Carl B. Schmidt, Professor Emeritus of Music History and Culture at Towson University in Maryland, received his MA and
PhD from Harvard, his BA from Stanford, and enjoyed conducting studies with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau, France.
She invited him to bring his Wabash College Glee Club to perform for the 50th anniversary of her Écoles d’Art Américaines
in 1973. His Poulenc and Auric catalogues (Oxford University Press and Mellen Press respectively) have established the
numbering systems now in use for each composer, and his Entrancing Muse (Pendragon Press) is the most significant
English-language Poulenc biography. He has also edited four Poulenc works including the famous Flute Sonata, Suite
française for cello and piano, Quatre poèmes de Max Jacob for voice and five winds (recorded by Charles Dutoit), and the
early Trois pastorales¬–the modern-day premiere and first recording of which were both by Ms. Erdely-Sayo. His articles
have been published in a number of Festschriften and peer-reviewed periodicals, and he has read papers for both the
International Musicological Society and the American Musicological Society.
More recently Schmidt has turned to American studies. His book concerning Randall Thompson’s iconic Alleluia was
published in 2010 and The Music of Randall Thompson (1899-1984): A Documented Catalogue, co-authored with his wife
Betsey, was released in January 2015 (both ECS Publishing). In May 2018 their book The Road Not Taken: A Documented
Biography of Randall Thompson was published by Pendragon Press. This is the first full-length biography of the man who
until his death in 1984 was called “The dean of American choral composers.” In addition, they have edited his early string
quartet The Wind in the Willows and his 1970 Wedding Music (also for string quartet).
Carl published A History of the Handel Choir of Baltimore (1935-2013): “Music Spread Thy Voice Around,” (Lexington Books),
edited Walter Piston’s Salute for four B-flat trumpets (with Luis Engelke), and is currently writing the biography of his father
Harold Schmidt (1909-94), a founding member of the Stanford University Music Department in 1947. A choral conductor, he
prepared choruses for Pierre Monteux, Bruno Walter, William Steinberg, Joseph Krips, and Seiji Ozawa among others. Carl
lectures yearly for the Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall concert series and has received significant grants from the
National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Music
and Letters, Harvard University (Houghton Library Fellowship), and other universities.
Schmidt lives in Baltimore with Betsey, his wife of over fifty years. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Performing and recording Poulenc’s L’histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant with Ms. Erdely-Sayo and seeing this festival grow
and thrive remain among Carl’s musical pleasures.
Elizabeth Peña, Narrator and Co-Director of the Piano on the Rocks International Festival, is currently the director of the
Spanish Language School in Philadelphia. After studying in Cali, Colombia, where she was born, she immigrated to
the United States in 1991. Her interest and love for languages took her to a different path. She specialized in the field
of languages and became an expert in teaching Spanish as a second language. With a great talent in prose and
narrative, Elizabeth Peña received a proposal to work with artist Sandrine Erdely-Sayo. In 2010, she narrated Platero y
Yo in New York City for the annual NPR conference, repeating it in 2014 in Carnegie Hall. Since then she has
performed it in many different states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Texas and Arizona.
In 2012 Elizabeth Peña, made the recording of Platero y Yo in Texas with pianist/composer Sandrine Erdely-Sayo
followed by a second recording called "Intelligent Series" of The Dove and the Jaguar. With her lyrical voice, she brings
words to life and life to words.
Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, pianist, composer and Artistic Director of the Piano on the Rocks International Festival, began
piano studies at age four and has won numerous prizes across a career that began in Perpignan, France. She
continued her musical studies with Denyse Rivière in Paris and with Christian Manen at the Paris Superior Conservatory
where she received first prize for specialization in solfège. There, she pursued special studies in harmony, counterpoint
and fugue. At fourteen she wrote Three Pieces for Chamber Orchestra that were played at the Chatelet Theater in Paris.
She became the youngest recipient of the French Minister of Culture Prize at the age of thirteen, and four years later won
first prize at the Scène Française International Piano Competition in Paris. She was also a prize winner at the Ibla
International Competition in Italy.
In 1990 she came to Philadelphia to study with Susan Starr at the University of the Arts, receiving a master's degree in
piano and composition. Her Chicago debut took place at Preston Bradley Hall for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert
in 1999, and in 2014 she made her Carnegie Hall debut. She has played the major repertoire by Poulenc, Messiaen,
Bartok, performing as a soloist, in chamber music and with orchestras in Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, the United
States, and for radio and television in various countries.
An active composer and recording artist, Sandrine has recorded the integral piano music of Primitivo Lazaro for Randolfo
Records, as well as music by Poulenc, Liszt, Thalberg, Scriabin, Debussy, Christian Manen, and Piazolla. She made the
first recording of Poulenc's early Trois Pastorales (discovered by Dr. Schmidt), that she played at Towson in 1995. As a
composer, she has written a number of works including Platero y Yo for piano and narrrator and the Hymn to Sedona
that was nominated for the American Song-Writing Award. She is also a member of the International Society for
Philosophical Enquiry and of the Mega Society. From Bach to Liszt, from Fauré to Yiddish and Contemporary music,
Sandrine Erdely-Sayo is an eclectic pianist who handles a range of styles and emotions with the greatest of ease. She
has been described as "electrifying" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and as "A pianist with idealism, passion and lyricism" (La
Barbara Di Toro, soprano, joins us for the fourth season of Piano on the Rocks International Festival. Her operatic roles
have included Susanna in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Papagena, First Lady, and First Spirit in various productions of
Mozart’s Magic Flute, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, Amour in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, among others. Barbara
has appeared in local musical theater productions as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Tuptim in King and I, Robin in
Godspell, and Patti in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Active as a church musician, she is the soprano soloist and
section leader at Calvary Presbyterian Church of Wyncote, and a cantor at both St. Hilary of Poitiers and Our Lady Help of
Barbara earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in vocal performance at Temple University’s Boyer College
of Music and Dance. She then completed a doctorate in Higher Education Administration at Temple while working full-
time as the Associate Director of Temple University Music Preparatory Division. In addition to being on the voice faculty
at Temple Music Prep and maintaining a private voice studio, Barbara’s teaching experiences over the years have
included being a lecturer in voice, a music director and co-producer of musical theater productions and a classroom
music teacher at the elementary and pre-school levels. Barbara recently retired from her duties at Temple and is
enjoying time with family and friends. She continues to share her love of singing with her wonderful voice students and
with congregations and audiences like you.
A b o u t t h e A r t i s t s
© 2018 Piano On The Rocks
Barbara Di Toro
Cynthia Raim, who was unanimously chosen as the First Prize winner of the Clara Haskil International Piano
Competition, has been acclaimed for her concerto and recital appearances throughout the United States and abroad. In
summing up the performance that won Ms. Raim the coveted Clara Haskil prize, La Suisse (Geneva) noted that “Miss
Raim showed a musical nature that has gone far beyond technical mastery. Without affectation, without useless
bravado, Cynthia Raim has imprinted herself on us and cannot escape our admiration. Le Monde (Paris) called her “a
new Clara Haskil.” Ms. Raim has won the prestigious Pro Musicis Award and, in 1987, was the first recipient of the
“Distinguished Artist Award” of The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia (America’s oldest continuing musical
organization), which was given for “outstanding achievement and artistic merit.”
Ms. Raim has made numerous recital as well as radio and television appearances. She has appeared as soloist with
leading orchestras in major cities such as Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Prague, Hamburg, Lausanne,
and Vienna. She has also participated in many leading international music festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia,
Tanglewood, Meadow Brook, Grand Teton, Bard, Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Luzern, and Montreux. She has recorded for
Gallo, Pantheon, and Connoisseur Society. Before graduating in 1977 from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she
studied with Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Ms. Raim had won the Festorazzi Award for Most Promising
Pianist at Curtis, as well as first prizes in the J.S. Bach International and Three Rivers National Piano Competitions.
This is Ms. Raim’s third appearance at the Piano on the Rocks International Festival.
a r t i s t s
April 26-28, 2019
Vasco Dantas, Portuguese pianist born in Porto in 1992, obtained his Bachelor in Music with 1st Class Distinction at
London’s Royal College of Music, studying piano with Dmitri Alexeev and Niel Immelman, and conducting with Peter Stark
and Natalia Luis-Bassa. He concluded a Master in Performance degree with highest honors under the guidance of
Heribert Koch, at the University of Münster, where he was accepted to the doctoral study Konzertexamen.
Vasco has been awarded more than fifty prizes in international competitions in Germany, Italy, Greece, Malta, Morocco,
Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Recent prizes include: GianClaudio International Prize (Rome), Grand Prix at Valletta
International Piano Competition (Malta), Prix Spécial at Concours International de Piano SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem
Morroco), 1st prize at Porto International Competition Santa Cecília, 1st Prize at Estoril Lisbon Music Competition (Portugal)
and 3rd Prize at Münster Steinway & Sons Competition (Germany).
In 2017 Vasco made his Russian debut performing with the Kremling Chamber Orchestra at the Grand Hall of Moscow’s
Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His German orchestral debut was in 2016 performing with both the Jülich Sinfonieorchester
and Junges Sinfonieorchester Aachen. In Asia in 2015 he played with the Hong Kong Symphonia at the Hong Kong City
Hall Concert Hall, and in 2014 he made his South American debut playing with "Orquestra Sinfónica Espírito Santo" in
Vitória – Brazil, In 2013 Vasco made his Portuguese debut with the Porto Symphony Orchestra. He has been a soloist with
numerous other orchestras and worked with a number of prominent conductors.
Vasco performed live for the first time on Portuguese National Television when he was six. That same year he made his
first public appearance at the Porto Tram Museum, selected for his virtuosity among students of the Estrelita Yamaha
Music School in Porto where he had started learning the piano at age four. In 2000 he was admitted with honors to the
Porto Music Conservatory where he studied with Rosgard Lingardson, concluding his studies in 2010 with the highest
mark. Since age seven he has also studied violin working with Professor José Paulo Jesus.
He has a Master’s degree in Music Teaching from Aveiro University, the diploma Art of Teaching from London’s Royal
College of Music, and has taught privately in London. In addition, he teaches a limited number of private pupils and often
gives masterclasses at importante festivals.
He has been invited to record for the Galician Radio, Antena 2, for the CD label KNS Classical: Promenade (2015), and
Golden Liszt (2016), which are available online and were broadcast by Antena 2 (Portugal) and the German radio’s MDR
Klassik and WDR 3. Supported by AVA Musical Editions, this is Vasco’s second appearance at Sedona’s Piano on the
Rocks Inernational Festival.
Carla Dirlikov Canales is an internationally known opera singer who is emerging as a leader in the area of using the arts
to advance important social issues. She is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
Turnaround Arts Program, was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of its 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015
and won the Medal of Excellence from the Sphinx Organization, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sotomayor at the
United States Supreme Court. In each case, she was the first opera singer ever to receive these honors. Most recently,
this year she was named as one of Musical America’s 30 Top Movers and Shapers. As a singer she has received
worldwide acclaim, and is best known for her portrayals of Bizet’s “Carmen” which she has performed over 80 times in a
dozen countries. She has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and top
international venues in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She is the founder and CEO of The Canales Project, aimed at
giving voice to issues of Identity and culture through music and conversation.
In China, Ms Canales performed songs in Chinese by Academy Award winner Tan Dun with the China National
Symphony Orchestra at the NCPA in 2016, and returned in 2017 as a soloist with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra for
their Belt and Road Festival. At China’s National Center for the Performing Arts Ms. Canales sang the role of Giulietta in
Les Contes d’Hoffmann as well as the title role in the legendary Royal Opera House production of Carmen. Much in
demand for her portrayals of Bizet’s Carmen, Ms Canales has sung the title role with various other organizations in
China, including with the Shanghai Opera in 2016.
Ms Canales has been a guest speaker and performer with the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for
Hispanics, the Aspen Institute, POLITICO, Harvard University, the Hispanic Heritage Awards on PBS, The National
Endowment’s 50 Anniversary Celebration, Vice President Biden’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and TEDx
MidAtlantic. She has also been a guest artist/speaker with the APAP, Vital Voices, SphinxCon, the Aspen Ideas Festival
and with Vital Voices. She is also an alumna of the Aspen Leadership Seminar and the Harvard University Arts and
Passion Driven Learning Institute, through which she was a fellow.
Carla Dirlikov Canales
Anna Rubin’s music engages audiences with a dramatic intensity and lyrical beauty, whether she is composing for
acoustic instruments or for electronic and computer-generated media. She has composed for a variety of musical genres
including chamber, choral, wind and orchestral ensembles. Her love of story-telling often informs her electroacoustic
works— richly layered narrations embedded in digital sound, which reflect her environmental and social justice concerns.
Upcoming concerts will occur at NYU’s new Immersion Room, a multi-channel venue for electronic work and Dublin’s
Trinity College. In the spring she will premiere a newly commissioned work for the Washington International Chorus.
Her work has been performed internationally, and she is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundations for the
Arts, the National Orchestral Foundation and the New York, Ohio and Maryland State Arts Councils. She has also received
commissions from New American Radio, New England Foundation for the Arts, WNYC Radio, the Northern Ohio Youth
Orchestra, the California EAR Unit, and from virtuoso performers such as Airi Yoshioka, Marlow Fisher, Thomas Buckner,
F. Gerard Errante, Margaret Lucia, and Madeleine Shapiro. Her works are recorded on the Neuma, Sony and SEAMUS
labels, and she is published by Neuma.
She has received New York-based residencies at the Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music and Harvestworks, the
Brahmshaus in Baden-Baden, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
During her years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) she directed the Linehan Artist Scholars Program
(2002-2008) and taught composition and electronic music. She incorporated cross-disciplinary work with faculty
colleagues in philosophy, earth science, visual arts, and dance as well as initiated a unique project with the Liz Lerman
Dance Company, Charlestown Retirement Community, and UMBC students. She received a Ph.D in composition from
Princeton University and is a past president of the International Alliance for Women in Music.
“Andrew Rudin’s music unfolds complex and tightly constructed narratives that nonetheless feel rhapsodic and have an
unfailing sense of lyricism and drama.” (Citation: The American Academy of Arts & Letters, May 2018).
Rudin is a Texas-born composer of Swedish ancestry whose many contributions to the literature of electronic music brought
him early recognition. Critic Michael Caruso, reviewing his Violin Concerto in 2007, remarked “Andrew Rudin has been an
important presence in the local [Philadelphia] contemporary music scene for the past four decades.”
Il Giuoco was his first large-scale work for Moog Synthesizer, a U.S. representative in the 5th Paris Biennale. His
synthesized music is heard in the sound-track of the film Fellini: Satyricon, and his Tragoedia was the second Nonesuch
Records electronic music commission, described by critic Alfred Frankenstein as “The best large-scale electronic work I
have ever heard. In Andrew Rudin's hands the electronic idiom finally comes of age.”
His interest in theatrical music has resulted in ballets for the Pennsylvania Ballet, Murray Louis, Dance Theatre Workshop,
Louis Falco, Jeff Duncan, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and four collaborations with Alwin Nikolais, as well as
incidental music for Tennessee Williams' Outcry on Broadway, and numerous scores for PBS Television. In 1972, his opera
The Innocent was produced in Philadelphia by Tito Capobianco, and his opera PUREWATER will be premiered in New York
Rudin’s orchestral and chamber music has been performed throughout the United States by artists such as pianists Lydia
Artymiw, Beth Levin, Steve Beck and Marcantonio Barone, violinists Miranda Cuckson, Elmira Darvarova and Diane Monroe,
violist Brett Deubner, percussionist Anthony Orlando, flutists Mimi Stillman and Patricia Spencer, and clarinetists Alan Kay
and Ronald Reuben. Recent concertos for Violin, Viola, and Piano have brought him renewed recognition. “Extroverted,
engaging and driven by an almost heroic sense of drama, Rudin has a gift for the kind of gesture that grabs you by the ears
and won't let go,” wrote the Washington Post critic at the 2008 premiere of his Piano Concerto.
He is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Ucorss Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative
Arts, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, among many grants and awards. His teachers have included George Rochberg,
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Hugo Weisgall, Ralph Shapey, Kent Kennan, and Paul Pisk. He has taught on the faculties of the
Juilliard School and The Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, where he was founding director of the Electronic Music
Center. For additional information please go to www.composerRudin.com.