LOTUS CHAMBER MUSIC COLLECTIVE
Lotus Chamber Music Collective strengthens communities through highly accessible musical, social experiences that reflect the experiences, hopes, dreams, and concerns of our community members. We aim to highlight the diversity in the world by featuring women and women-identifying composers, LGBTQ+ community, and POCs at the forefront of our programming. Our concerts delve deep into discussions of identity, purpose, social justice, and how to make genuine social connections in an increasingly isolating culture. With the belief that great music can deeply move human beings, we expand from classical music into all genres of music, collaborating with many artists to push the art-form forward in exciting new ways. The main members of the Lotus Chamber Music Collective are Sasha Ono, Tiffany Weiss, Emily Frederick, and Brianne Lugo.
DIVERSE CONCERT ARTISTS
Diverse Concert Artists are committed to changing the face of classical and crossover music through diversity. Musicians of DCA can be seen in collaboration with many major artists including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, Solange, Tony Bennett and Bebe Rexha to name a few. The musicians of DCA are highly trained professionals coming from the nations top music conservatories and universities including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, Mannes, and more. Musicians have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Royal Opera House of Muscat, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Plaza and many more. The diversity in programming and repertoire includes standard classical works to the latest tunes on the top of the charts.
DR. NNENNA OGWO
Dr. Ogwo is a teaching artist on faculty at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City, the oldest community music school in the country. She also maintains a private studio in Manhattan, teaching students of all ages, but especially those preparing for study at conservatory. She is committed to finding new and different ways to reach students as they come into their own as pianists and musicians. Her former teachers and coaches include, Ferenc Rados, Edmund Arkus, Gil Kalish, Georgy Sebok, Lidia Frumkin, Zelma Bodzin and Robert McDonald among others. While she is a sought-after adjudicator and lecturer, as a performer she is known for her exquisite tone and fascinating programming featuring an eclectic mix of music from the African diaspora and works by composers too often left on the classical music margins. An American musician of Jamaican and Nigerian descent, she curates dynamic concert experiences in an effort to illuminate and broaden our understanding of what the classical canon could and should be. Her performances have taken her across the globe, delighting audiences from North and South America to Europe and the Middle East. She is perhaps best known in NYC for her annual Juneteenth Celebration concerts at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, an event that is now in its fourth year. Current projects also involve editing an engraving of the rarely performed Dream Variations by Dorothy Rudd Moore, to be followed with a recording under the auspices of the American Composers Alliance. Nnenna is also currently working on a project to record the piano works of African-American composer Ulysses Kay, due out in 2020. You can find her CD titled Issue One at amazon.com, cdbaby.com and the iTunes store.
Born in Detroit Michigan, Candace began studying the violin at the age of three. Taught by her mother, a string specialist, she quickly excelled to become a captivating performer. At the age of six, Candace began studying with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Derek Francis and later Marguerite Dene. Candace also participated in the DSO youth ensembles, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Sphinx preparatory program and competition. During her studies with the Sphinx program, she began to notice the unfortunate lack of classical musicians of color in orchestras. To resolve this issue, she began working with Sphinx founder Aaron Dworkin to help educate and incorporate different opportunities for young musicians in the Detroit public schools. Candace went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University where she studied with Columbus Symphony member David Niwa. Although Candace makes it her goal to diversify the classical music scene, she also loves to inspire people through solo performances. She has had the privilege of performing at several venues such as The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN), The Music Hall in Detroit, Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, and Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, MA. Candace recently earned her Master of Music degree and Advanced Certificate from New York University’s Steinhart School, where she studied with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra concertmaster Laura Hamilton.
Thapelo Masita uses his music to help further the arts in his home country of South Africa. He earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2017 and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2019. Through a faculty position at the Opportunity Music Project and a fellowship in the Music Advancement Program – a Juilliard Sponsored Community Engagement Initiative – Masita has been able to serve young people from underrepresented communities. Masita is a founding member of the Uhuru String Quartet, which seeks, through artistic collaborations and performance, to connect and empower women who have experienced domestic violence and homelessness. The Quartet has commissioned and performed a new quartet by Japanese-American composer Sato Matsui and has collaborated on several occasions with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Masita is the founder and executive director of the Bokamoso International Chamber Music Festival and Workshop in South Africa, which aims to share the joys of music with local communities while providing high-level training to promising youth from around the country. Thapelo is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at CUNY Graduate Center where he works with Julia Lichten. He performs on a cello made by Oded Kishony, on generous loan to him by the Virtu Foundation.
EDWARD W. HARDY
Edward W. Hardy is a 29-year-old critically acclaimed Black and Puerto Rican composer, music director, virtuoso violinist/ violist and is one of the foremost exponents of solo violin repertoire for theatrical productions. At the age of 25, "Hardy (was) one of the youngest composers to ever be accepted into the Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composer Residency and one of the most prominent composer/ violinists in New York City" - BroadwayWorld. “Edward W. Hardy, who composed the omnipresent music, plays the violin superbly.” – The New York Times. He has “Vigor, Control And Expressiveness." - The Post and Courier. Hardy is “Mesmerizing” - Manhattan With A Twist and also performs in a style that is “serene, dreamy, and soulful with velvety panache” - The Millbrook Independent. As the composer, music director and violinist of the smash hit Off-Broadway show The Woodsman Hardy’s show was a recipient of the 2016 Obie Award, the 2014 Jim Henson Foundation Grant and was broadcast on PBS stations four separate times, streamed on BroadwayHD and major music producer Jim McElwaine produced Hardy’s album “The Woodsman Original Off-Broadway Solo Recording” which continues to be sold and streamed in countries such as the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, France, Hong Kong, Argentina, Ireland, and Germany. Currently, Edward's discography contains 8 singles, 1 album, and his list of original compositions includes works for solo violin, voice, harp, piano, string quartet, string trio, string duo, Latin ensemble, and soundtracks for film and stage. Edward has an extensive performance history ranging from solo violin performances for the Congressional Black Caucus/ opening of the African-American Smithsonian Museum, Hublot, MAC Cosmetics, Haute Living, special performances for rap legends 50 Cent, Nas, and legendary hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, to sharing the stage with famous artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Kygo, André De Shields, Damien Sneed, Regina Carter, Norm Lewis, Joshua Bell, John Blake Jr., Mark O'Connor, and Radmila Lolly. Performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, WQXR, The Greene Space, The Apollo Theater, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Charleston Museum, The Cutting Room, The Public Theater's Joe's Pub, Amanyara, and many others. Proud member of Local 802 Musicians Union, Dramatist Guild of America, ASCAP and is affiliated with the Sphinx Organization, Exploring the Metropolis, and the Gateways Music Festival. Bachelor of Music, SUNY Purchase, cum laude, Master of Music, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College CUNY, cum laude. Edward is a Doctoral Student in Violin Performance at the University of Northern Colorado under the mentorship of Dr. Jubal Fulks.