Music in the Vineyards - Chamber Music Festival - Wine Country, Napa Valley
napa valley
chamber music
festival
august 4 - 27, 2017
kitchens
in the vineyards
tables
in the vineyards
la belle
époque
parisian fête

Artists

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Check out our artists for the 2017 season!

2017 Festival

ENSEMBLE: Chiara String Quartet

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Rebecca Fischer, violin |  Hyeyung Julie Yoon, violin | Jonah Sirota, viola | Gregory Beaver, cello

When Béla Bartók began his career as a composer, he set out to capture the essence of folk music in his own compositions. In his travels across Europe and North Africa, he documented hundreds of hours of folk music, recording it and meticulously transcribing many of the sounds he heard into western classical music notation. Much of this music had never before been written down, instead passing from generation to generation directly from the singer to the hearts of the next generation and on again. When the Chiara Quartet began working on memorizing the Bartók quartets, we found that this process worked in reverse almost magically. Many of the devilishly difficult passages in his music became natural when performed without printed music. Although the work of memorizing is far more involved than just learning the pieces by printed music, the reward is substantial: through the memorization process, we are able to return Bartok’s music to the realm of the unrecorded folk music he so lovingly captured. We hope that by sharing our performances with you, Bartok’s remarkable music continues its journey from ear to ear and generation to generation just as the folk music that inspired it.

http://www.chiaraquartet.net/

ENSEMBLE: Escher String Quartet

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Adam Barnett-Hart, Violin | Aaron Boyd, Violin | Pierre Lapointe, Viola | Brook Speltz, Cello

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.

ENSEMBLE: Horszowski Trio

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Jesse Mills, Violin | Raman Ramakrishnan, Cello | Rieko Aizawa, Piano

When the members of the Horszowski Trio – Jesse Mills, Raman Ramakrishnan, and Rieko Aizawa – played together for the first time, they immediately felt the spark of a unique connection. Many years of close friendship had created a deep trust between the players, which in turn led to exhilarating expressive freedom.

Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills first performed with Raman Ramakrishnan, founding cellist of the prize-winning Daedalus Quartet, at the Kinhaven Music School over twenty years ago, when they were children. In New York City, they met pianist Rieko Aizawa, who, upon being discovered by the late violinist and conductor Alexander Schneider, had made her U.S. debuts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Their musical bonds were strengthened at various schools and festivals around the world, including the Juilliard School and the Marlboro Festival.

Ms. Aizawa was the last pupil of the legendary pianist, Mieczysław Horszowski (1892-1993), at the Curtis Institute. The Trio takes inspiration from Horszowski’s musicianship, integrity, and humanity. Like Horszowski, the Trio presents repertoire spanning the traditional and the contemporary. In addition, they seek to perform works from the trove of composers with whom Horszowski had personal contact, such as Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Martinu, Villa-Lobos, and Granados. Based in New York City, the members of the Horszowski Trio teach at Columbia University and the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Grammy award-winning composer Joan Tower, one of the most important living American composers of today, will make a special appearance to discuss her piece, “For Daniel.” Tower’s career spans more than 50 years and her works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and others.

Click to learn more about the Horszowski Trio.

ENSEMBLE: Pacifica Quartet

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Simin Ganatra, Violin  |  Sibbi Bernhardsson, Violin  |  Masumi Per Rostad, Viola  |  Brandon Vamos, Cello

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing regularly in the world’s major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was also the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009 – 2012) – a position that has otherwise been held only by the Guarneri String Quartet – and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.

 Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, becoming only the second chamber ensemble so honored in the Grant’s long history. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Bloomington, IN, where they serve as quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at the Jacobs School of Music. Prior to their appointment, the Quartet was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana from 2003 to 2012. The Pacifica Quartet also serves as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago.

The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D'Addario and proudly uses their strings.

For more information on the Quartet, please visit pacificaquartet.com.

Daria Adams

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Instrument: Violin

Artistic Directors Chair Sponsored by Susanna and Michael Steinberg

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, and three children (24, 22 and 20).

Michael Adams

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Instrument: Viola

Artistic Directors Chair Sponsored by Susanna and Michael Steinberg

Education: The Eastman School of Music; Mannes College of Music

Once upon a time, Violist Michael Adams dreamed of making a living playing in a string quartet, long before  other opportunities allowed him to carve out a unique career path: as an orchestral player, a radio host, a chamber musician, a writer on music, 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 Festival. 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 later for Minnesota Public Radio. He is the father to three children, ages 24, 22 and 20, who can’t understand how anyone would be willing to pay to hear their father speak. Michael is an avid bicyclist who 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.

Suren Bagratuni

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Instrument: Cello

Winner of the silver medal at the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Bagratuni has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide, earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, he began his musical education there at the age of seven. After winning several national and international competitions, he continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory and later in the United States at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Bagratuni began performing at age ten, and by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist performing Saint-Saens’ Concerto with the Armenian State Radio Orchestra. Since then he has performed with all the major orchestras in the former Soviet Union, including the Moscow Philharmonic (under the direction of Valery Gergiev) and has also appeared with numerous orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

His solo appearances include recitals in the major concert halls of the world. Chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Newport Music Festival, the “Russian Winter” Festival in Moscow, the El Paso Pro Musica International Festival, Bargemusic, and international festivals in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Korea, China, and Taiwan.

Bagratuni has won critical acclaim for his CD releases on the Ongaku and BGR labels, featuring solo works for cello, solo suites by Bach, and sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. He also appears on the Marco Polo, Russian Disc, Cambria, and CMH labels. He has recorded for “Melodiya” and been featured on CBC Radio Canada, WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, NPR, and NHK TV Japan.

In addition to his solo activities, he performs as a member of Trio Nobilis, serves as artistic director of the Cello Plus music festival, and conducts master classes worldwide. A former faculty member of the New England Conservatory and the University of Illinois, Bagratuni is currently Artist-Teacher and Professor of Cello at the Michigan State University College of Music.

 

Michael Brown

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Instrument: Piano

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.

Nicholas Canellakis

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Instrument: Cello

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.

Nicholas Cords

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Instrument: viola

Violist Nicholas Cords is strongly committed to the advocacy and performance of music from a broad historic and geographical spectrum. His busy touring schedule has led him in recent years to Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Cologne Philharmonie, and the Library of Congress. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the New York String Seminar Orchestra. His critically acclaimed debut solo album, Recursions (2013 - In a Circle Records), features works ranging from Biber to Hindemith to Cords' own Five Migrations.

Mr. Cords is a regular member of the Silkroad Ensemble, a musical collective that uses the historic Silk Road trading route as a springboard for collaboration and the creation of new works. The Silkroad Ensemble’s latest studio recording Sing Me Home (Sony Music) was nominated for a Grammy, and a feature length documentary called The Music of Strangers was release in 2016 to theaters worldwide. In addition to performing worldwide with the ensemble, Nicholas has taken a role in the organization and development of new creative projects, and currently serves as programming chair.

Mr. Cords is also a founding member of Brooklyn Rider (www.brooklynrider.com); an intrepid string quartet which NPR credits with "recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble." The group has collaborated with composers all over the globe, as well as with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, jazz superstar Joshua Redman, and banjo phenomenon Béla Fleck, to name a few. Their most recent album and commissioning project, So Many Things, with the legendary Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, is currently available on Naive Classique. Mr. Cords began his musical education at the Juilliard School where he won top honors in the viola competition and subsequently gave the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall. He completed his studies at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers and mentors have included Karen Tuttle, Harvey Shapiro, Joseph Fuchs, and Felix Galamir. A committed teacher, Mr. Cords currently serves as artist in residence at Stony Brook University in New York. Mr. Cords plays on an instrument made for him in 2014 by famed Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz, modeled on the William Primrose Guarneri.

Francesca dePasquale

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Instrument: Violin

Described by critics as “scintillating” and celebrated for her “rich, expressive playing” (MusicalAmerica), violinist Francesca dePasquale is the First Prize winner of the 2010 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and recipient of the prestigious 2014-2016 career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts. Earning her the 2015 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist Award, her self-titled debut album released in March of 2016 encompasses works that scope from Bach to a new commission from composer Paola Prestini for violin and electronics. For the album and accompanying recital tour, Francesca was praised for “sincerity, intensity” and “individual voice” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “immaculate and discreet phrasing” (Strad Magazine). Additionally, she was featured in Strings magazine and on SiriusXM, WNYC, WQXR, WRTI (Philadelphia), and WFMT (Chicago).

Since her debut as soloist at age 9 touring Spain with the Main Line Chamber Orchestra, Francesca has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, Colburn Orchestra, Galesburg Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and Santa Cruz Symphony. As recitalist, she has collaborated with artists Meng-Chieh Liu and Reiko Uchida on series such as the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, In Situ at National Sawdust, California Music Center, and the Perlman Music Program. An avid chamber musician, Francesca has performed with renowned artists Paul Coletti, Jennifer Frautschi, Nicholas Kitchen, Ronald Leonard, Robert Levin, Merry Peckham, Itzhak Perlman, Roger Tapping, and Donald Weilerstein. She has performed for the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Manhattan Chamber Players, Fort Worth Chamber Music Society, Music in the Vineyards, Olympic Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and Colburn Chamber Music Society. Francesca is the violinist of the Aletheia Piano Trio alongside pianist Fei-Fei Dong and cellist Juliette Herlin. Additionally, she has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn based orchestral collective The Knights, and A Far Cry.

 Francesca is a member of the violin faculty at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and served as the Starling Fellow teaching assistant to Itzhak Perlman from 2013-2016 at the Juilliard School, where she is currently teaching assistant to Catherine Cho. Additionally, Francesca is a member of the violin faculty at the Heifetz Institute Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. Francesca graduated from the Juilliard School with a Master of Music degree, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho. As a student of Robert Lipsett, Francesca earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music. Previous teachers include Hirono Oka and William dePasquale, with additional mentorship from Norman Carol and Arnold Steinhardt.

Francisco Fullana

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Instrument: Violin

Acclaimed for his performances in both Europe and the US, Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana has beend praised by Gustavo Dudamel as a “remarkable talent”. The Boston Globe called him “a very special violinist”. 

Francisco regularly appears with some of the world leading conductors and is currently in his second season as artist-in-residence for the Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra. This fall, Orchid Classics will release Fullana’s debut recording, which includes Max Richter’s “Four Seasons Recomposed” with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. A passionate chamber musician, Francisco was appointed as the new Principal Violinist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and is also the Co-Artistic leader of San Antonio's Chamber Music Institute. This season he will perform with the Music from Marlboro tour, as well as the Liquid Music Series, March Foundation of Madrid, the Concordia and Jupiter Chamber Players. 

He currently performs on the 1735 "Mary Portman" ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesu violin, kindly on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

David Harding

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Instrument: Viola

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.

Erin Keefe

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Instrument: Violin

Violinist Erin Keefe is the Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra as well as an Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  Winner of the 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2009 Pro Musicis Award, she was also the Grand Prize winner in the Valsesia Musica, Torun, Schadt and Corpus Christi international violin competitions, and was the Silver Medalist in the Carl Nielsen, Sendai, and Gyeongnam competitions.

Ms. Keefe has appeared as soloist in recent seasons with orchestras such as the Minnesota Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic and the Gottingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Finland, Japan and Denmark. Ms. Keefe has been an Artist Member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2010 after previously being a member of The Chamber Music Society Two program from 2006-2009.  She has been featured on “Live from Lincoln Center” three times with the Society, performing works by Brahms, Schoenberg, Bach and Corelli. 

Ms. Keefe has collaborated with artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman, David Finckel, Wu Han, Richard Goode, Roberto and Andrés Díaz, Menahem Pressler and Leon Fleisher, and she has recorded for Naxos, the CMS Studio Recordings label and Deutsche Grammophon. She has made festival appearances with Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Music in the Vineyards, Ravinia, and the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals and performs regularly with the Brooklyn and Boston Chamber Music Societies.

Ms. Keefe earned a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music Degree from The Curtis Institute. Her teachers included Ronald Copes, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt and Philip Setzer.

William Langlie-Miletich

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Instrument: Double Bass

A dynamic performer of multiple genres, Will Langlie-Miletich got his start in music at the age of 8 playing the riffs of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin on the guitar. After picking up the double bass at age 11, Will has had an extensive performance career in classical, jazz and many popular genres of music.

 Will was principal double bass of the Seattle Youth Symphony and the Thalia Symphony Orchestra, and in 2013 was associate principal of the inaugural National Youth Orchestra of the U.S. on its tour of Washington D.C., Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London.

 In 2016, Will became the first double bassist to place first in the Irving Klein International Strings Competition.  Will was also recognized with the Pablo Casals Prize for his performance of solo Bach. In 2013, Will was among the prize winners in the Seattle Symphony Young Artists Competition, performing the first movement of Giovanni Bottesini’s Double Bass Concerto no. 2 in B minor with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

 As a jazz bassist, Will was recognized in 2014 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington contest as an outstanding bassist. He has performed in the Montreux, Lyon, and Umbria Jazz Festivals.

 In addition to Double Bass performance, Will pursues an interest in music composition. Will currently studies composition privately with Dr. Noam Sivan

 Admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 16, where he is the Milton Levy Fellow, Will is in his third year of instruction with Harold Robinson and Edgar Meyer

Mari Lee

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Instrument: Violin

Praised as “an outstanding musician…with an artful, expressive power” by Zürichsee Zeitung, Mari Lee has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, and the United States in such prominent venues as the South Bank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Le Fesitival de Radio France Montpellier, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Harvard Music Association, and Jordan Hall. She has appeared as a soloist with the London Mozart Players and Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Pavel Baleff.

An avid chamber musician, Mari has been invited to internationally renowned festivals such as Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Krzyzowa Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Artists she has collaborated with include Kim Kashkashian, Denés Varjon, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Canino, and members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, and Juilliard String Quartets.

Her interest in musical community engagement has led her to participate in numerous outreach programs in the UK, as well as performing in benefit of BBC’s Children in Need, Prince’s Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and Music for Food in Boston.

Born in Japan in 1990, Mari entered the Yehudi Menuhin School at the age of 11 where she studied with Natasha Boyarsky. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music with honors under the tutelage of Miriam Fried, where she was the recipient of Irene M. Stare Presidential Scholarship. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Nora Chastain. She is a holder of the DAAD scholarship and is a recipient of Tarisio Trust’s Young Artists Grants.

Mari plays on 1764 Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi kindly provided by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

www.marileeviolin.com

Kerry McDermott

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Instrument: Violin

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.

Lorna McGhee

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Instrument: Flute

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 with Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has worked with conductors such as Haitink, Gergiev, Rattle, Solti, Harnoncourt, Muti and Honeck. 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 in the UK and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and Victoria Symphony in Canada and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the USA. Career highlights include a performance of Penderecki's flute concerto with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under the baton of the composer in 2004 and more recently, a performance of the Nielsen Flute Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2014 with Maestro Tortelier. As a chamber musician and recitalist, she has performed in Europe, North America, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia, in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, the Louvre, Paris, the Schubertsaal of Vienna's Konzerthaus, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Lorna is an honorary “Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.” She joined the flute faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 and is member of Trio Verlaine (with Heidi Krutzen, harp and David Harding, viola).

Violaine Melançon

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Instrument: Violin

An artist deeply dedicated to the range of violin and chamber music repertoire, violinist Violaine Melançon has served on the violin and chamber music faculties of the Peabody Conservatory (www.peabody.jhu.edu), since 1987.

She has a special affection for the music of today and is a serious interpreter of works of Gyorgy Kurtag, Mauricio Kagel and Zhou Long. The Israeli composer Shulamit Ran wrote a violin concerto for her and she has premiered several works by other leading composers.

She has participated in many summer festivals as violinist, teacher and guest artists. For many years, she has served on the faculty of Yellow Barn (www.yellowbarn.org), an international gathering of artists who meet each summer to explore the vast riches of the chamber music repertoire. Violaine Melançon’s performances can be heard on the Naxos, Artek, CRI, and New World Records labels.

Nokuthula Ngwenyama

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Instrument: Viola

Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s performances as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician garner great attention.  Gramaphone proclaimed Ms. Ngwenyama as providing “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerising character,” and the Washington Post described her as playing “with dazzling technique...and deep expressiveness.”

Ms. Ngwenyama came to international prominence when she won the Primrose International Viola Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions at age 17.  Plaudits followed her debut recitals at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.  In 1998, she received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant...more...

Stephen Paulson

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Instrument: Bassoon

Education: Eastman School of Music

Featured Appearances: San Francisco Symphony; New World Symphony; Phoenix Symphony

Currently principal bassoon and a regular soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Stephen Paulson has served as co-principal bassoon of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and principal bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A conductor as well as a bassoonist, Stephen has been music director of Symphony Parnassus since 1998.

Scott Pingel

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Instrument: Bass

Education: University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire; Manhattan School of Music

Featured Appearances: Bellingham; Spoleto; Verbier; Tanglewood; Attergau/Salzburg; Music@Menlo Festivals

Scott Pingel began playing the double bass at age 17 because of a strong interest in jazz, Latin and classical music. In 2004, at age 29, he became principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony. Scott is also an active educator, having taught master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, The Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory and with the New World Symphony.

Melissa Reardon

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Instrument: Viola

Melissa Reardon is the violist in the Grammy-nominated Ensō 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. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the United States, South America, Europe, Canada, 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. She is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan.

Joshua Roman

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Instrument: Cello

Committed to making music accessible to a wider audience, cellist Joshua Roman may be found anywhere from a club to a classroom, performing jazz, rock, or a solo sonata by Bach or Kodály, branding him a 'Classical Rock Star' by the press. Always seeking unique performance opportunities, Joshua was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra's 2009 debut concert at Carnegie Hall. Joshua was named Artistic Director of TownMusic in Seattle in 2007, where he creates programs that feature new works and reflect his eclectic musical influences and inspirations.

Frank Shaw

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Instrument: Viola

Violist Frank Shaw has been a member of A Far Cry since 2007. As an avid chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Audubon and Borromeo Quartets, and toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas as performer and teacher. Frank’s past and present orchestral engagements include the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Camerata New England, Artosphere Festival Orchestra, and The Boston Pops Orchestra. Recent appearances include performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, Ravinia Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Music at Gretna and Music@Menlo. As well, recordings and live performances can be heard on Centaur Records, Azica Records, PARMA Recordings, Performance Today, Boston’s WGBH as well as Maine and Vermont Public Radios. Frank is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music and New England Conservatory.

http://afarcry.org/bios/frank

Axel Strauss

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Instrument: Violin

The first German artist to ever win the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York, Axel Strauss made his American début at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and his New York début at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. Since then he has given recitals in major North American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world première performance and recording of Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby, written for him by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Axel Strauss' discography include the Brahms violin concerto, the three last violin concertos by Kreutzer, the complete Caprices for solo violin by Pierre Rode and the complete works for violin and piano by George Enescu. Axel Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, San Francisco and Cincinnati, among others, and has toured widely throughout the world as a recitalist and chamber musician. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony. In 2012 AxelStrauss was appointed Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he also serves as Chair of the String Area. Prior to that he served as Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Kyoko Takezawa

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Instrument: Violin

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.

Osmo Vänskä

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Instrument: Clarinet

Conductor and clarinetist Osmo Vänskä was born in Finland and began his clarinet studies at the age of 11 at the music school in Kotka. He undertook further studies at the Sibelius Academy as a pupil of Sven Lavela, and spent a short but significant period as a pupil of Karl Leister in Berlin in 1974. He has been the principal clarinetist of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (1971-76) and assistant principal clarinetist of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (1977-82). He was the Artistic Director of the Crusell Festival in Uusikaupunki, Finland, from 1989 until 1993.

 As a conductor, Mr. Vänskä has been the Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2003 and previously spent twenty years as the Music Director of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor of leading orchestras around the world and more recently has enjoyed returning to the clarinet, performing chamber music regularly in Europe, the United States and Asia.  He has recorded Bernhard Henrik Crusell’s three Clarinet Quartets and Kalevi Aho’s Clarinet Quintet for the BIS label.

Wei-Yi Yang

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Instrument: Piano

Education: Princeton University; New England Conservatory of Music

Featured Appearances: Marlboro Music Festival; Ravinia Festival; Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove; Aspen Music Festival; Tanglewood Music Center

Pianist Wei-Yi Yang has earned worldwide acclaim for his captivating performances and imaginative programming. Most recently, he was praised by the New York Times as the soloist in a "sensational" performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie at Carnegie Hall. Gold Medal winner of the San Antonio International Piano Competition, Mr. Yang has also performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and across Europe, Australia, and Asia. A dynamic chamber musician with a diverse repertoire, Mr. Yang has collaborated with some of today’s most distinguished artists including the Pacifica, Cassatt, and Tokyo String Quartets, among numerous others. Mr. Yang has curated inventive interdisciplinary projects, such as collaborations with actress Miriam Margolyes as part of the “Dickens' Women” world tour; lecture-recitals on the confluence of Czech music and literature; and multimedia performances of Granados' Goyescas with projections of Goya’s etchings. Mr. Yang studied first in the United Kingdom, and then in America with Russian pedagogues Arkady Aronov and Boris Berman, in addition to working with Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Byron Janis, and Murray Perahia. Mr. Yang frequently presents master classes and performances in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Korea, and at Princeton University, Ithaca College, and the Hartt School. Mr. Yang regularly appears at festivals across the United States, from Norfolk to Napa Valley, and abroad, including Germany, Serbia, Montenegro, Mexico, and Scotland. Wei-Yi Yang earned his doctorate from Yale, and joined the faculty there in 2005 as the first pianist from Taiwan to hold these distinctions.

Matthew Young

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Instrument: Viola

Matt Young has played chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Juilliard and Takacs quartets, the Florestan Trio, members of the top orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Concertgebauw, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. He was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize of the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition during his time with that group.

Matt is excited to be part of an artistic “start up” in San Francisco. He is focused on forming new connections with new and old audiences, under served or under connected to art music.

Eric Zivian

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Instrument: Piano

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.