Daniela Candillari

Daniela Candillari

Daniela Candillari, conductor

Daniela Candillari

A native of Slovenia, Daniela Candillari is rising to prominence as a conductor, composer, and pianist collaborating with preeminent artists around the world. A TED Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, her music has been described as “invigorating, revitalizing, and refreshing”. Ms. Candillari has conducted and collaborated in a wide range of disciplines with a strong focus on contemporary music. Engagements this season include her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut conducting Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers, as well as the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s chamber opera Acquanetta at the 2018 PROTOTYPE Festival featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

In 2015, she conducted the world premiere of Stefania de Kenessey’s opera Bonfire of the Vanities at Museo del Barrio in New York City and previously, she conducted workshops of Rachel Peters’ and Royce Vavrek’s opera Wild Beast of the Bungalow (Center for Contemporary Opera), Joshua Groffman’s opera Unfinished (Vital Opera), and selections from Hannah Lash’s opera Beowulf (OPERA America New Opera Showcase).

As an Assistant Conductor, Ms. Candillari has worked with noteworthy organizations such as OPERA America, Sarasota Opera, Chautauqua Opera Company, PROTOTYPE Festival, Trinity Wall Street, Manhattan School of Music Opera Department, Brevard Music Center and the Slovenian National Opera where she also served as Chorus Master and Principal Coach. She has worked with world-renowned conductors including George Manahan, Marko Letonja, Julian Wachner, and Steven Osgood. She works regularly with the European Opera Centre in collaboration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and will re-join them this season as Chief Repetiteur for Verdi’s Falstaff, starring Sir Bryn Terfel.

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Equally at home with symphonic repertoire, Ms. Candillari is the founder and Artistic Director of Gravity Shift, a New York based chamber orchestra. Reecently, she conducted the inaugural concerts for New York’s Millennium Chamber Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, and this season, she will lead the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia in a concert including Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3.

As a composer, Ms. Candillari has a deep love of storytelling through music and many of her compositions have been inspired by literature, including her most recent piece for solo piano, entitled Through the Looking-Glass, which she performed a selection from at the 2016 TED Summit in Banff, Canada. Her 2016 composition Extremely Close for bass trombone and piano, inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has been performed around the globe. Last season, Ms. Candillari was commissioned by bass trombonist Denson Paul Pollard (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) to write a work for the inaugural concert of the Lincoln Center Trombone Ensemble and by the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to write a song on the theme of spiritual ecology with poet Tanya Holtland, which will be premiered this November by mezzo-soprano Lucy Dhegrae.

Ms. Candillari finds inspiration from collaborations with artists whose work spans many artistic disciplines. In 2016, Ms. Candillari served as Music Director for Eve Ensler’s moving one-man play Extraordinary Measures at the Garrison Institute as part of the third Buddhist Contemplative Care Symposium. Currently, she is developing projects with the organization Fine Acts, French-Tunisian Street Artist eL Seed, and visual artist Joey Foster Ellis. In addition, she has been working with acclaimed jazz singer Alma Mićić on an album of newly arranged Serbian Folk Songs. Ms. Candillari and actress Kelli Ruttle produced a podcast called Music for the Prose, featuring original scores improvised to recitations of famous texts. Ms. Candillari’s compositions have been performed by musicians of Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cleveland Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and New York City Ballet.

As a collaborative pianist, Ms. Candillari has worked with world-class artists, including Sir Bryn Terfel, Dame Felicity Lott, Håkan Hagegård, Carol Vaness, Martina Arroyo, and Roger Vignoles. Ms. Candillari has recorded for NPR, Austrian Radio Broadcast Television, Slovenian National Radio and TV, and Serbian National TV.

Ms. Candillari holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she also served two years as a faculty vocal coach, and a Master of Music and Bachelor in Piano Performance from Universität für Musik in Graz.

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Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly, conductor

Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly’s 2016-17 season includes debuts with Opera Columbus and the Alexandria Symphony, song recitals with tenor Stanford Olsen, master classes at the University of Toronto, performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the University of Michigan, and her first audience of more than 100,000 people when the UM Marching Band welcomes her as a guest conductor.

Kathleen enjoys a wide-ranging and dynamic musical life as a pianist, opera coach, conductor, and master teacher. The first woman and first American named as Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2015 as that school’s first Coach/Conductor of Opera. There, she has led performances of Giulio Cesare, Gianni Schicchi, L’heure espagnole, and Cosi fan tutte.

Since her return to the US, Kathleen has led performances of Le nozze di Figaro at Wolf Trap, the premiere of Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady at Arizona Opera, and Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed Ariadne on Naxos at the Glimmerglass Festival; that production was a finalist in the 2015 International Opera Awards. She also conducted the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egyptstarring Frederica von Stade.

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Kathleen has performed internationally as a recital pianist: at Weill Hall, the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Musikverein and in the Mahlersaal of the Vienna State Opera, Manhattan’s Neue Galerie, on the Schwabacher Series in San Francisco, at the Tucson Desert Song Festival, and at numerous universities and colleges across the United States. Her recital partners have included Jamie Barton, Christine Goerke, Michael Kelly, Troy Cook, Amber Wagner, Susan Graham, Albina Shagimuratova, Valentina Nafornita, Joyce DiDonato, and Thomas Hampson. She has curated art song series for the Houston Grand Opera and the Vienna State Opera, and currently is co-artistic director of the SongFusion series in New York.

Kathleen has taught master classes all over the country, most recently at Arizona Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Castleton Festival, Arizona State University, Western Ontario University, Vanderbilt University, Rutgers University, and Baylor University. Kathleen is a regular guest coach for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz program, and works regularly with young artist programs nationally, notably at the Los Angeles Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and the Houston Grand Opera. While on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, she was the principal coach of the Butler Opera Center.

Kathleen Kelly was trained in the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera, after which she joined the house music staff as pianist, rehearsal conductor, and prompter. She was an assistant to James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera from 1997-2006, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss, and Berg. During that time, due to her success as a prompter and musical assistant, she was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article and a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast feature. From 2003-2008 Kathleen was also the Music Director of the Berkshire Opera, conducting two productions each summer and overseeing the young artist program.

Kathleen moved on at the invitation of Maestro Patrick Summers to become the music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio as well as that company’s Head of Music Staff from 2006-2010. Highlights of these years include conducting her own chamber music arrangement of Hansel und Gretelin remarkable production by Basil Twist, serving as pianist each year for the Eleanor McCollum competition, and curating the HGOS recital series at Rienzi.

At the Vienna State opera from 2010-2013, Kathleen oversaw the daily musical life of more the fifty ensemble singers in more than fifty operas, the world’s biggest and busiest season. At the Staatsoper she also curated a recital series in the house’s famous Mahlersaal, and served as the series’ principal pianist. She was the recitative accompanist for new productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, and assisted Maestro Franz Welser-Möst on new productions ofKat’a Kabanova and Z mrtvého domu.

Kathleen has also been notably associated with the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artist Program, the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College, the Seattle Opera, Opera Australia, and the Moscow Conservatory. Additionally, Kathleen is gaining recognition as a writer of articles, translations, and original texts. She has written lead program articles for Wolf Trap, Houston Grand Opera, and Arizona Opera. For the Arizona Lady performances, she created a new trilingual adaptation of the libretto. 2015 saw the premiere of Texanische Liebeslieder, a song cycle by David Hanlon for which she provided the text. Currently, she is creating a new English translation of Hänsel und Gretel for Tri-Cities Opera, and working on an original libretto.

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Craig Kier

Craig Kier

Craig Kier, conductor

Craig Kier

American Conductor Craig Kier has already received high praise for his “Tesla-like intensity” and “impeccable orchestral support” while leading performances around the world. In the fall of 2014, Maestro Kier become the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio where he has led productions including Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Blitzstein’s Regina and Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro. Recent engagements for Maestro Kier include his Arizona Opera debut with Madama Butterfuly, his debut at Wolf Trap Opera leading Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and a return to Opera Birmingham in La traviata. In 2017, he also makes his Opera Saratoga debut conducting Falstaff, and his Anchorage Opera debut with Don Pasquale. He also continues his relationship with Houston Ballet, leading their Nutcracker, which he has done since 2011.

For three seasons, Maestro Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During that time, he led dozens of performances including Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury and the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Bound. He also assisted on Otello, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Don Carlos, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor. Guest engagements include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Lost in the Stars at The Glimmerglass Festival, Hamlet with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Maestro Kier began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff and has also served on the music staffs of The Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Colorado and Des Moines Metro Opera.

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Benjamin Makino

Benjamin Makino

Benjamin Makino, conductor

Benjamin Makino

Conductor and Pianist Benjamin Makino is the current Music Director at Opera Memphis. Previously he was Assistant Conductor at the Long Beach Opera where he conducted that company’s highly praised productions of David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Michael Gordon’s Van Gogh as well as the U.S. premieres of Gavin Bryars’ The Paper Nautilus and Stewart Copeland’s Tell Tale Heart. He also led the U.S. professional premiere of Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth at the Los Angeles harbor.

In the current season, he leads Opera Memphis’ production of Le nozze di Figaro while playing continuo, and joins Memphis’ New Ballet Ensemble for their Nut ReMix, an adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker. Additionally, he acts as Music Director for Opera Memphis’ ground-breaking 30 Days of Opera festival and makes his debut at Skylight Music Theatre leading a production of Sondheim’s epic Sweeney Todd, directed by Matthew Ozawa.

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He has previously been a director of the New York based Orchestra INSONICA, and is the founder of the Blackbird Music Project, which presents rarely performed works of vocal chamber music in Orange County, California. Under his leadership the Blackbird Music Project collaborated in a multimedia performance of Pierrot Lunaire with photographer and artist Jeff LeFever, and produced performances of vocal works by Luciano Berio, Marc-André Dalbavie, Tōru  Takemitsu and Dmitri Shostakovich.

During the fall of 2012, Ben was the Music Director for Opera Memphis’ 30 Days of Opera, an innovative program of 30 days of free concerts around the greater Memphis metropolitan area, including performances at several local library branches, the Cooper Young Festival, Trolley Night and at various points along the route of The Color Run, in which he ran the 5km course, stopping to perform arias on a portable keyboard that he carried with him during the race.

Ben is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera where he was hand selected by Director Plácido Domingo. He made his main stage debut with that company conducting Hansel and Gretel at the historic Lincoln Theater. Other appearances with the WNO included a sold out run of performances of Così fan Tutte at the Washington National Opera Studio, and concerts at the Opera House of John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Music Center at Strathmore. He was the only U.S. citizen selected to participate in the 50th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors.

Ben completed studies at Chapman University and the University of California, Los Angeles and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. In 2014 he was identified by Opera America as a future leader in the field of Opera in the United States.

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Viswa Subbaraman

Viswa Subbaraman

Viswa Subbaraman, conductor

Beth Lytwynec

Internationally acclaimed American conductor, Viswa Subbaraman, is currently Artistic Advisor to the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee. During his tenure as Artistic and Music Director at the Skylight, he has expanded the company’s repertoire and placed it at the forefront of the industry in producing contemporary opera and reimaging traditional works. His most recent production was Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face, directed by Robin Guarino, which was declared “a triumph for Skylight’s artistic leader” (urbanmilwaukee.com) and he was praised for his “sublime control of this music, and the singers” (broadwayworld.com). Other highlights include Beethoven’s Fidelio, set in a Bollywood production, which he conducted and stage directed; the world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul’s Snow Dragon which traveled to Bangkok, Thailand; Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox; and acclaimed mountings of Puccini’s iconic Tosca and Rossini’s La Cenerentola, modified for Skylight’s unique, 200-seat Baroque theater. Recognition during his time at the Skylight include being selected by the Milwaukee Business Journal as one of Milwaukee’s 40 Under 40 for 2015, receiving an invitation to speak at INKTalks in India as a 2014 INK Fellow and being named by Dave Begel as one of Milwaukee’s 14 most influential people.

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In addition to his duties at the Skylight in the 2015-2016 season, Subbaraman makes his debut with the Opera Saratoga leading the American Premiere of Philip Glass’ The Witches of Venice and collaborates with Milwaukee Opera Theatre on a production of Missy Mazzoli’s Songs from the Uproar. In the 2016-2017 season, he will make his Fort Worth Opera debut in the World Premiere of Voir Dire.

Previous to his time with the Skylight, Subbaraman was the Artistic Director/Founder of Opera Vista, Houston’s innovative contemporary opera company. In his time with Opera Vista, Subbaraman was selected by the HoustonPress as a 100 Creatives 2012: one of the one hundred most creative people in Houston. Opera Vista and Subbaraman were also honored with the 2010 Mastermind Award from the HoustonPress for artistic creativity and innovative outreach.  Performance highlights during his tenure with Opera Vista include the world premiere of James Norman’s Wake…, the world premiere of Line Tjørnhøj’s Anorexia Sacra (marking Subbaraman’s stage directing debut), the Texas Premiere and historic New Orleans premiere of Amy Beach’s Cabildo, the world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul’s The Silent Prince, and the creation of the annual Vista Competition for new opera.

Equally comfortable in the orchestral realm as with opera, Subbaraman served as Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France where he assisted Kurt Masur and visiting guest conductors, including such distinguished artists as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, and Sir Colin Davis. Highlights of his tenure with the Orchestre National de France include the world premiere of the Overture du Roi Lear by Paul Dukas, a performance of the Stravinsky Octet with soloists of the orchestra in Paris’ famed Théatre des Champs-Elysées and the French premiere of the Symphony for Trombone and Orchestra by Ernst Bloch, which has been recorded and released under the title Tranquille through the districlassic label.   Subbaraman has been featured as a guest conductor of the Orchestre National de France, and he was invited to conduct a New Year’s Day concert with the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy.

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