Artist Statement

Written for soloist Solomon Silber, Stolen is an extended work for solo guitar and chamber ensemble that takes its inspiration from Richard James Allen’s poem A Scheme for Brightness. The 45-minute work features seven ensemble movements, interspersed with a solo movement for each instrument in the ensemble. The form of the piece loosely mirrors the structure of the poem, opening with frenzied, chaotic material that eventually winds down into a more spacious and static landscape, occasionally interrupted by moments of reference to the opening material. Unifying the piece is a short high-register piano motif that is heard in a number of the movements. Representative of the closing lines of Allen’s poem (below), this motif contains the pitch material from which the entire piece is drawn. - Nicole Murphy

That gleaming grain

Of golden sand

That piece of matter

With the universe in it


Nicole Murphy (Composer)

Australian composer Nicole Murphy’s music has been described as “exquisite, sensitive, and delicate.” She is the recipient of various awards, including the Nief Norf International Call for Scores (2016), the MAFB International Commissioning Prize (2015), the Theodore Front International Orchestral Prize (2013), the Definiens C3 International Composer’s Award (2011), the Alan Lane Award for Composition (2004), the A.G. Francis Prize for Composition (2001) and the Collusion/QCGU Composition Prize, for her setting of Australian writer John Tranter’s work “The Moment of Waking” (2004). She was selected as a finalist in the Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival Composer Program (2012) and was chosen as the young composer to represent Australia at the 30th Asian Composers League Festival in Tel Aviv (2012). Most recently, Nicole was selected as one of six composers to work with Steve Reich in Toronto (2016) as a part of Soundstreams celebrations of his 80th birthday.

Nicole has been commissioned by eminent arts organisations including the Australian Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance (London), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Wild Rumpus (San Francisco), Chamber Sounds (Singapore), Ba Da Boom Percussion (Brisbane) and the Definiens Project (Los Angeles). Her music has been performed by ensembles such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Ars Nova (Dallas), Halcyon (Sydney) and Chronology Arts (Sydney). She has received performances at numerous festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Connecticut), the Dallas Festival of Modern Music, the Nief Norf Festival (Tennessee) and the Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine).

She completed her Master of Music degree at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2011, under the tutelage of Dr. Gerardo Dirié. During her undergraduate degree she studied under Gerard Brophy, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of  Music (Composition) with First Class Honours.

She is represented as an Associate Artist by the Australian Music Centre and holds the position of Composer-in-Residence at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries. Nicole also works with Musica Viva in Schools (Qld), undertaking residency projects in remote communities. Her music is published by Wirripang and Nicole is currently completing a PhD at the University of Queensland.


Julian Pellicano (Conductor)

Julian Pellicano’s boundless musical appetite makes him a formidable interpreter of symphonic repertoire as well as a versatile conductor in a wide range of genres. He is currently the Resident Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Artist in Residence at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and music director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. Pellicano has built his career by following an unconventional path. The creation, with Dr. Paul Lehrman, of a new performance edition of George Antheil's Ballet Mecanique first brought Pellicano to the public’s attention. From 2009 to 2013 he served as music director of the Longy School of Music Conservatory Orchestra, where he established a rigorous and distinctive new orchestral program. Pellicano has conducted the Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre (Brazil), Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony, New Britain Symphony, Kallisti Ensemble, Boston’s Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, and Milwaukee's Present Music. He has also worked in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Peter Eötvös, Zsolt Nagy, Martyn Brabbins, and Carl St. Clair. As a young musician he played drums, percussion, organ, and accordion in rock, blues and jazz groups. An autodidact, he was accepted to the Peabody Conservatory as a percussionist without typical classical training. He also holds degrees from the Royal College of Music (Stockholm) and the Yale School of Music. At the latter institution, he was awarded both the 2008 Presser Music Award and the Philip F. Nelson Award. He premiered Martin Bresnick’s critically acclaimed opera My Friend's Story at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas and has conducted at Carnegie Hall with the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra.


Solomon Silber (Electric Guitar/Producer)

Solomon Silber is an innovative guitarist and producer committed to pursuing the highest ideal in aesthetic expression. He produces and performs a wide range of music with his characteristic intensity and technical freedom. In 2016 he launched Elm City Records (ECR), an online music platform built to engage the audience through the label’s original video content.

Trained in the romantic Spanish classical guitar tradition, Solomon is a passionate performer and recording artist. In 2015-16 he appeared as soloist with the Newtown Chamber Symphony, Lakewood Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, and An Die Musik Series in Baltimore. In June 2016, ECR will release his third solo classical guitar record, Mano a Mano, featuring the virtuosic titular work by Magnus Lindberg and the Op. 70 Nocturnal by Benjamin Britten. 

Solomon is active in the New Music and Rock & Roll genres, both producing and performing on the electric guitar. His most recent project is Stolen, a documentary feature film that chronicles the production process of a 42-minute chamber suite by awarded Australian composer Nicole Murphy. The piece is eclectically scored for electric guitar, piano, violin, clarinet, bass, and percussion.

Solomon received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his Masters in Music from the Yale School of Music.

All of Solomon’s recordings and films can be found on his website, and


Miki Sawada (Piano)

Miki most recently finished a tour of the Caribbean and Mediterranean, where she gave more than 200 performances as part of the resident piano quintet at Lincoln Center Stage, a collaborative project between Lincoln Center and Holland America cruise line. Miki’s performances have been featured at venues and occasions in the U.S. such as Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Symphony Center’s Macy’s Day of Music, Salon de Virtuosi (NYC), the Oneppo Chamber Music Series at Yale, PianoFest in the Hamptons, and radio stations WQXR (NYC) and WFMT (Chicago). As a proponent of new music, Miki has premiered more than 50 new works by her contemporaries, including works written for her, and she commissions new works for beginning chamber music students through her project NewMusic4Us. Miki founded the piano program at Music Haven, a nonprofit organization in New Haven which provides tuition-free music education to students from New Haven's underserved communities. Miki holds degrees from Yale School of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University. []


Sam Suggs (Bass)

An omnivorous musician, Sam Suggs was recently named “New Artist of the Month” by Musical America and earned the grand prize at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, performing many of his own compositions.

As a collaborative bassist, he has performed at Chamber Music Northwest, Yellow Barn, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center; his jazz/fusion trio Triplepoint has toured in West Africa and Northern Europe, and his band Foundry was named a laureate winner in the inaugural M-Prize Competition. Suggs served as principal bass of the Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Academy for Historical Performance and earned honors in music theory and cognition from Northwestern University while working as the youngest principal bass of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Currently Assistant Professor of Bass at James Madison University, Suggs has received a Presser Foundation Award towards his doctoral studies at Yale University and has worked with Don Palma, Peter Lloyd, DaXun Zhang and Edgar Meyer.


Jeff Stern (Percussion)

Percussionist Jeff Stern is emerging as an exciting new voice in today’s contemporary music scene. Last season featured the world premiere of James Wood’s marimba solo, Secret Dialogues, with a performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and his debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with the Yale Percussion Group. Current projects include the Icarus Quartet, a 2-piano / 2-percussion group, and Salo, a new mixed ensemble spearheaded by composer and harpist Hannah Lash. Jeff has performed at high-profile venues such as Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and with groups such as the Boston New Music Initiative and Baltimore’s Sonar New Music Ensemble. He has appeared at the Yellow Barn, Avaloch Farm, and Norfolk music festivals and can be heard on Cantaloupe Records’ release of Pulitzer Prize-winning John Luther Adams’ large-scale percussion work, Inuksuit.

As an educator, Jeff is a frequent guest studio teacher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he assists resident lecturer in percussion, Ayano Kataoka. In 2012, he established a percussion department for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s youth program, OrchKids, and from 2013-2014, he served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Division as the director of their percussion program.

Jeff holds degrees from UMass Amherst and the Peabody Conservatory, where he was awarded the Harold Randolph Prize in Performance. He recently earned an Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with marimba virtuoso Robert van Sice. 


Ilana Waniuk (Violin)

Ilana Waniuk is a versatile violinist and contemporary chamber music addict with interested ranging from classical music and improvisation to visual arts. She has held artist residencies at the Banff centre for the Arts, Avaloch Farms Music Institute and Le Pantographe in Moutier, Switzerland, and has been a guest artist in residence at the SoundSCAPE festival of contemporary music in Italy. Ilana has participated in the Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at Mass MoCA, and been a fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival New Music Workshop. 

Along with pianist Cheryl Duvall, Ilana is a founding member and co-artistic director of Toronto-based chamber ensemble the Thin Edge New Music Collective (TENMC). TENMC has been responsible for commissioning and premiering over 50 compositions by emerging composers from Canada and abroad. In addition to presenting an annual concert series, TENMC has performed on concert stages across Canada and recently had the privilege to be presented in Argentina as part of the Ciclo de Musica Contemporanea at the Teatro Nacional Cervantes in Buenos Aires. Ilana has performed at numerous contemporary music festivals including Open Ears in Kitchener/Waterloo, the University of Calgary's Happening Festival of New Music and Media and the Royal Conservatory's 21C festival in Toronto as well as with the Madawaska String Quartet, Essential Opera, Adam Rudolph's Go Organic Orchestra, the Bicycle Opera Project, Mississauga Chamber Music Society, NUMUS' Perimeter Players, Chicago's Ensemble Dal Niente, and The Music Gallery's Emergents Series. She received a Graduate Performers Certificate from Northern Illinois University where she studied with Blaise Magniere, and Marie Wang of the Avalon String Quartet and was a recipient of the Dutton String Fellowship. Ilana completed her Master's degree in performance at the University of Ottawa studying with David Stewart, and received her undergraduate degree in performance and a diploma in chamber music from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with Jeremy Bell and Jerzy Kaplanek of the Penderecki String Quartet. Ilana is a winner of the Ontario Arts Council's 2014 Orford String Quartet Award.