Artists

Carla Rees

Carla Rees is a British low flutes specialist who has developed an international reputation for her innovative work. Her multi-faceted career encompasses solo and chamber music performance, collaboration, recording, composing, arranging, editing and teaching. She performs on Kingma System flutes (made by Eva Kingma, Bickford Brannen and Lev Levit), as well as both baroque and contemporary repertoire on baroque flutes.

Her performing work encompasses chamber music and solo recitals, appearing frequently at international festivals, including flute festivals in France, Germany, Poland, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Japan and the UK, as well as at BEAST Feast, Bangor New Music Festival, ICMC, HCMF, Cheltenham Music Festival, Kulturforum Pax Christi, Krefeld (Germany), Open Spaces Festival Nuremburg (Germany), Tirol Easter Festival, (Austria), Lunalia Festival (Belgium) Eglise Saint-Merri, Paris (France) and La Cote Festival (Switzerland), Sonic Circuits (USA), Spark Festival (USA) and others. Recent UK performances include at Iklectik, The Forge and Café Oto (London), MTIDMU Concert Series (Leicester), Fairfield Halls (Croydon), Handel House (London) and York Spring Music Festival. Recent performances include events in the UK, Italy, Poland, Costa Rica, Japan and Brazil.

She is Artistic Director of rarescale, a contemporary chamber ensemble with whom she works to create and promote new repertoire for her instruments. She is also a member of the Goldfield Ensemble, Edison Ensemble, and plays in a trio focussing on Feldman’s music with pianist John Tilbury and percussionist Simon Allen.

An active collaborator, Carla’s projects include improvised interdisciplinary work with ecosystemic electronic composer Scott L Miller, and artist Caroline Wright. Other collaborations include the International Superflutes Collective and Hønk, the first European Contrabass Flute Ensemble.

Carla’s passion for the development of recital repertoire has resulted in the development of several hundred new works written for her by a wide range of composers. Premieres include works by Claes Biehl, Simon Emmerson, Robert Fokkens, Alexander Goehr, Sungji Hong, Daniel Kessner, Nicola LeFanu, Adam Melvin, Scott L Miller, Patrick Nunn, Michael Oliva, David Bennett Thomas, Ian Wilson, Scott Wilson and Elizabeth Winters. Her most recent project sees the creation of new contemporary works for baroque flute, which she has combined with studies in early music performance with Serge Saitta.

Carla leads rarescale Flute Academy, an acclaimed flute ensemble for university level players, for whom she arranges numerous works. The ensemble has performed in Greece, Poland and the United States, and is currently collaborating with a number of composers to create new repertoire.

An experienced recording artist, she appears on more than 20 CDs (including for rarescale records, NMC, Metier, Delphian, Heritage records and Edition Troy), including concerto recordings with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Ensemble Neumusik im Ostseeraum (Germany). She also appears on incidental music for film, TV and radio, including the 2018 release Mary Magdalene (music by Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir), and the BBC Radio 4 series Dear Professor Hawking. She has over 80 published compositions and arrangements (available through Tetractys), with recent performances of her works in the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, France, Poland and Belgium.

Carla has enjoyed a long involvement with international flute societies. She was Programme Director for two British Flute Society International Conventions, and served a four-year term as International Liaison Chair for the National Flute Association of America (NFA) and from November 2021 she will be Chair of the NFA’s New Music Advisory Committee. She currently Editor of PAN, the Journal of the British Flute Society.

She completed her PhD at the Royal College of Music in London in 2014, researching extended techniques for Kingma System alto and bass flute with the support of scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the RCM. She is Programme Leader for an innovative online Music degree at the Open College of the Arts and has taught the flute at Royal Holloway University of London since 2006. In 2021 she was appointed the first Professor of Low Flutes and Contemporary Flute at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

 

Jesus Castro

Colombian flutist Jesus Castro is an international performer with participation in countries such as Peru, Ecuador, and the United States of America. Castro is winner of several competitions such as Fifth Place and Laureated flutist in the 2009 Colombian National Flute Competition in Bogota, Colombia, The University of Southern Mississippi 2010-2011 Band Soloists Competition, 2011-2012, USM William T. Gower Orchestra Soloists Competition, and Second place in the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind State Division Competition. Selected as Graduate Musician of the years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 and Most Valuable Wind Player 2012-2013 by the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He was selected as one of the 25 qualifying participants to attend to the 2013 National Flute Association International Young Artist Competition. Winner of Honorary Mention at the Louisiana Flute Festival 2014. Jesus was a winner of the award “Becas Para Colombianos en Procesos de Formación Artística y Cultural en el Exterior” given by the Colombian National Department of Culture in 2015.
Jesus Castro holds an undergraduate degree from the Conservatory of Tolima, a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance degree from the same institution.
Castro currently holds the position of Professor at the University of Pamplona Music Program and Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor of Flute at the District University Francisco Jose de Caldas Asab, College of Artes (Asab). Since 2020, Castro is the Director of the Presencias, Saberes y Expresiones – Academic Journal of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Pamplona, Colombia.

Zhaolei Xie

 

Chinese Pianist Zhaolei Xie was a winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, which led to his debut in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2006. He also won the Bronze Medal in the 58th Wideman International Piano Competition. His other awards include the First place in the Young Artist Division of the Tourgee DeBose National Piano Competition in Baton Rouge; Winner of Monroe Symphony Young Artists Competition, Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artist Competition and Texas Christian University Piano Concerto Competition; Second place in the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition of MTNA and Texas Young Artists Competition.

Mr. Xie has appeared as orchestral soloist with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra and Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra. He is also active as a recitalist, chamber musician and piano accompanist. Mr. Xie has performed piano solo and chamber music in Ed Landreth Auditorium and PepsiCo Recital Hall in Texas and Miller Recital Hall and Greenfield Hall in New York City. He has served as piano accompanist in Southeastern Louisiana University and the Thurnauer School of Music of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in New Jersey. Mr. Xie has participated in master classes given by Leslie Howard , Yoheved Kaplinsky and Jose Feghali.

Mr. Xie received his piano training in Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and St. Petersburg State Conservatory of Music, Russia from 1993-2004. He earned his Bachelor’s degree with honors from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he was a student of David Evenson and Kenneth Boulton. Mr. Xie holds Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music, and Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, where he studied with Marc Silverman and John Owings. He is a member of PHI KAPPA PHI National Honor Society. In 2014, Mr. Xie was appointed as Staff Accompanist in The University of Southern Mississippi.

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