The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)

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On the travel schedule, both the United States and Mexico will be featured. Their profound artistry […]. Their profound artistry speaks of their life-long partnership and performance career. Officially recognized in Carnegie Hall with a 1st prize win at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, the duo soon earned rave reviews in The New York Times for their exciting and technically flawless performances. Eli Eban was appointed principal clarinetist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Lukas Foss immediately after graduating from the Curtis […].

Eli Eban was appointed principal clarinetist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Lukas Foss immediately after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music and shortly thereafter he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the invitation of Zubin Mehta.

He tours extensively as a chamber musician, collaborating with renowned artists and ensembles. He has been guest artist with the Alexander, Audubon, Orion, St. He has also recorded for the Saphir, Crystal and Naxos labels. He divides his time between teaching at the Jacobs School of Music, touring as a soloist and chamber musician, and performing as the principal clarinetist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

His summers are spent performing and teaching at the Sarasota Music Festival and playing principal clarinet in the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She has also been […]. She has also been a faculty member of the Brevard Music Center since Previously, Ms. As co-founder and former violist of the Cavani String Quartet, Ms. Eckert performed on major concert series worldwide, garnered an impressive list of awards and prizes, including first prizes at both the Walter W.

In recent seasons, Ms. He is a long time advocate for music in public and inner city schools, and has worked toward the development of new constituencies with symphony boards and foundations. He has given countless workshops, clinics and performances in schools and community centers across the country. He served as Principal Cello of the Vancouver Symphony. Recently he served as guest conductor for the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra in a critically acclaimed concert in Carnegie Hall. Regarded as one of the leading cello teachers, his students hold prominent positions in major symphony orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony.

Ledah Finck moves fluidly through worlds as a musician, performing her own compositions and appearing frequently around Baltimore and beyond […]. Ledah Finck moves fluidly through worlds as a musician, performing her own compositions and appearing frequently around Baltimore and beyond as a classical soloist and chamber musician, fiddle and jazz player, and improviser.

In she took grand prize in the collegiate division of the University of Delaware International Strings Competition, and was a soloist in with the Durham Symphony. She also is a co-creator of the Bergamot Quartet, a string quartet that plays the music of living composers. Drawing from her versatile musical interests and training, she has written prolifically for primarily small ensembles, including duos, trios, and quartets. Van Hulsteyn Award in Strings. He has performed an extensive repertoire of over 60 concertos, including the complete cycle of Mozart concertos.

As a chamber musician, he enjoys many long-standing collaborations with musicians such as David Geringas, Ulf Hoelscher, and the Mandelring and Emperor Quartets, performing in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, Japan and Korea. He has also in recent years embarked on performances as a conductor, in which role he has developed a close relationship with the Israel Chamber Orchestra.

In he collaborated in the preparation of the present editions of Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Cello published by Henle Verlag, Munich. He holds an annual summer masterclass at the Accademia di Cervo, Italy, and further masterclasses around the world. He has served on the juries of international piano competitions, including at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Violinist Christine Frank has been a member of the Pacific Symphony since She is also a member of the […]. She enjoys a variety of handicrafts including beadwork and fiber arts, and is often seen knitting backstage at Segerstrom Hall.

Since , Mr. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. He has subsequently been invited to serve as a judge in both theQueen Elisabeth and the Japan National Music Competitions. Fujiwara is a prominent music educator who has served on thefaculties of the Juilliard School , the Manhattan School ofMusic , and the University of Michigan School of Music She has participated in numerous first performances of contemporary music, and has presented solo recitals across the country, on radio and television. Her viola playing has been heard on countless records, films and television shows.

Her articles on the application of scholarly research to performance style have appeared in many journals. Golub was born in Chicago, Illinois, but moved with his family to Richardson, Texas when he was five years old. Following study with Dallas teachers Betty Lief Sims and Alexander Uninsky, Golub entered the Juilliard School, where he studied with Beveridge Webster, at age 18; parental concerns had prevented his acceptance of a scholarship offered four years earlier.

Golub soon began what would be a series of well-respected chamber music partnerships by teaming with cellist Leonard Rose. Rose, in turn, introduced Golub to violinist Isaac Stern; in , the two received considerable international attention as the first major Western musicians to undertake an extended recital tour of China after the Cultural Revolution.

The resultant film, From Mao to Mozart, won the Academy Award for best full-length documentary in Not long thereafter, Golub, violinist Mark Kaplan, and cellist Colin Carr formed the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, a well-respected and extensively-recorded chamber group, which won the AFIM Indie award for best classical ensemble in in honor of its recording of Smetana and Tchaikowsky piano trios on the Arabesque label. Among the organizations for which he served in that capacity were the Padua Chamber Orchestra, with which he toured the United States in , and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

He died of lung cancer in Milan, Italy, aged Since then she has been continually invited to perform solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts throughout the United States and in Europe, and, in the process, has earned consistent praise for her artistic fire, for her fluid and unpretentious technique, and for the lyrical honesty and generosity of her playing. Born in Odessa Ukraine and raised in Kazakhstan, Gorenman began studying with her late mother, Svetlana Gorenman, an outstanding musician in her own right.

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Gorenman continued to shape her performance style while attending the St. Petersburg Conservatory. While still a student, she performed throughout the former Soviet Union. When Gorenman earned her laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, she characteristically did so while on a precipice, as an artist between worlds, an emigre from the Soviet Union still weeks shy of her American citizenship.

Schooled in two musical traditions but wholly defined by neither, Gorenman has since freely but carefully drawn on both heritages in performances of the masterworks of the twentieth century, romantic, classical, and baroque repertoire that have stirred audiences worldwide. After leaving the former Soviet Union, Gorenman earned a steady procession of awards and honors.

Also at Tanglewood Gorenman gave a joint concert with Billy Joel, performing his classical concert works, which she also arranged. The concert was broadcast nationally on NPR. Gorenman has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders, and many other orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout the world. Hailed as one of the most exciting Beethoven interpreters of her generation, Gorenman has recorded all of the Beethoven concerti live.

Her sold-out performances of all the Beethoven piano sonatas were critically acclaimed. She also holds the position of […]. She also holds the position of assistant concertmaster of the Long Beach Symphony. She is an active studio musician, but her greatest interest is in playing chamber music. As a chamber musician, she has been performing every summer since at the Sitka Chamber Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska. For a number of years she was a member of Southwest Chamber Music, playing many premieres of contemporary chamber music and recording a number of CDs.

She has also been an artist faculty member at the Music Fest Aberystwyth in Wales. Agnes is originally from West Berlin, Germany, where she started playing the violin at age 6. Clive Greensmith, cellist, has been a member of the Tokyo Quartet since A graduate of the Royal Northern College […].

She has taught woodwinds and […]. Now located back in Victoria, BC, she is establishing the Greenwood Music Studio which specializes in woodwind instruction. As a doubler, she has played in musical theater productions, and as a solo saxophonist, she has performed with orchestras in Canada and the US. She is also an active member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, performing at numerous national and regional conferences.

With an interest in the history of saxophone, Dr. Greenwood recovered much of the music written for saxophone by Louis Mayeur , one of the first virtuosos of the instrument. The Grande Fantaisie sur Norma de Bellini is the first available edition. Pianist Janet Goodman Guggenheim has given recitals throughout the world both as soloist and collaborative artist, performing with such illustrious […]. Pianist Janet Goodman Guggenheim has given recitals throughout the world both as soloist and collaborative artist, performing with such illustrious musicians as violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, bassist Gary Karr, flutist Ransom Wilson, and cellists Pierre Fournier and Matt Haimovitz.

Guggenheim made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 16 under the baton of Arthur Fiedler, and she has since performed with the orchestra on its subscription series. Her current CD releases include the complete cello and piano works of Rachmaninoff with cellist Michael Grebanier Naxos. She has been on the music faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. She resides in Portland, Oregon. Prior […]. Prior to coming to Atlanta, he served for three seasons as Principal Clarinetist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

An active presenter of new music, he has performed and recorded with the contemporary group Luna Nova and with the Atlanta-based ensembles Thamyris and Bent Frequency. He is also a founding member of the Georgia Tech-based new music group Sonic Generator, which specializes in the intersection of music and technology, and has performed with the Atlanta, Riverside and Georgian Chamber Players, the Atlanta Winds and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Tong-Il Han has performed with many of the finest orchestras around the world such as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago […].

In Seoul he now mentors highly accomplished young pianists and is a long-time adjudicator at international piano competitions. His compositions have been published worldwide.

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He has an extensive solo and […]. Both […]. Both through the Beethoven Festival and as guest artist at other festivals and on chamber music series in the U. Harlow, a native of Lubbock, Texas, was interested in classical music from a very young age, first playing and composing on piano until, at the age of 10, she chose the viola as her instrument.

She earned awards and scholarships that eventually led to her attending the Juilliard School, graduating with a masters in viola performance. The Festival has been renamed the Beethoven Festival, and, as of , Ms. Harlow and her husband, clarinetist Russell Harlow, have organized and performed with artists from around the world in well over Beethoven Festival chamber performances.

An active recording artist both in chamber music and in commercial studio work, Ms. In Ms. Harlow was invited to present the collegiate level viola master class at the National American String Teachers Association Convention along with serving as a judge for the collegiate solo competition. Now retired from symphony work, Leslie and her husband, clarinetist Russell Harlow are able to focus even more of their time to solo and chamber music performing and recording, developing the Beethoven Festival and presenting outreach events throughout the year.

Harlow performed the New […]. He studied with clarinetists Gary Foster, Mitchell Lurie, Harold Wright and violinist Charles Libove, and was coached in chamber music and attended the master classes by cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. Russell Harlow has performed for International Clarinet Association events worldwide, also giving lectures on clarinetists of the past century.

Harlow serves as Associate Principal Clarinet for the Utah Symphony and has recorded solos for major filmscores. Kyoko Hashimoto was born in Tokyo and began to study the piano at the age of three. She received full scholarships from the Menuhin Academy and the Juilliard School. She has been regularly performing throughout the world, so far in more than 25 countries, including many major cities and halls such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D. Besides performing Solo recitals in many countries in Europe, North America and Asia, she has performed Concertos with distinguished orchestras such as the Prague Chamber philharmonic Orchestra and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.

She has performed over works from pre-Baroque to pieces written very recently. She has recorded many times for TV and radio all over the world including a series of 20 works by Beethoven for Dutch radio. A native of Chicago, cellist Kevin Hekmatpanah has presented hundreds of solo and chamber performances throughout the country, including concerts […]. He has also presented concerts of the complete works for Cello and Piano by Beethoven and over twenty cycles performing all Six Bach Suites. Outside North America, he has performed concertos in Moscow and St.

He also appeared as soloist with the Vidin Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria. Hekmatpanah has released a compact disc recording containing cello sonatas by Franck, Debussy, and Chopin. Deeply committed to teaching, Mr. Hekmatpanah is a Professor and chair of the music department at Gonzaga University, where he has taught since He is currently a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.

He has served on competition juries, and he has presented master classes and clinics throughout the country. Uniquely combining the superlative technique of a classical virtuoso with his prowess in jazz, world music and free improvisation, pianist, […]. Exceptional technique, precise sense of nuance, Herskowitz here brilliantly fuses his mastery of jazz and classical. You have carried it further than I could imagine. As an arranger, Matt has collaborated with many noted artists and producers.

Deborah Hoffman has been principal harpist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since She is also solo harpist with the […]. She is also solo harpist with the Orchestra of St. Hoffman pursues an active international career as both soloist and chamber musician, appearing as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, the National Symphonies of Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Colombia, Orchestra of St. Hoffman was the first prize winner of the American Harp Society Competition, and in was a top prizewinner in the Seventh International Harp Competition in Israel.

Hoffman records for Arabesque Records and has recently completed a Grammy-nominated recording of original transcriptions of Chopin works. In addition to teaching at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Ms. Hoffman is chairperson of the harp department at Manhattan School of Music and an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a […]. Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a poetic sensibility in his distinctive and memorable performances.

Hoffman gained international renown upon his victory as the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in Gary Hoffman performs on major recital and chamber music series throughout the world, as well as in such prestigious festivals as Ravinia, Marlboro, Aspen, Bath, Evian, Helsinki, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, and Schleswig-Holstein.

In addition, Mr. Born in Vancouver, Canada, in , Gary Hoffman devotes time to teaching, as well, having been the youngest faculty appointee in the history of the Indiana University School of Music, where he remained for eight years. Hoffman regularly holds master classes worldwide. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School as a violist studying with Paul Doktor where he became the only two time winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Hoffman has had a long association with the violin virtuoso Salvatore Accardo in both the concert hall and recording studio.

For ten years, Mr. Hoffman was an artistic director of Bargemusic in New York. Hoffman studied conducting with the master Finnish conducting pedagogue Jorma Panula. As an educator, Mr. Hoffman is a conducting teacher of the conducting class at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. He continued his studies with the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky at U. During his four years study in Los Angeles he was teaching at U. Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova is a young […].

Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova is a young musician with a growing international career as a soloist and recording artist. Her talent has been recently recognized with a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, given to outstanding instrumentalists and based on excellence alone.

Abroad, Ms. Recent highlights include the late spring release of her newest recording, Bella Unaccompanied, A. Appearances included performances with the Orchestra of St. A sought after chamber musician, Mr.

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None of which would count for much if they were not played with the extraordinary virtuosity and musical maturity of Bella Hristova. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six. At twelve, she participated in master classes with Ruggiero Ricci at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Thomas Hrynkiw made his first orchestral appearance at the age of thirteen.

Then at age nineteen was awarded first prize […]. Then at age nineteen was awarded first prize for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with Leopold Stokowski conducting. Lawrence string quartets. For many years, he served as vocal director, soloist and music advisor for the Newport Music Festival Rhode Island and has appeared at numerous other festivals including the Mt. He also studied orchestral conducting with Ferdinand Liva and Jonel Perlea, and choral conducting with Hugh Ross of the Schola Cantorum of New York where he was assistant to the conductor.

Prior to his work with the Schola Cantorum he was offered a full choral conducting scholarship at Columbia University. An exceptional voice teacher, his vocal students have been admitted to some of the most prestigious schools in the United States, including the Eastman School, the Peabody Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon, Temple, and Indiana universities. Upon completing their studies, his students often return to continue vocal studies with Mr. At present, Mr. Hrynkiw has completed an historic recording project involving Ukrainian piano solos. A native of Korea, Sung-Mi Im began her piano studies at the age of three with her mother.

After making […]. Tony Han and Kwi-Hyun Kim were among her teachers. She has taught piano at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, and is currently teaching chamber music at Indiana University. For 11 years Ellen Jewett was a member of the prize-winning Audubon Quartet. They held their final concert there in the summer of She worked intensively with members of the Julliard, Tokyo and Budapest string quartets and was privileged to perform under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.

Ellen Jewett performed as one of the concertmasters of the Borusan Philharmonic for 3 years under the invitation of Gurer Aykal, has been a guest concertmaster of the Istanbul State Orchestra and is currently the founder and artistic director of Klasik Keyifler, a chamber music festival in Cappadocia. Founded in , the ever-evolving Juilliard String Quartet has become a living American legend.

From , she was engaged as clarinetist […]. She was a featured performer at the International Clarinet Conferences of , , and Kaenzig is currently on the faculty of the University of Southern California, and has also served as Visiting Professor of Music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during the fall semester, The violinist Yukiko Kamei began her violin study at the age of seven with Takiko Yoshimura in Tokyo. After attending […]. After attending Scripps College on scholarship, she was selected to become a student of Jascha Heifetz in his master class at the University of Southern California.

Later she worked with Heifetz as both his assistant and in chamber music performances together with Gregor Piatigorsky. She has played recitals in Tokyo, New York and Amsterdam. Member of Soni Ventorum and chamber music groups; numerous […]. Louis Symphony. Sarah has received prizes and honors in numerous competitions, including 1st prize in the International Markneukirchen Instrumental Competition, resulting in a radio broadcast and solo engagements throughout Germany.

For the past several years, Sarah has performed duo recitals with pianist Jeannette Koekkoek. Currently Sarah resides in the Hague, the Netherlands, where she is 1st violinist of the Rubens Quartet, professor of violin and chamber music at the ArtEZ Conservatorium in Zwolle, and is concertmaster with Sinfonia Rotterdam. She also performs and tours regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Rogeri, Brescia ca. Stephen Kates, like so many other figures in this book, came from a musical family. His maternal grandfather was a […].

His maternal grandfather was a Hungarian cellist who studied at the Liszt Academy; his father was a violist in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for forty-three years; his great-uncle and maternal uncle were both cellists. Kates studied with former Casals pupil Marie Roemaet-Rosanoff in Budapest for ten years; after this came a period of study at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose a colleague of his father in the New York Philharmonic. Kates also studied chamber music with violinist Josef Gingold and took further cello lessons with Laszlo Varga and Piatigorsky at the University of Southern California, where he also met Primrose and Heifetz.

He returned to the Juilliard School to study with Claus Adam, who changed his bow hold so that his thumb was opposed by his first and second fingers, instead of the third; Kates felt that this gave him more control over tonal variation. He was appointed principal viola by lona Brown in A sought-after chamber musician, Roland participates in many chamber series in Los Angeles. He was honored to join Yo-Yo Ma in a chamber music concert benefiting cancer research. This Grammy-nominated recording has been re-released on the Music and Arts label.

Violinist Ani Kavafian enjoys a prolific career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with virtually all […]. She is a renowned chamber musician, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since Kavafian appears frequently with her sister, violinist and violist Ida Kavafian. Together they have performed with the symphonies of Detroit, Colorado, Tucson, San Antonio, and Cincinnati, and have recorded the music of Mozart and Sarasate on the Nonesuch label.

They celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first performance together at Carnegie Hall in the fall of with a concert at Lincoln Center, which featured their students and colleagues. With violist Barbara Westphal and cellist Gustav Rivinius, she is a member of the Trio da Salo, and has teamed with clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Andre-Michel Schub to form the Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio, with whom she tours frequently as violinist and violist.

A recording of string trios by Mozart and Beethoven by the Trio da Salo has been released, also on Kleos. Born in Istanbul, Turkey of Armenian heritage, Kavafian began piano lessons at the age of three. At age nine, in the United States, she began the study of the violin with Ara Zerounian and eventually with Mischa Mischakoff. Kavafian is Professor of Violin at Yale University. She plays the Muir McKenzie Stradivarius violin.

Randolph Kelly has enjoyed a distinguished and multifaceted career as principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was signed […]. The PSO commissioned this piece for their Season. He has recorded and toured extensively with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. As a soloist, Kelly has appeared on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world. In addition to his rigorous performing schedule, Kelly has recorded a wide range of music for the Albany, Naxos and Music Masters labels. He is committed to performing new music, and he generously volunteers his time to educational programs in an effort to bring a wide range of musical experiences to young audiences.

Helen Hwaya Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six, and has gone on […]. Helen Hwaya Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six, and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. While at Juilliard, she served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition at both the pre—college and college levels.

She is the recipient of more than one hundred national and international awards. A native of Canada, Ms. An avid performer of new music, she can be heard on the recent CD release of the works of Alvin Singleton on Albany records. Kim currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as Assistant and Associate Concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony for three seasons.

Prior to joining the Philharmonic, Kindel played principal bassoon with the Long Beach Symphony, performed frequently in the film recording industry, and freelanced with visiting opera and ballet companies. Koekkoek continued her studies with the late Aube Tzerko in Aspen and Los Angeles and was invited to participate in master classes with Mischa Dichter and Menachem Pressler. Her recordings include works for piano and violin by contemporary Dutch composers.

Melissa Kraut is recognized as one of the leading pedagogues of her generation. Having developed and trained some of […]. Having developed and trained some of the outstanding young musicians of today, Dr. Kraut has demonstrated a unique ability to teach all ages and stages of dedicated students, helping them reach their highest potential both at and away from the cello. An active performer, Dr. Kraut has led a diverse career on stage, with solo and chamber performances throughout the United States and Europe. She has held leadership positions in several orchestras, and has played under the baton of conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov.

Kraut currently enjoys performing chamber music with her friends and colleagues throughout the world. Kraut enjoys reaching students from all over the world through master classes and workshops. Her status as a Suzuki Teacher Trainer, enables her to pass on her love of pedagogy to the next generation of teachers. In addition, she is passionate about public speaking and the ability to reach audiences of a larger scope, about topics broader than cello.

In the summer of , Dr. Kraut and famed cellist Zuill Bailey launched the inaugural summer of the Sitka Cello Seminar in Sitka, Alaska, bringing 10 elite cellists from all over the world to study under their guidance. In prior summers, Dr. Kraut was on the faculty of several summer festivals including eight summers at the Meadowmount School of Music and eight summers at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she was also the Head of Strings. Students of Dr. Armen Ksajikian started out his professional career at age 12 with the Abkhazian State Philharmonic in the former Soviet Union.

London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane has a flourishing international career, which has taken him to more than forty countries. Highlights […]. Piers Lane is in great demand as a collaborative artist, and he continues his long-standing partnerships with violinist Tasmin Little and clarinettist Michael Collins. In he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, where he has been a professor for many years. David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and […].

David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. Lawrence, Enso and Vermeer Quartets and many others. Mertz and Wenzeslaus Matiegka. And Mel Bay Co. Leisner is also a highly respected composer noted for the emotional and dramatic power of his music. Schirmer, Doberman-Yppan and Columbia Music.

David Leisner is the co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. Kathleen Lenski was first violinist and a founding member of the Angeles String Quartet, formed in in Los Angeles. Following years of touring in the U. Lenski grew up in Los Angeles, and as the daughter of two violinists, began performing in public at the age of three.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, she was a full scholarship student of Oscar Shumsky, winning the Naumberg and Kriesler scholarship awards. Lenski plays on the J. She rejoined us in Laurence Lesser was a top prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a guest performer in the […].

In , Lesser was the first to perform the Schoenberg Cello Concerto with orchestra since its debut by Emanuel Feuermann. Subsequently, in , Lesser became the first to record this work. He has also been actively involved with the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Laurence Lesser occupies a teaching chair endowed by the estate of Walter W. Jeffrey Levine has been composing music professionally since his first commission from the Fromm Foundation and Tanglewood in A widely experienced and eclectic musician, he has drawn upon his musical background of jazz, symphonic and chamber music, and contemporary artmusic, to write pieces that range from the most post-modern-abstract to easily accessible pieces for children.

His music has been played by such eminent musicians as Pierre Boulez, Gunther Schuller, and Ursula Oppens, and in such diverse venues as the New York Philharmonic, in the northern reaches of Alaska, and in music festivals throughout America and Europe. Levine has written for solo instruments, for voice, for chamber ensembles, for orchestras, jazz bands, and for film. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale University School of Music, he has received many grants and awards, including a Fulbright grant, and a fellowship-grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Levine, in recent years, has developed his own unique harmonic style — one adaptable, but not restricted, to forms and techniques commonly found in the music of the past century and in music from earlier eras as well.

In addition to his activities as a composer, Jeffrey Levine is an accomplished bass player and teacher. He was a founding member of Speculum Musicae, principal bass with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and an original member of the ground-breaking new music group, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He has played in orchestras and chamber music groups in the United States and Europe, and, earlier in his career, in jazz ensembles, and big bands.

As a teacher, Mr. The main body of his works is published by his own publishing company, Music Door Editions. Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as the top classical performer of , Phillip Levy has received worldwide critical acclaim […]. Martin-in-the-Fields, with whom he also appeared as soloist. Concertmaster of The Monterey Symphony Orchestra for six seasons he frequently appeared with them as soloist and conductor.

As a dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Levy is in demand teaching at festivals throughout the world. Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 1, K-Pop Now! Tuttle Publishing. September 27, Archived from the original on September 30, Retrieved September 29, September 25, Retrieved October 26, Travel Weekly. Retrieved February 12, Retrieved September 4, Retrieved November 23, Retrieved October 28, Daily Beast. Retrieved October 29, Ellen TV. Archived from the original on January 13, Boston Globe.

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Ilta-Sanomat in Finnish. July 28, Archived from the original on November 26, August 2, August 13, Archived from the original on November 14, Retrieved August 21, Retrieved October 6, Retrieved April 27, Chronicle Herald. Retrieved September 1, Retrieved September 25, United Nations. Retrieved October 25, The Dong-a Ilbo. The Independent. Retrieved November 7, White House. Retrieved May 7, And of course, around the world, people are being swept up by Korean culture -- the Korean Wave.

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Retrieved June 12, SBS in Korean. Retrieved January 4, Retrieved September 5, Retrieved December 3, Retrieved December 26, New York Times. Shelves: stars , fantasy-pnr-sci-fi-romance. Amber Bierce and her sister are aboard a spaceship heading to an earth-like world to colonise when their ship is hit by an asteroid and crashes on a nearby planet. There are only 48 survivors of the original 50 Meoraq, seeing the fires of the wreckage, believes it to be a sign from his god that he should embark on a pilgrimage to a temple in the east of Gann.

When he comes across a group of 'aliens', deciding this also must be go 4. When he comes across a group of 'aliens', deciding this also must be god's will, Meoraq acts as unwilling guide and protector to the humans. The only book I can compare this to is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Not that the hero, Meoraq reminds me of Jamie Fraser or the heroine, Amber reminds me of Claire exactly.

Nor even the plot really. But the epic-ness of this story, the depth of the love story is very similar in scope to Outlander. Just imagine for a moment Jamie as an alien lizard warrior The Hero and Heroine With a smart mouth and coarse language, Amber is a wonderful, strong, independent heroine. She is a perfect, irreverent match and foil for the pious, proud Meoraq.

Ahhhh, Meoraq, that beautiful bipedal lizard. And the star of this show. Lizardman as Amber affectionately calls him. What's particularly gratifying is the author has not written his appearance, especially his facial features, to make him more human, more physically appealing. We can't drool over his pouty, sensual lips The Romance The relationship between Meoraq and Amber made this story. The romance builds slowly, realistically, inevitably. Their conversations and interactions are humorous, romantic, passionate, and strangely typically male-female.

Meoraq initially sees Amber as ugly with her flat face, snub nose, rubbery mouth and tufts of hair. He never really sees her any differently at the end though he did rhapsodise just a bit about her smooth pale shoulders , it was the inner person he comes to love. The Love Scenes The love scenes are surprisingly sensual and lovely. The details of the lizard anatomy are And not the turnoff I'd expected.

But some type of warning is necessary due to the graphic violence and particularly, sexual violence including rapes. The Writing There are some outstanding, brilliant scenes and passages of dialogue and narrative. So many. But don't want to spoil it for other readers. But here's a taste. He never mated this way before - lying down and belly-to-belly - but it felt new and exciting and perhaps just a bit deviant.

The plot was totally engaging, well thought-out with action and adventure aplenty. The strange animals the characters encounter are fantastically described. What didn't work This story is so clever, so intricately-plotted and so different to the usual romances that it's a shame I should mention some things that simply didn't work for me. No other way to say it. Had it not been for its very high average rating, I would have DNF'ed. Glad I didn't.

It's not a perfect read. Main Characters' Flaws Amber is completely wonderful, except for her constantly and stupidly forgiving her fellow humans even when they betray her. Meoraq's strident beliefs and strict adherence to his religion, though entirely in keeping with his culture and upbringing, did get on my very last nerve after a while. As a reader who loathes rape-by-hero the only reason I went with this is because it is an accepted ritual of the aliens' culture. And we find out later how and why this came about.

Most of the time, they appear as one-dimensional baddies. Amber's sister, Nicci is especially annoying with her whiny, lazy attitude. Though the humans had moments of lucidity, they were mostly just stupid and mean. There are forty-eight human survivors, and yet for a handful eight to ten, maybe we never know anything about the other 38 or so. There may as well have been only the smaller group for all we know of the others. Loooooong This book took me three days to read. It's very long, and I can't help but feel if it had been trimmed a little, it would have added to the book's appeal.

The Ending The ending though not exactly rushed could have been more. I'm hoping that this may be because there's a sequel in the works. Violence and Rape Some readers will understandably find this story unacceptable. There is some graphic violence, sexual violence, rapes. Horrific things happen. But still, The Last Hour of Gann is a compelling read and one of my favourites this year. Both Meoraq and Amber suffer violence and abuse.

Final Thoughts I'm rounding up to 5 stars. Despite some of its flaws and the issues I had, this is simply not a rehash of the usual run-of-the-mill romance reads. It's fresh and different. And that's just what a great story should do. For those who enjoy science fiction, alien worlds, fantasy, romance and an epic love story peppered liberally with violence this may be worth putting aside three or four days to read.

Highly recommended. Steam: 3. Sep 28, Jill Myles rated it it was amazing Shelves: all-time-favorite. MY GOD. I have so many feels. First off, it's long. It's probably a trilogy in a single book. Don't let that deter you - it never slumps along the way. So anyhow, Amber Bierce is our heroine. She's fat, she's bossy, and she's got a pottymouth. Her sister Nicci is a user and her favorite person to use is Amber. All of these things combine into a heroine who makes trouble for herself, knows it, and can't seem to stop.

But Amber's an awesome heroine. When shit hits the fan, Amber's the first one to take charge. When the colony ship crashes, Amber saves people. When they're starving, she tries to hunt. She refuses to lay down and let life kick her ass, and life tries to, a LOT. Meoraq is the hero. He's a lizardman. I'll let that sink in for a moment. Don't care. It's still awesome and he's still great. The build and the sexual tension is amazeballs. Because this is RLee Smith, bad shit happens.

Not gonna lie. It was perfection and no one got screwed over in the end, except for the ones that deserved it. Loved this. I've had a book hangover for a week because I read it and I can't find anything else like it. Please read this, because I want this author to be wildly successful and write more books. I'm selfish like that. View all 35 comments.

Nov 01, Felicia rated it liked it Shelves: vaginal-sf. I dunno if I can recommend this book. It's really well-written in a lot of ways, and is the only fiction outside of Skyrim where I'd think a lizard guy was hot, but man, there are things that triggered revulsion in me with the abuse of women in the sex scenes. I actually couldn't read whole chapters of this book. The slavery and abuse of women was just something I couldn't stomach. The world-building is masterful. The alien race interaction was just amazing.

I see why it's an underground hit, and would be interested to read other books by the author. My tolerance point was just way overboard with the rape and abuse. There's a huge thread on my romance book club group, Vaginal Fantasy, forum if you want to discuss it! Lots of great comments there. View all 9 comments. Nov 13, Sophia Triad rated it it was amazing Shelves: 3sciencefiction-lovestories , favorites , space-aliens. I understand that the book may scare people off because of its length, but I believe it is important to treat it as 8 separate books as opposed to one book.

The book has clearly eight distinct parts in which different events take place and you have a different degree of knowledge about the characters and their world. The emotions change. The number of characters and the familiarity between them vary. The landscaping changes too. Each part could be treated as a different book with a cliffhanger in the end. Something happens always in the end that gives a head start to the next part. Earth has changed and not in a good way. Drugs and corruption are present. But still the human race is exploring the outer space and starting colonies in other planets.

From the beginning it is clear that Amber is a survivor. Amber tries to avoid her dead mother fate and become a whore in order to survive and not die of hunger and without shelter. Amber and her sister decide to take part to the mission to colonize a distant planet called Plymouth. Her little sister is basically dragged to this adventure by Amber. I need to mention here that Amber is a big girl and her weight is a problem. She even takes drugs to reduce her weight and become fit for the mission. She is that determine to escape Earth. The description of the crash and burn was one of the best I have read in Science Fiction.

As a result only a few people survive. Where are they? Who lives in this planet? Uyane Meoraq: A holly man, a warrior, a philosopher, a ruler, a leader, a judge. A sheulek. We see the world through his eyes. This is a new savage world. Cold and inhospitable. They solve their differences in the Arena. Females are the lowest of the low. Every father is proud if Meoraq takes the virginity of his worthless otherwise daughter. And about their scales. Thank God no talking about tails. And I got even more worried for the poor ex inhabitants of the planet Earth.

I was scared of the moment whey will be discovered — especially women bahaha Meoraq has seen the fires of the huge explosion and soon he will start his long journey to discover what God has sent him Have I mentioned that he is an extremely religious male? All these happen in like the first something pages of the pages. So the miscommunication starts. He thinks they are not intelligent beings. They think he is some kind of a stupid animal.

Only Amber tries to communicate, although Meoraq is not responding. He will stay with them.

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The survivors will be his pets. He will feed them, find them water and shelter. Like sheep and he is the shepherd. This is the part where you really start hating the rest of the survivors and mainly because all of them hate Amber including her sister. The worst of them is Scott who named himself commander and all of them follow him.

The humans treat her badly, they starve her to death, they tell fat jokes to her. And you will like Amber. For sure! Amber will try so hard to understand Meoraq, although he is the ugliest creature she has ever seen. There is this super, incredible, magnificent scene where Meoraq defends Amber and suddenly they all know that Meoraq can speak and understand English and that Amber is HIS. Humans drive him crazy, but he is not supposed to kill them. This is the book also that we discovered that the ancients of this planet were really advanced in technology until God contemned them and they abandoned their advanced cities and returned to the simple ways.

Thus, Meoraq despises anything of technological value. The relationship between Meoraq and Amber is getting also more serious. Meoraq starts having naughty dreams.

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But they are tiptoeing around each other. You upset me. This is the book in which Scott believes that he will find a spaceship at the end of the world and fly away. This is also the book where the humans have a look in an ancient city, Meoraq keeps praying for patience Have I mentioned that he is an extremely religious male? And Amber almost dies twice. Meoraq looks for reasons to sit with her, to speak with her, to fight with her. The end of the book will find Amber and Meoraq alone, abandon by the rest of the humans. This is truly the best thing that could happen to Amber and Meoraq and me.

Soul deep. A communication of souls. Not because of body attraction. Not because she has sunny blond hear or because he has nice abs, but truly because they admire each other. The tension is building up for them. He calls her softskin, she calls him lizardman. And then Meoraq prays and he has a vision Have I mentioned that he is an extremely religious male? This is a very hard book to read. It has many rape scenes described in graphic details and lots of violence.

Blood and killings. Meoraq is not happy and neither am I. I really cannot understand why from the whole ship only these awful people survive. So my advice is that you need to take your time, have long breaks, and even read other books in your breaks. And then go back and start from where you left it. I can assure you that you will not have forgotten any details.

I am sorry for the length of this review… View all 55 comments. Sep 27, Pam Godwin rated it it was amazing. This is a saga, the length of five books in one, and when I turned the last page--kindle location ! Never have I read a story this engrossing, this thought-provoking, this emotionally potent. It conveys a similar theme to Lord of the Flies, with its marooned, violent characters, and its study of the ugly side of human nature versus the omniscient force of goodness.

The symbolism is unmissable, but the events that unravel are as real as speculative fiction can ge This is a saga, the length of five books in one, and when I turned the last page--kindle location ! The symbolism is unmissable, but the events that unravel are as real as speculative fiction can get. There's no doubt human depravity sinks this low in ungoverned, distressing situations.

But this tale also portrays the hero who rises from the rot of humanity, and the courage she and he must suffer to endure the journey. And it's a beautiful and terrible hero's journey. It'll take you about 40 hours to read. But the joyous moments--oh the unselfish love between the heroine and her scaly son of a bitch lizard warrior--are the balm for a beaten-down heart.

She's captured by a brutal lizard rebel and stands nose-to-snout with him, unwavering in her trash-talk, insulting him in a language he doesn't understand.

Nicolas Altstaed

Big, tough Zhuqa. RLS has a magical way of blending classic storytelling with modern sci-fi. The result is enchanting, romantic, and unparalleled. The author peels back the skin and scales, exposing not just the heart and mind, but the very fiber that connects the soul and constitutes the character. The dialogue is witty and imaginative, the humor allows you brief and blissful exhales, and the complexity of the expert writing is the touchstone by which the craft should be measured.

Do you want a story created for greatness, one that will transport you without the benefit of gimmicks and gratuitous sex? Do you want to take a journey that will thrive on being tasted and shared from beginning to end? You don't need to pray on this. Meoraq's fires are burning. Any opportunity to read this book is surely proof that Sheul has will in this matter.

Stand in His favor and experience Meoraq's fires for yourself. View all 36 comments. May 07, Amy Harmon rated it it was amazing. First off, let me warn those who read my books and who are my reader friends. This book is graphic, violent, offensive, painful and dark. It is also a thousand pages long - and it absorbed me for days. I don't think many authors could write this book.

I don't think I could. It was deep, thought provoking, involved, and brilliant. And I think it took a lot of courage to write it. I loved it. I loved that it made make me think. I loved it because I was constantly forced to evaluate my First off, let me warn those who read my books and who are my reader friends. I loved it because I was constantly forced to evaluate my opinions, feelings, and ideas about God. It challenged and reinforced my beliefs and about what faith in Him means to me on a very elementary level. There was a line toward the very end that had me weeping like a baby because I recognized the truth in it.

The line was something like this: When God talks he talks quietly. But it was worth the effort. I loved Amber Bierce and Meorac. I will miss them now that the book is done. And I will value the lessons I learned, which to me is the mark of a great read. View all 12 comments. Oct 14, Steelwhisper rated it it was amazing Shelves: erotica , m-f , science-fiction , horror , 5-brilliant. I need a day or so to digest this before I review.

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Okay, I needed much longer than a day or so. I re-read this the past week and am still very much impressed by this book. Truth be told: I'm a bright grinch-green in envy. Few authors managed to include religion in such an organic manner, few managed to then subvert religion in such a brilliant way, either.

This is a t I need a day or so to digest this before I review. This is a truly epic tale, though I agree with others who stated they wanted to have a bit more of a HEA at the end. But I've come to realise this is sort of Smith's signature. A lot of readers are exasperated with Amber and how much she allows everyone to trample on and bully her.

However, what few seem to notice is just how brilliant a study of majorly female anglo-saxon pack mentality this is. Even the human men come over as not male in their bullying nature the only true male in the group being Meoraq , but instead are casebook studies of females socialised in the USA and to a lesser degree the UK as well.

I'm often side-eyed when I state that I have few--very very few--female friends and in general prefer the company of men. It's the way girls are early on taught how to hen-peck and take down their peers, how the whole gaggle descends on anyone they consider infringing on some arbitrary and often completely idiotic social rule, how so few women reflect on what they do to other women. It's trained, actually flogged into girls over the course of their childhood and youth by their very peers. It's not happening like that among men by the way.

And any woman who lacks that training, or who behaves in a male manner in these respects, will be destroyed, ostracised, and--something which this story puts on the table--by that killed. Smith very brilliantly makes the whole story a clinical study of this. She nails it. It always astonishes me when someone tells me that too few women are written as excellent friends and good company for their fellow sisters. Unfortunately my personal experience is the exact opposite. Too few women are written as the bitchy bullies and opportunistic back-stabbers they are in real life.

Not a single one. That includes online and offline groups. Yes, there are exceptions, just as Amber Bierce is an exception, but they are rare. And the exceptions are usually those who get pecked upon and bitten down to a bloody pulp. Which is what I took away from this book, apart from that it was a bloody good story, namely that Smith wrote a perfect portrait of this behaviour, to the point of emasculating all her male human characters and turning them into toxic females as well. I sympathised more even with rapist Zhuqa than with any of the other humans.

View all 21 comments. Oct 07, Mandi Schreiner rated it it was amazing. A week or two ago Jane from Dear Author wrote on Facebook how much she enjoyed this book. If someone had told me at the beginning of the year that my two favorite books would be these extremely dark, intense, epic world books, I probably would have laughed and snuggled up with a motorcycle club book. How interesting things have turned out. And before I go on let me say — this book is extremely long. Just FYI.

She decides her only hope for a decent future is to jump on a space ship with 50, other people and her younger sister , go into a medically induced sleep for three years and wake up on a new planet and colonize it. Except their ship gets off course, and they crash land onto a new, unknown planet. The people that inhabit this planet are lizard-like creatures. They walk on two legs, wear clothes, live in houses, speak their own language — yet have scales, spiney-thngs and three fingers. God and religion is everything to Meoraq. So now they have gone back to no modern items, a very religious, strict culture.

He can also walk into any village and take anything he wants including women and people bow down to him. He also is the ultimate judge and has killed many whom God tells him are guilty. There is rape in this story. The men in his culture have non-consensual sex. Meoraq has non-consensual sex.

The first time he is introduced, we see a scene with him doing this. I felt the author took care with these scenes and the way they play out and the aftermath were very relevant to the story. They were not in there just for shock value. I also feel that as Meoraq comes to know Amber and eventually comes to care and love her, his views on women might have changed…maybe more so in the future. Amber is an extremely strong heroine — I mean really strong and I loved her.

The other women in the book are not so strong. They are very submissive and weak. But — something quite impactful happens to Meoraq at the end, and I think after he has time to really let his new knowledge settle he may be open to having different thoughts about women. The World: I loved the world in this book.

This is a world that is ravaged by storms and always cloudy. Amber and the few other survivors must tromp through water day after day. The cities are now ruins and at some points in the story, they enter these cities trying to find shelter or maybe some kind transmission tower. What you find in these cities are creepy and very dark and intense. I really like that the author at times takes us out of the soggy fields and puts the characters into these desolate places. There are also clues and foreshadowing as to what is to come at the end.

Meoraq, quite a distance away, sees this fire and it is kind of pointing upwards — of course Meoraq takes this as a sign from God. There is a holy temple of sorts on a mountain somewhat near the crash site that Meoraq now feels like it is his mission in life to pilgrimage to this temple, open the doors and hear the voice of God. Now he saw His waving arm. It would be a foolish thing to pretend he did not know what it meant. Or what he had to do. The entire story leads up to Meoraq and Amber getting to this temple. I found it very exciting and suspenseful knowing that eventually at the end of this book, we would get to the temple and something big would happen.

The Romance: I adored the romance in this book. I fell in love with Meoraq and all his scales and spines damn it! He is so fierce, and arrogant, and sexy. He is witty. Meoraq is suppose to be in control of his emotions at all times but he often lashes out with his temper and then immediately starts to pray — which made me laugh. Meoraq and Amber butt heads in this book so damn much. Meoraq being this revered lizardman of God, never gets touched without his explicit consent — except Amber has no idea this is the case.

And she took his arm. Reached right up and took it. Meoraq held very still as she used him to climb to her feet, unsure where he should be looking. No woman in all his life had ever…ever touched him like that. And there is sex. At first they have to work through their surprising attraction to each other. Meoraq reached out and caught at her leg before she could flee. No, it was not sex, but it had to be something that made him look for reasons to sit with her, to speak with her, even to fight with her if that was all there was, because even the most tedious and foul chore of curing a damned animal hide could become something to look forward to if he was with her.

Yes — the lizard peen comes out of this slit and him and Amber do the dirty dirty a lot. Meoraq is one horny dude. But let me say — by the time they actually have sex, you want it to happen. You know them both well enough that it makes sense. I know some of you are like — seriously? You want me to read this book?

Some of you will love it. Some of you will hate it. I hope I warned you of the dark and intense stuff enough. I became completely invested in these characters. This author has such an incredible voice. The way she writes the dialogue, the romance, the world, the action scenes — it all worked for me. View all 25 comments. Oct 25, Kathleen rated it it was ok Recommended to Kathleen by: Jill. Shelves: fantasy-scifi , fantastical-romance , grim-scenes , erotic-romantic. Content advisory. At nearly pages, this book is FAR too long, with many similar scenes.

It is MUCH too dark for me, with graphic sexual violence, degradation, and grisly death. The romantic entanglements are interesting, and sexy. If I could rate the book only on the relationship between the H and h, I'd give it 4 stars.

The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1) The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)
The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1) The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)
The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1) The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)
The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1) The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)
The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1) The Contract: Sunshine (Unconventional Beginnings Book 1)

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