Composer Members

mark

Mark Alfenito has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry, having gotten his training at Cornell, Harvard, and Stanford.  He makes his living starting, growing and running biotech companies, focusing on the discovery and development of drugs and vaccines that combat various infectious diseases and cancer.  So, Mark is not a professional musician.  However, he loves music and is an avid amateur piano and organ player.  While in high school, Joseph Schaefer, the music teacher, spent extra hours and weekends to teach Mark the fundamentals of composition.  At Cornell, he studied music composition and organ improvisation under Dr. Stephen May.  Today, he continues to compose for diverse instruments, as the mood strikes.

carol

Carol Belcher received a solid foundation in classical piano and choral music while growing up in suburban Philadelphia.  She began composing in earnest about 15 years ago through harmony and composition classes at City College of San Francisco with Professor Gerald Mueller, whose 5C Composers Collective has inspired Irregular Resolutions.  Exploration and experimentation are hallmarks of Carol's work.  From classically based works for piano, voice, or chorus, she has also studied and written works in Latin and Brazilian music genres, and composed chamber music that combines the influences of all of these.  She is a proud attendee of Jazz Camp West and California Brazil Camp, a longtime student at the Community Music School of the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool), and presently studies jazz piano at Laney College.

harry

Harry Bernstein has been involved in the Bay Area for many years as a composer, performer and teacher. He began his musical training on the trumpet, later learning the recorder as well as the Baroque flute and the modern flute. Not long after earning a D.M.A. in early music performance from Stanford University, he moved 30 miles north to San Francisco where he has lived ever since. He has studied composition with Jerry Mueller and has written vocal and instrumental music. Mr. Bernstein is co-founder of the Golden Age Ensemble, a duo presenting varied programs of instrumental and vocal music around the San Francisco Bay Area and is a partner in Micro Pro Musica Press in San Francisco, which offers music engraving, arranging and transcription services. He is currently active with the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra (flute), the San Francisco Civic Symphony, and that unpredictable composers' circle known as the Irregular Resolutions. He is an instructor in both the Music and Older Adults Departments at City College of San Francisco, and also teaches privately. A few years after beginning his association with City College, he took on the challenge of learning the viola in order to explore both orchestral and chamber music, and to learn how to write more effectively for strings. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing chamber music and traveling, and maintains a fascination with words. For more about Harry's marvelous exploits, click here and here.

 

john

John G. Bilotta was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, but has spent most his life in the San Francisco Bay Area where he studied composition with Frederick Saunders. His works have been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world including Rarescale, Earplay, the Talea Ensemble, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Chamber Mix, North/South Consonance, Musica Nova, the Divisa Ensemble, the Avenue Winds, the Presidio Ensemble, the Boston String Quartet, the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, the Kiev Philharmonic, the Oakland Civic Orchestra, San Francisco Cabaret Opera, Bluegrass Opera, Boston Metro Opera, the Thompson Street Opera, New Fangled Opera, and VocalWorks. His music is available on Capstone Records, New Music North, Beauport Classical Recordings, ERMMedia, Bouddi Music/Australia and Navonna Records, and are distributed by Naxos. His first chamber opera Aria da Capo was a finalist at the New York City Opera. His comic opera Quantum Mechanic won the 2007 Opera-in-a-Month Challenge as well as the 2010 AmericanaFestival Award from the Boston Metro Opera. His third opera Trifles premiered in 2010 as part of the Fresh Voices X Festival of New Works. He is currently engaged in a collaborative opera project with a team in Norway . One scene of the new opera Rosetta’s Stone premiered this year in San Francisco . John co-directs with Brian Bice and Davide Verotta the annual Festival of Contemporary Music. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Goat Hall Productions, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Composers, Inc., for which he edits SCION. You can find out more about John on his website.

 

ed

Edward Dierauf retired from a career as an instructor in Engineering and Physics at City College of San Francisco.  He then studied harmony and composition with Gerald Mueller of the same college.  He composed music ranging from solo to chamber orchestra using a variety of musical instruments, including voice. Sadly, he passed away in 2017.

gary

Born in 1934 and raised in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Gary Friedman received his higher education at Antioch College, The University of Chicago (B.S. and M.D. degrees), and Harvard University (M.S. degree). His main career has been as a physician-epidemiologist. He worked in the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research for 30 years including 7 years as its Director. Since retiring from Kaiser Permanente in 1999, his current position is Consulting Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine. Gary's musical education started with piano at age 5. He also played trumpet in junior high and high school and studied organ and music theory during teen age. Playing and improvising on the piano only occasionally during adulthood, he returned to music seriously at age 54, studying oboe and English horn with Janet Popesco Archibald. He currently plays these instruments in the Lucas Valley Chamber Orchestra, the College of Marin Orchestra, the Bohemian Club Band and a woodwind quintet and octet. Starting at age 64, he studied composition with Alexis Alrich in the Adult Extension Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His musical compositions, mostly chamber works, are described in his web site www.garyfriedmanmusic.net. Two of them have won awards in the Music Teachers Association of California statewide competition.

david

David Graves has been writing and recording a wide variety of music since the 1970s: jazz, pop, electronic and "neoclassical" pieces for film, theater, studio, concert hall and gardens.  His large-scale generative music works have been installed in a redwood canyon (tree/sigh, 2003), The LAB (deciduous, 2006), Soundwave's renowned AudioBus (Human Street Textures, 2008), the Calfornia Academy of Sciences (Alien Worlds, 2011-present) and Urban Bazaar’s outdoor garden (Fog and Expectations, 2012).  For several years, he served on the Board and had performances with the San Francisco Composer's Chamber Orchestra and MEDIATE’s Soundwave Festival.  David has also released albums with rock groups, including ScienceNV, the Dayglo Anglos, and Snafu Logic.  He has designed sound for productions at the Aurora and Shotgun Theaters in Berkeley.  For several years, he has been developing a large collection of short video “dreams” (Living in the Village of My Dreams). He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, City College of San Francisco and the University of Nebraska.  He was a resident composer with the Djerassi Resident Artist Program (2003-2005) and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (2007-2009).  He is presently considering the meaning of life and what it means to be an "older" composer...  More information can be found here.

steve

Steve Mobia has a long standing interest in dreams and symbolic ideas. Until 1995 when he developed an interest in writing concert music, most of his creative output was in the realm of fiction and film. Fascinated in the possible connection between symbolic concepts and the world of sound, his pieces often are developed around programmatic material.  He chose the accordion to explore in his music study and has written several pieces for it as well as having completed a documentary film about the instrument.  For more information, visit here.

walter

Walter Sanchez had his first piano lessons when he was thirteen. He majored in Music at San Francisco State University, studying piano under the guidance of Wayne Peterson, the winner of the Pulitzer Price in Music in 1992.  For more information on Walter’s composition, visit here.

bill

William Severson at age 8 negotiated piano lessons before informing his parents in a small mountain town in California, but waited until he was 27 to begin vocal lessons in Hawaii when singing with the Honolulu Chorale. His vocal lessons were somewhat successful as he sang 1976-7 season with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which is a volunteer professional chorus associated with the Boston Symphony in Massachussetts. His parents insisted that he have a livelihood so he has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked in the computer field for forty years. He really has not mixed computers with music except to be one of the partners of Micro Pro Musica Press. It uses computers to engrave music including his own compositions and arrangements and offer them over the internet. He is performing around the greater Bay Area with the Golden Age Ensemble. He has had permanent singing gigs in churches in the San Francisco Bay Area for about 20 years. He started to compose in 1979 and was a founding member of the Society of Gay and Lesbian Composers [no longer active]. He has studied composition under Rebeca Mauleon-Santana at CCSF. He has had some compositions performed at Society of Gay and Lesbian Composers concerts here in the San Francisco Bay Area and by local choruses.


davide

Davide Verotta was born in a sleepy Italian town close to Milano and moved to the much more exciting San Francisco in his late twenties. He studied piano at the Milano and San Francisco Conservatory, and privately with the maestro Julian White, composition at San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Davis, as well as having a parallel-track academic life in mathematics as a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. He is actively involved in the new music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area (as soloist, chamber player, board member and pianist with SFCCO and NACUSA SF, member of FCM, Irregular Resolutions) and teaches piano and composition privately and at the Community Music Center in San Francisco. Recent compositions include works for opera, orchestra with the Berkeley Symphony, different solo instruments, percussion, and various chamber ensembles, and the concert length work for piano, two violins, two marimbas and multi-percussion Il Ponte. New projects in the pipeline are a set of etudes for Piano and Percussion and Shibuichi a meditation on creation, violence and goodness that will be realized in versions for piano/percussion/chamber ensemble and orchestra and voice. He is recipient of multiple ASCAP Plus awards and Zellerbach Foundation grants, and a fiscally sponsored affiliate of SF Friends of Chamber Music. For more information, visit his web site at www.davideverotta.com.

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