Lolita Ritmanis – Composer
Ritmanis is currently composing music for hit TV series Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, as well as two long-form animation projects, the recently completed documentary film, An Act of Love, radio-play audio book Rain of the Ghosts, music for the feature film Give Til It Hurts, and WIF series Flip the Script.
Her concert works as well as four original musicals have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Taiwan, and Australia. Her musical Eslingena, co-written with Alberts Legzdiņš and Andris Ritmanis, was performed in Canada, Latvia, Australia, and Germany in 2004-2017, and was highlighted by the attendance of three separate sitting presidents of Latvia.
Ritmanis’s symphonic work Overture to Light, which had its European premiere as part of the World Latvian Cultural Conference in Riga, Latvia in 2014, will have its US premiere at The Journey to America: From Repression to Freedom (Part 1) concert. Inspiration for this work comes from Ritmanis’s parents and the generations of Latvians that fled Communism during World War II.
Steven Lebetkin – Composer
Known and admired in classical music circles for his innovative, captivating, compelling classical compositions, Steven Lebetkin is a sought-after collaborator for commercial songs, jazz, and scoring, who has developed an innovative approach to music composition. He was the youngest graduate in the history of Queens College, CUNY in the 1970s, with a Masters in Music Composition.
Among his recorded works in 2016 with the City of Prague Philharmonic, were Variations For Orchestra, Dance Suite from Cycle of the Earth, and Symphonic Songs – Six Songs On Poems By Walt Whitman. Variations for Orchestra was premiered last December by the Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra in Adana, Turkey.
Lebetkin’s new works this year include Cycle of the Earth (a one-hour ballet for symphony orchestra), Piano Concerto, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone, Vibraphone and String Orchestra, Elegy For String Orchestra (Double of divided strings), and Violin Concerto, which will have its world premiere at the Journey to America: From Repression to Freedom (Part 1) concert on October 7 and be performed by Violinist Momo Wong.
Momo Wong first stepped into the spotlight at age 10 performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra in Boston’s Jordan Hall. Currently, she is a graduate student at Juilliard School, studying under Lewis Kaplan and Donald Weilerstein. Since 2015, she has participated in numerous major violin competitions including the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the 54th Premio Paganini Competition and has been a prizewinner in competitions such as the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition and the Connecticut International Young Artist Violin Competition.
Her recent concert highlights include a commemorative recital in Shanghai, China, the US premier of Sebastian Currier’s “Links,” solo performances in Bowdoin’s Studzinski Hall, and Ruïnekerk in Bergen, Netherlands. As a distinguished chamber musician, Momo is a member of the Altezza Piano Trio, which made its recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2016. She will make her Carnegie Hall debut premiering composer Steven Lebetkin’s violin concerto.
Peter Boyer – Composer
Grammy-nominated Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. His works have received over 400 public performances by 130 orchestras, and thousands of broadcasts by classical radio stations around the United States and abroad. He has conducted recordings of his music with three of the world’s finest orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has received seven competitive national awards for his work.
Boyer’s major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, for actors and orchestra, has received over 160 live performances by 70 orchestras since its 2002 premiere. His recording of Ellis Island on Naxos was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
In addition to his concert hall work, Boyer is active in the film and television music industry contributing orchestrations to more than 30 film scores from all the major movie studios. He has arranged music for the Academy Awards and composed music for The History Channel. His music has appeared in documentary film, short films, and a variety of television programs.