Stephanie Aston and Katalin Lukács have collaborated for almost a decade on a large variety of artistic projects and in 2014 formed ASTRALIS, an innovative voice and piano duo, with three primary goals: making music of living composers accessible to a wide array of audiences, presenting concerts in an innovative way, and promoting works by women composers.
In many parts of the US contemporary notated music is extremely underrepresented. ASTRALIS aims to change that by commissioning young composers and presenting new music events that are relevant to the local community, and the socio-artistic environment.
ASTRALIS aims to re-conceive of the standard concert format by bringing listeners a new kind of musical experience, one that arches over a variety of musical styles and brings together several art forms. ASTRALIS presents works of living composers in combination with other styles and genres, such as classical, jazz and pop music, and commissions both ambient and narrative video accompaniment for these works. ASTRALIS strives to continuously push the boundaries of art music performance, and to present projects of new music in collaboration with artists from other fields, such as media art, dance, theatre, architecture, and film.
ASTRALIS also makes promoting the music of contemporary women composers one of its primary goals. As such, the duo presents at least one composition by a living woman composer on each of their concerts.
As of July 2017 ASTRALIS is proud to have on board project manager and grant writer Lisa Hooper.
Stephanie Aston is a committed performer of contemporary music. She has participated in several American and world premiers, including Luigi Nono’s 'Guai ai Gelidi Mostri', Michael Gordon’s 'What to Wear', and George Aperghis’ Sextuor: 'L’Origine des espèces'. She has appeared on the L.A. Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, CalArts Creative Music Festival, Et Cetera Festival of New Music, (Re)Sounds at Stanford University, and at REDCAT. Ms. Aston is an original member of the vocal ensemble Kallisti, and a founding member of the ROMP Ensemble. She has also performed with Riverside Lyric Opera, Red Fish Blue Fish, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, the CalArts Orchestra, the New Century Players, 18-squared, and ad-hoc ensembles and she is an affiliated artist with San Diego New Music.
Stephanie's noteworthy performances include John Zorn’s Rituals, Phillipe Manoury’s Cruel Spirals, Jason Eckardt’s Tongues, John Adams’ A Flowering Tree (Kumudha), Edgard Varese’ Offrandes, Pascal Dusapin’s To Be Sung, Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Alberto Ginastera’s Cantata Para America Magica, and Kueiju Lin’s Snow in June.
Ms. Aston holds a D.M.A. from University of California San Diego, an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts, and a B.M. from University of North Texas.
She currently lives in Los Angeles.
More information on Stephanie can be found on her personal website:
Originally from Transylvania, Katalin Lukács is a prizewinning pianist based in New Orleans. As a soloist she has appeared with orchestras both in Europe and in the United States. In addition to performing works of the classical repertoire, Katalin is an avid promoter of contemporary music.
She has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at new music festivals in the United States and Europe including the Darmstadt New Music Courses in Germany, the Ostrava New Music Days in the Czech Republic, the SEAMUS National Conference in Eugene, Oregon, the TWEAK Festival in Limerick, Ireland, among others. She has performed with new music ensembles redfishbluefish, Ensemble Zs, SONOR, and Ostravska Banda. Recently she performed on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series and on UCSD’s Camera Lucida chamber music series. She is featured on recordings of many 20th century composers including releases on Mode and New World Records of Stockhausen, Scelsi, and Stuart Saunders Smith.
She holds holds a Diploma in piano performance from the “Gh. Dima” Music Academy in Cluj, Romania, a MM from The University of Alabama School of Music and a DMA from The University of California at San Diego.
Since 2011 Katalin lives in New Orleans. She holds the position of Adjunct Lecturer at Tulane University, and is active as promoter of contemporary music, educator, and vocal accompanist. Since 2014 she is a member of Versipel New Music Collective.
For more information on Katalin please check out her website at