Check out our artists for the 2019 25th Anniversary season!
ENSEMBLE: Dover QuartetShow
Joel Link, Violin | Bryan Lee, Violin | Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Viola | Camden Shaw, Cello
The phenomenal Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff Competition. Recently named the Cleveland Quartet Award winner, and awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Dover has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The Quartet’s rise from up-and-coming young ensemble to occupying a spot at the top of their field has been “practically meteoric” (Strings). With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Quartet’s distinctive sound has helped confirm its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker). The Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
Read the complete bio and individual bios here.
ENSEMBLE: Pacifica QuartetShow
Simin Ganatra, Violin | Austin Hartman, Violin | Mark Holloway, 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. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was previously the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and received a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. In 2017, the Pacifica Quartet was appointed to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
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. 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, and also served as resident performing artist at the University of Chicago for seventeen years.
The Pacifica Quartet is endorsed by D'Addario and proudly uses their strings.
For more information on the Quartet, and individual bios, click here.
ENSEMBLE: Tesla QuartetShow
Ross Snyder, Violin | Michelle Lie, Violin | Edwin Kaplan, Viola | Serafim Smigelskiy, Cello
Praised for their “superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style or technical demand” (The International Review of Music), the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet recently took Second Prize as well as the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition. The quartet has also garnered top prizes at numerous other international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Third Prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, and Third Prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition. The London Evening Standard called their rendition of the Debussy Quartet “a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion."
For a complete bio, click here.
Violinist Daria Adams, the founding Artistic Director of Music in the Vineyards along with her husband Michael, is a member of the world-renowned Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) where she is featured frequently in solo and chamber music performances. Since joining the SPCO in 1987, she has traveled the world in tours to Asia, Europe and across North America. 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 and can be heard on the Thousand Lakes Label. Other festival appearances include Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (WI), Banff Canada, Newport RI and the Cactus Pear Festival. Daria spent four years playing in the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, where she also took an interest in a musician sitting in the back of the pit — one Michael Adams. She now lives in suburban Minneapolis with her husband, three children (25, 23 and 21) and a dog.
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 − through insightful stories, musical explanations and analysis − that people cannot wait to hear it!
Michael joined the viola section of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1988 at the invitation of conductor Edo de Waart after a successful stint as a music producer and host for classical WCAL-FM in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and later, for Minnesota Public Radio. Before landing in Minnesota, his career path passed through many different orchestras: The Rochester Philharmonic, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, The Tulsa Philharmonic and the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.
He is the father to three children, ages 25, 23 and 21 who are still baffled that anyone would be want to pay money 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. Someday, he will own a boat.
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.
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.
Bart Feller is principal flute of the New Jersey Symphony, New York City Opera Orchestra, and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Bargemusic, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has also appeared as concerto soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Jupiter Symphony.
A graduate of the Juilliard Pre-College Division, Feller holds a BM from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Julius Baker and John Krell. He has also worked extensively with Keith Underwood. Among the summer festivals he has participated in are the Marlboro Music Festival, OK Mozart International Festival, Colorado College Chamber Music Festival, Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival.
The Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana, recipient of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has been praised as a “rising star” (BBC Music Magazine) and “a paragon of delicacy” (San Francisco’s Classical Voice), while his thoughtful virtuosity has led to collaborations with such conducting greats as the late Sir Colin Davis and Gustavo Dudamel -- who described Fullana as “an amazing talent.” Beside his many appearances as a soloist performing internationally, and his commitment to chamber music -- he has been named a member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two to start in 2018 -- he is making an impact as an innovative educator, having created the Fortissimo Youth Initiative, a series of baroque and classical music seminars and performances in partnership with youth and university orchestras, which explore and deepen young musicians’ understanding of 18th Century music.
Fullana’s first CD, Through the Lens of Time (released by Orchid Classics) showcases both his incandescent virtuosity and the range of his artistic inquisitiveness. The album is centered around Max Richter’s recomposition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, recorded alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Richter’s work is intertwined with three other contemporary solo scores that all re-examine and take flight from masterpieces of the baroque.
A graduate of The Juilliard School and the University of Southern California, Francisco currently performs on the 1735 Mary Portman ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
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 joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the new Associate Principal Clarinet. He has served as Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony.
At the age of 14 Hara made his solo debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A frequent soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Hara has also soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Quad Cities Symphony, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, and the Monterey Symphony.Hara is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and the Principal Clarinet of the Aspen Chamber Symphony.An active chamber musician, Hara performs regularly at Summer Festivals around the country.
Oliver Herbert, cello (San Francisco, California), began his studies with Iris Pingel and is currently under the tutelage of Peter Wyrick in San Francisco. He won first prize in the Felix Khuner Young Artist Competition, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Philadelphia International Music Festival Concerto Competition, and the Nova Vista Symphony Concerto Competition.
Oliver became principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2012. He has performed as soloist with the Prometheus Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Symphony Parnassus. Future solo engagements include collaborations with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Nova Vista Symphony, and a return performance with the Prometheus Symphony.
Oliver is graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music in spring 2019.
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.
Elizabeth Koch TiscioneShow
Principal Oboe Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season. She currently holds the George M. and Corrie Hoyt Brown Chair.
In addition to her responsibilities with the ASO, Tiscione plays Principal Oboe at the Grand Teton Music Festival and is a member of the Atlanta Chamber Players. She has performed as a guest musician with the orchestras of Philadelphia, St. Louis, St. Paul, Baltimore, Rochester, Buffalo, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Recent solo engagements include the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and Dekalb Symphony Orchestra. She has been featured on NPR's "From the Top," and has also performed at many chamber music festivals throughout the country, including Tannery Pond, Cape Cod, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
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.
Read more at www.marileeviolin.com
A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.”
Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall’s Salon de Virtuosi, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live, Le Poisson Rouge in New York, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery.
New York Philharmonic violinist Kerry McDermott has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and abroad including the Montreal, North Carolina, and Taipei City symphony orchestras, the Moscow Radio and Budapest Chamber Orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic. In addition, she has been a prize winner in the Montreal International Competition and the International Tchaikovsky Competition, where she received a special award for Best Artistic Interpretation. Ms. McDermott’s recital engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall (where she collaborated with Vladimir Spivakov on the Great Performers series).
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.
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.
Scott Pingel is an American bassist who is the principal bassist in the San Francisco Symphony. He had been the principal bassist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 Pingel had the privilege of performing on the acclaimed Karr-Koussevitzky bass for his solo debut with Andrei Gorbatenko and the San Francisco Academy Orchestra. He currently serves as Professor of Music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
Beyond his work with classical music, Pingel has also played jazz. His college bandleader said, "Scott could impress a great jazz bassist like Victor Wooten enough to get him to tutor him over a speaker phone and then turn around and win an orchestral performance fellowship at one of the country’s most prestigious music schools." In fact, Pingel had played with Jazz greats Michael Brecker and Geoff Keezer before becoming a strictly classical musician. Pingel was educated at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. He received a Master's Degree in orchestral performance and a professional studies certificate from the Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship.
Joshua Roman has earned an international reputation for his wide-ranging repertoire, a commitment to communicating the essence of music in visionary ways, artistic leadership and versatility. As well as being a celebrated performer, he is recognized as an accomplished composer and curator, and was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2015.
A native of Oklahoma City, Roman began playing the cello at the age of three on a quarter-size instrument, and gave his first public recital at age ten. Home-schooled until he was 16, he then pursued his musical studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Richard Aaron. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance in 2004, and his Master’s in 2005, as a student of Desmond Hoebig, former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Roman is grateful for the loan of an 1899 cello by Giulio Degani of Venice.
Principal Cello Anthony Ross joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1988 and assumed the principal cello post in 1991. He has been a soloist many times with the Orchestra, performing concertos by Schumann, Dvořák, Victor Herbert, James MacMillan, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Bloch and Shostakovich, as well as many chamber works. He was most recently featured as soloist in in January 2018 performing Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme.
In recent seasons Ross has performed Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante for Cello and Orchestra, the Walton Cello Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto, the latter alongside former First Associate Concertmaster Sarah Kwak. In April 2014 he was soloist in performances of Eric Whitacre’s The River Cam, with the composer conducting. At Sommerfest 2014 he performed Prokofiev’s Sonata for Cello and Piano with Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton.
Masumi Per RostadShow
The Grammy Award-winning violist Masumi Per Rostad has been described by critics as an “electrifying, poetic and sensitive musician.” As a member of the Pacifica Quartet, Masumi performed and toured throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Masumi regularly appears at major summer festivals, including Spoleto, Music@Menlo, Marlboro, Music in the Vineyards and Rockport Chamber Music. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he received the Lillian Fuchs Award for outstanding violist. Rostad is currently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and is in high demand as a master class teacher, at the invitation of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Colburn School, the New York Youth Symphony, the Sydney Conservatory, the Royal College of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Aspen and Bowdoin summer festivals.
Jonah Sirota is a violist and composer dedicated to the imaginative performance of viola music, both original and preexisting. Jonah has been the violist of the Chiara String Quartet for all of its 18 years. Recently, the Chiara Quartet announced they would disband following the 2018 concert season. While the Chiara Quartet’s performances were noteworthy for many reasons, chief among them was that they performed the major string quartet repertoire from memory, including the six quartets of Béla Bartók! The group was been honored with a Grammy nomination, the ASCAP/CMA Adventurous Programming Award, the Guarneri Quartet Award, top prizes at the Paolo Borciani Competition and the Astral Artistic Services Audition, and a Gold Medal at the Fischoff Competition. In the 2015-2016 season, the Chiara Quartet was the resident ensemble at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where the group returned for their farewell New York concert. An aspiring composer, Jonah has served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music, at the Greenwood Summer Music Camp, and in masterclasses and residencies throughout the country.
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.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you'll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener. His clear tone [is] a thing of awe-inspiring beauty, his phrasing spellbinding.”
A thrilling young musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, Arnaud Sussmann has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chattanooga Symphony, New World Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Further concerto appearances have included a tour of Israel and concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Dresden Music Festival in Germany and at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Mr. Sussmann has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, New Orleans by the Friends of Music, Tel Aviv at the Museum of Art and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Mainly Mozart and Moritzburg festivals and appears regularly at the Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Seattle Chamber Music, Moab Music and Saratoga Springs Chamber Music festivals.
Roger Tapping joined the Juilliard Quartet and Juilliard’s viola faculty in 2013. Previously, he had moved from London to the U.S. in 1995 to join the Takács Quartet. During his decade with them, their career included many Beethoven and Bartók cycles in major cities all over the world. Their Decca/London recordings, including the complete quartets of Bartók and Beethoven, placed them in Gramophonemagazine’s Hall of Fame and won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy and three more Grammy nominations, among many other awards. Tapping taught regularly at the Aspen Festival, the Taos Quartet School, and London’s Guildhall School of Music.
In recent years he has been on the viola faculty of the New England Conservatory, where he also directed the Chamber Music program. He also taught at the Longy School in Cambridge and the Boston Conservatory. In the summers he has served on the faculties of Itzhak Perlman’s Chamber Music Workshop, the Tanglewood String Quartet Seminar and Yellow Barn, and he has given viola master classes at Banff. He has also given viola and chamber music master classes at other festivals and conservatories in the U.S. and Canada.
Jonathan Vinocour has been principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and previously served as principal violist of the St. Louis Symphony and guest principal of Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mr. Vinocour is regularly featured as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and is an active recitalist around the Bay Area. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Prussia Cove, Aspen, Seattle, and Bridgehampton festivals, among others. He has also been a guest of the Boston Chamber Music Society, Los Angeles Da Camera Society, International Sejong Soloists, and is a founding member and regular performer with ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra). Mr. Vinocour serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, is a frequent mentor at the New World Symphony, and has given master classes nationally and abroad. A native of Rochester, New York, Mr. Vinocour graduated from Princeton University in 2001 with a degree in chemistry and was awarded the university’s Sudler Prize in the Arts. He completed his master’s degree in 2003 at the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Kim Kashkashian. He plays on a viola made by Lorenzo Storioni in 1784 on loan from the San Francisco Symphony.
American pianist William Wolfram was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow and finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Wolfram has appeared with many of the greatest orchestras of the world and has developed a special reputation as the rare concerto soloist who is also equally versatile and adept as a recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician. In all of these genres, he is highly sought after for his special focus on the music of Franz Liszt and Beethoven and is a special champion for the music of modernist 20th century American composers.
Pianist Wei-Yi Yang has received worldwide acclaim for his captivating performances and imaginative programming. Winner of the gold medal in the San Antonio International Piano Competition, he has performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and across America, Asia, Europe and Australia. 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.
In demand as a dedicated teacher, Wei-Yi Yang has presented master classes and performances in Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Serbia, and Montenegro, among other countries around the world. Mr. Yang’s performances have been featured on NPR, PBS, ARTE (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne), the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and on recordings by Genuin, Ovation, Albany Records, Renegade Classics, and the Holland-America Music Society.
Violist Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic as its youngest member in 1986. In October of 1993 she won her current position of Associate Principal Viola. She has also won the Principal Viola positions of the Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ultimately, she has chosen to remain in New York with her family. Ms. Young is the principal violist of the Classical Pops Orchestra of Barbados, as well as the All Star Orchestra, a televised educational project spearheaded and conducted by Gerard Schwartz.
An avid chamber musician, Ms.Young has played with many world renowned artists, including Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Edgar Meyer and Pamela Frank. Ms. Young appears often with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles and has played with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and others.
Ms. Young was first introduced to classical music by her parents, who took her to hear the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host and part of the creative team of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts, where her philosophy is less to educate the audience than “to make it so much fun that kids and parents alike want to come back!” This ensemble made its European debut in London in April, 2017