Matthias Ziegler is one of the world’s most versatile and innovative flutists. He is committed both to the traditional literature for flute as well as to contemporary music and concepts that cross the boundaries between classical music and jazz.
Accordingly, his performances take place in a vast range of contexts: he plays principal flute with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, has toured with the percussionist Pierre Favre and performed with the pianist George Gruntz as well as with the American contrabass player Mark Dresser. He is also a member of the ”Collegium Novum Zurich“, where he has worked with Mauricio Kagel, Heinz Holliger and George Crumb.Concert tours have brought him to the US, Japan, Australia, South America and Israel. Many recordings on CD document his inclusive musical interests.
Matthias Ziegler is Professor for flute at the Zurich University of the Arts.Searching for new sounds he enormously broadened the expressive potential of the traditional flute and the electroacoustically amplified contrabass flute.Amplifying the flute allows him to increase the volume of the microsound structures of the flute to an audible level. Inspired by the new dimension of sounds of these instruments, composers such as Michael Jarrell from Switzerland, Benjamin Yusupov from Tadjikistan, Mathias Rüegg from the Vienna Art Orchestra and the American Mark Dresser wrote flute concertos for him.
Matthias Ziegler performs on a flute manufactured by Louis Lot (1880), on a quartertone flute Brannen/Kingma system, on a Alto- and Bassflute by Eva Kingma (Holland) as well as on his own invention, the ”Matusiflute”, a uniquely designed instrument with a vibrating membrane. His contrabassflute has been constructed by Kotato Fukushima (Japan).
Shanna Pranaitis fearlessly expands the realm of sonic possibility for her instruments through innovative performances and educational projects, in which she integrates new and historically reimagined works with electronics, movement, lighting and other multi-disciplinary elements to create seamless, immersive concert experiences. She is interested in exploring ways to engage and involve a wider community in the process of experiencing music.
She travels the world regularly to perform and teach as a solo guest artist and with the chamber ensembles Memoria Nova and Collect/Project. She has performed and taught as a guest artist in Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. An important part of this work is the close cooperation with living composers, poets, movement artist, and other interdisciplinary artists, around the world on the development of new work.
Shanna has presented premiere performances of pieces written for her at such festivals as the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL), Sonic Fusion Festival (UK), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (DE), International Computer Music Conference, and Omaha Under the Radar, among others. She has received numerous accolades for her performances including, prizes at the Stockhausen Courses, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and New Music USA project grants. In 2017, she co-curated and co-organized the first multi-day festival of Galina Ustvolskaya’s music (Power In Sound) in the United States. She was previously a founding member of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom she received the 2012 Kranichstein Prize for Interpretation.
The most recent recording includes a disc of Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’s works for flute on NEOS, in addition to previous releases of the album Mobile with guitarist Jesse Langen, featuring world premiere recordings of music by Fredrick Gifford, and the album SORI featuring works by Kyong Mee Choi for instruments and electronics. Current recording projects also include a solo disc of works for her Kingma open-hole bass flute.
A passionate educator, Shanna is on faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, and maintains an active private studio in the Chicago area. She regularly presents workshops, masterclasses, and lessons around the world. Shanna performs on a Burkart flute and piccolo and Kingma bass and alto flutes.
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Melody Chua is a flutist, composer, sound engineer, and designer. She has a deep passion for the contemporary arts and seeks to expand the development of cross-disciplinary works through regular collaborations with composers and other artists.
Melody has performed across the nation and abroad - the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Chicago Cultural Center, Grolloo International Flute Seminar in the Netherlands, Project Trio Festival NYC, and the Chicago Academy for the Arts, among others. She recently premiered her own work “Selective Memory” for sensor-augmented flute, 4-channel electronics, and live-processed visuals at the Atlantic Music Festival Future Music Lab, a 4-week fellowship program and official collaboration with IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) Paris.
Melody graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a Thomas J. Smith full merit scholarship and as a Bronze Tablet Scholar and Chancellor’s Scholar in Flute Performance and Music Technology. During this time, she studied under Dr. Jonathan Keeble and contemporary flute with Shanna Gutierrez. Melody is a J. William Fulbright Scholar and Swiss Government Excellence Scholar at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) in classical and contemporary flute performance, with a concentration in electronic music composition. Melody is currently collaborating with composer Benjamin D. Whiting, flutist Matthias Ziegler, and the ZHdK Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology for the development of a sensor-augmented electroacoustic flute.
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