Yvonne Chen, piano    Taiwanese-American pianist Yvonne enjoys presenting unique programs such as her 2014 "Exploration of Harpsichord Music from the 20th Century", 2015's "MADNESS", a solo recital featuring Rzewski's de profundis for speaking pianist, and a 2016 program of music inspired by and featured in Murakami novels. Her piano quartet toured Leipzig in May 2015 to perform concerts of American works and collaborate with members of the Hochschule for Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy", and explores the duo repertoire with projects such as  Living Music  and  DC/Philly tour  with cellist, Mitchell Lyon.  A graduate of the Juilliard School, she is currently working on her doctorate at Rice University and the Benjamin Armistead Teaching Fellow at the Shepherd School of Music. In her spare time, she maintains a private teaching studio, enjoys trying out new Houston restaurants, and cuddles with her French Bulldog, Sir Reginald.  Photography by Richie Hawley

Yvonne Chen, piano

Taiwanese-American pianist Yvonne enjoys presenting unique programs such as her 2014 "Exploration of Harpsichord Music from the 20th Century", 2015's "MADNESS", a solo recital featuring Rzewski's de profundis for speaking pianist, and a 2016 program of music inspired by and featured in Murakami novels. Her piano quartet toured Leipzig in May 2015 to perform concerts of American works and collaborate with members of the Hochschule for Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy", and explores the duo repertoire with projects such as Living Music and DC/Philly tour with cellist, Mitchell Lyon.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, she is currently working on her doctorate at Rice University and the Benjamin Armistead Teaching Fellow at the Shepherd School of Music. In her spare time, she maintains a private teaching studio, enjoys trying out new Houston restaurants, and cuddles with her French Bulldog, Sir Reginald.

Photography by Richie Hawley

Yvonne Chen

keyboards and co-director

 
   Douglas Devries, flute    Doug completed his Graduate Studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Leone Buyse. A winner of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke $10,000 Young Artist Award, Mr. DeVries has performed around the world in solo recitals, concerto performances, with orchestras and chamber ensembles. Highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic during their summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, a tour to Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, and recitals at The Juilliard School and at Central Presbyterian Church in New York City.  Mr. DeVries has enjoyed an active teaching schedule privately, at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, and in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. He has also served on faculty of the Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School in New York City. In his free time, he enjoys running, swimming and biking. For his goal to participate in a triathlon, he is preparing for his first marathon.

Douglas Devries, flute

Doug completed his Graduate Studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Leone Buyse. A winner of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke $10,000 Young Artist Award, Mr. DeVries has performed around the world in solo recitals, concerto performances, with orchestras and chamber ensembles. Highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic during their summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, a tour to Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, and recitals at The Juilliard School and at Central Presbyterian Church in New York City.

Mr. DeVries has enjoyed an active teaching schedule privately, at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, and in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. He has also served on faculty of the Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School in New York City. In his free time, he enjoys running, swimming and biking. For his goal to participate in a triathlon, he is preparing for his first marathon.

Douglas Devries

flute

 
   Daniel Egan, trumpet    Daniel   is a native of Verona, New Jersey, and a recent graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Professors Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer. Mr. Egan received his undergraduate degree at Indiana University as a student of John Rommel. Professionally, he has performed with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Houston Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. He was a fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra in the summer of 2013. He is an active member of Loop38, a Houston-based new music collective. An enthusiastic teacher, Daniel was the trumpet faculty member at the Luzerne Music Center in Lake Luzerne, NY. He maintains an active studio in the greater Houston area and in his spare time enjoys playing jazz, reading, and exercising.

Daniel Egan, trumpet

Daniel is a native of Verona, New Jersey, and a recent graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Professors Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer. Mr. Egan received his undergraduate degree at Indiana University as a student of John Rommel. Professionally, he has performed with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Houston Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. He was a fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra in the summer of 2013. He is an active member of Loop38, a Houston-based new music collective. An enthusiastic teacher, Daniel was the trumpet faculty member at the Luzerne Music Center in Lake Luzerne, NY. He maintains an active studio in the greater Houston area and in his spare time enjoys playing jazz, reading, and exercising.

Daniel Egan

trumpet

 
   Thomas Frey, clarinet    An orchestral and solo clarinetist, Thomas is pursuing a Bachelors of Music Degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with Professor Richie Hawley. Before his studies at Rice, Thomas attended Interlochen and placed in multiple statewide orchestral competitions in Texas, playing under the batons of Dr. Mallory Thompson, Kevin Noe, and others. Since attending Rice, he remains an active member of Hear and Now, the Shepherd School’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and is currently commissioning several works by local composers. An advocate for globalizing music, Thomas spent this past summer studying traditional Korean music in Seoul, South Korea, and collaborated with Korean, Taiwanese, and Turkish composers. He has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony and the Cleburne Opera, as well as other regional orchestras, and his previous mentors include Andy Crisanti, David Warren, Victoria Luperi, Greg Raden, Burt Hara, and Alexander Fiterstein. In his free time, Thomas enjoys powerlifting, cooking, and shooting pool.  Photography by Natalie Gaynor.

Thomas Frey, clarinet

An orchestral and solo clarinetist, Thomas is pursuing a Bachelors of Music Degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with Professor Richie Hawley. Before his studies at Rice, Thomas attended Interlochen and placed in multiple statewide orchestral competitions in Texas, playing under the batons of Dr. Mallory Thompson, Kevin Noe, and others. Since attending Rice, he remains an active member of Hear and Now, the Shepherd School’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and is currently commissioning several works by local composers. An advocate for globalizing music, Thomas spent this past summer studying traditional Korean music in Seoul, South Korea, and collaborated with Korean, Taiwanese, and Turkish composers. He has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony and the Cleburne Opera, as well as other regional orchestras, and his previous mentors include Andy Crisanti, David Warren, Victoria Luperi, Greg Raden, Burt Hara, and Alexander Fiterstein. In his free time, Thomas enjoys powerlifting, cooking, and shooting pool.

Photography by Natalie Gaynor.

Thomas Frey

clarinet

 
   Craig Hauschildt, percussion    Percussionist and conductor Craig arrived in Houston shortly after Tropical Storm Allison to attend graduate school at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In the ensuing period, he has weathered two hurricanes and wasn’t scared away; had the honor of working with students at the University of Houston and Texas A&M; programmed and performed chamber music in exceptional art spaces including the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Galveston Artist Residency; led the Da Camera Young Artist Program; started a wonderful family with the love of his life; and is now leading an effort to infuse the arts more fully into the daily lives of students throughout the Houston Independent School District. His awe for this city grows with each passing day as his work brings him in contact with incredible people all over town.  A sucker for hemiolas and tritones, Mr. Hauschildt finds unceasing joy in discovering new music, sharing it with others, and using it to bring people together.  Photography by Richie Hawley.

Craig Hauschildt, percussion

Percussionist and conductor Craig arrived in Houston shortly after Tropical Storm Allison to attend graduate school at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In the ensuing period, he has weathered two hurricanes and wasn’t scared away; had the honor of working with students at the University of Houston and Texas A&M; programmed and performed chamber music in exceptional art spaces including the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Galveston Artist Residency; led the Da Camera Young Artist Program; started a wonderful family with the love of his life; and is now leading an effort to infuse the arts more fully into the daily lives of students throughout the Houston Independent School District. His awe for this city grows with each passing day as his work brings him in contact with incredible people all over town.

A sucker for hemiolas and tritones, Mr. Hauschildt finds unceasing joy in discovering new music, sharing it with others, and using it to bring people together.

Photography by Richie Hawley.

Craig Hauschildt

percussion and co-director

 
   Katie Hart, oboe    Originally from Albany, NY, Katie began playing the oboe at age 9 under the tutelage of Randall Ellis. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music in 2014 at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Richard Killmer, and her Master’s of Music in 2016 at Rice University, studying with Robert Atherholt. Katie has attended music festivals including the National Orchestral Institute, the Banff Centre’s Masterclass and Orchestral programs, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra. She has also played with professional groups such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Florida Orchestra, the Amarillo Symphony, and the Shreveport Symphony. Currently residing in Houston, TX, Katie maintains both a freelancing career and a sizeable oboe studio.

Katie Hart, oboe

Originally from Albany, NY, Katie began playing the oboe at age 9 under the tutelage of Randall Ellis. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music in 2014 at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Richard Killmer, and her Master’s of Music in 2016 at Rice University, studying with Robert Atherholt. Katie has attended music festivals including the National Orchestral Institute, the Banff Centre’s Masterclass and Orchestral programs, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra. She has also played with professional groups such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Florida Orchestra, the Amarillo Symphony, and the Shreveport Symphony. Currently residing in Houston, TX, Katie maintains both a freelancing career and a sizeable oboe studio.

Katie Hart

oboe

 
   Kara LaMoure, bassoon    Kara works throughout the United States and internationally as a touring performer and educator, specializing in chamber music and creative projects. She performs regularly with the prizewinning wind quintet WindSync and as a founding member of the Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. She has also recently been on the roster of the Missouri Quintet, Odyssey Chamber Music Series, and Chamber Project St. Louis. LaMoure also takes special interest in global youth orchestra movements and has coached the bassoon sections of youth orchestras in Switzerland, Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil. As an orchestral musician, Kara performed previously with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and she can be heard on the original soundtrack to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She formerly served on the faculty of the University of Missouri and is currently active as a clinician and studio teacher in her home city of Houston, Texas.

Kara LaMoure, bassoon

Kara works throughout the United States and internationally as a touring performer and educator, specializing in chamber music and creative projects. She performs regularly with the prizewinning wind quintet WindSync and as a founding member of the Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. She has also recently been on the roster of the Missouri Quintet, Odyssey Chamber Music Series, and Chamber Project St. Louis. LaMoure also takes special interest in global youth orchestra movements and has coached the bassoon sections of youth orchestras in Switzerland, Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil. As an orchestral musician, Kara performed previously with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and she can be heard on the original soundtrack to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She formerly served on the faculty of the University of Missouri and is currently active as a clinician and studio teacher in her home city of Houston, Texas.

Kara Lamoure

bassoon

 
   Austin Lewellen, double bass    A former trombonist, Austin found his calling when the bass player in his high school jazz band was arrested for possession. Well-versed in both orchestral and contemporary music, Austin has held fellowships at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie in Austria, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. An alumnus of the Oberlin Conservatory, he is now a graduate student and teaching assistant of Paul Ellison at the Shepherd School of Music.  Aside from his work with Loop38, Austin is a Da Camera Young Artist as well as an active member of Lynn Lane’s Transitory Sound and Movement Collective. When Austin isn’t playing bass, you can probably find him running in the neighborhoods near Rice or grinding coffee at the House of Coffee Beans.  Photography by Ruta Kuzmickas.

Austin Lewellen, double bass

A former trombonist, Austin found his calling when the bass player in his high school jazz band was arrested for possession. Well-versed in both orchestral and contemporary music, Austin has held fellowships at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie in Austria, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. An alumnus of the Oberlin Conservatory, he is now a graduate student and teaching assistant of Paul Ellison at the Shepherd School of Music.

Aside from his work with Loop38, Austin is a Da Camera Young Artist as well as an active member of Lynn Lane’s Transitory Sound and Movement Collective. When Austin isn’t playing bass, you can probably find him running in the neighborhoods near Rice or grinding coffee at the House of Coffee Beans.

Photography by Ruta Kuzmickas.

Austin Lewellen

double bass and co-director

 
   Caitlin Mehrtens, harp    An avid supporter of contemporary art, Caitlin has worked extensively with composers and new music organizations to support and perform new work. Since 2014, Caitlin has been the Outreach Director for “The Syndicate for the New Arts”, which is a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio, founded to promote local, contemporary art. Caitlin is a co-founder of the duo “Partly Cloudy” with bassist Austin Lewellen, and is an active member of the Transitory Movement and Sound Collective.  She has performed numerous times as a concerto soloist, most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus, and also with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Stars in the Classics Concert Series, and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia.  A current Masters student at the Shepherd School of Music under Paula Page, Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory under Yolanda Kondonassis, with a major in Harp Performance and a second Independent Major called “Communication through Multi-Cultural Music and Movement”. Caitlin grew up in Thornton, Pennsylvania, and when she's not playing the harp, she can probably be found dancing, enjoying the outdoors, or daydreaming about owning a dog.

Caitlin Mehrtens, harp

An avid supporter of contemporary art, Caitlin has worked extensively with composers and new music organizations to support and perform new work. Since 2014, Caitlin has been the Outreach Director for “The Syndicate for the New Arts”, which is a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio, founded to promote local, contemporary art. Caitlin is a co-founder of the duo “Partly Cloudy” with bassist Austin Lewellen, and is an active member of the Transitory Movement and Sound Collective.

She has performed numerous times as a concerto soloist, most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus, and also with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Stars in the Classics Concert Series, and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia.

A current Masters student at the Shepherd School of Music under Paula Page, Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory under Yolanda Kondonassis, with a major in Harp Performance and a second Independent Major called “Communication through Multi-Cultural Music and Movement”. Caitlin grew up in Thornton, Pennsylvania, and when she's not playing the harp, she can probably be found dancing, enjoying the outdoors, or daydreaming about owning a dog.

Caitlin Mehrtens

harp

 
   Ariana Nelson, cello    Ariana recently moved to Houston after winning a position with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. She is an avid proponent of new music and loves experimenting with different styles, including improvisation and folk music. Her eclectic tastes have led her to performances with the Silk Road Ensemble and for Jazz at Lincoln Center. In recent summers Ariana has performed at Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO, Fontainebleau Conservatoire Américain, Spoleto Festival USA, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival and School, and Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival. Ariana received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Darrett Adkins. She completed her undergraduate degree from Rice University under the tutelage of Norman Fischer. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Ariana loves yoga, hiking, and doing comic impersonations.  Photography by Natalie Gaynor.

Ariana Nelson, cello

Ariana recently moved to Houston after winning a position with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. She is an avid proponent of new music and loves experimenting with different styles, including improvisation and folk music. Her eclectic tastes have led her to performances with the Silk Road Ensemble and for Jazz at Lincoln Center. In recent summers Ariana has performed at Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO, Fontainebleau Conservatoire Américain, Spoleto Festival USA, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival and School, and Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival. Ariana received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Darrett Adkins. She completed her undergraduate degree from Rice University under the tutelage of Norman Fischer. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Ariana loves yoga, hiking, and doing comic impersonations.

Photography by Natalie Gaynor.

Ariana Nelson

cello

 
 
   Jacob Schafer, violin    Jacob performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. A Da Camera of Houston Young Artist for the 2017–2018 season, he also frequently plays with other groups around the city, including Rice’s student-run contemporary ensemble Hear & Now. In the summer of 2018 he will be a New Fromm Player at the Tanglewood Music Center. Dedicated to education, Jacob teaches violin at the Campbell Learning Center in Houston and tutors music theory privately. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, he graduated from Yale University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and is now pursuing a Master of Music at Rice University, where he studies with Paul Kantor.  Photography by Ben Doyle.

Jacob Schafer, violin

Jacob performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. A Da Camera of Houston Young Artist for the 2017–2018 season, he also frequently plays with other groups around the city, including Rice’s student-run contemporary ensemble Hear & Now. In the summer of 2018 he will be a New Fromm Player at the Tanglewood Music Center. Dedicated to education, Jacob teaches violin at the Campbell Learning Center in Houston and tutors music theory privately. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, he graduated from Yale University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and is now pursuing a Master of Music at Rice University, where he studies with Paul Kantor.

Photography by Ben Doyle.

Jacob Schafer

violin

 
   Sergein Yap, viola    A native of Miami, Florida, violist Sergein studied with Ivo van der Werff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, with Martha Katz at the New England Conservatory, and with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2016, Mr. Yap was selected as a Zarin Mehta Fellow with the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. Summer festival appearances include the Banff Centre, ENCORE School for Strings, Heifetz International Music Institute, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, the Perlman Music Program, Sarasota Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center.  Recent chamber music collaborations include performances with Brian Connelly, David Halen, Richie Hawley, Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, and David Coucheron. Mr. Yap has also been featured in recitals through the Carl Flesch Academy in Baden-Baden, Germany, and the Summer Academy Bad Leonfelden, Austria.  Mr. Yap performs regularly as a substitute with the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and is a core member of Loop38 and the KINETIC Ensemble. Mr. Yap is on faculty at the University of St. Thomas and serves on the executive board of the Houston Viola Society. Highlights for the 2017-2018 Season include performances with the KINETIC Ensemble, Loop38, the Melos Sinfonia of London, England, MUSIQA, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and Da Camera of Houston’s Young Artist Program.

Sergein Yap, viola

A native of Miami, Florida, violist Sergein studied with Ivo van der Werff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, with Martha Katz at the New England Conservatory, and with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2016, Mr. Yap was selected as a Zarin Mehta Fellow with the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. Summer festival appearances include the Banff Centre, ENCORE School for Strings, Heifetz International Music Institute, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, the Perlman Music Program, Sarasota Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center.

Recent chamber music collaborations include performances with Brian Connelly, David Halen, Richie Hawley, Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, and David Coucheron. Mr. Yap has also been featured in recitals through the Carl Flesch Academy in Baden-Baden, Germany, and the Summer Academy Bad Leonfelden, Austria.

Mr. Yap performs regularly as a substitute with the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and is a core member of Loop38 and the KINETIC Ensemble. Mr. Yap is on faculty at the University of St. Thomas and serves on the executive board of the Houston Viola Society. Highlights for the 2017-2018 Season include performances with the KINETIC Ensemble, Loop38, the Melos Sinfonia of London, England, MUSIQA, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and Da Camera of Houston’s Young Artist Program.

Sergein Yap

viola

   Alexandra Smither, voice    Named one of CBC’s 2017 “30 Hot Musicians Under 30”, soprano Alexandra Smither has been making a name for herself in the worlds of old and new music. She made her triumphant debut with Houston Grand Opera in as Younger Alyce in their production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, in which she “imbued her solo aria “My Darling Jim” with heartbreaking tenderness” (Texas Classical Review). Additionally she has appeared on the operatic stage as Gretel (Hansel und Gretel, Rice University), Mrs. Waters (The Boatswain’s Mate, Opera5), Esmeralda (The Bartered Bride, Music Academy of the West), Lydia (Second Nature, Music Academy of the West).  She swept all top prizes in the prestigious 2017 Eckhardt-Gramatée Competition, including the prize for best performance of the commissioned work. She subsequently toured her prize-winning recital of contemporary works across Canada. As a Soprano Fellow, she made her Tanglewood Music Festival debut alongside Emanuel Ax in June of 2017 for a performance of Schubert’s “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen”. She returns as a Fellow again in 2018; performances will include the premiere of a new piece for soprano and wind dectet by Theo Chandler. Also comfortable in early music, she has sung with acclaimed ensembles Ars Lyrica and Emmanuel Music.  2018 brings performances at the Banff Centre, Melbourne Metropolis Festival, Vancouver’s “Music in the Morning”, a tour of Japan as through Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and the inaugural tour of PushBack Collective with bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward. Ms. Smither has held fellowships at Songfest, Carnegie Hall, the Banff Centre, and Music Academy of the West. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BMus 2014) and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University (MMus 2016); as a graduate of the University of Toronto she received the music faculty’s highest graduating award, the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Memorial Fellowship. She was the co-founder of Rice University’s student contemporary ensemble Hear&Now, and is currently a member of the Houston based new music ensemble Loop38.  Committed to making contemporary music more approachable and accessible, Ms. Smither has given lecture recitals and masterclasses at institutions including the University of Toronto and James Madison University. Additionally, she has given a masterclass on traditional operatic repertoire at the Harvard College Opera Society.  When she is not singing, Ms. Smither enjoys poetry, obsessively exploring restaurant menus, dancing, gin, and dachshunds.

Alexandra Smither, voice

Named one of CBC’s 2017 “30 Hot Musicians Under 30”, soprano Alexandra Smither has been making a name for herself in the worlds of old and new music. She made her triumphant debut with Houston Grand Opera in as Younger Alyce in their production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, in which she “imbued her solo aria “My Darling Jim” with heartbreaking tenderness” (Texas Classical Review). Additionally she has appeared on the operatic stage as Gretel (Hansel und Gretel, Rice University), Mrs. Waters (The Boatswain’s Mate, Opera5), Esmeralda (The Bartered Bride, Music Academy of the West), Lydia (Second Nature, Music Academy of the West).

She swept all top prizes in the prestigious 2017 Eckhardt-Gramatée Competition, including the prize for best performance of the commissioned work. She subsequently toured her prize-winning recital of contemporary works across Canada. As a Soprano Fellow, she made her Tanglewood Music Festival debut alongside Emanuel Ax in June of 2017 for a performance of Schubert’s “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen”. She returns as a Fellow again in 2018; performances will include the premiere of a new piece for soprano and wind dectet by Theo Chandler. Also comfortable in early music, she has sung with acclaimed ensembles Ars Lyrica and Emmanuel Music.

2018 brings performances at the Banff Centre, Melbourne Metropolis Festival, Vancouver’s “Music in the Morning”, a tour of Japan as through Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and the inaugural tour of PushBack Collective with bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward. Ms. Smither has held fellowships at Songfest, Carnegie Hall, the Banff Centre, and Music Academy of the West. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BMus 2014) and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University (MMus 2016); as a graduate of the University of Toronto she received the music faculty’s highest graduating award, the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Memorial Fellowship. She was the co-founder of Rice University’s student contemporary ensemble Hear&Now, and is currently a member of the Houston based new music ensemble Loop38.

Committed to making contemporary music more approachable and accessible, Ms. Smither has given lecture recitals and masterclasses at institutions including the University of Toronto and James Madison University. Additionally, she has given a masterclass on traditional operatic repertoire at the Harvard College Opera Society.

When she is not singing, Ms. Smither enjoys poetry, obsessively exploring restaurant menus, dancing, gin, and dachshunds.

Alexandra Smither

voice