Dolce Suono Ensemble has been dazzling audiences and invigorating the music world since its founding by flutist and Artistic Director Mimi Stillman in 2005. DSE presents highly acclaimed chamber music concerts on its home series in Philadelphia, performs on tour, and engages in educational outreach partnerships with Philadelphia public schools. With a core group of artists from Philadelphia’s premier musical institutions – Curtis Institute of Music, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania – Dolce Suono Ensemble engages the audience in chamber music at a profound level through innovative, dynamic programming spanning Baroque to contemporary music, talks and panel discussions by performers, scholars, and guest composers, and post-concert Meet-the-Artists.
Programs are built around themes that set music in its broadest cultural context, in a curatorial vision informed by Mimi Stillman’s background in music and history (MA in history and Ph.D. in progress, U. Pennsylvania). In its six seasons, Dolce Suono Ensemble has built a large and loyal public following, and garnered extensive media praise. Dolce Suono Ensemble’s educational outreach partnerships have reached over 2,000 Philadelphia public school students, grades K-12, since 2005, and retirement community concerts reach over 600 seniors per season.
Dolce Suono Ensemble’s active commissioning program has led to 23 world premieres in seven seasons by some of today’s most eminent composers: Shulamit Ran, Steven Stucky, Richard Danielpour, and Steven Mackey, with additional guest composers including George Crumb, Jennifer Higdon, and Ned Rorem. Dolce Suono Ensemble also commissions emerging composers, including works by rising stars Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Jeremy Gill, David Ludwig, Fang Man, and Stratis Minakakis.
During 2010-2011, Dolce Suono Ensemble premiered works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky and Grammy Award winner Steven Mackey as part of its “Mahler 100 / Schoenberg 60” project with guest soloist Eric Owens, bass-baritone, and launched its partnership with the Domingo-Cafritz Program at the Washington National Opera at the invitation of Plácido Domingo. Flagship ensemble Dolce Suono Trio (Mimi Stillman, flute, Yumi Kendall, cello, Charles Abramovic, piano), premiered Grammy winning composer Richard Danielpour’s Remembering Neda: Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano and gave its New York City premiere. Recent engagements include the New York Flute Club, Bard College, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Swarthmore College, and Princeton University.
Dolce Suono Ensemble’s 2011-2012 season features monumental music and innovative projects, with five concerts on the Dolce Suono Ensemble Presents home series in Philadelphia, the ensemble’s official New York debut at Symphony Space, two CD releases, and all-star collaborators Shulamit Ran, Composer-in-Residence and Artistic Co-Curator, and Lucy Shelton, soprano and Guest Artist. DSE’s “Mahler 100 / Schoenberg 60” project continues into Year 2, with Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire during its centennial and the premiere of Shulamit Ran’s major new commissioned work Moon Songs for soprano, flute, cello, and piano – both sung by Lucy Shelton.
In fall 2011, Dolce Suono Ensemble will release “Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano” with Mimi Stillman and Charles Abramovic, a 2-CD set on Innova records with works by composers including Mason Bates, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Richard Danielpour, Gerald Levinson, and David Ludwig.
Dolce Suono has been awarded grants from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Meet the Composer, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The CHG Charitable Trust, Yamaha Corporation of America, Citibank, Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum, The Presser Foundation, The Samuel S. Fels Fund, Loeb Performing Arts Fund, The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.