2018 chicago Artists

alejandro t. acierto

Alejandro T. Acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He has exhibited artworks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Issue Project Room, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Salisbury University, SOMArts and presented performance works at Rapid Pulse, the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Center for Performance Research, and Center for New Music and Technology. Noted for his “insatiable” performance by the New York Times, Acierto has performed extensively throughout the US and abroad and can be heard on Carrier, Albany, New Focus, Parlour Tapes+, and Avant Media Records and has issued a solo record on Prom Night Records. He is a 3Arts awardee and a recipient of the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Darmstadt Festival for New Music with Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom he is a founding member. Acierto has also held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Banff Centre, High Concept Laboratories, Chicago Artists' Coalition and was recently an FT/FN/FG Consortium Fellow and a Center Program Artist at the Hyde Park Art Center. He received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, an MFA in New Media Arts from University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is currently Artist-in-Residence for Creative Practice in Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University.

tony arnold

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.

Sophia burgos

Puerto Rican-American soprano Sophia Burgos is a passionate performer of contemporary music, opera, and art song. Recently, Ms. Burgos had the honor of winning the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Art Song Competition in Paris. She also performed works such as Grisey’s Quatre Chants at the Elbphilharmonie with Klangforum Heidelberg, Vivier’s Lonely Child with Teodor Currenzis and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Andrew Norman’s first opera, A trip to the Moon, with Sir Simon Rattle at the Berlin Philharmonic and the Barbican Theater. Ms. Burgos credits much of her vocal and intellectual development as a singer to the process and unique challenges of contemporary music. She has collaborated with dozens of composers to create new works in hopes to broaden the repertoire, expand upon the ideas and topics written about, and promote the vast possibilities of writing for the human voice. She is now working with young poets as well, hoping to strengthen the intimate collaboration between composer, poet, and singer. Ms. Burgos is greatly looking forward to a variety of projects, including Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas with Aix-en-Provence, a world premiere with Bregenz Festspiel, covering Barbara Hannigan at Paris Opera on Michael Jarrell’s new opera BéréniceThe Cunning Little Vixen at the Barbican Theater with Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars, and making her debut at La Monnaie as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.  Her closest mentors and teachers are Dawn Upshaw, Barbara Hannigan, and Neil Semer. Ms. Burgos currently lives in Cologne, Germany, with composer and wonderful partner, Andrew Haig, and their Pit-bull rescue. She is also an ethical vegan/vegetarian.

Nina Dante

Classical soprano and vocal improviser Nina Dante draws artistic satisfaction from the continuous rediscovery of the expressive and technical capabilities of the voice. Dante has performed on concerts, festivals, and as a guest of venues such as National Sawdust, the University of Chicago Presents, the Renaissance Society of Chicago, the Goethe Insitut, the City of Chicago’s Loops and Variations, the Strasbourg Conservatoire, the New Music Miami Festival, Oberlin Conservatory’s Modern Music Guild Series, Experimental Sound Studio’s Outer Ear Series, Chicago’s Frequency Series and Festival, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneous (Mexico City), Visiones Sonores (Morelia), the Latino Music Festival of Chicago, De música y músicos (Costa Rica), New York’s Performa 15, the 113 Composers Collective Series, and LAMPO. Dante is a founding member of the contemporary chamber music ensemble Fonema Consort, which specializes in new chamber music for the voice and instruments. She can be heard on the ensemble’s debut album Pasos en otra calle (New Focus Recordings), and the ensemble’s audio-visual album FIFTH TABLEAU (Parlour Tapes+). Dante has performed and lectured in residencies and educational workshops at institutions including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory, UNAM (Mexico City), the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Saint Xavier University, and North Central College. Dante was trained at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and the École normale de musique (Paris).

photo credit: Michael Duffy

photo credit: Michael Duffy

Amanda deboer bartlett

Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, DMA is an Omaha-based classical soprano who specializes in the work of living composers. Along with her solo repertoire, she is a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Hasco Duo and Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. Recent and upcoming premieres and performances include operas by Katherine Young, Eliza Brown, and Frederick Gifford, a performance of David Lang's "love fail" at the Kody Festival in Poland with Quince, the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, as well as music by Holly Herndon, Marcos Balter, Christopher Cerrone, noise rock band Deerhoof, Erin Gee, and Natacha Diels. Ms. DeBoer is featured on albums with Holly Herndon, Deerhoof, Ensemble Dal Niente, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Christopher Wild, and Hasco Duo. Outside of her performance work, Ms. DeBoer is also the founder and director of an experimental performance festival called Omaha Under the Radar, which has presented nearly 200 individual artists from around North America during its first four seasons. Born and raised in Omaha, NE, Ms. DeBoer moved to Chicago to study at DePaul University where she received a Bachelor of Music. She received a Masters degree from the University at Buffalo, where she studied with acclaimed contemporary interpreter Tony Arnold, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Bowling Green State University.

nathalie joachim

Nathalie Joachim is “an edgy multi- genre performance artist who has long been pushing boundaries with her flute”. (The Washington Post) Critics hail the Brooklyn born Haitian-American for creating “a unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals reminiscent of neo- R&B stars like Erykah Badu.” (The Wall Street Journal) Ms. Joachim regularly combines her exceptional performance skill as a flutist with her creative talents as a composer, producer and singer, navigating genres ranging from classical and jazz to indie-rock and electronic. She was recently appointed flutist of the four-time Grammy winning contemporary chamber ensemble, Eighth Blackbird. Joachim is also co- founder of the critically acclaimed urban art pop duo, Flutronix, known best for “redefining the flute and modernizing its sound by hauling it squarely into the world of popular music.”(MTV Iggy) As a composer, Joachim has acquired a number of notable commissions for dance, instrumentalists and interdisciplinary theater, each featuring her signature electroacoustic style. Upcoming premieres include Fanm d’Ayiti, an evening-length work for flute, voice, string quartet and electronics, commissioned by and developed in residency through St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series (2018). Other recent projects include Land Bridge, an evening-length score for Helen Simoneau Danse (2016) funded by New Music USA; Ulysses in 3, a collaboration with renowned jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. as part of Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction residency program (2015); and Dam Mwen Yo for solo cello and processed field recordings written for Amanda Gookin of PUBLIQuartet as part of her Forward Music Projectand premiered at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY (2017).

jenna lyle

Composer, performer, installation-builder, and administrator, Jenna Lyle has worked with various ensembles and specialized in the performance of works by living composers. She has presented her own works as well as those of her colleagues throughout the U.S. and abroad, with performances recently by Spektral Quartet, Mocrep, Northwestern University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, Loadbang, Heterodyne Trio, and The Riot Ensemble, of London. As a performer, Lyle takes on long-term collaborations drawing upon her background in theater and vocal performance. Her latest projects include an international tour of choreographer Erica Mott and composer Ryan Ingebritsen's 3 Singers, a dance and multi-media opera; a collaborative duo work for bodies, voices, hanging speakers, and electronics with Australian mezzo Jessica Aszodi entitled Grafter; and a one-woman adaptation of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat. Lyle is also a performing member of Mocrep and a co-founder of Parlour Tapes+, a New Music cassette tape label and media/performance collective based in Chicago. She holds degrees in composition from Northwestern University (DMA), Cleveland State University (MM), and Birmingham-Southern College (BM) and curates and coordinates programming at The Arts Club of Chicago as Programs Manager. As an artist, Lyle explores how the physical body, and in turn the culture in which it functions, adapts to its semiotic or "data-based" representation. Magnifying the relationship between sonic output and physical process and separating it from the second nature, she often places performers in physical arrangements that force a heightened awareness of body while they execute a set of instructions for sound production. Performer configurations may highlight interpersonal dynamics, the connection between a sonic object and movement, or the production of sound as contingent upon the perception of one's own bodily processes, among other things. As a result, movement and corpus become increasingly significant as musical material, fueling a discourse of movement as motive in Lyle's work. 

jessie marino

Jessie Marino is a composer/performer/media artist from New York. Her current work explores the repetition inside common activities, ritualistic absurdities, and the archeology of nostalgic technologies. Her pieces score out sound, video, physical movements, lighting and staging which are then placed within organized temporal structures, fractured narratives and musical frameworks. Jessie is the Co-Founder of the experimental performance duo ON STRUCTURE and is Co-Artistic Director, Composer, and Cellist for the composer-performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse. Her compositions have been performed internationally by groups such as Ensemble Pamplemousse (USA), SCENATET (DK), SoundInitiative (FR), and presented at performing arts venues/festivals such as Café Oto (UK), MATA Festival (NYC), Borealis Festival(NO), SPOR Festival (DK), Darmstadt International Summer Courses (DE), and The Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao).  As a performer, Jessie works on developing new modes of musical performance styles with her duo ON STRUCTURE (with composer/performer Natacha Diels), plays regularly as a cellist with Ensemble Pamplemousse, and has developed a motley cast of performative and compositional Alter Egos. She has worked closely with influential composers such as Alvin Lucier, George Lewis, Klaus Lang and Steve Takasugi, and has been a guest performer with prominent contemporary music and theater ensembles such as, Object Collection (NYC), Wet Ink Ensemble (NYC), and Ensemble Adapter. 

Pamela Z

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she creates solo works combining experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and new music chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet and the Bang on a Can Allstars. Her large-scale multi-media works have been presented at venues including Theater Artaud and ODC in SanFrancisco, and The Kitchen in New York, and her media works have been presented in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum (NY) , the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert Art Museum (IL). Her multi-media opera Wunderkabinet – inspired by the Museum of Jurassic Technology (co-composed with Matthew Brubeck) has been presented at The LAB Gallery (San Francisco), REDCAT (Disney Hall, Los Angeles), and Open Ears Festival, Toronto. Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can at Lincoln Center (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, the Creative Capital Fund, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, The MAP Fund, the ASCAP Music Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA and Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.