The recipient of both 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, pianist Natalie Zhu is a winner of Astral Artistic Services' 1998 National Auditions. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded Astral's recent presentation of Ms. Zhu in recital as a display of "emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics." The recital was later broadcast on National Public Radio's "Performance Today."
Ms. Zhu has performed throughout North America, Europe, and China as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed in the United States with the Pacific Symphony, the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Astral Chamber Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, and with the Colorado Philharmonic National Repertory Orchestra. Ms. Zhu made her European debut in 1994 at the Festival de Sully et d'Orleans in France, and has toured in Austria, Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France and Turkey.
She collaborated with renowned violinist Hilary Hahn, stepping in for pianist Garrick Ohlsson in several performances of Ms. Hahn's October 2000 U.S. tour. Subsequently, Ms. Zhu and Ms. Hahn have maintained a partnership to this day with tours of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, including a hugely successful Carnegie Hall recital debut. The duo recorded the Mozart Sonatas for the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Natalie Zhu has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the grand prize in the both the 1988 and 1989 Young Keyboard Artists Association Competition. She was the first prize winner in the Johanna Hodges Piano Concerto Competition in 1988 and 1991, having also received its 1991 Concert Series Award. In 1994, she was the top prize winner in the first China International Piano Competition. An active chamber musician, she is a frequent soloist at the Amelia Island Festival and has appeared at both the Great Lake Music and Marlboro Music festivals. In the year 2000 she was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Ms. Zhu began her piano studies with Xiao-Cheng Liu at the age of 6 in her native China and made her first public appearance at age nine in Beijing. At age 11 she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, and by 15 was enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music where she received the prestigious Rachmaninoff Award and studied with Gary Graffman. In 2001 she joined the Curtis faculty as staff pianist. She received a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Claude Frank.
For further information, go to www.nataliezhu.com.
Violinist David Kim was named concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Born in Carbondale, IL, in 1963, he started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School.
Highlights of Mr. Kim’s 2016-17 season include teaching/performance residencies at Bob Jones University, Grove City College, Messiah College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music; continued appearances as concertmaster of the All-Star Orchestra on PBS stations across the United States and online at the Kahn Academy; recitals, speaking engagements, and appearances with orchestras across the United States; and the annual David Kim Orchestral Institute of Cairn University in Philadelphia, where he is also a professor of violin studies.
Mr. Kim appears as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra each season as well as with numerous orchestras around the world. He also appears internationally at such festivals as Brevard, MasterWorks (US), and Pacific (Japan).
Mr. Kim has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia, the University of Rhode Island, and Dickinson College. His instruments are a J.B. Guadagnini from Milan, ca. 1757, on loan from The Philadelphia Orchestra, and a Michael Angelo Bergonzi from Cremona, ca. 1754. Mr. Kim resides in a Philadelphia suburb with his wife, Jane, and daughters, Natalie and Maggie. He is an avid runner, golfer, and outdoorsman.
Georgia native Gabriela Diaz began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother, and the next year, violin with her father. As a childhood cancer survivor, Gabriela is committed to supporting cancer research and treatment in her capacity as a musician. In 2004, Gabriela was a recipient of a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, an award that enabled Gabriela to create and direct the Boston Hope Ensemble. A firm believer in the healing properties of music, Gabriela and her colleagues have performed in cancer units in Boston hospitals and presented benefit concerts for cancer research organizations in numerous venues throughout the United States.
A fierce champion of contemporary music, Gabriela has been fortunate to work closely with many significant composers on their own compositions, namely Pierre Boulez, Magnus Lindberg, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, Brian Ferneyhough, and Helmut Lachenmann. Gabriela is a member of several Boston-area contemporary music groups, including Sound Icon, Ludovico Ensemble, Dinosuar Annex, Firebird Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and Callithumpian Consort. She also plays regularly with Winsor Music, Mistral Music, Radius Ensemble, and Emmanuel Music.
In 2012 Gabriela joined the violin faculty of Wellesley College. Gabriela is co-artistic director of the Boston-based chamber music organization Winsor Music. Please visit winsormusic.org for more information!
Critics have acclaimed Gabriela as “a young violin master,” and “one of Boston’s most valuable players.” Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix noted, “…Gabriela Diaz in a bewitching performance of Pierre Boulez’s 1991 Anthèmes. The come-hither meow of Diaz’s upward slides and her sustained pianissimo fade-out were miracles of color, texture, and feeling.” Others have remarked on her "indefatigably expressive" playing, “polished technique,” and “vivid and elegant playing.”
Gabriela can be heard on New World, Centaur, BMOPSound, Mode, Naxos, and Tzadik records.
Gabriela plays on a Vuillaume violin generously on loan from Mark Ptashne and a viola made by her father, Manuel Diaz.
Violist Che-Hung Chen has been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since the spring of 2001, when he was hired by then music director Wolfgang Sawallisch, becoming the first Taiwanese citizen ever to join the Orchestra. He has also served as Acting Associate Principal Viola under former music director Christoph Eschenbach.
Mr. Chen was the first-prize winner at the Seventh Banff International String Quartet Competition as the founding member of the Daedalus Quartet; the quartet was also awarded the Pièce de concert prize for the best performance of a commissioned work and the Székely Prize for the best performance of a Beethoven quartet. A three-time, top-prize winner at the Taiwan National Instrumental Competition, Mr. Chen is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the legendary Joseph dePasquale. His other teachers have included Ben Lin and Toby Appel. Mr. Chen has served as principal violist of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and recently appeared as guest principal violist with Japan's Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Chen's recording of Chiayu's "Twelve Signs" for solo viola on the Naxos Label was praised in the Gramophone's Awards 2015 issue for its "mesmerizing intensity."
As a chamber musician, Mr. Chen has been a frequent participant with Marlboro Music, performing in its 50th anniversary concerts in Boston and New York's Carnegie Hall, and in several "Musicians from Marlboro" national tours. Mr. Chen performs annually at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival in Rhode Island with his wife, pianist and Artistic Director Natalie Zhu, and has also participated in such festivals as Ravinia, Caramoor, Saratoga, Bridgehampton and Music from Angel Fire. With Ms. Zhu, Philadelphia Orchestra colleague and First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang, and cellist Thomas Kraines, he is a founding member of the Clarosa Piano Quartet, dedicated to exploring and enriching the piano quartet repertoire. Their debut performance earned praise from the Philadelphia Inquirer as "a combination of easy cohesion and unfettered, expressive freedom." The quartet made a highly anticipated debut for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in May 2016.
Mr. Chen currently serves on the faculty of Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music and its Preparatory Division. He performs on a viola made by Carlo Antonio Testore in Milan, Italy, c. 1756. He and Natalie reside in Narberth, PA, with their daughter Clara.
Known for his virtuosic, high‐energy performances, violinist Zachary DePue successfully balances his roles as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, soloist, chamber musician, fiddler, community leader and mentor with passion and dedication.
A rising star among both classical and crossover music fans, he was appointed concertmaster of the ISO in 2007 and became one of the youngest concertmasters in the country. He graduated in 2002 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with renowned violinists Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo. He earned a full‐tuition scholarship to Curtis and he also held the David H. Springman Memorial Fellowship. He served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra before becoming a violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to entering Curtis, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.
With an innate talent for improvisation and arranging, Mr. DePue found much of his inspiration from his three older brothers, all violinists and fiddlers. In 1985, the four classically‐trained brothers formed their own acclaimed group, which combines classical and bluegrass for an eclectic, fun concert experience. The group’s father is Wallace DePue, a composer and professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University.
Mr. DePue was a founding member of Time for Three, ISO’s first ever ensemble-in-residence, alongside his fell Curtis colleagues, violinist Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer. With its dynamic energy and unique mash-ups of bluegrass, jazz and classical music, Time for Three has reinvented the ISO’s Happy Hour Series and has introduced a new audiences to the symphony experience.
This season, Mr. DePue became a member of the 40th Class of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, a prestigious program that connects Indianapolis’ emerging leaders to the issues and needs of the community.
His violin was made by Ferdinand Gagliano of Naples, Italy, in 1757.
Juliette Kang, violin
Canadian violinist Juliette Kang serves as First Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Kang also performed for two seasons with the Boston Symphony as assistant concertmaster, and as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Ms. Kang’s solo engagements have included the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, l’Orchestre National de France conducted by Sir Yehudi Menuhin, the Baltimore Symphony, the Boston Pops, and every major orchestra in Canada. Overseas she has also performed with the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the KBS Symphony in Seoul.
She has given recitals in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Tokyo at Suntory Hall, in Boston at the Gardner Museum, and in New York at the 92nd Street Y and the Frick Museum. As gold medalist of the 1994 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she was presented at Carnegie Hall in a recital that was recorded live and released on the Samsung/Nices label.
Ms. Kang was a featured soloist in the 2012 Carnegie Hall performance with her hometown orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony, and she made her Philadelphia Orchestra solo subscription debut performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with conductor Gianandrea Noseda.
Ms. Kang has been actively involved with chamber music since studying quartets at the Curtis Institute of Music with Felix Galimir. Festivals she has participated in include Bravo! Vail Valley, Bridgehampton, Kingston, Marlboro, Moab (Utah), Skaneateles (New York), and Spoleto. In New York she has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at the Mostly Mozart Festival with her husband, cellist Thomas Kraines, and at the Bard Music Festival.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Jascha Brodsky, where she entered the school at age nine, she earned a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Dorothy Delay and Robert Mann. She was a winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists Auditions, and she subsequently received first prize at the Menuhin Violin Competition of Paris in 1992.
Violinist Noah Geller has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. At the invitation of Music Director Michael Stern, Geller became the Kansas City Symphony concertmaster in 2012. He has since appeared frequently as soloist with the Symphony. He made his solo recording debut on the Kansas City Symphony’s recent release with Reference Recordings featuring music by Saint-Saëns. In addition to his activities at the Symphony, Geller is an enthusiastic music educator. Upon his arrival in Kansas City, he was appointed adjunct associate professor of violin at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Geller began his professional career in the ﬁrst violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2007 while still pursuing his master’s degree. He served as acting assistant concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Geller also has performed as guest concertmaster with the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Houston and Beijing (China National Symphony). In addition to his orchestral activities, Geller appears regularly with the dynamic, spirited and conductorless East Coast Chamber Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Geller has performed at the Marlboro, Kingston, Saratoga, Heartland and Skaneateles festivals, and he has appeared on the Lyon and Healy (Chicago), Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Lyric Chamber Music Society (New York) series, among others. He is an original member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the music of composers whose lives were adversely affected by the Holocaust. Geller has organized and presented concerts by Shir Ami for the Kansas City community, garnering remarkable support and enthusiasm. Geller grew up in the Chicago area, studying privately with Jennifer Cappelli. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Hyo Kang, Donald Weilerstein and Cho-Liang Lin. Geller currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, percussionist Mari Yoshinaga, and their dog Monkey. He performs on a violin made by Andreas Postacchini c. 1840.
Amy Oshiro-Morales joined The Philadelphia Orchestra’s second violin section in January 2008; she was previously assistant concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony. She also previously held the associate concertmaster chair of the Colorado Symphony and was assistant concertmaster of the Grant Park (IL) Orchestra. She has also performed as a guest musician with the New York Philharmonic.
Ms. Oshiro-Morales made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at the age of 12 and has appeared numerous times as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, the Minnesota Sinfonia, and others. She has collaborated with such artists as Vadim Repin, Alban Gerhardt, Jason Vieaux, and Gil Shaham.
Ms. Oshiro-Morales began violin studies when she was three years old. She studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at Oberlin Conservatory, where she received the Dean’s Talent Award scholarship. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School with Robert Mann, the founder and former first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet.
In the summers Ms. Oshiro-Morales has been a guest artist at the Sun Valley Summer (ID) Symphony, the Cactus Pear Music Festival (TX), the Grand Teton Music Festival (WY), the National Orchestral Institute (MD), and the Innsbrook Institute (MO), among others.
Aside from music Ms. Oshiro-Morales enjoys hiking and running and has completed the Chicago Marathon and the New York City Marathon.
Cellist Jonathan Karoly is a native of Chicago, where he began studying the cello at the age of three. He has been a prize-winning cellist, pianist, and composer from an early age. Following his studies in Chicago and New York, Karoly graduated from the University of Southern California, where he was a pupil of Ronald Leonard.
An avid chamber musician, Karoly has performed in many music festivals: Marlboro, Kingston, La Jolla Summerfest, Verbier, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, the International Laureates Chamber Music Festival, and Aspen, where he was a fellowship recipient. He has also been a frequent performer on Musicians from Marlboro tours across the country, and was invited to perform several concerts of chamber works with Pierre Boulez at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Karoly has appeared in live radio broadcasts of solo recitals and chamber music performances.
An accomplished competition winner, Karoly took grand prize in the Pasadena Instrumental Competition and first prize in the Chicago Cello Society Competition. He has performed concertos with numerous orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has been principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, among others. In 2009, Karoly was the featured performer and actor in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Symphonies for Youth program entitled The Spirit of the Cello, which told a fictional story about Karoly’s cello. These performances were repeated in 2016.
Karoly has been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1997.
Priscilla Lee joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as associate principal cello at the start of the 2016-2017 season. A 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, she began studying at age five and made her solo debut in 1998 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
A native of California, Priscilla studied with Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School of Performing Arts and in 1998 went on to the Curtis Institute of Music to study with David Soyer. In 2005, she received a master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, where she studied with Timothy Eddy.
Ms. Lee has participated in the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Seattle, Delaware, St. Denis in Paris, Kingston, Lexington and Taos. She was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two for the 2006-2009 seasons.
She was a founding member of Trio Cavatina, a piano trio that won Grand Prize at the 2009 Naumburg International Competition. The trio made its debut at the New School and Merkin Hall's Rising Star Series, along with Boston’s famed Jordan Hall and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.
Ms. Lee was the principal cellist of both Opera Philadelphia (from 2014-2016) and The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (from 2015-2016). She resides in Newtown Square, Penn., with her husband, Burchard Tang (Philadelphia Orchestra violist) and their two daughters.
Jasmine Lin is a "magnificent player with superb tone and strong interpretive powers” and “a violinist of remarkable intensity,” maintain American Record Guide and Chicago Tribune.
As a member of Formosa Quartet and Trio Voce, faculty member at Roosevelt University and Music Institute of Chicago, Curtis Institute of Music alumna, confidante to a 1662 Cremonese violin, arranger of Grappelli tunes, prizewinner in the Naumburg and Paganini competitions, Grammy nominee, and recording artist on Con Brio, EMI, and New World Records, Jasmine likes to solicit magnificence and intensity while leaving raindrops on her nose un-wiped-off. Her biography contains precisely one hundred words.
Harold Robinson joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal bass in September 1995. He previously served as principal bass with the National Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995, and he also served as assistant principal bass of the Houston Symphony Orchestra (1977-1985) and principal bass of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1975-1977, then known as the Albuquerque Symphony).
A prizewinner at the 1982 Isle of Man Solo Competition, Mr. Robinson has performed concertos with the Houston Symphony and Houston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, the American Chamber Orchestra, and the Greenville (South Carolina) Orchestra.
A native of Houston, Texas, Mr. Robinson studied at Northwestern University and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He is currently the bass instructor at the Curtis Institute of Music and has given recitals and master classes throughout the United States, Korea, Japan, and Europe.
Cellist Clancy Newman, first prize winner of the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, has had the unusual career of a performer/composer. From Albany, NY, he began playing cello at the age of six, and at twelve he received his first significant public recognition when he won a Gold Medal at the Dandenong Youth Festival in Australia, competing against contestants twice his age. In the years that followed, he won numerous other competitions, including the Juilliard School Cello Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs competition, and the Astral Artists National Auditions.
He has performed as soloist throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. He can often be heard on NPR’s “Performance Today” and has been featured on A&E’s “Breakfast With the Arts”. A sought after chamber musician, he is a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and a former member of Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center. He has also toured as a member of “Musicians from Marlboro”.
He developed an interest in composition at an early age, writing his first piece at seven, a piece for solo cello. Since then, he has greatly expanded the cello repertoire: he premiered his Four Pieces for Solo Cello at the Violoncello Society in New York, his Sonata for Cello and Piano in New York's Weill Hall, and his Four Seasons for cello and string orchestra with Symphony in C in Philadelphia. He has also written numerous chamber music works, including two string quartets, a clarinet trio, and a piano quintet. He has been a featured composer on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Double Exposure” series and the Chicago Chamber Musicians’ “Freshly Scored” series, and has received commissions from Astral Artists, the Barnett Foundation, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and the Silo Collective, among others. His piano trio, JuxtOpposition, is available on Bridge Records.
Mr. Newman is a graduate of the five-year exchange program between Juilliard and Columbia University, receiving a M.M. from Juilliard and a B.A. in English from Columbia. His teachers have included David Gibson, Joel Krosnick and Harvey Shapiro.
Cellist Sophie Shao, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, is a versatile and passionate artist whose performances the New York Times has noted as “eloquent, powerful” and the Washington Post called “deeply satisfying.”
Shao has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and performed the UK premiere of Howard Shore’s concerto “Mythic Gardens” with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Other recent concerto performances include Haydn and Elgar Concerti with Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Richard Wilson’s “The Cello Has Many Secrets” with the American Symphony Orchestra, and Saint-Saens’ “La muse et la poete” at the Bard Music Festival.
Ms. Shao has given recitals in Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Middlebury College, and the Phillips Collection, the complete Bach Suites at Union College and in New York City. Her dedication to chamber music has conceived her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” groups which have toured from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for emerging young artists. She is also committed to the music of our time and collaborations with living composers.
Ms. Shao’s recordings include the Complete Bach Suites, Andre Previn’s Reflections for Cello and English Horn and Orchestra on EMI Classics, Richard Wilson’s Diablerie and Brash Attacks and Barbara White’s My Barn Having Burned to the Ground, I Can Now See the Moon on Albany Records, Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records. Her performance of Howard Shore’s “Mythic Gardens” at the KKL in Lucerne was released in 2017 on Sony Classical along with Lang Lang’s performance of “Ruins and Memory”.
A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. She also studied wtih David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Aldo Parisot at Yale College, where she received a B.A. in Religious Studies and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is also on the faculty of Vassar College and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1855 once owned by Pablo Casals.
Melissa Reardon is the violist in the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet. Lauded by Classical Voice for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances, the Massachusetts-born musician won first prize at the Washington International Competition, and is the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions, as well the Tourjee Award in 2002. Solo engagements have included performances at the Stevens Center, Kennedy Center, Symphony Hall, and Jordan Hall. She has performed as a soloist with Camerata Notturna and the Boston Symphony. In 2006, she was chosen as one of four violists internationally to participate in “Chamber Music Connects the World,” in Kronberg, Germany, alongside Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet.
Melissa is also a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and is a sought-after collaborative musician. She has performed with the Miami, Miro, Daedalus, and Borromeo Quartets, and with members of the Guarneri, Mendelssohn, Brentano, St. Lawrence, and Shanghai Quartets, and the Beaux Arts Trio. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the United States, Europe, India, and Korea. She has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and with Musicians from Marlboro.
Melissa holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Kim Kashkashian, Michael Tree, Joseph dePasquale, Karen Tuttle, Samuel Rhodes, and Hsin-Yun Huang, in addition to early chamber music studies with Eugene Lehner. Melissa held the position of Associate Professor of Viola at East Carolina University From 2006-2013. She is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan.
MIMI STILLMAN is one of the most celebrated flutists in the music world, critically acclaimed for her brilliant artistry, passionate interpretation, and innovative programming. Hailed by The New York Times as “a consummate and charismatic performer”, she is a sought-after soloist and chamber musician. A Yamaha Performing Artist, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and Hilton Head Orchestra, and as recitalist and chamber musician at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brooklyn’s Roulette, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Bard College, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, and Kol HaMusica in Israel. A wide-ranging and innovative artist, Ms. Stillman celebrates the canon while deeply exploring new music and Latin genres. Her “Syrinx Journey”, with which she honored Claude Debussy on his 150th birthday by making a video of his three-minute masterpiece “Syrinx’ every day for one year, captivated a global audience.
As founding Artistic Director of Dolce Suono Ensemble, she has created a dynamic force in the music world highly regarded for its chamber music concerts of Baroque to contemporary music. Featured as Chamber Music America’s “American Ensemble”, Dolce Suono Ensemble boasts 44 commissioned works in 11 years. Ms. Stillman has premiered works by eminent composers including Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Richard Danielpour, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, David Ludwig, Zhou Tian, and the late Steven Stucky. Ms. Stillman has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with artists including Lucy Shelton, Eric Owens, Julius Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, David Amram, The Dover Quartet, Juan Diego Flórez, Anthony Newman, Roberto Díaz, and Jaime Laredo, and recorded a film soundtrack for Kevin Bacon. Orchestrally, she has played under the baton of conductors including Simon Rattle, Andre Previn, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Yuri Temirkanov, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, and David Zinman.
With an extraordinary range of accomplishments and intellectual interests, Mimi Stillman made the leap from child prodigy to inimitable artist. At age 12, she was the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with the legendary Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. She went on to receive a MA and PhD (abd) in history at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a published author on music and history integrating scholarship with her artistic vision in projects with her hallmark, thought-provoking depth. She is lauded for expanding the flute repertoire through her arrangements and compositions among them her award-winning Nuits d’étoiles: 8 Early Songs of Claude Debussy (Theodore Presser). She can be heard on several recordings including her critically praised “Freedom”, music for flute, piano, and the human spirit, and “Odyssey: 11 American Premieres” (Innova), both with her longstanding duo pianist Charles Abramovic.
Mimi Stillman has won many competitions and awards including Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Bärenreiter Prize for Best Historical Performance for Winds, Astral Artists, and the Philadelphia Women in the Arts Award. Devoted to education, she has taught masterclasses for institutions including the National Flute Association, Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, Rutgers University, the universities of Texas, California, and Virginia, and at conservatories and flute associations throughout the world. Her Música en tus Manos project to introduce chamber music to the Latino community of Philadelphia won the Knight Arts Challenge Grant. She is on faculty of Curtis Summerfest, Music for All National Festival, and University of Pennsylvania.
Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling" and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the United States and around the world. Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble and Cygnus, as well as co-artistic director of Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. He is a member of the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase and is co-artistic director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco.
Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, Stellenbosch, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, OK Mozart, Schwetzingen and Spoleto USA; he has performed with the St. Lawrence, Orion and Parker string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode and Kairos labels. His debut solo recording "Distance" was released in early 2015 on South Africa's TwoPianists Record Label.
Mr. Smith received his master's degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music and graduated in 2005 with Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” and is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, the Weill Music Institute and the New York City Department of Education. Mr. Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli and Ray Still.
The son of musician parents and eldest of four boys, Mr. Smith was born in New York and raised in Connecticut.
Ricardo Morales is one of the most sought after clarinetists of today. He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal clarinet in 2003. Prior to this he was principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of 21, under the direction of James Levine. His virtuosity and artistry as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician has been hailed and recognized in concert halls around the world. He has been asked to perform as principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and at the invitation of Sir Simon Rattle, performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also performs as principal clarinet with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra, at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Musica along with his five siblings, who are all distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, where he received his Artist Diploma.
Mr. Morales has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Flemish Radio Symphony. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra he soloed under the baton of Mr. Levine in Carnegie Hall and on two European tours. He made his solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2004 with Charles Dutoit and has since performed as soloist on numerous occasions.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Morales has performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall with Mr. Levine at the piano; at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Seattle Chamber Music Summer Festival, and the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival; on NBC’s The Today Show; and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed with many distinguished ensembles, such as the Juilliard Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, the Miró Quartet, the Leipzig Quartet, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. He has also collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, André Watts, Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, James Ehnes, Gil Shaham, and Kathleen Battle. Mr. Morales is highly sought after for his recitals and master classes, which have taken him throughout North America and Europe. In addition, he currently serves on the faculties of Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Mr. Morales’s performances have been met with critical acclaim. The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed his appointment to The Philadelphia Orchestra, stating that “… in fact, may represent the most salutary personnel event of the orchestra’s last decade.” He was praised by the New York Times as having “ … fleet technique, utterly natural musical grace, and the lyricism and breath control of a fine opera singer.” Mr. Morales was also singled out in the New York Times review of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, describing his playing as “exquisite” and declaring that he “deserved a place onstage during curtain calls.”
Mr. Morales’s debut solo recording, French Portraits, is available on the Boston Records label. His recent recordings include performances with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and with the Pacifica Quartet, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. Mr. Morales has joined forces with internationally recognized master acoustician and instrument maker Morrie Backun to create MoBa, a company of top-of-the line clarinets and clarinet accessories, including mouthpieces, bells, and barrels.
Admired for her “focused intensity and extraordinary musicianship" (San Diego Union Tribune), Korean-American cellist DEBORAH PAE is captivating audiences with her “superb tone” and “high level of interpretative intelligence” (Transcentury Blog). With "sophisticated technique" (San Diego Story) and uncompromising curiosity in the pursuit of profound expression, Pae’s diverse career as a seasoned soloist, chamber musician, educator, and arts advocate has earned her international recognition.
Pae’s 2017-2018 season highlights include concerto performances of "Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings" by Jeffrey Mumford and Haydn’s Concerto in C as well as chamber music and solo recital tours in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Brussels, France, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Committed to education and mentorship, Pae’s academic appearances include performances and masterclasses at Bowling Green State University, Washington College, Longwood University, and Eastern Michigan University where she serves as Professor of Cello.
“[A] cellist of superb nuances and spontaneous musicality” (The Seattle Times).
Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony since fall 2011, Baltacıgil was previously Associate Principal Cello of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2003. Recent highlights include his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, performing Bottesini’s Duo Concertante alongside his brother Fora; performances of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Bilkent Symphony and the Seattle Symphony; and Brahms’ Double Concerto with violinist Juliette Kang and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
Baltacıgil performed a Brahms Sextet with Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman and Jessica Thompson at Carnegie Hall, and has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. He has also performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, has toured with the group Musicians from Marlboro, and is a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II.
Named String Player of the Year in Turkey in 2013, Baltacıgil has also received the Peter Jay Sharp Prize, the Washington Performing Arts Society Prize, and first prizes in concerto competitions in Istanbul and New York, as well as in the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Schadt String Competition. He was the winner of the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Baltacıgil started studying the violin at age 5 and changed to the cello at age 7. He received his bachelor’s degree from Mimar Sinan University Conservatory in Istanbul in 1998 and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2002, where he studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer. He was a recipient of the Curtis Institute’s Jacqueline du Pré Scholarship.
Raman Ramakrishnan is a founding member and current cellist of the Horszowski Trio. As a former founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, Mr. Ramakrishnan won the grand prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition. With the quartet, he has performed coast-to-coast in the United States and Canada, in Japan, Hong Kong, and 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 Mr. Ramakrishnan maintains a teaching studio. Mr. Ramakrishnan has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and has performed chamber music on Caramoor’s “Rising Stars” series, at Bargemusic, with the Boston Chamber Music Society, 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, is a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, 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 collaborated with musicians from the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra and performed in New Delhi and Agra, India and in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. 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.
Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
Recent highlights include performances at Caramoor Festival as Artist-in-Residence, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York's 92Y, Ravinia Festival, and many other distinguished series. A first-rate chamber musician and programmer, he frequently collaborates with artists such as the Escher Quartet, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro. He has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras and his passion for new music has fostered premieres by Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vivian Fung, José Luis Merlin, and more. Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. Vieaux has upcoming releases on Azica, BIS, and Naxos, and recent recordings include Infusion (Azica) with accordionist/bandoneonist Julien Labro; Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, which is featured on Ginastera: One Hundred (Oberlin Music) produced by harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; and Together (Azica), a duo album with Kondonassis.
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2015 was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the Eastern Music Festival. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001. He has received a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series. Jason Vieaux plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar with Augustine strings.
For more information, visit www.jasonvieaux.com.
Reiko Uchida is a pianist of rare poetic quality. While she commands a formidable technique, it is always her spiritual connection to the music that projects. Ms. Uchida has performed extensively as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, in venues including Suntory Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. First prize winner of the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition and Zinetti International Competition, she has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, and the Princeton Symphony, among others.
A passionate chamber musician, Ms.Uchida is a member of Camera Lucida, ARK, and the Moebius Ensemble. She is a past member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two and has toured with Musicians from Marlboro, as well as with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. She has collaborated with many of the leading artists of today including Hillary Hahn, Pinchas Zukerman, Osmo Vänskä and members of the Tokyo String Quartet. She has performed as guest artist with the American Chamber Players, and the Borromeo, Talich, Formosa, Daedalus, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. She has partnered in recital with Jennifer Koh, Jessica Lee, Thomas Meglioranza, Anne Akiko Meyers, Anthony McGill, David Shifrin, Sharon Robinson, and Jaime Laredo. "String Poetic,” her recording with Jennifer Koh, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Ms. Uchida holds a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. She studied with Claude Frank, Leon Fleisher, Edward Aldwell, Sophia Rosoff, and Margo Garrett. She has taught at the Brevard Music Center, and is currently a Music Associate at Columbia University.
Known for her musical sensitivity and deeply engaging performances that transport audiences beyond mere technical virtuosity, violinist Hye-Jin Kim leads a versatile career as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician since her First Prize win at the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition at the age of nineteen and a subsequent win at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition.
Kim has performed as soloist with major orchestras worldwide including the Philadelphia, New Jersey Symphony, New Haven Symphony, BBC Concert (UK), Seoul Philharmonic (Korea), Pan Asia Symphony (Hong Kong), and Hannover Chamber (Germany) orchestras. She has appeared in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Kimmel Center Verizon Hall, the Kravis Center, Salzburg’s Mirabel Schloss, St. John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall in London. At the invitation of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she performed at the U.N. Headquarters in both Geneva and New York and served as a cultural representative for Korea in Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan through concerts and outreach engagements. A passionate chamber musician, Kim has appeared in notable chamber music festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Four Seasons, Music from Angel Fire, Music@Menlo, Seoul Spring, Bridgehampton, Music in the Vineyards chamber music festivals and Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music. A dedicated teacher for the next generation of musicians, Kim is frequently presented in master classes throughout the U.S. and and teaches at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where she founded and directs the ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Hye-Jin Kim entered the Curtis Institute of Music at age 14 and earned her Masters degre at the New England Conservatory. Kim’s debut CD, From the Homeland, featuring works by Debussy, Smetana, Sibelius, and Janacek is available on CAG Records. Currently, Kim is Associate Professor of Violin at East Carolina University and a member of the Cooperstown Quartet.
Praised by The New York Times as a "deeply communicative and engrossing" performer, violinist Ayano Ninomiya is committed to creating invigorating live performance experiences from the concert stage to private homes and public schools. The Boston Globe wrote recently, "A note from her was never just a note...Whatever project she takes on next, it is sure to be worth a listen."
Equally at home as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ayano has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. In addition to recent performances at Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall, upcoming performances include solos with A Far Cry, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Music Mountain Festival, the Sembrich Opera Museum, and the Moab Festival. She will also perform on the Beaux Arts Series (FL), Chamber Music International (TX), Chameleon Ensemble (MA), as well as at the Cooperstown, Orford (Canada), Halcyon, Morningside Music, Music Mountain, Interlochen Arts, and Anchorage Chamber Music festivals.
During the summer season, she regularly performs at the Kingston, Skaneateles, Bowdoin, and Moab music festivals. She has toured the west and east coasts of the U.S. and France with "Musicians from Marlboro" (Marlboro Festival) and "Musicians from the Steans Institute" (Ravinia Festival), and her numerous awards include top prizes at the Naumburg International Violin Competition, the Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists National Auditions, and the Young Performer’s Career Advancement Award (APAP). As a recording artist, Ayano has released a variety of albums including a solo album of works for violin by Larry Bell and more recently, three albums as the first violinist of the Ying Quartet.
In 2012 Ayano was invited to give a TEDx talk at the University of Tokyo. Other past projects include a benefit performance for victims of the 2009 Haiti earthquake, a fundraiser in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake with sumo wrestler Konishiki, and the creation of her own Elderhostel “Day of Adventure” programs in NYC that gave an insider's view of making music. As a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship, Ayano conducted research of scores at the Bartók Archives in Budapest, Hungary. Because of her own experience beginning the violin in a public school program in Boston at the age of seven, Ayano has given numerous programs for children across the U.S. from Bethlehem, New Hampshire to Columbia, Missouri, to Denton, Maryland.
After graduating from Harvard University and The Juilliard School, she studied at the Franz Liszt Academy. Her principal teachers were Miriam Fried, Robert Mann, Eszter Perenyi, Michele Auclair, and Robert Levin at Harvard. From 2010-2015, Ayano was first violinist of the renowned Ying Quartet and Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music. In the fall of 2015 she joined the faculty of New England Conservatory of Music. She has been a volunteer tutor for at-risk high school students at the East Harlem Justice Center and volunteer at the Lighthouse Music School (NYC). She is also a founding member of the exciting conductorless string orchestra, ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), which is composed of soloists and leaders of quartets and orchestras from around the U.S. In her spare time, Ayano enjoys painting and practicing the martial art Aikido.
Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, Gregorian made his New York 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, which has recently celebrated its 18th Anniversary Season, 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.
Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is renowned for her virtuosity, expansive interpretations, and creative programming. Her dynamic approach to music-making and her commitment to sharing her musical experiences with a broad global community have made her a fan favorite.
Hahn’s distinct stylistic choices honor the traditional violin literature while delving into the unexpected. In the past two seasons in recital tours across the United States, Europe, and Japan, she premiered six new partitas for solo violin by composer Antón García Abril. The works were Hahn’s first commissioning project for solo violin and her first commission of a set of works from a single composer. García Abril was also one of the composers for “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores,” Hahn’s multi-year commissioning project to revitalize the duo encore genre. Her album of those encores won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance in 2015, and the print edition of the complete sheet music will be released by Boosey & Hawkes. Complete with Hahn’s fingerings, bowings, and performance notes, the sheet music will ensure that the encores become part of the active violin repertoire.
In 2017-18 Hahn returns to repertoire from the 19th and 20th centuries, performing the Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and first Prokofiev violin concertos across the United States and Europe. She performs Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra at home and at Carnegie Hall, and Houston Symphony at home and on tour in Belgium, Poland, Austria, and Germany as part of the celebrations of Bernstein’s centennial season.
As part of recent residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Seattle Symphony, and National Orchestra of Lyon, Hahn piloted free – and sometimes surprise – concerts for parents with their babies, as well as a knitting circle, a community dance workshop, a yoga class, and art students. She will continue to create these community-oriented concerts as the 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence at the Philadelphia Orchestra, encouraging music lovers to combine live performance with their interests outside the concert hall and providing opportunities for parents to enjoy live music with their infants. She also plays a free concert to promote a college membership program and participates in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s ongoing educational activities.
Hahn took her first violin lessons in the Suzuki program of the Peabody Institute in her hometown of Baltimore at the age of three, and at five she began lessons with Klara Berkovich, who had just emigrated from St. Petersburg. At ten, Hahn was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to study with Jascha Brodsky, a former pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe and Efrem Zimbalist. Hahn completed her university requirements at sixteen, having already made her solo debuts with the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Utah, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Budapest Festival orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic, among others. Hahn continued her studies for three more years, delving into languages, literature, and writing, and received her bachelor’s degree at nineteen. She spent four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and another four in the total-immersion German, French, and Japanese programs at Middlebury College. She holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College and Ball State University, where there are three endowed scholarships in her name.
Hahn has released sixteen albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, an award-winning recording for children, and various compilations. Spanning an extremely wide range of repertoire, including Bach, Stravinsky, Elgar, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Schoenberg, Paganini, Spohr, Barber, Bernstein, Ives, Higdon, and Tchaikovsky, her recordings have received every critical prize in the international press and have met with equal popular success. All have debuted in the top ten of the Billboard classical chart. Her seventeenth album will be a retrospective collection that also contains new live material and art from her fans, in keeping with a decades-long tradition of collecting fan art at concerts.
Hahn’s first Grammy came in 2003 for her Brahms and Stravinsky concerto album. A pairing of the Schoenberg and Sibelius concerti spent 23 weeks on the charts and earned Hahn her second Grammy. In 2010 she premiered her recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto along with the Tchaikovsky concerto. Higdon’s composition, which was written for Hahn, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. In 2012 Hahn launched Silfra with experimental prepared-pianist Hauschka. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson and was entirely improvised by Hahn and Hauschka following an intensive period of development.
Hahn is an avid writer, having posted journal entries for two decades on her website, hilaryhahn.com, and published articles in mainstream media. On her YouTube channel, youtube.com/hilaryhahnvideos, she interviews colleagues about their experiences in music. Her violin case comments on life as a traveling companion, on Twitter and Instagram at @violincase. In 2001, Hahn was named “America’s Best Young Classical Musician” by Time magazine, and in 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Hahn was featured in the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Village and has participated in a number of non-classical productions, collaborating on two records by the alt-rock band ….And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, on the album Grand Forks by Tom Brosseau, and on tour with folk-rock singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.
Kensho Watanabe was appointed assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2016, where he serves under acclaimed Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Watanabe studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Curtis Institute of Music, earning a Diploma in 2013. As the school’s first Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow, Watanabe was mentored for two years by Nézet-Séguin and had “incredible access” to the Philadelphia Orchestra, with which he’s worked as a substitute violinist. Watanabe has directed numerous Curtis Opera Theatre productions and served as an assistant to Nézet-Séguin for Opera de Montréal’s 2015 production of Elektra.
Watanabe studied molecular, cell, and developmental biology at Yale College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 2009. He earned his master’s degree in violin from the Yale School of Music, where he studied, as he had as an undergraduate, with Syoko Aki.
“Being at Yale really sparked my interest in conducting,” Watanabe said, citing Yale Symphony Orchestra Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada, whom he assisted as an undergraduate, as a particularly supportive figure.
The summer after completing his undergraduate degree, and in the summers of 2010 and 2011, Watanabe studied with Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School and Summer Music Festival, where his interest in conducting took hold and led him to Mueller’s studio at Curtis.
In addition to his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Watanabe’s upcoming schedule includes appearances with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Métropolitain in Montreal.
Looking forward to his work in Philadelphia, Watanabe said, “I’ve really grown up with this orchestra. I’ve learned so much from this orchestra.”
With “a special ability to present touching interpretations” (El Norte), Brazilian pianist RONALDO ROLIM is a prominent figure among the newest generation of outstanding musicians. Acclaimed for his “consummate elegance” (New York Concert Review) and “mastery of phrasing, agogic accents, and dynamics” (Oberbaselbieter Zeitung), he has performed extensively over four continents, and in such venues such as Carnegie Hall, Zurich’s Tonhalle, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. He is a winner of Astral’s 2017 National Auditions.
In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Rolim is featured in a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Enrique Granados, with performances of the composer’s complete Goyescas at various venues in the U.S., Europe, and Brazil. Recent guest soloist performances include Brahms’ Concerto No. 1 with the Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella, Debussy’s Fantaisie with the Minas Gerais Philharmonic in Brazil, and a German tour of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 with Ukraine’s Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra. He has captured top prizes at numerous international competitions, including the James Mottram, Bösendorfer, San Marino, Lyon, Teresa Carreño, and the prestigious Concours Géza Anda in Zurich. A passionate advocate of chamber music, Mr. Rolim is the founding member of Trio Appassionata, formed in 2007 with violinist Lydia Chernicoff and cellist Andrea Casarrubios. Some of the ensemble’s most recent projects include tours of Brazil and China, and the release of its debut album gone into night are all the eyes, for Odradek Records. Featuring piano trios by American composers, Gramophone said the disc “deserves automatic respect”, presenting “music-making as impressive and dangerous as a granite cliff” (International Record Review). Mr. Rolim greatly enjoys working with diverse chamber musicians, and has performed with the Jasper, Aizuri and São Paulo string quartets, and members of Ensemble Connect, the Baltimore Symphony, the Brazilian Symphony, and Bronx Arts Ensemble.
Mr. Rolim has performed with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Concerto Budapest, Phoenix Symphony, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many of Brazil’s foremost ensembles. A frequent presence at international music festivals, he has been featured in solo recitals and chamber music performances at Ravinia, Folle Journée, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Musikdorf Ernen, Académie Musicale de Villecroze, and the Lake George Music Festival.
Mr. Rolim’s performances have been featured in radio broadcasts in Brazil (Radios MEC and Cultura), the U.S. (Spokane Public Radio and WBJC Baltimore), and Europe (Radios SWR 2, BBC 3, Rai 3, and France Musique). He has also been featured in several television programs in his home country, including Brasil Piano Solo, a series of recitals dedicated exclusively to Brazilian music, presented by the TV Cultura Channel. He has also participated in the documentary Magda Tagliaferro: A World Inside The Piano, in which he performed music of Scriabin.
Percussionist Mari Yoshinaga performs solo, chamber, and orchestral music and has worked with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, and Alan Gilbert. Her recent performances include recitals in Tokyo and Kagoshima in Japan; Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion, and Orchestra with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall; and the world premiere and recording of Paul Lansky’s Partita: Suite for Guitar and Percussion for Bridge Records, a collaboration with guitarist David Starobin. In 2012 she formed arx duo with fellow percussionist Garrett Arney. Ms. Yoshinaga holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from Yale University School of Music.
Miki Sasaki, trumpet
Mikio Sasaki is an active freelance trumpet player in New York City, having earned a Master’s Degree in trumpet performance at the Yale University School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree at the Juilliard School. He began playing trumpet at age 7, studying with his father, Ray Sasaki, and has become an active performer of various styles in addition to his dedicated work as an educator and arranger. He has performed with the Saint Louis Brass Quintet, yMusic, Broadway’s Matilda, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Feist, and, as a high schooler, he performed as soloist with the Austin Symphony. Mikio has travelled internationally with yMusic in Athens, and Thessaloniki, Greece, the Axiom Ensemble at the Helsiki Festival, and with fellow Juilliard students at Festival de Inverno in Campos do Jordao, Brazil. Previous teachers include Allan Dean, Mark Gould, Raymond Mase, and Ray Sasaki.
Mark Berney, trumpet
Trumpeter Mark Berney enjoys performing in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, ska, klezmer, and classical. While still attending the University of Oregon, he performed under the batons of Marin Alsop and Helmuth Rilling and appears on the platinum album, Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin ‘ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Berney is cornetist for the Klezmer Conservatory Band. He has recorded two albums with them on Rounder Records, including A Taste of Paradise (2003) and Dance Me to the End of Love (2000), which received five stars from Downbeat magazine. He has toured with violinist Itzhak Perlman, collaborated with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, appeared on CBS, Fox, and PBS, and performed concerts in prestigious venues including the Lincoln Center and Hollywood Bowl.
In 1999, Berney began his association with the Grammy-nominated Skatalites. He recorded on their 2000 release, Bashaka, and has toured with them across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Jamaica. He has performed with Aretha Franklin and toured with Grammy nominee Mighty Sam McClain, Chandler Travis Philharmonic and performed at Jamaica’s first blues festival with Toni Lynn Washington in 2002. He appears on recordings with Babaloo, Cha Cha Cha Allstars, Pressure Cooker, and Soul Shot.
Also committed to music education, Berney completed the Teacher Certification Program at URI in 2006 and is also a licensed kindergarten through grade 12 music educator in the state of Massachusetts.
Cathryn Cummings, french horn
Cathryn Cummings is a dynamic musician who is passionate about bringing music and the arts to the public. She served for ten years in the United States Navy Music Program, during which she performed at hundreds of military ceremonies, including those for Presidents and international dignitaries. Public performances with the Navy Band include appearances with the Boston Pops, at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium, and on The Today Show.
A staunch advocate for new music, Cathryn is Principal Horn with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra (HICO), an organization dedicated to presenting new and nonstandard repertoire for chamber orchestra and smaller ensembles. Some of HICO’s recent activities include commissions and performances of works by five Connecticut composers. Cathryn also serves as HICO’s Director of Development. Equally committed to standard orchestral repertoire, she has held the positions of Principal Horn and Second Horn with the Albany (GA) Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with numerous other regional orchestras including the Albany (NY), Greater Bridgeport, Hartford, Jacksonville, and New Bedford Symphonies.
Cathryn has performed as a soloist in Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut. Her most recent solo appearances include performances of Lennox Berkeley’s Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano with HICO, Rheinhold Glière’s Horn Concerto with the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra in Lake Jackson, Texas, and a lecture/recital focusing on transcriptions for the horn at The Hartt School.
As a dedicated music educator, Cathryn has maintained a private studio of middle school, high school, and adult amateur horn players for more than twenty years. In addition to URI, she is on the faculty of The Hartt School Community Division, where she teaches chamber music and serves as the Woodwind and Brass Chamber Music Coordinator.
Cathryn resides in Hartford, Connecticut with her husband, Eduardo, and their two adorable dogs.
Ben Griffin, trombone
A native of Springfield, Mass., Ben Griffin has led a varied musical career spanning several genres and styles. Griffin first came to prominent attention as low brass soloist for the Tony Award-winning theater show Blast! A member of the original cast in London’s West End in 1999, he continued with the first national tour and Broadway run of the show until 2001. In addition to performing on seven different brass instruments, Griffin also originated the infamous role of the unicycling trombonist.
In 2001, Griffin made New York City his home and soon became an in-demand trombonist, performing with the Big Apple Circus, Darlene Love, Isaac Hayes, Jerry Vivino, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, Olivia Newton John, Frankie Valli, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Jay and the Americans, Lou Christie, Bobby Vinton, the Awakening Orchestra, Darcy James’ Secret Society, Bobby Sinabria Big Band, the Jamie Begian Big Band, Orchestra Bella, the Staten Island Opera, and many other commercial pursuits. He has also appeared on the Today Show and on Conan O’Brien. In 2005, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz studies from the Manhattan School of Music.
From 2005-2010, Griffin served as assistant principal trombonist with the United States Coast Guard Band in New London, Conn., where he played in the Concert Band, Brass Quintet, Masters of Swing, and Dixieland Jazz Band. In addition to the hundreds of performances and several CDs released during his tenure, Griffin was a featured soloist with the band on national and international tours, as well as a featured soloist with the Joint Services Concert Band in 2013. He coordinated the Educational Outreach Program during his last year with the band.
While in Conn., he again became an in-demand freelancer playing with the Hartford Jazz Orchestra (under the direction of Donn Trenner), Goodspeed musicals, the Galvanized Jazz Band, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Yale Jazz Ensembles, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (under the direction of Buddy Morrow), and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, in addition to continued freelance work in New York City.
In 2014, Griffin moved to Boston. He has maintained a healthy freelance career across the Northeast, including performing and recording with the Awakening Orchestra (NYC), New England Jazz Ensemble, the Brian Thomas/Alex Lee Clark Big Band, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Hal MacIntyre Orchestra, Dan Gabel and the Abeltones, the Wolverine Jazz Band.
In the spring of 2015, Griffin became visiting professor of trombone URI. His principle teachers are David Sporny (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Jack Gale (New York Brass Quintet), and David Taylor (International Bass Trombone Soloist). Griffin is an S.E. Shires performing artist.
Gary Buttery, tuba
GARY BUTTERY has appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, Italy, Russia, and Germany as a soloist and clinician. Formerly the principal tubist in the United States Coast Guard Band, he is published by Theodore Presser and Cimarron Music.
He is a member of Alchemy (tuba-euphonium quartet), Finest Kind, and the Boston Festival Orchestra. Recent examples of his eclectic solo venues have included the University of Northern Colorado Tuba Symposium (Oct. 2004), 12th century churches in Germany, North German Brass Workshop in Jever (2005-2009), and the Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport. Founder of URI’s Traditional Jazz Band specializing in American jazz and dance music of the early 20th century, he is a recording musician who has studied with leading tuba artists Roger Bobo, Don Harry, Gene Pokorny, Jack Robinson and Dan Perantoni.
He has performed with the Nebraska Wind Symphony, San Carlo Opera Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, the NBC Orchestra (Johnny Carson Show), and US Coast Guard Band, and has had numerous tuba works written for him, including Roger Kellaway’s Arcades I for tuba and piano, George Heussenstamm’s Dialogues for alto saxophone and tuba, Allen Blank’s Divertimento for tuba and band, Vaclav Nelhybel’s Concerto for Tuba, Arthur Kreiger’s Double Knot, and Eliane Aberdam’s Tziltzulim.
Besides his duties at URI, Mr. Buttery is Director of Bands and Low Brass Instructor at Connecticut College, Music Consultant at Brown University and directs the annual TubaChristmas events in both Connecticut and Rhode Island. His most recent composition, Yves Tanguy – Images In Sound, based on the artworks of the French/American Surrealist painter, Yves Tanguy, was premiered at Connecticut College.