Chris Castro is a composer and double bassist from Brooklyn, New
York. His music has been described as “on par with Varèse,”
giving him the nickname “The New Colossus of Sound.” He is a
recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2021 Classical Commissioning
Award. His new work, Canções dos Desassossego (Songs of
Disquiet), will be written for the Lyris Quartet and soprano
Sharon Harms and premiered in 2023. His music has been performed
by Sharon Harms and the Composers Conference Ensemble under James
Baker (Two Songs from Brooklyn Narcissus), the St. Louis Symphony
under David Robertson (Choruses III), pianists Sarah Cahill and
Eric Zivian (IV-I), piano duo HereNowHear (Beethausenstro -
Castockhoven) and the Lydian String Quartet (Choruses IV). He is
the 2022 Guest Composer for the James Tenney Memorial Symposium,
composing and collaborating with the New Mexico Contemporary
Ensemble. He currently lectures at UC Davis and Sacramento State
University. He has a Ph.D. in composition and theory from UC
Davis and a bachelor’s in music from the Juilliard School in both
double bass and composition.
Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of British Columbia (2014)
Juan Diego Díaz is an ethnomusicologist with a geographic
research interest in Africa and its diaspora, particularly Brazil
and West Africa. He explores how African diasporic musics
circulate and transform across the Atlantic and how they serve
individuals and communities in identity formation.
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, University of Michigan
Percussionist Christopher Froh specializes in
promoting and influencing the creation of new music through
critically acclaimed performances and dynamic lectures. To date,
he has premiered over 150 chamber and solo works by composers
from 17 countries. His collaborations include some of the most
significant composers of the twentieth and
twenty-first centuries, including Chaya Czernowin, David
Lang, Steve Mackey, John Adams, George Crumb, Liza Lim, Matthias
Pintcher, and Keiko Abe.
MusicologyPh.D. Musicology, University of California, Davis
Carol A. Hess has published books and articles on the music of
Spain and the Americas. Her work has been funded by the National
Endowment for the Humanities, the Spanish Ministry of Culture,
and the New York Public Library, among other entities. She
received the Society for American Music’s Irving Lowens Article
Award, and her book Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain,
1898–1936 (University of Chicago Press, 2001) won the
ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award and the American Musicological Society’s
Robert M. Stevenson Prize for Outstanding Scholarship in Iberian
Music, in addition to other prizes.
Matilda Hofman, whose conducting has been described as having “a
striking sense of purpose” and “taut and finely controlled”
(San Francisco Gate), has a busy and varied performance
schedule. She works regularly with a wide range of groups in
Europe, and in California, which she has made her home. Matilda
has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Berliner Festspiele,
Holland Festival, and Ruhrtriennale among others.
Cary Peñate is a film musicologist who
specializes in depictions of Afro-Cuban dance music in cinema
from Latin America and the United States, particularly on
intersections between popular culture, politics, and commerce.
She received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in
May 2021 and was awarded an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship for a
postdoc at the University of California, Davis.
DMA, Choral Conducting, University of ArizonaMM, Choral Conducting, University of British Columbia (Vancouver)BA, Music, Lewis & Clark College
Erik Peregrine (they/them or he/him) enjoys
an active career as a conductor and educator, serving as the
Director of Choirs and Lecturer in Music at UC Davis and as the
artistic director of Ensemble Companio, an award-winning
Northeastern regional chamber choir.
Pierpaolo Polzonetti specializes in opera and eighteenth-century
music and culture. His research work has been funded by the
Earhart Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies,
and the National Endowment for the Humanities.