MFA in Music Composition

Summer 2017 Brooklyn Brass Quintet / Visiting Ensemble

Brooklyn Brass Quintet

The Brooklyn Brass Quintet is five virtuosic musicians dedicated to the performance and creation of contemporary classical and alt-classical new music. The ensemble works in a variety of combinations from traditional brass quintet, to accompanying vocal works, to theatrical performances, to multimedia settings. In addition to commissioning new works, its members actively write and arrange for the group. The Brooklyn Brass Quintet has toured internationally, been the ensemble-in-residence at the Banff Center for the Arts and Le Domaine Forget summer festivals, has given master classes in the USA and Canada, and can be regularly heard at such NY venues as The Kitchen, New York University, Greenwich House Music School, and many more.

Mike Gurfield, trumpet 

Hailed as a “new music veteran” by New York Magazine, Mike Gurfield has quickly become one of New York City’s most sought after freelance trumpet players.  With appearances ranging from Broadway (on “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center, and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” at the Schubert Theater) to orchestral concerts (the Knights, New York Symphonic Ensemble, New England Symphonic Ensemble, and guest-principal trumpet of the Harrisburg Symphony, among many others) to indie-Rock (Tyondai Braxton, David Byrne, and Tall Tall Trees) to alt-classical and new music performances with Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Deviant Septet, Mike has appeared live on the radio on Radio Bremen (Germany), KUSC and KKGO in Los Angeles, WXXI in Rochester, WQXR and Q2 in New York, and nationally on NPR.  He has been heard at some of the best concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium and Zenkel Recital Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully, and Avery Fisher Halls, and Vivian Beaumont Theater, London's Barbican, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Troy New York's EMPAC, as well as Columbia University's Miller Theater, and NYC experimental art spaces like Le Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, and Galapagos Art Space.  Mike has appeared in numerous recordings from such labels as Sony Classical, Warner Brothers, Naxos America, New Amsterdam Records, Mode Records, Domino Records, and many more.  The chair of the brass and music theory departments at Manhattan’s Greenwich House Music School, Mike has taught master classes in three countries and at numerous colleges and universities such as the Eastman School of Music, Western Michigan University, Nazareth College, NYU, Duke University, The Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada, and Mexico's UAS.

Matt Mead, trumpet 

Matt Mead attended the Eastman School of Music, where he studied trumpet with world-renowned trumpeter and pedagogue James Thompson.  In 2004, after receiving his degree in trumpet performance, Matt moved to Culiacan Sinaloa, where he played Principal and Assistant Principal with the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes.  In 2009, Matt left Mexico and joined the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof staring Chaim Topol.  Matt lives in Brooklyn, is an active part of member of the New York music scene, playing everything from Broadway shows like Billy Elliot, to performing with groups such as the Wordless Orchestra, the Brooklyn Brass, and the Harrisburg Symphony.  He has performed and recorded with a variety of groups including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, San Diego Symphony, the Music Academy of the West Orchestra and MAW Faculty brass quartet.

William Lang, trombone 

William Lang is an active performer, improviser, and teacher based in New York City. He can be found playing in all settings and style, from the avant-garde and classical to Broadway and indie chamber pop. He has given his signature unaccompanied recitals throughout the United States, played concertos in both America and Europe, and has also recorded with such artists as Philip Glass, David Bryne, St. Vincent, and Jonsi (of Sigur Ros.) Intensely passionate for chamber music, he regularly performs alongside his groundbreaking ensembles loadbang (an original and unique group of musicians interested in cutting edge music) and the Guidonian Hand (a trombone quartet dedicated to breaking boundaries within the brass community.) The New York Times has called his playing "fiercely, virtuosic" and the Boston Globe has hailed him for his "superb performance" in past solo works.

Matt Marks, horn

Matt Marks is a composer/performer of emotionally manipulative pop songs and acoustic works. A founding member of Alarm Will Sound, he also performs as a French hornist with such acclaimed new music ensembles as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Signal, and ACME. He has recorded for Warp Records, Nonesuch, Cantaloupe Music, as well as many other independent labels. As a composer and arranger, Matt’s work has been called “staggeringly creative” by The New York Times, “obsessively detailed” by New York Magazine, and “stunning” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, The Barbican Center, The Bang on a Can Marathon, and live on WNYC radio. Matt’s first album, his post-Christian nihilist pop opera, The Little Death: Vol. 1, released on New Amsterdam Records, was described as “cheerily seductive” by the NY Times and “unabashedly boppy, baroquely multireferential, then suddenly sentimental” by Time Out NY. TLDV1 was also one of Time Out NY's Top Ten Classical albums of 2010 and it contained one of Huffington Post's Top Ten Alternative Art Songs of the Decade. 

Other recent projects include The Adventures of Albert Fish, described by Sequenza21.com as “brilliantly simultaneously creepy and funny”; A Portrait of Glenn Beck for the new music ensemble Newspeak; and an arrangement of The Beatles’ Revolution 9 for Alarm Will Sound. Recently Matt has been worked with The Dirty Projectors on a live realization of their opera The Getty Address and on his first string quartet for ETHEL. Matt is also co-director of the BDSM-themed chamber ensemble, Ensemble de Sade, and is an organizer of the annual New Music Bake Sale.

John Altieri, tuba 

As tubist, composer, & conductor, JOHN ALTIERI has amassed a considerable list of performances & recordings across a wide range of styles & genres. Recent work with David Byrne, St. Vincent, and Macklemore has found him appearing on the Grammys, Letterman, Colbert, & Fallon TV shows while touring the world. His work with Red Baraat, one of World Music's latest mind blowing concoctions, has found him on the hottest Jazz and World Music Festival stages across the planet as well. Holding a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and an M.M. in composition from the University of Arizona, John is equally at home in 21st Century and Classical repertoire having performed and recorded with Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Signal, Now Ensemble, Asphalt Orchestra, Brandt Brauer Frick, Victoire, Wordless Music Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Brass Quintet among others. John is a Conn-Selmer sousaphone artist.