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Duo Cortona

Columbia, SC      

“…their real-life relationship often gave an unsettling dimension to the restless menu.”
Seen and Heard International, ​A Trio of Adventures, Exploring the Voice’s Outer Regions

Duo Cortona is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the creation of works for its unique instrumentation: mezzo-soprano and violin.  This ensemble explores new sounds and possibilities for its intimate, expressive, and vital combination.  Duo Cortona works to establish a new and thus far unexplored repertoire, pursuing the endless possibilities of this union.  We create opportunities for both established and emerging composers through commissions, competitions, educational workshops, university residencies, and major concert performances.

Duo Cortona was founded at the Cortona Sessions for New Music by husband and wife team Ari Streisfeld and Rachel Calloway. Recent and upcoming performances include the  Resonant Bodies Festival,  The SONiC Festival, New Music New College, and Southern Exposure.


Rachel Calloway

As an internationally recognized leading interpreter of contemporary and modern music, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway brings versatility and compelling insight to stages worldwide. This season’s highlights and beyond include a collaboration with Third Coast Percussion with works by Christopher Cerrone and Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel; Steve Reich’s Tehillim with the American Composers Orchestra; works by John Zorn at the Guggenheim and the Louvre; Verdi Concerts at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater; Artist-in-Residence at Cornell University; a world premiere by Fang Man with Robert Jesselson at the University of South Carolina; appearances with Duo Cortona (duos for voice and violin with Ari Streisfeld) at Columbia Museum of Art, Freeman Concert Series, and Chamber Music Southeast, and, a debut with Opera Philadelphia in 2017-18 in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell.

Solo engagements include: Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series, Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, BAM Next Wave Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cal Performances, Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, Southern Exposure New Music Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Talea, JACK Quartet, Ekmeles, and Continuum. In addition she has collaborated with today’s foremost composers including: Gabriela Lena Frank, Georg Friederich Haas, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Nico Muhly, Mohammed Fairouz and Donnacha Dennehy.

Ms. Calloway created roles in Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style (Zankel Hall, Ojai Festival) with Robert Spano conducting through which she became a finalist for the internationally recognized Warner Music Prize.

Ms. Calloway holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM) and serves on the faculty of the University of South Carolina, Juillaird Summer Arts in Geneva, Switzerland and the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). She is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of lost and unknown Jewish art music. Ms. Calloway can be heard on Albany Records, Tzadik Records, BCMF Records, and Toccata Classics.  www.rachelcalloway.com  

Ari Streisfeld

Violinist Ari Streisfeld has garnered critical acclaim worldwide for his performances of diverse repertoire and has established himself as one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary classical music. Praised for his “dazzling performance” by the New York Times and “scintillating playing” by New York Classical Review, Dr. Streisfeld is a founding member of the world renowned JACK Quartet. Recent season highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall (London), La Salle Pleyel (Paris), Teatro Colon (Argentina), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Carriage Works (Sydney, Australia), Venice Biennale (Italy), Carnegie Hall, The Library of Congress, The Morgan Library (New York), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), and the Salzburg Festival (Austria). He has collaborated with many of today’s most prominent composers including John Luther Adams, Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, Helmut Lachenmann, Matthias Pintscher, Georg Friedrich Haas, Steve Reich, and Salvatore Sciarrino. He has recorded for Mode, Albany, Carrier, Innova, Canteloupe, New Focus, and New World Records.

Together with his wife, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, Dr. Streisfeld formed Duo Cortona, a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the creation of new works for the unique instrumentation of mezzo-soprano and violin. Recent and upcoming performances include the Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, The Stone (NY), Contemporary Undercurrents of Song Project (Princeton, NJ), New Music on the Point (VT), and The Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). He is also a member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the performance and preservation of Jewish art music. Dr. Streisfeld frequently collaborates with some of today’s leading ensembles, including Ensemble Signal, Worldless Music Orchestra, and Weekend of Chamber Music.

Hailed as “imaginative” by the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Streisfeld’s arrangements of madrigals and motets for string quartet by Machaut and Gesualdo have been performed to acclaim both at home and abroad. A recipient of the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Dr. Streisfeld most recently premiered his Machaut arrangements for voice and violin at The Stone (New York).

A passionate and committed music educator, Dr. Streisfeld is currently Assistant Professor of Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina School of Music and serves on the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy). He previously taught violin and chamber music at New York’s Special Music School, Face the Music, and New Music on the Point.  

Dr. Streisfeld holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music), Northwestern University (Master of Music), and Boston University (Doctor of Musical Arts). His teachers include Zvi Zeitlin, Almita Vamos, and Peter Zazofsky. www.aristreisfeld.com

If only after you then me (Amadeus Regucera)

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The Sea Rises (from Kivalina, Kamala Sankaram)

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