Ali Awami is a PhD student in Computer Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). His research interests are scientific visualization, data navigation and exploration. Awami has a MS degree in Computer Science from KAUST.
Corrado Calì was trained an electronic engineer at Politecnico di Torino, Italy, where he got his MSc in 2006. During his last 6 months, he worked on a computational neuroscience project in Henry Markram’s lab at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland), and became interested in investigating the mechanisms of brain physiology. In the same year he join the lab of Dr. Paola Bezzi at UNIL (University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland) where he was trained as a neuroscientist and got his doctoral degree in 2012. During his PhD, he focused his interests in the aspects of the physiological role of astroglial cells in supporting neuronal functioning and neuronal networks. After one year as postdoctoral fellow in Graham Knott’s lab, where he enriched and deepend his skills in the state of the art electron microscopy techniques, he joined Pierre Magistretti’s lab in KAUST, where he is investigating the mechanisms of metabolic support from astrocytes to neurons using pioneering morphological and 3D imaging approaches.
Composer and clarinetist Michael McGinnis earned his music degrees from University of Southern Maine (US) School of Music and Eastman School of Music before relocating to New York City in 1997. As a clarinetist and saxophonist, he can swing in the straight-ahead tradition, improvise on the furthest edge of the avant-garde, or navigate the rigorous turns of a contemporary classical composition. As a composer, he creates vivid works that blur the boundaries between jazz and classical and the varied subgenres within, bringing the same deep commitment and personal vision to every musical situation. As a jazz clarinetist, McGinnis has performed and recorded with jazz innovators like Anthony Braxton, Alice and Ravi Coltrane, Steve Coleman, and Lonnie Plaxico; and as soloist for the Tony-winning Broadway hit, “Fela!” McGinnis’ wide-ranging imagination comes stunningly to the fore on his two latest releases, both of which feature extended compositions showcasing his skills as composer and improviser. Road*Trip (RKM Music) comprises two concertos for his clarinet and a nine-piece ensemble, while The Ängsudden Song Cycle (482music.com) is an expressive tone poem that depicts a sonic landscape bridging a Swedish archipelago and the woods of McGinnis’ native Maine. McGinnis has performed extensively in the United States and internationally and has appeared on more than 50 recordings. He is an active educator both in schools and in his private studio, where he teaches saxophone, clarinet, composition, counterpoint, harmony, arranging and improvisation.
Pianist and composer Orazio Sciortino hails from Siracusa (Sicily), Italy. He studied with Boris Petrushansky, Michel Dalberto and Louis Lortie at the International Piano Academy of Imola, receiving highest honors upon graduation. Mr. Sciortino also completed his composition studies with Fabio Vacchi at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. As a concert performer, both as a solo recitalist and a soloist with orchestra, he has appeared in renowned concert halls, among them the La Scala Theatre in Milan, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Teatro Politeama in Palermo, the Greek Theatre in Syracuse (Sicily), and Salle Molière in Lyon (France). He has also performed in many festivals throughout the world, among them the Serate Musicali di Milano at Teatro Dal Verme, the Bonn Beethovenfest, the New York Barge Music Festival, I Cameristi della Scala, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (Canada). Mr. Sciortino’s works have been published by Ricordi and Carisch and performed in Italy and internationally. He has made numerous radio and television recordings, and for the labels Dynamic, La Bottega Discantica, and Limen Music. Currently he records for the Sony Classical label. He has collaborated with the publishing houses Mazzotta and Skira on projects linked to the relationship between music and the visual arts as well as offering lecture-concerts on how to listen to music. Mr. Sciortino lives in Milan.