After graduating from Yale University, performing artists Orlay Alonso, piano, and Evan Drummond, guitar, joined forces to create the powerful and energetic combination of this Cuban-Alaskan Duo. After a series of successful concerts presenting programs of re-imagined interpretations of some of the most cherished repertoire of Spain and Cuba, the duo recently embarked on the exhilarating adventure of their New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall. The Alonso-Drummond Duo presented their own arrangements of well-known composers in a quasi- ballet suite format. By drawing on the long heritage of each instrument, the ensemble brings to life a rich and vibrant reading of the score while melding the best of piano and guitar literature in an evening of virtuosic Spanish and Cuban music from the last 150 years.
Guitarist Evan Drummond has been a featured performer throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Drummond joined the Music Department faculty as lecturer where he teaches private guitar instruction, guitar chamber music, music history for non-majors, music theory for non-majors, and aural perceptions. Drummond also holds a position at the State University of New York, Fredonia School of Music as instructor of guitar. His previous appointments include teaching at Eastman Community Music School, the California State Summer School for the Arts, and the New York City Guitar School.
Evan Drummond is currently a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music where he was awarded a teaching assistantship. His educational credits also include graduation from Interlochen Arts Academy, bachelor of music from Eastman School of Music, and a master’s degree in Music from Yale University. Recently, Evan Drummond also earned his Professional Studies Certificate at the Manhattan School of Music. Drummond has participated in master classes with Roland Dyens, Elliot Fisk, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Raphaella Smits, Castellani Andriaccio Duo, and Pepe Romero.
In addition to his emergent status as a performer and mentor, he has also experienced some early success as an arranger. The guitarist signed with Dunvagen Music Publications for an arrangement of a Phillip Glass composition. Drummond has also been a guest feature writer for Guitar Review Magazine.
Pianist Orlay Alonso is gaining widespread recognition as a versatile performing artist throughout the United States. With his communicative gifts Mr. Alonso has captivated audiences at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Sprague Memorial Hall at Yale University, Steinway Hall, Rockwell Hall at Buffalo Sate University, Tishman Hall of the New School University, The Spanish Institute, Lefrak Hall at Queens College, Rosch Recital Hall at SUNY Fredonia, Elebash Hall at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Trinity Church, and the Liederkrantz among others.
Both his personable style in addressing the audience and his projective performances go beyond his career as a recitalist; his orchestral appearances as a soloist have been lauded for keeping “the listener’s imagination stimulated at all times” and for being “capable of fine gradations and subtleties” – The New York Concert Review. Mr. Alonso has performed with the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Ossia Symphony Orchestra, and the Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra and worked with acclaimed conductors as Maestro Jonathan Strasser, David Gilbert and Orlando Alonso.
Mr. Alonso has garnered top prizes in numerous piano competitions such as Kingsville International Piano Competition, Artists International Young Artists Piano Award, Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Competition, Queens College Cultural Heritage Competition, The Young Bronx Artists Competition, Yale School of Music Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and Isabel Scionti International Piano Competition.
Mr. Alonso’s impressive array of teachers includes Lilian Kallir and Claude Frank, fellow Cuban- American Horacio Gutierrez and Juana Zayas. In addition he has participated in master classes with distinguished artists including Richard Goode, Jerome Rose, Vladimir Feltsman, Philippe Bianconi, Boris Berman, Nelita True, Pavlina Dokovska, Jorge Luis Pratz, Peter Frankl and Pamela Frank.
Considerable intelligence and intense emotions drove Mr. Alonso’s musicianship from the National School of Arts in his native Cuba to F. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City, where he was awarded the Ann-Marie McDermott Memorial Scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division with Ubaldo Díaz-Acosta. Mr. Alonso graduated from the Mannes College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and later continued his graduate studies at Yale University where he received his Master of Music degree. The thirst for excellence has no end as he received his Professional Studies degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is currently pursuing his DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) degree as a Graduate Teaching Associate at The Ohio State University with professor Steven Glaser.
For the past several years Mr. Alonso has taught private piano lessons to a diverse group of pupils of all ages and levels. He has served on the staff of Lincoln Bassett School in New Haven, CT, Saint David’s School in NYC, The Spence School in NYC, as a Teaching Assistant at Yale School of Music in CT, The Ohio State University in OH and Our Lady of the Assumption School in Bronx, NY. He has been sought after not only as a performing artist but also as an educator by Buffalo State University and The Fredonia School of Music of the State University of New York, where he has given master classes and lectures.