JCalled "wholesome-looking" by the New York Times, violist John Pickford Richards has gained a reputation for performing new and unusual music throughout North America and Europe. He is a founding member of the ensemble Alarm Will Sound, allowing him to work closely with composers such as John Adams, Meredith Monk, and Steve Reich at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Holland Festival. In addition to his work with Alarm Will Sound, John is the founding violist of the JACK Quartet, which has worked closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Matthias Pintscher, Wolfgang Rihm, and Elliott Sharp with appearances at the Library of Congress, Venice Biennale, and Donaueschingen Festival. John has appeared with bands such as the All-American Rejects, Silversun Pickups, and Grizzly Bear and has performed as soloist with the Pasadena Symphony, Armenian Philharmonic, Wordless Music Orchestra, Ossia New Music, and with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra playing the solo part to Luciano Berio's Chemins II under the direction of Pierre Boulez. He holds degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy and Eastman School of Music where his primary teachers were David Holland and John Graham.
AAri Streisfeld has quickly established himself as an avid interpreter of contemporary classical music through performances with Ensemble Dal Niente (Chicago), Juventas Ensemble (Boston), Signal Ensemble (New York), and as a founding member of the critically acclaimed JACK Quartet (New York). Ari has worked closely with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Mackey, Toshio Hosokawa, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Aaron Cassidy and has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Le Poisson Rouge, the Venice Biennale, and Wigmore Hall. He has attended the Music Academy of the West, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy. He has soloed with the Kennett Symphony Orchestra and the Northwestern Philharmonia. As a winner of the 2008 Boston University Concerto Competition, Ari performed the Berg Violin Concerto with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. As a composer Ari was a recipient of the 2000 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards. The Los Angeles Times said his arrangements of music by Machaut and Gesualdo were "imaginatively arranged for string quartet." He received his BM at the Eastman School of Music, MM at Northwestern University, and is an ABD Doctoral Candidate at Boston University. His teachers have included Zvi Zeitlin, Almita Vamos, and Peter Zazofsky. Ari has recorded for Mode, Albany, and Cantaloupe Records. He currently resides in New York City.
CChristopher Otto studied composition at the Eastman School of Music with Martin Bresnick, David Liptak, and Robert Morris. As a violinist, Christopher has premiered many compositions and worked with such composers as Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, Helmut Lachenmann, and Steve Reich. Christopher has participated as composer and performer in such contemporary music festivals as the Lucerne Festival Academy, Internationale Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Karlheinz Stockhausen Courses, Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at the Mannes College of Music, June in Buffalo, and Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Michoacán.
KKevin McFarland is currently infiltrating the New York City new music scene as a recent transplant from his hometown of Lancaster, PA. As a freelance musician, he has recently appeared with ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Dal Niente, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Signal, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. He is also a member of the Tarab Cello Ensemble, a new music cello octet, with whom he has recorded for Bridge Records. Kevin holds a degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition with David Liptak, Robert Morris, and Ricardo Zohn Muldoon, and cello with Steven Doane. At Eastman he performed often with new music ensembles Ossia and Musica Nova and premiered over one hundred student compositions. He continues to compose both acoustic and electronic music and lives in Brooklyn.