PAUL FRUCHT, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Hailed as a “composer with a career to follow” by the Ridgefield Press, Paul Frucht is an American composer whose music has been acclaimed for its “sense of lyricism, driving pulse, and great urgency” (WQXR) and “excellent orchestration” (Ridgefield Press). His music has been commissioned and performed by the American Composers Orchestra, Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, Chelsea Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Weill-Cornell Music and Medicine Orchestra, Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, American Modern Ensemble, Asian American New Music Institute, Euclid Quartet, LONGLEASH Trio, New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute, Utah Arts Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival among numerous other performing ensembles and organizations.
The upcoming 2019-2020 season is highlighted by performances by the Ulysses Quartet at the Buffalo Chamber Music Society and on the Mostly Music Series, the premiere of a new work for violin and piano by Alice Ivy-Pemberton, the premiere of Acadian Vista by the Minnesota Orchestra, and the premiere of an orchestral song cycle to be written for bass-baritone Kenneth Kellogg, commissioned by Yuga Cohler and the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra.
Paul has been the recipient of a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Brian H. Israel Prize from the Society of New Music, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, Juilliard’s Palmer Dixon, Arthur Friedman, and Gena Raps Prizes, the American Composers Orchestra’s 2016 Audience Choice Award and has been recognized for his work by the American Modern Ensemble, the Nashville Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Red Note New Music Festival, Chelsea Symphony, and Periapsis Music and Dance.
Paul prioritizes cultural engagement in his music and artistic leadership activities. In addition to his position as artistic director of the Charles Ives Music Festival at the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, these goals have been realized through his role as the organizer for the 2016 Danbury Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, his representation of the Juilliard School and the United States at the Kyoto International Music Festival, and through his work, Dawn, which was written in memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal, Dawn Hochsprung. The work has received over 15 performances and has been heard around the United States. He has also appeared for interviews with the Hartford Courant, “Fifteen” Questions, and CT NPR and his writing has appeared in NewMusicBox, an online publication.
A passionate educator of all ages, he has been a faculty member at New York University’s Steinhardt School since 2015 and before that was a music theory teaching fellow in Juilliard’s College Division and an instructor in Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. From 2014-15, he was composer-in-residence at the pianoSonoma Music Festival for amateur adult musicians and in 2015, founded the Chamber Music Intensive, for both children and adults, which is now part of the Charles Ives Music Festival. He was also the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence for the 2017-18 season. Paul received his doctoral of musical arts and master of music degrees at the Juilliard School and a B.M. from New York University. His two primary teachers have been Robert Beaser and Justin Dello Joio. paulfruchtmusic.com
JONATHAN CZINER, ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Jonathan Cziner is an American composer based in New York City. His music combines colorful harmony and texture with nostalgic lyricism, creating a sound-world that ranges from dark and mysterious to vibrant. Drawing on a wide variety of inspirations, Jonathan’s writing engages the senses and the emotions, fully immersing listeners in the musical experience.
A 2018 Charles Ives Scholarship recipient from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Jonathan’s works have been performed in the United States and Europe by ensembles including the Minnesota Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, and New Juilliard Ensemble. Recent commissions include Once New for the Lyric Chamber Music Society, Fantasy Chorale for the American Guild of Organists, and Nebulous for the Dallas Harp Quartet, with performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.
His orchestral work Resonant Bells, premiered by David Robertson and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, was awarded the William Schuman Prize for most outstanding score at the BMI Student Composer Awards as well as the 2018 Palmer Dixon Prize, awarded to the most outstanding work composed at the Juilliard School. The piece was then selected by the Minnesota Orchestra for performance at the 2018-2019 Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute with Maestro Osmo Vänskä. Cziner’s most recent orchestral piece, flowers of fire, was written to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the World War I armistice and was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra with soprano Kathleen O’Mara and Maestro Jeffery Milarsky in February 2019.
Jonathan has served for two years as co-artistic director of Dynamic Music Festival, an annual concert series dedicated to premiering works of student composers attending universities in the New York City area. Equally dedicated to film scoring, he has worked with writer/director Nora Unkel on her 2015 film The Goblin Song, and has most recently scored her first feature film, A Nightmare Wakes in 2019.
Cziner began formal composition training upon his acceptance to New York University, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree studying with Justin Dello Joio. He completed his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Robert Beaser, and is in the midst of his studies in Juilliard’s prestigious C.V. Starr doctoral program. jonathancziner.com