Ensemble

Relâche Ensemble Members

Bob Butryn, clarinets & saxAndrea Clearfield, piano & keyboardsChris Hanning, percussionChuck Holdeman, bassoon

Michele Kelly, flutes,  Co-Artistic Directorshorter_headshot

Bob Butryn, clarinets & sax

Bob Butryn studied clarinet at Temple University. He has performed with numerous classical, jazz and rock ensembles in the Philadelphia area, including a progressive klezmer band called Klingon Klezmer, and has his own band, the Bob Butryn Orchestra. Bob is also a professional dancer. He has arranged and choreographed a music/dance show called Crazy Rhythm, Fancy Feet which is based on a wide variety of American music and dance styles and forms. You can learn more about the show on the web at www.crff.net

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Andrea Clearfield, piano & keyboards

Andrea Clearfield (b. 1960) has been playing with Relache since the early 1990’s. She  is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, dance, and multimedia collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”. Among her 90 works are ten cantatas including one for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Her 2012 cantata, “Tse Go La” for double chorus, electronics and chamber orchestra incorporates Tibetan melodies that she was documenting in the remote Himalayan region of Lo Monthang, Nepal. She is currently writing an opera on the life of the Tibetan yogi Milarepa to libretto by Jean-Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden. Dr. Clearfield was awarded international fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and Civitella Ranieri in Italy, Fundaciòn Valparaiso in Spain and Moulin à Nef in France. She was recently visiting composer at the University of Chicago, the College of William and Mary, the University of Texas at Austin and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. She received a DMA from Temple University where she was honored as a distinguished alumna, an MM from the University of the Arts and a BA from Muhlenberg College where she received the Alumni Achievement in the Arts Award. She served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts and is the pianist in the Relâche Ensemble. She is also the founder and host of the renowned Philadelphia Salon concert series now celebrating its 27th year featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s 2008 “Best of Philadelphia” award. More at www.andreaclearfield.com

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Chris Hanning, percussion

Chris Hanning is the Director of Percussion Activities at West Chester University. He is the principal percussionist/timpanist with the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra and timpanist with the Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem. He also performs drum set with the jazz trio M.P.H. featuring saxophonist Gunnar Mossblad, and with the Peter Paulsen Quintet. Chris has performed on numerous recordings for NFL Films including two Emmy Award Winning projects. His most recent recordings include soundtracks for My Father’s Gun and Blood From a Stone (History Channel Movies), various selections for the closing ceremony of the 2006 Super Bowl, a CD with legendary saxophonist David Leibman and the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet titled The Seasons Reflected (Soul Note), a CD by the M.P.H. Trio titled Curves (GPC Records), and a CD by the Bach Choir of Bethlehem (Dorian). Recent reviews of Chris Hanning’s performance on The Seasons Reflected note “…drummer Hanning is magnificent” (Wire Magazine, England) and “…profound African drumming” (All about Jazz). Chris is a board member of the international Percussive Arts Society. An upcoming project includes writing 20 short pieces of music with former NFL Films composer Tom Hedden for APM Music. APM produces music with commercial applications for the media and entertainment industry.

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Chuck Holdeman, bassoon

Bassoonist Chuck Holdeman is also a composer. He has written songs, works for band, orchestra, and small ensembles, film and educational music. He and his librettist partner Vince Marinelli wrote and premiered their one-act opera Agostino and the Puccini Clarinet in 2007, with a revival in May 2008. In ‘06 his oboe concerto was commissioned and premiered by the Philadelphia Classical Symphony with Richard Woodhams, principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as the soloist. In ‘09 Relâche commissioned Chuck to write music to accompany the silent film At Land, for a concert honoring pioneer experimental film-maker Maya Deren. Relâche turned to Chuck again for the 2011 PIFA Festival performances of Les Films Muets (French silent films.) Chuck composed and conducted his accompaniment to Max fait de la Photo. Chuck played in Relâche from ’85 to ’95, then rejoining the ensemble in 2007. He also currently serves as the group’s office manager and on the board of directors.

Chuck Holdeman’s second opera was commissioned and produced in the spring of 2014 by The Bach Festival of Bethlehem (PA.) The Philadelphia premiere of Young Meister Bach was March 2, sponsored by The German Society of Pennsylvania.

more info at www.chuckholdeman.com

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Michele Kelly, flutes,
Co-Artistic Director

Michele Kelly joined Relâche in 1998. The New York-born, Houston-raised flutist is an experienced chamber musician, performing with numerous ensembles varying in size and style. A strong advocate of a broad-based and culturally diverse music education system, Michele is a highly regarded clinician, ensemble coach, and studio teacher. She plays an active role at the University of Pennsylvania’s College House music program, a unique teaching and mentorship program within a residency environment. As ensemble coach, master clinician, studio teacher, and adviser, she is an indispensable resource for college musicians interested not only in instrumental performance in its traditional model, but also in the organic experience of musicians’ lives, and the cultural climate in which they are able to thrive. Away from Penn, Michele continues to nurture young musical talent in the form of her active and committed private studio. Michele received her M.M. from the University of Michigan, where she also earned a post-Master’s Specialist degree in chamber music performance. Away from the flute, Michele maintains an active interest in health and nutrition. The daughter of noted abstract expressionist painter James Groff lives with her husband, multi-instrumentalist Darin Kelly, sons Eamon and Eoin and daughter Maureen in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.

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Lloyd Shorter, oboe & English horn,
Co-Artistic Director

Lloyd Shorter has performed with Relâche since 1990 and been co-artistic director since 2003. As a soloist, he has performed in consultation with many major composers, including John Corigliano, Joan Tower, and Simon Bainbridge. Lloyd’s performances with Relâche have included the Prague Spring Festival, concerts in Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, Cracow, Amsterdam, Vilnius, Seattle, Phoenix, New York City and Venezuela. Lloyd has been a member of the Delaware Symphony for over 40 years. He recently retired as a member of the faculty of the University of Delaware where many of his courses emphasized contemporary music. He has also been an innovator in musical and creative applications of Internet2.

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Ron Stabinsky, keyboards

In recent seasons Ron Stabinsky has appeared often with Relâche when our busy composer member Andrea Clearfield is unavailable. We are now happy to welcome him to our regular roster!

Ron Stabinsky recently released his debut album, Free for One, the culmination of more than a decade of evolving his improvised solo language. In addition to continuing to pursue his ongoing interest in solo piano improvisation, he enjoys working on music in a stylistically diverse array of situations throughout the United States and Europe with many other musicians and ensembles, including free-improvising saxophonist Jack Wright, bass trombone virtuoso David Taylor Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood, and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman. Recent festival appearances include Newport Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Moers Festival (Germany), Jazzfestival Saalfelden (Austria), Outreach Festival (Austria), and Jazz and More Festival Sibiu (Romania). In addition to being the most recent addition to Relâche, he is currently a regular member of the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the Charles Evans Quartet, and the Peter Evans Ensemble, a new expanded conception of the critically acclaimed Peter Evans Quintet. He is one of three pianists featured on Relâche’s Comix Trips CD.

Ron Stabinsky BW