The Contemporary Keyboard Society is a new music ensemble that was formed in Montreal in 2006 by Katelyn Clark (harpsichord), Xenia Pestova (piano), Fernando Rocha (percussion) and Jacob Sudol (composer/sound diffusion) with the intention to encourage creation and promote the performance of new repertoire for keyboards. Along with the performance of solos, duos, and trios by the ensemble’s members, the CKS welcomes collaborations with musicians, composers, and artists of various media for interdisciplinary creation.
Katelyn Clark, harpsichord
Born on Vancouver Island, Katelyn has been playing the harpsichord since childhood. After completing her training in modern piano and accompanying at the University of Montreal and harpsichord studies in Victoria and Vancouver, Katelyn pursued a Masters degree at the Amsterdam Conservatory with world-renowned harpsichordist and pedagogue, Bob van Asperen. Upon returning to Canada, she was a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Winter, 2005).Katelyn has attended lessons and master classes in Europe and North America with Colin Tilney, Elisabeth Joye, Andreas Staier, Gustav Leonhaart, Stanley Hoogland, Doreen Oke, Erich Schwandt, and Arthur Haas.Competitions in which she has been a National Finalist or prize winner include the Canada Music Competition (2004&05), the Montreal Galaxie Baroque Ensemble Competition (2005), and the British Columbia Arts Festival (2001). She was also a Canadian representative in the Prague Spring International Harpsichord Competition (2005).
Along with the practice of historical performance, Katelyn has a strong devotion to the performance of contemporary works for the harpsichord. She has premiered several Canadian works for harpsichord and modern piano, including compositions by Tawnie Olson, Jean Coulthard, and Murray Adaskin, and her brother, Eric Clark. Katelyn is particularly interested in works for harpsichord with live electronics.
Katelyn has played in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In addition to playing as a soloist, she often works as an accompanist on harpsichord and modern piano. Through her work as a musician, she wishes above all to pursue the expression of beauty and of the extreme. Katelyn is currently pursuing a doctorate in performance with Hank Knox (harpsichord) and tom Beghin (fortepiano) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Home
Xenia Pestova, piano
Xenia Pestova is a pianist with a special interest in presenting contemporary works alongside traditional repertoire. Following childhood music education in piano and composition in Russia, Xenia moved to New Zealand with her family. She continued her studies in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Canada. Among her teachers are Hakon Austbo, Louise Bessette, Judith Clark, Philip Mead and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in piano, and Ross Harris and John Young in instrumental and electroacoustic composition.
Xenia's awards include an unanimous First Prize at the 2004 Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona, Spain, a Special Mention at the 2003 Messiaen International Piano Competition in Paris, and Second Prize at the 2000 KeriKeri National Piano Competition, New Zealand's oldest and most prestigious piano competition. In addition to solo recitals, Xenia enjoys collaboration with other musicians and has performed as ensemble pianist and soloist with the United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg), the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble (Montreal), Stroma (New Zealand), and Luxembourg Sinfonietta. She has a piano duo with Luxembourg pianist Pascal Meyer, which focuses on exciting and dynamic repertoire of the present day, and is a founding member and artistic director of the Montreal-based new music collective, The Contemporary Keyboard Society.
She has commissioned, premiered and broadcast many new pieces and worked with composers including Cornelis de Bondt, Denys Bouliane, Chris Paul Harman, Toshio Hosokawa, Tristan Murail, Ichiro Nodaira and Hans Tutschku. Xenia is a Doctoral Candidate in piano performance at the McGill University Schulich School of Music in Montreal. She is also a Performance Research Assistant in the CIRMMT McGill Digital Orchestra Project, and holds a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Website Home
Fernando Rocha, percussion
Fernando Rocha has been professor of percussion at Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG) since 1998. He holds a Master's Degree (MM) from UFMG and a Bachelor's Degree (BM) from Sao Paulo State University, where he studied with professors John Boudler and Carlos Stasi. He is currently on leave from his position to pursue his Doctor's Degree at McGill University in Montreal with D'Arcy Philip Gray. He has a scholarship from Brazilian Agency A.P.E.S.
As a performer Fernando Rocha has premiered some percussion works by composers such as Lewis Nielson, Almeida Prado, Sergio Freire, Nicolas Gilbert, Jacob Sudol, Rogerio Vieira and Mario Alfaro. In 2005, he appeared as solo performer at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention). Both as a solo and a chamber music performer, he has appeared in the most important music festivals in Brazil and also played in Argentina, USA, Portugal and Canada. He has also directed the UFMG Percusison Ensemble performing about 60 concerts from 2000 to 2004 and recording a CD with works by Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos arranged for percussion ensemble. In addition to working with contemporary music Fernando Rocha has played jazz vibes with some great Brazilian musicians, such as flutist Mauro Rodrigues, drummer Nenen, and guitar player Magno Alexandre. In 1997 he was awarded a scholarship to study jazz vibes in New York for 8 months with Joe Locke and Stefon Harris. He also played with Bobby Sanabria's Big Band.
Fernando Rocha has presented workshops, including one at the First Percussion Day organized in Brazil by PAS BRAZIL Chapter in 2001. In August 2004 he was the host of the First International Music Festival that took place in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), presenting about 20 percussion concerts and workshops with musicians from Brazil, USA, Portugal, France, Italy, Canada and Senegal. Website HomeJacob Sudol, sound diffusion
Jacob David Sudol (b. Des Moines, Iowa 1980) writes intimate compositions that explore enigmatic phenomena and the inner nature of how we perceive sound. He recently finished his M.Mus. at McGill University and currently resides in La Jolla, CA where he is working towards a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California at San Diego with Roger Reynolds, Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, and Rand Steiger.
Over the last five years some of Jacob's mentors in composition have included John Rea, Denys Bouliane, Philippe Leroux, Sean Ferguson, Dan Asia, and Craig Walsh. He has also participated in master classes with Danish composer Bent Sørensen and German composer Manfred Stahnke.
During 2005-2006, Jacob was the first-ever composer-in-residence for the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Denys Bouliane, in collaboration with the McGill Digital Composition Studio. He has also written music for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Contemporary Keyboard Society, percussionist Fernando Rocha, saxophonist Elizabeth Bunt, and clarinetist Krista Martynes. As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, he composed the music for a collaborative dance project with choreographer Hillary Peterson, and he was the principal composer and pianist for El Proyecto de Santa Barbara, a chamber Latin jazz ensemble.
During the 2005 and 2007 Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques and 2006 MusiMars festivals Jacob was an electronic assistant for performances with Court-Circuit, Matt Haimovitz, Sara Laimon, Martin Matalon, Moritz Eggert, Manfred Stahnke, the Caput Ensemble, and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. These concerts were broadcast by the CBC and the European Broadcasting Union in over fifty countries throughout the world. He is currently a studio research assistant for Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds.
During his free time Jacob takes an active interest in religious phenomenology, cinema, acoustics, literature, poetry, and visual art. As a composer and performer, he always attempts to bring insights from these other fields into his work. Website