MATTHEW LAU (Boston, Massachusetts)

Dr. Matthew Lau performs a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicating the meaning and essence of percussion music to its audience, from arrangement of Bach’s Violin Sonata on marimba to avant-garde contemporary pieces by Franco Donatoni and Iannis Xenakis. He is aiming to democratize classical contemporary music through high-caliber and approachable performances, interactive social media presence with his miniseries #LauLicks, with a whimsical twist.

His interest in exploration of new music has led Matthew to commission new pieces with many renowned composers. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the contemporary percussion group The Up:Strike Project. He is also one half of the percussion duo Fisher/Lau Project with fellow percussionist Dr. Abby Fisher. As a queer Asian percussionist, Dr. Lau challenge the convention narratives and work to change the traditional prescribed career path.

From 2018, he’s given recitals and taught at Marimbafest, Transplanted Roots Percussion Research symposium, PercuFest, Oh My Ears New Music Festival 2020, DrumsFest Moscow Competition & Festival, Percussion Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), X Encuentro Internacional de Percussion Peru, Gnessin College of Music, Conservatorio de Musica Buenos Aires Astor Piazzolla, University of the Arts Buenos Aires, Ente Cultural de Tucumán, La Plata, Conservatorio de Musica Juilian Aguirre, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, The Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Universidad Veracruzana, University of Western Australia, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Australian Percussion Gathering.

Matthew obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in contemporary percussion performance from Stony Brook University under the guidance of Eduardo Leandro. He holds a Master of Music from New York University studying with Jonathan Haas, Simon Boyar, and James Saporito. Matthew is the winner of the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Development Award for Young Artist in music. He is currently on the Keyboard Committee for The Percussive Arts Society, and Board of Directors for The Vibraphone Project Inc.

Dr. Lau is artist endorser of Marimba One, Black Swamp Percussion, and Rustic Percussion; his signature marimba and vibraphone mallets are made by Iñaki Sebastian Elite Mallets. His projects are supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and The Boston Foundation.

OMAR CARMENATES (Greenville, South Carolina)

Omar Carmenates is the Charles Ezra Daniel Professor of Music at Furman University in Greenville, SC where he also serves as the founder and chair of the Council for Equity and Inclusion in Music. Under his direction, the Furman University Percussion Ensemble was named a winner the prestigious 2022 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition and, in collaboration with the Shi Institute for Sustainability, has also released premiere recordings of the ecoacoustic percussion music of composer Matthew Burtner through Navona Records. Students of the ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, the International Conference on Romanticism, and the Esri International GIS User Conference.

Omar is also the director, producer, and arranger for the “John Psathas Percussion Project”, a collaboration aimed at recording and performing percussion arrangements of the works of John Psathas, New Zealand’s most prominent composer. The recordings and scores from this project are published through PARMA Recordings and Promethean Publications respectively. Omar’s debut solo recording, entitled The Gaia Theory, was released through Rattle Records in 2013 and he can also be heard on the Cantaloupe Records release of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit for 9-99 outdoor percussionists, a work that he both co-commissioned and directed in its United States premiere.

In addition to his duties at Furman, Omar is an avid participant in the pageantry arts whose work can be seen and heard around the globe. While currently serving as an adjudicator for WGI Sport of the Arts, he has also served as a composer/arranger for the Cadets, the Boston Crusaders, and the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. Additionally, he has been the percussion arranger for high school programs across the United States including the Bands of America Grand National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble.

Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.

NANAE MIMURA (Tokyo, Japan)

Nanae Mimura is acclaimed internationally for her virtuosic, passionate, and charismatic performances in a variety of repertoires ranging from classical music to pop and folk styles.

She has performed widely across the U.S. and in over 22 countries in Asia, Europe, Central America and South America. Ms. Mimura has been welcomed four times in Guatemala and was appointed the first honorary member of Guatemala Marimba Society in 2001. Mimura was the third recipient ever of the Premio Alosi (Switzerland). She won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York in 1999 which led to a New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. With praise for her musicality and rich, dynamic sound, Nanae also won many international competitions during her school years including the Percussive Arts Society Marimba Solo Competition.

Sony Records in Japan has released several of Mimura’s recordings which include “Marimba Spiritual” (2000), “Universe” (2002) and “Prana” (2006). Her fourth solo album, “Marimba Crystal –prayer–” was released by Octavia Records in 2016. In 2014, Columbia Records in Japan released a live recording of Takashi Yoshimatsu’s marimba concerto “Bird Rhythmics Op.109” performed by Ms. Mimura and the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra. Mimura commissioned and premiered the work in 2010 with the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed it with the Tokyo Philharmonic and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras.

Mimura was a guest faculty member at Percussion Friends Chamber Music Academy held at Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2013 and 2014. She frequently serves on faculty at Zeltsman Marimba Festival (which takes place in different locations). Since 2015, Mimura has organized the Yatsugatake Marimba Camp in her hometown, at the foot of Yatsugatake Mountains in Kobuchizawa, Japan. She served as a member of the jury at The Latin America Marimba Competition in Mexico (2013); the Universal Marimba Competition & Festival in Belgium (2013); The 3rd Italy International Percussion Festival & Competition (2016); The 1st Thailand International Percussion Festival and Competition (2019) and the World Percussion Movement Competition and Festival in Italy (2019).

Nanae Mimura is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and her signature mallets are available from Encore Mallets, Inc.