Dongni Xie, Piano

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Born in China, Dongni Xie began playing piano at the age of five and gave her first recital at twelve. Xie is the Gold Medalist in the 2017 International Keyboard Odyssiad & Festival, grand prize winner the of American Music Competition and SAI Young Artist competition, and prize winner of Carmel International Piano Competition, YMF Concerto Competition, Young Chang Piano Competition (Korea), BMC Zimmerli International Competition, among others. Xie has performed in United States, Europe, Asia, and venues such as Fontainebleau Chateau de Fontainebleau, Gijon City hall, Porter Center for Performing Arts, Beatrice Friedman Symphoy Center, and Carmel Sunset Center.

Dongni Xie gave her concerto debut at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (USA) with the Debut orchestra, as the winner of YMF concerto competition. Xie received her Bachelor’s degree at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Master’s at Peabody Conservatory of Music, and Graduate Certificate at University of Southern California. Xie is currently a doctoral student at University of North Texas where she majors in piano performance with a full scholarship and fellowship, under the guidance of Dr. Pamela Mia Paul. Also, Xie has worked with many distinguish pianists, such as Weber Dominique, Robert Levin, Robert McDonald, John Perry, Boris Slutsky, Richard Goode and Tsong Fu.  Xie makes her debut with the Boulder Symphony as the Gold Medal Winner of the International Keyboard Odyssiad & Festival Concerto Competition held yearly in Fort Collins, CO, USA, founded by Janet Landreth.

Jonathan Sokol, Composer-In-Residence

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Jonathan Sokol is often sought after as an educator: he is currently an Assistant Professor in Baldwin Wallace University's composition department. He has served as adjunct faculty at Cleveland State University, the  Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Defiance College. He has served as Artist Faculty at Brevard Music Center for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He is a composer-in-residence with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra.

He has been recognized with awards and honors from such institutions as ASCAP, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston New Music Initiative, Boulder Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Holographic, Millay Colony for the Arts, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and Zzyzx Saxophone Quartet, among others. 

Sokol received his Doctorate in music composition from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.

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Elizabeth Anne Comninellis, Composer-In-Residence

Elizabeth Anne Comninellis (b. 1986) is a composer, singer, and pianist. She recently completed her doctorate in music composition at the University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Yevgeniy Sharlat and Russell Pinkston. She holds a master's degree in music composition from the University of Colorado- Boulder, and a bachelor's degree in music composition, with emphasis in vocal and piano performance, from the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has studied with many acclaimed composers of modern art music, among them Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Paul Rudy, Carter Pan, and Dan Kellogg.

Dr. Comninellis is the composer-in-residence for Boulder Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble premiered her work, As Lightning Flashes for symphony orchestra, in April 2017. She has also been commissioned by a number of new music initiatives, most recently The Beethoven Concert Series in 2017 and Tetractys New Music in 2016, for which she wrote Lady Wisdom and Solomon.  Her piece White Birds, for clarinet and electronics, was presented at the 2015 New York Electroacoustic Music Festival. Her percussion trio, Bringing in the Boat, was chosen for the Women Composers of Hartford's 2015 international score call. She was awarded the Edward J. Levy Graduate Composition Prize for her chamber work, Flight. In addition, she was a recipient of the Kent Kennan Fellowship for music composition at the University of Texas.

Elizabeth is primarily a writer of large chamber works, many of which have theatrical and narrative components. She regularly seeks out collaborative projects with other artists, especially in the fields of theater and dance. Many of her ideas are drawn from literature, visual art, film, dance, and from her devoted Christian faith. Most recently she undertook a collaboration with pianist and juggler, Mathilde LeGrand to compose several pieces that combine the two skills. These collaborations were featured by Quest Track Radio in Normandy, France in June 2017. In addition, Elizabeth regularly writes for film and documentary, especially films by Joshua Comninellis.

Dr. Comninellis is also active as a performer and teacher. She currently holds a studio in voice and piano at The Orpheus Academy of Music in Austin, TX. She also enjoys writing works for children and regularly composes pieces for her students to perform.

Jonathan Bingham, Composer-In-Residence

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Composer Jonathan Bingham is a native of Southampton, New Jersey. He began his compositional studies in 2009 under Anthony Randolph at Howard University. Since then, his work has been performed throughout the United States and abroad including New York's DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Kimball Hall, and the Siena Summer Music Festival in Italy.

In 2014, he relocated to New York City and began his graduate studies at New York University's Steinhardt School under the tutelage of Justin Dello Joio. While there, he composed several works including his String Quartet No. 1 for the JACK Quartet, his (Untitled) for the NYU Contemporary Ensemble, and his Episode for Orchestra which went on to win the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition.

In addition to his contributions to the concert hall, Mr. Bingham has composed the scores to the several films including Happenstance, directed by Jeanette Sears, and Mateo Márquez's upcoming Santi. Furthermore, he has orchestrated for recording artists including Thee Phantom who gave performances at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. He currently continues to reside and compose in New York.

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Cody Garrison, Piano

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Pianist Cody Guy Garrison enjoys a diverse career as a collaborative pianist. He is on faculty in Metropolitan State University Denver’s music department as an accompanist in the brass and woodwinds departments. He serves as a pianist for Opera Colorado and performed on Colorado Public Radio with the vocalists from the opera "As One" last season.

He is the staff accompanist for the Boulder Symphony, and performed Liszt's "Totenanz" with the Symphony as the soloist last season. He has recently been in recital with violist Rose Shaw of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and studies with Dr. Tamara Goldstein of Denver. When not performing, Dr. Garrison practices dentistry with his business partner, Dr. Carley Janda, at City Roots Dental, their private practice in Denver, Colorado.

Phoenix Avalon, Violin

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Phoenix Avalon, 17, is passionate about his study of the violin. He is a scholarship student at the Cleveland Institute of Music Young Artist Program with Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman, as well as studying with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho at the Perlman Music Program. Phoenix plays with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and is coached in chamber music by the Cavani Quartet.

Phoenix’s solo performances include the national radio shows Performance Today and From the Top, the Cleveland POPS Orchestra, the Arapahoe Philharmonic, the New Mexico Philharmonic, and Performance Santa Fe orchestras. He is honored to have been invited to play with the Boulder Symphony for the 5th time this season.

Always interested to be of service to his community, Phoenix has played for numerous fundraisers and outreach programs, and has developed and toured an interactive presentation of classical music history for school children as part of From the Top’s Leadership Training. Phoenix is grateful to be playing on a Giuseppe Guadagnini violin, c. 1786, generously loaned by Kenneth Warren and Son Ltd. of Chicago and, addition to violin, enjoys philosophy, history and cooking.