Carmon DeLone celebrates his 34th season as the Music Director with Cincinnati Ballet. He has composed many original scores for the company including, most recently, The Princess and the Pea. His best-known work, Peter Pan, composed for Cincinnati Ballet in 1994, is enjoying continued praise nationally and internationally. In the fall of 1999, DeLone made his New York Carnegie Hall debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He is pleased to have made his initial New York conducting debut with the Ailey American Dance Theater for their season-opening gala performance of Carmina Burana and Revelations at New York’s City Center. Maestro DeLone is also Music Director of the Illinois Orchestra and Middletown Symphony. He was name “1995 Illinois Music Director of the Year”, and under his leadership, the Illinois Philharmonic was named “1992 Illinois Orchestra of the Year.” During his 12-year tenure as Assistant and later Resident Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Maestro DeLone served on its staff with Music Directors Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Walter Susskind, and Erich Kunzel.
Dr. Ronald Combs is in his twenty-eight year as Chairman of the Vocal Department of Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). He has sung over thirty roles with numerous opera companies around the United States. As a composer he has nine operas to his credit, as well as numerous songs, choral pieces, and chamber music. His opera “The Patriots” was presented as the opening performance in the newly renovated auditorium at NEIU in October of 2005. He continues to teach voice in the Chicago area.
Ned Rorem has been called “the world’s best composer of art songs,” by Time Magazine, yet his musical and literary ventures extend far beyond this specialized field. Rorem has composed three symphonies, four piano concertos and an array of other orchestral works, music for numerous combinations of chamber forces, six operas, choral works of every description, ballets and other music for the theater, and literally hundreds of songs and cycles. He is the author of fourteen books, including five volumes of diaries and collections of lectures and criticism.
He studied composition under Bernard Wagenaar at Juilliard, taking his B.A. in 1946 and his M.A. degree in 1948. Rorem has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship (1951), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1957), and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1968). He has also received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award on three separate occasions. Among his many commissions for new works are those from the Ford Foundation, the Lincoln Center Foundation the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony and from Carnegie Hall. Among the distinguished conductor who have performed his music are Bernstein, Masur, Mehta, Mitropoulos, Ormandy, Previn, Reiner, Slatkin, Steinburg, and Stokowski. His suite “Air Music” won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize in music, and the Atlanta Symphony recording of his works “String Symphony, Sunday Morning” and “Eagles” received a Grammy Award for Outstanding Orchestral Recording in 1989. His recent work “Evidence of Things Not Seen” (1998) has been called “one of most musically richest, most exquisitely fashioned, most voice-friendly collections of songs I have ever heard by any American composer” by New York Magazine and Chamber Music magazine deemed it “a masterpiece.”