Management & Staff
- Artistic Director – Stephen Burns
- Executive Director – Pamela Hanratty
- Curator of Inclusion & Discoveries – Seth Parker Woods
- Marketing/Outreach Director – Anna Munzesheimer
- Business Manager – Jessica Marasa
- Education Program Director/Musician Union Contractor – Jeff Handley
- Media Relations – The Silverman Group
- Lighting Designer – Geoffrey Bushor
- Graphic Design – JNL Graphic Design
- Intern – Emily Michielutti
- Intern – Derek Carter
- Intern – S. Molly Dominick
Trumpet virtuoso and conductor Stephen Burns is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago. He has been acclaimed on four continents for his consistently and widely varied performances encompassing recitals, orchestral appearances, chamber ensemble engagements, and innovative multi-media presentations involving video, dance theatre, and sculpture.
In 1998, Stephen Burns was invited to create innovative new music programs as the Artist in Residence with Performing Arts Chicago. He founded Fulcrum Point New Music Project whose mission is to champion classical music influenced and inspired by Pop culture, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Latin, Folk, Klezmer, World Music, literature, film, art, dance, and theatre.
Originally from Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, Stephen Burns studied under Armando Ghitalla, Gerard Schwarz, Pierre Thibaud, and Arnold Jacobs at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Julliard School (BM/MM 1981-82), as well as in Paris and Chicago for post-graduate studies. He has won many prestigious awards including the 1981 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, 1982 Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 1983 National Endowment for the Arts Recitalist Grant, the Naumburg Scholarship at Juilliard, “Outstanding Brass Player” at Tanglewood and the aforementioned 1988 Maurice Andre Concour International de Paris. Sought after internationally for master classes, Mr. Burns is a former tenured Professor of Music at Indiana University and Visiting Lecturer at the Arturo Toscanini Foundation Corso MYTHOS in Bologna, Italy. He presently resides in Chicago with his wife, school psychologist, Kate Neisser and their twin sons Edward and Isaac. Stephen Burns is a Yamaha performing artist.
Learn more about Stephen at Meet Our Founder!
Pamela Hanratty’s entrepreneurial ambition has led her to serve as Founder, CEO, President, executive board member, financial strategic advisor and proprietary trader. With over 25 years of industry expertise in the development and implementation of investment startups, she has established a record of success as fundraising professional and leader. Her strong pioneering spirit thrives on problem solving and strategic relationships.
Most recently her passion to help not for profits led her to develop a tech startup that is being developed into a SaaS platform. As CEO/Founder working with her CTO out of Silicon Valley, donors and bidders will be able to collaborate to fundraise for their favorite not for profits continually throughout the year. Additionally, she sits on the 1871 member council and offers mentoring advice to new entrepreneurs.
“This is an exciting time for me to help this extraordinary ensemble. I was captivated by Fulcrum Point because of my love of music and their larger mission. I feel fortunate to be part of a team that is allowing me to help create synergy between music and tech and to further their voice. It also brings me back to the time when I was both an actress and ballerina. I feel like I have come full circle.”
Seth Parker Woods
Seth Parker Woods, critiqued as “a cellist of power and grace” (The Guardian) and possessing “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” has established an international reputation as a versatile musician and composer straddling several genres. Outside of the solo performance setting, he has performed with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH) Basel Sinfonietta (CH), New York City Ballet, Ensemble LPR and Orchestra of St. Luke’s (US). A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, he has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Heinz Holliger, G.F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, Steve Mackey and Peter Eotvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, Rachael Yamagata, Aldo Tambellini and Jack Early.
Having completed a PhD from the University of Huddersfield (UK), his principal teachers were Thomas Demenga, Lucas Fels, Frederik Zlotkin, and Daniel Morganstern. In the last years he has given talks, workshops and performances at Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain (FR), Le Poisson Rouge and the Bohemian National Hall (USA), Cafe OTO (London, UK), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Klang Festival (Durham, UK), INTER/actions Symposium (Wales), ICMC-SMS Conference (Athens, GR), NIME Conference (London), Sound and Body Festival (Lille, Brussels), Instalakcje Festival (PL), Virginia Tech, La Salle College (Singapore), and FINDARS (Malaysia) amongst others. Recent awards include a Earle Brown/ Morton Feldman Foundation Grant (USA), McGill University-CIRMMT/IDMIL Visiting Researcher Residency (CA), Centre Intermondes Artist Residency (FR), Francis Chagrin Award (UK) , Concours [Re]connaissance- Premiere Prix (FR) and the Paul Sacher Stiftung Research Scholarship (CH).
Anna Munzesheimer is heavily involved in the Chicago arts community. She comes from a theatre background and has worked for companies such as Redmoon Theatre and The House Theatre of Chicago. While at Redmoon, she coordinated the Silent Auction for Spectacle Lunatique 2014. In addition to working as the Marketing Director for Fulcrum Point, she is also a core member of Crosstown Collective, a Chicago based film collective.
Anna received her BA from Knox College, majoring in theatre and psychology, while dabbling in creative writing. After school, she worked as an Americorps teacher in New Orleans where she designed and implemented a successful cross-age peer mentorship program for 4th and 6th grade students.
Jessica Marasa is a dancer, performer, writer, producer and arts administrator. She is Founder and Director of The Watering Can Dance and has worked extensively with Chicago dance makers Molly Shanahan, Ayako Kato and Onye Ozuzu. As an administrator she gained experience leading the operational team at the CG Jung Institute of Chicago and through curation and collaboration with Links Hall and The Chicago Moving Company.
Jessica’s work cultivates opportunities for herself and her community to give and receive their changing interests at heart and offers programs such as The Joy In Moving (The JIM) and SET FREE. Recently, her work Jewel Tones was recognized by Laura Molzhan as one of the “Dance Top 10 for 2015” in The Chicago Tribune and was included by Newcity as one of their “Players 50” for 2017.
She has newly discovered her love for her Italian heritage and works as Project Manager for the pop up pasta shop Pasta Monster.
Jeff Handley is a highly sought after percussionist in Chicago. He is Principal Percussion with Chicago Sinfonietta, which includes several recordings and tours to Switzerland and the Canary Islands. Jeff is also the Musician’s Contractor and core member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Other ensembles Jeff performs with are: Chicago Opera Theater, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Grant Park Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Jeff was recently heard with Andrea Bocelli, Peter Cetera, Dennis DeYoung, Charlotte Church, and productions of “Spamalot”, “Wicked”, “Color Purple”, “Mary Poppins”, and “Shrek” at the Cadillac Palace Theater. An active clinician and educator, Jeff is the Education Director with Sinfonietta and Fulcrum Point. He currently has music programs in over 50 Chicago Public Schools. Jeff received his Masters of Music Performance degree in 1988 from DePaul University. Jeff currently resides in Westmont with his wife and 2 boys.
Emily Michielutti is a composer, pianist, and educator located in Chicago. Her music emphasizes extended techniques and timbres with acoustic instrumentation. She strives to utilize these sounds in beautiful ways by incorporating a love for harmony and delicate gestures. In addition, she creates super-instruments by blending sounds from individual instruments, contributing to the compositional variety and timbres in her work. As a performer herself, Emily has a unique perspective and valuable insights in writing her compositions with the performer in mind.
Below, listen to Emily’s piece I(a performed by Fulcrum Point musicians as part of the Discoveries Series!
Derek Carter is a young composer who recently graduated from Illinois State and moved to Chicago to start a career in music. He likes drinking coffee, writing, and listening to new music. You can find him working on his laptop in various coffeeshops throughout the city. Derek has recently been accepted into the University of Louisville to pursue a Masters of Music in Music Composition. We wish him the best of luck!
Take a listen to “The Depths of the Sea” composed by Derek!
S. Molly Dominick
S. Molly Dominick is a broadcast journalism student at the University of Miami. She is delighted to bring her experience in video production, social media marketing, and web development to Fulcrum Point during her summer internship. In fact, she’s coding this webpage right now! One day, Molly hopes to find the cozy place where video, music, and comedy intersect and turn it into a career. Find out more about Molly on her Vimeo and LinkedIn pages.