“Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of chamber music and art song. Today’s classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit” (Huffington Post). Hailed by The New York Times as “a bold, powerful interpreter,” she is internationally acclaimed as a leading proponent of contemporary music in concert and recording, having premiered hundreds of works by established and emerging composers. Since becoming the first-prize laureate of both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Competition (NL) and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon Competition (USA), Tony Arnold has collaborated with the most cutting-edge composers and instrumentalists on the world stage, and shares with audiences her “broader gift for conveying the poetry and nuance behind outwardly daunting contemporary scores” (Boston Globe). Her unique blend of vocal virtuosity and communicative warmth, combined with wide-ranging skills in education and leadership were recognized with the 2015 Brandeis Creative Arts Award, given in appreciation of “excellence in the arts and the lives and works of distinguished, active American artists.”
Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles. “A bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets” (The New York Times), PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America, China, and Russia under the auspices of the United States Information Agency and USArtists International. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory. Two-time recipients of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has commissioned nearly 300 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Julia Wolfe, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipients Tyshawn Sorey, Bright Sheng, and Miguel Zenón; and United States Artists Fellow Susie Ibarra. PRISM’s discography includes releases on Albany, BMOP/Sound, ECM, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, New Focus, and its own label, XAS Records. The Fifth Century, PRISM’s ECM recording with The Crossing under Donald Nally, was awarded a 2018 Grammy for Best Choral Performance. In 2016, PRISM was named by its alma mater, the University of Michigan, as the first recipient of the Christopher Kendall Award in recognition of its work in “collaboration, entrepreneurship, and community engagement.” The PRISM Quartet performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones. PRISM Quartet members are Timothy McAllister (soprano), Zachary Shemon (alto), Matthew Levy (tenor), and Taimur Sullivan (baritone).
pianist and composer
GRAMMY-award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times)—was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O’Farrill, Mr. O’Farrill was educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano in Carla Bley’s Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) in order to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider audience, and to expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to artists across a wide stylistic and geographic range. Mr. O’Farrill is Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Music by Martin Bresnick brings together minimalist, repetitive gestures with a harmonic palette encompassing highly chromatic sounds, consonant harmonies, and raw power reminiscent of rock. In addition to having received many prizes and commissions, including the first Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rome Prize, The Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Koussevitzky Commission, Mr. Bresnick is recognized as an influential teacher of composition. His music has been performed by the National Symphony, Chicago Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, City of London Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Sonor; Da Capo Chamber Players; Speculum Musicae; Bang on A Can All Stars; Nash Ensemble; MusicWorks!; Zeitgeist; and Left Coast Ensemble. Mr. Bresnick is the Charles T. Wilson Professor in the Practice of Composition at the Yale University School of Music.
George Lewis’s work in chamber, orchestra, opera, and improvisative forms, as well as interactive computer music and installations, is documented on more than 150 recordings, as presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Musikfabrik, Mivos Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Spektral Quartet, and others. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), and the Doris Duke Artist Award (2019). A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press 2008), and co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016). Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University and holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University. His music is published by Edition Peters.
Juri Seo is a composer and pianist whose music encompasses extreme contrast and complexity while remaining unified and fluid. She merges an expanded timbral palette and unorthodox approach to structure with a deep love of functional tonality, counterpoint, and classical form. Her composition honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, Copland House Residency Award, and the Otto Eckstein Fellowship from Tanglewood. She has received commissions from Fromm Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Tanglewood Music Center, the 21st Century Piano Commission Competition from the University of Illinois, and the Renée B. Fisher Piano Competition. Her debut album “Mostly Piano” was released by Innova Recordings in 2017. Ms. Seo is an Assistant Professor of Music at Princeton University.
stage director & set designer
Jorinde Keesmaat is a Dutch director of opera and staged classical concerts who has worked extensively with Concertgebouw (Amsterdam). She is the 2016-19 Director-in-Residence at the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC. In her immersive multidisciplinary work, Keesmaat plays with ideas which are foundational to Mending Wall: the relationship between spectator and actor/musician, and boundaries between classical concerts, opera, and theater. She directed semi-staged productions of Mozart Opera’s Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro for the The Hague Philharmonic. In 2016, she directed the double bill Odysseus’ Women & Anais Nin by Louis Andriessen for the Center of Contemporary Opera in New York with performances at National Sawdust in NYC and in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ Amsterdam. In 2017, she won the GALA! Rotterdam Operadays Award.
Aaron Copp’s most recent design projects include lighting shows for Yo-Yo Ma, Natalie Merchant, Mike Birbiglia, Maya Beiser, Miami City Ballet, Eliot Feld, Jonah Bokaer, the Royal Ballet Of Flanders, and others. His company has also done extensive lighting consultation for such clients as Lincoln Center, The Park Avenue Armory, The Lewis Center at Princeton University, and The Shed. He has designed plays for The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theater Center, and other major theaters around the country. He has worked extensively in the dance world, and in 2008 received his second Bessie Award for Jonah Bokaer’s The Invention Of Minus One. He had a long association with Merce Cunningham, designing such pieces as Ground Level Overlay, Windows, and Biped, the lighting for which also won a Bessie.
- PRISM Quartet
- Executive/Project Director: Matthew Levy
- Costumes: Jenna Gove
- Production Manager: Dom Chacon
- Stage Manager: Payton Smith
- Production Coordinator/Stagehand: Kevin Vu
- Production Assistant/Stagehand: Nicky Hyman
- Administrative Coordinator: Jocelyn Abrahamzon
- Audio Recording Engineer: John O. Senior
- Video Recording: Andy Biskin
- Scenic Carpenter: Justin Romeo
- Master Electrician: Sydney Norris
- Development: Willa Rohrer
- Publicity: Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.
- Bryn Mawr College
- Arts Administrator, Office for the Arts: Angela Dowdy
- Technical Director, Goodhart Theater: Justin McDaniel
- Assistant Technical Director: Henry Bradford
- Theater Production Manager: Amy M. Radbill
- Owner/Director: James Staley
- Technical Director: Woramon Jamjod
- Director of Operations and Programs: Amanda Davis
- Director of Communications: Caitlin Gleason
- Managing Director: Jamie Burns