Previous Guest Artists


Leanna Primiani, composer

For award-winning composer Leanna Primiani, music is architecture in motion, evolving through time and space. True to this axiom, Leanna’s artistic reach is adventurously progressive, encompassing the intrepid textures and innovations in electronic music within the foundation and balance of the classical tradition. Leanna’s fearlessly experimental voice is quickly gaining traction in both the modern classical world and in the film scoring industry.

Leanna’s fresh artistic perspective has earned her many prestigious commissions and awards. Standout honors include winning the national audience favorite award at the RAPIDO chamber music competition, being a featured composer IMANI Chamber Music Festival; winning the ACCBDA Emerging Composers grant; and being the recipient of the highly coveted USC Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar Award and the USC Arts Grant two years running.

Leanna’s signature modern classical aesthetic is distinguished by dreamy ambience, bold textures, and a clever and seamless fusion of synthetic and organic instrumentation where it’s often hard to distinguish pure orchestral passages from electronic-based motivic movements. Her fringe vision spans core classical catalog, post-minimalism, downtempo trip-hop, and EDM.

Core to Leanna’s compositions are dense cluster chords for harmonic movement, fascinating instrument-and-register pairings, and pure time as an organizing factor for movement verses traditional measure by measure delineation.  In addition to her architectural mindset, Leanna uses storytelling as an integral part of her compositional voice, thinking of her compositions as narrative vehicles and using dynamic soundscapes to lay out thematic arcs.

Leanna’s concert catalog has been embraced internationally with select highlights including performances at the Nashville Symphony, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ensemble Aventure Freiburg (Germany), and the Centre de Création Musicale Iannis Xenakis.

Leanna ambient classical voice has made her an in-demand composer for scoring numerous features, TV shows, and short films. Recent marquee moments within this realm include composing the score to the award-winning feature films Saturn Returns and A Film By Vera Vaughn, and writing the main title and incidental music for the A&E/Bio docudrama, The Ghost Speaks.

Informing her compositional work is her distinguished background as a conductor. In this realm, she has seen firsthand the physicality of music, and harnesses the power of the sound-body connection in her own compositions. Leanna has conducted for the LA Opera, National Symphony, California Opera Association, and she has been the music director for the Central California Ballet.

Leanna is a native of Southern California, and currently lives in Santa Monica California. She earned a DMA in composition from USC, and has studied with such noted composers and conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Peter Eötvös, Christopher Rouse, and Howard Shore.She recently released her solo debut, ANASIA’s 5MICE, a darkly majestic 35-minute electronic-orchestral hybrid composition. Next, Leanna will be debuting an orchestra and electronic piece, and releasing a piano and electronic album.

Walt Wagner, pianist/composer

sophisticated jazz performer known for applying his urbane technique to both classic standards and contemporary pop and rock songs. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Wagner began playing piano around age six, and was introduced to jazz via his father, who led a local dance band. During the '50s he made his professional debut as a member of the rock & roll outfit the Exotics. In the '70s, he found work on cruise ships opening for a bevy of comic legends like George Burns and Bob Hope, before eventually settling full-time in Seattle.

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Beginning in 1996, he drew crowds as the house pianist at Seattle's Canlis Restaurant. Initially focused on jazz standards, over the next two decades he began incorporating more modern rock and pop covers done in his own urbane jazz style. During this period, he released several albums starting with the 1998 classical effort Walt Wagner: The Miracle; Rhythms. A handful of covers albums followed, including 2004's Pearls, Vol. 1, and 2007's In the Pink: Music of Pink Floyd. In 2017, Sub Pop Records released Reworks, a recording of Wagner's final performance at Canlis Restaurant. Included are covers of songs by DJ ShadowBand of HorsesPrince, and others. (biography by Matt Collar)

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Mark Salman, pianist

Hailed as a "heroic virtuoso," has performed in Europe, Asia, Canada and throughout the United States, including Carnegie and Alice Tully Hall in New York, in performances described as "powerful," "astonishing, exacting, evocative," "wildly imaginative" and "touchingly lyrical.  His performance of Liszt’s transcription of the Beethoven Seventh Symphony was named one of three “Performances of the Year” by Seattle Weekly. His account of his meetings with and playing for Vladimir Horowitz appears in the book, Evenings with Horowitz. Mr. Salman is a co-founder of the Delmarva Piano Festival in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which ran for seventeen seasons. His performances have included appearances at the Newport Music Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, an eight recital series devoted to the works of Franz Liszt in Seattle, three recitals featuring Schubert’s final three sonatas, a complete cycle of Beethoven’s five piano concertos and Choral Fantasy with Orchestra Seattle, a recital series celebrating Chopin’s 200th birthday, and a five recital series commemorating Liszt’s 200th birthday. Mr. Salman is regularly heard as a concerto soloist with northwest orchestras, having performed over 30 different concertos with orchestra. Mr. Salman has performed the complete cycle of Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas on both coasts and in sixteen KING-FM broadcasts. Mr. Salman is a Steinway artist.

Mr. Salman's recordings include his newest release, Schubert Late Sonatas, two all-Chopin CDs, including Chopin’s Intimate Art: The Mazurkas, Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 488 and K. 503 with the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Transcendental Piano, featuring works by Alkan, Beethoven and Liszt, two DVDs in the series Beethoven and his 32 Piano Sonatas – A Musical Universe as well as American Interweave, featuring contemporary American works for cello and piano.  Also available in limited release are the first four live performances from his 2004-2005 Liszt series and his Beethoven concerto performances with Orchestra Seattle.

For more information about Mr. Salman see

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Julian Garvue is a jazz and classical pianist from Seattle, Washington. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music (class of ‘16), he holds degrees in Jazz Piano and Music Theory. Also a composer and arranger, Julian studied jazz composition with Bill Dobbins and has a growing body of work for jazz ensemble and full orchestra. His most recent work, “Concertino for Piano and Orchestra,” received 3rd prize in the international “Spheres of a Genius” competition in Austria.

Julian has performed with diverse artists such as genre-defying violinist Christian Howes, jazz saxophone giant David Liebman, and 50’s vocal quartets The 4 Lads and The 4 Aces. As part of the Eastman Jazz Ensemble from 2014-2016, Julian shared the stage with saxophonist Dave Glasser at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City and with pianist, arranger, and conductor Jim McNeely in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman. In 2014, Julian was one of ten Eastman students selected to perform in the school’s Chamber Jazz Ensemble with Grammy Award winning composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist for Conan on TBS, Scott Healy. This concert was subsequently mixed, mastered, and released by Mr. Healy on his record label, Blue Dog Music ( as “Live at Kilbourn Hall.”

An active educator, Julian has taught music both privately and in the public school system. As an ArtistYear fellow serving PS 143 Q (Louis Armstrong Elementary School) in Queens, Julian currently serves over 500 students grades 1-5 in 23 classrooms and the afterschool NIA program, creating his own lesson plans that blend music appreciation with song and dance. An Americorps organization, ArtistYear serves Title I schools in Philadelphia, PA, Queens, NY, and the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado.

Julian co-leads The Arsonists, a progressive jazz quintet that fuses modern jazz with rock and roll, reggae and J-music ( The Arsonists have toured across the United States in cities such as New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, and have also recorded two albums. The first, “The Red Planet,” was co-produced and released on CD and online in 2014.

Hanna Benn

A composer, vocalist, and genre-spanning collaborator, Hanna Benn has been creating music for over a decade. Her multi-disciplinary approach has incorporated dance, opera, and theater — submerging boundaries and discovering new sonic landscapes in the process. 

With origins rooted in gospel and choral music, Benn began exploring music as both an intimate and collective experience at an early age. Her influences soon included Stravinsky, English pastoral music, R&B, Alice Coltrane, and Olivier Messiaen.

Benn studied composition and voice at Cornish College of the Arts and has been composing ever since. While in Seattle, she co-founded an experimental pop band called Pollens. She has worked with CMF Festival Orchestra, Saint Helen's String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, St. Marks Cathedral Choir, Opus 7, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

She wrote and recorded work on Son Lux's Bones album and toured with Boots (who has produced Beyoncé, FKA Twigs, and Run the Jewels). Her commissioned work and compositions have been performed across the country, from a five-hour immersive opera and dance performance in collaboration with Alice Gosti and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra to a composition celebrating Black American composers with Davida Ingram and the North Chamber Orchestra. She recently completed a residency at Central State in Indianapolis where she wrote much of her new album.



Makenna Carrico is a film, game, and concert composer based in the Pacific Northwest. She attended the Seattle Film Institute and graduated in 2018 with a Master of Music in Film Composition.

Makenna received her Bachelor of Music in Music Composition in 2016 from the University of Oregon, where she was also a member of the Oregon Composers Forum. Her favorite composers include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and film composers Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, and Rachel Portman. Her primary instrument is cello and she enjoys playing with local orchestras, and she is currently attempting to learn ukulele.

The Gothard Sisters

The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic musical group of three sisters who play contemporary Celtic music.  Through 10 years performing, touring and writing music together, the optimistic style of their music and performances continue to resonate with their fans, building a loyal international following. 

Their latest all-original album release, Midnight Sun, reached #6 on the Billboard World Music charts as the highest ranking debut on the chart, and the Gothard Sisters have performed in venues large and small all over the country, including a concert at the Kennedy Center's Millennium stage in Washington DC, performances with Disney Cruise line in Europe, music festivals and performing arts venues nationwide. 

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Blending Celtic, folk, classical, world and northwest musical influences, the Gothard Sisters bring songs to life with violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin, bodhran, djembe, octave violin, whistle and vocal harmonies, creating music that is "vivid, inspirational and captivating."  (Tim Carroll, Folk Words Review 2018) 

Writing and recording near their home in the Pacific Northwest between touring nationally, the band has released 7 albums and has performed over 1,000 live shows over the course of their career.

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Photo credit: Amy Bowen

Angelique Poteat, composer/clarinetist

Angelique Poteat is a native of the Pacific Northwest.  Her music has been recorded and performed in Australia, Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Japan, Italy, Norway, and all over the United States by ensembles including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Saratoga Orchestra, Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, Trio Tara, Enso Quartet and the New York New Music Ensemble.  Some notable performances include Beyond Much Difference (2014), a piece commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and performed by them at their January 2015 Sonic Evolution concert with Mike McCready, Chris Cornell, and members of the bands, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and more; Much Difference (2014) at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York; Roots of Variegation (2012) at the 2012 International Women’s Brass Conference; Reflections on a Summer (2008) at the 2012 Druskomanija festival in Lithuania; and A Perspective (2009) at the 2010 International VSA Festival. Poteat earned the degrees Bachelor of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music.  She has studied composition with Samuel Adler, Joel Hoffman, Mara Helmuth, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, Shih-Hui Chen, Arthur Gottschalk, and Samuel Jones.  Poteat was a participant of the 2011 FUBiS International Summer Institute in Berlin under the direction of Prof. Samuel Adler and is also the recipient of the 2015 American Prize in Composition for Beyond Much Difference.

 Poteat is a 2015 CityArtist from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and was the Composer-in-Residence for the 2018 New Music on the Rock Festival.

As a clarinetist, Poteat enjoys performing a wide variety of genres, from orchestral to new music for the bass clarinet.  She has appeared as a soloist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, of which she is currently Principal Clarinetist.  Poteat performs with the Seattle Modern Orchestra, Federal Way Symphony, Saratoga Orchestra, and has also performed with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Players, Vancouver Symphony (BC), and Boise Philharmonic, among many other groups.  Recent festival performances include the Sunriver Music Festival, McCall Music Festival, and Siletz Bay Music Festival.  She studied clarinet with Michael Webster at Rice University and Laura DeLuca of the Seattle Symphony, and bass clarinet with Ronald Aufmann of the Cincinnati Symphony.

On the side, Poteat is a hiker, cyclist, climber, and an overall lover of nature.  Many of her works are influenced by the natural world around her, often returning to the ocean and Puget Sound area.

Maria Larionoff, violinist

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Will Langlie-Miletich, bassist/composer