2020 Season Artists

FLUTE
 
VIOLIN
Elissa Koljonen
 
VIOLA
 
GUITAR
Adam Levin
 
HARP
PIANO
 
PERCUSSION

 


Efe Baltacigil, cello

Efe Baltacigil, Turkish cellist graduated from Istanbul, Mimar Sinan State Conservatory and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer. Sought after chamber musician and soloist Efe Baltacigil appeared as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, East Coast Chamber Orchestra and Istanbul Symphony Orchestra.

 Currently holding the Principal Cello position of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra enjoys windsurfing and volleypong.

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Che-Hung Chen, viola

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. Mr. Chen has served as principal violist of the Curtis Symphony 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 Gramophone magazine’s Awards 2015 issue for its ‘“mesmerizing intensity.’”

As a chamber musician, Mr. Chen has appeared with Marlboro Music, performing in its 50th anniversary concerts in Boston and at New York’s Carnegie Hall;  and in several “Musicians from Marlboro” national tours. He performs annually at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival 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. Mr. Chen is a member of the Clarosa Piano Quartet, along with Ms. Zhu, Philadelphia Orchestra colleague and first associate concertmaster Juliette Kang, and cellist Clancy Newman. 

Mr. Chen serves on the faculty of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music. He performs on a viola by Carlo Antonio Testore in Milan, Italy, c. 1756. He and Ms. Zhu reside in Narberth, PA, with their daughter, Clara.

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Che-Yen Chen, viola

Award-winning violist Che-Yen Chen is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet. Upon winning the First-Prize in the 2003 Primrose International Viola Competition, Chen and his quartet won the Grand-Prize of the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. San Diego Union-Tribune described him as an artist who finds "not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music." Chen has recorded on EMI, Delos, New World Records, and Aeolian Classics. His recording with the Formosa Quartet, From Hungary to Taiwan, released by Bridge Records, was named "The Best Classical Releases of January 2019" by New York Public Radio WQXR. As an orchestral musician, Chen served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. He has appeared as guest principal with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As an active performer of solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire, combined with his passion in education, Chen's expertise in these areas has led him to embark on Formosa Quartet's cofounding of the Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Taiwan. It is the first intensive chamber music training program of its kind in this island country. Currently, Formosa Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence with the National Youth Orchestra Canada and the newly inaugurated Taipei Music Academy and Festival. As a former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society's Bowers Program and a participant of the Marlboro Festival, Chen’s other chamber music projects include Camera Lucida and The Myriad Trio. He has given masterclass across North America and Asia and had served on the faculty of the University of Southern California until 2019. Chen joined UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as the professor of viola in 2018 as the school celebrates its formal establishment as UCLA's 12th professional school. 

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Zachary DePue, violin

Known for his virtuosic, high‐energy performances, Zachary DePue successfully balances roles as concertmaster, soloist, chamber musician, fiddler, community leader, and mentor-- with passion and dedication.   

A rising star among both classical and crossover music fans, Mr. DePue was appointed concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (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 then earned a full‐tuition scholarship to Curtis and 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 fellow 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 reinvented the ISO’s Happy Hour Series and introduced 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.

He plays a violin made in 1757 by Ferdinand Gagliano of Naples, Italy.

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Yegor Dyachkov, cello

Lauded for his remarkable stage presence, depth of insight, nuance and generosity, cellist Yegor Dyachkov is an inspired recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. Since being proclaimed Artist of the Year by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in 2000, Mr. Dyachkov has gone on to perform throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, Canada and the United States, making his New York debut at Lincoln Center in October 2000. He has appeared with major orchestras in such cities as Antwerp, Geneva, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto and Vancouver, and has performed at numerous international festivals in Évian, Kronberg, Lanaudière, Ottawa, and Tanglewood. 

A champion of new music, Yegor Dyachkov has premiered works dedicated to him such as the Sonata by Jacques Hétu, Ironman by Michael Oesterle, Vez for solo cello by Ana Sokolovic, as well as Menuhin : Présence by the late André Prévost.  He was invited by Yo-Yo Ma and Sony Music to take part in the Silk Road Project.

Winning the Orford International Competition led to an invitation from the Chandos label to record his debut CD in 1997. His other acclaimed recordings can be found on the Brioso, Pelléas and Analekta, Riche Lieu and Atma labels. Yegor Dyachkov’s principal mentors have been Aleksandr Fedorchenko in Moscow, Yuli Turovsky in Montréal and Boris Pergamenschikow in Cologne. He teaches at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and at l'Université de Montréal and offers frequent masterclasses.

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Nathan Farrington, double bass

Nathan Farrington is a bassist, singer, and composer living in Los Angeles. He regularly appears in the bass sections of many of America's top orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. Nathan was recently named the Principal Bass of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra under James Conlon and Placido Domingo, and pursues chamber music and solo opportunities avidly.

Nathan has appeared at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Olympic Music Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, and the Da Camera Society. Wherever he is performing, Nathan makes sure to take along his trusty guitar and pairs singing and playing operatic arias and folk songs alongside his bass playing.

In addition to his performance interests, Nathan is deeply interested in Cinema. His Los Angeles-based audio company, Hazard Audio, connects top classical minds, with the artistic minds in movie and tv production. His life in each of these fields has helped him engage in new and interesting projects, highlighting the natural strengths of each of the two worlds.

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Noah Geller, violin

Noah Geller is currently the Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He came to Seattle from the Kansas City Symphony, where he was Concertmaster since 2012. Prior to this, he held posts with The Philadelphia Orchestra as a first violin section member and later as Acting Assistant Concertmaster. He attended The Juilliard School for both his bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees.

Mr. Geller has also performed with many chamber and festival organizations around the United States, including the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Olympic Music Festival in Port Townsend, Washington.

Mr. Geller is an original member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the music of composers whose lives were adversely affected by the Holocaust. Mr. Geller organized and presented concerts by Shir Ami for the Kansas City community, garnering remarkable support and enthusiasm. Mr. 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. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife, percussionist Mari Yoshinaga, and their dog, Monkey. He performs on a violin made by Andreas Postacchini c. 1840.

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Oliver Herbert, cello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beomjae Kim, flute

The New York Times has singled out flutist Beomjae Kim’s playing for its “memorable eloquence.” A winner of Astral’s 2017 National Auditions, Mr. Kim has appeared at the Seoul Arts Center, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Stern Auditorium. From 2014-2016, he was a fellow of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW), a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and Weill Music Institute. A prizewinner in the Chicago Flute Club Young Artists Competition as well as the Artur Balsam Competition for Duos, Mr. Kim has been featured in such festivals and concert series as the Alba Music Festival in Italy, the Artosphere Festival, the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, “Concerts at One” at Trinity Wall Street, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. His performances have been broadcast on New York’s WQXR and WFMT, and on Medici TV. As an orchestral flutist, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kim has appeared in concerts sponsored by UNICEF, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Kumho Cultural Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the BMI Foundation. He has also given solo and chamber music masterclasses at the Manhattan School of Music, Stony Brook University, and Skidmore College. Beomjae Kim earned a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, and holds both a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. He was the last student of legendary French flutist, Michel Debost, and has also studied with Robert Langevin, Linda Chesis, and Michael Parloff.

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Kyu-Young Kim, violin

Kyu-Young Kim, artistic director and principal violinist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO's artistic director in January 2016 marked the first time a playing member had been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Previously, Kim served as senior director of artistic planning with the SPCO all the while continuing to perform in the orchestra, and since assuming a dual role as musician and administrator in 2013, the SPCO has named five new artistic partners, opened its new Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and toured domestically and internationally to great critical acclaim.

As a violinist, Kim has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, performing in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Seoul Arts Center, the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), and the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn). As a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, winners of the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition, he performed in many of the major halls of Europe, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie (Cologne), the Cité de la Musique (Paris), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), and the Megaron (Athens), and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Two Program. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and was a core member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from 2010-2016. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet from 1997-1999, he won the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Kim has received degrees from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has studied with Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Jaime Laredo, Yumi Scott, and Shirley Givens.

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Jennifer Koh, violin

Jennifer Koh is recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. A forward-thinking artist, she is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects, and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart. 

Ms. Koh’s series include The New American Concerto, an ongoing, multi-season commissioning project that explores the form of the violin concerto and its potential for artistic engagement with contemporary societal concerns through commissions from a diverse collective of composers. This season, as part of the project, she performs world premieres of new concertos by Lisa Bielawa with the Orlando Philharmonic and Courtney Bryan with the Chicago Sinfonietta, as well as the New York premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble with The Knights at Miller Theatre. Also this season, she and baritone Davóne Tines join together for Everything That Rises Must Converge, a new work conceived by the two artists inspired by their Korean- and African-American heritage, incorporating classical music, traditional Korean music, African-American spirituals, and a story told through their family members’ voices. Everything That Rises will be premiered at UCSB and UCLA in the spring of 2020. Ms. Koh’s other projects are  Limitless (recently released on recording by Cedille Records) which explores the relationship between composer and performer through duo works played by Ms. Koh and the composers themselves; Bridge to Beethoven, in which she joins pianist Shai Wosner in pairing Beethoven’s violin sonatas with new works inspired by them; Bach and Beyond, which traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s sonatas and partitas to pieces by 20th- and 21st-century composers; and Shared Madness, comprising short works that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, commissioned from over 30 composers. 

Ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Cleveland, Mariinsky Theatre, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London)  Orchestras; the Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Nashville, National, New Jersey, New World, NHK (Tokyo), Pittsburgh, RAI National (Torino), St. Louis, Seattle, and Singapore Symphony Orchestras; and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles. She played the role of Einstein in the revival of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach from 2012 to 2014; and a particular highlight of her career was performing with St Vincent (Annie Clark), and S. Epatha Merkerson in a tribute to Mr. Glass at the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors. 

Named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, Ms. Koh has won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a BA in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. She is an active lecturer, teacher, and recording artist for Cedille Records; and is the Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us. 

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Elissa Koljonen, violin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meng-Chieh Liu, piano

A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student at The Curtis Institute of Music when he substituted at last minute's notice for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The concert earned high acclaim from critics and audience alike, and was followed by a number of widely praised performances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center and a concert on the Philadelphia All-Star Series. Already an accomplished artist at the time, Mr. Liu had made his New York orchestral debut two years earlier.

Following Mr. Liu's triumph in Philadelphia, an appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra was immediately scheduled, but it was not to be. The stellar beginning of his career was abruptly halted by a rare and debilitating illness that affected his connective tissues. Hospitalized and almost immobile for a year, doctors believed his chances for survival were slim and, should he survive, playing the piano would be "absolutely impossible."  With arduous determination and relentless physical therapy, Mr. Liu has been restored to full health and is now once again performing on the concert stage. Since then, he has performed throughout the world as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel and Alan Gilbert. In 2002, Liu received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award. A sought-after musician and strong advocate of chamber music, Liu performs in music festivals across the globe and has worked with international musicians Shmuel Ashkenasi, David Soyer, Bernard Greenhouse, James Buswell, Wendy Warner as well as the Borromeo and St. Lawrence Quartets. Liu also collaborates with artists in varied disciplines, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, among other dance companies.  His concerts have been heard over the airwaves around the world, and a biography on his life was broadcast on Taiwanese National Television.

Liu has appeared with orchestras in Miami, Philadelphia, Beijing, Shenzhen, Kunming, Qindao and Taichung, collaborating with conductors Long Yu, Daye Lin, Kah Chun Wong, Guoyong Zhang and David Wetherill. He was the featured soloist with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of works written for him by Xiaogang Ye.

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Meng-Chieh Liu began his piano studies early, and at age thirteen was accepted by The Curtis Institute of Music to study with Jorge Bolet, Claude Frank, Gary Graffman and Eleanor Sokoloff, and received first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific and Mieczyslaw Munz piano competitions. His reputation as a teacher/mentor has brought him across the globe in summer festivals, masterclasses, and lecture recitals. Since 1993, Liu served on the piano and chamber music faculties at The Curtis Institute of Music,  and recently added the New England Conservatory to his itinerary. For the last three summers, he was also a faculty member for the Tanglewood Music Center. Also a faculty member at Roosevelt University in Chicago from 20016-2014, Liu also joined Chicago Chamber Musicians in the fall of 2009, and served as Artistic Director of the ensemble from 2011-2014, where performances have already been acclaimed for his "faultless, discreetly balanced pianism" (Chicago Classical Review.)

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Clancy Newman, cello

Cellist Clancy Newman, first prize winner of the prestigious Naumburg International Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, has had the unusual career of a performer/composer. He received his first significant public recognition at the age of twelve, when he won a Gold Medal at the Dandenong Youth Festival in Australia, competing against people twice his age. Since then, 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 and PBS. A sought after chamber musician, he is a member of the Clarosa piano quartet and a former member of Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center and Musicians from Marlboro. As a composer, he has expanded cello technique in ways heretofore thought unimaginable, particularly in his "Pop-Unpopped" project, which has gained over eighty thousand views on YouTube. He has also written numerous chamber works, and has been a featured composer on series by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Chicago Chamber Musicians. In March 2019, his piano quintet, commissioned by the Ryuji Ueno Foundation, was premiered at the opening ceremony of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. Mr. Newman is a graduate of the five-year exchange program between Juilliard and Columbia University, receiving a master’s degree in music from Juilliard and a bachelor of arts degree in English from Columbia.

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Ayano Ninomiya, violin

Known for her deeply communicative and engrossing style, Ayano Ninomiya is committed to creating invigorating live performance experiences from concert stages to private homes and public schools. Winner of numerous prizes including the Walter Naumburg International Competition, the Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists National Auditions, Young Performers Career Advancement, and Lili Boulanger awards, Ayano has performed with orchestras across the United States, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and most recently in Carnegie Hall. She has performed at the Kingston, Marlboro, Ravinia, Moab, Bowdoin, Adams (New Zealand), Canberra International (Australia), and Prussia Cove (England) festivals. Ms. Ninomiya has been featured on Musicians from Marlboro Festival tours in the United States and France, and gave a TEDx talk in 2012 at the University of Tokyo. She was first violinist of the Ying Quartet and was Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music until 2015 after which she joined the violin faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music. As a recipient of the Beebe Fellowship, Ayano studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest after graduating from Harvard University and The Juilliard School. Because of her own experience beginning the violin in a public school program in Boston, Ayano has presented numerous programs for children. In her spare time, she loves to paint and practice Aikido.

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Juile Smith Phillips, harp

Principal Harpist of the San Diego Symphony since 2007, Julie Smith Phillips is one of the most prominent young harpists today, performing as both an orchestral musician and concert artist. Silver medalist winner in the 2004 USA International Harp Competition and Bronze medalist in 2001, her playing has been described as “precise” and “luminous” (American Record Guide). She made her National Symphony Orchestra debut in 2003 and has been honored in numerous competitions throughout the country including grand prizes in the Corpus Christi International Young Artist Competition and the Midland/Odessa National Young Artist Competition, both open to all instrumentalists.

Ms. Phillips regularly performs as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra. Her appearances include multiple performances with the San Diego Symphony, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra.

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Pitnarry Shin, cello

Pitnarry Shin was a member of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section from 2001 to 2006, then spent six years in New York and, after returning to the Twin Cities, won reappointment to the Orchestra in 2012. In the interim she performed regularly with the New York Philharmonic and worked on a doctorate at Stony Brook University.

Shin, who was born in Korea, has participated in international festivals from Edinburgh, Colmar and Evian to Ravinia, Tanglewood and Banff. She has toured the U.S., Europe and Korea, served as guest co-principal of the London Symphony and performed as soloist with ensembles including the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra, her native country’s largest orchestra. 

Shin was raised largely in the U.S., being just seven years old when her family moved to New York. She completed undergraduate music studies at the Curtis Institute, followed by graduate school at Yale University, additional work at the Juilliard School and, when she won a Fulbright scholarship, further studies in Germany. She is married to Kyu-Young Kim, principal second violin and director of artistic planning with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

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Burchard Tang, viola

Burchard Tang began his musical studies on the violin at the age of three and, at 16, switched to viola, studying with Choong-Jin Chang, principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He continued his musical education at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Joseph de Pasquale, former principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Upon graduation, he was appointed to the viola section of the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Tang has appeared at many of the country’s top festivals, including Marlboro, Ravinia, Music from Angel Fire, Seattle, Kingston and Caramoor. He has toured with Music from Marlboro, and the Brandenburg Ensemble.

As the winner of the 1992 Albert M. Greenfield student competition, Mr. Tang appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Temple University Orchestra, where he presently is on the faculty, teaching viola and chamber music.

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Reiko Uchida, piano

Reiko Uchida enjoys an active career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing regularly throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.  Ms. Uchida has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, and the Princeton Symphony. A passionate chamber musician, she is a member of Camera Lucida and the ARK Trio. She is a former member of the 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 Jaime Laredo, Pinchas Zukerman, Oslo 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, and Sharon Robinson. "String Poetic,” her recording with Jennifer Koh, was nominated for a Grammy Award. A graduate of Curtis Institute of Music, Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School, Ms. Uchida 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.

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Mari Yoshinaga, percussion

Percussionist Mari Yoshinaga performs actively as a member of arx duo, a contemporary music ensemble she formed with percussionist Garrett Arney. Their recent performances together include Dominic Murcott’s The Harmonic Canon at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, as well as performances and master classes across the country. 

arx duo is in residence at the Artosphere Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and they serve on the faculty of the Young Artist Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Mari is also a member of The Robert van Sice Percussion Collective. In it’s inaugural season, The Percussion Collective is enjoying a busy performing schedule across the country, premiering a large scale percussion sextet with film by Garth Neustadter, and a percussion group concerto by Christopher Theofanidis, scheduled for premier in 2019. 

Mari has had the privilege of working with a number of composers on new works. Currently, Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Hearne is writing a double percussion concerto for arx duo and the Yale Concert Band. Mari recently commissioned and video recorded Table Talk by Alyssa Weinberg, available for viewing courtesy of Vic Firth on Youtube. arx duo is currently working on a new commission called Kalavinka Duos by James Wood for premier this Fall. Mari’s recording work includes Partita: Suite for Guitar and Percussion by Paul Lansky with guitarist David Starobin (Bridge Records), Cloud Polyphonies by James Wood (NMC Recordings), and The Harmonic Canon by Dominic Murcott will be released from the Nonclassical label in 2019.

Mari was born in Kagoshima, Japan. Immersed in music from an early age, she began studying piano at age three, marimba at age five, euphonium at ten, cello at eleven, and percussion at twelve. She moved to the United States when she was twenty years old to attend The Curtis Institute of Music where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and later she earned her master’s degree at Yale School of Music. With gratitude, she proudly endorses Adams instruments, Evans drumheads, Pearl drums, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

For more information, please visit www.arxduo.com

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 Natalie Zhu, piano 

Known for captivating interpretations of a wide repertoire, Natalie Zhu is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award and Astral Artists Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded Zhu’s performance in recital as a display of “emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics”.

Ms. Zhu has performed throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with the Vermeer, Miami, and Daedalus quartets, and collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Orion, Mendelssohn, and Ying Quartets; and the Beaux Arts Trio, Variation Trio and Time For Three. Ms. Zhu has toured with renowned violinist Hilary Hahn since 1997. They  released a CD for the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2005. 

Highlights of the current season include her return to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, The Friends of Chamber Music Reading Concert Series, Brooklyn Library Chamber Music Series, Maestro Foundation Concert Series, Curtis On Tour project, and concert tours in China and Korea. 

Ms. Zhu has been Artistic Director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival since 2009 and has featured in festivals such as Marlboro, Amelia Island, Skaneateles, Tanglewood, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Great Lakes, as well as Kingston. She recently formed the Clarosa Piano Quartet, dedicated to exploring and enriching the piano quartet repertoire. The quartet consists of Zhu’s husband, violist Che-Hung Chen of the Philadelphia Orchestra, his orchestral colleague, first associate concertmaster Juliette Kang, and cellist Clancy Newman.

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 age 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 more information, please visit www.nataliezhu.com.

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