About Duo Bel Vento
Las Vegas flutists Clare Birmingham and Emma Pease-Byron, inspired by a love of chamber music, formed Duo Bel Vento in 2010. As a duo they have perform in recital and as special event and wedding entertainment at many venues, including the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Christ the King Church and the Springs Preserve. Both classically trained flutists, their concert repertoire focuses on flashy 19th century salon music and recently composed pieces. In June of 2012 they were awarded a Nevada Arts Council Grant for the commission of a new work, Wild Beasts, by local composer Diego Vega which they premiered August 2012 at the National Flute Association’s 40th Annual Convention held in Las Vegas, NV.
About Emma Pease-Byron
Flutist Emma Pease-Byron has been teaching and performing in the Las Vegas area for ten years. Recently Emma could be heard on the Las Vegas Strip with Disney’s The Lion King and the Streetmosphere opera program at the Venetian Casino. In 2009 she was awarded first place in the Arizona Flute Society’s Competition, Adult Division and in 2007, while serving as the ensemble’s principal flutist, she was the featured soloist on the Henderson Symphony Orchestra’s Mostly Mozart Concert with Mozart’s Concerto in G Major. In the last ten years, Emma has performed as a guest artist in both Washington and Nevada in various festivals and events including Central Washington University’s Flute Fete and The Las Vegas Music Festival.
In 2010 Emma and flutist Clare Birmingham formed Duo Bel Vento, an ensemble that can be heard as concert performers and special event entertainers throughout the Vegas Valley. In the summer of 2012, Duo Bel Vento was awarded a Nevada Arts Council Grant for the commission of a new work, Wild Beasts, by Las Vegas composer Diego Vega. This piece was premiered as part of a special program of local composers and performers at the National Flute Association’s 40th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
For Emma, teaching and performing are two sides of the same coin and she maintains an active private studio of beginning students, starting at age 3, though advanced high school students and amateur adults. In 2010 she became a certified Suzuki teacher and her personal teaching philosophy embraces the Suzuki method awareness that music is a means of developing “a beautiful heart and a noble spirit.” She is very proud of her students and loves watching them grow into more confident, disciplined people as they realize a high level of ability.
Emma supports her local music community through her involvement with the Las Vegas Flute Club. Currently Secretary, Emma has held the positions of President (2006-2008) and Sponsorship and Special Events Coordinator. In 2012 she help found and spearheaded the Scholarship Program which provides quality instruction to Clark County School District middle and high school band students who would not typically have access to private lessons due to financial hardship.
Emma received a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a Bachelor’s of Wind Performance from Central Washington University. Her instructors include Richard Soule (Las Vegas Philharmonic), Hal Ott (Central Washington University) and Sara Bassingthwaite (Seattle, WA). She has had the privilege to work with Amy Porter (University of Michigan), Rene Seibert (New York Philharmonic), Brian Luce (University of Arizona), John Barcelona (California State University, Long Beach), George Pope (University of Akron) and Paul Taub (Cornish College of the Arts).
Away from her music, Emma is a runner and gardening and diy enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her husband, Abe, and daughter, Helen. They are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their second child in the Fall of 2013.
About Clare Birmingham
Clare Birmingham has been performing and teaching flute in Southern Nevada since 2003. In addition to her appearances as a member of Duo Bel Vento, she performs regularly as principal flutist of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. This summer, she performed with Opera Las Vegas for a production of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. As an orchestral flutist, she has enjoyed playing under the batons of Itzhak Perlman, Peter Schickele, and Catherine Stornetta, and she has performed with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Sarah Chang, and the cast of “Forbidden Broadway.” She has also performed in ensembles in London, England; La Croix Valmer and Le Pradet, France; and Hong Kong. As a soloist, Clare was featured as a guest artist at the former Liberace Museum in 2009. She was also the featured soloist with the University of Nevada – Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra in April 2008, as a winner of the music department’s annual Concerto Competition.
Clare maintains an active flute studio in northwest Las Vegas, comprised of students of all ages and abilities. Her students have been selected for Clark County School District Honor Bands and as soloists in their school music programs. In addition, she has coached flute sections at various junior high and high schools in the valley, as well as served as an adjudicator for placement auditions. In 2008 she was a guest lecturer at the Las Vegas Flute Club Flute Fair for a workshop about handling performance anxiety.
Since 2010, Clare has served on the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas Flute Club (LVFC). She is the 1st Vice President-Elect for the upcoming year, beginning in September. As part of this non-profit organization, she was a teacher in the trial run of the LVFC Flute Lesson Scholarship Program. This program provides quality flute instruction at no cost to dedicated students that have not studied privately due to financial hardship. In addition, she regularly submits articles for the LVFC quarterly newsletter. She also coauthored an article with Emma Pease-Byron about the LVFC for The Flutist Quarterly, a publication of the National Flute Association (NFA). She is very excited to be a part of the LVFC’s performance at the NFA 40th Annual Convention, which will include Duo Bel Vento’s world premiere of Wild Beasts by Diego Vega.
Clare earned a Master of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in 2009, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2007, also from UNLV. She has performed in masterclasses with Ian Clarke, Joshua Smith, Mimi Stillman, and Jill Felber. Her primary teachers include Dr. Jennifer Grim, Dr. John McMurtery, Dr. Richard Soule, and Jennifer Kuk-Bonora.
Outside of music, Clare loves spending time with her wonderful husband, TJ, and their beautiful daughter, Sophie.