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Quincy Ledbetter and Ryan Conner catch Andy Akiho and Mariel Roberts performing an original piece entitled, “21”.
Composed by Andy Akiho. andyakiho.com
Mariel Roberts: marielroberts.com
Described as “mold-breaking” and “vital” by The New York Times and as “a young composer to watch” by The LA Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic and contemporary composer/performer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. Recent engagements include a commission by Carnegie Hall premiered by Ensemble ACJW, a world premiere commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, a performance with the LA Philharmonic, a tour in Taiwan for the 2012 International Drum Festival, and three shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC featuring original compositions. His rhythmic compositions continue to increase in recognition: selected from an initial pool of over 500 applicants, Akiho won the grand prize for the 2011 Make Music National Composition Competition hosted by the Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird and, in 2012, he won the Carlsbad Composer Competition to write a piece for the Calder String Quartet. Other recent awards include a 2012 Chamber Music America Grant with Sybarite5, the 2011 Woods Chandler Memorial Prize, a 2011 Music Alumni Award, the 2010 Horatio Parker Award at the Yale School of Music, three ASCAP Plus Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and a 2008 Brian M. Israel Prize. Akiho has composed for ETHEL, the Atlanta Symphony National Snare Drum Competition, the Bang on a Can Marathon, The Playground Ensemble, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Akiho’s compositions have been heard in a range of venues, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Symphony Space, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, MASS MoCA, MCA Chicago, (le) Poisson Rouge, and John Zorn’s The Stone. His works have been featured on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and by organizations such as Meet the Composer, Bang on a Can, American Composers Forum, and The Society for New Music.
“Trailblazing” cellist Mariel Roberts (Feast of Sounds) is quickly gaining recognition as a deeply dedicated interpreter and performer of contemporary music. Recent performances have garnered praise for her “technical flair and exquisite sensitivity” (American Composers Forum), as well as her ability to “couple youthful vision with startling maturity”. (InDigest Magazine). She holds degrees from both the Eastman School and the Manhattan School of Music, where she specialized in contemporary performance practice while studying with Alan Harris and Fred Sherry. Mariel performs internationally as a member of the Mivos String Quartet, and has performed with a variety of other ensembles in venues around the world as an advocate of living composers.