Celebrated for his “roiling, insistent orchestral figuration” (New York Times) and “glittery, percussive pieces” (Toronto Globe and Mail), composer Robert Honstein is a composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music.
His works have been performed throughout North America by ensembles such as the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble ACJW, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Mivos quartet, the Del Sol Quartet, Concert Black, TIGUE, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, among others. He has received an Aaron Copland Award, multiple ASCAP awards and other honors from SCI, Carnegie Hall, and New Music USA. He has also received residencies at Copland House, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, I-Park, the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center.
Robert co-produces Fast Forward Austin, an annual marathon new music concert in Austin, TX and is a founding member of the New York based composer collective Sleeping Giant. Upcoming projects include commissions from cellist Ashley Bathgate, a consortium of pianists for a solo piano work, and a new work for Eighth Blackbird as part of a collaborative project with Sleeping Giant. He is also composer-in-residence, along with his Sleeping Giant colleagues, with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, as part of a Music Alive grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras. He studied composition at the Yale School of Music with Martin Bresnick, Chris Theofanidis, and David Lang.
Awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for his Piano Concerto, “Chiavi in mano”, Yehudi Wyner (b.1929) is one of America's most distinguished musicians. Born in Western Canada, Yehudi Wyner grew up in New York City. He came into a musical family and was trained early as pianist and composer. His father, Lazar Weiner, was the preeminent composer of Yiddish Art Song as well as a notable creator of liturgical music for the modern synagogue. After graduating from the Juilliard School with a Diploma in piano, Yehudi Wyner went on to study at Yale and Harvard Universities with composers Paul Hindemith, Richard Donovan, and Walter Piston. In 1953, he won the Rome Prize in Composition enabling him to live for the next three years at the American Academy in Rome, composing, playing, and traveling.
Wyner has also had an active career as a solo pianist, chamber musician collaborating with notable vocal and instrumental colleagues, teacher, director of two opera companies, and conductor of numerous chamber and vocal ensembles in a wide range of repertory. Keyboard artist of the Bach Aria Group since 1968, he has played and conducted many of the Bach cantatas, concertos and motets. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center from 1975-97. Mr. Wyner was a Professor at the Yale University School of Music from 1963-1977 where he also served as Chairman of the Composition faculty. He became Dean of the Music Division at State University of New York, Purchase, in 1978, where he was a Professor for twelve years. A guest Professor at Cornell University in 1988, Mr. Wyner has also been a frequent Visiting Professor at Harvard University since 1991.