winning CD “Division of Memory”.

She has received numerous grants and commissions and over 500 performances of over 140 works. While living in Chicago, she performed with Ralph Shapey’s Contemporary Chamber Players, on chamber concerts of new music with members of the CSO, for American Women Composers, CUBE, and New  Music Chicago.

She has taught adjunct cello, acoustics, composition, music history and theory, world music, and music appreciation at institutions including Columbia College, DePaul University, Elgin Suzuki, and Kalamazoo College. She has a BA in mathematics and BMus in cello from Oberlin, two Mms, in cello and theory/composition, from Northern Illinois University, and a PhD in composition from the University of Chicago.


About "Conclusions"

“Conclusions” was written for Spektral Quartet, for an April 19, 2020 Chicago Composers’ Consortium (C3) concert. As were all the C3 pieces on the program, “Conclusions” was based on Bernard Rands’ “String Quartet Music for Spektral Quartet”, which was written for the same program.

The pitch sets of various conclusions, or cadence points, in the Rands piece, were taken as points of departure and “way stations” throughout “Conclusions”. Rather than “jumping to conclusions”, the piece works its way from one conclusion, or set of cadential pitches, to another, arriving at the six “borrowed” pitch collections in a different manner and in the reverse order of how they appear in Rands’ work.

The opening sonorities and initial melodic fragments of the piece are taken from the final chord of the Rands work, and other “conclusions”, or pitch sets from cadence points, are arrived at approximately at every minute marker in “Conclusions”. Two of the pitch sets involve two cadential chords which become an undulation. One short melodic line is also extremely loosely derived from a violin line in Rands’ work. “Conclusions” ends by arriving at the opening sonorities of Rands’ work, but goes beyond them to end in a sonority made up completely of natural harmonics on the instruments. In another significant departure from these “conclusion” sonorities, the cello hints at C major early in the piece, and later dabbles with it a little more extensively, while being somewhat veiled by the other instruments.

Luca Sutto - "Stay Close"

Luca Sutto, a versatile talent from Italy, currently based in Hamburg (Germany), wears multiple hats as a composer, pianist, educator, and creative force. He earned degrees in Composition, Piano, and Jazz Piano from the Conservatory of Parma, further honing his craft working with Alexander Schubert at HfMT in Hamburg. A a composer, his artistic journey has been marked by vibrant participation in prestigious festivals and residencies worldwide, including MMF 2023 (Netherlands), Arteles 2022 (Finland), Cellosmagics 2022 (Spain), Voices Of Spirit 2021 (Austria), and got performed by internationally acclaimed artists such as Dior String Quartet (Canada), orchestra Toscanini (Italy), cellist Severine Ballon (France), Tallā Rouge (USA), JO Hamburg (Germany). He was also a jury member in the World Piano Day 2024 (Belgium).

As a pianist, he brings improvisation on the stage with his concert Impro-visions, in which he interacts with the audience and creates music on the spot in different styles and genres. With his online presence, he doesn’t only share his work but also empowers fellow artists with insights and strategies, fostering a thriving community of musicians and creatives. He is director of the Modern Academy in Pinneberg (Germany).

About "Stay Close"

I composed “Stay Close”; using a theme that I had written at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Despite having been using a “sigh” motif in my other works, like in my Sonata for Violoncello (third movement), this is new: in fact, for this piece I have decided to depart from a predetermined musical structure, and instead composed something that flows from the first to the last note without any repetition, without any overall consistency. The first part, which I have candidly called an ”interrupted fugue” continually disrupts the natural counterpoint of the parts with sighs of silence. The core gesture of the theme becomes the germinal cell of the second part, a Largo in choral form, with its unmistakable “out-of-tune” first chord. This last part especially is full of personal struggles, emotiveness, and maybe nostalgia. The title, “Stay Close” harks back to an old note in my sketchbook from three years ago - and its meaning remains a secret.

Roger Zare - "Rice and Peas"

Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” Often inspired by science, nature, and mythology, his works use sonic experimentation and a keen sense of narrative impetus to create a visceral energy. Zare’s compositions have been performed across the United States and on six continents by such musicians and ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, the Sinta Quartet, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Andy Hudson. Zare has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, BMI, the New York Youth Symphony, Copland House, and many others. He has served as composer-in-residence at Fermilab, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and the SONAR new music ensemble. Zare holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Southern California. His teachers include Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfield, Kristin Kuster, Christopher Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Morten Lauridsen. Zare currently serves as Assistant Professor of music at Appalachian State University.


About "Rice and Peas"

Rice and Peas is a celebration of one of my favorite foods to eat growing up. Rice and peas is a dish common in Jamaica and around the Caribbean, mixing rice with kidney beans (not actually peas) and a generous kick of spiciness. I had this often when I was young, as it was a dish my mother grew up eating in Jamaica. This piece is a four-minute long romp. The beginning is groovy, based on a repeated rhythmic pattern set up by the cello. A singing melody is passed around the quartet while a spicy rhythm also circulates and the energy builds and builds. Pitch sliding glissandos sound like hooting and hollering as the raucous party really gets going.

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