The Spring 2024 Masterclass Series

All Masterclasses are free and open to the community. 

The Emerson/Harris Masterclass Series is supported in part by the Robert L. Malster (1956) Fund.

Young-Ah Tak, Piano, Associate Professor of Piano & Head of the Piano Area at the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam 

Monday, February 26th, 2024

Killian Hall, 5pm to 7pm

Praised for her “thrilling blend of fury and finesse” (San Antonio Express-News) and her “winning combination of passion, imagination, and integrity” (New York Concert Review), pianist YOUNG-AH TAK enjoys a remarkable career that has taken her throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea, and Japan. 

Ms. Tak made her New York City debut at Lincoln Center for the Performing
Arts’ Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra. She has since appeared with numerous orchestras including the Roanoke, Lansing, North Arkansas, Orchestra of Northern New York, Venice, Imperial, Filharmonia Pomorska (Poland), Oltenia Philharmonic (Romania). In her native South Korea, she has appeared with the Korean Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Seongnam, Busan, and Ulsan Philharmonic Orchestras. Other notable performances by Ms. Tak have taken place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater in Philadelphia, Jordan Hall in Boston, Columbia University, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Ravinia Festival and Music@Menlo. She has also appeared in Korea at major concert halls such as Seoul Arts Center, and at international music festivals in Busan, Seoul and Tongyeong. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR (NYC), WRTI (Philadelphia), WMFT and LOOP (Chicago), WBJC (Baltimore), WCLV (Cleveland), CKWR (Ontario), and Korea’s KBS and Arte TV. 

Active as a chamber musician, Young-Ah Tak is a member of the Marinus Ensemble, and has collaborated with the late violinist Robert Mann, cellist Bonnie Hampton, the Ma’alot Quintet, and members of The Florestan Trio. Young-Ah Tak has been awarded top prizes in numerous international competitions including: the San Antonio International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Korea’s Isang Yun International Music Competition, Germany’s Ettlingen International Piano Competition, and Italy’s Valsesia-Musica International Competition. 

Ms. Tak received her training from The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where she earned her doctorate degree under the tutelage of the legendary pianist Leon Fleisher. She has also studied with Martin Canin, Yong Hi Moon, Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun. 

Ms. Tak currently serves as an Associate Professor of Piano and Head of the Piano Area at the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam. She is the Founding Artistic Director of the Crane International Piano Festival.
Young-Ah Tak’s debut recording of Judith Zaimont’s Wizards – Three Magic Masters was released by Albany Records to critical acclaim. Her recordings are also available from MSR Classics and on Steinway’s Spirio. Ms.Tak’s CD recording of works by Beethoven was released on the Steinway & Sons Label in November 2019 as part of the essential series of Steinway Classics. Ms. Tak is a Steinway Artist. 


Kris Davis, Piano, Associate Program Director of Creative Development at the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Killian Hall, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Kris Davis is a Grammy award-winning pianist and composer described by The New York Times as a beacon for “deciding where to hear jazz (in New York) on a given night.”Davis has released 23 recordings as a leader or co-leader and collaborated with artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Holland, John Zorn, Craig Taborn, Ingrid Laubrock, Tyshawn Sorey, Julian Lage and Esperanza Spalding.  She was named a 2021 Doris Duke Artist alongside Wayne Shorter and Danilo Perez, Pianist of the Year by DownBeat magazine in 2022 and 2020, and Pianist and Composer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2021.  Her latest release, Diatom Ribbons Live at the Village Vanguard, was voted best album of 2023 by NPR, Pop Matters, and Downbeat among others. Davis is the Associate Program Director of Creative Development at the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and the founder of Pyroclastic Records. Davis is a Steinway Artist. 


Debo Ray, Voice/Composition

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

Killian Hall, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Debo Ray, a Grammy-nominated musician, unlocks the inner joy with her music. 

Growing up in the Boston area to Haitian immigrant parents, Debo faced the challenge of not fitting societal molds. Misunderstood and labeled an outcast, music became her sanctuary — a realm where she could explore different worlds without judgment. Embracing anime culture and finding inspiration in various genres, Debo ventured into acclaimed global projects.​

Trained at the Handel and Haydn Society Vocal Apprenticeship Program and the New England Conservatory Prep School, she earned her stripes in opera voice. A graduate in vocal performance and classical composition from Berklee College of Music, Debo mastered vocal prowess and versatility that allows her to sing in any style. It’s all about the art of 'sound weaving' for Debo, where she skillfully intertwines diverse musical elements, from melody and harmony to rhythm and timbre, to craft harmonious and emotionally resonant experiences.​

A spirited and cooperative collaborator, Debo Ray has worked with multiple Grammy award winners, including Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Sanchez, Terri Lyne Carrington, Screaming Headless Torsos, Women of The World, and more. And has graced renowned venues globally, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl, to name a few.​

A composer at heart, Debo is known for the unique way she embraces and expresses the music she creates, as well as her style of blending theory with emotion in her performances. Spanning genres from Pop and R&B to Rock fusion, Debo Ray's mission is clear: to instill joy in music without sacrificing skill through an immersive experience. Her relatable yet universal sound creates a connection with listeners, encouraging them to embrace their uniqueness and find joy in the rich fabric of her musical expression.​

Currently focused on providing an unforgettable on-stage experience and purposefully recording new material in the studio, you can find her releases on Spotify and all streaming platforms and watch her video releases on YouTube. Also, stay up to date with the latest news on what Debo is up to, here, and by joining her crew and becoming a Debonaut!


Elizabeth Klein, Flute, Associate Principal Flute, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Principal Flute, Boston Pops Orchestra; Boston University, Lecturer in Music

Monday, March18th, 2024

Killian Hall, 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Elizabeth Klein joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and was named associate principal flute in 1997. Klein grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, and graduated in 1994 from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she was a student of Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. During her freshman year at Curtis, she won first prize in the quadrennial Koussevitzky Competition for Woodwinds. She spent a summer with the National Repertory Orchestra and was a featured soloist during the Festival of Contemporary Music as a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow. Klein has been featured in BSO performances of Frank Martin's Concerto for Seven Winds and has also performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, New Jersey Symphony, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and Masterworks Festival Orchestra. A frequent performer in solo and chamber recitals, she has appeared locally with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and the Boston Artists Ensemble. She has premiered three works written for her: at Jordan Hall, Michael Gandolfi's Geppetto's Workshop for flute and piano; Dan Coleman's Pavanes and Symmetries for flute and orchestra; and at Gordon College, Jeremy Begbie's Good Measure for flute and piano, after a poem by Malcolm Guite. In May 2017, Klein graduated summa cum laude from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a master's degree in spiritual formation. There, she studied Christian piety in various eras of church history, as lived by individuals such as the Stockbridge, MA, Puritan missionary Jonathan Edwards and the composers Hildegard of Bingen and Olivier Messiaen. She has lectured on Christ and the arts at the Institute for Christian Unity and performed in lecture events for Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. Klein is on the flute faculty of Boston University. 



Guillermo Klein, Composition

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

Killian Hall, 6:15pm to 8:15pm

Guillermo Klein is a composer and pianist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1969, currently living in Upstate NY .

He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied composition .

After graduating from Berklee, Klein moved to New York City. He led his own ensemble which released several acclaimed albums and has been performing for almost two decades at the Village Vanguard in NYC “Against the odds, Guillermo Klein has held together Los Guachos, his multinational 11-piece big band, for almost a quarter of a century. In those years, this Argentine-born pianist and composer has moved across continents four times, and most of Los Guachos’ members have ascended to prestigious careers of their own. But the ensemble has remained intact, allowing Mr. Klein to compile a songbook unlike any other in contemporary music: a travelogue as much as a repertoire, influenced by old and new tango, American jazz, modernism and indie rock” (Giovanni Russonello NY Times).

“Guillermo Klein has exerted a slippery yet profound influence on his generation of composer-improvisers, without making much of a fuss” (Nate Chinen NPR)

He also collaborated with renowned musicians from the jazz community such as Aaron Goldberg, Joshua Redman, Jorge Rossy, Rebecca Martin, Miguel Zenon, and Wolfgang Muthspiel.

He has been commissioned by the HR Jazz Orchestra (Frankfurt ,Germany), Orquesta de Jazz du Matosinhos (Porto , Portugal), UMO Jazz Orchestra (Helsinki, Finland), Swiss Jazz Orchestra (Bern, Switzerland). MIT Wind Ensemble (Massachusetts, USA) and Orquesta Filarmonica del Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires , Argentina)

He teaches composition at the Jazz campus in Basel, Switzerland.


Yosvany Terry

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

Killian Hall, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Carol Mastrodomenico, Classical Voice

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Killian Hall, 2:00pm to 4:00pm