Isabel Guzman Payes 

Isabel is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in El Salvador, and established in San José, Costa Rica where she graduated from the Programa Danza Abierta at the University of Costa Rica. She attended the Brooklyn Ballet and 92 Street “Y” summer programs (2010) and graduated from the 4-Week Musical Theatre Program (2016) at the New York Film Academy, New York (USA). As a soloist singer, Isabel has a wide experience in opera and musical theatre with several symphony and chamber orchestras from Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras.

As a composer, her repertoire goes from performing arts music (dance and theatre) and chamber music, to popular and musical theatre songs. In Costa Rica, she has composed music for the National Dance Company, Vitral Danza and independent dance productions, and her acknowledgements include the “2009 Young Soloist Award” (National Symphony Orchestra Contest), “Best Female Dancer” (Festival de Coreógrafos Graciela Moreno 2014 and ANATRADANZA) and recently, the 2017 Ricardo Fernández Guardia National Award “Best Performance in a Play” (Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud).


Carmen Alfaro Méndez

Carmen Alfaro Méndez, first Costa Rican percussionist obtaining master degrees in Europe. Graduated from the State University of Music and Performing Arts, in Stuttgart, Germany, she obtained Orchestral percussion and pedagogics for percussion specializations. First Prize winner of the International American Talent Competition, Carnegie Hall, New York in 2011. Recently in 2017 winner of the Originality prize and the Igor Lesnik Performing prize in the Universal Marimba Competition, Belgium 2017.

Also, winner of the Costa Rica National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloists Competition, 2001, and first prize winner of National Institute of Music Gold Medal Competition, 2000. She is currently percussion professor at the School of Music of the National University of Costa Rica, at the National Institute of Music and the coordinator of the percussion and drums area of the ACUA Academy Foundation for Learning and Artistic Culture. 


Annie Fontana

Annie Fontana, born in Milano (Italy) in 1955, studied and obtained degrees in composition ( with Bruno Bettinelli), organ (with Luigi Mol no) and piano (with Antonio Beltrami) at the Music Conservatoire “Giuseppe Verdi” of Milan.

Since 1977 she has taught Composition at the Music Institute “A. Peri” of Reggio Emilia; since 1985 she is Professor of Elements of Composition at the Music Conservatoire “C. Pol- lini” of Padua.

She has authored several instrumental and vocal compositions, that have successfully been played in and outside Italy, obtaining international prizes (among others, “Dimensioni” for clarinet and orchestra, presented in 1978 in Rome and in 1980 at the “Prix International Prince Pierre de Monaco”). 



Elizabeth González

Elizabeth González (Rocha, Uruguay 1966) began her musical education at the Municipal Conservatory of Music of Rocha “Arq. Aristides Lezama” from which she graduated as a solfeggio teacher in 1980 and as a guitar teacher in 1984. She studied classical guitar with Mtro. César Amaro Carlevaro. She took her first harmony lessons with Mtro. Néstor Rosa Civitate and then she continued studying with Mtra. Beatriz Lockhart, with whom she also studied elements of counterpoint and composition. She taught guitar and harmony at the Municipal Conservatory of Rocha for more than 20 years.

She is a founding member of the Asociación Mujeres en Música, the Uruguayan branch of the Fondazione Donne in Musica (Italy), in whose Director Board she held the position of secretary between 2003 and 2007. In 2006 she recorded the CD “Alternativa” with 70 minutes of music from her authorship (vocal quartet, singing and piano, piano, guitar). She has been awarded nationally and internationally for her musical production, especially for her chamber vocal works. She keeps a di cult compatibility between her strong musical vocation and her professional activity as Civil Engineer and Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidad de la República.


Mathilde Grooss Viddal

Mathilde Grooss Viddal is one of Scandinavia’s great creators of free and contemporary jazz. She has received several International Awards for Composition/Arrangement and contributed to dozens of CD’s. She has also received several commissions and installations at home and abroad, to great critical acclaim amongst reviewers of jazz in Norway and internationally. Viddal has collaborated with musicians from all over the world, in recent years in close collaboration with the French-Syrian musician Naïssam Jalal.

Viddal is an artist with deep foundation in several different styles, whose own work goes beyond the boundaries of genre.


Linda Hijazi

Jordanian composer, producer and singer. Having lived in different Arab countries each with its own musical culture, this helped Linda diversify her compositional work. She com- posed multiple songs of different genres as well as a composition for a theatre play. For the past 5 years, Linda has been a Professor of Arabic singing and music education at the University of Jordan as well as a vocal coach of Arabic singing at the National Institute of Music and the Jordanian Academy of Music. After earning her Master degree from the University of Jordan for Music Education (Arabic Singing), Linda is currently in her final stages of preparation for her doctorate degree in the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon. Linda also owns a production company for audio and video in the capital city of Jordan, Amman, called “The Studio”.


Jane Meryll

Jane Meryll attended Sarah Lawrence College and got her BA in 1996 and her MA in 2000. She studied applied piano at Boston University, composition at Juilliard and jazz arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has also completed private studies in all areas with among others Sir Roland Hanna, Norman Simmons, David Sorin Collyer.

During her career as musician Jane has worked in Commercial Music Production and Music Education, ranging from Jazz to Classical, Pop and Theatre. Pianist, singer, composer and producer, she has composed hundreds of jingles for the radio and TV. She is also an RCA Victor recording artist and a cabaret performer. The longest jingle for its time has been Purina Cat Chow – Your Cat Is Your Friend.

Jane has received a Grammy Nomination in 1996 in the Jazz song category with her piece

So Near, So Far. It was recorded and arranged by Mike Abene.

Jane is also an ASCAP writer and publisher member - (Jane Meryll, The Toonz Co, Dadada Dum Music Publishing. She has received ASCAP Awards and done public performances of works in all genres of commercial music, original songs and educational works (Belwyn Mills), and beginning string orchestra teaching pieces.


Katarina Pustinek Rakar

Katarina Pustinek Rakar (1979) continued her music education at the Conservatory for Music and Ballet in Ljubljana after completing piano primary studies at the (Primary) Music School. At the Conservatory she took three main subjects: theory studies, oboe and solo singing. Later, she received a master’s degree in Composition and Music Theory studies at the Academy for Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

She actively cooperated with the best Slovene choirs and she was a member of the Slovenian Chamber Choir. She studied at seminars at home and abroad in solo, choral singing, choir, solfeggio and composition courses.

Her compositional work includes mainly vocal music (vocal music, children’s songs, youth, women’s, men’s and mixed choirs), as she has the most experiences at that fields and she is regularly commissioned to write for those ensembles. Most of her compositions are published in various publications or published in the editions of the Society of Slovene Composers and in Astrum Music Publications.

In 2017 she wrote a piece Adrca, with which a women choir Carmen Manet won the 1st competition for Eurovision Choir of the Year in Riga, Latvia. In September 2018 her piece Das Rufen der Seelen was selected and performed by BBC Singers in London in BASCA’s call for scores and there was also a world premiere of a piece I believe, spring is coming dedicated to victims (mainly women) of the concentration camp Ravensbrück in the same month in Fürstenberg (Havel), Germany. Besides that her compositions were performed in Slovenia, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, USA and in other countries. With her family she lives in Šmarca near Kamnik, Slovenia and she works at the Conservatory for Music and Ballet in Ljubljana, where she teaches solfeggio and theoretical studies.


Shruthi Rajasekar

Shruthi Rajasekar is an American composer and vocalist. Trained in both the Carnatic (South Indian classical) and Western classical idioms, she uses her unique background to create music that explores intersections in her cultural identity. Recent honors include the 2018-2019 Psappha Composition Scheme in Manchester, UK, the 2018 Composers Guild of New Jersey Award honoring a new work for the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, and the VocalEssence ReMix Composer Program in Minnesota, USA.

In addition, her choral work has appeared on American public radio numerous times, reaching more than 300,000 listeners. Shruthi is also an award-winning classical soprano and Carnatic singer. Shruthi received her B.A. in Music from Princeton University with high- est honors, and is currently pursuing graduate studies for ethnomusicology and composition in the United Kingdom as a 2018 Marshall Scholar.


Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph

Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, born in Pretoria, South Africa on 9 July, 1948, was the first woman in South Africa to obtain a DMUS in Composition (University Pretoria 1979), having obtained her Master’s degree in Composition cum laude. She pursued postgraduate composition studies at the Royal College of Music, London and in 1974 under the renowned composer György Ligeti in Hamburg. Jeanne began lecturing at Wits University in 1976. She obtained all her Piano Performers’ Licentiates, nationally and internationally with distinction. In 1986 she was awarded First Prize in the inaugural TOTAL OIL SA Competition for composers. Her compositions have been regularly commissioned by SABC, UNISA and SAMRO. Her works number over 80, covering diverse genres.

Many CDs of her works have been produced. In February 1995, Jeanne was invited by the SA Minister of Arts and Culture to produce the new composite version of the South African National Anthem - the official version used today. In October, 2004 President Thabo Mbeki presented Jeanne with the Order of Ikhamanga for her “excellent contribution to music nationally and internationally”. An Honorary Doctorate in Education (D Ed) was conferred ( Pretoria Univ) in 2008. Jeanne is past Professor of Composition and is Honorary Research and Emeritus Professor in the Wits School of Arts, Music Division.