JOHNNA WU, the co-founder of PinkNoise, is an active performer and improviser in North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2015, she was the only artist awarded the Fulbright scholarship to pursue research in Germany, and was sponsored by the State Department of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. She graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts with double degrees in Biology and Musicology and obtained a Masters of Music degree in violin performance at The Juilliard School. Her most recent appearances include performances at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, Guangzhou Opera House, and the Banff Centre in Canada. She serves on the faculty and is a co-curator for the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland.
SIMON KANZLER, the co-founder of PinkNoise, is a composer, laptop improviser and vibraphonist based in New York and currently lives in Paris as a participant of the Cursus program at IRCAM. He has a diverse musical background both as an improviser—originally on the vibraphone and in recent years primarily on his self-made modular software instrument—and as a composer, working with a broad range of musicians including new music ensembles, jazz bands, improvisers, heavy metal and rock musicians. His chamber works have been performed by new music groups such as the ensemble mosaik and the modern art ensemble. He has studied composition with Mauro Lanza at the UdK Berlin from 2015 to 2017 and jazz vibraphone with David Friedman at the Jazz-Institute Berlin from 2009 to 2013. Computer music has become his primary research focus since 2018 and is now an essential ingredient in all of his work, for which he creates his own software. Kanzler is the founder of the KIM collective Berlin that organizes a yearly festival for experimental music, the KIM Fest in Berlin. The collective has recently cooperated with the Jazzfest Berlin, for which Kanzler created a multichannel sound-installation in 2018 and participated in the creation of “Mass of Hyphae” a fungus opera, that was performed at the Jazzfest Berlin 2019. He has released four albums of his band projects Talking Hands, Double Identity and Nodía Es on the labels Unit records and WhyPlayJazz.
Brooklyn-based flutist ROBERTA MICHEL is dedicated to the music of our time. Praising her “extreme adventurousness,” New York Concert Review said she “riveted with her performance, inspiring one to want a repeated hearing.” Michel is the Co-artistic Director of Wavefield. A founding member of Duo RoMi and Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Michel has also performed with: Ecce Ensemble, Portland String Quartet, Newspeak, SEM Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Argento, Iktus, Wordless Music Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble LPR, and Cygnus Ensemble among others. Recent venues include: Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tulley Hall, Merkin Hall, The Kennedy Center, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She can be heard on New Dynamic, Innova, Tzadik, and Meta Records. Michel has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works and has worked with many notable composers of our day.Michel holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, SUNY-Purchase College, and the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a winner of the NFA Graduate Research Competition for her dissertation on the flute music of Salvatore Sciarrino, resulting in a presentation at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans. Her teachers include Robert Dick, Tara O’Connor, and Alexa Still. She currently teaches at St. Francis College, Sarah Lawrence College, and at her private studio in Brooklyn.
Clarinetist KAI HIRAYAMA is a performer, improviser, and recording musician devoted to the music of now. An avid champion of new music and a strong believer in its necessity for a culturally relevant musical future, he has worked with many composers including Igor Santos, Conrad Tao, Amy Beth Kirsten, Alan Hankers, David Sanford, and more to create and perform new works of clarinet solo and chamber music. An active member of the NYC/NY freelance musician community, Kai is a frequent substitute with many local orchestras, including the Albany Symphony, so&so NYC, and the US Broadway premiere of “Gwangju - the Musical”. A passionate educator as well as performer, he maintains a large private studio of clarinet and saxophone students, has served as substitute clarinet faculty for the Juilliard School Pre-college Division, and is on the faculty of the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival in Leavenworth, WA. Kai has performed internationally, with concerts around Europe, Australia, and North America. He completed his doctoral studies at Stony Brook University under the guidance of Alan Kay.
Pianist HAN CHEN, a native of Taichung, Taiwan, studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky at The Juilliard School, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in part on a Van Cliburn Alumni Scholarship. He continues his studies at the New England Conservatory with Wha Kyung Byun. As first-prize winner of the Sixth China International Piano Competition, Mr. Chen released his debut CD, of Liszt opera transcriptions, on Naxos Records. He has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (under Vladimir Ashkenazy), Aspen Music Festival Brass Ensemble, China Symphony Orchestra, Macao Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, and given recitals in New York, Taiwan, and China. A modern-music enthusiast, Mr. Chen collaborated closely with Juilliard’s new-music ensemble, AXIOM (as in John Cage’s Concerto for Prepared Piano), and is on the roster of the New York-based Ensemble Échappé. His program of all New York-based composers at the new-music venue Spectrum was a Time Out New York critic’s pick. Mr. Chen also is an avid composer whose works have been performed in Taiwan, New York, Aspen, and beyond.
Cellist ISSEI HERR embraces openness and vulnerability, a sense of wonder and exploration, and a search for truth and beauty through the vast expressive sound worlds of the cello. Wielding between an expansive array of stylistic genres and time periods, from notated music to improvised, acoustic to electronic, Issei maintains a commitment to musical discovery in every facet of their performing endeavors. Highlights of the 2021 season include performances with musical artist Rachika Nayar at The Shed, Knockdown Center, Elsewhere Rooftop, and Market Hotel; performances across the United States with Unheard-of Ensemble, from the waters of the Gowanus Canal to spaces in Texas, Ohio, and beyond; performances in New York with electroacoustic ensemble PinkNoise; and a solo performance at St. John’s in the Village, New York. Past highlights included a series of duo concerts with distinguished violinist Rolf Schulte in Mexico and New York, a solo concert tour in Oregon, a collaborative performance art project with choreographer Mary Armentrout in San Francisco, performances in Guangzhou and Shanghai with PinkNoise, and a recording of the complete solo cello suites of Bach.Committed to musical partnership and cross-disciplinary endeavors, Issei is a fervid collaborator. Highlights of past partnerships include a video collaboration with composer and visual artist Julie Zhu and artist Chong Gu. Issei also recently performed a fully improvised set with Rachika Nayar, at the Shaker Mountain Festival in New York. Issei has worked closely with some of the leading classical composers of our time, including Mario Davidovsky, Kaija Saariaho, Nico Muhly, and Augusta Read Thomas. In 2020, they performed the world premiere of composer Nico Muhly’s solo cello work “Overture Study”, as part of a commission by St. John’s in the Village. Issei completed musical training at The Juilliard School, as a student of pioneering cellist Fred Sherry. They are currently based in Brooklyn, New York.