Daniela Candillari

Daniela Candillari

Daniela Candillari, conductor

Daniela Candillari

Daniela Candillari is a sought after conductor, pianist and composer having worked with preeminent artists throughout Europe and the United States. A native of Slovenia, she served the Slovenian National Opera as Assistant Conductor, Principal Coach, and Head Coach for over twenty productions. Ms. Candillari has served as Assistant Conductor for the European Opera Centere with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Sarasota Opera, and led dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s production of Giovanni Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. As a collaborative pianist she performed at Carnegie Hall with Julian Wachner and Novus NY and has worked with artists including Byrn Terfel, Dame Felicity Lott, Håkan Hagegård, Carol Vaness, Martina Arroyo, Roger Vignoles, Dominic Argento, William Bolcom, and Vasiliy Petrenko. Ms. Candillari is also the founder and Artistic Director of Gravity Shift, a New York based chamber orchestra, and has recorded for National Public Radio, Austrian Radio Broadcast Television, Slovenian National Radio and TV, and Serbian National TV.

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Ms. Candillari’s 2015-16 season included conducting the world premiere of Stefania de Kenessey’s opera Bonfire of the Vanities at Museo del Barrio in New York City and leading a performance of Hannah Lash’s Beowulf at OPERA America’s New Opera Showcase with members of Novus NY. Additional activities include leading a workshop of Rachel Peters’ and Royce Vavrek’s opera Wild Beast of the Bungalow for the Center for Contemporary Opera and serving as the Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master for the Opera Department at New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music. On the concert stage, she will lead New York’s Millennium Chamber Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium. In the spring, Ms. Candillari premiered a new composition, Extremely Close, for bass trombone and piano at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. In the summer, she was featured performer at TEDSummit in Banff, Alberta. In the current season, Ms. Candillari returns to the music staff at Manhattan School of Music and was invited to present at a TED conference Mumbai, India.

Previous engagements include concerts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and serving as Assistant Conductor/Coach at Brevard Music Center, at International Vocal Arts Institute, and at Lidal North, located in Oslo, Norway. From 2007 – 2009 she served on the opera faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she worked on productions including Massenet’s Cendrillon, Bolcom’s A Wedding, Floyd’s Susannah, Les contes d’Hoffmann, La traviata, L’amour des trois oranges, and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. Additional duties included serving as Music Director for IU’s Opera Workshop program.

Equally at home in other genres, Ms. Candillari served as Music Director of The Act at 54 Below in Manhattan and has performed with JP Jofre Hard Tango Chamber Band throughout the United States. Currently, she is working on a project of Serbian Folk Songs with acclaimed jazz singer Alma Micic.

Ms. Candillari is the recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and a TED Fellowship. She is the first musician from Slovenia to win a Fulbright Scholarship and 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, a Master of Music and a 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

Emerging American Conductor Craig Kier has already received high praise for his “Tesla-like intensity” and “impeccable orchestral support” while leading performances throughout the United States and on international stages. In the 2014-2015 season, Maestro Kier become the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music. Productions since the beginning of his tenure have included Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Blitzstein’s Regina and Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro.

In the 2015 – 2016 season, guest engagements for Maestro Kier included his debut with Wolf Trap Opera leading Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and a return to Opera Birmingham for La traviata. He also continued he longstanding relationship with Houston Ballet, leading performances of The Nutcraker, which he has done since 2011. Engagements in the upcoming 2016-2017 season include Madama Butterfly in his debut at Arizona Opera, his debut with Opera Saratoga leading Verdi’s Falstaff, and performances of The Nutcracker with Houston Ballet. As Director of the Maryland Opera Studio, he will lead productions of The Rape of Lucretia, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

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From 2010 – 2013, Maestro Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During his time with the company 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 productions of Otello, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Don Carlos, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Guest engagements for Maestro Kier include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars at Glimmerglass Festival, Thomas’ Hamlet with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. In the summer of 2013 he served as Assistant Conductor on The Santa Fe Opera’s production of la donna del lago starring Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee.

Maestro Kier began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant Conductor, Coach/Accompanist, and Chorus Master. He has since 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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