For over three decades, American soprano Susan Narucki has forged a unique path; her dedication to the music of our time has led to award winning recordings, critically acclaimed performances with musicians of the first rank and close collaborations with generations of composers. For over a decade, she has been deeply engaged in commissioning, producing, and performing chamber operas that illuminate critical issues in society. Her projects have earned major philanthropic support from the MAP Fund /Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, UC MEXUS, Creative Capital Foundation, New Music USA and multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Recent projects include Inheritance, a chamber opera written by Grawmeyer Award winning composer Lei Liang, addressing gun violence in America and Cuatro Corridos (2013), a critically acclaimed chamber opera that addresses trafficking of women across the U.S.- Mexico border. Ms. Narucki serves as Distinguished Professor of Music at UC San Diego.
Pianist Donald Berman has been called a “thorough, exciting and persuasive musician” by The NY Times, “powerful, atmospheric, and lumniscent” by the Boston Globe, and “invaluable” by The New Yorker. He is recognized as a chief exponent of new works by living composers, overlooked music by 20th century masters, and recitals that compellingly link classical and modern repertoires.
His CDs, The Unknown Ives Volumes 1 and 2, and The Uncovered Ruggles (New World) represents the only recordings of the complete short piano works of Charles Ives and Carl Ruggles extant. Other recordings on Bridge Records include the 4-CD set Americans in Rome: Music by Fellows of the American Academy in Rome, The Piano Music of Martin Boykan, and Scott Wheeler: Tributes and Portraits. Berman has also recorded The Light That Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives (with Susan Narucki, soprano New World), Wasting the Night: Songs of Scott Wheeler (Naxos) and Christopher Theofanidis’s Piano Concerto (Summitt), as well as music by Su Lian Tan (Arsis), Arthur Levering (New World), Martin Boykan (New World; Bridge), Tamar Diesendruck (Centaur), and Aaron Jay Kernis (Koch).
Recent performances by Donald Berman include solo recitals at Bargemusic, National Sawdust, and (le)Poisson Rouge in New York City. He has also been a featured soloist at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Rockport Muisc Festival, as well as abroad in Belgrade, Rome, Beiijing, St. Petersburg, and Israel. He was a prizewinner of the Schubert International Competition in Dortmund, Germany.
A Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow, Berman is currently President of The Charles Ives Society. His principal teachers were Mildred Victor in New York, George Barth at Wesleyan University, John Kirkpatrick, professor emeritus at Yale, and Leonard Shure at The New England Conservatory. Victor and Shure were students of Artur Schnabel and John Kirkpatrick worked with Nadia Boulanger, legendary pedagogues of the 20th century.