Bookwriter and Librettist: Genevieve Thiers
Genevieve Thiers is an entrepreneur in the Chicago area. Her company, Sittercity.com, is America’s first online caregiving service. Sittercity.com now has millions of users nationwide, and serves hundreds of corporate clients like the U.S. Department of Defense, Avon, Mastercard, Monster.com and many others. Now serving the UK and Canada, it is an international success.
Genevieve was recognized by President Bush at the White House as the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur Champion of the Year for 2006 and her companies have won 18 major award, including the CEC Momentum Award, the WBDC Rising Star Award, a CNN Young Heroes feature, the UPS Out of the Box Award, the INC 500 list. Genevieve has been featured thousands of times in the press for her work by the TODAY show, Ellen, the View, the CBS Early Show, CNN, Live & Style, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Redbook, Parents, Parenting, Marie Clare, TIME, Better Homes and Gardens, Working Mother and more. She has lectured or spoken at the CEO Conference, Microsoft, Harvard Business School, Kellogg, Columbia, Babson, Boston College, Chicago Booth and for many other entrepreneurial groups around the country. She is the author of the book Love at First Sit, and frequently writes for Crain’s Chicago Business blog, NBC.com, and the Huffington Post.
Genevieve has mentored many entrepreneurs throughout her career. She is highly passionate about entrepreneurship in Chicago and about women entrepreneurs in particular. She is on the board of the CEC, which has created 1871, a co-working space in Chicago. Genevieve teaches classes at 1871, is on the acceptance committee, and is a frequent mentor within the space. She is also a seed investor in Excelerate/TechStars and in the Firestarter Fund.
As a singer, Genevieve is a student of Judy Haddon, and a 2004 Masters in Opera Performance graduate from Northwestern University, where she studied with Sunny Joy Langton and Richard Boldrey. Her most recent work includes soling at Pritzker Pavilion with Chicago-based Fulcrum Point, performing the anthem at Taste of Chicago, performing live onstage in “Motown Metal” with Fulcrum Point in Chicago’s Harris Theater and live opera performance with WFMT radio as part of Make Music Chicago. Her voice has appeared in a TODAY show segment, onstage at TED Global in 2010 and on local news affiliates in Chicago and her recording work has included several commercials for Fiat, Loews and similar brands.
Genevieve has sung locally with American Chamber Opera, OperaModa, Redmoon, Elgin Opera, Chicago Chamber Opera, Fury Theater and Fulcrum Point. Genevieve’s singing experience includes the Rev. Mother in Nunsense, the repeat role of Lucy in The Telephone, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Frasquita in Carmen, Dorine in Tartuffe, Lola in Gallantry, Beth in Little Women, Vera in A Month in the Country, and Sarah Good in The Crucible. Genevieve has received several vocal awards, including the North Shore Musicians Club 2003 Scholarship, and she performs concerts regularly for Lyric Opera Chapters throughout the North Shore, at Northbrook Public Library’s Salon Series, and in various other recital locations such as North Presbyterian Church on the Mag Mile. She is also a crossover artist with a lot of straight stage work in musical theater and straight acting. Her acting experience includes work with Lookingglass Theater (North China Lover, 2013,) Fury Theater, James Downing Theater/Mayne Stage, Theater D, On the Spot Theater and many more. Follow her work as a performer at www.genevievethiers.com.
Composer: Mischa Zupko
Celebrated Chicago-based composer Mischa Zupko writes music that is emotionally charged, viscerally engaging and continually seeks to involve participation on a variety of levels. Having collaborated with a number of today’s most exciting performers, he has created a body of work that is intensely virtuosic and speaks with clarity of vision. In the words of New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini, Zupko’s Five Etudes for Piano were “…Liszt-like in their florid generosity” and the Los Angeles Timeshas hailed his compositions as “Engaging” He was the 2010-2011 composer-in-residence with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project based in Chicago and was featured in a cover story of the Chicago Reader for his compositional activities in the Chicagoland area. He currently serves as the director of Beethoven Today, the modern music series of the International Beethoven Project’s widely acclaimed Beethoven Festival.
Mr. Zupko’s works have been championed, commissioned and premiered by leading U.S. orchestras and chamber groups including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, American Modern Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, Corigliano Quartet, Lincoln Trio and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as members of the Kronos, Vermeer and Pacifica Quartets.
Mr. Zupko’s commissions include those from the Minnesota Orchestra the Pacific Symphony, Camerata Chicago chamber orchestra, The Fulcrum Point New Music Project, the St. Olaf Band, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, the Music Institute of Chicago and the New York Youth Symphony. He is also a recipient of grants from the Fromm Foundation and the Barlow Endowment. An avid proponent of virtuosity, Zupko has collaborated closely with such intrepid soloists as cellists Jeffrey Ziegler and Nicholas Photinos, trumpeter Stephen Burns, pianists Winston Choi and Lori Simms, saxophonists Timothy McAllister and Fred Hemke, flutist Thomas Robertello, harpist Maria Luisa Rayan, and organists David Schrader and Doug Cleveland.
Mr. Zupko’s numerous awards include first place in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s American Composer’s Competition, the Lee Ettelson Composers Award from Composers Inc., co-winner of the USA International Harp Competition Composition Contest, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, including the first prize Kaplan Award, the First Music Award from the New York Youth Symphony, the Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and finalist in the Rome Prize Competition. In addition, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, a collective commissioning project from the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival to which Zupko contributed his Ghost Variation, was selected by the International Piano Awards as the 2007 winner in the Best Sheet Music New Work Category.
Performances of Zupko’s works have been featured at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, The Harris Theater of Music and Dance in Chicago, Ravinia, Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall, Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Moscow Conservatory, the Dame Myra Hess Series, the American Modern Ensemble concert series, Barge Music, Keys to the Future, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and have also been included in live broadcasts on KMZT (Los Angeles), WFMT (Chicago) and WCLV (Cleveland). Included among his live broadcasts are featured performances on Make Music Chicago, the daylong music festival modeled on Paris’s Fete de la Musique. In addition, his works have been performed in numerous solo instrumental competitions, including the USA International Harp Competition, the Israel International Harp Competition and the Gaudeamus Interpreter’s Competition. Several of Mr. Zupko’s works have been recorded and are available on the Crystal, Innova, American Modern Recordings and ENF labels.
An accomplished pianist, Zupko has performed in numerous venues playing his own works as well as the works of his colleagues and more standard literature. Citing a performance of his work Shunt for piano and electronics,Chicago Classical Review declared his performance “powerful” having “matched the electronics beat for beat in an episodic composition that fused science-fiction scoring with all kinds of electronic effects.” Other performances include those with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, violinist Mathias Tacke of the former Vermeer Quartet and members of the Lincoln Trio and Eighth Blackbird on the International Beethoven Project’s Beethoven Festival 2012: Revolution.