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NEW LOCATION: Bronx Arts Ensemble and Composers Now Collaboration: Dialogues

July 13 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


The Lake House at Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course

Address:  115 Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY 10471


Join Bronx Arts Ensemble and Composer Now for a collaborative concert in the ‘Dialogues’ series.

Dialogues No. 13, hosted by Tania León, Founder and Artistic Director of Composers Now, celebrates composers Victoria Cheah, Susie Ibarra, and Kamala Sankaram. This event serves as a platform for meaningful exchanges of ideas among composers, performers, and audiences. Following the performances, there will be a town hall-style conversation. The event is also co-presented with Van Cortlandt Park Alliance.


Victoria Cheah

and for you castles for flute and electronics
Roberta Michel, flute

Susie Ibarra

Laktawan at Tumalon (Skip and Jump) for viola and kulintang gongs
Excerpt from Kolubri (Philippine Hummingbird) for solo percussion
Susie Ibarra, percussion
Daniel Louis Doña, viola

Kamala Sankaram

A Conjuring for Deborah Lipp for string trio
World Premiere, Bronx Arts Ensemble Commission
Sankarakam Trio

60 Words for string quartet
Jorge Avila, Violin
Sarah Franklin, Violin
Nikki Federman, Viola
Chris Santos, Cello

Victoria Cheah

Victoria Cheah is a composer whose work concerns boundaries, transitions, sustained effort, and intimacies within social-performance rituals. Her work has been commissioned and/or featured by ensembles and presenters including Talujon, Either/Or, Non-Event, Switch Ensemble, Line Upon Line, Rhythm Method, Roberta Michel, New Thread Quartet, Han Chen, andPlay, Yarn/Wire, Wavefield Ensemble, MATA Festival, Guerilla Opera, Ensemble Dal Niente, Vertixe Sonora, Marilyn Nonken, PRISM Quartet, and performed by others. Recordings of their music can be found on Dinzu Artefacts, New Focus Recordings, and XAS Records. Cheah currently serves as Assistant Professor of composition at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory, as well as Director of Production of Talea Ensemble. www.victoriacheah.com

Roberta Michel-photo by Manuela Rana

Brooklyn-based flutist Roberta Michel is dedicated to the music of our time. Praising her “extreme adventurousness,” New York Concert Review said she “riveted with her performance, inspiring one to want a repeated hearing.” Co-artistic Director of Wavefield and a member of PinkNoise and SEM Ensemble, Michel has also performed with: Art Ensemble of Chicago, Da Capo Chamber Players, Cadillac Moon Ensemble (founding member), Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ecce Ensemble, Portland String Quartet, Newspeak, Wet Ink Ensemble, Argento, Iktus, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Cygnus Ensemble among others. She can be heard on several recordings, including the GRAMMY-winning album of Dame Ethyl Smyth’s The Prison with Experiential Orchestra. Michel holds degrees from CU-Boulder, SUNY-Purchase College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. She currently teaches at St. Francis College, Brooklyn College, and Sarah Lawrence College.

Susie Ibarra

Susie Ibarra is a Filipinx composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her interdisciplinary practice includes composition, performance, mobile sound-mapping applications, multichannel audio installations, recording, and documentary. Among her many projects, she is the founder of Susie Ibarra Studio and, with artist-musician and engineer Jake Landau, the label and publisher Habitat Sounds. She works to support Indigenous and traditional music cultures, like musika katutubo from the Philippines, advocates for the stewardship of glaciers and freshwaters, and supports initiatives in addressing water and desert climate, and women and girls education with Joudour Sahara, Morocco. Ibarra leads several ensembles including Talking Gong Trio with Claire Chase and Alex Peh. She has recorded over 40 albums and performed in events and venues such as Carnegie Hall; the Olympics; and the Sharjah Biennial. New works include Parallels and Confluence: Bugang and Pasig Rivers for piano quintet commissioned for Arneis String Quartet, In Light of Water, Birds Take Flight for Participatory Orchestra commissioned by Día Museum with poet Jeffrey Yang, Sky Islands for extended Talking Gong Ensemble with Bergamot String Quartet commissioned by Fromm Music Foundation, Asia Society and NYSCA, , and Bird Souls: Score for Flying commissioned for the Bloodlines Interwoven Festival 2024 with Baryshnakov Arts Center. Her book Rhythm in Nature released in 2024, and recent honors include a 2024 DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program fellowship, for which she is based in Berlin, and 2024 Charles Ives Fellowship with the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2022 Music Fellow, United States Artists 2019 Music Fellow, TED Senior Fellow 2014, and NatGeo Explorers Storyteller 2020. Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha, Zildjian, and Vic Firth Drum Artist.

Daniel Louis Dona

Violist Daniel Louis Doña has distinguished himself as an active international performer and pedagogue. His collaborations with musicians from multiple traditions has led him to explore the beauty of a polystylistic musical space, gaining praise for being “especially at home in this harmonic world” (San Francisco Classical Voice). He serves on the viola faculty of the Boston University School of Music alongside his duties as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Coordinator of String Chamber Music. Daniel is also Co-Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute String Quartet Workshop. In addition to his teaching at BU, Dr. Doña serves on the faculty of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra Intensive Community Program. Equally at home as a researcher and scholar he regularly writes program notes for the Caramoor Center for the Arts and other concert presenters. His notes have gained praise for being “lucid and erudite” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). An avid chamber musician, he is a member of TriChrome, BiND Ensemble, Susie Ibarra’s Fragility Ensemble, and the critically acclaimed Arneis Quartet.

Kamala Sankaram

Praised as “one of the most exciting opera composers in the country” (The Washington Post), composer Kamala Sankaram moves freely between the worlds of experimental music and contemporary opera. Known for her work pushing the boundaries of the operatic form, she has created operas as varied as The Last Stand, a 10-hour opera created for the trees of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Looking at You, a techno-noir featuring live datamining of the audience and a chorus of 25 singing tablet computers, all decisions will be made by consensus, one of the first live performances over Zoom, and The Parksville Murders, the world’s first virtual reality opera. Recent commissions include works for the Glimmerglass Festival (where she was the 2022 Composer-in-Residence), Washington National Opera, the PROTOTYPE Festival, and Creative Time, among others. As a biracial Indian-American and trained sitarist, Kamala has also drawn on Indian classical music in many of her works, including Thumbprint, A Rose, Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers, and The Jungle Book. Select awards, grants and residencies include: Composer-in-Residence at the Kaufman Music Center, Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, HEREArtist Residency Program, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center.

Jorge Avila, violin

Honduran-born violinist Jorge Ávila has won consistent high praise from The New York Times through his many appearances as a soloist, concertmaster, recitalist, and chamber musician. A recipient of various awards and honors, Jorge received his Green Card under the “Extraordinary Talent” category, later becoming a US citizen. He was awarded first prize at the 2001 Mu Phi Epsilon Music Competition, and the Omar del Carlo Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Center. Jorge is concertmaster of the Ridgefield Symphony, DCINY and Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series, and is a longtime artist member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble. He has appeared as concertmaster with the Stamford, Westfield and Greenwich Symphonies.  In 2015 Jorge served as concertmaster of the orchestra appearing with His Holiness, Pope Francis, at a televised Mass held at Madison Square Garden.

Sarah Franklin - photo by Dario Acosta

Sarah Franklin, violin, has performed with Paul McCartney, Sarah McLachlan, and Skylar Grey. An orchestral performance specialist, Sarah takes the stage regularly at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera House. Ms. Franklin performs with American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, the New York Pops, and Albany Symphony, and has served as Principal Second Violin of Distinguished Concerts Orchestra (DCINY). In 2023 she made her Broadway debut playing for Camelot at Lincoln Center Theater. Film credits include Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle, Boy Erased (Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman), and Franny (Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning). Ms. Franklin earned her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music as a student of Curtis Macomber, and her Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Marilyn McDonald. Sarah taught for eleven years at Third Street Music School Settlement, and for nine years at the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center. She currently maintains a private lesson studio on the upper west side, where she resides with her husband and toddler.

Nikki Federman - viola

Violist Nikki Federman is an active performer and teacher in the New York City area.  A graduate of Manhattan School of Music’s Orchestral Performance Program, Nikki plays with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Oratorio Society, and American Symphony, among others.  Nikki also frequently performs on Broadway and records for major motion picture soundtracks.  Currently a viola and violin instructor at Riverdale Country School, Nikki maintains a large private teaching studio and has taught for numerous outreach programs throughout New York City.

Chris Santos - cello

Chris Santos began his cello studies at the age of five. Chris earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance studying under Peter Stumpf at Indiana University where he gave multiple recitals and played in numerous chamber groups. As a performer, Chris won the Woodstock Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor on January 11, 2020. Chris has also had experience playing chamber music with William Hudgins, the principal clarinetist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, Chris has taught privately for about two years now and has also had some experience teaching group lessons at the Paterson Music Project in New Jersey. He has taught sectionals for New Jersey Youth Symphony as well as being a cello instructor for their summer camp. Chris previously studied with Peter Stumpf, Madeleine Golz and has had numerous lessons/coachings with Julia Lichten, Tommy Mesa, and Mark Holloway of the Pacifica Quartet.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Council and District 11 Councilmember Eric Dinowitz.


July 13
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Bronx Arts Ensemble


Van Cortlandt House Museum Lawn
6036 Broadway, Van Cortlandt Park
Bronx, NY 10471 United States
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