Hailing from the small Californian city of El Sobrante, Sugar Vendil is a New York-based award-winning director and pianist lauded for “putting a new face on classical music” (NPR) and “leading the unlikely intersection of classical music and new fashion” (The New York Times). She is the founder of The Nouveau Classical Project. She was featured as one of Refinery29 "Industry Leaders in the Arts" in 2014 and named one of "25 Women to Watch" by The Source magazine. While leading NCP, Sugar has helped the group gain a foothold in the fashion world, with collaborations and performances in the fashion shows of Gretchen Jones (Project Runway Season 8 Winner), CFDA-awardee Pamela Love, Ecco Domani grantee Novis, CFDA nominee Tanya Taylor, and others. Fashion collaborations outside of NCP include the FLATT Magazine Book 8 launch hosted by Rose McGowan at Tribeca Grand Studios and being part of campaigns for brands such as Rachel Antonoff and Madewell. Awards include an installment on MATA's Interval Series and grants from LMCC, NYSCA, and the Puffin Foundation.
Since launching NCP, Sugar has expanded her artistic practice by conceiving, directing, and performing in hybrid pieces integrating music, fashion, movement, and other visual elements. Her pieces are challenging and sincere, often combining multiple genres while striving to maintain a cohesive structure. Most recently she conceived and directed Potential Energies, a hybrid work for musicians and dancers composed by Trevor Gureckis and choreographed by Barbie Diewald with costumes by Atelier de Geste. NCP and TrioDance performed the sold-out world premiere at BAM Fisher. Sugar is going to begin making her latest piece at the E|MERGE Residency at Earthdance in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Sugar's performance experience includes chamber and solo concerts in New York and Europe, in venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Tribeca Grand Studios, Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge (New York), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn), Galapagos Art Space (Brooklyn), the Composer’s Forum (St. Petersburg, Russia), and Laboral (Gijon, Spain). Her other projects include curating the fiction-inspired concert series ‘Notes on Fiction’ at The Center for Fiction and being a keyboardist for the band My Great Ghost. Sugar's name is a combination of her mother and father’s names (SUsan and EdGAR).
Soprano Amanda Gregory (MM, Manhattan School of Music) is the resident soprano in NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre. Amanda has performed the solo role in major works by Ginastera, Boulez, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Tiger Darrow, and Peter Maxwell Davies. She has also performed principal roles at the Aspen Music Festival, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Heidelberg Opera Festival, and most recently performed the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Siena Music Festival. Amanda is in the neo psychedelic chamber art rock band The Knells. They will release their first album with New Amsterdam in 2013.
Clarinetist Isabel Kim is a member of the award-winning Arabesque Winds, Nouveau Classical Project, Hotel Elefant, and This Ambitious Orchestra, and has also performed with the Rochester City Ballet, Chesapeake Orchestra, Glens Falls Symphony, New York Chamber Virtuosi, Artemis Ensemble, and Eastman BroadBand. In New York, she has appeared at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, (le) poisson rouge, The DiMenna Center, Symphony Space, Issue Project Room, and Galapagos Art Space. She has also performed at The Kennedy Center, Augusta State University, University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Silvestre Revueltas Hall, and the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico. She has participated in festivals such as the Atlantic Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Kinhaven Music School, Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, and the River Concert Series. With the Arabesque Winds, Isabel won the Grand Prize at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition at Carnegie Hall, Harvard Musical Association's Arthur Foote Prize, John Celentano Excellence in Chamber Music Award, the Coleman-Saunderson Prize, and 2nd Prize at the Henri Tomasi International Woodwind Quintet Competition in Marseilles, France. Recent engagements include the Sanibel Music Festival, Wooster Chamber Music Series, Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Series, Experiments in Opera, Absolute Music Chamber Series, and WOW (an opera based on the Milli Vanilli scandal). Isabel holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and previously attended Juilliard Pre-College and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College. Former teachers include Jon Manasse, David Sapadin, Richard Shillea, and Alan Kay. Isabel is based in New York City.
Laura Cocks has worked in a wide array of creative environments as a flutist and performer and focuses primarily on contemporary music. She aims to highlight emerging composers – emphasizing and rejoicing in the collaborative process and has premiered over 150 works in the last five years. Ms. Cocks is a founding member of Ensemble F0 and TAK and also performs with the Nouveau Classical Project, Ensemble Mise-en, and TACTUS. She has performed across North and Latin America, Europe, and Canada as a soloist and chamber musician in ensembles such as The London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Bonne Action, Wet Ink Ensemble, MAX Experience New Music, and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed in venues that range from Symphony Space, The Guggenheim Museum, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London to spaces like diners, artists squats, and living rooms. Laura has worked with composers such as Beat Furrer, Peter Maxwell Davies, Christian Wolff and Lewis Nielson. Laura attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where she studied with flute with Michel Debost, Kathleen Chastain, Kate Hill and Composition with Paul Patterson. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree as a part of the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program where she studies with Tara Helen O’Connor. Laura teaches flute at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, and at the Brooklyn Center for the Musical Arts.
Praised for her intensity and "stunning" performances (The Brooklyn Rail), violinist Marina Kifferstein is a full time member of the Nouveau Classical Project, TAK, and the Rhythm Method, and has performed with ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Contemporaneous, Shattered Glass, and others. She has held fellowship positions at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, The Manchester Music Festival, the Institute and Festival of Contemporary Performance at Mannes, the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She is a frequent guest artist at the Manchester Music Festival, the violinist of the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans, and a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Alumni Ensemble 2015-2016.
As a soloist, Marina has appeared with the Tactus Ensemble, the Oberlin Wind Ensemble, the Dalton Orchestra, the Manchester Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. A strong supporter of new music, she has worked with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Philippe Manoury, and Helmut Lachenmann. In the Spring of 2015, she will premiere a new concerto by Ryan Pratt with the Wet Ink Ensemble.
Outside of the realm of performance, Marina is a contributor for WQXR's Q2 Music and I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, and is the founder and curator of the concert series Vox Hebraica. Marina holds a teaching position at the Washington Heights Community Conservatory, and teaches privately.
Marina completed a Masters degree in contemporary performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2014, where she was the recipient of a full scholarship in the studios of Curtis Macomber and Laurie Smukler. She received a BM in Violin Performance and a BA in English with a Creative Writing Concentration from Oberlin College and Conservatory in 2012, where she was a student of Milan Vitek.
Kivie Cahn-Lipman holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School, and he is a Doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is the founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and the director of the new period-instrument ensemble ACRONYM. From 2005-2012 he was a Lecturer in Music in a full-time position shared between Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. Kivie has recorded with ICE on the Naxos, New Focus, Bridge, New Amsterdam, Tzadik, Kairos, Mode, and Nonesuch labels. A CD/DVD set of music by Iannis Xenakis on Mode Records will be released in 2013, as will ACRONYM's debut recording of the complete Opus Musicum Sonatarum of Johann Christoph Pezel. Kivie's first solo CD, the complete cello suites of J.S. Bach, is also anticipated this year. Upcoming recordings in 2014 include the complete viol consort music of David Funck with Consort Conspiracy, a set of previously-unrecorded sonatas by Antonio Bertali with ACRONYM, and a disc of solo cello and chamber music by Kaija Saariaho with members of ICE. As a chamber musician, Kivie has performed in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Rose Theatre, and other major venues on three continents, as well as live on WNYC 93.9 in New York and WFMT 98.7 in Chicago. He has been a faculty member at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy, since 2012. Kivie plays a 2003 William Whedbee cello, and additionally performs on electric cello, Baroque and piccolo cellos, viols, viola d'amore, and lirone.