Quintilia is a cutting edge chamber ensemble focused on presenting a wide variety of contemporary and experimental music and celebrating inclusivity through the programming and commission of composers from diverse backgrounds. Deep collaboration and improvisation are at the core of this group, focusing on works for open/flexible instrumentation. Members include Francesca Leo, flute, Thomas Morris, oboe, Tyler Neidermayer, bass clarinet, Yaz Lancaster, violin, and Gramm Drennen, cello. This ensemble is based between New York City, Boston, and Ann Arbor.
Francesca Leo is a cutting edge flutist and entrepreneur. A Michigan native, she has won top prizes in many competitions including the Central Ohio Flute Association Young Artist Competition, the Lima Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the MTNA Solo Division Competition, and most recently, the Manhattan School of Music Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition. Francesca has given solo and chamber performances internationally throughout Italy, Quebec and France.
A fierce advocate of contemporary music, Francesca has given solo performances at the Society for Composers International (SCI) and the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) Conferences, where her performance won a recording spot on the 2018 Music From SEAMUS, vol. 27 CD now available for purchase on iTunes and NAXOS and streaming on Spotify.
She has also participated in the premieres of many new works in solo, chamber, orchestral and operatic settings, including the Mid-American premiere of Kaija Saariaho's opera Emilie. As an orchestral musician, Francesca has performed under the baton of renowned conductors such as Roderick Cox, George Manahan, and Leonard Slatkin.
Francesca serves as a board member for the National Flute Association Performance Health Care Committee and the Southeast Michigan Flute Association. She specializes in performing arts health and is the founder of www.playingwithoutpain.com, an award-winning interactive web resource designed to provide collegiate music students with information to treat and prevent performance-based injury.
Francesca has presented her research at various conferences at the Manhattan School of Music, throughout the Midwest, and at the 2019 National Flute Association Convention. Francesca holds a graduate assistantship with the Center for Music Entrepreneurship at the Manhattan School of Music and an internship with Muramatsu America and Little Piper Publishing Company.
Francesca is currently pursuing a master's degree in Classical Flute Performance at the Manhattan School of Music on the Joseph F. McCrindle Scholarship, and holds a bachelor's degree in Music Performance and Entrepreneurship from Bowling Green State University. Francesca's primary instructors include Linda Chesis, Conor Nelson and Jeffrey Zook.
More information can be found at http://www.francescaleoflute.com/
Based in New York City, Tyler Neidermayer aims to push the boundaries of the clarinet and bass clarinet to new extremes through the exploration of extended techniques, improvisation, and electronic synthesis. He is the clarinetist of Apply Triangle, Manhattan Experimental Ensemble, and Tactus, and has performed as a guest artist with Flageolet Ensemble, Liminar New Music, and panSonus. As a solo artist, Tyler is dedicated to consistently presenting new works for clarinet, bass clarinet, and live electronics. He enjoys working directly with composers to discuss and demonstrate the capabilities of the clarinet and bass clarinet to develop and realize new musical ideas, and has premiered over thirty new works since 2017. He has been a featured performer at the Interference Series in Flagstaff, AZ, the 2017 Oh My Ears! New Music Festival in Phoenix, AZ, and the Nief-Norf Summer Music Festival in Knoxville, TN.
Tyler’s chamber ensembles strive to program works that reflect the social, environmental, and cultural issues affecting today’s global population. His trio, Apply Triangle, is currently collaborating with four of New York’s emerging composers on new works that will be presented at the 2019 SinusTon Electronic Music Festival in Magdeburg, Germany this coming October. Tyler is also a member of the Arizona-based improvisation trio, Triceratops, which will be releasing their debut album on Interference Records later this year.
As an electroacoustic composer, Tyler is interested in creating music that explores the saturation of electronic and acoustic sounds by utilizing live processing, electronic instruments, and improvisational elements. His works have been presented at the Society of Composers, Inc. 2018 conference at Arizona State University and in concerts across Arizona and New York. Current projects for the coming year include a new work for bassoon and live electronics for Katherine Hartman, a piece for percussion and synthesizer, and multiple new works for bass clarinet and live electronics.
Tyler is currently pursuing a M.M. in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music studying with Michael Lowenstern and David Krakauer. He holds a B.M. in Music Performance from Northern Arizona University where he studied clarinet with Cris Inguanti and composition with Bruce Reiprich.
For more information and recordings, please visit www.tylerneidermayer.com.
Thomas Morris is an oboist currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Passionate about new music, Thomas is always seeking new opportunities to expand the sounds and repertoire of the oboe. Thomas particularly enjoys working with and helping emerging composers showcase the capabilities and colors of the instrument. To this end, Thomas is currently working with multiple composers all across the United States and Canada to create new works. In addition to working with early-career composers, Thomas has also worked with esteemed composers such as George Lewis, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Wadada Leo Smith, Samuel Adler, and Bekah Simms.
As an active performer, Thomas has shared the stage with groups and performers such as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), and the Akropolis Reed Quintet. Additionally, Thomas currently performs with the University of Michigan's Contemporary Directions Ensemble. Thomas enjoys performing traditional repertoire as well. Thomas is currently a substitute on oboe and english horn in the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in addition to being an active freelancer in the southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio area.
Thomas has attended multiple new music festivals and conferences. These include Bowling Green State University’s New Music Festival, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Ensemble Evolution, and the Nief-Norf Summer Festival.
Thomas also enjoys working in the non-profit sector and in arts administration. Thomas currently is an intern for the Akropolis Reed Quintet (501(c)3 non-profit organization).
Thomas is currently pursuing a double M.M. in oboe performance and chamber music from the University of Michigan and holds a B.M. in oboe performance from Bowling Green State University. Thomas' primary teachers are Nancy Ambrose King and Nermis Mieses. Thomas has also performed in lessons and masterclasses for Katherine Needleman, Alex Klein, Andrew Parker, James Austin Smith, Eugene Izotov, and Erin Hannigan.
For more information on shows, recordings, and contact information, please visit www.thomasmorrisoboe.com.
Yaz Lancaster is a performer-composer and poet based in Brooklyn, NY. They are primarily interested in the performance of new/contemporary and underperformed works, collaboration, and the representation of minorities in the arts.
Always looking to expand their musical experiences, Yaz performs in a wide variety of settings. As a violinist, they have performed in orchestras, chamber ensembles, baroque and contemporary ensembles, and with indie bands of various genres (from RnB to screamo). Yaz has had the opportunity to work with artists including George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, Ted Hearne, Sō Percussion, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, and to perform alongside musicians such as JACK Quartet and Lisa Bielawa. Yaz also performs on tenor steel pan with Casym Steel Orchestra and NYU Steel. In 2018, Yaz co-founded the Brooklyn-based Crosswinds String Quartet with other non-binary and women string players, which presents works by composers of marginalized identities, or work that is written in a way that subverts ‘traditional classical music’ norms. Yaz will be presenting works from two projects in 2020--a program of solo repertoire commissioned by composers in the US & Canada, and a program of duos for violin and steel pan with Connie Li. Notable performance and recording venues include: Honolulu Theater (HI), Palffy Palac (Prague, CZ), Skirball Theater (NYC), New World Symphony (FL), House of Yes (NYC), ShapeShifter Lab (NYC), Skywalker Sound (CA), and Carriage House Studio (CT) among others.
As a composer, their work has been performed in various venues in the US & Canada. They attempt to experiment with something new in every project they embark on. Recent premieres include their piece POWER/gone written for Sō Percussion, which is based on work songs and the aural tradition, and their piece place-- a work written for two voices (Quince Ensemble) and trap beat. Yaz is currently working on projects with 28/78 New Music Ensemble, Western Carolina University, and Shepherdess, among others. They were selected as a runner-up of the 2019 Hildegard Competition at National Sawdust (NYC), and their piece firn was premiered by Miranda Cuckson, Jeffrey Zeigler and Ian Rosenbaum of the National Sawdust Ensemble.
Yaz holds a degree in violin performance and poetry from New York University. They are currently pursuing an M.M. at NYU, under the tutelage of Cyrus Beroukhim (violin), Joan La Barbara (composition) and Robert Honstein (composition).
For more information, recordings & publications, please visit http://yaz-lancaster.com.
A native of Toledo, Gramm Drennen is a Boston-based cellist and educator dedicated to performing the tunes of today, music of the moment, and pieces of the present.
A performer passionate about contemporary music, Gramm Drennen has worked closely with artists including Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), JACK Quartet, and Tony Arnold. Gramm has also worked directly with composers including Samuel Adler, Ted Hearne, George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Caroline Shaw. Gramm has been a performer with ensembles such as the Vive! Ensemble, with whom he gave the Midwest premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera Émilie. Gramm has also appeared as a guest cellist of Semiosis Quartet, a Boston-based string quartet dedicated to performing new music.
Gramm has performed at numerous new music festivals, conferences, and forums. These include New Music on the Point, New Music Gathering, the Bowling Green New Music Festival, and most recently the Nief Norf summer festival. Gramm has premiered dozens of pieces by eminent and emerging composers, and has commissioned multiple works featuring the cello.
An active performer of more traditional repertoire, Gramm has previously served as Assistant Principal Cellist of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra as well as the Du Bois Orchestra at Harvard. Gramm has also performed with the Boston Civic Symphony and Adrian (MI) Symphony Orchestras.
Gramm received a B.M. from Bowling Green State University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Boston Conservatory in Contemporary Classical Performance. Gramm has attended numerous summer festivals, including Bang on a Can, Nief Norf, New Music on the Point, Domaine Forget, and the Aboyne Cello Week. Gramm has performed in masterclasses for Johannes Moser, Philippe Muller, Astrid Schween, Claire Bryant, Phil Higham, Alice Neary, and Deborah Pae. Gramm’s primary instructors include Rhonda Rider, Brian Snow, and Alan Smith.
More information and recordings can be found at www.grammdrennen.com.