alertClick here to view Kaufman Music Center's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Support Us!

2021-22 Kaufman Music Center Artists-in-Residence

  • <p>Imani Winds</p>
  • <p>Kamala Sankaram</p>
  • <p>Charles Yang & Peter Dugan</p>

The 2021-22 Kaufman Music Center Artists-in-Residence are:

Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds 
composer/soprano/bandleader Kamala Sankaram
pianist Peter Dugan & violinist/vocalist Charles Yang

Kaufman Music Center’s Artists-in-Residence program invites versatile artists into our wide range of programs, from concert presentations in Merkin Hall to community music classes, as we connect, create and explore. 2021-22 projects include the world premiere of Andy Akiho’s Be-longing Project addressing today’s immigration issues; the development of a new body of communal choral work that can be sung by people at all levels of musical skill culminating in group sings; and a no-holds-barred variety show featuring a cross-section of our education programs. Masterclasses with our students will address career trajectories, arranging and integrating classical and pop music, and the common threads between musical systems including Indian raga.

The Artists-in-Residence will perform in Merkin Hall and work with students from our Special Music School, the only K-12 public school in the U.S. that teaches music as a core subject; Face the Music, a teen new music program dedicated to performing cutting-edge music by living composers, including its own members; and Lucy Moses School, NYC’s largest community music school.

Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Kate Sheeran says, “We’re so excited to welcome our outstanding 2021-22 Artists-in-Residence, who will bring joy and inspiration to students and audiences through their creative programs and projects. They are the perfect artistic ambassadors to reconnect us all and illuminate the synergies between our programs.”

2021-22 Artist-in-Residence Kamala Sankaram says, “Especially after more than a year away from in-person musical collaboration, I'm so excited to join the community at Kaufman Music Center. The range of programs, diversity of music making, and talent of the young musicians are truly inspiring as I develop a new body of work focused on communal singing and prepare for a performance at Merkin Hall.”


Imani Winds

The Grammy-nominated Imani Winds has led both a revolution and evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds. They are devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we currently live. 

This season, Imani Winds will give the world premiere of Andy Ahiko’s Be-longing Project, a new commission addressing today's immigration issues, in Merkin Hall as part of our Ecstatic Music series. Written for wind quintet and optional steel pan and found sound instruments, the piece is adaptable for many different environments and includes audience participation through vocalizing, clapping and other interactions. Additional performances of the work are planned outside Merkin Hall following the premiere. Imani Winds will also perform a series of free chamber music concerts that will build deeper connections with our community.

Throughout the season, Imani Winds will offer one-on-one instrumental coaching to our young musicians in elementary and middle school grades. They’ll lead a masterclass with student chamber ensembles performing works by teen composers, and will perform with Face the Music.


Kamala Sankaram

The category-defying composer, soprano and bandleader Kamala Sankaram will immerse herself in Lucy Moses School’s Dalcroze Program as a starting point for her residency, which will culminate in the development of a Sacred Harp – a new, broadly accessible body of communal choral music that can be sung by people at all levels of musical skill. Kaufman Music Center students will perform the new songbook and write pieces in this newly-created style.

Sankaram will give a series of masterclasses on the common threads between different musical systems including the Indian raga as well as a career overview to our high school students, and will perform with Face the Music. Part of the new Bridges series, her Merkin Hall debut will feature her work with the genre-defying, pan-global band Bombay Rickey plus music for solo voice and electronics. She’ll also host communal sings in Merkin Hall that are free, participatory and open to the public.


Charles Yang & Peter Dugan

The charismatic “classical meets rock star duo” (Wall Street Journal) pianist Peter Dugan and violinist/vocalist Charles Yang will host “Kids Play the Darndest Things,” a dynamic, no-holds-barred variety show in Merkin Hall featuring a cross-section of Kaufman Music Center education programs. They’ll also take the Merkin stage as part of the new Bridges series.

Yang and Dugan will coach student chamber ensembles and give individual violin and piano masterclasses with our middle school and high school students. They’ll discuss career trajectories in the music field, judge a concerto competition and cover song competition, and work with students on arranging and integrating pop and classical music.