Percussionist, conductor, author, and 2015 Festival Music Director Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish.
Gerard McBurney is a British composer and writer about music. Since 2006 he has been Artistic Programming Advisor at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Creative Director of their Beyond the Score® series. In this capacity, he had the good fortune to work closely with Pierre Boulez on a number of memorable occasions.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts…indispensable to New York’s new-music ecosystem,” Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy international career in contemporary and early music.
Anna Bowen is thrilled to be performing at the 69th Ojai Music Festival. Her credits include the on-Broadway production of 101 Dalmatians, as well as several off-Broadway productions, including The Music of Motown, Rom and Julz, Doubletime, and Wanda’s World. On the West Coast, she has appeared in Les Miserables, RENT, Aladdin, Aida, Evita, among others, as well as with the Transcendence Theatre Company. Also active on television, her credits include appearances on Castle, Mixology, Law and Order SVU, and As The World Turns. She can be seen around Los Angeles singing with the Overstreets New Orleans Jazz Band, The Melodies, and with eclectic singer Lawrence Rothman. Bowen’s non-fiction book of interviews, Me+You, is available now and her forthcoming work, Being Biracial, will be published next spring.
Charlotte Cannon, originally from Brighton, England, is a recent alumnus of the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Since graduating last May she has had the opportunity to collaborate on new works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Children’s Choir, Red Tape Theatre, The Inappropriate Theatre Company, and Fearless Theatre. She is represented by Stewart Talent.
Hailing from San Francisco, Josephine Chan (11) started piano lessons at the age of six. She is currently a scholarship student in the Pre-College Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studies piano performance with Corey McVicar. She was awarded top prize at the 2012 San Francisco Chopin Competition, and has enjoyed success at several competitions including the 2015 Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, the 2011 and 2013 Junior Bach Festivals, and the 2013 American Protégé International Piano Competition. Performance highlights include: Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the San Francisco Conservatory Fanfare Luncheon, San Francisco Conservatory Showcase Concert, and Lang Lang’s 101 Pianists Workshop.
Margaret Cook is very excited to perform with the Chicago Symphony once more. Cook is an actress currently living in Chicago where she earned her BFA in Acting at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. She would like to thank her friends and family for their support.
A professional actor since the age of seven, performance flows naturally from this one-man circus. Colin Creveling discovered ensemble-based circus while pursuing his passion for theatre at the Chicago Conservatory for Performing arts. Inspired by the instruction of Keland Scher, David Kersnar, and Douglas Grew, he began working with Lookingglass Theatre Company in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This union of theatre and circus was the catalyst for the creation of the Inappropriate Theatre Company, an ensemble of physical actors and circus performers who develop large-scale spectacle performances and character-driven circus acts for shows and events within the city. Having spent the last 3 years on and off the road, from 150 shows at the largest beach resort in India to the country’s foremost traveling youth circus, Smirkus, Colin is elated to be working with his CCPA family and the monumentally talented artists and staff of the Ojai Music Festival and UC Berkeley.
Joseph is an actor, circus performer, performance artist, and rapper residing in Chicago. Since his graduation in 2011 he has had the pleasure of working with numerous theatrical venues including: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Next Theatre Company, Black Ensemble Theater, Actor’s Gymnasium, Chicago Children’s Choir, Fox Valley Repertory, and several shows with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra including A Pierre Dream. He is delighted to be a part of such a marvelous production with his friends, and thrilled to be sharing Pierre’s story with the world.
Derek Herman is a native of Portland who has since moved to the windy city of Chicago. While in Portland, Herman was in the West Coast premiere of Speech & Debate with Artists Repertory Theatre. His other appearances in the Pacific Northwest include with the Profile Theatre and Oregon Children’s Theatre. Since moving to Chicago, Herman has performed with the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in Since I Suppose, as well as with The Artistic Home, Teatro Vista, and The Raven Theatre. Derek is founder and Artistic Director of Fearless Theatre. He holds a BFA from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Learn more at derekherman.weebly.com.
Growing up in the Southwestern mountains of Colorado, Nyle Kenning has had the opportunity to experience nature in her infinite forms. He has been fortunate to have perceptive, challenging, and loving teachers for all of his life. Kenning currently lives in Chicago as an actor and theatre artist where he pursues a greater understanding of Shakespeare, music, and the circus arts. He feels blessed to be a part of this great piece again.