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Bloomingdale School of Music May Faculty Concerts Trios in Technicolor and Starmaker Machinery III: The Illogical Mixtape

May 13, 2022 - May 20, 2022

Bloomingdale School of Music presents two free faculty concerts in May at the David Greer Concert Hall, 323 West 108th Street, NYC. Trios in Technicolor will be presented on Friday, May 13, 2022 at 7pm. The evening will allow audiences to enjoy the rich range of hues produced by the violin, cello, and piano, featuring works that directly draw inspiration from the color palette. Performing are Molly Aronson on the cello, Olga Gurevich on the piano, and Claudia Schaer on the violin. The performance can be livestreamed at youtube.com/watch?v=Lu8vGFdqIKw.

On Friday, May 20, 2022 at 7pm, Bloomingdale School of Music will present Starmaker Machinery III: The Illogical Mixtape. The evening will feature jazz faculty member Mark Mollica on electric guitar, and his arrangements of familiar tunes put into the capable hands of his band of improvisers: Perry Smith on the guitar, Jesse Stacken on the piano, Dan Asher on bass, and Vinnie Sperazza on the drums. The performance can be livestreamed at youtube.com/watch?v=WCKt6Oktzjg.

For over 20 years Bloomingdale has presented its faculty, as well as guest artists, in concerts including classical music, jazz, and world music. This FREE concert series has established itself a vital part of the musical life of the Upper West Side. Visit bsmny.org/events/ for more information and to RSVP.

The program for Trios in Technicolor includes:

Greensleeves, for Piano Trio | Traditional, arr. Matt Riley
Pale Yellow | Jennifer Higdon 
Firey Red | Jennifer Higdon
La Vie en Rose | Edith Piaf
Song of the Black Swan | Heitor Villa Lobos
Sonata for Violin and Piano, mvt 2, “Blues” | Maurice Ravel
Silver Dagger | Stacy Garrup
White on White, Piano Etudes | Georg Ligeti
Variations for Solo Cello (World Premiere) | Spencer Snyder

The program for Starmaker Machinery III: The Illogical Mixtape includes: 

Side Effects | Taylor Goldsmith
It Makes No Difference | Robbie Robertson
Biological Speculation | Funkadelic
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) | David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth
How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore | Prince
Just Beneath the Surface | T.Goldsmith
Don’t Worry Be Happy | Bobby McFerrin

All individuals over the age of 5 are required to show proof of full vaccination (via NYS Excelsior Pass, NYC COVID Safe app, or vaccination card) each time entering performance and event spaces in the BSM building.

Molly Aronson (cello) New York City based cellist Molly Aronson is a player known for her “solidity and verve” (San Francisco Classical Voice). She enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and pedagogue. As a chamber musician, Molly has performed across the United States and internationally. Some highlight engagements include the Embassy Series, Savannah Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, Luzerne Festival Series, The DiBlasiis Series at the Hyde Museum, Chamber Players International, Chateau Festival in Paris and Berlin, Mohawk Trails Concerts, Interlochen Faculty Chamber Series, and at Carnegie Hall with both Amazonas and the Larchmont Chamber Players. Molly frequently plays with such ensembles as the Highline String Quartet, Klang Quartet, Ouluska Pass Chamber Ensemble, and has toured across the country with Eric Genuis’ Concerts for Hope, performing piano trio music in state prisons. 

Working with larger ensembles, she has been guest principal cello with the New York Chamber Players, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Glens Falls Symphony, Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, and performed with the cellos sections of the Savannah Philharmonic, Monteux Winter Festival Orchestra, Long Island Concert Orchestra, and New York Metamorphosis Ensemble. Molly has been a soloist with the Valley Winds, Holyoke Civic Symphony, Interlochen Arts Academy Choir, and a featured performer with the Opus One Chamber Orchestra, Purchase Symphony Orchestra, and New York Virtuosi Orchestra.

As a proponent of new music, Molly frequently premieres, performs, and records the works of contemporary composers. She has had the opportunity to work directly with numerous composers including Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec, Guggenheim Fellow Felipe Salles, Nicholas Virzi, Nick DiBernadino, Shelley Washington, Gemma Peacocke, Rob Deemer, Saad Hadad, Michael J. Vince, Matthew Recio, Spencer Snyder and Masatora Goya. Molly has performed on such series as Bargemusic: Here and Now, New York Composer’s Circle, Fordham University at Lincoln Center Concerts, the Composer’s Voice, Lex54 Concerts, Interlochen New Music Series, and was featured in The Crook of Your Arm as a performer and actor as a part of FRIGID, the NYC Winter Fringe Festival. She currently is working with the American Composer’s Alliance to record multiple works for string trio to be released in the 2022 season.

Not limited to the realm of classical music, Molly has performed with popular music artists such as the Eagles, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, 2Cellos, The Irish Tenors, Disturbed, Il Divo, and Celtic Thunder at venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, TD Garden, Mohegan Sun Arena, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and XL Center. She appeared with Vanessa Williams at Lincoln Center, the Songwriter’s Orchestra, played on Sessions at the Hempstead House jazz series. She has recorded on numerous independent popular music albums as well as on soundtracks for Warner Brothers, Sundance, and Moonshine films. 

Molly is currently on faculty at Bloomingdale School of Music, The St. Thomas Choir School, and maintains a large private studio in New York City. Her students have been admitted to the New York Youth Symphony and the Interschool Orchestras Symphony, NY All-State, and have won the Luzerne Music Center Concerto Competitions, Elite Music Competition, New York Concert Festival International Competition, and The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Concerto Competition. They have been accepted to music programs at Boston Conservatory, NYU, Purchase College Conservatory of Music, the Queens College – Aaron Copland School of Music, and SUNY Fredonia. She has taught as an adjunct cello instructor at SUNY Purchase, was a teaching artist with the InterSchool Orchestras, held faculty positions at Larchmont Music Academy, Luzerne Music Center, Interlochen Arts Camp (Teaching Fellowship), and was a chamber music coach for the New York State Summer School of the Arts – Orchestral Studies. 

Molly received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Master of Music from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Astrid Schween, Julia Lichten, and Eugene Moye.

Olga Gurevich (piano) Olga Gurevich is a concert pianist, chamber musician, and a piano teacher. She appeared at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y, the Symphony Space in NYC, concert venues in Europe. Olga has performed with Manhattan Symphonie, Richmond County Orchestra, among others, and with numerous chamber music ensembles. She is the principal accompanist for the Riverside Opera Company, and a pianist in residence for Silver Bay String Quartet. Olga Gurevich holds a DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Moscow, Russia. She teaches at the piano faculty of Bloomingdale School of Music and The Virtuoso Suzuki Academy in NYC.

Claudia Schaer (violin) is recognized for beautiful and insightful interpretations, alongside intriguing programming. Her recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partias for solo violin is hailed for its “elegant, light touch and lucid timbre … a wonderful performance” (Japan Bach Review) and unique “small softness at the beginning of the bowstroke” (American Record Guide). She is a versatile recitalist, chamber musician and soloist.
Claudia Schaer concertizes extensively throughout Europe and North America, including many all-solo-violin performances spanning the repertoire from Bach through Paganini, Ysaÿe, Bartók, Boulez, Honegger, Eckhardt-Grammaté, Peterson, Contreras, Semegen, Lifchitz, and Tower, among others.
An advocate of creativity in music, Claudia Schaer has inspired many composers to write for her. Last season, she gave debuts of concerti by Andrew Thomas, Winnie Yang, and Margarita Zelenaia, and she has given the New York, American, and world premières of countless other compositions, including Alexander Liebermann’s Après la pluie, the Lifchitz violin concerto, David Farrell’s Re-Callings, and Zosha di Castri’s La Forma dello Spazio. 
Other recent highlights include her Carnegie Hall Weill Recital debut, recital tours of Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, the USA, and China; chamber music performances in England (Prussia Cove), Denmark (Thy), France (Fontainebleau), and Italy (Barga, with Berlin Philharmonic members). In New York City, she performs as soloist and concertmaster of the North/South Chamber Ensemble, and is on faculty at the Mannes Preparatory Division and the Bloomingdale School of Music.
Claudia Schaer earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, working with Phillip Setzer, Ani Kavafian, and Pamela Frank, and writing about Varèse, Boulez, and the intersection of philosophy and music, under the mentorship of Judith Lochhead and Lydia Goehr. She earned Master’s and Bachelor degrees from the Juilliard School, where she was assistant to her teacher, Sally Thomas.

Dan Asher (bass) has been busy performing and teaching in the New York area since 2001. His active schedule has included performances at legendary venues such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Smalls and the 55 Bar, covering a wide range of music, mainly Rock, R&B, Jazz and everything in between. He works with numerous singers and songwriters, performing at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, and The Bowery Poetry Club, which showcase some of the greatest up-and-coming talent in New York City. As an in demand sideman, he performs regularly with artists such as Gabe Dixon, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and the Broadway Boys (including its new offshoot, Cruising Steady). A regular performer at the world famous Baz Bar in St. Barth, he has performed most recently with Jimmy Buffett as well as legendary keyboardists David Bryan and Jay Oliver. He currently lives in the Bronx and continues to rack up as busy a schedule as possible, wearing out brake pads, blowing head gaskets, napping at highway rest stops and somehow always coming to the conclusion that it’s all worth it.

Brooklyn-based Mark Mollica (electric guitar) sees the guitar as one of music’s widest ranging voices and brings that spirit to roles in jazz, rock, acoustic music, songwriting, arranging, composition, and production.  A Connecticut native, he learned primarily on the job with older musicians until a scholarship took him to the renowned guitar program at the USC Thornton School of Music to study with two of his musical idols, multiple Grammy-winning composer/arranger Vince Mendoza and jazz guitar giant Joe Diorio.  There, he earned a masters degree with top honors and the department award for outstanding graduate of 2005.  As composer and leader, his originals band and Star Maker Machinery project have received numerous concert grants and have featured some of jazz’s best emerging talent.  As a studio musician, he has a range across most mainstream guitar styles from electric soloist to orchestral music.  His sideman and creative roles reflect this diversity with collaborations in the singer-songwriter, jazz, and rock circuits, having co-written extensively with Kate Francis Hope, recording with chart-topper Donna Lewis, touring abroad and producing music for film with rocker Dylan Connor, appearing in recital with guitar great Gene Bertoncini, and otherwise enjoying the wide reach of the guitar.  His film credits include the award-winning documentary Little Ghandi and the feature film Adverse (feat. Sean Astin, Mickey Rourke, and Lou Diamond Philips), As a solo guitarist, he is primarily focused on jazz and standards, and a growing list of pieces for live loops.  A committed teacher, he is on the guitar faculty at Manhattan’s Bloomingdale School of Music, the Town School, Avenues, and Williamsburg Northside.  Prior, he has taught at USC, and was a clinician for the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles.  He also holds a degree in non-fiction writing, has published his work, hiked over 1,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail one spring, and enjoys nothing more than being outdoors with his family.

Perry Smith (guitar) combines the tradition of Jazz with broad influences from contemporary music to create his signature style. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Smith is now based in Brooklyn where he performs as a bandleader and as a sideman for local and touring artists. Smith’s extensive performance resume includes notable venues and festivals such as the Blue Note Jazz Club (NYC & Tokyo), Smalls Jazz Club (NYC), Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (NYC), Montreal Jazz Festival, Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Jazz a la Calle (Uruguay), Rochester Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Bay Area), The Blue Whale (LA), Philippine International Jazz Festival, The Healdsburg Guitar Festival and SFJazz. “Live dates often bring out the best not only in leaders, but in sidemen as well. That’s the case with this fine date by guitarist Perry Smith.” – Jim Motavalli, NYC Jazz Record.

Vinnie Sperazza (drums) is an active member of the Brooklyn jazz and creative music community. He leads several bands (including Apocryphal, Haunted, and Pilot House Overhead), writes music, and is a featured collaborator in a number of bands (including Landline, Hearing Things, and many others). In 2017, he released two widely-praised albums of his original compositions: Juxtaposition (Posi-Tone Records) and Hide Ye Idols (Loyal Label). In 2018, he toured the United States as a member of the MMDG Music Ensemble and did a brief tour of Spain with PLAY, featuring Jacob Sacks and bassist Masa Kamaguchi. In 2019, Sperrazza will tour extensively with Pepperlandand release three collaborative albums with The Choir Invisible (with Charlotte Greve and Chris Tordini), Trio Trio (featuring Dave Scott and Rich Perry), and Caleb Curtis/Noah Garabedian/Vinnie Sperrazza.

Jesse Stacken (piano), “one of the most impressive pianists and composers of his generation,” (NYC Jazz Record) is an artist of true integrity and imagination. He’s released 9 critically acclaimed records as a leader or co-leader on the Fresh Sound New Talent and Steeplechase labels. Since 2010, Stacken has been a pioneer in the art of conceptual home-recording blogging projects, utilizing the internet as a means for sharing his creative process with the people all over the world. Stacken grew up in Hopkins, MN, earned his bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and then earned his masters degree in Jazz Piano from the Manhattan School of Music, studying under Garry Dial. Stacken lives in Beacon, New York with his wife Akiko Sasaki, their daughter Miya, dog Minnie, and a flock of backyard hens. He and Sasaki run Forte Piano Studio, passing on the tradition and joy of piano playing to youth and adults. He was a teaching artist at Bloomingdale School of Music from 2008 until 2015. 

Founded in 1964, Bloomingdale School of Music is dedicated to the belief that music changes lives and everyone should have access to high-quality music education regardless of economic status, race, religion, ability level, or gender. Bloomingdale is a music-driven community center where all are welcome to join and learn about music from top faculty. We are dedicated to our mission – to make music education accessible to all who want to learn – and remain focused on supporting this mission through our values. www.bsmny.org/


May 13, 2022
May 20, 2022