FALL, a new ballet, to premiere at West Chester University and the College of New Jersey – recipient

FEBRUARY 28, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: ROBERT MAGGIO 609-462-6869 robertmaggio@comcast.net

FALL, a new ballet, to premiere at West Chester University and the College of New Jersey – recipient of New Music USA Project Grant for composer Robert Maggio & choreographer Mark Roxey

FALL, a new ballet by choreographer Mark Roxey and composer Robert Maggio, will receive its Pennsylvania premiere at West Chester University’s Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre on March 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm and its New Jersey premiere at The College of New Jersey’s Kendall Theatre on March 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Of the 1,618 applications received in New Music USA’s first round of grants, FALL was one of 60 projects awarded and now published on www.newmusicusa.org, where you can view and follow the project’s development.

Inspired by The Fall of Freddie The Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia, FALL follows the lives of five leaves on a tree through all four seasons, ultimately exploring death as a natural, interconnected aspect of the cycle of life.

This project celebrates the 20th Anniversary Season of Roxey Ballet, whose dancers will be accompanied by live music performed by violinist Ruotao Mao and cellist Thomas Kraines.


Hailed as a composer of music that is “smart, vital, and inventive” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Robert Maggio has created an diverse body of work. Each project creates a unique connection between Maggio’s “wondrously eclectic vocabulary” (NY Times), and a wide array of commissions, artist residencies and interdisciplinary collaborations. A long-time member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City, Maggio is currently collaborating on several new musicals. He has created songs and incidental music for productions at Yale Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He has composed scores for Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X, 10 Hairy Legs, Roxey Ballet, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, Randy James Dance Works, and Leah Stein and Dancers. Orchestras have performed Maggio’s music across North America, including the Boston Pops, Atlanta Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and the Dallas/Fort Worth Symphony. His chamber and vocal/choral music has been performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Festival of Song, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Borromeo String Quartet, Corigliano Quartet, American Brass Quintet, Serafin String Quartet, Colorado Quartet, baritone Sanford Sylvan, Detroit Chamber Winds, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001 and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. Maggio is the recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the American Composers Forum, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, New Music USA and Meet the Composer. Published by Theodore Presser Company, Hickman Music Editions and Yelton Rhodes, Maggio’s music is recorded on the Summit, Albany and New World/CRI labels. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, Robert Maggio lives with his family in Lambertville, New Jersey. He is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition at West Chester University’s School of Music in West Chester, PA.

RUOTAO MAO, violin

A native of Beijing, China, Mr. Mao started learning the violin at the age of six under the guidance of his father and gave his first public performance at the age of nine in Shanghai. Now an active soloist and chamber musician, his playing was described by The Classical New Jersey as “…virtuoso display of world-class magnitude” and “the level of playing has reached far beyond mere technical competence.” Mr. Mao came to Boston on a full scholarship offered by the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor, and Masuko Ushioda. While in Boston, Mr. Mao won numerous prizes and graduated With Distinction in Performance. He also attended prestigious music festivals such as the New York String Seminar with Alexander Schneider and the Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra where his performance of Bartok’s String Quartet No. 1 received an honorary mention. Mr. Mao started working with violinist Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet in 1989 at the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he received the Master’s degree. While at Rutgers, Mr. Mao won many concerto competitions and formed the highly praised Beijing Piano Quartet and Amabile String Quartet. As a concerto soloist, Mr. Mao performed with the Jupiter Symphony, the Riverside Symphonia, the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Rutgers University Orchestra, and Corelliard Chamber Orchestra among others. During the last season he was featured as soloist with the Edison Symphony and Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004, Mr. Mao premiered a violin concerto by Ernest Stires in the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As a chamber musician, Mr. Mao is one of the founding members of the Amabile String Quartet and the Beijing Piano Quartet. Both groups have established extensive performance histories. His piano quartet has appeared in Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium, and Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall as a winner of Artists International Chamber Music Series in 1994. His string quartet has performed with the Muir String Quartet, has appeared in many concert series on the East Coast, and has been heard on several radio stations nationwide. From 2000 through 2002, the Amabile String Quartet served as the Quartet-in-Residence at Rutgers University. It was praised by The Classical New Jersey as “(Their) performance was luminous, raised to that level by exceptional precision of ensemble.” Internationally, Mr. Mao has had performances in Korea and Colombia, South America. He also has played on WNYC radio station, WETS public radio serving Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and on WDVR-FM radio station serving Delaware Township, Lawrenceville, Princeton, and Trenton in New Jersey. As a recording artist, Mr. Mao has recorded under CRI and Beijing Broadcast CD labels. Mr. Mao currently serves as the concertmaster of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia and Edison Symphony Orchestra.


Cellist Thomas Kraines has forged a multifaceted career, equally comfortable with avant-garde improvisation, new music, and traditional chamber music and solo repertoire. Mr. Kraines is the cellist of the Daedalus Quartet, and has also been heard with ensembles such as Music from Copland House, Concertante, Mistral, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and the Network for New Music, and at festivals including the Bravo! Vail, Bard, the Sebago/Long Lakes, and Moab. An accomplished composer of chamber music, his works have been performed across the country by artists such as pianists Awadagin Pratt and Wayman Chin, violinists Corey Cerovsek and Jennifer Frautschi, and sopranos Maria Jette and Ilana Davidson. His free-improvisation duo Dithyramb, with percussionist Cameron Britt, has performed and taught as guests of the Longy School of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the Jubilus Festival. Mr. Kraines has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, Yellow Barn, and the Walden School, and is currently on the faculty of Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, violinist Juliette Kang, and their two daughters, Rosalie and Clarissa.

Featured Posts