Guest Artists


Mark Hagerty studied trumpet, voice, and composition at Oberlin Conservatory (B. Mus.), and composition at Brandeis University (special invitation, non-degree study). Early in his career he was awarded the prestigious Joseph H. Bearns Prize from Columbia University for his String Quartet: Formations and was invited by eminent composer-conductor Jacques-Louis Monod to have his works published by the Association for the Promotion of New Music. In 2008 he received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts for The Realm of Possibility, a large, multi-movement piano work of flexible form premiered in Turin by composer-pianist Curt Cacioppo and recorded on a CD of the same name. His long collaboration with harpsichordist Tracy Richardson has led to a significant body of work, including Three Clavier Books; the keyboard suite After Duchamp; Context for alto flute and harpsichord; and four substantial works for the baroque/new music ensemble Mélomanie. His 15-year collaboration with the late Brazilian composer Sergio Roberto de Oliveira resulted in two recordings—the percussion-centric Luminosidade (Luminosity) and a collection of duos for cellos and piano, Pares (Pairs). Hagerty’s music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, across the US, and around the world, notably in China, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Brazil, and Iceland. With numerous chamber, keyboard, and vocal works to his credit, he is now concentrating on works for larger forces and investigating the melding of sound sculpture with more intimate musical expression. Having lived and composed in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York State, and the Netherlands, he now resides in Delaware. Inspirations include science and nature, the poetry of Wallace Stevens, backpacking in Vermont’s Green Mountains, the art music of India, and his two favorite cities, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro.


New York City composer Bonnie McAlvin’s works have been performed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, world champion rag-time pianist William McNally, and the fierce advocate for piccolo repertoire, Christine Beardsley.  Ms. McAlvin’s film score, “My First Kiss and the People Involved” premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it was the top pick of the festival for the LA Daily News and CriterionCast; the score received a grade of ‘excellent’ from The Hollywood Reporter, and the film won screenings, critics’ awards, and audience awards in five American cities last season, including Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Woodstock, and Ashland, Oregon.


Chris Braddock is very honored to have completed his fifth piece for Mélomanie.  His work can be heard on the group’s Florescence CD, as well as the Winterthur Museum’s Playing in the Garden, and his own duo’s debut recording, Dead Reckoning.  Chris is a past recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship in music composition from the Delaware Division of the Arts, as well as a DDOA Opportunity Grant.  He performs as a soloist and with several area ensembles, including Second Opinion with Paul Boris, Pegasus Trio with Mindy Bowman and Jeanmarie Braddock, and Mosaic String Duo with Douglas Seth.  Chris studied with Christiaan Taggart and received his classical guitar performance degree from the University of Delaware.  An instructor at The Music School of Delaware since 1996, he serves as master faculty and head of the Guitar and Studio Departments, as well as coordinator for the Cultural Crossroads Series and director of four student ensembles.


Christina J. George is a composer and flutist from rural New Jersey. She currently studies composition with Robert Maggio and flute with Kimberly Reighley at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her music is deeply rooted in her upbringing – a fusion of the organic quality of nature and the decidedly nonorganic quality of rock concerts. She believes in the healing power of art and sees creativity as a perpetual journey of self-discovery.

Christina was a winner of the West Chester University Wind Symphony Composition Competition; the ensemble premiered her work it is, it is, it is what is in December 2018. In 2020, the North Jersey Area Symphonic Band will premiere her second work for wind band. Christina has performed with the West Chester University Wind Ensemble at the CBDNA National Conference and the New York Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed with the Criterions Jazz Ensemble under the direction of guest artist Maria Schneider. In 2019, Christina attended Amy Porter’s Anatomy of Sound Workshop at the University of Michigan and the Nief-Norf Summer Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she worked with guest composers Alexandre Lunsqui and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

Christina loves the color blue, common loons, the smell of pine forests, Laura Marling, one-legged king pigeon pose, and the sound of a rain storm coming across a lake in the middle of the night.


Bassoonist/composer Chuck Holdeman is a native of the musical town of Oberlin, Ohio; he came to Philadelphia after high school and graduated from Curtis in 1968, a student of Sol Schoenbach. He has has performed for many organizations over the years, including a resident wind quintet at University of Delaware in the 70’s, the Delaware Symphony from which he retired in 2009, and currently Philadelphia’s new music group Relâche, and the Bach Festival of Bethlehem where he began playing in 1969. As a composer he has written music for all the above-named organizations, including his second opera Young Meister Bach, produced in Bethlehem and Philadelphia in 2014. Other compositional highlights include the oboe concerto he wrote for Richard Woodhams in 2006, and eight songs, settings of poems by W. S. Merwin who attended the premiere in Texas in 2008. Three more Merwin songs were premiered at the German Society of Pennsylvania on February 18, 2018. August 31, 2018 saw the premieres of two works for bassoons, Stravinsky Variations and Berlioz’ Rat, in Granada, Spain for the International Double Reed Society. Settings of 8 poems by Jeffrey Harrison were premiered in March, 2019 by baritone Grant Youngblood and the Pyxis Piano Quartet. Current projects include a new opera for young audiences, Yorgie Yorgensen, the Pop Cycle, and the Sausage Bassoon, and a new work for violinist Luigi Mazzocchi, co-sponsored by Orchestra 2001.


Ingrid Arauco’s music “opens virtuosity to an inspection that reveals wit, passion, and deep aspiration” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).  Arauco’s principal teachers were Robert Hall Lewis at Goucher College, and George Crumb, George Rochberg, Richard Wernick, and C. Jane Wilkinson at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has received awards or fellowships from the American Guild of Organists, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony, and commissions from the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Kindler Foundation in the Library of Congress.  Her works have been performed by the Ying and Colorado Quartets, Network for New Music, Third Sound, and the Atlanta Symphony, among other distinguished musical organizations, and featured at Oundle International Organ Week and the Havana Contemporary Music Festival.  Recordings include the solo albums Invocation and Vistas (Albany); individual works are featured on ExcursionsFlorescenceMillennium Crossings, and New Music for Oboe.  Ingrid Arauco has taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is currently Professor of Music at Haverford College.


Kimia Jamshid was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She began learning Tanbour at the age of 7 and Tar at the age of 9 from Master Keykhosro Pournazeri and later began working on new techniques on Tanbour with Sohrab Pournazeri. The Pournazeris are considered the most important contributors to the music of Tanbour and have set new boundaries on the music of Iran. In 2008, Kimia moved to the US and in October of that year, she performed with Shams Ensemble and the Pournazeris at the age of twelve for their first American tour in the US and again in 2013 and 2016 for their concerts in Tehran. Her most recent performance with Shams was in September of 2018 with the world-renowned singer, Homayoun Shajarian in the Konya Mystic Music Festival for Rumi’s birthday. Kimia began learning the cello at the age of 13 and was accepted into one of the finest art schools in the country, Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC. Alongside her school’s string quartet, she had the pleasure of performing for First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for different occasions. Among her orchestra performances in high school are concerts with Earth, Wind, and Fire in 2010 and Sting in 2014. In the summer of 2015, she was accepted into the first Silkroad Global Music Workshop where she was able to perform alongside Silkroad Ensemble members and collaborated with musicians from all over the world. Kimia attended the University of Delaware where she studied cello performance with Dr. Lawrence Stomberg and was an active member of the university’s orchestra and chamber ensembles. In January of 2016, she was accepted into the university’s study abroad program in London where she studied the history of London symphonies and also learned about the art of film music. She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Music degree. Kimia concluded her college orchestra career with an international tour to China where the orchestra had the opportunity to perform in prestigious concert halls of five cities in that country.


Liduino Pitombeira (Brazil,1962) is professor of Composition at the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in Brazil. His music has been performed by The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet (Germany), The Louisiana Sinfonietta, Red Stick Saxophone Quartet, New York University New Music Trio, Orquestra Sinfônica do Espírito Santo (Brazil), Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), Duo Barrenechea (Brazil), The Alexander-Soares Duo, Orchestra Sinfônica de Ribeirão Preto (Brazil), Orquestra Sinfônica da Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), The Chicago Philharmonic, and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Brazil). He has received many composition awards in Brazil and the USA, including the first prize in the 1998 Camargo Guarnieri Composition Competition and the first prize in the “Sinfonia dos 500 Anos” Composition Contest. He also received the 2003 MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year Award for his piece “Brazilian Landscapes No. 1”. Three more pieces of his series Brazilian Landscapes (No. 2, No. 6, and No. 9) were awarded first prizes in the USA. In 2019 he was awarded the Villa-Lobos Medal by the Brazilian Academy of Music. Dr. Pitombeira received his PhD in composition from the Louisiana State University, where he studied with Dinos Constantinides. He is a member of Society of Composers Inc. and Associação de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Música (ANPPOM). He has published many scientific articles on composition and theory and developed research as a member of the MusMat Research Group of the UFRJ. His pieces are published by Edition Peters, Bella Musica, Criadores do Brasil (OSESP), Conners, Alry, RioArte, and Irmãos Vitale. Recordings of his works were made by Magni, Summit, Centaur, Antes, Filarmonika, Blue Griffin, and Bis labels.


Described as “one of the most interesting composers of her generation” Nina Siniakova is active as a composer, pianist, and producer. A Doctor of Musical Arts, she received her education at Minsk Glinka Music College, St-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and Musikhochschule Cologne. Beside music she also studied acting professionally.

Nina Siniakova is a winner of First prize and People’s Choice Award at Petrov Symphony Music Composers’ competition in St. Petersburg for  her Concerto For Two Violins and Orchestra . Other awards include Special Stipend of The Industrial Building Bank St. Petersburg (as one of the best conservatory’s students), Grant of the St. Petersburg government “Muses of St. Petersburg” and a Stipend of DAAD (German Foreign Exchange Service). She is a winner of a Melodia Women’s Choir NYC commission competition. In the season 2014/2015, she was a composer-in-residence at Flushing Town Hall, Queens through Exploring The Metropolis program NYC.

Siniakova’s music has been regularly performed in East and West Europe, Japan, and in the United States. Her compositions have been featured at St.Petersburg Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall Weill Recital hall, Symphony Space New York, Harvard University, Flushing Town Hall , WQXR New York radio station, as well as Saint-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov, Moscow Tchaikovsky and Belarus Conservatory. Articles and research papers about Siniakova’s music have been written by musicologists in Russia and Belarus.

Nina Siniakova is an actively performing concert pianist. She has appeared  at such venues as Chamber Music Hall of St- Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow Conservatory, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, the United Nations,  Zink Jazz Club in New York and many others. Siniakova’s performances inspired distinguished Russian composers Boris Tischenko and Gennady Banschikov to write and dedicate their piano pieces to her.

Talented accompanist, Nina Siniakova has worked as a pianist at Cologne Academy of Music and Dance, New York City Ballet, Juilliard School and Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia.