Mezzo-soprano CALLISTA HOFFMAN hails from Pennsylvania. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated as part of the music honors program, and received an MA at the University of Southern California. She received the USC Thornton Opera, USC Thornton Music Outreach, USC Thornton Outstanding Graduate and 2011 Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship awards as well as honorable mention in the 2011 Whittier Society for Singers Competition. She performed the roles of Florence in Thornton Opera's production of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring and Oberon in his A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ramiro in Mozart's La finta giardiniera, Siebel in Gounod's Faust and Anybodys in West Side Story at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. This year marks her second season with the Los Angeles Master Chorale as member and soloist. Hoffman has performed the alto solos in the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Enlightenment Chamber Music Group, Handel's Messiah with LACO and Horizon Music Group, Bach's St. John Passion and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass.
NICHOLAS PHAN continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling young tenors appearing on the prestigious concert and opera stages of the world. He has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the United States and Great Britain, including the BBC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta and St. Louis symphonies; St. Paul and English chamber orchestras; and The Philadelphia Orchestra. An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Cecile Licad and Jennifer Montone, principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra. A rising young star of the opera world, Phan recently performed with the Seattle, Glyndebourne, New York City, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Houston Grand and Glimmerglass operas; Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf; Opéra de Lille; and Chicago Opera Theater. Last fall, he released his first solo album Winter Words. His discography includes a GRAMMY-nominated recording of Stravinksy's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound).
American bass-baritone MICHAEL DEAN is in demand worldwide in both concert and operatic repertoire, appearing with many of the leading opera houses and orchestras of the US and Europe. The New York Times lauded his "strong appealing bass-baritone," while the San Jose Mercury News considered him "the standout, his voice a penetrating wake-up call." He has made frequent appearances at New York City Opera, where he has performed the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, George in Of Mice and Men, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. Recent appearances have also included Jason McFarlane in Lizzie Borden for a "Live From Lincoln Center" broadcast; the title role in Don Giovanni and Silva in Ernani at the Landestheater in Linz, Austria; Figaro in Antwerp, Belgium, Of Mice and Men at Arizona Opera, and Colline in La bohème in Strasbourg and Berlin. Dean has also received critical praise for his numerous recordings of Baroque opera. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with LA Opera, Nashville Symphony, I Musici de Montreal, the Modesto Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic. Dean has previously appeared with the Pacific Symphony, the Calgary and Louisiana philharmonics, the Richmond Symphony, Mexico's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, among others. He recently made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of Aaron Kernis' Garden of Light, conducted by Kurt Masur. Dean is a member of the Voice Faculty of UCLA.
The USC THORNTON CHAMBER SINGERS is the premier choral ensemble at the USC Thornton School of Music and is directed by Jo-Michael Scheibe, chair of USC Thornton's department of Choral and Sacred Music. The Chamber Singers, in conjunction with the USC Thornton Concert Choir, has performed in recent years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The ensemble perform regularly in concert halls around the country and around the world, including tours to South Korea in 1994, Poland in 1997 and China in 2006. Among numerous highlights, during the 2010-11 academic year, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers were featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and at the Shoah Foundation Gala, where they performed with Grammy and Academy-Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson. In January 2009, Dale Warland led the group in a concert titled Choral Music as an Agent of Social Change, and in February 2011, Robert Reynolds directed the West Coast premiere of Heinz Werner Henze's Muses of Sicily. In November 2009, the Chamber Singers joined the USC Thornton Concert Choir and USC Thornton Symphony for a performance of Bach's Mass in B minor under the direction of Helmuth Rilling. In October 2009, members of the Chambers Singers and Concert Choir joined Andrea Bocelli in his performance and DVD Recording of My Christmas for PBS. The mixed-voice ensemble gave the keynote performance at the 2005 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2002, the Chamber Singers won the Grand Prix of a prestigious international choral competition in Tours, France.
LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO), proclaimed "America's finest chamber orchestra" by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world's top musical ensembles. Since 1997, LACO has performed under acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, hailed by critics as "visionary" and "a conductor of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity." Under Kahane's leadership, the Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 44-year history, the Orchestra has made 30 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America and garnered seven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. LACO presents its Orchestral Series at both the Alex Theatre and Royce Hall, Baroque Conversations at Zipper Hall, Westside Connections chamber music series at The Broad Stage, and an annual Discover concert at Ambassador Auditorium. LACO also presents a Concert Gala, an annual Silent Film screening and several fundraising salons each year. Additionally, LACO's outreach programs Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program reach thousands of young people annually.