Ara Gregorian - Artistic Director, violin and viola
Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, Gregorian made his New York recital debut in 1996 in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall in 1997. Since that time he has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of his generation with performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and in major metropolitan cities throughout the world including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv and Helsinki.
Throughout his career, Gregorian has taken an active role as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, and has appeared at festivals worldwide including the SpringLight (Finland), Storioni (Holland), Summer Solstice (Canada), Casals (Puerto Rico), Bard, Bravo! Vail Valley, Santa Fe, Skaneateles, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Cactus Pear, Wintergreen, Mt. Desert, Madeline Island and Strings in the Mountains festivals. He has also performed extensively as a member of numerous chamber music ensembles including the Daedalus Quartet, Concertante and the Arcadian Trio and has recorded for National Public Radio, New York’s WQXR radio station, and the Bridge and Kleos labels.
An active and committed teacher, Gregorian has been a member of the violin faculty at East Carolina University since 1998 and has taught at numerous summer festivals and seminars. In addition, he has taken a leading role in creating opportunities for established musicians to perform with talented students in a mentoring setting through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Next Generation concerts.
Gregorian received his bachelor and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Joseph Fuchs, Harvey Shapiro, and Robert Mann. He performs on a Francesco Ruggeri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006.
Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Opening Night Gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, Mr. Arron has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
The 2012-2013 season marks Mr. Arron’s 10th anniversary season as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Arron succeeded Charles Wadsworth as the artistic director, host, and resident performer of the Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as concert series in Beaufort and Columbia, South Carolina. He is also the artistic director of the Caramoor Virtuosi, the resident chamber ensemble of the Caramoor International Music Festival.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Past summer festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, BRAVO! Colorado, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Bard Music Festival, Seoul Spring, Great Mountains, and Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron has participated in the Silk Road Project and has toured and recorded as a member of MOSAIC, an ensemble dedicated to contemporary music.
Edward Arron began his studies on the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and, at age ten, moved to New York, where he continued his studies with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. Currently, Mr. Arron serves on the faculty of New York University.
Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “cellist who shows great sensitivity and great virtuosity at all moments,” Ani Aznavoorian is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician with some of the world’s most recognized ensembles. She has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the International Sejong Soloists, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Juilliard Orchestra, and the Edmonton Symphony. Aznavoorian has also appeared as recitalist and chamber musician in over twenty countries spanning five continents.
This season marks Aznavoorian’s fifth year as principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica, one of the West coast's premier chamber music series. In addition, she has been a member of the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and in the summers she is on the faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea.
Aznavoorian received the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry. Some of her other awards include first prizes in the Illinois Young Performers Competition (televised live on PBS with the Chicago Symphony), the Chicago Cello Society National Competition, the Julius Stulberg Competition and the American String Teachers Association Competition. She was a top prizewinner in the 1996 International Paulo Competition, held in Helsinki, Finland. As a recipient of the 1995 Level I award in the National Foundation for the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, Aznavoorian was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and performed as soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where she met former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
As a first-year student at The Juilliard School, Aznavoorian won first prize in the institution’s concerto competition—the youngest cellist in the history of the school’s cello competitions to do so. As a result, she performed with the Juilliard Orchestra in a concert with conductor Gerard Schwarz at Avery Fisher Hall. With only 12 hours notice, Aznavoorian stepped in to replace Natalie Gutman in three performances of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto no. 1 with the San Jose Symphony—concerts that were hailed by the San Jose Press. Other notable appearances include concerts at Weill Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Hall, Aspen’s Harris Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, WFMT Live from Studio 1 and NPR’s Performance Today. Aznavoorian received both her bachelor and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with Aldo Parisot.
Aznavoorian enjoys performing new music and has made the world premiers of two important pieces in the cello repertoire: Ezra Laderman’s Concerto no. 2 with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic under the baton of Lawrence Leighton Smith; and Lera Auerbach’s “24 Preludes for Cello and Piano” on stage at the Hamburg Staatsoper with the Hamburg State Ballet—choreographed by John Neumeier. Other notable engagements include an acting role in Japan’s popular NTV mini-series “Harmonia” where she portrayed the life of a fictional young cellist. She has been a member of the renowned string ensemble the International Sejong Soloists, and was a founding member of the Corinthian Trio with pianist Adam Neiman and violinist Stefan Milenkovich. Aznavoorian also performs frequently on the Jupiter Chamber Music series in New York. Upcoming highlights this season include concerto performances at Ravinia Festival in Chicago and a European tour, as well as the release of her CD with Lera Auerbach of Auerbach's music for cello and piano. She proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Violinist David Bowlin’s performances of a broad range of repertoire both old and new have brought him across North America, Europe, and Asia, and garnered critical acclaim from The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and others. Solo performances include dozens of premieres, including the world premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall of Mahagoni, a violin concerto written for him by Austrian composer Alexandra Hermentin and performed with the Bulgarian Virtuosi. Awards include first prize in violin at the 2003 Washington International Competition and the 2007 Samuel Baron Prize from Stony Brook University.
As a chamber musician and ensemble leader, Bowlin performs extensively in both traditional and contemporary genres. He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), member of the Oberlin Trio, and a former member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, whose recording of music by Chinary Ung was named one of NPR’s Top 5 Best American Classical Albums of the year in 2010. He has also made several tours with Musicians from Marlboro, and performed as guest concertmaster with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Marlboro Festival Orchestra, and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra.
Recording credits include works of over a dozen major composers for the Arsis, New Focus, Naxos, and Mode record labels. Upcoming releases will include concerti by Luciano Berio and Huang Ruo, and solo works by Roger Sessions and Mario Davidovsky. Bowlin is also artistic director of Chamber Music Quad-Cities, an organization that brings chamber music performances to the community where Bowlin is a native.
Bowlin is a member of the violin faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and previously taught at the Juilliard School as assistant to Ronald Copes. He has taught on the faculties of the Okemo Young Artist Program, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, the Madeline Island Chamber Music Camp, and the Mannes Beethoven Institute. He has given master classes at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Seoul National University, Stony Brook University, Cornell University, the North Carolina School for the Arts, and the Conservatorio de las Rosas in Morelia, Mexico. Major teachers include Roland and Almita Vamos, Ronald Copes, Pamela Frank, Philip Setzer, Ani Kavafian, and Stephen and Kimberly Sims.
Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Conductors with whom he has worked include Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowasczewski and Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms, has twice toured Australia, and has recently played concertos with the London Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Halle Orchestra.
Last season Colin performed cycles of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano with his duo partner Thomas Sauer throughout the United States and in England, Germany and France. They have recently played recitals together at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philadelphia’s Chamber Music Society and at the Wigmore Hall in London. Colin has also played several cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall, in the United States at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Gardner Museum in Boston and recently in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver.
Colin’s recordings for GM of the Bach Suites and the unaccompanied cello works of Kodaly, Britten, Crumb, and Schuller are highly acclaimed, as is his recent recording of the complete cello/piano works of Mendelssohn with Thomas Sauer on Cello Classics. The Brahms Sonatas on Arabesque, with pianist Lee Luvisi, is also a favorite and the Wigmore Live Label will release a new recording of the Bach Suites in 2013. The MSR label will release the complete Beethoven cello/piano music (also with Tom Sauer) at the same time. Colin was the soloist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto in a BBC Music Magazine recording with the BBC Philharmonic. Sony will release a new recording of Tchaikovsky and Schoenberg sextets with the Emerson Quartet, also in 2013.
As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. Chamber music plays an important role in his musical life. He is a frequent visitor to international chamber music festivals worldwide and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and with New York's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2012 he recorded the string sextets of Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Emerson String Quartet and Paul Neubauer and this season he is playing with the same group in two concerts at Carnegie Hall.
Colin is the winner of many prestigious international awards, including First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award and Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition.
He first played the cello at the age of five. Three years later he went to the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied with Maurice Gendron and later William Pleeth. He was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston for 16 years. In 1998, St. John’s College, Oxford created the post of “Musician in Residence” for him, and in September 2002 he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York.
Mr. Carr’s cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. He makes his home with his wife Caroline and 3 children, Clifford, Frankie and Anya, in an old house outside Oxford.
Born in Warsaw in 1971 Chorzelski enjoys a diverse career as a performing musician that takes him all over the world.
Since 1996 he has been the violist in the Belcea Quartet with whom he performs regularly in the worlds most prestigious halls, such as the Wigmore Hall in London, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York. Belcea Quartet has recorded extensively for EMI Classics and their recordings have won the Gramophone, Diapason d'Or, Midem and Echo Klassik Awards.
Chorzelski's passion for chamber music extends to partnerships with other musicians, such as Imogen Cooper, Stephen Kovacevich, Piotr Anderszewski, Katya Apekisheva, Natalie Clein, Adrian Brendel, Saasha Sitkovestsky and Kathy Gowers. He appears as a guest violist with ensembles such as the Alban Berg, Pavel Haas Quartet, Ysaye and Jerusalem Quartets, Razumovsky Ensemble and Jerusalem Piano Trio.
His viola and piano recital disc with Katya Apekisheva has recently been released by Champs Hill Records and was launched in February 2012 with a concert at London's Wigmore Hall.
Chorzelski is a viola and chamber music professor at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In the summer of 2011 he taught at a course in Israel organised by the Jerusalem Music Centre. This summer he is joining the faculty of the Astona International Summer Academy in Switzerland. He returns regularly to give chamber music classes at Warsaw's Elsner Music High School - his old school, with which he retains a strong connection.
Chorzelski is also pursuing a conducting career. He conducted the recording of Ittai Shapira's Concierto Latino with the composer as violin soloist - released in 2011 by Champs Hill Records.
Hsin-Yun Huang is firmly established since 1993 as one of the leading violists of her generation. Virtually simultaneously, in that year, she won the top prizes in the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the highly prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award, which included a scholarship grant, and concerto and recital appearances in Japan. Ms. Huang was also the youngest-ever gold medalist in the 1988 Lionel Tertis International Competition on the Isle of Man. As a result of these and other successes, she has been telecast in concerto appearances with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich, the Zagreb Soloists in Paris and the Tokyo Philharmonic in Tokyo; other significant appearances include live broadcast performances with the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Russian State Philharmonic and the National Symphony of Taiwan among others. Recent solo highlights included collaboration with London Sinfonia in South America; with Naumberg Orchestra in Central Park; with ICE at Miller Theater and with Children Orchestra Society at Alice Tully Hall. A native of Taiwan, Ms. Huang currently resides in New York, and is an active soloist and chamber musician in the U.S., the Far East and Europe. She has participated in various prominent chamber music festivals, including the Rome Chamber Music Festival, Music@ Menlo, Moritzburg Festival in Dresden; Spoleto Festivals in Italy as well as Charleston SC.; Cartagena Festival in Colombia; Chamber Music Northwest, the Marlboro Music Festival; Prussia Cove, England; St. Nazaire in France, Bridgehampton, the El Paso Chamber Music Festival; the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, Festival de Divonne in France; the Appalachian Festival, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamberfest, the Newport Festival and many others.
She has collaborated with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Joshua Bell, Joseph Suk, Menahem Pressler, the Guarneri, Juilliard, Brentano, Orion, St. Lawrence and the Johannes String Quartets. She has recorded Mozart Quintet with the Brentann String Quartet and presented the Mozart Quintets with them under the auspices of Carnegie Hall in 2007.
Ms. Huang has recently embarked on a series of major commissioning projects for solo viola and chamber ensemble. In July 2006 she premiered a new work from Houston-based Taiwanese composer Shih-Hui Chen, Shu Shon Key (Remembrance) with the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble at An Appalachian Summer Festival in North Carolina. The work was co-commissioned by the festival along with Chinese Performing Arts, and has received performances at Boston’s Jordan Hall and Da Camera of Houston, The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a version of the work for solo viola and orchestra. A new work from Steven Mackey, also for solo viola and chamber ensemble, has received its premiere at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2007. Subsequent performances included presentations by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago; the International Viola Congress 2008; the La Jolla Summer Festival and at Princeton University. A new disc Viola Viola containing both works will be released by Bridge Record in the fall of 2012.
Ms. Huang was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet from 1994-2000. With the Quartet, she participated in festivals worldwide and in such prominent venues as New York’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie and Japan’s Casals Hall. In 1998 the Borromeo String Quartet was awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award and was chosen by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be members of “CMS Two” and featured in a “Live from Lincoln Center” telecast. She is currently a founding member of the Variation String Trio with violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.
Hsin-Yun Huang came to England at the age of fourteen to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School with David Takeno. She continued her studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Michael Tree, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree, and at the Juilliard School with Samuel Rhodes, where she earned her Master of Music. She is a dedicated teacher and currently serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Cellist Michael Kannen has distinguished himself as a musician and educator of uncommon accomplishment who is comfortable in widely diverse musical situations and venues. He was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world, on radio and television, and on recordings. During those years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, a Royal Philharmonic Award and was the first participant in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center II program. Kannen continues to perform chamber music around the country as a member of the Apollo Trio, on period instruments with the Houston-based group Context and at major music festivals such as Yellow Barn, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Chamber Music Festival and the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England. Kannen has collaborated with such artists as Jessye Norman, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Sergiu Luca, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Peter Frankl, Paula Robison, Charles Neidich, Steven Isserlis, and with jazz artists Michael Formanek and Uri Caine. His activities range from performances on period instruments to premieres of the music of our time. He has recorded for the CRI label. Kannen has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College and the Purchase College Conservatory. He is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he holds the Sidney Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music.
Violinist/Violist Ida Kavafian enjoys an international reputation as one of the most active and versatile musicians performing today. Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and former Violinist of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio, she presently performs as a soloist, in recital, with her sister Ani, as guest with distinguished ensembles, as Artistic Director of the highly successful festival, Music from Angel Fire in NM for twenty eight years, and as a faculty member at The Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School and Bard College. She has premiered many new works, has toured and recorded with jazz greats Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis as well as Fiddler/Composer Mark O’Connor, and has had a solo feature on CBS Sunday Morning. Recent recordings include “Fire and Blood” by Michael Daugherty with the Detroit Symphony and Mark O’Connor’s String Quartets, recorded with the composer. She has toured and recorded with the Guarneri Quartet (as violist) and performed with the Orion, Shanghai and American Quartets. Founder of the Bravo! Colorado festival, which she ran for ten years, co-founder of the ground breaking group TASHI more than thirty-five years ago, Ms. Kavafian also co-founded OPUS ONE, a piano quartet with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Peter Wiley, as well as Trio Valtorna, with hornist David Jolley and pianist Gilles Vonsattel. Born in Istanbul, Turkey of Armenian parentage, she began her studies with Ara Zerounian, continued with Mischa Mischakoff, then graduated from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Oscar Shumsky. She was presented in her debut by Young Concert Artists with pianist Peter Serkin. Married to violist Steven Tenenbom, Ms. Kavafian has found great success in another field, the breeding, training and showing of prize-winning Hungarian Vizsla dogs, including the #1 Vizsla in the US in 2003 and the National Champion of 2007.
Violinist Hye-Jin Kim, winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild Competition, has been lauded by The Strad for her “…heart-stopping, unrivalled beauty…well-thought out, yet of the moment.” Ms. Kim crafts extraordinary programs often reflecting her interests in Art and Literature which, paired with her rare sensitivity and intellect, set her apart in today’s music scene. This remarkable artistry brought her to international prominence quite early in her career when she was awarded First Prize at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition at the age of nineteen.
Highlights of her 2013-14 season include concerto appearances with the DuPage Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Greenwich Village, Wartburg, Millikin-Decatur Symphony, East Carolina University Symphony Orchestras, and recitals for the Arizona Chamber Music Society and WMP Concert Series.
Ms. Kim has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, the New Jersey Symphony, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Pan Asia Symphony (Hong Kong), and the Hannover Chamber Orchestra. She has been presented in recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kravis Center Young Artist Series, LeFrak Hall at Queens College’s Copland School of Music, Howland Cultural Center, and the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Music from Angel Fire, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Music at Menlo, Lake Champlain, and Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival. She has toured the US and England as a member of the Musicians from Marlboro and Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music.
Ms. Kim graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory where she studied with Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, and Miriam Fried. In addition to performing, she is an Assistant Professor of Violin at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. An avid reader of classic literature, she shares her thoughts on music, travels, her favorite sport baseball and more on her blog A String of Notes, which can be found at astringofnotes.wordpress.com.
Korean-American violinist Soovin Kim is an exciting player who has built on the early successes of his prize-winning years to emerge as a mature and communicative artist. Mr. Kim enjoys a broad musical career, regularly performing repertoire such as Bach sonatas and Paganini caprices for solo violin, Mozart and Vivaldi concerti without conductor as well as big Romantic concerti, sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven, Brahms, and Ives, and new world-premiere works almost every season.
In recent seasons he has been acclaimed for his “superb…impassioned” (Berkshire Review) performance of Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto at the Bard Festival with the American Symphony Orchestra and a “sassy, throaty” (Philadelphia Inquirer) rendition of Kurt Weill’s concerto with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. Other unusual concerto collaborations included Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto with conductor Maestro Myung-Whun Chung, the same Mendelssohn concerto with the Dallas Symphony and music director Jaap van Zweden, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Carnegie Hall. He has performed in past seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic and Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra with Maestro Myung-Whun Chung.
Soovin Kim performs as 1st violinist of the Johannes String Quartet. The quartet recently toured together for two seasons with the famed and now-retired Guarneri String Quartet in an unusual program that included world-premieres of quartets by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Derek Bermel, and an octet by William Bolcom. Mr. Kim maintains a close relationship with the famed Marlboro Music Festival where he often spends his summers. He is well-known in Korea as a member of MIK, his ground-breaking piano quartet ensemble.
Soovin Kim’s latest CD, Gypsy, was released in September 2010. It is his third collaboration between American label Azica Records and Korea-based Stomp/EMI. They previously released a French album of Fauré and Chausson with Jeremy Denk and the Jupiter Quartet in 2008, and Niccolò Paganini's demanding 24 Caprices for solo violin in February 2006 was named Classic FM magazine’s Instrumental Disc of the Month (“he emerges thrillingly triumphant…a thrilling debut disc.”). He made his first solo recording with Jeremy Denk for Koch-Discover in duo works by Schubert, Bartók, and Strauss.
In 2005 Soovin Kim was awarded the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and also previously received the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award and first prize at the Paganini International Competition.
Soovin Kim is the founder and artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in 2009 in Burlington, Vermont. Mr. Kim is also a sought-after teacher; he teaches at Stony Brook University and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He is also an International Visiting Scholar at Kyung Hee University in Seoul. Mr. Kim studied when he was younger at the Cleveland Institute of Music with David Cerone and Donald Weilerstein, and graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with Victor Danchenko and Jaime Laredo.
Violist Maria Lambros has performed as a chamber musician throughout the world as a member of three of the country's finest string quartets in venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London's Wigmore Hall, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, New York's Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She was a member of the renowned Ridge String Quartet, which was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for their recording of the Dvorak Piano Quintets with pianist Rudolf Firkusny on the RCA label. The recording won Europe's prestigious Diapason d'Or in the same year. She was also a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Meliora String Quartet, which was Quartet-in-Residence at the Spoleto Festivals of the U.S., Italy and Australia, and which recorded Mendelssohn's Octet with the Cleveland Quartet on the Telarc label. She was most recently a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, and currently performs with the New York based chamber ensemble, La Fenice.
In addition to being a Four Seasons regular, Maria Lambros appears at a number of major chamber music festivals, including those of Helsinki, Aspen, Vancouver, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Caramoor, Norfolk, Rockport, Skaneateles, Bard, Chamber Music West and New York's Mostly Mozart Festival. She has performed with the Peabody Trio and the Guarneri, Cleveland, Juilliard, Muir, Brentano, Borromeo, Colorado and Orion Quartets, among others. A native of Missoula, Montana, she was named one of "Montana's Leading Artists and Entertainers of the 2oth Century," a millennial list highlighting the last 100 years of Montanans' exceptional contributions to art and culture. A devoted teacher, Ms. Lambros is currently a member of the chamber music faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Yellow Barn Music School. She will be joining the viola faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in the fall of 2014.
First prize winner of the prestigious 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with "a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style," and by the Washington Post for her “stunning command of the keyboard, from the beautifully gauged weighting of her finger strokes to the scrupulous calibration of inner voices and dynamics.”
Lee has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and symphony orchestras of Columbus, Bangor, Naples, Bozeman, Abilene, Santa Fe, Boca Raton, Napa Valley, the Daejeon and Ulsan Philharmonic Orchestras in Korea, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Dominican Republic and Orquesta de Valencia, including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling, Jorge Mester and Otto-Werner Mueller.
In recent seasons, she has given recitals at New York’s Zankel, Alice Tully, and Merkin Halls, Washington's Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Madrid's National Auditorium and San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre. As an active chamber musician, she has collaborated with the Parker, Chiara, Avalon, Manhattan, Afiara and Daedalus quartets in performances throughout the US.
Lee's debut CD of Scarlatti Sonatas on the Naxos label was released in February 2007 to critical acclaim, and her second album, “Re!nvented” for KOCH (E1) International Classics was featured in the Gramophone magazine to rave reviews, and was subsequently awarded the 2009 Young Artist Award by the Classical Recording Foundation. A Naxos recording artist, she recently recorded a disc of Liszt opera transcriptions, and will record a double CD Scriabin album this season.
Lee earned her bachelor and master's degrees, and the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, she won every award granted to a pianist including the Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition, two consecutive Gina Bachauer Scholarship Competitions, Arthur Rubinstein Prize, Susan Rose Career Grant and the coveted William Petschek Piano Debut Award.
Winner of the Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York, Lee is also a laureate of the Cleveland and Santander (Spain) International Piano Competitions. Her principal teachers have been Robert McDonald, Jerome Lowenthal, Ursula Oppens and Richard Goode. Lee is a Steinway Artist and a member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two.
Richard Mannoia, clarinetist, performs a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, folk and new music in diverse venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Joe’s Pub, Galapagos Arts Space and the Whitney Museum. A veteran member of the interdisciplinary performance collaborative, VisionIntoArt, he has been performing new music with theater, poetry, dance and film in NYC and abroad. He has been freelancing in the New York area since graduating from Manhattan School of Music and, in addition to local performances, has performed abroad extensively in countries as far reaching as South Africa, Nepal, Serbia, and Paraguay. Mannoia maintains a deep commitment to educational outreach and teaches and performs outreach concerts for the New York Philharmonic, including performances on the Philharmonic’s Asian tours to Japan and Abu Dhabi. Along with bassist/composer Jon Deak, Mannoia was invited by Venezuela’s renowned El Sistema to lead workshops and introduce composition to the Venezuelan model. Since 2007, he has been lead mentor for the Fellows of the Juilliard-Carnegie Hall Academy. As a consultant, Mannoia has trained musicians, curated concerts and designed curriculum for many organizations including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Opera, 92nd St Y, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space and the Guggenheim Museum. Since 2008, he has designed and hosted the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Saturday Pre-Concert Adventures in the Kimmel Center. He has also taught at the Professional Performing Arts High School, coached chamber music at Juilliard Pre-College and coached graduate chamber music at Manhattan School of Music for educational outreach performances.
American pianist Robert McDonald has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Far East both as solo recitalist and, for many years, as recital partner to Isaac Stern and other distinguished instrumentalists. He has appeared with major orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Juilliard, American, Takacs, Muir, Brentano, St. Lawrence, Vermeer, Borromeo and Shanghai string quartets, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro. In addition, he has given concerts for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, NHK and BBC television worldwide. His discography includes recordings for Sony Classical, Vox, Bridge, Musical Heritage Society, ASV and CRI.
McDonald is a member of the piano faculties at The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he holds the Penelope P. Watkins Chair in piano studies. In addition to being the artistic director of the Taos School of Music and Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico, he has participated in the Bergen, Besancon, Lucerne, Montreux, Salzburg, Aldeburgh and Schleswig-Holstein festivals in Europe, the Marlboro, Brevard and Caramoor festivals in the United States, as well as the Banff Center in Canada.
McDonald is the winner of the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Competition, and the top prizes at both the William Kapell International Competition and the Washington International Competition. He is also the recipient of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Deutscher Schallplatten Critic’s Prize.
Robert McDonald graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University. He then completed his studies at the Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.
American pianist Adam Neiman is hailed as one of the premiere pianists of his generation, praised for possessing a truly rare blend of power, bravura, imagination, sensitivity, and technical precision. With an established international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans nearly sixty concerti, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Slovenia, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. He has collaborated with many of the world’s celebrated conductors, including Jiri Belohlavek, Giancarlo Guerrero, Theodor Gushlbauer, Carlos Kalmer, Uros Lajovic, Yoël Levi, Andrew Litton, Rossen Milanov, Heichiro Ohyama, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, and Emmanuel Villaume. A highly-acclaimed recitalist, Neiman has performed in most of the major cities and concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. His European solo engagements have brought him to Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan, where he made an eight-city tour culminating in his debut at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. An avid chamber musician, Neiman became a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center II in 2004. He frequently participates in the major chamber music festivals of Belgrade, Caramoor, Croatia, Korea, Macedonia, Manchester, Montenegro, Moritzburg, San Diego, Seattle, Skaneateles, Telluride, Tokyo, Vail, Vancouver, as well as New York’s Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players series. He has made numerous guest appearances with celebrated string quartets, such as the Miro, the Parker, the Saint Petersburg, and the Ying, and he frequently collaborates with Concertante, a Manhattan-based string ensemble. As a former member of the Corinthian Trio, Neiman toured extensively in the Baltic countries and throughout the United States. He has also appeared as a guest artist on the FleetBoston Celebrity series, Frankly Music series in Milwaukee, San Francisco Performances series, and San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music series.
Neiman’s ’13-’14 season highlights include a monumental solo recital tour of North America performing Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 and “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Op. 106, and plans are underway to record the complete cycle of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas over the next several years. He will also premiere his new Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (commissioned and composed in 2012) with the Manchester String Orchestra and conductor Ariel Rudiakov on tour throughout Vermont and New York. In addition, Neiman joins the celebrated ensemble Camerata Pacifica for four concert tours throughout Southern California, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players for two concerts in New York City. Festival reengagements include concerts at the Mainly Mozart Festival, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, Telluride MusicFest, and the Manchester Chamber Music Festival. Recording releases will include the following: Concerto da Camera by Howard Hanson with the Ying Quartet, for Sono Luminus; Dohnanyi’s Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano with the 45th Parallel ensemble in Portland, OR; piano quartets of Saint-Saëns and Fauré with Maria Bachmann, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Edward Arron; and the Bernstein Piano Trio with Stefan Jackiw and Amit Peled for the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
His diverse discography includes three major commercial releases for VAI: a twodisc set of Mozart’s early keyboard concertos with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, an award-winning two-disc set entitled “Adam Neiman Live in Recital,” proclaimed “Critic’s Choice” for 2007 and 2008 by the American Record Guide, and a DVD entitled “Adam Neiman: Chopin Recital.” He released a critically-acclaimed recording of solo piano works by Anton Arensky for Naxos, and his debut recording on Lyric Records of a live, unedited solo recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall has recently been re-issued on iTunes.
He has also begun to extensively record chamber music repertoire. Most recently, Sono Luminus released a disc featuring Neiman with the Ying Quartet performing Arensky’s Piano Quintet. For Bridge Records Neiman recorded sonatas by Franck, Debussy, and Saint-Saëns with violinist Maria Bachmann. In addition, Neiman was featured on Naxos’s world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio, live from the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Neiman’s live recording presence has extended to the Internet, via his own YouTube channel featuring high-definition video footage from recent concert tours, found at: http://www.youtube.com/user/adamneiman
Radio and television broadcasts featuring Neiman regularly span international airwaves, and his live performance of the Brahms Rhapsodies, Op. 79, at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival on NPR’s “Performance Today” was nominated for a Grammy Award. Chosen as a featured artist by director and Academy Award nominee Josh Aronson, Adam Neiman appeared in the PBS documentary film "Playing for Real," which aired worldwide and continues to air on the Bravo and Ovation networks. He was also featured in Peter Rosen’s “In the Key of G,” a PBS documentary about the Gilmore Festival. His affiliation with PBS and the documentary genre has merged with his passion for composition: he wrote the score for “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate,” a film by director and Emmy Award winner Helen Whitney, released on PBS in 2010. His output as a composer encompasses an array of works for solo piano, chamber music, voice, and symphony orchestra. Some of his chamber works have been premiered at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Poisson Rouge in New York City, and at the Festival Cervantinos in Mexico, and he frequently performs his own solo piano music in recital. In 2012 he witnessed the world premiere of his first String Quartet at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and he is currently in the process of finishing his Second Symphony.
Born in 1978, Neiman has captured the attention of audiences and critics alike since his concerto debut at 11 in Los Angeles’s Royce Hall. Clavier Magazine wrote, "Adam Neiman gave a performance that rivaled those of many artists on the concert stage today...his playing left listeners shaking their heads in disbelief." His formative years saw him at the helm of many competitions, with top prizes at the MTNA’s Junior Baldwin Competition, UCLA’s Samick International Competition, the Joanna Hodges International Competition, the Stravinsky Awards International Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists Association International Competition, the California Concerto Competition, and the California State Bartok Competition. At fourteen, he debuted in Germany at the Ivo Pogorelich Festival, and at fifteen, he won second prize at the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, the youngest medalist in the competition's history. In 1995, Neiman also became the youngest-ever winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award. The following year, he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and went on to make his Washington D.C. and New York recital debuts at the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. The Washington Post remarked, “A collection of Chopin’s Waltzes and Nocturnes danced and stormed, and Prokofieff’s Second Sonata enthralled with a dazzling display of inner voices rather than a mere display of muscle. This was playing of wisdom and light befitting an artist in the autumn of his career.” Young Concert Artists additionally honored Neiman with the Michaels Award and presented him in a critically acclaimed solo recital at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.
Two-time winner of Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Neiman received the Rubinstein Award upon his graduation in 1999, the same year in which he received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Neiman’s principal teachers have included Trula Whelan, Hans Boepple, Herbert Stessin, and Fanny Waterman, and he has participated in master classes with legendary pianists Emanuel Ax, Jacob Lateiner, and Gyorgy Sandor.
In the fall of 2013, Neiman joins the esteemed piano performance faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In addition to his rigorous performance schedule he has been teaching private lessons for more than a decade, and he has presented acclaimed masterclasses throughout the U.S., Europe, and Korea. He regularly serves on the summer chamber music faculty of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, and he has taught at the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea. As an adjudicator, he has presided over the Philadelphia Orchestra Concerto Competition, KING FM Young Artists Competition, and Reno’s Youth Music Festival. Please visit www.adamneiman.com for more information.
From the United States to Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Israeli cellist Amit Peled, a musician of profound artistry and charismatic stage presence, is acclaimed as one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage today.
Peled, who was recently described by the Washington Post as “a larger - than - life figure on stage” and by the American Record Guide as “having the flair of the young Rostropovich,” has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and in the world’s major concert halls, such as: Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, New York; Kennedy Center, Washington; Salle Gaveau, Paris; Wigmore Hall, London; Konzerthaus, Berlin; and Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium.
Following his enthusiastically received Alice Tully Hall concerto debut playing the Hindemith cello concerto, the New York Times described his playing as: "glowing tone, a seductive timbre and an emotionally pointed approach to phrasing that made you want to hear him again."
Highlights of the 2011/12 season are two performances of the Penderecki Cello Concerto in Chicago's Millennium Park with the legendary composer conducting, a 19 cities tour of the US and Germany with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie and a concerto debut in San Francisco under Maestro Nicola Luisotti with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.
One of the most sought after cello pedagogues in the world, Peled is a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University.
Israeli Cellist Zvi Plesser has a remarkably varied career, which has combined appearances as cello soloist, chamber musician and distinguished educator. Based in Israel, Mr. Plesser has concretized worldwide and collaborated with some of our time’s leading instrumentalists and conductors. As soloist he has performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Sofia Philharmonic under conductors Zubin Mehta, Sir Neville Marriner Asher Fisch, David Stern, Steven Sloan and Sergiu Comissiona. He was a member of the Huberman String Quartet and is a founding member of Concertante. A dedicated chamber musician he collaborates frequently with leading instrumentalists including several collaborations with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra principal players. In recent season he has performed in such venues as: Paris Champs-Elysees, Musee du Louvre and Salle Pleyel, Vienna Konzerthouse, Berlin Philharmonie, London Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre among others. In 2010 he was invited on a 14 concert tour of Australia with the Jerusalem String Quartet. He has participated in Music festivals around the world, including the Marlboro Festival in the US, the Cervantino Fetsival in Mexico, the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival - Israel, Ako Festival in Japan, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Salon De Provence in France and the Rolandseck Festival in Germany. In 2011 he was appointed music director for the” Voice of Music Festival in the Upper Galilee,” – Israel’s oldest chamber music festival. In the last few years He has collaborated with his colleague and friend Hillel Zori in arranging and performing the 6 Bach Solo Suites for two cellos. Mr. Plesser is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with Zara Nelsova. His principal teachers include Zvi Harel in Israel and David Soyer in the United States. Mr. Plesser has been on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance since 1998, and has taught at North Carolina School of the arts and in Hochschule für Musik Würzburg in Germany. He is frequently invited to give masterclasses and workshops in musical centers around the world. Mr. Plesser has been heard on various radio and television programs and has recorded for Helicon, Kleos, Meridian and more. A graduate of the Jerusalem Music Center as part of the program for Outstanding Young Musicians headed by Maestro Isaac Stern, Mr. Plesser won the prestigious Francoise Shapira Competition, the 41st annual Washington International Competition and was the recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarships.
Cellist Raman Ramakrishnan was a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, winners of the grand prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition. During his eleven years with the quartet, he performed coast-to-coast in the United States and Canada, in Japan, Hong Kong, Panama and across Europe. The quartet has been in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, where Ramakrishnan maintains a teaching studio. In 2011, he formed the Horszowski Trio with violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Rieko Aizawa. This season finds the trio performing across the US and India, as well as recording for Bridge Records.
Ramakrishnan has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and has performed chamber music at Caramoor and Bargemusic, with the Boston Chamber Music Society and Chicago Chamber Musicians, and at the Aspen, Charlottesville, Four Seasons, Lincolnshire (UK), Marlboro, Mehli Mehta (India), Oklahoma Mozart and Vail Music Festivals. He has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and has performed, as guest principal cellist, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a guest member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, he has performed in New Delhi and Agra, India and in Cairo, Egypt.
Ramakrishnan was born in Athens, Ohio and grew up in East Patchogue, New York. His father is a molecular biologist and his mother is the children's book author and illustrator Vera Rosenberry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in music from The Juilliard School. His principal teachers have been Fred Sherry, Andrés Díaz and André Emelianoff. He lives in New York City with his wife, the violist Melissa Reardon. He plays a Neapolitan cello made by Vincenzo Jorio in 1837.
Marcy Rosen has established herself as one of the most important and respected artists of our day. Los Angeles Times music critic Herbert Glass has called her “one of the intimate art’s abiding treasures.” She has performed in recital and with orchestra throughout Canada, England, France, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and all fifty of the United States. In recent seasons she has given Master Classes and appeared on stage in Beijing and Shanghai, China, the Seoul Arts Center in Korea and in Cartagena, Colombia.
A consummate soloist, Ms. Rosen’s superb musicianship is enhanced by her many chamber music activities. She has collaborated with the world’s finest musicians including Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Andras Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Peter Serkin, Isaac Stern, Robert Mann, Sandor Vegh, Kim Kashkashian, Jessye Norman, Lucy Shelton, Charles Neidich and the Juilliard, Emerson, and Orion Quartets. She is a founding member of the ensemble La Fenice, a group comprised of Oboe, Piano and String Trio, as well as a founding member of the world renowned Mendelssohn String Quartet. With the Mendelssohn String Quartet she was Artist-in-Residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and for nine years served as Blodgett-Artist-in Residence at Harvard University. The Quartet which disbanded in January of 2010, toured annually throughout the United States, Canada and Europe for 31 years. She appears regularly at festivals both here and abroad and since 1986 has been Artistic Director of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival in Maryland. Another important association is with the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Since first attending Marlboro in 1975, she has taken part in 21 of their “Musicians from Marlboro” tours and performed in concerts celebrating the 40th, 50th and 60th Anniversaries of the Festival.
Marcy Rosen was born in Phoenix, Arizona and her teachers have included Gordon Epperson, Orlando Cole, Marcus Adeney, Felix Galimir, Karen Tuttle and Sandor Vegh. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Rosen is currently Professor of Cello at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where she is also Artistic Coordinator of the concert series Chamber Music Live, and she serves on the Faculty at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.
Her performances can be heard on recordings from the BIS, Bridge, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, CBS Masterworks, Musical Heritage Society, Phillips, Nonesuch, Pro Arte, and Koch labels among others. Please visit her website at www.marcyrosen.com
Pianist Thomas Sauer is highly sought after as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Some of Sauer’s recent appearances include concerto performances with the Quad-City and Tallahassee Symphonies and the Greenwich Village Orchestra; solo performances at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University, and St. John’s College, Oxford; appearances on Broadway as the pianist in 33 Variations, a play about the composition of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations; and performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. With his long-time duo partner Colin Carr, Sauer has appeared at the Wigmore Hall (London), Holywell Music Room (Oxford), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Musikgebouw, Bargemusic (New York City), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston) and Princeton University, among many other venues. Other appearances include recitals with Midori at the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels; performances with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at the Library of Congress; and numerous concerts with the Brentano String Quartet.
Sauer has performed at many of the leading festivals in the United States and abroad, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, El Paso Pro Musica and the Chamber Music Festivals of Seattle, Taos, Four Seasons (North Carolina), Portland and Salt Bay (Maine); as well as Lake District Summer Music (England) and Festival des Consonances (France).
Sauer’s varied discography includes recordings of Beethoven and Haydn piano sonatas for MSR Classics; the complete cello and piano works of Mendelssohn with Colin Carr on Cello Classics; a disc of Hindemith sonatas with violist Misha Amory (Musical Heritage Society); music of Britten and Schnittke with cellist Wilhelmina Smith on Arabesque; music of Ross Lee Finney with violinist Miranda Cuckson on Centaur Records; and violin sonatas of Mozart with Aaron Berofsky on Blue Griffin Recordings. In recent seasons, Sauer has premiered works by Philippe Bodin, Robert Cuckson, Sebastian Currier, Keith Fitch, David Loeb, Donald Martino, David Tcimpidis and Richard Wilson.
A member of the music faculty of Vassar College and the piano faculty of the Mannes College, Sauer is the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute. A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Mannes College of Music and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, his major teachers included Jorge Bolet, Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter.
Pianist Keiko Sekino enjoys an active career as a solo recitalist and chamber musician in the United States and abroad, in recent seasons having performed at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia Park, and Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria in Santander, Spain. She has participated in festivals such as Ravinia, Norfolk, Yellow Barn and Four Seasons in the United States and Kuhmo, Encuentro de Música y Academia de Santander, La Gesse and Pontino in Europe.
In 2006, Keiko Sekino was one of four pianists invited to participate in the Carnegie Hall Professional Workshop with Thomas Quasthoff. As a duo with soprano Awet Andemicael, she worked with baritone Thomas Quasthoff and pianist Justus Zeyen on Lieder by Schubert, Wolf, and Strauss in public master classes, which were presented in recital at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. An accomplished chamber musician, Sekino has shared the stage with violinists Ana Chumachenko and MinJung Kang, and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Daedalus Quartet, Enso Quartet, Peabody Trio and the Los Angeles Piano Quartet.
A 2001 Presser Music Award recipient, Keiko Sekino received an artistic fellowship from the La Gesse Foundation, and in 2005 and 2006, received grants from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation to pursue further studies in Italy and France. She has won first prizes in the Yale Friends of Music Recital Competition and the Commonwealth Competition for Young Pianists. Other competition successes include those at the MTNA Yamaha Competition and the East Connecticut Symphony Competition.
From 2004 to 2006, Sekino served as a pianist for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In this capacity, she worked with conductors John Oliver, James Levine and Keith Lockhart on symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. A compelling performer of contemporary music, she has worked with composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Joan Tower, Mario Davidovsky and Jake Heggie.
Keiko Sekino completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and holds additional degrees from Yale University in economics and music. Among her teachers are Peter Frankl and Robert McDonald. She joined the piano faculty of the East Carolina University School of Music, Greenville, North Carolina, in 2006.
Hailed for his thrilling virtuosity, lustrous tone and profound artistic expression, Hagai Shaham is internationally recognized as one of the most exciting Israeli violinists. Shaham began his studies with Elisha Kagan and later was a student of the late renowned Professor Ilona Feher. He completed his studies in USA with Emanuel Borok, Arnold Steinhardt and the Guarneri Quartet. Shaham's awards include first prizes at the 1990 ARD Munich Competition, Ilona Kornhauser competition, Israel Broadcasting Authority Competition, Tel Aviv Rubin Academy competition and Clairmont and America-Israel Cultural Foundation's Awards.
Solo performances include appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Baden-Baden SWF Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore and KBS Seoul Symphony orchestras.
At the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Hagai Shaham performed Brahms Double Concerto with Misha Maisky and the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta.
Shaham has performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Beethovenhalle, Herculessaal, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Musikverein, Zurich Tonhalle, Barcelona Palau de la Musica, Venice Teatre la Finice and the Schleswig-Holstein, Reingau, Bad Kissingen, Bodensee, Montpellier, Cerventino, Stavanger, Kuhmo, Pablo Casals and Israel festivals.
Hagai Shaham’s recordings include over 20 albums by Hyperion, Nimbus, Avie, Chandos, EMI, Naxos and Decca International which have been enthusiastically received by international press.
Hagai Shaham teaches at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University and is Artist-in-Residency at SUNY Stony Brook University. Formerly, he was a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is a co-founder and a board member of the Ilona Feher Foundation for promoting young Israeli violinists.
The first German artist to ever win the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York, Axel Strauss has been equally acclaimed for his virtuosity and his musical sensitivity. The Salt Lake Tribune praised his well-rounded artistry by saying, "Strauss quickly established that he is a virtuoso to be reckoned with. But amid his technical acumen, there was a genuine musician. His interpretive prowess was delightful."
Strauss made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. Since then he has given recitals in major North American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world premiere of "Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby," written for him by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, San Francisco and Cincinnati, among others. He has collaborated with conductors such as Maxim Shostakovitch, Rico Saccani, Joseph Silverstein and Alasdair Neale. Strauss has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic as well as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
His recordings include the Brahms violin concerto (BPOlive), Mendelssohn's "Songs without Words" (Naxos), the violin version of the Sonatas Opus 120 by Brahms (Organum) and the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodaly (Oehms Classics). Naxos recently released his two latest recordings: The 24 Caprices by Pierre Rode and the last three violin concertos by Rodolphe Kreutzer. Amadeus Press has issued a DVD featuring Axel Strauss in concert at Steinway Hall in New York City.
Strauss frequently performs at various music festivals in the US. Festival visits abroad have taken him to Germany, India, Korea and Japan. His chamber music partners include Menahem Pressler, Kim Kashkashian, Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann and Bernhard Greenhouse. Since his European debut in Hamburg in 1988, Axel Strauss has been heard on concert stages throughout Europe. He has given concerts in Moscow, Vilnius, Berlin, Bremen, Leipzig and Nuremberg. Concert tours have taken him to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Romania. He has also toured South America and performed in Japan with the Philharmonic Violins Berlin.
At the age of seventeen he won the silver medal at the Enescu Competition in Romania and has been recognized with many other awards, including top prizes in the Bach, Wieniawski and Kocian competitions. Strauss studied at the Music Academies of Lübeck and Rostock with Petru Munteanu. In 1996 he began working with the late Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School and became her teaching assistant in 1998. He has also worked with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Felix Galimir, and Ruggiero Ricci, and at the Marlboro Music Festival with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff. Strauss has been residing in the United States since 1996. He maintains a busy performance schedule and serves as Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. Prior to that he served as Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Axel Strauss performs on an outstanding violin by J.F. Pressenda, Turin 1845, on extended loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society in Chicago.
“In Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, the playing of Elina Vähälä -- was a continuous stream of virtuosity, hushed at certain times, heroically brave at others. The cadenza was stunning in its control of diverse elements and the danse macabre of the finale was a tour de force of marrying technique with a joy of life.” -Classical Source, 2012
“The violin concerto was dazzling, with sublime playing from Elina Vähälä, whose strikingly beautiful musicianship was set against a shimmering background. With rises and falls, light and shade, it was the highlight of the evening.”
-Shropshire Star, 2012
Violinist Elina Vähälä is one of the sought-after instrumentalists in the international music scene and receives praising critiques for her performances all around the world. She made her orchestra debut at the age of 12 with Sinfonia Lahti and was later chosen as Sinfonia Lahti’s “Young Master Soloist” by the conductor Osmo Vänskä. She is the winner of the 1999 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York and her New York debut concert the same year received acclaim in The New York Times.
Some of the highlights of the current season are appearances with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrusa, Oregon Symphony and Carlos Kalmar, Helsinki Philharmonic and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, as well as performances with Sinfonia Lahti and Okko Kamu at the Sibelius Festival 2011 and tours to Germany, UK and China. Vähälä has commissioned a violin concerto from the composer Jaakko Kuusisto and the world premiere will also take place in 2012.
Past seasons have taken Elina Vähälä on stages all around the world: she has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra, as well as at the MIAGI festival in South Africa and on tours in China and South Korea. In December 2008 Vähälä performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and concert when president Martti Ahtisaari was awarded. The ceremony had a worldwide television broadcast.
Elina Vähälä’s repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music. She has given world premieres of Aulis Sallinen's Chamber Concerto and Curtis Curtis-Smith's Double Concerto, both written for her and pianist-conductor Ralf Gothóni. In addition, Vähälä gave the Scandinavian first performance of John Corigliano’s Violin Concerto “The Red Violin.” She is not only a soloist, but a devoted chamber musician too and has performed with Andras Adorjan, Juri Bashmet, Ana Chumachenco, Chee-Yun, Peter Csaba, Itamar Golan, Ralf Gothóni, Ivry Gitlis, Bruno Giuranna, Gary Hoffman, Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Cho-Liang Lin, Adam Neiman, Arto Noras, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Alisa Weilerstein.
Besides being a musician, Elina Vähälä is also involved in the educational aspect of music. In 2009 she launched the Violin Academy – a master class based educational project for selected, highly talented young Finnish violinists. The Academy is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Additionally, Vähälä is a professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe.
Born in the United States and raised in Finland, Elina Vähälä began to play the violin at the age of three at the Lahti Conservatory and over the years studied also under the guidance of Zinaida Gilels, Ilja Grubert and Pavel Vernikov at the Kuhmo Violin School. In Sibelius Academy Vähälä studied with Tuomas Haapanen and in 1998 she attended classes of Ana Chumachenco in Munich.
Violinist Xiao-Dong Wang entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of ten. Wang was First Prize winner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition and First Prize winner in the Wieniawski-‐Lipinski International Violin Competition at the ages of thirteen and fifteen. He was brought to the attention of Dorothy DeLay of The Juilliard School who arranged for him to begin a four-year scholarship starting in 1986. A guest soloist of considerable experience, Wang has performed with orchestras around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic in London, the London Mozart Players, Adelaide, Perth, Queensland Symphony Orchestras and Sydney Opera Orchestra. His recording credits include the Bartok Concerto No. 2 and Szymanowski Concerto No. 1 for Polygram Records. He has also appeared performing on both violin and viola in chamber music concerts at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aspen, Ravinia and in many other festival and musical events worldwide.
Wang is the resident soloist of the Shanghai Symphony for the 2012-13 Season, he will appear three times as soloist with the orchestra during the season as well as presenting chamber music concerts and master classes. During his residency, Wang will also perform as a soloist with three other major symphony orchestras in China, including The China Philharmonic in Beijing.
Wang is the artistic director and a founding member of the renowned chamber music group Concertante, where he has collaborated with world renowned musicians and made a vast number of chamber music recordings.