A former principal percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ted Atkatz has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Over the past two years he has played on several movie scores, including those for The Day the Earth Stood Still and Up. He has also participated in the St. Barts Music Festival since 2001. Prior to winning his Chicago Symphony position in 1997, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Florida. He is currently a faculty member at Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida, and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
Mr. Atkatz began his studies at age 10 at the Bloomingdale House of Music and later attended the preparatory division at Manhattan School of Music. He holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance and a music education degree, magna cum laude, from Boston University. Prior to graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, he taught music in elementary schools in Worcester, Massachusetts. While in graduate school, he was invited to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra for two summers, and in 1996 he served as timpanist for Tanglewood’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Atkatz earned a professional studies degree at Temple University, where he worked with Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
An avid long-distance runner, Mr. Atkatz ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001 with a time of 2:59:32. He enjoys performing various styles of music, is a singer/songwriter, and plays guitar and keyboard for the band NYCO. The band was the subject of a 2008 New York Times article and its music has been featured on MTV and in advertising for Volkswagen and JC Penney. www.nycomusic.com
American soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme recently enjoyed great success as Bess in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in Lyon, Edinburgh and London. In addition she sang Clara in the Dallas Opera production of the same opera and remains the most in-demand soprano for the Bennett concert version of the piece, including performances with the Milwaukee and Vancouver Symphonies and at the Vail Music Festival, all under Jeffrey Tyzik. Other forays into operatic literature have included a first-ever Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni with the National Philharmonic.
Versatility has long been the hallmark of the soprano, whose astonishing range of concert literature includes Strauss' Four Last Songs (Reading, Baltimore, Syracuse and Utah Symphonies; Florida Orchestra, Grand Teton Music Festival); Philip Glass' Passion of Ramakrishna with the Pacific Symphony; Mahler's Second Symphony with the San Diego, Baltimore, Nashville, Cincinnati, Colorado and Pacific Symphonies and Rome's Santa Cecilia Orchestra; Haydn's Die Schöpfung with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony, Gilbert Levine and the Pittsburgh Symphony and James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony; Lokumbe's Dear Mrs. Parks with the Detroit Symphony (Naxos recording); the Brahms Requiem with Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony; Mahler's Eighth Symphony with Andreas Delfs and the Milwaukee Symphony, Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony and David Lockington and the Grand Rapids Symphony; Beethoven #9 with the New Jersey Symphony under Neeme Järvi and Houston Symphony under Hans Graf; and the Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the Brahms Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony under Marin Alsop. She has sung Tippett's A Child of Our Time with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony, and toured France with the Orchestre National de la Pays de la Loire, performing Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 5 to unanimous acclaim. Following a summer return to the Chautauqua Festival in Brahms' Requiem, her 2012-13 season also includes the premiere of Lokumbe's Can You Hear God Crying with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, the Verdi Requiem with the Binghamton Philharmonic and Strauss' Four Last Songs with Andrew Constantine and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
As a young soprano, international prominence came as a favorite of the great Robert Shaw. She continues to work with many distinguished conductors: including Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Claus Peter Flor, Jeffrey Kahane, Carlos Kalmar, Raymond Leppard, Christof Perick, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Spivakov, Edo de Waart and Hugh Wolff, to name just a few. She has been guest soloist with the Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras; Boston, NHK (Japan), Vancouver, Phoenix, Kansas City and Santa Rosa Symphonies; Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Rochester Philharmonics; and Philadelphia Orchestra. Festival invitations include Bard, Grant Park, Aspen, Chautauqua, Prague Autumn and Blossom. Ms. Chandler-Eteme's recordings include an inspirational solo disc (Devotions), and the Dvorák Te Deum with Zdenek Mácal and the New Jersey Symphony, She holds degrees from Oakwood College and Indiana University and has studied with Virginia Zeani, Margaret Harshaw, Ginger Beazley and Todd Duncan.
Matthew Strauss has been applauded throughout the United States as an energetic percussionist and timpanist with a diverse musical background. In addition to his positions as Percussionist with the Houston Symphony and former Timpanist with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Bard Music Festival, Mr. Strauss is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Miami. Prior to his post in Houston, he performed as a member of the percussion section in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra throughout the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. He also has performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, and Harrisburg Symphony. Other orchestral appearances include concerts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, New York Pops, Naples (FL) Philharmonic, and Richmond Symphony. Recent Solo appearances include performances with the Akron Symphony, New Hampshire Music Festival, Reading Symphony Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. The Wilmington News Journal praised Mr. Strauss as having "displayed excellent control and versatility."
An active chamber musician, Mr. Strauss has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Da Camera of Houston, Foundation For Modern Music, Bard Festival Chamber Players, Skaneateles Music Festival, and has participated in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's contemporary chamber series, Music Now, under the batons of Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In addition, Mr. Strauss is a founding member of the Battery Four Percussion Group, a dynamic ensemble known for crossing musical genres and premiering new works.
Mr. Strauss received his bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance from the Juilliard School and his master's degree in performance from the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University. He is an alumnus of both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals and has participated in the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Strauss taught percussion performance at the Mason Gross School of Music at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and is on the faculty at the Texas Music Festival. He is the founder of the percussion department at the Children's Orchestra Society in Manhassett, NY and has given master classes and clinics at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Juilliard Percussion Seminar, Aspen Music Festival and School, Northwestern University, Temple University, New York University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Chapman University in Orange County, CA, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Mr. Strauss is a performing artist and clinician for the Pearl/Adams Corporation, Zildjian Inc., and Evans.