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Cortona Contemporary Music Festival 2005
Cortona, Italy 18-25 June, 2005

Piano, Violin, and Guitar. Three instruments whose individual heritage and development have undeniably shaped the formation of Italian musical culture over the past five hundred years. Repertoire abounds for duo combinations of violin/piano and violin/guitar; but for a handful of composers, virtually no one has harnessed the resources of all three instruments in a trio setting. The 21st century stands ready to embark on a new chapter in the annals of Italian music. The Cortona Contemporary Music Festival aims to bring composers and instrumentalists together in the creation of a new body of work for this exciting and unique trio combination. Performers will have the opportunity to perform new music in solo, duo (guitar with violin or piano) and trio settings. Since many of these works are being commissioned for this festival, most performers will have the chance to give the world premiere of at least one piece. In addition to solo and chamber master classes with festival faculty, guitarists will also work in coaching sessions with composers.

Program of Study

Selected participants will receive scores by mail at least one month prior to the festival. Guitarists will be assigned to a minimum of one chamber group. Depending on level of ability, guitarists may be assigned additional chamber groups, and/or given a solo work to prepare. Daily schedule to include:
- Chamber coaching sessions with composers and festival faculty
- Minimum of two hours practice/rehearsal time
- Faculty/Student Concerts

Even though the primary focus of the festival is chamber music, guitarists will have the following opportunities to work on solo performance skills:
- Guitar masterclass with faculty guitarist Matthew Gould
- Private lesson with faculty guitarist Matthew Gould
- Option of performing on Festival Solo Recital

- Workshops addressing the guitar and related contemporary performance issues
Guitarists should prepare one major solo of their choice from the 20th century; additional repertoire from other periods may also be studied, depending on instructor?s discretion, and time constraints.

About the Trio: Since its formation in 2002 at Eastern Mediterranean University, faculty members Nathanael May - piano, Beth Schneider - violin, and Matthew Gould - guitar, have more than doubled the extant work for this unique ensemble through commissions of over a dozen emerging composers. This unusual combination of piano, violin, and guitar has garnered the interest of composers (whose imaginations are piqued by challenges of instrumentation and voicing) and audiences (who delight in the orchestral nature of our sound). The trio specializes in a wide array of works embracing the spectrum of modern music; from atonal to the neo-tonality of recent years.

"Duo46 is all about breaking boundaries - emotional, harmonic, rhythmic and textural. Guitarist Matt Gould and Violinist Beth Schneider are musicians of rare sensitivity, unforced reflexivity and effortless virtuosity." Since 1994, the American ensemble Duo46 has established itself as an important advocate of contemporary art music with over 70 commissioned and dedicated works, two critically acclaimed recordings, numerous premiere performances on three continents, and appearances at international music festivals and venues of international importance; most recently the Styria Chamber Music Festival in Austria and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Recognized as innovative educators, Duo46 has been a visiting resident ensemble at Harvard University in Cambridge, University of Florida in Gainesville, University of Minnesota in Duluth, University of Nebraska in Kearney, Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and in February 2005, Florida State University.

Since the release of the group's debut recording, the Detroit Free Press has described their performance of new music as "cutting edge" by the Cincinnati Enquirer and "deftly balanced and articulated". Their second recording features new American works commissioned by Duo46. Strad Magazine noted: "The pair flaunt their gift for the most spontaneous and fresh delivery from the outset... the works commissioned for the disc are so varied, inventive and enjoyable, and they are performed with such commitment and flair." Recent recordings include a trio by John Carollo with pianist Nathanael May, a trio by Karl Korte with cellist Erich Huetter; current recording projects include a large-scale work by Jorge Liderman partially funded by the Guggenheim Foundation and a complete CD of the Music of John Carollo; future recordings include "Fancyworks" commissioned for Duo46 by the Barlow Foundation at Brigham Young University on behalf of the composer Geoffrey Gordon and "New Set" by Daniel Asia.

At home in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Matt and Beth are on faculty in the Department of Music of Eastern Mediterranean University. Beth Ilana, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a graduate of Indiana University and University of Arizona. Her teachers have included Linda Cerone, Victor Danchenko, Eugene Gratovich, Mark Rush, Alberta Schneider, Nelli Shkolnikova and Andreas Reiner. Matt Gould is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University with Manuel Barrueco and Ray Chester, his Master of Music degree from University of Arizona with Tom Patterson, and a Doctorate of Music degree in Chamber Music at Arizona State University with Frank Koonce. After one decade of passionate playing and pioneering programming, Duo46 enjoys a consummate mastery of their instruments having emerged as a "distinctly modern duo" with an "imaginative drive and inspiration." -- Gramophone please visit

Nathanael May is a pianist with a penchant for contemporary music, having premiered over a dozen solo and chamber pieces for piano within the past three years. Performances of 2004 include solo and chamber recitals at Harvard University and the University of Florida; the Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival and the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Summer Piano Institute; and the world premiere of Epigrams (book I) for piano by Karl Korte - gold medal winner in the 1969 Queen Elisabeth International Competition for Composition. International performances include recitals in Turkey and Cyprus, with upcoming concerts in Italy and Venezuela. Past appearances in the United States featured a live recital broadcast on National Public Radio affiliate 88.7WBFO FM, and performances at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Chautauqua Institution, and numerous universities and secondary schools throughout America.

An accomplished chamber musician, Nathanael is the resident pianist for the critically acclaimed violin and guitar ensemble, Duo46. The trio has commissioned over a dozen emerging American composers for pieces which will be featured on their forthcoming debut CD, slated for release in 2006. To date, the trio has more than doubled the extant repertoire for this unique ensemble. Together with his wife, pianist Michelle Rautmann, Nathanael also enjoys bringing to light much of the neglected repertoire of works for piano four-hands and two-pianos.

Nathanael is currently a Senior Lecturer of Piano in the Department of Music at Eastern Mediterranean University, located in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. His piano studio is comprised of students from China, Turkey, Iran, and Cyprus. In addition to his work at EMU, Nathanael has conducted masterclasses at the Bursa State Conservatory of Uludag University (Turkey), the University of Florida, Wisconsin Lutheran College, the MacDowell Music Club, Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival, and the Summer Piano Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has previously taught at the Eastman School of Music, Interlochen Arts Camp, the Chautauqua Institution, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, and Lake Country Conservatory. Mr. May holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Performance Opportunities

All participants will perform on the Chamber Music Concert, held at the close of the week. Participants may also perform a solo work of their choice on the Solo Recital Night, in addition to a public masterclass given during the week. Depending on the number of participants, additional performances and venues may be announced.

How to Apply

Cortona Contemporary Music Festival encourages applications from musicians of all levels, ages 18 and over. For information concerning enrollment, travel, and lodging, please visit:

Each applicant must submit an audition by tape or CD demonstrating current level of ability. For questions concerning audition guidelines and submission, please email: