MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Stephen Kushner has served as the conductor of school choirs, church choirs, festival choirs, community choirs and professional choirs, including tenures as the Principal Conductor of the Choir of the Riverside Church in Manhattan, the Director of Choral Music at Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Director of Choral Music at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At both Exeter and GFS, Kushner also served as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Studies. Included among the professional honors he has received are the Michael V. Forrestal professorship at Phillips Exeter Academy, a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from York College of Pennsylvania. Graduates of Mr. Kushner’s choirs continue to sing in choirs around the world.
Hee Sung Kim is a dynamic pianist and music director highly in demand for her versatile
and sensitive musicianship. Based in New York City, she performs and works extensively
across multiple genres with instrumentalists and vocalists. She performs and tours regularly with performing ensembles and institutions throughout the city, including Empire City Men’s Chorus, Choral Chameleon, and Brooklyn Ballet. She has also continually served as church music director and organist. She is currently on staff at Fordham University and Marymount School of New York.
Her music education started at The Juilliard School Pre-College and continued at Seoul
National University and Manhattan School of Music. Her expansive performing career has led her to venues across the world, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and The Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Her initial training was in classical music, but as an avid proponent of contemporary music, she continues to premiere numerous new works by present-day composers.
Praised in Opera Now for her “angelic lyric soprano voice", Charlotte Dobbs brings luminous sound and incisive musicianship to a broad repertoire that encompasses Bach, Mozart, and the bel canto masters, as well as the second Viennese school and contemporary composers. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2001, Charlotte earned a B.A. from Yale, where she majored in English and Music, and received an M.M. from both Juilliard and Curtis. Charlotte made her New York Philharmonic debut in a new song cycle by the Swiss composer Michael Jarrell, as well as debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a concert of works of Mozart and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. She joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for Bach’s Magnficat under Jeffrey Kahane. Other concert appearances include Chicago’s Music of the Baroque (Dido and Aeneas), the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven 9). Miss Dobbs made her Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall debuts in Nielsen's Third Symphony with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert. She appeared in recital with Mitsuko Uchida at the Marlboro Music Festival, performing Schoenberg's Book of the Hanging Gardens. Also at Marlboro, she gave her first performance of Schoenberg's Second String Quartet, which was reprised with the Saratoga Chamber Players. She has been featured in three programs with the New York Festival of Song, most recently “The Sweetest Path” at Caramoor and Merkin Hall. An avid performer of new music, Charlotte has been featured by the MATA Festival, Beth Morrison Productions, and Collage New Music in Boston. On the operatic stage, Charlotte made her debut with New York City Opera in VOX, a concert performance of new operas, as well as covering Governess in their production of The Turn of the Screw. Charlotte made her European debut as Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and returned to Italy to sing Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia under the auspices of the Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini and Teatro Aligheri in the theaters of Jesi, Fermo, and Ravenna. She also made her debut with the Chicago Opera Theater, singing Servilia in La clemenza di Tito with Jane Glover in a new production of Christopher Alden. Under the baton of Lorin Maazel, she appeared as Governess in the Chateauville Foundation’s production of The Turn of the Screw. Other operatic credits include Amina in La Sonnambula, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the title role in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, Nuria in Ainadamar, and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with the Curtis Opera Theater, as well as the title role in Iphigenie en Aulide, Elettra in Idomeneo, and Juno in La Calisto at Juilliard. Charlotte also joined renowned theater group The Civilians for their production Paris Commune at Arts Emerson and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.