Described as “phenomenal and fearless” VICKI RAY is a pianist, improviser and composer. She has commissioned and premiered countless new works by today’s leading composers. Ray is a founding member of Piano Spheres and head of keyboard studies at the California Institute of the Arts where she was named the first recipient of the Hal Blaine Chair in Musical Performance. She has appeared on numerous international festivals and is a regular member of the faculty at the Bang On a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA. Ray has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series as soloist and collaborative artist. Her widely varied performing and recording career covers the gamut of new and old music: from Boulez to Reich, Wadada Leo Smith to Beethoven. Notable recordings include the first Canadian disc of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Blue Rider Ensemble, the premiere recordings of Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations) and the Daniel Variations with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the first recording of John Cage’s Europeras 3 and 4. Recent releases include Cage’s The Ten Thousand Things on Microfest Records which received a 2013 Grammy nomination. New recordings just out this spring include the premiere recording of Andrew Norman’s Sonnets for cello and piano with Eighth Blackbird’s Nick Photinos on the New Amsterdam label, Daniel Lentz’s River of 1000 Streams on Cold Blue and YAR – a duo recording on the Orenda label with slide guitarist Scot Ray.