Rendez-vous Musical #100

Since its creation in 2015, the Rendez-vous Musical has been a meeting place for resident musicians and the birthplace of multiple lasting collaborations and friendships. The resident musicians, many of whom come to France thanks to the Harriet Hale Woolley, Fulbright-Harriet Hale Woolley or Fulbright scholarships, have also used this concert series to create cross-cultural ties with a select few French musicians to be granted a 5th floor studio and/or musicians they meet at school. Over the years, alumni have come back with projects they presented with friends they met performing on Sunday afternoons during their student days. The Rendez-vous Musical has become known as an informal concert series, much like a studio class, where musicians not only talk about what they are working on, but also stay at the end to get to know the friendly faces that come every month.

The Rendez-vous bridges the gap between the audience and the performers, between the French and American culture, and between generations. The resident musicians make classical and contemporary music fresh and accessible, and they present new works and experimental pieces that sometime lead to interesting conversations. It is a space of creative musical expression in line with the values of the FEU, as well as the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, whose mission it is to promote peace among students coming to study in Paris from all around the world.

This special edition celebrating the 100th concert of the series will bring together founding members of the series, several generations of alumni, and current residents for a celebratory concert. A walk down memory lane and a testimonial to the significant role this concert series has played for many as they transitioned from student life to professional life.

Pratical Information

Date Sunday, May 26 | Time 5pm | Facebook Event

Free registration

For safety reasons, the FEU’s front door will be closed during the Fête de la Cité. Please use the official door on the garden side and ring the reception bell.


Diverging Roads: Part VII
John Kamfonas, piano

Dr. Kristen Denny-Chambers (b.1978)
Summer in Paris for solo clarinet
Jenny Maclay, clarinet

Béla Bartok (1881-1945)
3 Romanian Folk Dances
Andrew Briggs, cello & Sergio Herrera, guitar

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
Granada Op. 47, No. 1
Andrew Briggs, cello & Sergio Herrera, guitar

Carol Robinson (1956-)
Le fond de l’air
Thomaz Tavares, flute & Carol Robinson, electronics

Denis Ramos (1986-)
Paroles en l’air 
Edgar Jaber, piano

Sato Matsui (1991-)
Goldenrod sonata
Thomaz Tavares, flute ; Ian Tomaz, piano

Sergio Herrera (1995-)
Danza No.1
Thomaz Tavares, flute & Ian Tomaz, piano

Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Bucolics (arr. Anssi Karttunen)
I. Allegro vivace
II. Allegretto sostenuto
III. Allegro molto
IV. Andantino
V. Allegro maricale
Andrew Briggs & Alexa Ciciretti, celli

Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Cinq pièces pour 2 violons et piano arr. Will Cravy pour clarinette, basse et piano
1. Prélude
3. Élégie
4. Valse
John Kamfonas, piano ; Jenny Maclay, clarinet ; William Cravy, bass

Alumni Musicians

Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, American pianist John Kamfonas has given performances around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing, that bring together spontaneous creation and interpretation of masterworks. Following studies in New York, John moved to Paris in 2013 to work with the French pianist and pedagogue Jean Fassina and is currently pursuing a joint PhD program between the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and the Sorbonne Université.

Praised as «an artist with an already expanding reputation and a great future» (The Well-Tempered Ear); cellist Andrew Briggs recently performed solo and in chamber music at the Festival Radio France Montpellier, Bridging Arts Music Festival (Nuremberg, DL); and at the Opus 16 Concerten (NL). Some notable moments from recent seasons include his performance of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 at the Radio France Festival (Montpellier, FR); his solo and chamber music concerts at the Fontainebleau Festival (France); chamber music concerts with the Ensemble Calliopée (France); his performances of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with several orchestras; principal cello of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne and the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra; concerts at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra Seminar, chamber music concerts with the principal cello of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gregor Horsch. After studying at Juilliard, Andrew moved to Paris as a recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship of the Fondation des États-Unis where he studied and performed works by Duport, Debussy and Poulenc. He then joined the Cité Internationale des Arts where he spent two years working on projects focusing on Beethoven’s cello works and world music with the Kimya Ensemble. He performs regularly as a soloist and in the sections of the Orchestre Philharmonique de la Radio France and the Orchestre National d’Île de France.

Parisian-based Alexa Ciciretti is the cellist of Ensemble Cairn. Additionally, she has performed as guest solo cellist of Opera Nationale de Lorraine and with Quatuor Béla, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre Nationale d’Auvergne, Ensemble Multilatérale, Ensemble Sillages, and Barcelona Modern Ensemble. She has performed solos and chamber music at Palais Garnier, Salle Cortot, Château de Versailles, Château de Fontainebleau, and the Centre tchèque de Paris. Her interest in contemporary music has led her to work extensively with living composers, including Betsy Jolas, Jérôme Combier, Philippe Leroux, and Noriko Baba. Ms. Ciciretti was a guest artist at the 2019 Ojai Festival, where she performed John Zorn’s Ouroboros with Jay Campbell of the JACK Quartet, which was hailed as an “impressive tour de force” ( A member of the Spoleto Festival USA for several seasons, Ms. Ciciretti served as continuo cellist on the U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s Farnace and section cellist on the U.S. premiere of Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern. She received her master’s degree and orchestral studies diploma from Eastman School of Music and her bachelor’s degree with a minor in historical performance from Oberlin Conservatory. Principal teachers include Steven Doane, Amir Eldan and Ronald Lowry. Ms. Ciciretti pursued post-graduate studies with Anssi Karttunen in Paris. She was in residence at the Fondation des États-Unis at Cité internationale universitaire de Paris from 2019-2020

William Cravy graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern California where he was a recipient of a Presidential Scholarship, the String and Orchestral Departmental Awards for Outstanding Graduate, was a three-time Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellow, and is on the 2013-14 Colorado Young Musician’s Foundation Roster. His primary teachers include David Allen Moore, Susan Cahill and Ken Harper, and additional studies with Paul Ellison, Hal Robinson, Ben Hong, Albert Laszlo, and Chris Hanulik. Will has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Colorado Symphony, the Culver City Symphony, the Diamond Bar High School Symphony Orchestra, and the Denver School of the Arts Orchestra. Will has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, the Lake George Music Festival, Domaine Forget, the Wabass Institute, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. William is an alumnus of the FEU (2016-2017).

Henri Selmer Paris and Vandoren Artist-Clinician Dr. Jenny Maclay enjoys a diverse career as a clarinet soloist, recitalist, orchestral player, chamber musician, pedagogue, and blogger. In 2021, she was the Visiting Instructor of Clarinet at Brandon University (Canada) and was Visiting Lecturer of Clarinet at Iowa State University in 2020. She is currently the Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet at Harper College. Online, she is known as Jenny Clarinet, where she created her eponymous popular blog. In addition to teaching and performing, Jenny is also interested in travelling and researching clarinet cultures around the world. To date, she has visited and performed in 40 countries, and she enjoys meeting other clarinetists during her travels. Recently, she was selected by the Council of Faroese Artists as an artist-in-residence in Tjørnuvík, Faroe Islands, where she performed and promoted clarinet compositions by Faroese composers at the 2022 and 2023 Summartónar Festivals. In 2022, she was named an Artist-in-Residence Niederösterreich, where she studied Austrian clarinet history, pedagogy, and repertoire during her residency in Krems-an-der-Donau, Austria. Inspired by her travels, Jenny often programs music from around the world, which she shares in her new blog series “Around the World in Eighty Pieces.”

Born in New York and raised in Brazil, flutist Thomaz Tavares is currently based in Paris, where he leads an active solo, chamber, and orchestral performance career. He is flutist with the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Europe under the baton of Maestro Nicolas Krauze, and is an occasional guest performer with Ensemble Calliopée, VociHarmonie, and the Open Chamber Orchestra of Paris. Tavares was previously the professor of flute at the Conservatoire Provinois in the medieval town of Provins, as well as guest professor at the Conservatoire Jean Baptiste Lully in Paris. An active and devoted pedagogue, Tavares has given numerous recitals, lectures, and masterclasses throughout France, the United States, and Brazil. Praised for his “innate sense of musical aesthetics in all styles” by Vociharmonie and for his “polished, lyrical and virtuoso” playing by the Virginia Gazette, Tavares has made numerous solo and chamber appearances at the historical Salle Cortot in Paris and the Château de Fontainebleau. He has performed at the Festival d’Auvers sur Oise, Journées de Ravel, Harmonies du Perche, the Festival de Fontainebleau, the Melodieuse in Luberon, the Dartington Summer Festival, and Talis Sarajevo, to name a few. Tavares holds his Bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was the recipient of the Premier Young Artist Scholarship. He moved to Paris in order to study under the tutelage of the renowned international soloist Jean Ferrandis at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he obtained his Diplôme Supérieur d’Execution with unanimous distinction from the jury and in 2020, followed by his terminal degree the Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste. Tavares was a recipient of the 2019 Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship at the Foundation des États-Unis, for which he undertook a dual performance research on the musical repertory of the French Belle Époque with Jean Ferrandis and the compositions of Yuko Uebayashi under advisorship of the composer herself.

Alumni Composers

Sergio Herrera is a composer-guitarist currently based in Paris. He received his B.M. in Music composition and theory from Florida State University where he studied composition with Dr. Clifton Callender and jazz theory and arranging with Bill Peterson. During his time at Florida State, Sergio was a recipient of both the Presser Scholarship and the David Ward-Steinman undergraduate composition award. He has written for a wide variety of ensembles ranging from chamber to jazz big band. Distinguished by an ever-evolving rhythmic vitality, Sergio’s music synthesizes elements of jazz and Latin-American music to create a uniquely personal compositional voice. Sergio has attended festivals such as the TALIS Music Festival in Switzerland and the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Academy in Paris where he worked with composers Miguel del Aguila and David Conte. He was granted the Fondation des Etats-Unis Harriet Hale Woolley scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year and was the composer in residence there from 2018-2023. As composer in residence, he worked in close collaboration with Ensemble Calliopée to compose, perform, and premier a wide variety of works for varying instrumentations. He has also composed works for members of the Paris based ensemble IMAGO – a chamber music collective in artistic residence at the Fondation des Etats-Unis. Sergio is currently studying écriture at the Conservatoire à rayonnement regional de Paris with Thibaut Perrine and was the composer in residence at the French music festival Les Harmonies Du Perche in August of 2023.

Born in Chitose, Japan, Sato Matsui is a Paris-based composer and the Founder and Artistic Director of IMAGO. Her musical style draws influence from traditional Japanese sonorities as well as her training as a classical violinist. Matsui holds her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Juilliard School and her Bachelor’s degree from Williams College. Her recent projects include a commission for a flute concerto for Carol Wincenc, which was premiered at the 2023 National Flute Association Gala Concert at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona. In April of this year, Matsui’s Oiseau Lunaire received its U.S. premiere at Carnegie Hall by pianist Will Healy. Her trio Hanasaka Jiisan for oboe, bassoon, and piano was commissioned by Cornelia Sommer for the 2022 International Double Reed Conference in Denver, Colorado. Matsui’s large ensemble piece Kinokonoko, commissioned for the New Juilliard Ensemble, received its Lincoln Center premiere at Alice Tully Hall in 2019. A lover of interdisciplinary collaborations, Matsui has worked extensively with dancers and choreographers as well as other artists. In 2019, Matsui received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to Paris in order to research the manuscripts of Erik Satie for her doctoral dissertation. She is the winner of the 2019 Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Denis Ramos studied interpretation, writing, and composition at the École Normale and the CNSM in Paris. He worked with various performers and ensembles in the field of classical, contemporary and folk music. He received the Prize for Best Composition, from the Salabert Foundation in 2017 for his piece Courante for large ensemble. In 2019 he created the show Le Sable et le Ciel Souverains Palpitaient with Émilie Cousin, the ensemble Myriade and the visual artist Marina Sosnina, for which he produced several arrangements and original compositions on poems by Pablo Neruda.

To say that Carol Robinson is a Franco-American composer and clarinetist is perhaps too restrictive to describe the eclecticism of her experience and passion. Whether playing repertoire or experimental material, she performs in major venues and festivals the world over (Festival d’Automne, MaerzMuzik, Archipel, RomaEuropa, Wien Modern, CTM Berlin, Angelica, Geometry of Now, Crossing the Line, Huddersfield…). She collaborates regularly with musicians from diverse backgrounds, as well as with choreographers, sculptors, and photographers. Author of some one-hundred works, she has received commissions from institutions, such as Radio France and the French Ministry of Culture, as well as numerous international ensembles and festivals. Her works often mix electronics and acoustic instruments. MODE RECORDS released three of these pieces in 2023: Nacarat for electric guitar, Black on Green for double bass, and Les si doux redoux for basset horn. Her recent discography reflects the breadth of her work. In addition to her own compositions, there are monographs of major contemporary composers (Scelsi, Nono, Feldman, Berio, Radigue, or Niblock), as well as classical music, jazz, and alternative rock. She was named Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2014.

Resident Musicians

Born in Boston and raised in Bucharest, Edgar Jaber is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics at ENS Paris-Saclay. He is a pupil of the Romanian pianists Toma Popovici and Viorica Rădoi as well as of American pianist Jay Gottlieb. Also a conductor, Jaber is the current musical director of the Orchestre du Collège Néerlendais at Cité Universitaire. His repertoire focuses mainly on classical and romantic German composers as well as early twentieth century modernism.

Ian Tomaz is an American pianist currently based in Paris, France. He has studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot since 2021, working with Pascal Roge. He is in residence at the Fondation des Etats Unisin 2022-2023 as a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar, performing concerts as an Artist in Residence at the Fondation des États-Unis and around Paris while working on the major solo, chamber and art song compositions of Francis Poulenc. Since moving to Paris, he has performed at Salle Cortot, Musee J.J. Henner and the Centre Culturel Czech and was also chosen as a full scholarship participant for the Academie de Musique Francaise, playing for renowned French pianists including Michel Beroff, Jacques Rouvier, Anne Queffelec, Marie Catherine Girod and Francoise Thinat. He began his studies at the ENMP thanks to the generous support of the Bourse Marandon from the Societe des Professeurs de Français et Francophones D’Amérique in New York.

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