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Born in North Carolina, Ben spent a good part of his first 8 years in the trailer parks, highway rest areas, and rural campgrounds of 47 different US states, following parents who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, while bird-watching and fossil-hunting their way back and forth across the country. Later, in Walla Walla Washington, he was led to music by Argentine composer José Rambaldi (d. 1989) and comedian-singer Bradley Hunt (d. 1988), whose lives were cut short by AIDS while Ben was still a teen. Ben went on to study music and theater at Willamette University, and then composition at the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego; fortunate for the mentorship of John Peel, John Rahn, Roger Reynolds, Jann Pasler, Brian Ferneyhough, Harvey Sollberger, Jerry Balzano, George Lewis, and many others. His dissertation under Reynolds' mentorship at UCSD—a large collection of works for orchestra and for solo piano—explored "the establishment and erosion of musical boundaries, the evolution/devolution of melody, and the use of silence as a structural component" (Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2012); in the same music, the critic Christopher Williams has described tonal tension between small-scale and large-scale harmonic progressions, producing a paradox, in which "each element in a false dichotomy defines and becomes the other", allowing us "the opportunity and responsibility to navigate our [own] uniquely useful paths" ("On the Piano Music of Ben Carson", in The Open Space Magazine, Issue 5, December 2005, pp. 246-247).

 

Carson's music is available on Centaur Records, Albany Records, and on San Diego's "Soundcheck" series, and has been performed throughout the U.S. and at international festivals, including Aspen, "June in Buffalo," Gerngesehen (Köln), and New England Conservatory's Summer Institute for the Contemporary Piano. Concerts have been dedicated to Carson's work at Sydney Conservatory's 2005 "Music and Social Justice" conference, at Columbia University's Music Performance Program (2009), and for the International Society for Improvised Music (2010). Carson's recent work has moved in the direction of music drama, and includes an opera based on a Star Trek teleplay by Gene Roddenberry, partially premiered in a workshop performance directed in June 2016 by John de Lancie (acclaimed guest director of Atlanta Opera and San Antonio opera, earlier of Star Trek: Next Generation, and Breaking Bad) with acclaimed baritones Aleksey Bogdanov and David Cushing.

 

Carson has been an Artist/Researcher-in-Residence for the Perception Laboratory at IRCAM (Institute de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique), and at Paris University VI; his collaborations there, at UCSD, and at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, have led to innovative approaches in the study of rhythm perception and the composition of complex rhythm, including Carson's own scholarship in the American Journal of Psychology, and the Journal of New Music Research. His writing also appears in The Open Space Magazine, ECHO, the Institute for Advanced Feminist Studies' Shock and Awe: War on Words, and in other publications. He joined the University of California, Santa Cruz faculty in Music in 2003, and is affiliated with the Digital Arts / New Media faculty. At UCSC, he has been a recipient of the Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award (2011), and the Arts Division's Excellence in Mentorship Award (2014). He currently serves as Provost of UCSC's Kresge College. 

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When Roy Malan relinquished his position as concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, his forty year first-chair tenure with the orchestra set a record for any major orchestra countrywide. During the SFB's season Malan was heard in the opera house every evening (or on tour around the world) in the grand ballet violin solos of the literature, which included most of the major concertos. Herb Caen reported that these solos alone were worth the price of admission. Colleagues have described Malan as the last of the romantics whose sound alone identifies him. 
His contribution to the area's musical life is unusually wide-ranging. As a founding member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (the oldest in the country) Malan has performed standard cornerstone as well as hot-off-the-press new music, collaborating personally with such luminaries as Olivier Messaien, Elliot Carter, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Walter Piston, Virgil Thomson, John Adams, Andrew Imbrie, Dave Brubeck and Frank Zappa. 
His training at the Curtis Institute of Music with  Efrem Zimbalist (product of the fabled Leopold Auer's virtuoso stable in St. Petersburg) and at Juilliard where along with classmates Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zuckerman he studied under the 20th century's star-producer Ivan Galamian, has provided Malan with all the necessary wherewithal. Additional mentors include Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin and Oscar Shumsky. 
As a teacher Malan has placed students in most of the Bay Area's orchestras and professional  chamber groups. He founded and has for forty-four years directed a thriving summer chamber music festival with pianist Robin Sutherland in Telluride, Colorado. In addition he is the author of an acclaimed biography of Efrem Zimbalist, who bequeathed Malan his choice collection of nineteenth century French bows. Quite a collector himself, Malan specializes in art pottery, Chinese Sung Dyansty porcelain, and California Impressionaist paintings of the last century.
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Faith is a musicologist, performer, and pedagogue whose research focuses on the music and women of El Colegio de San Miguel de Belem, Mexico’s first female music conservatory. She has collected and edited numerous musical manuscripts, performance scores, partbooks, and archival documents from el Archivo Historico del Colegio de San Ignacio de Loyola, Vizcaínas in Mexico City. Drawing on secondary sources in historical musicology, music education, and studies in colonialism and gender, Faith’s research increases our understanding of historically underrepresented foci in musicology, specifically eighteenth-century music pedagogy and the professional training of female musicians, situated within the greater context of the musical and social life of colonial Mexico City. Faith serves as the organist at Saint Ann Chapel in Palo Alto, California.

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