Mikhail Smigelski (Henry), born in St. Petersburg, Russia, has always combined his opera singling career with choral conducting. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in choral conducting from Rimsky-Korsakov Music College in 1998, he started his vocal career by first entering Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory and, subsiquently, University of Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany, where in 2012 he completed his Master’s degree in opera performance. Upon moving to United States he earned a Master’s degree in choral conducting at Sam Houston State University and is currently working toward his Doctoral degree in opera vocal performance at the University of Texas at Austin.
Throughout his career Mikhail toured Russia, Europe, and the United States as a opera soloist, part of vocal ensembles and conductor. His opera engagements included: Theater Saint-Peterburg Opera, Theater Aachen, Theaters Solingen, Theater Leverkusen, Opera Leggera, and many others others. Mikhail diverse repertoire spans from early music to contemporary music. Recently he had his New York City debut premiering a newly composed work by Iranian-American composer Gity Razaz “The Call Across the Valley of Not-Knowing” at the 2014 Ferus Festival at The Stone. This performance has been broadcasted on WQXR radio. This year Mikhail’s engagements include starring in the new opera by John Aylward “Switch” alongside Amanda DeBoer Bartlett and ECCE Ensemble.
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (Molly / Anne) is an experimental singer and indie classical music curator originally from Omaha, Nebraska. She is a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, and is a co-founder of Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. As a contemporary classical music specialist, Ms. DeBoer has premiered over 150 new works by inspiring musical innovators including Marcos Balter, Aaron Einbond, Robert Honstein, Morgan Krauss, Ravi Kittappa, Fredrick Gifford, Chris Fisher-Lochhead, Ryan Carter, Jonn Sokol, and many others. She has a wide variety of musical interests, and opportunities to incorporate storytelling, movement, multi-media and improvisation have been especially rewarding.
Serafim Smigelskiy (Cello), winner of numerous international competitions and awards including the First Prize of the Russian State Music Competition, the Salzburg Festspiele and many others, actively performs a wide variety of repertoire ranging from contemporary music to early music. Mr. Smigelskiy has worked directly with composers such as Georg Friedrich Haas, Chaya Czernowin, Mathias Pintscher, Mark Andre, Magnus Lindberg, Steve Reich, and others which have led to performances and recordings of their music at concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Benaroya Hall, Moscow Philharmonic Hall, and Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, as well as at Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, and Columbia Universities. As a soloist Mr. Smigelskiy has toured across the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. He has appeared as the principal cellist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Ensemble du Monde, and the Ars Viva Strings Orchestra, ECCE Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, AXIOM, Dal Niente; as well as performing with Jupiter Chamber Players, Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet, Quartet Accorda, among others. Currently serving as the Artistic Director of the ECCE ensemble based in New York, he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous new works by both emerging and established composers of the current generation. Serafim has recently been appointed as the cellist of the Tesla Quartet. Mr. Smigelskiy was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has been playing the cello since the age of six. www.serafim-smigelskiy.com
Vasko Dukovski (Clarinet), a multi-instrumentalist virtuoso and diverse stylistic performer of the highest caliber has established himself as one of New York’s most sought after instrumentalist in his generation. A master of the clarinet, Dukovski also plays Saxophones, Armenian Duduk, Balkan Pan Pipes, Bag Pipes, Chinese Hu Lu Si and various Middle-Eastern percussion instruments. An avid performer and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dukovski has collaborated with many young rising and established composers. He has premiered several newly composed chamber works and ensemble pieces with his various new music and chamber ensembles: Bang on A Can All Stars, ECCE, Either/OR Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Mimesis Ensemble, Argento, AXIOM Ensemble, and the VOXARE Quartet. Dukovski has recorded for Naxos American Classics, Sono Luminus- Dorian, Tzadik, Chicken Madness, In a Circle Records, and Furious Artisans.
After musical studies at the Shimane University in Japan, Keiko Murakami (Flutes) entered the music academy in Strasbourg : Mario Caroli and Claire Gentilhomme were her teachers for flute, and she follows Armand Angster lessons in chamber music. She obtained her degrees and several prices in 2005. In 2008, she got a degree in musical theater at Hochshule der Kunst in Bern, directed by Georges Aperghis and Françoise Rivalland. She joined as a flutist the Ensemble Linea in 2003 with whom she performs every year at Champs Libres Festival. She also plays flute in Hic et Nunc Ensemble since 2005. As a soloist or as a chamber music player, she performed in numerous festivals and events like Festival Musica (Strasbourg), Trans’art (Bolzano), Ciclo de Conciertos de Musica Contempranea (Buenos Aires), Musiques Démesurées (Clermont-Ferrand), Nouvelles Danse (Strasbourg), Akiyoshidai Contemporary Music Seminar and Festival (Japon), Biennale (Bern). She worked with conductors like Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Diego Masson, Beat Furrer, Marco Angius.
Mike Truesdell’s (Percussion) solo and chamber-music opportunities have brought him across the United States, Europe and Japan. As a soloist, he was the 2nd-prize winner of the 2010 TROMP International Percussion Competition in the Netherlands, and continues to maintain an active schedule of solo recitals, chamber music, and orchestral performances. In addition, Mike has performed with numerous ensembles, including the New York City Ballet, New York New Music Ensemble, Lucerne Festival Ensemble conducted by Pierre Boulez, and with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Chamber Music Society (New York), ICE and Alarm Will Sound. Highlights to the 2013-14 season include: a Miller Theater composer portrait commemorating John Zorn’s 60th birthday; in celebrating the music of Richard Rodney Bennett, as featured soloist along with acclaimed cellist Fred Sherry; multiple performances with the New York City Ballet; a tour with the Talea Ensemble performing music of Pierluigi Billone; a performance of music by Wuorinen and Crumb at the Kennedy Center; and performance/master class tours to Japan and China during the summer. http://www.miketruesdell.com
Born in 1968, Jean-Philippe Wurtz (conductor) studied at the National Conservatoire of the Region of Strasbourg where he obtained first prizes in piano, chamber music, analysis. He continued his studies at the Karlsruhe Musikhochschule and received instructions from Ernest BOUR whom he met in Strasbourg. At the same time, he was admitted as a student to the International Eötvös Institute where he studied with Peter Eötvös. There he conducted the Asko and Contrechamps ensembles. In 1997, he founded the LINEA ensemble devoted to contemporary music. In 1994, he was assistant to Kent NAGANO at the Lyon Opera, then to Friedemann Layer at the Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Orchestra, which he regularly conducts. From 1997-99, he works as Director of the musical studies at the Operas of Montpellier.
He conducted following orchestras/ensembles : l’Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, l’Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, l’Orchestre National des Pays des Loire, l’ensemble oh ton, l’ensemble Alternance, le Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, and worked at the Opéra National de Lyon, Opéras de Montpellier, Vlaamse Opera (Anvers), Opéra National de Paris-Bastille, with stage managers like Robert Carsen, Alfredo Arias, Daniel Mesguich, John Dew and conductors like Armin Jordan, Stuart Bedford… He performed many premieres, among them pieces by Klaus Huber, Rihm, Pagh-Paan, Lenot, Asmus, Yeznikian, Dufour, Heyn, Koch, Lang, Sprintz…