Susan Epstein Garcia earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at Boston University, where she studied composition with Dr. Marjorie Merryman and composer/founder of Alea III, Theodore Antoniou. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music, where she studied Film Scoring with Michael Rendish and David Spears and Piano Performance with Ed Bedner, Jeff Covell and Ray Santisi. Her music has been performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, Donne in Musica in Rome, in Santiago de Compostela, UniRio in Rio de Janeiro, Clark University, Brandeis University, University of Miami, Florida International University, and University of Trinidad and Tobago and in Spain among other places. Dr. Epstein Garcia is a Professor of Music at New World School of the Arts, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1999. She holds the Mary Pond Family and Friends Endowed Teaching Chair in Memory of Karl S.E. Pond. Prior to moving to Miami, she taught music at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, Boston University, and Milford High School in Milford, New Hampshire. She authored several articles in “Music Since 1900 An Encyclopedia” and has published many reviews of texts and new music. Her recent compositional interests include working with collaborative art forms.
Lajos Zeke, professor of piano and musicology at the New World School of the Arts, is a native of Hungary (b. 1958, Budapest), where he spent the first three decades of his life. A graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Organ Performance 1981 and Musicology 1987, Dr. Zeke worked both as a traveling organist and as a musicologist. He gave recitals in Hungary, Finland, Germany, Austria, the Ukraine, Greece, and Japan while simultaneously conducting research at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in diverse fields such as analytical study of F. Liszt’s music, 19th century music history, organology, and experimental music theory. In 1990, he began his doctoral studies in the United States and in 1999, received his degree from the University of Miami. As part of his Ph.D. project, he embarked on a thorough study of certain aspects of philosophy and the history of logic, and integrated his new understanding into his approach to theoretical musicology. In the last 17 years, church musicianship, composing, piano performance and, above all, teaching have seemingly eclipsed his musicological activities. However, during this same period, prompted by certain crucial discoveries concerning Plato’s “Pythagorizing” musico-mathematical theories, he has launched a new project. This project is aimed at disclosing aspects of a half-forgotten, yet alive and still unfolding, worldview: a sort of “musical metaphysics,” a participatory science of consciousness.
Fredrick Kaufman is the composer of over one hundred and fifty compositions that have been performed worldwide by orchestras such as the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Lithuanian Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Instrumental Ensemble of Grenoble, the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra Novi Musici (Naples, Italy), the Dominican Republic National Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Brazil, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New World Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestras. His ballets have been danced by companies such as the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Batsheva Dance Company, the Bat-Dor Dance Company and the Pennsylvania Dance Theater.
Kaufman is a former Fulbright Scholar, and author of The African Roots of Jazz, a groundbreaking study that drew heavily on his early musical life as a jazz trumpet player with the Woody Herman Band. He is the recipient of the Darius Milhaud Award in Composition from the Aspen Music Festival, and honors and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Ford Foundations, the California, Montana and Pennsylvania Arts Councils as well as the Norwegian Government.
Fredrick Kaufman's Holocaust composition, Kaddish, which Bernard Holland of the New York Times described as "having the most expressive writing for strings to be heard today," has been performed in the major concert halls of Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, South America, Asia and throughout the United States.
Fredrick Kaufman recently completed the Guernica Piano Concerto for concert pianist Kemal Gekić and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The premiere performance took place at the Sibelius Concert Hall (February 13, 2014) in Prague and was a spectacular success. It received 4 curtain calls and a review that called the work "a masterpiece...extraordinary... a convincing, emotional, passionate, vivid piece of music"... Music Review, Prague..."is a composition written in the soul"...Sonorama magazene (Spanish)..."exciting, unusual and riveting"...Babysue magazene. The concerto was recorded in Prague and released on the Navona label by Naxos in July, 2013.
His works have received prizes at international competitions and have been selected for performances at festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Israel Festival, the Darmstadt Festival for New Music, the International Arts Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, and the St. Cyprien International Festival of the Arts in France.
Renowned artists such as Richard Stoltzman; Julius Baker, Susan Starr, Roy Malan, Mark Drobinsky, Andres Diaz, David Kim, Roberto Diaz, Yehuda Hananni, Charles Neidich, Kemal Gekic, Paul Green, Sarah Lambert Bloom, The Miami String Quartet, The Amernet String Quartet, The Diaz Trio, and numerous others have recorded and performed Kaufman's concertos and chamber music. Additionally, Israeli television has paid tribute to him as a composer in the thirty-minute documentary film, Fredrick Kaufman - Life of an Artist.
Critics from the New York Times, the Newark Star-Ledger, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Miami Herald, the Jerusalem Post, the London Times, the Perpignan Independent and other newspapers around the world have described Kaufman's music as striking, individual an interesting combination of overwhelming pathos and infectious joy, brought one into the realm of musical genius.
In 1985, the Statue of Liberty committee commissioned Fredrick Kaufman to write a choral work, Mother of Exiles, for the re-dedication ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty. The composition was premiered by the United Nations Chorus at the ceremony and was broadcast worldwide by network television. WE THE PEOPLE 200 of the City of Philadelphia commissioned Kaufman to write his 5th Symphony, The American, in 1987 for the 200th anniversary celebration of the Constitution. Maestro Kaufman conducted the premiere performance which was nationally broadcast on NBC-TV. Over the past 10 years, Kaufman has been called upon repeatedly to conduct his compositions around the world.
His multi-cultural works have received overwhelming praise in the press. His Kaminarimon (for Taiko drums and Flamenco dance) has been called "remarkable" and "stunning" and was voted as the number one classical composition of 2002 and "the most imaginative new work of the year" by, music critic, James Roos of The Miami Herald. His commissioned work Yin & Yang: A Dialogue for Two Grand Pianos, was launched and lauded by critics in New York and Miami, where it received its world premiere. String Quartet #6, "The Urban" was called "stunning" by New Yorker Magazine. The Urban Quartet was nominated by Lukas Foss in 2007 for a Pulitzer Prize.
Most recently Maestro Kaufman recorded his Stars & Distances with artists from the Florida Grand Opera. Stars & Distances the work was nominated for a Grammy Nomination in 2016. Kaufman wrote a new orchestral composition in 2015 (Seven Sisters) that was recorded by the Czech Philharmonic with Andrew Bisantz conducting. Both works appear on the Stars and Distances recording that was released by Naxos on the Navona label in November 2015.
The points of departure for Kaufman's writing are often gestures and sound imagery from his own wide ranging background which includes jazz and Eastern European Jewish folk traditions and a foundation deeply steeped in the classics as well as the avant-garde. Kaufman continues to stretch the boundaries of standard approaches to composition and the results have been startling.
Fredrick Kaufman currently resides in Miami where he holds the distinguished position of professor emeritus in Composition at Florida International University. Prior to that he held the position of composer-in-residence for the University, a position that was created specifically for him. Professor Kaufman was the founding Director of the FIU School of Music for ten years and established its internationally acclaimed FIU Music Festival. He was formerly academic dean of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Montana at Billings, the University of London and the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel. Kaufman is the founder and former Artistic Director of the St. Cyprien International Festival of the Arts held in St. Cyprien, France.