Wass-Esslinger Duo is Sarah Wass, Flute and Traci Esslinger, Piano
Sarah Wass and Traci Esslinger received their MFAs at California Institute of the Arts where they first met in 2005, rehearsing for Messiaen's piano concerto, Oiseaux Exotiques. It was immediately clear that they were kindred musical spirits and, shortly thereafter, were both hired for the ensemble Inauthentica's residency at Stanford University. Since then, Sarah and Traci have produced themed chamber music concerts presented at Brand Library and Art Center and the Ojai Art Center Chamber Music Concert Series, and have performed together at Chapman University, Villa Aurora and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. They are a regularly featured duo on Pasadena Presbyterian Church's Music at Noon Concerts and comprise two thirds of the Arroyo Ensemble.
Sarah Wass, Flute
Flutist Sarah Wass chose her instrument in the third grade because she knew it would fit in her backpack. Since then, she has become a busy performer, teacher and advocate for arts education. As a soloist, Sarah has recorded concerti by Mozart and Quantz and sonatas by J.S. Bach for the “Modulations” music therapy series by Tempo Space Productions. As a new music specialist, Sarah has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, John Luther Adams, Anne LeBaron, Christopher Cerrone, Frank Denyer, Roger Reynolds, Liviu Marinescu and Mark Trayle. She has been an artist-in-residence at the University of Surrey, Stanford University and Dartington International Summer School of the Arts and has performed at the Ojai Festival. Sarah has performed with new music groups International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), wild UP, Brightwork ensemble and The Industry opera company. As a versatile recording artist, she can be heard on recordings by pop artists A Fine Frenzy, Bright Eyes, numerous independent film scores and recent opera recordings from The Industry. Sarah holds a BM from Oberlin Conservatory and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
Traci Esslinger, Piano
Pianist Traci Esslinger is a Los Angeles native committed to the exploration of contemporary as well as traditional repertoire. She has performed with the California EAR Unit, Inauthentica, Nimbus Ensemble, and CalArts New Century Players and in festivals such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Minimalist Jukebox, (Rajikaru!) Experimentations in Japanese Art at The Getty, at REDCAT as part of the Synaesthesia Festival, the Banff Chamber Music Festival, UCSB’s Made in California, and Kaffee und Kultur: L.A.’s Emigre Life of the 1940’s and 1050’s at the Skirball among others. She has worked with leading contemporary composers such as: James Newton, Ulrich Krieger, James Tenney, Roger Reynolds, Anne LeBaron, Shaun Naidoo, John M. Kennedy, and Sean Heim, and is featured on David Rosenboom's "Naked Curvature: Four Memories of the Daimon" on the Tzadik label. Ms. Esslinger is a founding member of the Arroyo Ensemble and holds a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in piano performance from California Institute of the Arts where she worked with Vicki Ray, as well as a Master’s of Music in composition and a Bachelor's degree in piano performance from California State University, Los Angeles. When not performing or teaching in her Los Feliz-based studio, she can usually be found in the mountains, hiking and backpacking with her Blue Heeler, Matilda.