Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Annual Meeting – Session 2 – Contemporary String Quartet

A deep dive into composing for string quartet NOW: examining extended techniques and many other things, including the innate percussive quality of a great and classic combination of instruments.  Featuring members of the Bergamot Quartet and music by Bartok, Gabriella Smith, and others. Led by Michael Roth and the following musicians!


Marina Kifferstein
Marina Kifferstein (she/they) is a violinist and generative artist based in New York City. Equally comfortable in major international venues and DIY spaces, they enjoy a diverse career that encompasses contemporary chamber music, improvisation, composition, classical performance, and various experimental practices, through the lens of performance, curation, pedagogy, administration, and scholarship. She is a founding member of TAK ensemble and The Rhythm Method string quartet, a member of the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, and a regular guest with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink, and several other groups. As an active touring artist, recent performances have taken her to Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, and across the continental US. In addition to regularly conducting residencies at universities including Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Huddersfield, and Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, they hold faculty positions at the United Nations International School, Point Counterpoint, The Composer’s Institute at Lake George Music Festival, the Composers Conference, and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Marina holds degrees from Oberlin and the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, writing about 20th century performance applications of string ensemble music written in rational intonation.

Sarah Thomas

Violinist Sarah Thomas is a performer and educator who strives to create an environment for performers and audience members to share the experience of loving music together.
A member of the Bergamot Quartet, Sarah has performed in venues and series including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Greene Space, and Boulanger Initiative’s WoCo Fest. Sarah has collaborated with a variety of ensembles and musicians including Alarm Will SoundSō Percussionarx duoEnsemble KlangClaire ChaseDan Trueman, Courtney Orlando, and Terry Sweeney. As an educator, Sarah teaches with Bergamot in settings ranging from elementary schools to doctoral programs, is an Adjunct Lecturer at Peabody Conservatory, and is on staff at Peabody LAUNCHPad.
Sarah holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Violaine Melançon, and a Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes School of Music, where Bergamot Quartet studied with the JACK Quartet.

Irene Han
Cellist Irène Han is a dynamic and versatile musician with a deep passion for exploring diverse genres of music. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, a Master’s degree from Peabody Institute, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes School of Music, where the Bergamot Quartet was the inaugural Cuker and Stern Graduate String Quartet in Residence studying with the JACK Quartet. Irène has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and New York City Center. She is a member of the Bergamot Quartet, a New York-based string quartet committed to advocating, creating, and educating audiences about music by living composers. Additionally, she co-leads a chamber project with pianist Chelsea de Souza, dedicated to commissioning works by Asian-American composers, most recently funded by New Music USA. Irène plays “Pierre,” a cello crafted by luthier David Finck.

Martine Thomas
Martine Thomas is a violist, performing internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, improviser, and composer collaborator. She has appeared at the Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Mariinsky Theatre, Disney Hall, the KKL Lucerne, the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, and at the BBC Proms, Mariinsky White Nights Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, and Lucerne Festival. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Tyshawn Sorey, Kim Kashkashian, and Ghost Ensemble. Martine loves presenting solo recitals, and is looking forward to recitals this year in New York City, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and upstate New York. Martine studied in the Harvard-NEC dual degree program, is currently working on her doctorate in viola performance at CUNY Graduate Center, and is on the string faculty at Brooklyn College Conservatory and Point CounterPoint. For more of her music and writing, please visit

Moderated by Michael Roth:

Michael Roth has composed chamber music, film scores, new opera & music/theatre, and music and sound for over 250 theatre productions throughout North America. His THE WEB OPERA – – composed to raise awareness of cyber-abuse, has been an official selection at 35 film festivals and an Opera America Digital Opera Finalist. Other projects: an ongoing Shakespeare collaboration with Al Pacino; HENRY IV in LA with Tom Hanks; with Christopher Plummer at Stratford, THE TEMPEST and Plummer’s solo-show; IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, his music/theatre treatment of Beckett’s text for string quartet with laptop and recorded voices, premiered in LA and Prague, upcoming in Ashland; two US premieres with Tom Stoppard; collaborations with Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and Culture Clash; his new opera THE GOLEM OF LA JOLLA, an investigation into contemporary anti-semiticism and Jewish mythology; and many projects with Randy Newman including music direction for Disney’s PRINCESS & THE FROG and editing five anthology songbooks. SHEETCAKE, his sonata for 5 pianos, was premiered in LA earlier this month and will tour through California this fall, and Michael recently premiered CARL’S REPLY, for baritone, Strega, and Chromelodeon. He studied with William Bolcom, has taught at UCSD and, as a founding TSDCA board member, he’s quite pleased that he put together those 30 count em 30 TSDCA Salons throughout the pandemic –

Sessions are available via video for members a few days after the session is completed. If you plan on attending in person – please register HERE.  If you’d like to attend online – please fill out the following form to receive the zoom link.

- Event RSVP


Back to Calendar