The Now Hear Ensemble’s goal is to combine the intimacy of the classical concert experience with electronic music, video art, installation art, and contemporary theater, embracing both contemporary music and pop culture, as they believe a cross-genre approach leads to new territory for creativity.
The Los Angeles-based ensemble has performed at renowned venues such as the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley, the Conrad Prebys Music Center at UC San Diego, the Center for New Music in San Francisco, the Fisher Museum at the University of Southern California, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara and the Carlsbad Music Festival.
Since their founding in 2012, the group has commissioned and premiered over 25 new works from composers such as Dan VanHassel, Anthony Paul Garcia, Nick Norton, Constantin Basica, Joshua Carro, Jon Myers, Luke Taylor, Federico Llach, Marc Evans, Anders Lind, Mateo Lugo, Daniel Miller, Fernando Rincón Estrada, Eoin Callery, Kevin Zhang, David Gordon, Iván Naranjo, Carolyn Chen, Brandon Rolle, Mason Hock, Heena Yoon, David Werfrelmann, and Todd Lerew. Past projects have included a collaboration with California-based composers that resulted in their 2013 debut album and tour, "Made in California," as well as commissions of installations and concert music made with bicycle wheels, paper shredders, ping-pong tables, megaphones, and custom-made instruments. In 2013, the ensemble’s recording of Dan VanHassel’s "Ghost in the Machine"—from "Made in California"—was featured on the BBC Radio 3 show “Late Junction.”
In September of 2016, the ensemble was in residence at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, where they collaborated with composers Florent Ghys and Dan VanHassel on various projects, including VanHassel’s "Invective."
JENNIFER BEWERSE // CELLO
Jennifer Bewerse is an award-winning cellist and specialist in contemporary music. As a result, she has premiered over 100 works including Peter Ablinger’s WEISS / WEISSLICH 17k (2015), and Carolyn Chen’s other forests (2016), and has worked with many composers including Laurence Crane, Chaya Czernowin, Jonathan Harvey, Augusta Read Thomas, and Christian Wolff.
She has performed as a guest soloist for the wasteLAnd Concert Series, Robert Helps Festival, and Without Walls Festival, was a Performance Prizewinner at the soundSCAPE Festival (Italy), is a Myrna Loy Center Artists Award and New Music Project Grant recipient, and was recently in residence at the Women’s International Study Center.
EMILY CALL // VIOLIN
Emily Call is a violinist and performer of contemporary music, with a special interest in cultivating collaborative relationships with composers. Emily is a founding member of the Isaura String Quartet and has performed with various groups across Los Angeles, including Equal Sound, wild Up, the Dog Star Orchestra, Wordless Music, and Synchromy, where she was a featured soloist. She holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts and Bennington College.
JORDAN CURCURUTO // PERCUSSION
Jordan Curcuruto is a percussionist specializing in contemporary solo and chamber percussion music, speaking percussion, and world music. She has performed with Monday Evening Concerts, Tuesdays at Monkspace, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and Left Edge Percussion. Jordan is an alumnus of the inaugural Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention All-Star Ensemble, and three-time alumnus of the nief-norf summer festival. Jordan performed at the 2015 Transplanted Roots International Percussion Symposium and composed and premiered an original work at the 2017 New Music Gathering. She can be heard on the Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble’s CD, Electric Rebel Poetry, and on the Innova record release, 30, by Mark Applebaum. Jordan earned her B.M. at Chapman University with Nick Terry and Justin DeHart, and her M.M. at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University with Terry Longshore. She is currently on faculty at Fullerton College.
MAIANI DA SILVA // VIOLIN
Los Angeles-based violinist Maiani da Silva enjoys a varied career as a freelancer, feeling equally at home playing in concert halls, recording studios, breweries, and parked cars. She enjoys exploring contemporary works as much as classical masterpieces, and can occasionally be found interpretive dancing during measures of rest, or in a Latin band playing some percussive instrument. Always in pursuit of new collaborations, including working with composers and other artists, Maiani is the Co-Founder of Merge Collaborative, a new salon-style interdisciplinary series in Los Angeles; Summa piano trio, with forthcoming recordings under the Naxos umbrella (Parma); and a newly formed duo, The Furies, promoting works by feminist composers. She is also the curator of a new series, New Music Hollywood, at Urban First Aid, promoting new music from various genres.
Maiani is dedicated to working with cutting edge contemporary ensembles, most notably wildUp , with whom she’s performed during Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight—a 12-hour marathon celebrating L.A.’s top new-music ensembles—both in 2016 and 2017. Other groups include Aperture Duo, the Boston Conservatory's ensemble-in-residence Ludovico Ensemble, One Found Sound, White Rabbit Ensemble, New Music Brandeis, Juventas New Music Ensemble. As a Bang On a Can fellow, Maiani worked directly with George Lewis and Louis Andriessen, as well as BOAC All-Stars at Mass Moca for another marathon. There, she performed an abridged version of Andy Akiho’s Ping Pong Concerto with David Cossin, and also dabbled in composition while performing on a 9-foot banjo.
Having played across the country from Juneau to New York, and internationally from Western Europe to Eastern Asia, Maiani has orchestral performance experience working with ensembles like the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra, Pacific Opera Project, Pasadena Opera, L’Orchestre Lamoureux (Paris), St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, and has toured with the Philharmonie Leipzig in China, among others.
Aside from her classical and experimental work, she is active in the session scene, and as a live-pop performer. With performance artist Taylor Mac she premiered the 24-Decade History of Popular Music in Brooklyn in 2016 (you guessed it, another marathon!) and rejoined the band for a portion of the tour. Maiani has also collaborated with Nan Schwartz, Peter Gabriel, Kanye West, Anoushka Shankar, Childish Gambino, Parisian electro-rock band Satine, Trans Chorus of L.A., New York cabaret singer Joey Arias, and Rod Stewart, with whom she danced on stage to “If you think I’m sexy” while playing in a tragically flat-ridden key. She has also recorded soundtracks for movies and TV shows such as the indie-feature film Stella, various shows on The Disney Channel, Netflix's Dear White People, and the TV show For The People which airs on ABC/Disney.
Maiani holds a B.M. and a Graduate Performance Diploma from The Boston Conservatory, where she studied under Magdalena Richter and Irina Muresanu as a scholarship recipient, an Artist Diploma with Honors from the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, and she also studied under the tutelage of Mela Tenenbaum in Brooklyn.
She is looking forward to spending a couple of weeks this summer as a 2018 fellow of the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab.
ANTHONY PAUL GARCIA // PERCUSSION, PRODUCTION MANAGER/TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Anthony Paul Garcia (b. 1986) is a native of Chandler, Arizona and has been composing since the age of 15. An avid lover of both pop and academic music, his work falls somewhere in between the two while often incorporating electronics and speech with traditional instruments.
His works have been performed throughout the country and he is fortunate to have received premieres and commissions from numerous wonderful performers and ensembles. Most recently, many of his works have been premiered by the Now Hear Ensemble in which he is a performer and helped found in early 2012. His newest work, At Any Point (2016) - an interactive piece for viola, chamber ensemble, and live video and electronics - was commissioned by and written for Dr. Jonathan Morgan and was premiered by the Now Hear Ensemble on a concert of Anthony's works in early March 2016. Renowned recorder player and lover of new music Lucia Mense premiered his piece Slow Burn for recorders and live electronics in 2014. In the same year, his piece Smack The Wrist Good for guitar duo and live speech was premiered by new music titans the Ignition Duo. Revised in 2015, his eclectic work, If It Stops, for chamber ensemble and electronics was premiered in 2013 by the Now Hear Ensemble. In 2011, his work The Trellstio Rag, commissioned by Tyler Stell, received the first prize in the "Percussion" category in the Sherrill C. Corwin awards. In the same competition, Anthony was also awarded second place in the "Electroacoustic" category for his piece Carte Blanche. Anthony also received regular commissions from choir director Bill Bruce in the years of 2006-2009, the resulting three works were premiered in Michigan by one of Mr. Bruce's top choirs. In 2007, his work String Theory received its first performance from the St. Lawrence String Quartet. In the following year he was commissioned by Dr. JB Smith and Sam Pilafian, resulting in his work Soul'd Out which was premiered in the same year by the duo.
Anthony has had the privilege of working with many excellent composition instructors. In his schooling he has studied both composition and various computer programming languages with Joel Feigin, Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, Matt Wright, Jeremy Haladyna, Jody Rockmaker, Glen Hackbarth, and James DeMars.
A passionate teacher and composer for younger musicians, Anthony has been closely involved with various high school and junior high music programs since 2004 throughout Arizona and California. Performances of his arrangements for band, percussion ensemble, and drumline have been awarded throughout the years, including a state championship for Casa Grande Union Highs School Percussion Ensemble in 2015. He currently teaches drumline and percussion ensemble at La Colina Jr. High in Santa Barbara California.
In addition to composing, Anthony performs both percussion and electronics with the Now Hear Ensemble with whom he has premiered and commissioned works from young composers from all over the country. The ensemble released their premier album of new works, Made in California, in 2013. He also appears on the album Mayan Time Mayan Tales, an album of works by Jeremy Haladyna.
Anthony holds a bachelor's degree in theory and music composition from Arizona State University as well as a Master's degree and PhD in music composition from UC Santa Barbara.
Learn more at anthonypaulgarcia.com
ADRIANE HILL // FLUTE, MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR
Adriane Hill is a flute and piccolo player based in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been recognized as a prize-winner in state and regional competitions such as the Florida Flute Association’s College Young Artist Competition, the Mid-South Flute Festival Master Class Competition, and the University of Central Florida Concerto Competition. As a member of the Now Hear Ensemble, Adriane actively commissions and premieres new music, performing at venues such as the Center for New Music in San Francisco and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in Los Angeles. She has performed at the National Flute Association Convention, Marrowstone Music Festival, and the Carlsbad Music Festival. Adriane holds a Master of Music degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied with Jill Felber, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Florida, where she studied with Dr. Nora Lee Garcia.
LOGAN HONE // SAXOPHONE
Logan Hone is a musician based in Los Angeles from Salt Lake City. He plays saxophone, drums, fretless banjo, portable pump organ, guitar, keyboards, bass, and flute. Hone's many projects include the avant-rollercoaster quartet Similar Fashion; weirdo pop trio Bright Whistles; FunCoffin; the celestial folk band Desert Magic; and his own solo work—songs, compositions, videos, and performances. Logan has played with the Jerry Paper Band, Molly Lewis, Joshua Payne Orchestra, Vinny Golia, The Lucky Devils, The Industry, and more. He also directs a Community Band which meets on Saturdays at 10am at Arroyo Seco Park in Los Angeles (everyone is invited!).
AMANDA KRITZBERG // CLARINET, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
Amanda Kritzberg grew up in Los Angeles County and began playing the clarinet at the age of eleven under the direction of her father. She studied with clarinetist Paul Bambach for six years, where she gained experience in the performance of a variety of genres and styles of music. Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in music (clarinet performance) in 2011 from UC Santa Barbara, and her master’s degree (clarinet performance) in 2013 from UC Santa Barbara as well. She has been involved in a number of diverse music performance ensembles over the years including the UCSB Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, and Ensemble for Contemporary Music. Amanda has worked in collaboration and performed with numerous musicians around the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles area, as well as played in recording sessions for local composers.
In March of 2011, she played in a master class lead by Matthias Schorn of the Vienna Philharmonic, and in 2012 performed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto for a master class with Fred Ormand. In July 2012 Amanda was featured as a chamber musician in the “Fiati a Palazzo Rucellai”, a wind chamber music festival in Florence, Italy. She is becoming increasingly involved in music of the contemporary era, and enjoys participating in the compositions of local and upcoming composers as a member of Now Hear Ensemble, who have debuted numerous new works in renowned venues such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts theater. In 2013-14, Amanda toured with the Now Hear Ensemble to perform works by emerging composers at distinguished institutions, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, USC, Mills College, and CalArts as part of the “Made in California” project, which included the release of the “Made in California” album in October of 2013. During the 2015 season, Amanda performed with the Now Hear Ensemble at the Silver Lake Lounge in Los Angeles as part of the Classical Revolution concert series, as well as at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. For more information on Amanda or sound clips, please visit www.amandakritzberg.com.
FEDERICO LLACH // DOUBLE BASS, KEYBOARDS, EMCEE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Musically raised in Buenos Aires as a jazz performer and classical composer, Federico Llach creates music that combines the intimacy of concert music with the energy of popular music. His sound palette has been forever changed as a result his experience with modular synthesizers and electronics of all kinds, something that can also be heard in his acoustic pieces.
Llach has received several awards and scholarships for Composition and Research from: SADAIC for Orchestral Composition, Fondo Nacional de las Artes, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Borchard Foundation, Corwin Awards, UCSB Humanities and Social Sciences, UCSB Office of Summer Sessions and Paul Sacher Stiftung. His works have been performed by Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional Argentina, Compañía Oblicua, Now Hear Ensemble, PFL Traject, Cuarteto UNTREF, UCSB Orchestra, Formalist Quartet and Ensemble Dal Niente in at venues of such geographical and aesthetic diversity as Festival Internacional de Jazz Buenos Aires and Darmstadt Ferienkurse.
Llach’s compositional interests are enriched from the perspective of the musicologist, the music technologist and artistic practice as research. Respectively: he has conducted a series of interviews with composers which led him to understand how debates activated in our time – the limits of copyright and the fragmentation of the self between real and virtual – have found their way into their work by music that is not for the ears alone. Llach has created custom software for composition in the areas of spatialization, note generation from math functions and note generation from audio analysis. He has also performed archival studies on Mauricio Kagel’s groundbreaking yet underperformed Tremens, leading to a reposition of the work in 2020-21.
Llach has completed a Phd in Composition at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he also obtained a MA, and holds BA from Universidad del Arte and Escuela de Música Contemporánea. Llach has founded and directs Now Hear Ensemble, resident at UCSB, a group of classically trained musicians collaborating with composers working with electronics and intermedia.
JONATHAN MORGAN // VIOLA, VIOLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jonathan Morgan - violist, specializes in the music of living composers. He’s a founding member and Executive Director of the Now Hear Ensemble. Jonathan is on the artist roster of the Aerocade Music label, on which he released a recording of Nick Norton's Elegy II and is donating all proceeds from the recording to the ACLU. This season, Jonathan is giving world premiere performances of newly-commissioned music at the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), Los Angeles City College, and has performed at the NOW Festival, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Eureka Musical Minds of California Conference, Synchromy, the Carlsbad Music Festival, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT), and the UCSB Summer Music Festival. Jonathan is a member of the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra and has performed as principal violist of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, and as soloist with the Choir of St. Barbara Parish. He can be heard on three albums; My Hope is Arisen, Made in California, and The Lament Cycle. Jonathan holds a B.M. from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, a M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a D.M.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara. He has been recently appointed to the viola faculty at CalPoly San Luis Obispo and is former faculty of violin, viola, and chamber music at the Preparatory and Continuing Education Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Learn more at jonathanmorganmusic.com
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jill Felber, flutist, has been hailed for her "beautifully finished performances" by The Detroit News and has been praised by Musical America for her "handsome performance." "Played with flair" (The Los Angeles Times), "the incredible flutist…the dazzling flutist…the radiant flutist Jill Felber" (The Independent, Santa Barbara), is known to excite audiences everywhere. Jill Felber has performed solo recitals, chamber music, and concertos on four continents and has held residencies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Great Britain and the United States. A tireless promoter of new music, Ms. Felber has inspired many composers to write solo, concerto and chamber works for her and is currently engaged in several commissioning projects. She has premiered over five hundred works for the flute and has released world premiere recordings for Centaur Records, CRI, Neuma Records and Zawa!music. Active in the National Flute Association, Ms. Felber has served as a member of its Board of Directors and served as the 1993 Program Chair for the Boston flute convention. Holding degrees from University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University, Ms. Felber has taught on the faculties of Ohio University, Capital University, and Wright State University. She is currently Professor of Flute at the University of California, Santa Barbara and tours with the innovative flute duo ZAWA! and as recitalist with pianist Dianne Frazer. Ms. Felber presents her popular EXTREME MAKEOVER: FLUTE EDITION and WHOLE FLUTES® seminars throughout the country. Her teachers include Keith Bryan, Judith Bentley and James Galway.
Elizabeth Huston has been fascinated by contemporary art since she can remember. She grew up on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, a surprisingly culturally active area. The daughter of two professional musicians, she watched in awe as her parents took her to incredible events with throat singers, experimental art installations, and 1990s cutting-edge electronic instrument technology. Elizabeth’s parents were the founders of the first-ever youth symphony in their town, and a teenage Elizabeth was often tasked with administrative duties including mailing marketing flyers, making copies, organizing refreshments, and creating room schedules, sparking an interest in production work.
Elizabeth arrived in Philadelphia in the summer of 2010. Here she met a dedicated art patron merely by chance. He invited Elizabeth to attend the many Philadelphia Fringe Festival performances that he was interested in. She saw performances by Pig Iron Theater and Lucinda Childs Dance, among many others, which showed how projection, costuming, lighting, and staging can change how you interact with performance. Elizabeth immediately began to think about how what she had seen could be applied to music performance, with its traditionally stuffy and plain staging. In 2012 she created A Change of Harp and launched her first concert series which explored what composers saw inside their heads as they wrote. Elizabeth interviewed six local composers about six pieces for solo harp and created visual accompaniments for each piece based on what they had said. This resulted in a performance of dance, projection, theater, and harp which took place during the Fringe Festival: the festival which had so inspired her. The success of this performance made Elizabeth understand that she had touched on a need in the community, and she began exploring other performance styles, putting together multi-media solo harp showcases all over the city.
She has since started the Arcana New Music Ensemble in collaboration with Bowerbird, produced numerous shows that explore new stagings of contemporary music, started a brand new harp program for Play on Philly, started a summer harp program for inner city youth, and teaches through her private studio. Elizabeth currently resides in Los Angeles.
Dan Thomas has served in nonprofit leadership roles for more than 20 years. He is currently chief development officer at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, where he has overall responsibility for all fund development. Prior to his position at the Foodbank, he was assistant vice president for college advancement at Westmont College.
Before moving to Santa Barbara in January 2015, Dan was executive director of Free Arts Minnesota, an organization that brought mentors and the healing power of the arts to young people in homeless shelters, transitional housing facilities and residential treatment centers. Prior to Free Arts Minnesota, Dan was chief operating officer at the PBS station in the Twin Cities.
Dan has an MFA in Writing from Seattle Pacific University, an MA in Film from the University of Wisconsin, and a BA in literature from the University of Minnesota.
Dan's poetry book, Deep Pockets, will be published by Saint Julian Press of Houston in May 2018. In addition to writing poetry, he plays the guitar and writes music. For six years he served as vice-chair of the American Composers Forum.
Dan is the father of three grown children. He and his wife, Ellie, moved to Santa Barbara in 2015.