You are here

Guest Artist

Guest Chamber Ensemble

PicosaPicosa is a mixed chamber ensemble specializing in classical contemporary music and more. As collaborative soloists without conductor, its nimble structure and eclectic repertoire defy the traditional limits of the classical music concert to bring a compelling new experience to the stage. Highlights of past seasons include performances at the Chicago Cultural Center, in the open air Thirsty Ear Festival, Ear Taxi Festival, the Frequency Series at Constellation Chicago, and the Rush Hour concert series as well as live broadcasts of Live from WFMT. The ensemble's residencies at Elmhurst University and North Central College host composition workshops and performances.

Picosa’s signature programming presents a body of repertoire that captures the essence of the human experience in all its diversity, depth and magnitude. Concerts seamlessly blend masterworks of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras side by side with gems of contemporary music. Additionally, the ensemble takes pride in championing the works of Chicago composers and remains committed to bringing music from diverse contexts to the stage. Past seasons have included works by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart together with contemporary composers such as Fred Onovwerosuoke, Asha Srinivasan, Roque Cordero, and Florent Ghys. The ensemble has also presented numerous premieres and newly commissioned works including Hospital Suite by Felipe Perez Santiago, CryptOlogie by Shawn Okpebholo, and This Vale of Tears by Howard Whitaker.

Picosa’s Composer-in-Residence, Jonathon Kirk writes and transcribes works for the ensemble each season. Of particular note is Kirk’s innovative original compositions, including Mechanical Birds, which incorporates the song of the extinct Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird within a contemporary musical context. His transcriptions are exquisite distillations of larger orchestral works including Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun.

For more information, please visit Picosa

Guest English Horn Soloist with the Wind Orchestra

Leonid SirotkinLeonid Sirotkin is a musician of versatile interest and accomplishments. As an orchestral player he is a Principal Oboe of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, he served for almost a decade as principal English horn with the Kirov Opera and Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater under Maestro Valery Gergiev. In the U.S., Mr. Sirotkin has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Iowa Opera and toured with the CSO to Japan and Europe. He has also performed with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Dayton and Colorado Springs Philharmonic. As pedagogue, prof. Sirotkin leads a successful studios of oboe students at the DePauw University School of Music and Anderson University, and is active as private teacher and chamber music coach at the Benefic Chamber Music Camp in Muncie, IN. An active chamber musician, he has appeared at numerous festivals including the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Festival, Finland; Kostamuksha Music Festival and Togliatti International Music Festival, Russia and the Lucca Music Festival in Italy. He has also given master classes, throughout Russia and the United States. In 2010, he was featured in performance on the American Public Media radio program Performance Today. In 2000, Mr. Sirotkin published the book Orchestral Excerpts for Oboe and English Horn from Operas and Ballets by Tchaikovsky.