The Bell’Art Ensemble produces the Living Room Chamber Music Project concert series in the Pittsburgh metro area. Starting in 2010, they have designed over 60 different musical programs and performed over 130 concerts throughout Allegheny County and beyond. In addition to producing their own concerts, Bell’Art has collaborated with other Pittsburgh-area arts groups. They were musical guests for Bricolage Theater’s “Midnight Radio” series and collaborated with five Dutch poets for an evening of poetry and music sponsored by City of Asylum. They have appeared on several local Pittsburgh recital series and designed a multi-disciplinary concert entitled “To Carnegie with Love” for the Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. They have collaborated with several Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians on chamber-music programs, and created an evening-length program of songs by Mahler and Guastavino in collaboration with renowned baritone Daniel Teadt. The five members of the Bell’Art Ensemble also perform in other ensembles throughout the city and teach at elementary, secondary and collegiate levels, in addition to maintaining their own private studios.
Ashley Freeburn, violin
Raquel Winnica Young, mezzo-soprano
Lenny Young, oboe
Billie Jo Miller, piano
Jack Kurutz, piano
Pittsburgh’s Bell’Art Ensemble explores the intersection of theater, with its emphasis on story and character, and music, with its emphasis on abstract emotion, in their new program “Dreamplace”. Many of the pieces on the program were created as incidental music for the stage; others explore musical expansions from the worlds of literature and poetry. We are also excited to premiere excerpts from a new chamber arrangement of songs by Venezuelan composer Efrain Amaya.
from Maroon Dreams
La Bella Cubana
Astor Piazzolla (arr. Young)
Fuga y Misterio
Gustav Mahler (arr. Young)
From Das KnabenWunderhorn
El Clavel del Aire Blanco
Ashley Freeburn, violinist, earned her BM and MM degrees in music at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Carnegie Mellon University. An active chamber musician, Ashley has been featured in concerts throughout the United States and abroad. She has held residencies at the the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the Charlotte New Music Festival, and the Britt Festival in Oregon. Ashley is a founding member of the all-female chamber music group, the Kassia Ensemble. Their collaborative recordings “Songs of Lake Volta” with Kinetic and “Rêverie” with trumpet player Mary Elizabeth Bowden were named top ten classical music albums by Textura Magazine in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Ashley has performed with the Erie Philharmonic, and the Canton, Wheeling, Westmoreland, and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras. She is Associate Concertmaster of the Butler County Symphony Orchestra. Ashley maintains a private studio at the PYCO School of Music and she is Adjunct Instructor of Violin at Chatham University.
Mezzo-soprano Raquel Winnica Young earned her Degree in Vocal Performance from the Colon Opera House in Buenos Aires and an Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. A two-time winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society major auditions, she has performed locally (Quantum Theatre, Apollo’s Fire, Chatham Baroque, Pittsburgh Camerata) as well as in Europe, North and South America. She is on the voice faculty of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. www.raquelwinnicayoung.com
Lenny Young, oboist, is Principal Oboe of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Johnstown, Westmoreland and McKeesport Symphonies. He has written, arranged and performed music for the Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Camerata and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. He is the Director of the Choir at Third Presbyterian Church, teaches oboe, music theory, music history and solfege at Pittsburgh CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) High School, is Adjunct Instructor of Oboe at Chatham University and Artist Lecturer in solfege at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.
Pianist Jack Kurutz is an avid recitalist and chamber musician with a diverse repertoire. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, his Master of Music from New England Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University. In September 2007, Mr. Kurutz won First Prize, Artist Division, in the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Liszt Society. Additionally, he was awarded a prize for the best interpretation of a Franz Liszt composition. He was a finalist in the 2009 Simone Belsky Competition and the 2010 Steinway Society of Massachusetts Competition. In addition to maintaining a private piano studio, he currently serves on the faculty at the Pittsburgh Music Academy and holds a teaching position at Pittsburgh CAPA.
Collaborative pianist Billie Jo Miller earned her MM in piano from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with Ralph Zitterbart, and has since returned to study Vocal Coaching in an Advanced Musical Studies degree under Dr. Jocelyn Dueck. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois under Ian Hobson and Ward Davenny. She spent many years working as a coach/accompanist for violinists at Carnegie Mellon. Ms. Miller has performed with Resonance Works Pittsburgh, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, winners of the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and CMU faculty. She also served as a piano teacher and coach/accompanist at Pittsburgh CAPA.