Njål Sparbo, bass-baritone (Performer / Presenter / Adjudicator)
Njål Sparbo is one of Norway’s most active and versatile singers, with an exceptionally broad repertoire of song, oratorio and opera. In 1997-99 and 2005-08 he received the Norwegian Government Grant for Artists for working with the art song tradition. He has been awarded the Kirsten Flagstad Prize, the Ingrid Bjoner Prize, and in 2009 he received the Grieg Prize for his contribution to renew the musical interpretation tradition of Grieg’s songs by bringing forth the dramatic essence. In 2009-2014 he worked as a research fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme with the project “Singing on the stage - with a psychophysical approach.” He has continued as a researcher of psychophysical stage presence, combining contemporary aesthetics with the tradition of Norwegian Psychomotor Therapy, and he has engagements as associate professor at the Academy of Opera and at the Academy of Ballet at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He is currently a member of the research group “The Reflective Musician - Interpretation as Co-Creative Process” at the National Academy of Music in Oslo. Sparbo is an advocate of contemporary music performance and has sung numerous world premiere performances. He performs regularly at festivals and on television and radio, and he has participated in 30 CD recordings. His solo engagements include all the major Norwegian choirs and orchestras and The Norwegian National Opera. He is heard performing at venues all over Europe and beyond, including Russia, USA and Japan.
Amy Kauffman, violin (Performer)
Currently a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, violinist Amy Kauffman grew up in Indiana and studied violin and piano in the Goshen College Preparatory Department, where she won numerous regional and national competitions, including the MTNA-Yamaha National Strings Competition. Amy received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University, where she also earned the Performer’s Certificate, and received her master’s degree at The Juilliard School, where she worked as teaching assistant to Ronald Copes. As a student at Indiana University, Amy Kauffman studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University and has performed with early music groups in New York, Boston and Rochester. A founding member of Trio La Popliniere, she has been heard with the ensemble at the Bloomington (Ind.) Early Music Festival and on NPR's "Performance Today." Before joining the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2002, Amy performed as a full time member of both the Houston Symphony (1999-2000) and the Pittsburgh Symphony (2000-2002). Amy also loves playing chamber music, and performs frequently in New York and in chamber music festivals throughout the U.S., such as the Mostly Mozart Festival. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Dr. William Halverson, translator (Lecturer)
William H. Halverson is an author, translator and lecturer whose books, articles, and song-text translations are major sources of information in English about the life and work of Edvard Grieg. His book translations include Finn Benestad and Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe, Edvard Grieg: The Man and the Artist, 1988; Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, Onstage with Grieg, 1997; Edvard Grieg: Letters to Colleagues and Friends, 2000; and Edvard Grieg: Diaries, Articles, Speeches, 2001 (the latter two in collaboration with the late Norwegian musicologist Finn Benestad). He also edited the book, Edvard Grieg Today (1994), a compilation of lectures presented at a 1993 symposium held at St. Olaf College.
Prof. Halverson has also translated song texts and liner notes for many CD recordings of music by Grieg and other Norwegian composers. Of particular interest to lovers of the music of Grieg are the SIMAX CD’s, Grieg: The Piano Music in Historic Recordings (which includes a recording by Grieg himself made in 1906) and Grieg: The Vocal Music in Historic Recordings.
A 1987 retiree from The Ohio State University, Prof. Halverson remains active in Grieg affairs as a board member of both The Edvard Grieg Society of America and The Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota. He now makes his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is a devoted supporter of the arts.
Mimmi Fulmer, soprano (Performer / Presenter)
American soprano Mimmi Fulmer performs repertoire ranging from early music to premieres of works written for her. Her distinguished career in new music includes premieres of nine roles in eight operas. Ms. Fulmer has been a featured soloist at festivals including Aspen and Bang on a Can, and in programs at the Kennedy Center, CAMI Hall, and Princeton University, and internationally. She performs regularly with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble. Her discography includes six CDs of American music and a CD of songs from Finland, Sweden and Norway (Centaur Records), and she has been included in the Fulbright Specialist Roster in American music. Critical praise for Ms. Fulmer includes notice by the Washington Post for her “really beautiful soprano”, by Gramophone for her “warm and natural interpretations”, and by the NATS Journal of Singing as singing “with joyous ease”. An expert on Nordic repertoire, she is the editor of a three-volume anthology of songs from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Ms. Fulmer is Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her students are enjoying success around the world with companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Vienna State Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opera Australia.
Gregory Martin, piano (Performer / Presenter)
Applauded in London by the Sunday Times for performances of "great panache," pianist Gregory Martin has performed throughout the USA, Europe, and Japan, as well as being a prize-winner in various international competitions. Recent engagements have included Carnegie Recital Hall and collaborations with members of the orchestras of Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, and Dresden. He is an active composer and in 2014 was named co-artistic director of the Ronen Chamber Ensemble. He has lectured at the University of Berlin, the Grieg Academy (Norway), and Oxford University, and is Head of Academics at the Cornish-American Song Institute (England). Martin studied at Indiana University, the University of Cincinnati, and Worcester College, Oxford, and is assistant professor at the University of Indianapolis. He is married to clarinetist Christina Martin, with whom he regularly appears in concert.
Luke Norell, piano (Performer / Presenter)
Luke Norell has concertized internationally as soloist and chamber musician, with honors including first prize in the Schubert Club Competition, the Minnesota MTNA Competition, and the Third Biennial Lee Piano Competition. Dr. Norell serves as the Piano Program Director for the Goshen College Community School of the Arts. His students have received first prizes in the Muncie Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Indiana MTNA Competition, and the IMTA Hoosier Auditions. Luke studied with André Watts at Indiana University, completing his D.M. and M.M. degrees in Piano Performance, and received his B.M. degree from the University of Northwestern (St. Paul). www.lukenorell.com
Mary Rose Norell, piano (Performer / Presenter)
Performing at home and abroad, Mary Rose Norell has earned such praise for her solo and collaborative playing as this from the Chicago Tribune: “Pictures…played live and beautifully by Mary Rose Jordan.” Her concerto engagements include performances with the Northwestern Summer Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Norell serves as Director and piano faculty at the Goshen College Community School of the Arts. Mary Rose began her studies with Marvin Blickenstaff, continuing with Emile Naoumoff at Indiana University, where she received her B.M. and M.M degrees, and completing her Doctorate in Piano Performance with James Giles at Northwestern University. www.maryrosenorell.com
Brook Bennett, cello (Performer)
Brook Bennett, from Chandler, Arizona, began playing the cello at age ten and later studied with Jan Simiz, associate principal cellist of the Phoenix Symphony. He received a bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied cello with Alan Harris and Merry Peckham. As a student of Julia Lichten, Brook received a master of music degree from the Purchase Conservatory of Music, State University of New York. Brook studied Suzuki cello pedagogy at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute, as well as the Suzuki Institute of Chicago. He was appointed Suzuki cello teacher at Goshen College's Community School of the Arts in 2004, and joined the Culver Academy as adjunct cello professor in 2009. Brook is currently principal cellist of the Southwest Michigan Symphony, associate principal cellist of the South Bend Symphony, and assistant principal cellist of the West Michigan Symphony. He resides in Goshen, Indiana with his wife Jessica, and their two children, Eliza and James.
Marla Fogderud, soprano (Performer / Presenter)
Marla Fogderud, soprano, studied at the Norwegian National Academy of Music in Oslo after receiving a Bachelor's degree in voice performance from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. Fogderud later received a Master of Music degree in voice and opera from Wichita State University.
Fogderud has performed operatic roles, solo recitals, and has appeared as a soloist with numerous regional and festival orchestras in the United State and Europe. She was part of the 2015 International Grieg Society conference “Edvard Grieg and the Human Voice,” which afforded her a performance at Grieg’s residence, Troldhaugen. Other international engagements include solo recitals in Hamar and Oslo, Norway, as well as guest lectures at the Norwegian National Academy of Music.
In 2007 Fogderud completed the Doctor of Musical Arts voice degree program at Michigan State University, with the successful defense of her document, Norwegian Art Song in the “Golden Age.” Her activities with Norwegian music continue with a recent lecture recital on composer Halfdan Kjerulf in Minneapolis and a workshop on Norwegian song literature at University of Portland. Dr. Fogderud is in her 22nd year of teaching voice and related courses at the college level and is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She is in demand as a private teacher, coach, adjudicator, and translator.