WRCMS Participant Feature: Malina Rauschenfels, soprano

Malina Rauschenfels is a soprano, composer and multi-instrumentalist transplanted to Cleveland after 11 years in New York City. Praised by the New York Times for her “compelling” performances and as “remarkable” by the Village Voice, she has also been commended by clevelandclassical.com for her “exceptional vocal range, strong acting abilities, gripping theatricality, and commanding gestures, both musical and physical.” Malina is co-founder and executive director of Burning River Baroque, with whom she sings and plays baroque cello. She is also artistic director of hūmAnómali, a collaboratively structured music ensemble which incorporates “extra-musical affairs,” such as dance, gesture and theatricality into its historically informed performances of music from antiquity to the present.

Equally comfortable with early music and contemporary music, she has performed with Quire Cleveland, Contrapunctus, Marble Sanctuary Choir, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Nuove Musiche, Toby Twining Music, Trinity Chamber Singers, Trinity Cathedral Choir, Alarm Will Sound and C4 – the Choral Composer Conductor Collective. She attended the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School for her BM and MM in cello performance and composition.



WRCMS Participant Feature: Isaac Mailach, cellist

Hi, my name is Isaac Mailach and I am a composer. I am from the cozy suburb of Thornhill, Ontario, but am currently studying for my Bachelor of Music, with a major in Composition and Cello Performance, at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
I have been playing the cello since the age of 3, so I have been surrounded by music almost my entire life. My past cello mentors include Paul Pulford, Katie Schlaikjer, Vernon Regehr, Paul Marleyn, and Tricia Balmer. My passion for the cello compelled me to pursue a professional education in the instrument. As one of my recent accomplishments in the instrument, I have been named a winner of the Laurier Concerto Competition 2017. Other musical instruments I have studied include the piano and the shakuhachi, a Japanese meditational flute.
My desire for composition comes from the amazing stories music can tell, especially when combined with visual media. Sound and image are each powerful media for telling stories, but combined, they can create an experience. Music conveys the emotion, while images provide the detail and the context of the story. My love of nature, as well as my interests in Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science help feed my musical inspiration.


WRCMS Participant Feature: Alex Burtzos, composer

Alex Burtzos


Alex Burtzos (b. 1985) is an American composer and conductor living in New York City. His works, which bristle with “biting contemporary edge,” have been performed across the United States, Europe, and South America. Recently, Alex has collaborated with JACK Quartet, loadbang, ETHEL, Righteous GIRLS, Chelsea Opera, Fresh Squeezed Opera, Tempus Continuum Ensemble, the Aspen Music Festival, The Secret Opera, ensemble mise-en, and many others. Alex is the founder and president of ICEBERG New Music, a New York-based composers’ collective.

As a composer, Alex is committed to pursuing artistic expression unconstrained by boundaries of school or style. His “riveting” work incorporates elements of the 20th Century avant-garde, rock, metal, and hip-hop alongside or against classical/preclassical structures and sounds, justifying these juxtapositions with a great depth of musical ideas and extra-musical knowledge. Alex’s music takes as its basis and provides commentary on a diverse array of subject matter, from early colonial history (A Country of Vast Designs) to recent events (12.14.12), from Shakespeare’s tragedies (Teach the Torches to Burn Bright) to naughty text messages. His unique approach has earned him accolades from organizations around the United States, and the opportunity to compose for some of the country’s most accomplished chamber ensembles.

Website: http://alexburtzosmusic.com/

WRCMS Participant feature: An-Laurence Higgins, guitarist

I am An-Laurence Higgins, a gutiarist currently studying the classical guitar at the Université de Montréal (B.Mus). I enjoy to play a wide range of music styles, but my favorite music to play is contemporary music.
I totally adore to work with composers. When we do, we can feel a a special spark of creation we can find nowehre else. Artistic collaborations are the most thrilling and enrichiching experiences a musician can hope for. Take a look at my collaborations here and here!
I feel very concerned about contemporary music and I truly believe that we need to play and hear a lot more of contemporary music as it is the key to understand and feel our identity as a society, an artist and an individual.
My lifegoal is to understand in which ways our nowadays art is reflecting our ways of being. I strongly believe that art in even its smallest form changes the course of history and enrich people’s life in every aspect, and I hope to create a space for exchanges and dialogues.

WRCMS participant feature: Alondra Vega-Zalvidar, composer


Canadian composer Alondra Vega-Zaldivar was born in Cuba and
is currently living in Toronto, Canada.

Her music draws inspiration from everything that surrounds her and
aims to reflect her curious and humoristic take on the world: from the
stars that shimmer up above to the constant singing of cicadas, but
also her yearning for peace in humankind.
More recently she has discovered a passion for the natural world and
looks forward to inspiring people to look closer at the beauty that is
found in the most unlikely places on Earth.

Alondra obtained her BMus in Theory and Composition as well as her MMus in Composition from The University of Western Ontario, where she studied with Canadian composers: David Myska, Paul Frehner, Peter Paul Koprowski and Omar Daniel.

This year Alondra was a finalist for the Costello Composition Prize organized by the Lyra Society organization and her piece Peace… for flute, viola and harp will be published by Fatrock Ink Music Publisher this coming fall.