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Members

Craig HultgrenFor several decades, cellist Craig Hultgren has been a fixture on the scenes for new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. In recent years, he has performed solo concerts and chamber music in Rome, Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, Denver, Memphis and San Antonio. A recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he was a member for many years of Thámyris, a contemporary chamber music ensemble in Atlanta. A cellist in the Alabama Symphony, he also plays in Luna Nova, a new music ensemble with a large repertoire of performances available as podcast downloads on iTunes. He teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Birmingham-Southern College where he directs the BSC New Music Ensemble. He is a founding member and former President of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Birmingham. Hultgren is a CAMA artist (Collaborating Artists Manifesting Adventure) with the St. Louis New Music Circle and will be presenting programs there for three seasons.

Adam BowlesPianist Adam Bowles holds degrees from Eastman School of Music (BM) and New England Conservatory (MM), and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Teachers have included Milton Stern, Barry Snyder, Jacob Maxin, and Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff. Dr. Bowles is currently on the faculties of the Birmingham-Southern College and Conservatory, where he has taught piano, keyboard harmony, theory, and accompanying. Students of Dr. Bowles have won prizes at competitions hosted by such organizations as the Alabama Music Teachers Association, the NFMC, and others. Since the fall of 2010, Dr. Bowles has accompanied vocal and instrumental students for lessons and recitals at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is recorded on the Living Artists label and was recently featured on a CD of music by Argentinian composer Valdo Sciammerella entitled “Rosas de Pulpa Rosas de Cal.” His playing can also be heard on Belmont University composer Mark Volker’s CD entitled Elemental Forces, which is recorded on the Centaur label.

Andrew DrannonAndrew Drannon completed a M.M. degree in music composition under Kamran Ince at the University of Memphis.  He holds a B.A. in music from Rhodes College, where he studied composition under Brandon Goff.  He won first place in the Associated Colleges of the South Composition Contest in 2005 and the NITLE Composition Contest in 2006, and was twice named a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition.  He participated in the 2007 International Summer Academy of Music in Michelstadt, Germany, and his works have been featured in master classes with Annie Gosfield, Claude Baker, and Stephen Paulus.  He has received numerous piano and organ performance awards and performs in the Contemporary Chamber Players at the University of Memphis, where he has premiered chamber works by Kamran Ince, a multi-tracked open-form keyboard piece by Daniel Lentz and works by student composers

John McMurteryJohn McMurtery (founding member) is section flutist of the New York City Opera Orchestra, and substitutes regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and the OK Mozart Festival Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, the Artemis Chamber Ensemble, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. As an advocate for contemporary music, McMurtery performs with the Memphis-based ensemble Luna Nova and the Society for Chromatic Art (New York). Adding to his discography, he recorded for the NAXOS label as principal flutist on the collaborative disc of world premieres by award-winning composer Sean Hickey. During the 2006-07 school year, McMurtery was appointed Visiting Professor of Flute at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and has also taught at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, NJ. He currently serves on the board of directors of the New York Flute Club, co-chairing the annual Flute Fair. McMurtery graduated in 2005 from The Juilliard School with a Doctor of Music Arts degree, where he studied with Jeanne Baxtresser, Julius Baker, and Robert Langevin. Previous teachers include Bart Feller at Rutgers University (MM '99) and Dr. Hal Ott at Central Washington University (BM '97). (www.johnmcmurtyer.com)

Gregory MaytanGregory Maytan has performed extensively in Europe and the US, playing about 50 recitals a year. Recent engagements include multiple performances of the Paganini, Sibelius, Bruch and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos with orchestras in Nevada, Indiana, Michgan, South Dakota and Sweden. He has also performed as a soloist in the Paganini and Tchaikovsky concertos in tours throughout China, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. He has also recently been invited to perform as a soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony. An avid chamber musician, he has participated in the prestigious chamber music festival ‘Musikveckan’ in Junsele, Sweden. He has participated in the International Chamber Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, where he was a featured prize winner and has placed and been awarded significant cash awards in the Swedish Royal Academy’s competition for post-graduate violinists during the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. He earned his doctorate in violin performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, where he studied with the renowned violinists Miriam Fried and Paul Biss. Currently he is on the faculty at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. (www.gregorymaytan.com)

Nobuko IgarashiNobuko Igarashi, a native of Memphis, is the Bass Clarinetist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. She received the BM and MM degrees in clarinet performance from Indiana University at Bloomington. Her principal teachers at Indiana University were Eli Eban and James Campbell. Ms. Igarashi has also studied with Howard Klug, Alfred Prinz, Hakan Rosengren and Dennis Smylie. She first joined Luna Nova as guest clarinetist at the 2007 Belvedere Chamber Music Festival and has been a very active member of the ensemble playing in numerous concerts in Memphis as well as at colleges around the country.

Esther Gray LemusEsther Gray Lemus is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music in Voice Performance. She was recently seen in a four week run of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris with Playhouse on the Square in Memphis. She was also seen there as Franca in The Light in the Piazza for which she was nominated for an 2009 Ostrander Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a Musical”. Esther has performed the roles of Daisy in The Gypsy Princess, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. Esther has been seen with the Lyric Opera of San Diego, Harrower Opera Workshop of Atlanta and locally with the Jackson Symphony, Jackson Theatre Guild and the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center, where she has served as musical director. Esther has a private vocal studio and is currently on the voice faculty at Bethel College and is Director of the Innovation Choral Ensemble at Jackson State Community College. She holds M.M. in vocal performance at Austin Peay State Univeristy.

Robert PattersonRobert G. Patterson holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Pennsylvania. His mentors include George Crumb, John Baur, and Don Freund. His compositions have been performed from South Africa to Norway and Spain to Seattle. Among the awards he has received are the 2004 National Symphony Orchestra Residency Commission, 1999 University of Michigan Bands Commission and the 1994 International Composition Prize from the City of Tarragona in Spain. In addition to his musical activities, Patterson helps develop PC-based hotel software for Hilton Hotels, and his interest in computers has led him to become an expert in musical engraving using a computer. He has played the in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1994. He has performed in new music festivals with Luna Nova since its beginning in 2002. (www.robertgpatterson.com)

Mark VolkerRecently named 2011 Composer of the Year by the Tennessee Music Teachers Association (as well as the Nashville Area Music Teachers Association), Mark Volker is the Coordinator of Composition and Assistant Professor of Music at the Belmont University School of Music, where he teaches applied composition and music theory. Known for his colorful harmonic language and orchestration, as well as his facility with both electronic and traditional instrumentations, Mark’s music has been performed and recorded all over the world, and he has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, SCI, and ERMmedia. You can hear his music the recently released Centaur Records CD, Elemental Forces, as well as on volume 3 of ERMmedia’s Masterworks of the New Era series. Mark's acclaimed ballet based on The Diary of Anne Frank is currently being performed by members of the Nashville Ballet in schools around Middle Tennessee as well as other venues. Mark is also an active guitarist, specializing in the performance of new music for classical and electric guitar in chamber settings. He has premiered numerous chamber and solo works and performs regularly with the Luna Nova Ensemble. A native of Buffalo, NY, Mark holds degrees from the Ithaca College School of Music (BM), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and the University of Chicago (PhD). Prior to his appointment at Belmont, Mark taught for several years at Colgate University in upstate New York.He lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Alyssa and two children, Molly and Jacob. Find more at (www.markvolker.com).

Patricia GrayPatricia Gray, executive director of Luna Nova Music, holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Washington University and was a member of the music faculty at Rhodes College from 1976-2001. While there she became active in the creation of online resources for use in music history and music theory classrooms. She has presented her work at national technology conferences such as SyllabusWeb, Ed-Media, Educause, Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference, and the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. From 2001-2005 she led the Orpheus Alliance, music division of the Association Colleges of the South consortium. In this position she created the annual ACS New Music Festival and Technology Workshop which was held for five years. She has created a large body of online teaching materials available on the her website. In 2002 she founded the Luna Nova New-Music Ensemble (www.lunanova.org) which has performed in colleges, museums, and other venues across the country. Currently, she is the executive and artistic director of the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival (www.belvederefestival.org) held annually in Memphis, TN. (www.patriciagray.net)
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