“Hibiscus” is a piece about the process of growing. It’s a work that’s messy and spontaneous—filled with bursts of color and lots of tension. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between what’s tension and what’s color. In this way, the line between the struggle of growing and the beauty of growing blurred. It’s a scary and often intense process, and all of those feelings are a part of this piece. It contains both the sense that what has been done has failed in some way, and the optimism that failure can be learning opportunity. However, you may have to actively search for the optimism.
Hibiscuses are flowers that blooms over the course of a single day usually. Their petals unfurl in the morning and wilt by night. Thus, the piece consists of a series of these short blooming cycles, implying that growth is a segmented, discontinuous process. It happens sporadically, and often wilts before it can come to its full fruition. The piece is a testament to all of these small cycles of growth—filled with difficulty and never quite reaching their potential—which can accumulate to a larger sum of growth. They might seem more defined by their failures than their successes at first, but if you squint hard enough, you might be able to see the forest through the trees.
- Josh Krienke
Every sound produced by an initial attack goes through a stage of decay, and then perhaps lingering a little at a sustaining level, before it is released into silence. There’s something really poetic about what every sound has to go through. The attack is often what gets more attention, but somehow I am alway more drawn to beauty in the decaying of sound. Perhaps, dusk is beautiful in a similar way.
Ghost Breath (2022)
Ghost Breath is an expression of the anxiety I felt immediately after having been sick and in quarantine withCovid.
For a while I did not like being in public spaces.
I did not like being around others.
I was uncomfortable, tense.
I held my breath...
- Samuel Mutter
The Odd Trio (2022)
The Odd Trio is a 3 minute piece written with the suggestion from my mentor Kyle Gann as a way to get me out of a rut I was having trying to write piano music. This year is just has been me trying to explore writing music. I am still a rookie in a lot of ways but I am avid learner so I am really open to anything. I have never written a trio ensemble that consists of these instruments so that’s why I called it “The Odd Trio” because it’s an odd trio. I hope you all enjoy the piece
- Magdalena Teisler
Looking at the Sky (2022)
I wrote “Looking at the Sky” while I was lying on my roof, looking at the sky.
- Zeke Morgan
Josh Krienke is a first-year composition student at Bard Conservatory. He started composing more seriously in his freshman year of high school at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and has since had the opportunity to have a variety of pieces performed. Most recently, his work “Lonely in the Green” written for clarinet and piano was performed by members of the Da Capo Ensemble, and two movements of his String Quartet “Autumn Gale” were performed by Bard Conservatory students. While his style is often malleable depending on what each given piece calls for, he most often takes inspiration from the sounds of modal music—whether through the wealth of colors depicted by impressionist composers, or through the boundary-pushing harmonies of jazz artists from the 1950s all the way up to the present day.
Caleb L. Carman
Caleb L. Carman (b. 1999) is a classical composer-pianist. He studied music for four years at Bard College. Among his compositions are The Caucasian Chalk Circle (2019), Elegy for Piano (2020), and Dream (2021). He plays much of the classical and contemporary keyboard repertoire, from Byrd to Bolcom. He currently lives in Manhattan, New York.
Oga (they/them) is a fourth-year student at Bard College Conservatory, majoring in music composition and studio arts. Their practice is equally focused on visual art and music/sound, including drawing, sculpture, video and performance art, alongside music composition and other sound-based performances. Their work has been performed by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players and Fear No Music. They are a recipient of the Joan Tower Scholarship for composition at Bard College and their mentors include Sarah Hennies, George Tsontakis, Joan Tower and Kenji Bunch
Samuel Mutter is a composer and pianist currently double-majoring in music composition and history at Bard College and Conservatory. He has studied composition with Alan Hankers, George Tsontakis, and Joan Tower. Mutter’s influences include a wide range of classical, folk, rock, and jazz music. He has a deep interest in the music of different cultures, and this often impacts his writing. Mutter’s musical style is just as broad as the music that influences him.
Even at a young age, Samuel’s music has been performed by large ensembles, chamber ensembles, and soloists. Recent collaborations include the Da Capo Chamber Players who premiered his piece, Why Don’t We Just Talk? last fall, the Pierrot Ensemble at the Atlantic Music Festival who premiered Mutter’s piece, Incarceration, and the new music ensemble, Sputter Box, whose recently released album, Sputter (Shrinks The) Box, includes his piece, “The Spice Cabinet”. His music has been performed in multiple states and is expected to be performed in New York City and Hong Kong this season.
Mutter also loves improvisation and collaboration with other artists, recently collaborating with Bard College dancer and choreographer Leslie A. Morales on her piece, Parthenon for which Samuel composed and performed the music.
The Odd Trio
Magdalena Teisler is a composer and pianist from Red Hook, New York. Born in Guangzhou China she was adopted at 14 months and has lived in America all her life. She is just starting her musical journey at Bard College’s music program and is trying to find where her path lies.
She studied at Bard’s Preparatory Division for 13 years for Piano, Composition, and Voice under the guidance of many great musicians. There she found her love for music and decided that she wanted to further her studies in music.
Writing her first piano composition at the age of 16 she found herself seeing that composition is a something that she wants to pursue. Since then she has been actively writing trying to find her own style and learn from her mentors. Her mentors are Dr.Kyle Gann and Martha Sullivan. Her hopes in the future is that she will be able to study her Chinese roots and eventually start writing for Chinese instruments and start combining western and eastern sounds.
Looking at the Sky
Zeke is a composer and violinist from Jackson, Mississippi. He recently transferred to Bard Conservatory’s composition program after completing two years of a violin performance degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been actively writing music since the summer of 2018 when he attended a composition seminar at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Since then, he has engaged in many different types of music-making. Currently, he is exploring improvisation in search of a more “bare” or “awake” mode of composition.
Zeke is also a prospective written arts major and is working to connect his writing to his music. He is especially interested in how the nature of a voice and/or instrument can change the interpretation of a text. Much of his inspiration comes from the world around him and his own personal experiences.
Madeline Moneypenny (b. 2000) is a vocalist, composer, producer, lyricist, and audio engineer.
She was born in North Conway, New Hampshire, and studied jazz vocal performance and
electronic music production at Bard College, with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality
Studies. An electric and emotive performer, she has played in many different venues throughout
Upstate New York and her native NH. Her musical style ranges from new-wave R&B to
experimental and freeform electronic landscapes to beat-driven alternative pop/rap. She is
interested in the human voice as an instrument, the use of both physical space and mixing
space as compositional tools, and the conversational element of improvisation. She released an
album with her band Just Friends on May 14th and will be debuting her first solo project this
summer. You can find her at @madeline_moneypenny or reach her at
Aleksandar Vitanov is a sophomore international student from North Macedonia at Bard College studying Political Studies and Trumpet Performance at the Bard Conservatory of Music. He came to Bard after spending his junior and senior years of high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Previously, Aleksandar attended Ilija Nikolovski - LUJ in Skopje, North Macedonia for his first two years of high school. He was offered a full scholarship to go to study in Michigan and he moved there alone when he was 17 years old. Aleksandar has had many accomplishments in music including high prizes on regional, national, and international competitions, has appeared on NPR’s From The Top, and has played with many ensembles all around the world including appearing as a soloist with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra when he was 16. He is on Bard’s Student Honor List, founded a Trustee Leader Scholar initiative called Musical Mentorship Initiative which provides free music education to families that cannot afford it, serves on Bard’s Student Government as the chair of the Peer Review Board, he is the Co-Chair of the Constitutional Court at Bard, and is the founder of the Alexander Hamilton Society Bard College Chapter. This coming summer, Aleksandar will be attending the Hudson Institute summer fellowship where he will be studying political theory, public and foreign policy, as well as American political principles.
Ulysse Derrien is a French trumpet player born in Paris in 2003. He studied under Clément Saunier at the Paris Conservatory for 6 years. Ulysse won the 1st prize both at the Isle sur la Sorgue trumpet competition and the Hericourt trumpet competition.
Ulysse took lessons with very great and famous trumpet players such as Håkan Hardenberger, David Guerrier, Jeroen Berwaerts, Miroslav Petkov, Giuliano Sommerhalder, Stephen Burns and Jean-Pierre Odasso.
Currently in his first year at the Bard Conservatory of Music, Ulysse studies trumpet with Edward Carroll and Carl Albach.
Natalia is currently in her third year at Bard College and Conservatory pursuing two undergraduate degrees, one in Physics and one in French Horn performance, studying with Julia Pilant and Barbara Jolstein. Learning piano starting at five years of age, and horn at age 10, music has always been a part of Natalia’s life. She has participated in programs such as the Manhattan School of Music precollege division under scholarship, where she studied under renowned hornist Sharon Moe, and participated in master classes with hornists Jeffery Scott and James Morgan Bush. Through NYSSMA, she has participated in various ensembles including Conference All-State, All-Eastern, and other honors ensembles. At the beginning of her undergraduate studies, she played in the New York Youth Symphony, where she regularly performed at Carnegie Hall, and recorded a studio album under the direction of Micheal Repper and with producer Judith Sherman. Natalia has also had the opportunity to bring her music abroad; with composer and conductor Tan Dun and the Bard Philharmonic Orchestra, Natalia traveled to Haikou in Hainan Province, China, at the end of 2019 to open the Haikou Bay Performing Arts Center. Natalia’s chamber music career has also been quite extensive, and has included her participation in horn trios, quartets, quintets, octets, piano quintets, wind quintets and sextets, and brass trios and quintets.
Anthony Ruocco is a trombonist from Staten Island, New York, and is attending Bard College Conservatory of Music, as well as studying Biology at Bard College. He studies with the trombonists of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York City Ballet Orchestra.
Ameya Natarajan is a sophomore at Bard College where they study Trombone Performance and Sociology. The first sound they remember hearing is their family's microtonal rendition of Happy Birthday, and they have been a big fan of contemporary music since. Ameya studied Carnatic music for 12 years prior to starting their Western classical and jazz training, and they hope to be a musician that transcends any and all musical genre boundaries and make music that everyone can find a piece of themselves in.
Colin Roshak is a conductor, clarinetist, educator, and avid home cook. He is a member of the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard College and is a student of James Bagwell, Richard Hawkins and Tim Weiss.
From 2018 to 2021, Colin spent his summers teaching in Sitka, Tlingit Aaní in southeast Alaska. He likes to start the day with a smoothie and his mind often drifts to the Chugach mountains. In the summer of 2022, Colin will return to the 49th state as an artist in residence with the Alaska State Parks Service. While living in an off-grid cabin, he’ll spend his days writing, recording, and designing an education curriculum that incorporates elements of natural sound and being outside.
Following his time in Juneau, Colin will travel to San Antonio and Chicago, to work as the inaugural conducting fellow with the Classical Music Institute and as an assistant conductor with Chicago Summer Opera in productions of Handel's Serse and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.
Colin has strong opinions about salt and pepper, highly recommends Maggie Nelsons’ The Argonauts, and encourages everyone to drink more water.
Sindy Yang is an actively performing pianist. Recent performances have included recitals at Bard Conservatory as well as performances at summer music festivals including Manhattan in the Mountains. Sindy is also an enthusiastic collaborator of chamber music. She has been a participant of several chamber music festivals with scholarship awards including Manhattan in the Mountains in Hunter, New York; the Summit Music Festival in Pleasantville, New York; the EuroArts Music Festival in Halle, Germany; and the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana in Tuscany, Italy. In chamber music, she has collaborated with players such as Peter Wiley. Outside of solo and chamber performances, Sindy has performed as an orchestral pianist with The Orchestra Now at Bard College. As an orchestral pianist, she has worked with conductors such as Leon Botstein and Tan Dun and performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sindy began her musical studies at the age of six. As a young student, she was the recipient of numerous music awards and was a prizewinner of several competitions including the Renée B. Fisher Piano Competition and the Chaminade Music Club Scholarship Award. She continued her musical studies at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, studying piano under the tutelage of Miyoko Nakaya Lotto. Sindy earned a BM in classical piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music and an Advanced Performance Certificate in solo piano performance from Bard Conservatory as a full scholarship recipient. Her instructors include Peter Serkin, Richard Goode, and Shai Wosner.
I began studying the violin and viola in 2011 with Aryeh Marcus at the Kiryat Bialik Conservatory, Israel. Between the years 2015-2020, I studied with Zvi Carmeli at the Jezreel Valley Center for the Arts, specializing in the viola. I have participated in the Northern String Ensemble activities, including a masterclass with Ida Biler, "Young String Players", the Program for Musical Excellence, chamber ensembles, the 2016-2019 Huberman Festivals in Jerusalem, Switzerland, and Rehovot. Also, I took a part in the "Jerusalem Sounds" seminar, the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra between the years 2017 and 2019, a chamber music festival in Belgium, PMP winter residency 2020, OSSI winter 2021, LGT Young Soloist project 2018 which took place in Germany and Netherlands, Orchestra festival in Italy 2018. In the winter of 2018 and 2019, I took part in the “Keshet Eilon” Winter Seminar.
In addition, I have participated in masterclasses with the following artists: Hagay Shaham (2015), Nobuko Imai (2015), Hilel Zori (2016), Giorgio Marinari (2015), Robert Vernon (2016), Hartmut Rohde (2016), Amichai Gross (2016), Tatjana Masurenko (2018), Molly Carr (2018), Marc Sabbah (2019), Tabea Zimmermann (2019), Steve Tenenbom (2020), Haim Taub (2019), Patinka Kopec (2020), Carol Rodland (2020), Kirsten Docter (2020), Matthew Lipman (2021). I performed a recital at Beit Ildan in Kiryat Motzkin in June of 2017. From 21-28 May, I participated in a viola course in Italy. I Received a Sharet Foundation Scholarship in the years 2017-2018 and 2019-2020. Currently, I’m studying viola with Molly Carr at Bard College Conservatory NY.
Steven Bonacci is a saxophonist from Westfield, Massachusetts. He has played with the Wolfe Pit Big Band and with other small local groups. At Bard, he plays with the Contemporary Jazz Composers Ensemble and anyone else that is willing to put music in front of him.
Juan Diego Mora
Percussionist Juan Diego Mora is a second-year student from Tachira, Venezuela, who was the principal of the percussion section of the Regional Orchestra of Táchira. He was a student in the El Sistema program for 11 years before arriving at Bard, to begin his studies in January 2021. He’s currently double majoring in computer science and music, and has a strong interest in composition, conducting, and exploring more instruments outside the percussion section such as piano, cuatro (Venezuelan folk instrument), guitar, and bass. Juan is also a member of the Avila Ensemble where he performs Venezuelan folk music around the Hudson Valley.
Katherine Lerner Lee
Brooklyn-based soprano, Katherine Lerner Lee, is currently pursuing her Master’s of Music at Bard Conservatory. There, she was recently seen as Gold-Spurs in Janacék’s The Cunning Little Vixen and was named winner of Bard's 2021 Concerto Competition. A diverse artist, Katherine is at home in operatic, concert and contemporary repertoire. In 2019, she made her Carnegie Hall debut on the Perelman Stage as the soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Oberlin College Choir and has been heard at the Brooklyn Art Museum and the Cleveland Art Museum, performing works by Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon and Harrison Birtwistle. Operatic credits include Pamina (Die Zauberflöte/Mozart), Flora (The Turn of the Screw/ Britten), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro /Mozart), and Clori in (L’egisto/ Cavalli). Upcoming appearances
include the world premiere of JL Marlor’s movement opera, The Final Veil, at the Cell Theater in New York. More at katherinelernerlee.com.
Andrea Abel is a senior conservatory student from Hungary, studying with professor Tara Helen O’Connor at the Bard conservatory of Music as a recipient of the Laszlo Z. Bito scholarship. She has previously studied at the Leo Weiner Conservatory of Music in Budapest and performed as a soloist with the Budapest String Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. She has won first place on the X. National Chamber Music Competition with her Budapest-based trio in 2018 and won the Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition in 2021 with Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto. Her second major is multidisciplinary studies, through which she hopes to create a bridge between the different art disciplines and incorporate them in her work as a writer and creator. After Bard, she would like to follow her passion for bringing new music to life and hopes to inspire young composers to write more repertoire for the flute.
Kamil Karpiak, a third-year conservatory student at Bard, is from Douglassville, PA. Before enrolling at Bard College, he participated in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Domaine Forget International Music Academy, and Hidden Valley Music Seminars. He has played the oboe for eleven years. In addition to his oboe studies, Kamil is an accomplished pianist. As a student of the Dual Degree Program, his second major will be in German Studies.
Mercer is a fifth-year violist at Bard Conservatory of Music pursuing her BM in Viola Performance with Professor Marka Gustavsson and her BA in German Studies. Mercer is a recipient of the William Willeke Memorial Scholarship for Young Performers and has played in several orchestras and chamber music festivals in the United States, Austria, Palestine, the Czech Republic, and Canada. For the 2022-2023 academic year, Mercer has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Vienna, Austria: during this time she will work on an independent project on Austrian Literature, teach English, and study viola at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. When she returns to the states, Mercer will begin her PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
Ethan Young is a first year at Bard Conservatory in Peter Wiley’s cello studio, having graduated from Eastport South Manor Jr. Sr. High School in Manorville, New York, in 2021. He had studied cello with Annette Perry Delihas for six years, is an alumnus of the BAM Young People’s Orchestra/Chamber Ensemble and an alumnus of the MYO Suffolk Principal Orchestra, having performed the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major with the former of the orchestras in Spring 2021. He has been a member of The East End Youth Quartet, Southampton Strings Festival, and NYSSSA 2020, as well as various other music festivals local to Long Island throughout his high school career, the NYSSMA All State Symphony Orchestra in 2019, and the NAfME All Eastern and All National Symphony Orchestras in 2021.
Ethan has also participated in masterclasses given by cellists such as Alberto Parrini, Natasha Farny, and Tomoko Fujita, and in February 2021, he placed third in the 2021 MYO Concerto Competition. He performed with the MYO Tour Orchestra on their 2016 Europe Tour, and will also be joining them for their 2022 Italy Tour this summer with the Elgar Cello Concerto. He also enjoys giving back to the community with free recitals, and has played volunteer services at St. Jude’s RC Church in Mastic, NY, Sunday evenings from Fall 2018 until his departure for Bard. Now playing with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra and participating in Bard’s many chamber music opportunities, he is very excited to be making music in the conservatory setting and to continue to grow as a cellist.
Jaelyn Quilizapa, from Isleton, California, is a second-year student in the Percussion Studio at the Bard Conservatory, with poetry as a second major in the double degree program. Her dream for their music is to play for a Broadway show, and to travel with a tour group across the country. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy, and studying with Zildjian artist Keith Aleo, they decided that the East Coast was meant for them. During her time at Interlochen, they performed with the Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony for the world premiere of Resolve by Clint Needham in Carnegie Hall in 2019, and with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra in Miami’s New World Symphony Hall in 2020.