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Artist Biographies

Festival Artists

Maria Newman           -                             Composer | Violin


Praised by American Record Guide as, "Energetic and exciting...", American composer Maria Newman has been commended and recognized by the U.S. Congress for her work in the field of original music composition, live performance, and recording. Her compositions have been performed and screened in such elite venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill, the National Archives in Washington D.C., Hearst Castle Private Theater, the President’s Own Marine Band Barracks, Nokia’s NOVO Theatre, Heidelberg Castle, Brevard Center for the Arts, the Music Scoring Stages of 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros., among many others. Newman has been featured in spotlight one-on-one interviews paired with live concert performances on CBS Sunday Morning, and National Public Radio's From the Top with Christopher O'Riley. Additionally, her silent film scores are featured regularly on Turner Classics. Named a George Wellington Miles Scholar of Yale University, Newman is an elected member of the American Academic Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

Maria Newman's original library of compositions have earned her accolades as an Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow, a Mary Pickford Library Composition Fellow, and as a Variety Music Legend. Her music is featured frequently on radio and television around the globe, and live-in-concert at numerous music festivals, chamber music series, and film festivals.

Maria Newman is Composer-in-Residence with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, SPaCE Salon Concerts Los Angeles, and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra. Fanfare Magazine has lauded Newman’s compositions, hailing, “This is real genius.”  She has been celebrated by NPR’s on-air icon of musical opinion, Jim Svejda, (Author and Host of The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire) as, “Hugely musical, bewitching, witty, profound and playful, with an instantly recognizable and unusually appealing musical personality, Maria Newman is one of the most charming and distinctive composers of her generation.” 

In the international spotlight, Maria Newman is the acclaimed viola soloist in Miklos Rozsa’s Viola Concerto with the Nuremburg Symphony (Germany) on the GRAMMY Award-winning Symphonic Hollywood CD (Varese Sarabande label). She also appeared as the physical animation inspiration and violin soloist for the character of “The Grasshopper” in the 1996 Walt Disney release of Tim Burton’s, James and the Giant Peach.

Maria Newman is the youngest of 9-time Academy Award-winning composer Alfred Newman's seven children. She is also the sister of lauded film composers/conductors Thomas Newman and David Newman, and the cousin of the amazing Randy Newman. Maria Newman’s recording studio is based in Malibu, California, where she resides with her family in a California craftsman home designed by the brilliant architect, Eric Lloyd Wright. Newman is married to American conductor, Scott Hosfeld.

Scott Hosfeld      -                                        Music Director | Viola


Critically Acclaimed Conductor & Music Director of the award-winning Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra (MCCO), Malibu Concert on the Bluffs Orchestra, and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra; Scott Hosfeld is a favorite among his professional colleagues and students. He serves as Director of Orchestras and Ensembles for the Idyllwild Arts Foundation and Academy. Hosfeld has been principal conductor of the Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra, the Kairos Festival Orchestra, the Dorian Festival Orchestras, the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, the Icicle Symphony Orchestra, the Central Washington University Chamber Orchestra, and the Eastern Sierra Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Hosfeld has led concerti for premiere international concert soloists Nathaniel Rosen, Camilla Wicks, Andrew Shulman, Paul Coletti, Delores Stevens, Steven Doane, Darol Anger, David Perry, Peter Longworth, Hal Ott, Eric Kutz, Miko Kominami, Denise Dillenbeck, Spencer Martin, John Michel, Carrie Rehkopf and Mike Marshall, among many others.     

As a Conducting Fellow of the esteemed conductor of the New York City Ballet, George Manahan; and a viola and chamber music protege of the late great concert artist, composer and pedagogue, Lillian Fuchs, Mr. Hosfeld earned his BM and MM from New York City's Manhattan School of Music with the Highest Honors. Grand Prize Winner of Young Artists International, Hosfeld made his Carnegie Recital Hall Debut in 1980 as violist and founder of the Riverside String Quartet, and won several coveted Aspen Music Festival Fellowships. With the Val Coeur String Quartet, Mr. Hosfeld has toured Soviet Russia,  Europe, Mexico, and Central and South America.

As an entrepreneur, Mr. Hosfeld served as the founding executive and artistic director of the Icicle Creek Music Center (ICMC) in Leavenworth, Washington. Hosfeld’s vision enabled ICMC to grow from an international annual summer festival into a year round Chamber Music and Arts Center, complete with 15 buildings dedicated to serious classical arts teaching and performance (including a concert hall) on a 9-acre campus. Hosfeld’s decade-long tenure at ICMC made possible that organization’s still flourishing curriculum of intense chamber music and orchestral programs for elite professional and highly qualified student musicians in a unique alpine setting.   
In great demand as an educator, Mr. Hosfeld has served as Faculty/Artist-in-Residence for the University of Arizona, Eastern Mennonite University, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, Central Washington University, Omaha Conservatory of Music at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University, and California State University at Long Beach, and continues to direct his popular conducting and chamber music clinics across the continent. Also dedicated to the education of highly qualified pre-college musicians in inspirational environs, Scott Hosfeld founded two exceptionally successful and now long-standing youth orchestras in the 1980’s and early 1990's, one in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony), and the other in Washington's Cascade Mountains (Icicle Youth Symphony). Hosfeld is founder and conductor of the Malibu Coast Youth Symphony, established in 2009.

Mr. Hosfeld has served as Music Director and Supervisor on such important historical film restorations as the vintage silent classics, "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1917) directed by Marshall Neilan and starring Mary Pickford; and "Quality Street" (1927) directed by Sydney Franklin and starring Marion Davies and Conrad Nagel. As Music Supervisor, Hosfeld is currently in production on the independent film, "Heaven's Rain," depicting the true life story of Senator Brooks Douglass. Elected in 1990 at age 27, Douglass was the youngest State Senator to ever serve in Oklahoma. Spurred by the brutal murder of his parents when he was only 16, his very significant and ground-breaking legislation while in office, was a bill ratified in 1992 championing the rights of crime victims.

Commended by the United States Congress, the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and twice from his home City of Malibu for his work as a major visionary for the non-profit Malibu Friends of Music, Mr. Hosfeld currently holds the Alfred Newman Conducting Chair, and the Camilla Wicks Violin Chair at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA) in Malibu, California. Hosfeld is the recipient of a 2010 Malibu Music Award as "Classical Artist of the Year."

Paula Hochhalter                -                                Cello


Cellist Eric Kutz has captivated audiences throughout both North America and Europe. In 2015 he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Music, where he holds the Barbara Steppel Memorial Cello Fellowship. He had previously been cello professor at Luther College from 2002.  He is active as a teacher, a chamber musician, an orchestral musician, and a soloist.  His diverse collaborations cut across musical styles, and have ranged from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to jazz great Ornette Coleman.  New York Concert Review praised Kutz for possessing a "noble dignity and pure, focused tone," in its recent review of the Murasaki Duo's Carnegie Hall concert.  

For four years Mr. Kutz was the cellist of the Chester String Quartet, which was in residence at Indiana University South Bend. In 1997 Mr. Kutz traveled to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow as a visiting artist, performing new chamber works by American composers. He has been broadcast live on WQXR and WNYC, both of New York City, as well as PBS television's Live from Lincoln Center. Recently Mr. Kutz has appeared as a soloist with the Des Moines Symphony, the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Danbury Symphony, the Symphony of the Potomac, the Capital City Symphony, the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Luther College Symphony. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Kutz spends his summers as a member of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago. He has appeared in the sections of the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Kutz holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Rice University. He performs on a cello by Raffaele Fiorini (Bologna, 1877).

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Martha Thatcher                  -                         Soprano


Martha Thatcher is an American actor, singer, writer, director, and artistic producer currently located in Los Angeles, California. Named 2012's Malibu Music Award's "Young Artist of the Year," Ms. Thatcher's career has taken her across the country, from Los Angeles, to New York City, and everywhere in between.  A Susan Carter Theatrical Scholar, she has been featured on film and television, as well as at the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. An accomplished singer, Ms. Thatcher has been featured at many historic Los Angeles venues, from Hearst Castle to the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture in Malibu, California, and at many historic venues across the continental United States.  Ms. Thatcher recently completed a ten-month contract with the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she was  member of their 2019 Acting Company. 

Ms. Thatcher graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance. While there she was named a Susan Carter Theatre Scholar, by competitive audition, and a Leon Mulling Theatre Scholar. During her time at the OCA she received the distinction of three Kennedy Center ACTF Irene Ryan Nominations, and three Kennedy Center ACTF Certificates of Merit for Outstanding Ensemble Work. 

Ms. Thatcher is an artist-in-residence at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture, where she performs regularly in both in-person and virtual performances. 

In addition to her work as an actor and singer, Ms. Thatcher is the Creator, Showrunner, Lead Writer, Director, and Producer of "Burn The Witch: The Series" - An urban fantasy action-adventure series currently streaming on Youtube.


To watch "Burn The Witch: The Series," click here.

Isabella Thatcher                  -                         Soprano


Isabella Thatcher (she/her) is a Los Angeles based actor and singer best know for her work with the Malibu Friends of Music. Isabella has toured extensively throughout the continental United States, and was recently featured in the 2020 Malibu Coast Chamber Music Festival as a vocalist and spoken word performer. She is a recent graduate of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, having worked with nationally renowned artists such as U. Jonathan Toppo, David Kelly, and Scott Kaiser. Isabella is a cellist and playwright driven to tell exciting and diverse stories on stage and screen.

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