Check out our artists for the 2016 season!
Artistic Directors Chair adopted in memory of Diane Disney Miller
Education: New England Conservatory of Music; State University of New York /Stonybrook
Violinist Daria Adams, the founding Artistic Director of Music in the Vineyards along with her husband Michael, is a member of the world-renowned St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) where she is featured frequently in solo and chamber music performances. An ardent Baroque music lover, Daria is a founding member of the Blue Baroque Band (BBB) made up of colleagues from the SPCO. The BBB was a featured ensemble-in-residence at MITV in 2006 and 2009. Other festival appearances include Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Banff, Newport and Cactus Pear Festivals. Daria spent four years playing in the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, where she took an interest in another musician lurking suspiciously in the back of the pit, one Michael Adams. His interest was mutual. She now lives in suburban Minneapolis with her husband, three children (23, 21 and 19), Chester the Wonderdog (14), and a really annoying cat (ageless).
Artistic Directors Chair adopted in memory of Diane Disney Miller
Education: The Eastman School of Music; Mannes College of Music
Violist Michael Adams has carved out a unique career that has lead down many roads: as a chamber musician, an orchestral player, writer on music, radio commentator and producer, host of the Minnesota Orchestra’s ‘Adventures in Music’ family concerts, and, along with his violinist wife Daria, the founding Artistic Director of Music in the Vineyards. As MITV’s concert commentator and emcee, his goal is to make the music sound so interesting with stories, explanations and analysis that people can’t wait to hear it. Michael joined the viola section of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1988 after a successful stint as a Host/Producer for classical WCAL-FM in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and currently for Minnesota Public Radio. He is the father to three children, ages 23, 21 and 19, who can’t understand how anyone would be willing to pay to hear their father speak. Michael is an avid bicyclist, enjoys canoe camping in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, sailing with friends on Lake Superior and planning fantasy vacation trips with his collection of maps.
Education: The Curtis Institute of Music; The Juilliard School of Music
Praised by the New York Times for her “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing,” Rieko Aizawa has performed in solo and orchestral engagements throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. An avid chamber musician, Rieko has performed with the Guarneri Quartet, the Orion Quartet, the Shanghai Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio. She has appeared in numerous festivals, such as the Marlboro, the Kammermusik Festival Moritzburg, Germany and the Evian Festival, France. Ms. Aizawa is a founding member of Horszowski Trio (featured at MITV in 2015) and became the Artistic Director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010. March 2005 marked the release of Rieko’s first solo recording on the Altus Music label, a tour-de-force CD of Shostakovich’s and Scriabin’s “24 Preludes.” Her second solo CD, of Faure’s and Messiaen’s preludes, came out in 2013. Rieko lives in New York City where she is on the faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College.
The Ariel QuartetShow
Characterized by its youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation. Formed in Israel sixteen years ago when its members were young students, the Quartet serves as the faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where they direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts — a remarkable achievement for an ensemble so young. The Ariel Quartet performs widely in Israel, Europe, and North and South America, including two record-setting Beethoven cycles last season, performed before all the members of the quartet had turned thirty. The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 season features their debut at Carnegie Hall. They have toured with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Additionally, the Ariel was quartet-in-residence at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Perlman Music Program and the Caramoor Festival. Formerly the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, the Ariel has won a number of international prizes including the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Competition and First Prize at the “Franz Schubert and the Music of Modernity” competition in Graz, Austria.
Gershon Gerchikov, violin
Born in Israel, violinist Gershon Gerchikov began his violin studies at the age of five under the guidance of Daniel Fradkin. He went on to study at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. While still in Israel, Mr. Gerchikov performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Yad Harif Chamber Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Radio Orchestra and was a prizewinner in the Violinists-Composers Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. Mr. Gerchikov received his Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory and graduated from NEC’s Professional String Quartet Studies program during which he continued his violin studies with Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein. Mr. Gerchikov plays on a Petrus Guarneri violin on loan from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In his spare time, Gershon enjoys reading, programming, pilates, thinking, and the rare luxury of doing nothing.
Alexandra Kazovsky, violin
Originally from Moscow, Alexandra “Sasha” Kazovsky began playing the violin at the age of six. Two years later, her family immigrated to Israel where she continued her studies at the Rubin Conservatory and the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. In addition to her extensive performance experience with the Ariel Quartet, Ms. Kazovsky has performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yad Harif Chamber Orchestra, and was a prizewinner at the Israel Broadcasting Authority Young Artists Competition. Having received her Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory, Ms. Kazovsky also graduated from NEC’s Professional String Quartet Studies program. Ms. Kazovsky currently plays on a 1780 Gagliano violin, on loan from Yehuda Zisapel. When not practicing or rehearsing Sasha spends her time outdoors — hiking, biking or playing sports. She loves roller coasters, and is looking forward for her first sky diving experience.
Jan Grüning, viola
Born in Munich, violist Jan Grüning studied at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in the class of Barbara Westphal from 2003 to 2008. In 2010 Jan enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Kim Kashkashian. Jan has performed at various festivals in both Europe and North America — such as Sarasota, Florida, Bowdoin, Maine, Orford, Canada, the Verbier Festival, the IMS Prussia Cove and the International Tibor Varga Academy in Sion. Jan was first prize winner of several youth competitions in the categories of violin solo, viola solo and string quartet and a prestigious scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service enabled him to study in Boston, where he became acquainted with his colleagues in the Ariel Quartet. Jan and Amit are mildly obsessed with high-quality food preparation, happily spending hours and sometimes days on end in order to create gourmet feasts, sparing virtually no kitchen utensil from the charcoal grill via the kitchen torch to the Sous-vide machine.
Amit Even–Tov, cello
Israeli cellist Amit Even-Tov started studying cello at the age of six with Sabina Frankenberg. Among her many honors and awards, Ms. Even-Tov won first prize at the Paul Ben-Haim Competition, third prize at the Israel Broadcasting Authority Young Artists Competition, and first prize in the Jerusalem Academy Competition in 2003, resulting in a solo appearance with the Academy Orchestra. In addition, she has performed as a soloist with the Israel Stage Orchestra and in a live broadcast on Israel Radio with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Having previously studied with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Ms. Even-Tov graduated from NEC’s Professional String Quartet Studies program, during which she continued her cello studies with Laurence Lesser. Ms. Even-Tov plays on a 1743 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini Cello on loan from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Amit and Jan have a lop-eared bunny named ‘Ludwig’, aquired after the quartet completed its first Beethoven Cycle, hence the inspiration for his name! He loves listening to quartet rehearsals, often tours with the group and is especially fond of long car trips.
Education: The Eastman School of Music; Mannes College of Music
In addition to her work as the cellist with the Naumburg award-winning Peabody Trio, Natasha Brofsky has performed as a guest with numerous ensembles, including the Takács, Prazak, Norwegian, Borromeo, Jupiter and Ying String Quartets. She recently became Artistic Director of Music for Food’s New York chapter, a musician-led initiative for local hunger relief. During nearly a decade in Europe, Natasha won the Muriel Taylor cello prize and held principal positions with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. A sought after teacher, Natasha serves on the cello faculties of the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School. Since 2001, she has been on the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont. She has given master classes at many colleges and conservatories in the US and abroad, including for El Sistema in Venezuela as well as at Oberlin Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music and Mannes College. She is married to violist Roger Tapping.
Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Michael Brown has been described by The New York Times as a “young piano visionary” and “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers.” Michael will make debut solo recitals in Berlin, Frankfurt, Antwerp, Zurich, Florence, and New York’s 92nd Street Y. He recently joined the artist roster of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Chamber Music Two” program where he performs with the Society in Alice Tully Hall and on tour. His recent schedule includes a performance with Seattle Symphony, a Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony, recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Louvre, Alice Tully Hall, performances at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Caramoor, Mostly Mozart, and Music@Menlo festivals as well as concerts with his regular collaborators: cellist Nicholas Canellakis and violinist Elena Urioste. Among his recent compositions: a Piano Concerto for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and works for the Look & Listen Festival, Bargemusic, Concert Artists Guild, and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series. A native New Yorker, He is the First Prize Winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Competition and was recently appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Piano at Brooklyn College.
Education: The Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory
Hailed as a “superb young soloist” (The New Yorker), Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation, captivating audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In The New York Times his playing was praised as “impassioned” and “soulful,” with “the audience seduced by his “rich, alluring tone.” In the spring of 2015, Nicholas made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing Leon Kirchner’s Music for Cello and Orchestra with the American Symphony Orchestra. Nicholas is an artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a member of The Canellakis-Brown Duo, in which he collaborates with the pianist/composer Michael Brown. He has been featured at the festivals of Santa Fe, La Jolla, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Verbier, Mecklenburg, Moab, Bridgehampton, Sarasota, Aspen and the Bargemusic series in New York City. Nicholas is on the faculty of the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and is the Co-Artistic Director of the Sedona Winter MusicFest in Arizona.
Escher String QuartetShow
Adam Barnett-Hart, Violin | Aaron Boyd, Violin | Pierre Lapointe, Viola | Brook Speltz, Vello
The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. Within months of its inception in 2005 the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, the Escher was invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet-in-Residence at each artist’s summer festival. The quartet has performed at the BBC Proms and is a regular guest at The Wigmore Hall. In its hometown of New York City, the ensemble serves as artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2013 the quartet became one of the very few ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 2015 the quartet released Volume 1 of the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on the BIS label, received warmly by critics with comments such as “This is a full-blooded quartet playing in the grand, classic manner: extrovert and eloquent… hugely engaging music-making” (BBC Music Magazine) The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.
Education: The Julliard School of Music
Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, Ara Gregorian made his New York recital debut in 1996 at Carnegie Hall and his concerto debut in 1997 with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall. Since that time he has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of his generation. Ara has taken an active role as a presenter of chamber music as well, as the Founding Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, which will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season. Ara has appeared at the music festivals of Santa Fe, Skaneateles, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Cactus Pear, Bravo! Vail and Music in the Vineyards Festival. Gregorian is the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Distinguished Professor of Violin at East Carolina University where he has been on the faculty since 1998. He is married to violinist Hye-Jin Kim.
After 25 seasons as Principal Clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra, Burt Hara joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Associate Principal in 2013. He has served as Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has been a guest Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony. An active chamber musician, Burt has performed at the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Summerfest in La Jolla, Music in the Vineyards, the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine, and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Festival in Wisconsin. Last month, he was featured on the L.A.Phil’s Chamber Music Series. Burt is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, where he serves as Principal Clarinet of the Aspen Chamber Symphony.
Education: The Juilliard School of Music
David Harding has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Central America and Australia, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. David’s festival appearances include the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and most recently, the Edinburgh International Festival and Philip Glass’ “Days and Nights Festival” in Big Sur, California. David is a founding member of Trio Verlaine, a flute, viola and harp ensemble that has recorded 2 CD’s. Other notable recordings include Philip Glass’ String Sextet, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Bach’s Goldberg Variations with the Triskelion string trio, music of Aaron Jay Kernis with the Chester Quartet and Brahms’ Viola Sonatas for Skylark Music. He is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He plays on a viola made by Pietro Antonio della Costa, circa 1750.
A First Prize winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition and Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Hye-Jin Kim has been lauded by The Strad magazine for her “heart-stopping, unrivalled beauty of sound … well-thought out, yet of the moment.” Hye-Jin has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Pan Asia Symphony of Hong Kong and the Hannover (Germany) Chamber Orchestra, where she led the ensemble in Mozart’s A Major Violin Concerto at age twelve! She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center, Salzburg’s Mirabel Schloss, and in London at St. John’s, Smith Square, and Wigmore Hall. Festival appearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Music from Angel Fire, Music@Menlo, Bridgehampton, Music in the Vineyards and Prussia Cove. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Violin at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is married to violinist Ara Gregorian.
Education: The Colburn Music Academy: The Curtis Institute of Music
The winner of the 2015 Irving M. Klein International String Competition in his hometown of San Francisco, Oliver Herbert's most recent competition awards include the second prize in the prestigious 2015 Stulberg International String Competition in Kalamazoo. Oliver aspires to bring challenging, diverse, and relevant programs to audiences and has performed solo and recital appearances around the United States. Upcoming solo engagements include appearances with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. His numerous festival appearances include the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, and IMS Prussia Cove in England. This summer, Oliver’s festival engagements include performances at ChamberFest Cleveland, Music in the Vineyards and the Ravinia Festival. Oliver currently performs on a cello made by Richard Tobin in 1820 on generous loan to him by the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute.
Education: Centenary College; The University of Michigan
A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, American Bass-Baritone Timothy Jones enjoys a reputation as an exciting presence on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and South America. His performances combine intelligent musicianship, commanding vocal technique and a unique ability to connect with audiences. Timothy made his New York debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2000 and has appeared in leading roles with Opera Pacific, Opera Birmingham, Ebony Opera, Opera in the Heights, Shreveport Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, the Lake George Opera Festival, Opera Idaho, Opera Southwest, Pensacola Opera and the San Antonio Lyric Opera. An enthusiastic champion of new and contemporary music, he has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions. His performance of Pulitzer Prize-Winning composer Kevin Puts’ Einstein on Mercer Street is featured on the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s recording Against the Emptiness. Highly regarded for his interpretation of art song and lieder, Timothy has appeared in recital with keyboardists Warren Jones, Jeffrey Sykes, Matthew Dirst, and Brian Connelly. He is currently a professor of voice at the University of Houston Moores School of Music.
Jupiter String QuartetShow
Nelson Lee, Violin | Megan Freivogel, Violin | Liz Freivogel, Viola | Daniel McDonough, Cello
The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). As they enter their thirteenth year of making music together, the members of this tightly-knit ensemble have firmly established their quartet as an important voice in the world of chamber music. Their concertizing has brought them to some of the world’s finest venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Library of Congress and Austria’s Esterhazy Palace. The Jupiters have received several chamber music honors over the course of their career: an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008 and the Cleveland Quartet Award in 2007 as well as first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In addition to their performing career, the Jupiters are the String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four. They are also proud to list among their accomplishments in recent years the addition of five quartet children–Pablo (5), Lillian (2), Clara (2), Dominic (0), and Felix (0). You may spot some of these miniature Jupiters in the audience or tagging along to rehearsals, along with their grandparent babysitters.
Education: The Manhattan School of Music; Yale School of Music
Violinist Kerry McDermott has been recognized as one of the most versatile and exciting artists of her generation. Kerry joined the New York Philharmonic as its youngest member at the age of 21 and has since appeared as soloist with them throughout North America. She has garnered prizes and awards in the Montreal International Violin Competition and the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow — where she also received a special award for “Best Artistic Interpretation”. Kerry has also appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Colorado, Caramoor, Marlboro, Tanglewood, Wolftrap, Mostly Mozart, Newport, Ravinia and on three continents with New York Philharmonic Ensembles. She is a member of the McDermott Trio, with sisters Anne-Marie and Maureen. Kerry and her husband, the violist Paul Neubauer, have two children (both violinists), who attend the Juilliard pre-college program. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, computing, and reading.
Education: The Royal Academy of Music
Scottish-born Lorna McGhee was appointed principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2012. Known for her “exceptionally rich and vibrant tone” (Washington Post) Lorna has performed as guest principal flute with the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Before immigrating to North America in 1998, Lorna was co-principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, England. As a soloist, she has given concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. As a founding member of Trio Verlaine (with Heidi Krutzen, harp and David Harding, viola) Lorna has recorded “Fin de Siècle,” a disc of works by Debussy and Ravel, and “Six Departures”, featuring music by Bax and Jolivet and new commissions by Schafer and Cotton. In 2015, she joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.
Education: The Juilliard School
Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led The New York Times to call him “a master musician”. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki Philharmonics; the National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies. This season he will record Aaron Kernis’ Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in the United Kingdom, a work he premiered with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony and Idyllwild Arts Orchestra in 2014. He will also premiere a new work for solo viola by Joan Tower at Alice Tully Hall, the fourth work Ms. Tower has composed for him. He has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning, A Prairie Home Companion, and in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. Mr. Neubauer is the Music Director of the OK Mozart Festival, the Chamber Music Extravaganza in Curaçao and at Bargemusic in New York City. He performs in a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College. He and his wife, violinist Kerry McDermott, live in New York with their two (violinist!) children.
Education: The Eastman School of Music; The University of Southern California; Cleveland Institute of Music
A native of St. Louis, Lawrence Neuman has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991. Before coming to Chicago he was violist with the Miami String Quartet. As a chamber musician he frequently is heard throughout the Chicago area and has appeared at festivals and chamber music series in Boston, Marlboro, La Jolla, Madison, Napa, Portland and Davenport. Chamber music collaborators have included such artists as Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Yefim Bronfman, Lydia Artymiw, Gil Shaham and Aaron Rosand. During the 1998-99 season, Neuman served as guest principal viola of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is on the faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he teaches viola and chamber music.
Education: Indiana University; State University of New York/Stonybrook
Dynamic leader of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section since 1991, Anthony Ross, has appeared as a soloist many times with the Minnesota Orchestra under Music Directors Osmo Vanska, Edo de Waart and Eiji Oue. Equally passionate about new music, he has given powerful performances of James MacMillan’s Cello Concerto, Paul Moravec’s Montserrat, and with his wife, Beth Rapier, David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos. Ross has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen and Grand Tetons Music Festivals, and at the Interlochen and Madeline Island Music Camps. His many festival appearances include the Mostly Mozart Festival, Music in the Vineyards Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Rhodes Music Festival in Greece, Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison, WI. Tony is an avid sailor, tennis player and cook and a proud parent of Erin, a professional dancer, and Eli, a trumpet major at Indiana University. His Basset Hound Frankie completes his household.
A native of London, CarlaMaria Rodrigues has been Principal Viola of the San Francisco Opera since 1996. She also served as Principal Viola of the Australian Chamber Orchestra until 2004. Chamber music activities have taken Carla Maria throughout the world with such artists as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Rudolph Serkin and Pinchas Zukerman. She has toured extensively to Europe, South America, Israel and Australia as a member of the Zukerman and Friends’ Ensemble and has appeared at numerous festivals, including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Gstaad, Prussia Cove and Aldeburgh. Carla Maria has become a sought after teacher and is a regular guest teacher of the Jerusalem Music Center, coaching chamber music and orchestral studies to aspiring young musicians from all over Israel. Carla Maria has devoted much of her time to the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay, mentoring teachers, instructing children and organizing educational programs to promote western classical music. Future engagements this coming season include teaching at UCLA, returning to Israel to teach and performing at the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine.
The San Francisco Piano TrioShow
Axel Strauss, Violin | Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Cello | Jeffrey Sykes, Piano
The San Francisco Piano Trio, featuring German violinist Axel Strauss, French cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and American pianist Jeffrey Sykes, has quickly established itself as a top-flight ensemble. Formed from the bonds of friendship forged at past Music in the Vineyards festivals, the SFPT has been praised for its virtuosic ensemble playing throughout a wide repertoire, ranging from the trios of Haydn and Beethoven to those of Leon Kirchner and Astor Piazzolla. Recently featured in concerts in California and Wisconsin, the Well-Tempered Ear noted that the trio “brought a closely attentive and particularly quiet audience to its feet for a prolonged standing ovation...by their unerring musicianship, and by their ability to blend, to dialogue with each other.”
Amy Schwartz MorettiShow
Education: The Cleveland Institute of Music; The San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Recognized as a deeply expressive artist with an affinity for chamber music, Amy Schwartz Moretti has an extensive and versatile career. A former Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony and Florida Orchestra, she was mentored by Isaac Stern at his prestigious Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall and twice received fellowships from the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies. She is a frequent guest at music festivals throughout the U.S. and also a member of the acclaimed Ehnes Quartet. Recent concert tours with the quartet include performances in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Canada, the UK and USA and in 2016 they will perform the complete Beethoven Quartets cycle in Seoul, Korea. Amy is director of the McDuffie Center for Strings at the Mercer University Townsend School of Music. The Cleveland Institute of Music has recognized her with an Alumni Achievement Award and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music celebrated her as their 2014 Fanfare Honoree. Through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society, she has extended use of an outstanding Italian instrument, the 1744 G.B. Guadagnini violin, known as the “Canadian.”
Education: The Juilliard School of Music
Violinist Kyoko Takezawa electrifies audiences with a richness of playing, a virtuosic confidence and a fiery intensity that establishes her as one of today’s foremost violinists. Since winning the Gold Medal at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 1986, she has performed as soloist with the orchestras of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland, Baltimore, Saint Louis, Houston, Toronto, Dallas, Montreal, Detroit and Cincinnati. Kyoko began violin studies at the age of 3 and at 7 toured the United States, Canada and Switzerland as a member of the Suzuki Method Association. At 17 Kyoko attended the Aspen Music School to study with Dorothy DeLay, with whom she continued to study at The Juilliard School. Most recently, Sony released her recording of the complete Brahms Violin Sonatas with pianist Itamar Golan. She plays on the Antonio Stradivarius “Viotti” violin, on loan to her by the nonprofit organization Yellow Angel.
Education: Cambridge University, U.K.; Die Hochschule der Künste, Berlin
Born in England in 1960, Roger Tapping joined the Juilliard Quartet and the Juilliard School viola faculty in 2013 after a decade’s tenure with the Takács Quartet. Their recordings, including the complete quartets of Bartok and Beethoven, placed them in Gramophone Magazine’s Hall of Fame. The Takács won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy and three more Grammy nominations. In recent years Roger has been on the viola faculty of the New England Conservatory where he also directed the Chamber Music program. In the summers, Roger has served on the faculties of the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, the Tanglewood String Quartet Seminar and Yellow Barn. Previously, he taught at London’s Royal Academy of Music, was principal viola of the London Mozart Players, a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Roger is married to violinist Natasha Brofsky.
Education: Royal Conservatory of Music, The Hague
Tanya Tomkins has carved out a unique career path, specializing in the repertoire for both modern and baroque cello. In addition to her current positions as Co-Principal Cellist in both the Portland and Philharmonia Baroque orchestras, she has performed as a soloist with various orchestras and festivals throughout the world. Of special recognition are Tanya’s performances of the six Bach Suites on baroque cello, which she has recorded for the Avie label. She presented all six in one day, in concerts at the Library of Congress, the Da Camara Society in L.A. and the Vancouver Early Music Society. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Tanya is a member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, which presents unique programs combining traditional and contemporary repertoire. Together with pianist Eric Zivian, Tanya is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the new Valley of the Moon Music Festival which takes place in July in Sonoma.
Education: The Curtis Institute of Music; The Juilliard School of Music; Yale School of Music
Eric Zivian is a fortepianist, modern pianist and composer. He has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Toronto Symphony among others. Eric’s compositions have been performed widely in the United States and Japan and have earned him numerous prizes. He has given solo recitals in Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Eric has performed extensively on fortepiano as a member of the Zivian-Tomkins Duo and the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio, performing at Chamber Music San Francisco, the Da Camera series in Los Angeles, Boston Early Music, the Seattle Early Music Guild and the Caramoor Festival. On modern piano, he is a member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and has performed with the Empyrean Ensemble, Earplay, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He is the founder and Music Director of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, a new festival in Sonoma specializing in Classical and Romantic music on period instruments.