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New Album Featuring Tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz & Pianist Oksana Glouchko Slated For Release

Out on Bridge Records, January 15, 2021.

New Album Featuring Tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz & Pianist Oksana Glouchko Slated For Release

Bridge Records has announced a new recording of Visca L'Amor: Catalan Art Songs of the 20th and 21st Centuries, featuring tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz and pianist Oksana Glouchko.

The CD, scheduled for release January 15, 2021, focuses on the little known but fascinating music and poetry of Catalunya-an area of northeastern Spain and southeastern France abutting the Pyrenees on either side, whose language was previously censored under the Franco Dictatorship. Repression of Catalan resulted in a lack of published editions and limited diffusion of its classical song literature abroad. To this day, Catalonians are politically vocal and fiercely proud of their cultural heritage, and this recording represents one of the few explorations of their rich tradition.

With focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, this recording showcases six song cycles by Frederic Mompou, (the only composer in this line-up to enjoy something of an international following,) Eduard Toldrá, Joan Comellas, Ricard LaMotte de Grignon, Narcís Bonet, and finally a world premiere recording of a new commission by living Catalonian composer, Elisenda Fábregas. This project not only furthers the scholarship in Catalan vocal literature, but also celebrates in song the human journey that is both tender and boisterous.

With a radiant voice, intense theatricality, and a profound understanding of art song and operatic repertoire, tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz has collaborated with some of the world's leading ensembles. Highlights have included performing with the Israel Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival (Lincoln Center), Voices of Ascension (New York), Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Bard Music Festival, New York City Opera, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre onBroadway.

A champion of contemporary and underrepresented works, Mr. Muñoz has recorded the 2009 Grammy nominated album Song of the Stars with The Voices of Ascension, as well as world premiere releases of Pasatieri's The Seagull (Albany), J.D. McClatchy and Francis Thorne's Mario and the Magician (Albany), Hafez Nazeri's Rumi Symphony Project Untold (Sony Classical), and David Lang's Prisoner of the State (Decca Gold). Mr. Muñoz has performed frequently with New York's Center for Contemporary Opera;

premieres included James Dashow's electronic opera Archimides and McClatchy and Thorne's Mario and the Magician. Reviewing Opera Omnia's production of Cavalli's Giasone, the New York Post declared him to be "Funniest of the comic crew in the decidedly non PC role of the stuttering hunchback Demo."

Mr. Muñoz is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Career Grant for contributions to the dissemination of Iberian and Latin American art song. For his ongoing creative activities in interdisciplinary performances and pedagogy, he has been recognized by the National Opera Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, American Prize, Delaware Division of the Arts, and others. He is the chair and senior editor of the National Opera Association's Sacred in Opera Initiative, which explores the interplay between music-drama and the ideologies of world religions through research and performance.

A graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Stony Brook University, Dr. Muñoz serves as professor of voice and opera at the University of Delaware. He is married to pianist Oksana Glouchko of Tel Aviv and they divide their time between Delaware and New York City. They consider their greatest accomplishments to be their three children, Giovanni, Marco, and Salomé.

Persuasive, idiomatic, and commanding, the playing of pianist Oksana Glouchko has brought a singular voice to the great classics of the piano literature-from Bach and Mozart to Rachmaninov and Ravel. Her virtuosity, scholarship, and stage presence inform her performances, whether as soloist, collaborative artist, chamber player, or teacher. A Russian-born Israeli, Ms. Glouchko has been a featured soloist at the Bloney Festival (Switzerland), Mozart Fest (Malta), and International Festival and Institute at Round Top (USA). Recent engagements include Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Chile Symphony Orchestra, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rishon-Lezion Symphony Orchestra, and Rachmaninov's Rhapsody with the Carter Symphony Orchestra of Tel Aviv.

Winner of the Claudio Arrau International Competition in Chile, The National Competition of Russian Composers, and the Glinka National Piano Competition in Smolensk, she holds advanced degrees in piano performance from the Buchman-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University; she also studied at DePaul University and attained the Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University. Additional honors include fellowships and grants from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Colton Foundation, and the Buchman Heyman Foundation. Her teachers have included Larisa Igoshina, Viktor Derevianko, Natasha Tadson, Eteri Andjaparidze, and Gil Kallish.

Dr. Glouchko is the full-time collaborative pianist and chamber music coach for faculty and students at the University of Delaware, where she teaches courses in piano literature, collaborative piano and chamber music. She has formerly served as instructor for undergraduate piano performance at Stony Brook University (2009-2012) and maintains an active private studio. In great demand as a collaborator with singers, she held positions on the piano and vocal coaching staffs of Israeli Opera, Opera Delaware, Indianapolis Opera, the IVAI International Festival for Opera Singers, Musiktheater Bavaria (Germany), Rollins College and Indiana Wesleyan University, and as an official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

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