Visiting Artist

Luca Spano

Luca is an Italian artist based in New York City. His work explores the idea of reality and truth. He has received a degree in Communication Science from Sapienza University in Rome, an MA in photography from London College of Communication and an MFA from Cornell University. He has curated photographic festivals and cultural events such as K-Photofest and Menotrentuno International Photographic Festival in Italy. He has been also the manager of a photographic agency named OnOff Picture in Rome.
His work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and festivals in Europe and the US, receiving grants and awards.

Luca currently collaborate with NYC Creative Salon in New York and SuPalatu Fotografia in Italy.

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Visiting Artist

Reiko Fueting

Born 1970 in Königs Wusterhausen of the German Democratic Republic, Reiko Füting was educated at the Wernigerode State High School for Music, the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden “Carl Maria von Weber”, the Shepherd School at Rice University in Houston, Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and Seoul National University.  Some of his most influential teachers have been the composers Jörg Herchet and Nils Vigeland, and the pianist Winfried Apel.  During his studies, he attended master classes with Edisson Denissov, Tristan Murail, and Christian Wolff (composition), and with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Olaf Bär, and Semion Skigin (vocal accompanying).

Reiko Fueting joined the theory faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in 2000; five years later, he became a member of the composition faculty and was appointed chair of the theory department.  He has also taught vocal accompanying at the Conservatory of Music and Theater in Rostock, Germany, and appeared as guest faculty and lecturer at universities and conservatories in China (Changchun, Beijing, Shenyang), Colombia (Bogotá, Medellîn), Germany (Berlin, Dresden, Rostock, Leipzig), Italy (Rome), Russia (Moscow), and the United States (Baltimore, Boston, Hempstead, New York, Oberlin, Philadelphia, Princeton).

As a composer, Reiko Fueting has received numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions.  His music has been performed at prestigious venues (Berlin Cathedral, Semper Opera House Dresden, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall New York) by renowned instrumentalists (Miranda Cuckson, Aki Takahashi, Dan Lippel), vocalists (Gertrud Günther, Monica Meier-Schmid, Matthias Vieweg), conductors (Roland Kluttig, Jeff Milarsky, Hans-Christoph Rademann), chamber groups (elole Piano Trio, loadbang, Mivos String Quartet), ensembles (Ensemble courage, International Contemporary Ensemble ICE, Oerknal), orchestras (Dresdner Barockorchester, Sinfonietta Dresden, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra), vocal ensembles (AuditivVokal Dresden, Calmus, Singer Pur), choirs (Dresdner Chamber Choir, RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin Radio Choir) in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, broadcast on radio and television, and released on CDs (New Focus Recordings, Oehms Classics, Deutsche Schallplatten).  His publications (Schott, Carus, Routledge) include compositions, arrangements, and analytical articles.

"With my music, I aim to explore the psychological nature of memory through the use of musical quotations that are treated to the processes of assimilation, integration, disintegration, and segregation (inclusion vs. exclusion) while moving freely between clear borders and gradual transitions. Therefore, memory and quotation may function as a means to reflect upon contemporary artistic, cultural, social, and political phenomena."

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Creative Music Intensive Summer 2019.

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Visiting Artist

Emergent Scores Lab

Emergent Scores Lab (ESL), a bi-weekly meeting of artists working in temporal media. As the name implies, their meetings are investigations of the spontaneous development of structures in these forms.

“In daily life among denizens of any town, one need not usually know what each other actor is doing -- we are tuned into the logic of the mutually created scene with it’s tacit agreements about what constitutes acceptable behavior. Our actions moment-to-moment exist within this frame.

By having no beginning, no plan, the arc of (elements in) our work in ESL can be continuous, or at least parallel, with the arc of everyday life. And so a natural sense obtains, each of us making decisions in much the same way that we do in the rest of our lives. The elements/actions arrived at are correspondingly eccentric but the initiations and causal links are perfectly ordinary, based on a lifetime of working within varying systems of social norms.

The beauty of our work, when it is beautiful, may be the result of the tension between the eccentric actions and the socially prosaic relationships.”

Visiting artists at Arts Letters & Numbers 2019.

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Visiting Artist

Ashley Bathgate

American cellist Ashley Bathgate has been described as an “eloquent new music interpreter”(New York Times) and “a glorious cellist”(The Washington Post) who combines “bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops”(New York Magazine). Her “impish ferocity”, “rich tone” and “imaginative phrasing” (New York Times) have made her one of the most sought after performers of her time. The desire to create a dynamic energy exchange with her audience and build upon the ensuing chemistry is a pillar of Bathgate's philosophy as a performer. Dynamism drives her to venture into previously uncharted areas of ground-breaking sounds and techniques, breaking the mold of a cello's traditionally perceived voice. Collaborators and fans alike describe her vitality as nothing short of remarkable and magical for all who are involved. For the past ten years Bathgate was a member of the acclaimed sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars. She is also a member of the chamber music group HOWL, TwoSense with pianist Lisa Moore, and Bonjour, a low-strung, percussive quintet.

In 2015 Bathgate gave the world premiere of What Moves You, a collaborative performance project with jookin’ dance sensation Lil Buck at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, NC, as well as the world premiere of a new Cello Concerto written for her by Kate Moore for the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, NL. Subsequently, she released her debut album featuring a set of works for solo cello, composed by Moore, which was released in 2016 on Cantaloupe Music. That year Bathgate also commissioned the ‘composer collective’ Sleeping Giant to write ASH, a six-movement suite for solo cello. Both ASH and her latest album, 8 Track, featuring new multitrack works by Alex Weiser and Emily Cooley, as well as a new rendition of Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint, will be commercially released this coming season. Most recently, she premiered a new evening length work by Michael Gordon, House Music, at the 2018 Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, NL.

Bathgate’s radio/television appearances include performances on BBC Radio 3, WKCR, WMHT, WQXR’s Meet the Composer podcast with Nadia Sirota, NPR’s Performance Today, WYNC’s New Sounds Live, SiriusXM, Late Night and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Her recorded work can be found on Albany Records, Cantaloupe Music, Innova Recordings, La-La Land Records, Naxos, Nonesuch, Starkland and Uffda Records.

Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY, Bathgate began her cello studies with the late Rudolf Doblin, principal cellist and assistant music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic in the 1950’s. After his passing, she resumed her tutelage with Ann Alton at Skidmore College. From there she continued on to study at Bard College with Luis Garcia-Renart (B.M.) and then at the Yale University School of Music with renowned cellist, Aldo Parisot (M.M. & A.D).

Bathgate resides in Saratoga Springs, NY.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Robert Dalton Harris

“I live in the Garden of Eden, and there is a lot of good work to do.” The structures built (spiral staircase, shack-in-the-back, skywalk, tree house, temple-to-available-materials) reflect Rob’s imaginative blending of taxonomy and deep thinking – as do his extensive historical collections.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2014 - 2018, Oppenheimer’s Table 2015, Information Poverty 2017, Sessions 2018 - 2019.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Diane DeBlois

With a background in teaching English and Drama, Diane researches, edits and writes about the stuff of ordinary life … and gathers people to animate their stories.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2015 - 2018, Oppenheimers Table 2015, Information Poverty 2017, Sessions 2018 - 2019.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Michael Harrison

Composer and pianist Michael Harrison occupies a unique place in the world of music. His works are a blend of European musical traditions and those of North Indian classical music, forging an entirely new approach to composition through tunings and methodologies that employ and extend the ancient concept of “just intonation.”  

Harrison earned international recognition when Revelation, his 75-minute work for piano in his own “just intonation” tuning, was selected as one of the Best Classical Recordings of the Year by The New York Times, Boston Globe and TimeOut New York, and Time Loops, with cellist Maya Beiser, was selected in NPR’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012.

Equally at home writing for voices (Roomful of Teeth), chamber orchestra (Alarm Will Sound), and Indian classical musicians, his music defies classification; yet many composers and critics confer that he is one of the most innovative artists of his generation, including Philip Glass, who called him an “American Maverick.” Inspired by both the Beatles and Bach, post-modern and jazz, Harrison blends Renaissance beauty with minimalist methodology, Eastern aesthetics with modern technology. The result is a body of concert music, interdisciplinary collaborations, and acclaimed solo albums.

Harrison's  music was transformed by discovering La Monte Young’s The Well-Tuned Piano, a work which he spent years learning, performing and perfecting the tuning. He also performs Indian classical music, having studied in India with Pandit Pran Nath, Mashkoor Ali Khan, and Terry Riley. Harrison not only mixes styles and traditions but also works interdisciplinarily on multimedia collaborations that use sound to illustrate the cosmos and to explore universal truths. 

Harrison invented the "harmonic piano" which plays 24 notes per octave. He lives in New York and is the recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship.

“The intelligent discrimination with which he approaches his work is something that I have heard only in a tiny handful of classical recordings starting with Glenn Gould.” – Stephen Hill, National Public Radio

“Michael Harrison's Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago (and no, I’m not forgetting Elliott Carter).” – Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic, Tim Page


Visiting Artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2013-2018 and Creative Music Intensives 2018-2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Visiting Artist

Rich Kuperberg

Rich Kuperberg is a movement specialist with over 30 years of experience teaching and performing. He has  extensive training as a corporeal mime , modern dancer and physical character clowning, and is Artistic Director of KoMotion Movement Theater.  He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the City of Albany, N.Y.  He studied  Coroprel Mime in Paris France with Etienne Decroux, the father of contemporary mime and the teacher of Marcel Marceau. He also studied modern dance with Jennifer Muller and the Works and The Jose Limon Company to mention a few. 

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013-2018, Information Poverty 2017 and Sessions 2018-2019.

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Visiting Artist

Sam Torres

Sam Torres is a Troy, NY based composer, saxophonist, and audio engineer.

Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo with pianist Sophia Vastek; Stretto, Sam’s modern jazz quartet; and Little Wing, an indie chamber ensemble are among Sam’s ongoing ensemble projects. Sam is also involved in forming a new collective of musicians based in Troy, NY, which will be co-directed by Sophia Subbayya Vastek. In addition to these, Sam has written music for live electronics and saxophone, string quartet, percussion quartet and live electronics, and solo piano. He has been commissioned by The Witches, the Peabody Community Chorus, the public school district of Bedford, NY, Music of Reality, bassist Sam Zagnit, and pianist Sophia Vastek. Sam’s music frequently uses live, interactive electronics to expand or augment the sonic capacity of an acoustic instrument.

Sam’s music has been performed in many house concerts and coffee shops in Baltimore and New York City, as well as at Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, Spectrum, University of Cape Town in South Africa, Arts Letters & Numbers, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and Manhattan School of Music. As a saxophonist and woodwind doubler, Sam has performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Spectrum, the RISD Museum, SMOKE, The Shrine, and others with Stretto, ensembles from Manhattan School of Music, New York Youth Symphony, New York Jazz Academy, and others. As an audio engineer or technical assistant, Sam has worked with Talea Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Wet Ink Ensemble, Columbia University Composers, composer Michael Harrison, Music of Reality, pianist Sophia Vastek, and violinist Todd Reynolds in performances at the Dimenna Center, EMPAC, University of Chicago, MIT, and the Jewish Museum. Sam has been a technical assistant for compositions recorded by cellist Clarice Jensen, released on Miasmah Recordings, and Mari Kimura, released on New World Records.

Sam holds degrees in jazz saxophone performance from Manhattan School of Music and computer music composition from Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016, 2018 and Creative Music Intensives 2018-2019.

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Visiting Artist

Sophia Subbayya Vastek

Pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, described by Second Inversion as playing with "passion and profound tenderness," maintains an active career as a concert pianist, keyboardist, educator, interdisciplinary collaborator, and event producer.   She revels in the tiniest moments of beauty and joy, and seeks to surprise herself and audiences with connections both odd and common.  She is interested in music that is unexpected, music that speaks, music that astonishes and confounds, music that binds, and music that heals.

Performing has taken Sophia to such places as South Africa, Mexico, and France, and around the United States, including at the Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, the Canadian Embassy (DC), Polish Cultural Institute (DC), The Apollo Theatre, and National Sawdust.  She has also been presented at The NoiseGate Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Artscape, and Arts Letters & Numbers.

Sophia’s debut album was released on innova Recordings with music by Michael Harrison, Donnacha Dennehy, and John Cage.  It was produced by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse and features tabla player Nitin Mitta, vocalist Megan Schubert, and Michael Harrison on tanpura.  Of the album, Second Inversion writes, "The result is both an homage to Vastek’s own individual histories but also a beautiful mosaic of the larger cultural intersections of our world—and how we weave those histories together through music." 

Sophia maintains an ongoing relationship with Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit dedicated to creating creative exchanges across a wide range of disciplines, where she is a visiting artist.  There, she has co-directed creative music workshops and aided in the development of musical programming and music inclusion within the larger workshops and structures.

Sophia is heavily invested in contemporary classical music and has collaborated closely with many composers in the creation of new works.  Most notably, she has collaborated and performed with composer Michael Harrison, whose solo works she recorded on her album “Histories”.  She also maintains a very close partnership with David Ibbett, who has written multiple long-form electroacoustic works for her.

With composer David Ibbett, Sophia is a co-founder of Music of Reality, an interdisciplinary concert series and space for cross-cultural discovery that collaborates closely with researchers, scientists, and musicians. They released an EP last year consisting of music by David Ibbett, performed by Sophia and David.

Sophia is one half of Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo with electronic sound artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Torres.  Together, they create, perform, and produce music and installations. They released their first album, “Ghost in the Square”, last year.

Sophia is indebted to her teachers, colleagues, collaborators, and friends who continue to teach her how to ask questions and truly listen.  

Sophia is based in Troy, NY and is on the music faculty at College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016, 2018 and leading Creative Music Intensives 2018-2019.

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