BIOS for CHIRON 12/17


Christopher Kaufman is an accomplished composer of music for the classical concert stage as well an author, illustrator, teacher, performer and presenter. He has a large number of works for a wide variety of medium and his works have been performed by world-class musicians far and wide. As founder/director of CHIRON Performing Arts he has presented the work of hundreds of artists of all disciplines. He has recently developed a system of presenting fine arts and music to family audiences titled ‘The Phantastic Theater’ which features his unique multi-disciplinary presentation method which combines film, visual art, live performance, symphonic sound, dance and puppetry. He has here put these two performance systems together in the CHIRON FESTIVAL SERIES.

While continuing his work as an accomplished composer of music for the classical concert stage, in recent years Kaufman has taken the techniques he learned from work on film related projects and applied them to his chamber music compositions, one result being his ‘environmental pieces’. These are works where instrumental performance is combined with tapes created with hundreds of natural sounds, orchestral and electronic sounds and video comprised of natural imagery and the work of environmental artists such as Ken Cro-Ken. The most ambitious of the projects is titled Hudson Valley Music – you can visit the project page for this work on his home site below.
Kaufman has also developed a new series of multi-disciplinary projects – Tales of the Ocean City, The Musical Forest, The Phantastic Zoo and the upcoming Dancing Night Hawk. These works take the form of books with audio albums, workshops and live shows. Kaufman presents these works in his The Phantastic Theater presentation system.
Kaufman recently completed a work for String Quartet titled The Freedom Quartet. The work was written in response to the presidential election of 2016. The music begins with emotional complexity which combines feelings of fury with hope. The finale of the work is an emphatic rendition of our National Anthem. The second movement is dedicated to his mother, actress/screen writer Anna Filameno, who passed 1.30.17. This work will be performed by the illustrious Amernet Quartet during their upcoming season.
Visit SOUNDARTUS.COM for information on these and his many other projects.

Sofia Rose Kaufman is a dancer, singer, pianist, actor, visual artist… but mostly identifies herself as a dancer. She has starred in many productions of the various forms of ‘The Musical Forest’. She read the title role for this work, the audio book form, when she was just past four years old and began performing in front of audiences later that same year. She will star in the full orchestra version of ‘The Musical Forest’ this coming April in front of 1500 children with Daniel Rieppel’s Southwest Minnesota Symphony. She also dances ‘The Mermaid’ in her father’s, ‘The Phantastic Zoo’. She will be featured next season in the title role of the world premier of ‘Dancing Night Hawk’, which is an amalgam of Native American Myths into a new original story.

Elias Schisgall is a fourteen year old freshman at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn. He has been playing piano for eight years, and has been studying with Chris Kaufman since last year. The arts are a massive part of his life; in addition to playing piano, he plays the oboe and is an avid actor and singer. He also enjoys composing and songwriting. He has been immersed in music for pretty much his whole life, and continues to constantly play it, listen to it, and think about it. The Lark by Glinka is a personal favorite of his, and he is overjoyed to be able to perform it.

In 2017, Jennifer Roderer made her house debut at the Metropolitan Opera as La duègne in Cyrano de Bergerac. Other recent performances include Shifrah Puah in Enemies, A Love Story for Palm Beach Opera, Kabanicha in Kat’a Kabanova  for Spoleto USA, Quickly in Falstaff at Chautauqua, Amneris in Aida with New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Syracuse Opera, Azucena in Il Trovatore  with Opera Roanoke, and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel with Utah Opera, a signature role she has also performed with many companies, including New York City Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Career highlights include her critically acclaimed Fricka in Die Walküre at Teatro Colòn, conducted by Charles Dutoit, Klementia in Sancta Susanna with the American Symphony Orchestra, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Lorin Maazel’s Chateauville Foundation, Waltraute in Die Walküre for Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Seattle Opera Ring Cycles, a Flowermaiden in Parsifal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Charles Dutoit and a diverse array of roles with New York City Opera including Juno in Platée, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Cecilia March in Little Women and Sappho in Lysistrata. Jennifer has appeared in concert with the Pacific Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Florida Orchestra, among others.
Jennifer has given recitals for the Wagner Society of New York, the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City and the Saratoga Arts Festival.  She has received awards from the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation, Opera Buffs of Southern California, the Wagner Societies of New York , Los Angeles and Washington D.C and Opera Index. Born in Illinois and raised in Los Angeles, Jennifer holds degrees from the University of Southern California and CUNY Hunter College.

SEE JENNIFER as Marfa in Rothschild’s Violin with the American Symphony Orchestra – Carnegie Hall January 28, 2018!
Pianist Daniel Rieppel, a Minnesota native of Austro-Hungarian and Norwegian descent, holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University, and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota under Lydia Artymiw.  His principal teachers include Jack Radunsky and Leonard Hokanson, as well as John Perry at the Aspen Music Festival.   Before relocating to the Twin Cities, he studied in Munich, Germany with the eminent German pianist Gerhard Oppitz.
Daniel Rieppel made his solo piano recital debut at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, a performance which was subsequently broadcast in its entirety by Minnesota Public Radio.  He has worked as a chamber musician with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and is a founding member of The Schubert Trio. In the Midwest he has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles, including the South Dakota Symphony, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (Minneapolis), the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Minneapolis), and most recently, The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (Duluth).
He has performed widely in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, including the Palais Corbelli in Vienna and in duo recital with the Austrian violinist Risa Schuchter, during the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth in Salzburg. He has performed for the U.S. Ambassador to Panama on several occasions, and is a frequent collaborator of the “Alfredo de Saint Malo” International Music Festival; he returned in May 2015 to open the festival with violinist Frank Almond, Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony, who performed on the 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius, recently featured in the November 2014 issue of Vanity Fair.
A recognized Schubert scholar, Dr. Rieppel has lectured and performed Schubert’s works in New York City, Vienna, and at Oxford University.  He has published articles on Schubert’s early piano sonatas for several academic journals, including the journal “Durch die Brille,” of the Internationales Franz Schubert Institut.  His work on Schubert was recognized with several travel grants from the Center for Austrian Studies (U of M) and a Fulbright Scholar Research award to Vienna, Austria.
Dr. Rieppel has served as Professor of Music at Southwest Minnesota State University since 1998, and is also on faculty at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.  He is artist faculty for the Young Artist World Piano Festival in Minneapolis, the premiere piano institute for aspiring young pianists in the Midwest.

Arunima was born in India and moved to the U.S. when she was six. She is pursuing a film degree on the Pre-med track at Hofstra University. Arunima has volunteered at Stony Brook Medicine, beach cleanups, and anywhere volunteering may be needed. She loves to use her artistic talents, such as dancing and acting, to make others smile. Arunima was honored with the Citizen Award and Volunteer Award, the President’s Award for Community Service, and was the president of her environmental club at her high school. This is her third year on the Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council, a program of the Jane Goodall Institute. Arunima will continue to do service within her community and plans to become a doctor. She hopes to join the incredible group of doctors that volunteer with Doctors Without Borders as well as continuing to foster her love for film.

“I knew the flute was for me from the first moments I played.”
Robert Dick was born and raised in New York City.  He began playing the flute as a child. His parent’s responded to his incessant campaigning for a flute by surprising him with a flute and flute teacher after school in fourth grade.  Robert gave his first concert that very day!   Setting up chairs for his parents as soon as his father came home from work, he excitedly playing page 1 of the Rubank Elementary Flute Method — and he’s never looked back.
Robert is considered a musical visionary, a creative virtuoso in the tradition of Paganini and Hendrix, artists who redefined both the music and the technique of their instruments. Improvisor, composer, author, teacher and inventor, he performs worldwide.

On his musical philosophy: “A central focus of my music is the idea that acoustic instruments can be treated as human-powered synthesizers, each capable of an enormous range of sonority and expression well beyond their traditional definitions. I have total faith in the ability of humans to transcend limits imposed by presupposition. As a child, I rejected the idea that the flute could only produce one note at a time and by my late teens had started to invent thousands of new sonorities. They were there for the doing, if one assumed they could exist instead of couldn’t. The idea of continuous transformation of timbre is very important to me, and my music is influenced by electric and electronic music, world music, natural sounds and the work of my fellow composer-performers.”

It is a rare composition for flute written anywhere in the world today that does not bear Robert Dick’s influence. His impact on flute playing is major, made through countless masterclasses, the seminal books The Other Flute, Tone Development through Extended Techniques and Circular Breathing for the Flutist plus two volumes of the etudes Flying Lessons. Instructional CDs and DVDs and his series of instructional videos on YouTube illuminate his ideas and music, and empower other musicians to transform their playing.

Dick teaches at NYU and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He maintains an active private teaching studio, works with flutists the world over using Skype, and conducts his annual Robert Dick Residential Studio in New York. Students in the Studio study with Mr. Dick for two full days each week from September through December, going into depth in contemporary techniques and repertoire, including improvisation and composition.

Jeffrey Weeks Harrison is a composer and performer of classical and jazz music. He and his wife Katie have recently arrived in NYC following an 11-year stint in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and The Cleveland Institute of Music. He hails from New Orleans where he first met Chris Kaufman while they both attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Jeffrey is honored and grateful to be part of this performance that is in support of the environment. Jeffrey can be reached at or

“I like projects where I can use music, technology, education and marketing to create change. I’m fortunate to have been involved in a number of successful collaborations that combine education and entertainment in innovative and compelling ways. In working with Jim Henson, Sesame Workshop, and WGBH, I have had the opportunity to work with an extraordinary group of people and learn the trick of balancing intensely personal creativity with the broadly collaborative process of film and television.”

Born into the entertainment business and literally raised in a booking agency, Carroll grew up in the midst of the New York music scene. Surrounded by a Broadway Danny Rose cast of musicians, comedians, singers and entertainers he first performed professionally at age 12.

Joe is an award-winning composer for children/family film and television (Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Disney, PBS) and is Founder of Manhattan Producers Alliance, an elite membership organization comprised of Emmy, Oscar, Tony and Grammy-winning composers and music producers. He has been a creator of music technology enhanced education initiatives for K-12.

Career Highlights: Performed with Zippy the Chimp, a tuxedo-clad chimpanzee whose skills included drinking bourbon and roller skating, sometimes simultaneously. Once offered a job to play guitar wearing a pig suit while singing songs about bacon in shopping malls.