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Tenri Cultural Institute to Present BORDER CROSSINGS This Friday

Tenri Cultural Institute presents Border Crossings, a cultural exchange featuring works by American composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe and Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Runchak on Friday, March 11th at 8pm.

World premieres, U.S. premieres, New York premieres and more grace this program performed by trombonist Jen Baker, pianists Gayle Blankenburg (in town from LA) and Irena Portenko, double bassist Ken Filiano, soprano Elisabeth Halliday, saxophonists Daniel Kochersberger, Aaron Patterson, Jay Rattman and Jordan Smith, flutist Rachel Rudich (LA/NY) and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck with a special guest appearance by actor Kevin Kline as the poet in the premiere of Cameron-Wolfe's micro-opera A Sound- Shroud for Bill Knott.


Friday, March 11, 2016 at 8pm

Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011
Subway: F/V/L to 14th St. & 6th Ave.; 1/2/3 to 14th St. & 7th Ave.; N/Q/R/W/4/5/6 to 14th St. Union Square

Tickets: 212-645-2800 | Admission: $30


An Inventory of Damaged Goods (2015) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe NY Premiere
Gayle Blankenburg, piano

Prima Materia (2001) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe World Premiere
Gayle Blankenburg, piano

Greetings M.K. (Dedicated to Mauricio Kagel) for piano in three movements by Volodymyr Runchak US Premiere
Irena Portenko, piano

1. Lyric Song - Afternoon rest of the mosquito
2. Open form - Death of the little hedgehog
3. Variation - Repetition of movement 2, as encore a few times

Mute Hand Muse - micro-opera for a waking dreamer (2015) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe NY Premiere
soprano, alto/bass flutes and piano
Elisabeth Halliday, Rachel Rudich & Gayle Blankenburg

Homo ludens II for piano (1992) by Volodymyr Runchak US Premiere
Irena Portenko, piano


Contra spem spero (Hopeless, I believe) for 4 saxophones (1990) by Volodymyr Runchak
US Premiere
Manhattan Saxophone Quartet: Daniel Kochersberger, tenor saxophone, Aaron Patterson, alto saxophone, Jay Rattman, baritone saxophone & Jordan Smith, soprano saxophone

A Sound-Shroud for Bill Knott (2015) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe World Premiere
Kevin Kline, Sara Schoenbeck, Jen Baker & Ken Filiano

Prayer for female voice and tape (2002) by Volodymyr Runchak US Premiere
Elisabeth Halliday, soprano

Kyrie (Mantra) II for flute and prepared piano (1976) by Richard Cameron-Wolfe Rachel Rudich & Gayle Blankenburg

SAX (te?te-a?-te?te) for two alto saxophones (2006) by Volodymyr Runchak US Premiere
2 saxes, Epoch Duo: Jordan Smith/Dan Kochersberger

About Richard Cameron-Wolfe, Composer/Pianist - Composer-pianist Richard Cameron-Wolfe was born in Cleveland, Ohio and received his training at Oberlin College and Indiana University. His principal piano teachers were Joseph Battista and Menahem Pressler. His composition teachers included Bernard Heiden, Iannis Xenakis and John Eaton, followed by post-graduate mentorship with Noel Farrand, Dane Rudhyar and the painter Robert Kostka.

After brief teaching positions at Indiana University, Radford College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cameron-Wolfe moved to New York City, where he immediately began performing and composing for ballet and modern dance companies. In 1978 he commenced a 24-year Professorship at Purchase College-SUNY, resigning in 2002 in order to devote his life primarily to piano performance and composing.

Dedicated to the promotion of modern classical music - which he prefers to call "sound art" - Cameron-Wolfe has served as administrator for several musical organizations: Friends of American Music, New Mexico Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Center for Soviet/American Musical Exchange [CESAME], Charles Ives Center for American Music and American Composers Alliance (Board of Governors).

In 2015, he had concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kharkov and Riga along with several performances of his music in China and California. Here in 2016, in addition to this concert with Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Runchak, he will have recording sessions for his next CD, and will attend a "composer profile" concert of his music at the Kharkov Contemporary Festival.

About Volodymyr Runchak, Composer/Conductor - Volodymyr Runchak is a Ukrainian composer and conductor, and a laureate of numerous international competitions of the composers. He has wide artistic interests: creation of music for symphony and chamber orchestras, small ensembles, soloists, chorus, conductor's activity includes performing of modern Ukrainian and foreign composers' pieces, organizational activity covers holding international and All-Ukrainian festivals and "New Music in Ukraine" concerts.

Runchak's pieces are successfully performed at various international festivals of modern music in Ukraine and abroad. Runchak's recitals are held in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lutsk, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Munich, and Paris. His pieces are published by: 4'33'' - Germany, Agenda edizioni musicali ?ologna - Italy, Astra - Poland, New Consonant Music - Belgium, "Kyiv" Chamber Chorus Library, and recorded by: Aurophon, Stadt Witten - Germany, Sub Rosa - Belgium, Cambria - the USA. Runchak is a propagandist of modern art of music. For three years he has been hosting the New Music in Ukraine broadcast on the National Radio Company of Ukraine Third "Culture" Channel. He initiated the performances of some orchestral and ensemble pieces of such classic composers of the 20th century as Shostakovich, Varese, Nono, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Berio. During his conducting practice Runchak premiered more than 400 world and Ukrainian contemporary music pieces. Being a conductor he performs with the "New Music in Ukraine" Chamber ensemble, founded by him in the 1988/1989 season. The band together with the "Atlantic" Recording Company issued 10 discs with the pieces of modern composers. As a guest conductor performs with National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, National Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine Honoured Symphony Orchestra, with symphony and chamber orchestras of Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Rivne Philharmonics, with the music bands of Russia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Israel, France. In 2007/2008 and 2010/2011 seasons, he worked as the Head guest conductor of the Kara Karaev State Chamber Orchestra of Azerbaijan. Runchak is the Artistic director of the International Festival of New Music, "Kharkiv contemporary," and International All-Ukrainian Music Festival, "Ukrainian Day of the accordion."

About Gayle Blankenburg, Pianist - Gayle Blankenburg has performed extensively to great critical acclaim as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. She was a roster artist with Southwest Chamber Music from 1996 to 2003, with whom she regularly performed and recorded. Among nearly a dozen award-winning CDs recorded for Southwest Chamber Music on Cambria Records are her performances of Elliot Carter's song cycle Of Challenge and of Love (with soprano Phyllis Bryn- Julson) and the Carlos Chavez Invencion for solo piano. She has also performed with Phyllis Bryn-Julson at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in New York City at Cooper Union, and in Vienna, Austria in a residency at the Schoenberg Institute. Her recording of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with the LA-based ensemble "inauthentica" has received the highest critical acclaim from Gramophone Magazine, Opera News and The American Record Guide. Released recently was a CD of solo piano and chamber music works of composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe, including Labyrinths with soprano Lucy Shelton.

The Los Angeles Times has reviewed her playing on numerous occasions, saying, "Blankenburg played with elegant power and poise... Her crisp touch and light pedaling produced crystalline, pensive, haunting sequences... This is a gratefully idiomatic piece for a pianist with both power and a palette, requirements Blankenburg met easily."

She is currently on the piano faculties of the Claremont Colleges, teaching at Pomona College and at Scripps College, where she is a recipient of the Mary Wig Johnson Faculty Achievement Award, and where she is a member of the faculty ensemble Trio Lykos. In the spring of 2014 she made her fifth trip to China to perform and give master classes in piano and chamber music.

Ms. Blankenburg was a student of the distinguished pianists Menahem Pressler (of the Beaux Arts Trio) and Abbey Simon at Indiana University, where she received the Bachelor's and Master's degrees in piano performance, and where she was also awarded the coveted Performer's Certificate.

About Jen Baker, Trombonist/Composer - Jen Baker, trombonist/composer, has collaborated with artists all over the world in site-specific mixed media performance, symphony halls, solo, and chamber commissions. Featured on the soundtrack to Werner Herzog's Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World, she has performed internationally in tours and new music ensembles with Arijit Singh, Karole Armitage, Mansour, S.E.M., TILT brass, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and the mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra (founding member).

Hailed for her "formidable sensitivity" by The New York Times, her performances in multimedia and contemporary chamber music includes art spaces such as the Met Museum, Park Avenue Armory, the Guggenheim and the Barbican Theatre. As an improviser she has been featured in festivals in the High Zero international festival of improvised music and ISIM Conferences (International Society of Improvised Music).

Her forthcoming book, Multiphonics for the Trombone, aides composers and trombonists in understanding and executing the deep complexities of multiphonics. She has given lectures on this topic internationally, along with masterclasses on improvisation and extended trombone techniques. Baker is particularly interested in assisting the body's (as well as the Earth's) ability to maintain balance, which is reflected in her compositions. Recording labels include New World, Innova, Cantaloupe Music, Rastascan, Kadima Collective and her own label, Dilapidated Barns.

About Ken Filiano, Double Bassist - Ken Filiano is one of the most versatile and in-demand bassists working today. His extensive recording and performance resume includes work with Steve Adams, Anthony Braxton, Karl Berger, Fred Ho, Bobby Bradford, Nels Cline, Connie Crothers, Bill Dixon, Ted Dunbar, Giora Feidman, Vinny Golia, Jason Kao Hwang, Frank London, Tina Marsh, Dom Minasi, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Roswell Rudd, Fay Victor, Andrea Wolper, Pablo Zeigler and many, many more. His discography as a leader includes the solo bass CD, "subvenire" (Nine Winds); "Dreams From a Clown Car" (Clean Feed), which presents his compositions for his quartet, Quantum Entanglements, with Tony Malaby, Michael Attias and Michael TA Thompson; and "Baudalino's Dilemma" with Warren Smith, Vinny Golia, and Michael TA Thompson (2014). Ken teaches double bass and improvisation.

About Elisabeth Halliday, Soprano - Soprano Elisabeth Halliday works with established and emerging composers to commission and premiere new classical vocal repertoire. Elisabeth sings primarily with the commissioning opera ensemble Rhymes With Opera and additionally with such diverse ensembles as Hotel Elefant, Experiments in Opera, NYsoundCircuit, Chelsea Opera, Ashcan Orchestra, New York Opera Alliance, the Emerging Voices Project, The Fourth Wall, and more. She has performed at (le) Poisson Rouge, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Issue Project Room, Roulette, the National Opera Center, the New Music Gathering, Omaha Under the Radar, JACK, the Tenri Cultural Institute, Barrow Mansion and many other venues and festivals on the front lines of promoting new and experimental classical music.

Elisabeth created Rhymes With Opera's summer workshop for singers and composers, the Pocket Opera Workshop (P.O.W!), which encourages collaboration between singers and composers and explores how to create and navigate a career in new music performance and composition. Elisabeth trained at the Peabody Conservatory and currently studies with Manhattan School of Music's Ashley Putnam.

About Irena Portenko, Pianist - Ukrainian-born Irena Portenko first displayed love and talent for the piano at age three and by age eight, debuted as soloist with the Ukrainian National Orchestra, performing Haydn's Concerto in D Major. Since then, Ms. Portenko's distinguished array of concerto performances, with the most recent 2015 concert, featuring Brahms's Second Piano Concerto with Odessa National Philharmonia (Ukraine), as well as her newest recording, including Tchaikovsky's First and Prokofiev Second Piano Concerti with the Ukrainian National Symphony; recitals, festival appearances and recognitions at international competition, that has garnered impressive accolades from both audiences and critics throughout Europe and North America, granting her a career of international status.

In 2009, upon an invitation from Artists International, Ms. Portenko's gave a critically acclaimed debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall featuring a performance of Fre?de?ric Chopin's complete 24 E?tudes, prompting Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times to write: "Ms. Portenko pulled off a feat that puts her in a select company."

As a recording artist, Ms. Portenko released a CD of Chopin's E?tudes on the Blue Griffin Label, which was met with significant critical praise from such outlets as Fanfare Magazine, for which Dave Seaman wrote: "[I] listened to Portenko's CD four times before writing this review, and each time found new subtleties to enjoy... it is a product of a distinctive voice and a fine temperament. Her interpretation develops the cycle's continuity with considerable success." London's Music & Vision Daily echoed the approval, commending Ms. Portenko's "enviable ease... fluidity of touch and tone..." (Robert Anderson). The CD continues to receive airplay nationwide in the United States, and was the August 2010 "Choice CD" on WCLV, praised by the radio's on-air personality Bill O'Connell as an "enormous undertaking, a pianistic high-wire act-to say the least!"

Her passion for collaborating with and performing the music of contemporary composers has led her to interpretations of numerous works by living American, Ukrainian, Chinese and German composers. The Tryptich "Venetian Blinds" for solo piano by Grammy Award winner Michael Daugherty (2003) was recognized by Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press as "...the most powerful work on the program..." Mr. Stryker went on to say, "Pianist Irena Portenko's exciting reading unlocked the music's technical challenges."

Frequenting the stage often, Irena Portenko has appeared as a soloist with orchestras and has performed under the batons of Volodymyr Kozhuhar (Ukraine), Kenneth Kiesler (USA), Rossen Milanov (BULGARIA-USA), Volodymyr Sirenko (UKRAINE), Uwe Harrer (AUSTRIA), Allin Vlasenko (UKRAINE), and Dai Uk Lee (REPUBLIC OF KOREA). In addition to her recital and solo work, Ms. Portenko is an avid chamber musician, and has appeared in that capacity with distinguished artists at the festivals and recitals in the Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, Italy and the United States.

In 2014, Ms. Portenko started her own Summer Music Program in Austria, "Music in the Alps." It features an extensive solo and chamber music training session, masterclasses and performances by renowned artists, and engaging activities and explorations, shared by the students and faculty.

As a passionate educator, Irena Portenko takes a pride of her piano studio in Westchester, NY. Ms. Portenko's guidance, along with her passion and hard work inspire her students to strive toward and win top awards at the International Piano Competitions and Festivals.

Ms. Portenko holds Doctoral and Master's degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Post-Graduate degree in Collaborative Piano from the Ukrainian National Academy of Music.

About Rachel Rudich, Flutist - The New York Times has written "Miss Rudich plays very beautifully, producing a smooth, silken tone, phrasing with spirited elegance, and operating with a crucial sense of linear continuity that characterizes a polished artist." She has appeared with The New Music Consort, The Group for Contemporary Music, Speculum Musicae, Parnassus, The Composers Conference Chamber Players, The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and The Fromm Players. She has appeared at the June in Buffalo Festival, the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center at Wellesley College, the Lake Placid Institute, the Guggenheim Works and Process Series, the Ojai Festival, the Fromm Contemporary Music Series at Harvard University and The Dartington International Summer School in England.

Miss Rudich has received recording grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alice M. Ditson Fund and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and can be heard on over 25 CDs on 15 different labels.

Miss Rudich received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Goddard College and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in flute performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Thomas Nyfenger and Harvey Sollberger. She is currently a faculty member at Pomona College, and Professor of Flute at California Institute of the Arts.

About Sara Schoenbeck, Bassoonist - Sara Schoenbeck is a bassoonist who dedicates herself to expanding the sound and role of the bassoon in the worlds of classical, contemporary notated and improvised music. The Wire magazine places her in the "tiny club of bassoon pioneers" at work in contemporary music today and The New York Times has called her "riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound."

Originally from California, Sara spent her time on the west coast freelancing in various orchestral bassoon sections such as Santa Barbara Symphony, California Symphony, Redlands, Mancini Orchestra, the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra and touring as a member of creative music ensembles Gravitas Quartet with Wayne Horvitz, Ron Miles and Peggy Lee, Anthony Braxton's 12+1(tet) and Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble. Sara also recorded for various sound and film projects including the Matrix 2 and 3 and Spanglish.

Sara now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with Petr Kotek's SEM ensemble, the composers group WetInk, Wordless Music Orchestra, LPR, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra, Gravitas, Harris Eisenstadt's Golden State Quartet,the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra as well as performing with many other creative and inspiring musicians in the New York scene.

She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kitchen, Iridium, Disney Hall, SXSW, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Free Music Festival in Antwerp Belgium, Biennale Musica in Venice Italy, Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the San Francisco Jazz Festival to name a few. Sara received her BFA from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

About The Manhattan Saxophone Quartet - Manhattan Saxophone Quartet was first formed in 2008 as an ambitious and promising studio ensemble at Manhattan School of Music; the foursome's current membership coalesced in 2010 with the goal of creating a freestanding professional quartet committed to the highest artistic standards of performance of saxophone quartet music, both established and experimental, and to the exposure and introduction of saxophone quartet repertoire to new audiences of all ages. With their various musical passions in classical, jazz, theater, and contemporary music, MSQ embodies a diverse canon spanning nearly 150 years, from early original works by Romantic masters to innovative compositions by 21st century contemporary artists.

Composer David Froom has remarked that MSQ plays "with both precision and passion, and always with terrific musicianship!" and composer David Noon has lauded "I am continually inspired, in truth, by [the] quartet's artistry." MSQ has performed across the northeastern United States at venues including Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, Citigroup Center, Yale University, Messiah College, Rutgers University, College of New Jersey, New York University, International Saxophone Symposia, and West Point University for the annual North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference. The quartet has premiered works by Marc-Antonio Consoli, Robert McMahan, David Noon, Jeffrey Nytch, Quinn Collins, J. Mark Stambaugh and Rex Isenberg, among others.

Manhattan Saxophone Quartet musicians are Jordan Smith, soprano saxophonist; Aaron Patterson, alto saxophonist; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor saxophonist; and Jay Rattman, baritone saxophonist. View past concerts, recent recordings, and contact them at

About The Epoch Duo - The Epoch Duo is a Princeton, NJ based saxophone duo specializing in rhythmically-driven contemporary pieces for two saxophonists. Epoch was created in 2014 as a side project of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet by Dr. Jordan P. Smith and Dan Kochersberger and has performed throughout the NY-NJ area. The duo has worked closely with new music composers centered in the Princeton, NJ and NYC area such as Alex Burtzos, Quinn Collins and

Dave Molk as well as Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Runchak. In the fall of 2014, the Duo gave the premiere of Alex Burtzos' "One Final Gyre" at the Paul Robeson Center in Princeton, NJ with a successful follow-up performance at Manhattan School of Music. In January of 2015, the Duo premiered Dave Molk's Breath(e) at the 38th International Saxophone Symposium at Shenandoah University.

About Kevin Kline, Actor - Kevin Kline was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 24, 1947. He studied at Indiana University and Juilliard before he established his acting career on stage and in film. His theater resume includes Shakespearean roles, musicals and contemporary dramas. Kline won an Oscar for his turn in A Fish Called Wanda and has appeared in many other film comedies (such as Dave and In & Out), but he has also been praised for roles in various dramas, including Sophie's Choice, The Ice Storm and De-Lovely.

Kline has combined his stage work with a successful film career. His first screen role was the part of Meryl Streep's lover in the 1982 drama Sophie's Choice; the following year, he appeared as part of the ensemble cast of The Big Chill. His best-known movie is the black comedy A Fish Called Wanda, in which he played an inept criminal named Otto alongside John Cleese, Michael Palin and Jamie Lee Curtis. This performance earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1988.

Kline's more light-hearted side has also been showcased in 1990's dark comedy I Love You to Death; his portrayal of a presidential look-alike in Dave in 1993; the romantic comedy French Kiss, in which he co- starred with Meg Ryan in 1995; and In & Out (1997), in which he plays a high school teacher coming to terms with his own homosexuality. He even brought humor to the role of President Ulysses S. Grant in 1999, appearing with Will Smith in the action-comedy Wild Wild West.

At the same time, Kline has filmed a remarkable range of dramatic screen performances. He plays a journalist in apartheid-era South Africa in Cry Freedom (1987), an unfaithful husband in 1970s suburbia in The Ice Storm (1997), a cancer victim in the family drama Life as a House (2001) and songwriter Cole Porter in the 2004 biopic De-Lovely, among many other roles. More recently, he depicted Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in the historical drama The Conspirator (2011).

Photo Credit: Lenny Foster

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