Canto Hondo, or deep song, is flamenco-based musical style that is known for its intense expressivity and cathartic emotional release. Each of the selections on today’s recital, including Canto Hondo by José Daniel Vargas, features the singing nature of the double bass, whose solo range can parallel that of the human voice. The titular work by Vargas and The Rain Song by Kay He expand both musical and storytelling possibilities by complimenting the double bass with the baritone voice.
Dr. Philip Alejo is the Associate Professor of Music, Double Bass at the University of Arizona and Artist Faculty at the Bay View Music Festival. Previously he served as Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony and Visiting Professor of Bass at the University of Michigan. A former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Philip has additionally performed with the Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flint Symphony, and Ann Arbor Symphony.
As a chamber musician, Philip collaborates regularly with harpist Claire Happel in River Town Duo. RTD has premiered many newly commissioned works by living composers, including Caroline Shaw, Stephen Andrew Taylor, and Hannah Lash. His numerous music festivals residencies include Spoleto Festival USA, Lucerne Festival, Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, Mackinac Island Music Festival, Oaxaca Instrumental, Aldeburgh Festival, Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.
Philip teaches at the Arizona ASTA Bass Jams and the Richard Davis Bass Conference at the University of Wisconsin. He was recently named Guest Professor at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music and MusAid Teaching Artist at El Sistema, El Salvador. Philip holds degrees from Oberlin College (BA, BM), Yale University (MM), and the University of Michigan (DMA), where his principal teachers included Diana Gannett, Donald Palma, Peter Dominguez, and Thomas Sperl.
Korean-American pianist Jenny J. Lee teaches applied piano and chamber music at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music where she is on faculty as Instructor of Piano. Jenny completed her doctoral studies with Vladimir Viardo at the University of North Texas as a Teaching Fellow for the Keyboard Department, a graduate representative for the Dean’s Advisory Student Council, and as a recipient of the College of Music’s Eastman Scholarship. She previously studied with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she received her Bachelor’s on full scholarship as a Jacobs Scholar, and earned her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music in the studio of Peter Frankl and Christopher Elton. In addition to her solo studies, Lee is a committed chamber musician. Her collaborations have been featured on WQXR NYC Radio, Yale’s Oneppo Chamber Music Series, New Music New Haven, and the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music. Most recently, Jenny was named the 3rd Place National Winner of The 2022 American Prize Competition in the Performing Arts (Solo Piano Division).
Lee held Solo Piano Fellowships at the Bowdoin International Music Festival (2018), Sarasota Music Festival (2017), the Pianofest in the Hamptons (2016), and the Music Academy of the West (2015). She also participated in programs at the Académie Internationale de Courchevel in France, the Pilsen International Music Academy in the Czech Republic, and the Virtuoso & Belcanto Festival in Lucca, Italy. In various masterclasses, she had the opportunity to privately work with and draw inspiration from renowned artists such as Wei-Yi Yang, Yong Hi Moon, Peter Stumpf, Lee Phillips, Asaf Zohar, Thomas Adès, Alan Chow, Boris Berman, Melvin Chen, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Leon Fleisher.
Lee has been featured on WQXR New York’s Classical Music Radio Station as part of its Young Artists Showcase. She received top prizes in the American Protégé International Competition, the Young Pianists of New Jersey Competition, and the Steinway Society Scholarship Competition. Lee is a 2014 Finalist of the 7th New York International Piano Competition, and in partnership with the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, gave a debut recital at the Downtown Music at Grace Concert Series. She has also studied with Marc Silverman (from 2003-2007) and Jeffrey Cohen (from 2007-2012) at the Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Division, where she was an awardee of the Elva van Gelder Memorial Scholarship.
Jenny has recently participated in the album titled “Metropolis”(2023) — a collection of solo piano works by composer Joshua Nichols, released by Summit Records.