Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano / Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano
The duo highlights some of today’s most powerful music written for voice and piano. They seek to commission and embrace works written by composers and poets interested in diversity and inclusion, global community, immigration, and issues of music and peace. In this vein, they commissioned German composer Jonathan Stark to write a 65-minute work comprising twenty-two songs entitled Passageway. With English text by Franziska Hass, Passageway explores psychological and emotional aspects of the current refugee crisis through music. This cycle highlights the individual as existing separately from the masses and shines a personal and topical light on an important current issue by marrying music and poetry.
The duo presents master classes at the pre-professional, graduate, and undergraduate levels, and is committed to engaging students and creating a think-tank environment where students are challenged to think about music and its place in the world today. They seek to create a zone of interdisciplinary conversation and inspiration.
Other recent engagements include both traditional and contemporary art song recitals in Phoenix, Boston, Keene and in several international venues (Sydney, Australia; Vienna & Graz, Austria), as well as the opening concert of the 2018 Berlin Art Song Festival. They were the 2nd place winners at the New York City songSLAM 2019, where they performed a world premiere by composer Heather Gilligan. They have also performed many works by Nevada-based composer Virko Baley and are frequent guests on the NEXTET new music series in Las Vegas.
The duo’s debut-CD, Sacred & Profane, featured new art song cycles by Daron Hagen and was released in 2019 on Albany Records.