Ms. Ani Aznavoorian is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician with some of the world’s most recognized ensembles. She has appeared with many orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the International Sejong Soloists, the Indianapolis Philharmonic, the San Jose Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago, and the Edmonton Symphony. Ms. Aznavoorian has also appeared as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Italy, France, Finland, Yugoslavia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada. In 2000, Ms. Aznavoorian received the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry. Her other awards include first prizes in the Illinois Young Performers Competition (televised live on PBS with the Chicago Symphony), the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Music Scholarship Competition, the Chicago Cello Society National Competition, the Julius Stulberg Competition, and the American String Teachers Association Competition. She was a top prizewinner in the 1996 International Paulo Competition, held in Helsinki, Finland. As a first-year student at The Juilliard School, Ms. Aznavoorian won first prize in the institution’s concerto competition—the youngest cellist in the history of the school’s cello competitions to do so. As a result, she performed with the Juilliard Orchestra in a concert with conductor Gerard Schwarz at Avery Fisher Hall. She is a member of the renowned string ensemble the International Sejong Soloists, and is also a founding member of the Corinthian Trio with pianist Adam Neiman and violinist Stefan Milenkovich. Ms. Aznavoorian also performs frequently on the Jupiter Chamber Music series in New York. She proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Bass-baritone Christopher Besch is proud to have performed in seven countries on three continents with such conductors as Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, and Jeffrey Thomas. He has been described as having “a commanding stage presence and rich resonance of deep bass sound” (DC Theatre Scene). Recently, Mr. Besch has appeared as Mars in the American premiere of Handel’s Parnasso in Festa with the American Bach Soloists, Peter Gray in the world premiere of What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline with Houston Grand Opera, and Nourabad in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera in the Heights. Mr. Besch is currently on the teaching faculty at Lone Star College – Kingwood while finishing his Doctor of Music degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King. More information on upcoming performances can be found on his website, www.christopherbesch.com.
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.” Mr. Brown is equally committed as a pianist and composer; his unique artistry is reflected in a creative approach to programming that often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions.
Selected by Sir András Schiff for his “Building Bridges” series in 2016-17, Mr. Brown will make debut solo recitals in Berlin, Frankfurt, Antwerp, Zurich, and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Recent highlights include debuts with the Seattle and Maryland Symphony Orchestras and the New York Youth Symphony in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. Mr. Brown joined the roster of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2015 and performs with the Society in Alice Tully Hall and on tour. He regularly performs concerto and solo recitals; in a trio with violinist Elena Urioste and cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and frequently performs recitals with each of them.
The New York Times has called Mr. Brown “a confident young composer with a talent for precision” and described his work as “darkly alluring.” Recent works include a Piano Concerto for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra (with himself as the soloist) and four works for the Canellakis-Duo duo including “Self-Portrait,” a cello/piano work with an original film written and directed by Mr. Canellakis. Mr. Brown has also received commissions from Bargemusic’s Here and Now Festival, Concert Artists Guild, The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, Pianofest in the Hamptons, and pianists Jerome Lowenthal, Roman Rabinovich, Adam Golka, and Orion Weiss. Mr. Brown was awarded the 2011 Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award and the 2009 Palmer-Dixon Prize from The Juilliard School.
Mr. Brown has recorded several albums, including an all-George Perle CD for Bridge Records, a solo album for CAG Records, four-hands with his teacher, pianist Jerome Lowenthal, and a cello-piano album with regular collaborator Nicholas Canellakis.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Brown earned dual Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano and Composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. His early teachers were Herbert Rothgarber and Adam Kent, and he has worked with pianists Leon Fleisher and Richard Goode. He has appeared in Alice Tully Hall as winner of the 2012 Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award; Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall; the Louvre; the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Gilmore Festivals; WQXR’s Beethoven Marathon; and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in New York City. His awards include First Prize in the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition; Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Award; and prizes in the Honens and New York International Piano competitions. Mr. Brown is a Steinway Artist.
In his spare time, he enjoys cooking kale in a variety of ways, reading and obsessing over American History, memorizing obscure Woody Allen films, and the dream of walking 30,000 steps in one day. michaelbrownmusic.com
The Cuban-born violinist Andrés Cárdenes has won international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his solo violin, conducting, viola, chamber music, concertmaster and recorded performances. Since taking Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with over one hundred orchestras on four continents, including those of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, St Louis, Moscow, Bavarian Radio, Helsinki, Shanghai, Caracas and Barcelona. He has collaborated with many of today’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Gerard Schwarz, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.
His discography includes over two dozen recordings of concertos, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Sony, Arabesque, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodiya and Enharmonic labels. 2006 marked the thirtieth anniversary of his teaching career, which began as an assistant to his teacher and mentor Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Today, Andrés Cárdenes holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Violin Studies and the Dorothy Richard Starling/Alexander Speyer Jr Endowed Chair at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music. Andrés Cárdenes was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Lorin Maazel in 1989 and holds the Rachel Mellon Walton Endowed Concertmaster Chair, leaving at the end of the 2009–2010 season to concentrate on his conducting, solo and chamber music careers.
Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator. He is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, recipient of the First-Prize and the Amadeus Prize winner of the 10th London International String Quartet Competition. Since winning the First-Prize in the 2003 William Primrose International Viola Competition and the “President Prize” of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Chen has been described by the Strad Magazine as a musician whose “tonal distinction and essential musicality produced an auspicious impression” and by San Diego Union Tribune as an artist whose “most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music.”
Having served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony for eight seasons, he is principal violist of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, he is a member of Camera Lucida, Concertante Chamber Players and The Myriad Trio, which just released its debut album “The Eye of Night.” Chamber music festival appearances include the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Society and Taiwan Connection. In the summer of 2013, Formosa Quartet inaugurated their Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Hualien, Taiwan.
Currently teaching at both USC Thornton and California State University, Fullerton, Chen has previously served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and McGill University. He has taught and performed in programs such as National Youth Orchestra Canada, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Camp, and Mimir Festival, and has given master-classes at the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, Rice University, University of Tennessee, University of Missouri Kansas City, UC Santa Barbara and various universities in Taiwan. As a laureate, Chen was invited to serve on the jury of the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition.
A native of Taipei, Chen is a four-time winner of the National Viola Competition in Taiwan. He came to the U.S. in his teens to matriculate at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, studying with such luminaries as Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle and Paul Neubauer.
Raquel González, Soprano, Guest Artist
Hailed as a “true artist” (Opera News), Soprano Raquel González from Lawrence, Kansas recently completed three seasons as a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist at Washington National Opera, where she appeared as Cio Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Micaëla (Carmen), and Mimì (La bohème). During the 2016-2017 season she also sang Tatyana in Syracuse Opera’s Eugene Onegin, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. As a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, she appeared in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Champion and returned to OTSL in the summer of 2014 as a Festival Artist to sing First Lady and cover Blanche de la Force. At The Juilliard School Ms. González was seen as Tatyana, Arminda (La finta giardiniera), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and Mélisse (Armide). She spent several summers at the Chautauqua Institution singing such roles as Magda (La Rondine), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). In concert, she has appeared with the New York Festival of Song at Alice Tully Hall where she also appeared several times with William Christie and Juilliard. Ms. González was the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and made her debut with the New York Philharmonic as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall. A 2016 Sullivan Foundation Career Grant Winner and Mid-Atlantic Region Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she has also been awarded prizes from the Liederkranz Foundation and the Gerda Lissner Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a Toulmin Foundation Scholar.
Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, Gregorian made his New Recital Hall and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall in 1997. Since that time he has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of his generation with performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and in major metropolitan cities throughout the world including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv and Helsinki.
Throughout his career, Gregorian has taken an active role as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, which has recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season, and has appeared at festivals worldwide including the SpringLight (Finland), Storioni (Holland), Summer Solstice (Canada), Casals (Puerto Rico), Bard, Bravo! Vail Valley, Santa Fe, Skaneateles, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Cactus Pear, Wintergreen, Mt. Desert, Madeline Island and Strings in the Mountains Festivals. He has also performed extensively as a member of numerous chamber music ensembles including the Daedalus Quartet, Concertante and the Arcadian Trio and has recorded for National Public Radio, New York’s WQXR radio station, and the Bridge and Kleos labels.
An active and committed teacher, Gregorian has been a member of the violin faculty at East Carolina University since 1998 and has taught at numerous summer festivals and seminars. In addition, he has taken a leading role in creating opportunities for established musicians to perform with talented students in a mentoring setting through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Next Generation concerts.
Gregorian received his bachelor and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Joseph Fuchs, Harvey Shapiro, and Robert Mann. He performs on a Francesco Ruggeri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006.
David Griffin is the fourth horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduating from Northwestern University in 1987, Griffin began his career with the Rochester Philharmonic and followed with positions in the orchestras of Montreal and Houston before joining the Chicago Symphony in 1995. Griffin has served as guest principal horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Shanghai Radio Orchestra. With the CSO Brass Quintet, Griffin has toured Japan, China, Taiwan, and Mexico. In June 2012, Griffin soloed with the National Orchestra of Brazil. He debuted as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony in Schumann’s Konzertstück at the Ravinia Festival in 2010. He has released the solo album For You, featuring the world-premiere recording of the Sonata for Horn by Bruce Broughton, which is available at cdbaby.com and iTunes. Griffin is artist faculty of French horn at Roosevelt University and has previously taught at McGill University and Northwestern University. Summer festival engagements have included Sun Valley, Grand Teton, and Madeline Island. Griffin has also been a featured artist and clinician at the annual symposium of the International Horn Society.
Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements across the globe. An extraordinary recitalist, he is equally renowned for performances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Irish National Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, Belgrade Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, and Taipei and Seoul symphonies, among many others.
He has been a guest at Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Yale at Norfolk, Round Top (TX), Blue Hill, Bowdoin, Great Lakes, and Grand Canyon festivals, Prades Festival (France), Finland Festival, Leicester (England), Ottawa, Oslo, and Australia Chamber Music festivals, and has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Avalon, Colorado, and Manhattan quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano, as well as members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Borromeo, and Emerson quartets.
In New York City, Yehuda Hanani has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rodger Auditorium. His pioneering recording of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and his other discs have won wide recognition. On CD and in live performances, he has premiered works of Nicolai Miaskovsky, Lukas Foss, Leo Ornstein, Joan Tower, Paul Schoenfield, Osvaldo Golijov, Robert Beaser, Pulitzer Prize winners Bernard Rands and Zhou Long, among other composers.
Mr. Hanani has been committed to extending the range of the cello repertoire and to collaborating with performers in many artistic realms, including actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander, and Sigourney Weaver. Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he presents master classes internationally at conservatories and for orchestras, including the Juilliard School, University of Indiana at Bloomington, New England Conservatory, McGill University, the Peabody Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, Berlin Hochschule für Music, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School in London, Tokyo National University, Jerusalem Academy of Music, the Central Conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and the New World Symphony in Miami.
His engaging chamber music with commentary series, Close Encounters With Music, has captivated audiences from Miami to Kansas City, Omaha, Calgary, Scottsdale, the Berkshires, and at the Frick Collection in New York City.
A three-time recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller grant, Mr. Hanani’s studies were with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and with Pablo Casals. His best-selling recording of the Unaccompanied Bach Suites has become a standard-setter, and of his recent Naxos CD with the National Symphony of Ireland Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, great virtuoso that he is, handles this with astounding aplomb…This is certainly a splendid release, and should by no means be passed up.” Aimed at outreach for classical music, his weekly program on NPR affiliate station WAMC Northeast Radio, “Classical Music According to Yehuda,” has gained thousands of fans for the direct broadcast and podcast. A recent addition to his concert activities and educational mission is the founding of the Catskill High Peaks Festival, a teaching and chamber music festival in Hunter, New York. Soloist, chamber musician, master teacher, essayist, and ambassador for the arts, Yehuda Hanani illuminates and enlightens audiences on the essence of music.
Harpist Bridget Kibbey “makes it seem as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the gorgeous colors and energetic figures she was getting from it” (The New York Times). Lauded for her compelling artistry and virtuosity, harpist Bridget Kibbey is gaining a reputation for showcasing the broad range of her instrument through multiple-genre performances — drawing diverse audiences through new collaborations and platforms. Bridget is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist Award, a 2015 Salon de Virtuosi Grant, and is the only harpist to win a position with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II. She is a winner of Concert Artist Guild’s International Competition, Astral Artist Auditions, and Premiere Prix at the Journées de les Harpes Competition in Arles, France. She tours internationally as concerto soloist, recitalist, and collaborator with some of today’s most compelling artists. Bridget’s debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of the Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York. She was most recently featured with tenor Placido Domingo, in a new album entitled Encanto del Mar released on SONY Records. She may also be heard on Deutsche Grammaphon with soprano Dawn Upshaw, in Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre. Bridget is featured annually with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is a principal artist with Camerata Pacifica in California.
BBC Russia named Alexander Kobrin the “Van Cliburn of today”, putting him in the front row of musicians of his generation.
Internationally acclaimed pianist Alexander Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow, Russia.
Graduate of renowned Tatiana Zelikman (Gnessin School of Music) and Lev Naumov (Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory),
Alexander Kobrin is the winner of numerous international piano competitions – notably the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and was a winner of the renowned Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Glasgow International Piano Competitions. He has received numerous special awards for his brilliant technique, his musicality, and his emotional engagement with the audience through music.
Alexander Kobrin is touring extensively in Europe, Asia, and the US.
His appearances have featured recitals and performances in major halls worldwide, including the Louvre Auditorium and Salle Cortot in Paris, Wigmore Hall and Albert Hall in London, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, Kennedy Centre in Washington, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, Sala Verdi in Milan, and many others.
He has collaborated with many of the world’s major orchestras such as New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony, KBS Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Fairbanks Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestras, and many others.
Alexander has also collaborated with numerous leading conductors including Mihail Pletnev, Mihail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko and Yuri Bashmet, amongst others.
Alexander has also made appearances and given masterclasses at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series and the Washington Performing Arts Society, followed by performances at La Roque d’Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, BBC Proms, the Beethoven Easter Festival, the Hannover Prize Winners Series, Turner Sims, the Enescu International Festival in Bucharest, Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, as well as at the International Piano Series and the Busoni Festival,and at the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr.
Other engagements included recital tour of Italy including cities such as Milan, Rome, Florence, Bolzano, Verona, Palermo and others.
He is also making annual appearances in recital halls and conservatories of Japan, China and Taiwan.
Alexander Kobrin has been a jury member for several international piano competitions, including “Prix Animato”, Paris , Bluthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, Rosalyn Tureck International Piano Competiton in New York City, Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow, Russia.
In addition to his performing and teaching, Alexander also regularly undertakes recording projects, working with various well-known labels from Quartz and King Records to Harmonia Mundi and Centaur Records. In addition to the Van Cliburn Competition disc from Harmonia Mundi (2005), which included Rachmaninov and Brahms, he has released three volumes of Essential Chopin, as well as a Brahms CD (Op.79, Op.116, & Op.119). His most recent projects include a new disk of Haydn (December 2012) with Quartz, and a Schumann disk, due to come out in 2013 with Centaur Records.
Alexander Kobrin is an Artist Faculty at NYU and L.Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at Schwob School of Music at CSU.
Alexander Kobrin is a Yamaha Artist.
Anya Matanovič, Soprano, Guest Artist
Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovič made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism). Ms. Matanovič is a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared in their productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, as Flora, Mozart’s La Serva Padrona, as Serpina, and Falstaff, as Nannetta. Anya Matanovič made her professional opera debut, directly from her undergraduate studies, as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La bohème. She appeared in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music productions of The Crucible, Gianni Schicchi, and Hänsel und Gretel. Ms. Matanovič is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra, and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle. Ms. Matanovič was also a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been a prizewinner in competitions sponsored by such institutions as the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Buffs, Leni Fe Bland, and the Sun Valley Opera.
Stefan Milenkovich, Violin, Faculty
Awarded as Serbia’s Artist of the Century, Most Humane Person, and Brand Personality of the Year, violinist Stefan Milenkovich enjoys a prolific career as an internationally sought-after soloist and recitalist, with an extraordinary productive longevity, professionalism and creativity.
Milenkovich’s 2016 – 17 season includes performances with Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi (Italy), Orchestra Haydn Bolzano (Italy), Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine), Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra (USA), Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra (USA), and Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy). Recent performances include collaboration with Utah Symphony Orchestra (USA), Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (USA), Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (USA), Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia), Orchestra I Virtuosi Italiani (Italy), as well as performances with baritone Nathan Gunn (USA) and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (USA).
Established as one of the great violinists of his generation, Milenkovich appeared on multiple occasions in some of the world’s most celebrated venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York City (USA), Kennedy Center, Washington (USA), Cadogan Hall, London (UK), Suntory Hall, Tokyo (Japan), as well as Italy’s theatres La Fenice, Venice, San Carlo, Naples, and Petruzzelli, Bari. His numerous appearances with orchestra include Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Radio-France, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Mexico State Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de Sao Paolo, and the Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies, and has performed under the baton of such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and Daniel Oren.
Milenkovich started his career at a very young age. He performed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a Christmas concert in Washington, DC, at age 10. The following year, he played for Mikhail Gorbachev in Belgrade, Serbia. At age 14, he played for Pope John Paul II and at age 16, Milenkovich gave his 1000th concert in Monterrey, Mexico. By age 17, he was the winner of The Young Concert Artists International Competition (USA), as well as a prizewinner in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA), the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), Hannover Violin Competition (Germany), Tibor Varga Competition (Switzerland), Rodolfo Lipizer Competition (Italy), Paganini Competition (Italy), Ludwig Spohr Competition (Germany), and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (England).
Deeply committed to international humanitarian causes, in 2002 Milenkovich received the Lifting Up the World With Oneness Heart award for his humanitarian activities, handed to him personally by the guru Sri Chinmoy. He also participated in a number of gala concerts under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris with such artists as Placido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Alexis Weissenberg, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and was active as the First Child Ambassador during the Balkan wars in early 90’.
As a musician of broad stylistic interests, Milenkovich performed with five-time Grammy Nominee rock band Gorillaz in one of the world’s most renowned venues – Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. The critically acclaimed performance was featured live on MTV. Recent collaborations include performances with Grammy Award Nominee lutist Edin Karamazov, as well as a musical partnership with guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski and his trio, where Milenkovich explored the realm of improvisation and acoustic-electric violin.
Milenkovich’s discography includes four commercial releases of the Italian label Dynamic, featuring J. S. Bach Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Complete Music for Solo Violin – Nicolo Paganini 24 Capricci, N. Paganini Recital, and N. Paganini In cuor piu non mi sento. He also released numerous recordings for the Yugoslavian label, PGP. Milenkovich’s recent CD release includes a First Recording disc with the Manchester Music Festival of Vittorio Giannini’s Piano Trio and Piano Quintet.
Firmly dedicated to pedagogical work, Milenkovich taught in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY, and Perlman Music Program, before accepting his current position as an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Milenkovich is still the youngest graduate of the Music Academy in Belgrade, Serbia, finishing his Masters’ studies at 19 years of age, and has completed the Professional Studies program at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY under tutelage of Mrs. Dorothy DeLay.
Milenkovich plays the 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.
Born in Brussels, Belgian American violist Dimitri Murrath has made his mark as a soloist on the international scene, performing regularly in venues including Jordan Hall (Boston), Kennedy Center (Washington), Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall (London), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), the National Auditorium (Madrid), and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris).
A recipient of a 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is a first prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition. Other awards include second prize at the First Tokyo International Viola Competition, the special prize for the contemporary work at the ARD Munich Competition, and a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation. In 2012, he was named laureate of the Juventus Festival, an award recognizing young European soloists.
With repertoire extending from Bach to contemporary music by Ligeti, Kurtag, and Sciarrino, Murrath is particularly keen on performing new works. He has taken part in the Park Lane Group New Year Series in London to great critical acclaim, as well as commissioned, given the world premieres, and recorded several solo works.
An avid chamber musician, Murrath is a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society. He has collaborated with Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Richard Goode, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler, Mitsuko Uchida, and members of the Mendelssohn, Takacs, Guarneri, Cleveland, Jerusalem, and Juilliard String Quartets. Festivals include IMS Prussia Cove, Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists, Verbier Festival, Caramoor Rising Stars, Chamberfest Cleveland, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Juventus Festival, and Marlboro Music Festival. He has performed concertos with orchestras including Orchestre National de Lille, Toho Gakuen Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic and London Mozart Players.
He began his musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School studying with Natalia Boyarsky and went on to work in London with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He graduated with an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory as a student of Kim Kashkashian. He is on the viola faculties of New England Conservatory and Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Dimitri Murrath participates in the Music for Food project, which raises awareness of the hunger problem faced by a large percent of the population, and gives the opportunity to experience the powerful role music can play as a catalyst for change.
Grammy Award nominee Adam Neiman is hailed as one of the premiere pianists, composers, and entrepreneurs of his generation. With a distinguished international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans more than sixty concerti, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Slovenia, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. He has collaborated with many of the world’s celebrated conductors, including David Atherton, Jiri Belohlavek, Michael Francis, Giancarlo Guerrero, Theodor Gushlbauer, Carlos Kalmer, Uros Lajovic, Yoël Levi, Andrew Litton, Rossen Milanov, Heichiro Ohyama, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, and Emmanuel Villaume.
An acclaimed recitalist, Neiman has performed in most of the major cities and concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. His European solo engagements have brought him to Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan, where he made an eight-city tour culminating in his debut at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Neiman’s multifaceted career includes his recent appointment as the Artistic Director of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of the record label, Aeolian Classics, LLC, and in 2016 he created the Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist Award Competition, a recording prize bestowed upon an outstanding young artist at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he serves on the full-time piano faculty.
In recent seasons, Neiman’s activities include several monumental solo recital tours: he is currently presenting the complete Chopin Preludes and Ballades; in 2014-2015 he toured with the complete Preludes and Études-Tableaux by Rachmaninoff, which he recorded for a 2017 triple-disc set on Aeolian Classics; in 2013-2014, Neiman paired Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and “Hammerklavier Sonata,” which he subsequently recorded for Sono Luminus, also due for release in 2017; and throughout the 2011-2013 seasons Neiman presented the complete Liszt Transcendental Études in celebration of the Liszt Bi-Centennial.
An avid chamber musician, Neiman makes frequent appearances at prestigious festivals such as the Mainly Mozart Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Moritzburg Festival, North Shore Chamber Music Festival, Musical Masterworks Series in Connecticut and South Carolina, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, and the Manchester Chamber Music Festival. After three seasons as a member of Trio Solisti, Neiman capped his tenure with the ensemble with a presentation of the complete chamber music of Johannes Brahms in a series of three concerts at Carnegie Hall in 2015. Neiman was also a founding member of the Corinthian Trio, which toured extensively throughout the United States and the Balkans.
Neiman maintains an active profile as a composer, and most recently the North Shore Chamber Music Festival commissioned Neiman to compose a new chamber work for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano for the 2017 edition of its annual festival. He will also perform his Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra under the baton of Alastair Willis with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Contemporary Ensemble at Ganz Hall. Neiman’s burgeoning compositional output includes two symphonies, a body of chamber music and vocal works, an orchestral cinematic portfolio, and a growing number of solo piano pieces.
His extensive discography includes numerous solo, concerto, and chamber music albums for labels such as VAI, Bridge, Naxos, Sono Luminus, Lyric, and Aeolian Classics.
Please visit www.adamneiman.com for more information.
In recent years, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world-class importance. Gramophone wrote that “Primakov’s empathy with Chopin’s spirit could hardly be more complete,” and the American Record Guide stated: “Since Gilels, how many pianists have the right touch? In Chopin, no one currently playing sounds as good as this! This is a great Chopin pianist.” Music Web-International called Primakov’s Chopin concertos CD “one of the great Chopin recordings of recent times. These are performances of extraordinary power and beauty.” In 1999, as a teen-aged prizewinner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Primakov was praised by Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “How many pianists can make a line sing as the Moscow native did on this occasion? Every poignant phrase took ethereal wing. Elsewhere the music soared with all of the turbulence and poetic vibrancy it possesses. We will be hearing much from this remarkable musician.”
His first piano studies were with his mother, Marina Primakova. He entered Moscow’s Central Special Music School at the age of eleven as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, and at 17 came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist, Jerome Lowenthal. At Juilliard Mr. Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall, and while at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, he won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. Later that year Primakov won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions. In 2007 he was named the Classical Recording Foundation’s “Young Artist of the Year.” In 2009, Primakov’s Chopin Mazurkasrecording was named “Best of the Year” by National Public Radio and that same year he began recording the 27 Mozart piano concertos in Denmark.BBC Music Magazine (November, 2010) praised the first volume of Primakov’s Mozart concertos: “The piano playing is of exceptional quality: refined, multi-coloured, elegant of phrase and immaculately balanced, both in itself and in relation to the effortlessly stylish orchestra. The rhythm is both shapely and dynamic, the articulation a model of subtlety. By almost every objective criterion, Vassily Primakov is a Mozartian to the manner born, fit to stand as a role model to a new generation.”
Vassily Primakov has released numerous recordings for Bridge Records that include works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass, Arlene Sierra and Poul Ruders.
In 2011, Mr. Primakov, along with his duo partner, Natalia Lavrova established a new and vibrant record company, L.P. Classics, Inc. Their first release wasAnton Arensky: Four Suites for Two Pianos. Most recently, they released Primakov’s Live in Concert Album that includes works by Medtner, Schumann, Brahms’ Handel Variations and Ravel’s La Valse. www.lpclassics.net.
Miloš Repický is a member of the faculty of The Curtis Institute and has joined the Metropolitan Opera every year since 2006. Recent productions include Rusalka, Jenůfa, Anna Bolena, Otello, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. He enjoys regular collaborations with The Cleveland Orchestra including Pelléas et Mélisande and previously Cunning Little Vixen, Daphne at the Lincoln Center Festival, as well as Bluebeard’s Castle/Miraculous Mandarin with the Joffrey Ballet. He has worked with the Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Spoleto Festival, San Francisco Opera, Kennedy Center, the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, and the Orquestra Nacional de Galicia in Spain. His collaborations as guest music director with Toronto-based Against the Grain Theatre include#UncleJohn and the development of a new, immersive work, No One’s Safe, at the Banff Centre. At the Kennedy Center’s World Stages Festival he conducted Tobin Stokes and Heather Raffo’s new opera, Fallujah. As a pianist he has performed for the Ottawa International Chamber Festival, Carnegie Hall, Medici TV, TED, Alice Tully Hall, Jeunesses-Musicales de Montréal, and the Banff Center. He is featured pianist on the Sundialtech Pictures multimedia DVD of Pierrot Lunaire and recently conducted a film score soundtrack for the feature film “The Bohemians”, an adaptation of Puccini’s La bohème. He has been guest faculty at the Juilliard School, Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music, Yale University, the Chautauqua Institution and the Castleton Festival. He is artistic director of Music for Montauk, on the East End of Long Island.
First Prize winner of the 2008 Naumburg International Violoncello Competition, DAVID REQUIRO (pronounced re-KEER-oh) has emerged as one of today’s finest American cellists. After winning First Prize in both the Washington International and Irving M. Klein International String Competitions, he also captured a top prize at the Gaspar Cassadó International Violoncello Competition in Hachioji, Japan, coupled with the prize for the best performances of works by Cassadó.
Mr. Requiro has made concerto appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, and several orchestras from California including the Marin, Oakland East Bay, Peninsula, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Stockton Symphonies. He also has been featured as soloist with the Ann Arbor, Breckenridge, Canton, Edmonton, Lansing, Olympia, Pine Bluff, and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras as well as with the Northwest Sinfonietta, Symphony ProMusica, and Naples Philharmonic. His Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall was followed by a critically acclaimed San Francisco Performances recital at the Herbst Theatre. Soon after making his Kennedy Center debut, Mr. Requiro also completed the cycle of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Cello at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Actively involved in contemporary music, Mr. Requiro appeared as a guest artist at the 2010 Amsterdam Cello Biennale where he gave the Dutch premiere of Pierre Jalbert’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. He has collaborated with composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki and Bright Sheng, as well as with members of the Aspen Percussion Ensemble, giving the Aspen Music Festival premiere of Tan Dun’s concerto, Elegy: Snow in June, for cello and percussion. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Requiro is a founding member of the Baumer String Quartet and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Concertante Chamber Players, ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), and the Alexander String Quartet. For over seven seasons, he has served as a frequent performing artist of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players Series in New York City.
In 2015, Mr. Requiro was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He previously served as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Puget Sound as well as Guest Lecturer at the University of Michigan. His artist faculty appointments include the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival, Giverny Chamber Music Festival, Innsbrook Music Festival and Institute, Maui Classical Music Festival, and Olympic Music Festival. As a member of the Baumer String Quartet, he co-founded the annual Monterey Chamber Music Workshop.
A native of Oakland, California, Mr. Requiro began cello studies at age six and his teachers have included Milly Rosner, Bonnie Hampton, Mark Churchill, Michel Strauss, and Richard Aaron.
Gerard Schneider, Tenor, Guest Artist
Hailed by the Irish Examiner as possessing “…imposing stage presence and a vivid range of colour and warmth of tone that compels attention,” Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider is acknowledged as a preeminent singer of opera, operetta, and song. Gerard has appeared throughout the world, including major debuts at the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Barbican Hall, and Salzburger Festspiele. This year, Gerard will make his debut at Wexford Festival Opera as Dimitri in Alfano’s Risurrezione, directed by Rosetta Cucchi, and conducted by Francesco Cilluffo, and appear as Arturo in Bellini’s La Straniera with Maestro Antony Walker and Washington Concert Opera. Gerard’s recent credits include his debut as Boris Grigoryevich in Kat’a Kabanová at Lincoln Center in New York, as tenor soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle under Lorenzo Muti, Danilo in Die Lustige Witwe at the Kyoto Summer Music Festival in Japan, and in a series of concerts with the Nuernberger Symphoniker under Michael Hofstetter. Gerard also met great acclaim for his recent appearances as Osaka in Iris at the Bard Summerscape Festival, and in the title role in Idomeneo at the Kilkenny Festival. Mr. Schneider was a member of the Artist Diploma of Opera Studies at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Edith Wiens. Gerard also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a member of the highly-regarded Opera Course (M.Mus), and at the National Opera Studio where his studies were supported by the Royal Opera House.
A violinist praised as playing “gorgeously” and with “gracefulness and easy rapport” (The Boston Globe) Emily Daggett Smith is emerging as one of the most compelling artists of her generation. Her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia, and she has been described as playing with a “very beautiful tone” (The Gathering Note) and “irrepressible élan” (The Seattle Times).
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Smith performs regularly at numerous festivals and series around the country such as the Concordia Chamber Ensemble, Festival Mozaic, Lenape Chamber Ensemble, Mainly Mozart Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society. She has shared the stage with many renowned musicians including current and former members of the Cleveland, Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets, as well as pianists Claude Frank, Joseph Kalichstein, and Gilbert Kalish. Her performances have taken place at some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Vienna Konzerthaus, and have been featured on PBS’s national broadcast Live from Lincoln Center, NPR’s From the Top, Classical King FM in Seattle and WWFM The Classical Network in New York and Pennsylvania.
As a soloist, Ms. Smith made her New York concerto debut at the age of 21 in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra and conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Since then she has performed concerti with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, Festival Mozaic Orchestra, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Classical Players. Growing up in the Boston area, she has also appeared as soloist with various orchestras in New England including a performance at the Hatch Shell in Boston as part of the Landmark Orchestra Series. As a concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra she has worked with many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson-Thomas, Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan.
In addition to performing the masterpieces of the 17th through the 20th century, Emily is also a strong advocate of new music. She has premiered dozens of new works, including the world premiere of Dan Visconti’s Silvertone which was commissioned for her debut recital in Chicago at the Music in the Loft series. As the founding first violinist of the Tessera Quartet, she has worked closely with composer and pianist Lowell Liebermann, performing his Piano Quintet with the composer at the piano, and has recorded a world-premiere album of Harold Brown’s complete works for String Quartet on Albany Records. She is currently working on performance practice research on Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Théâtre (1994).
Despite her busy performance schedule, Emily is dedicated to education and maintains various teaching and outreach activities. She served on the Violin faculty of the undergraduate department of Stony Brook University and has given masterclasses and educational outreach performances wherever her violin takes her. One of the most rewarding musical experiences of her life was teaching, giving masterclasses, and performing with young musicians in the la Red music program in Medellin, Colombia over two consecutive years. Her teaching style is one that blends and deepens the traditions of her great teachers Soovin Kim, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler, Masuko Ushioda, and Donald Weilerstein, with a deep understanding of what it takes to be a well-rounded musician in the 21st century.
Ms. Smith has received numerous awards and scholarships. She is a winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, the Brockton, Newton and Waltham Symphony Concerto Competitions, and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in the junior division. Ms. Smith holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, and as a recipient of the prestigious Staller Scholar Award, she is in the final stages of the Doctor of Music and Arts degree at Stony Brook University. She plays on a Johannes Cuypers violin and a Vuillaume bow, both generously donated by Dr. Marylou Witz.
Recognized as one of today’s most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat Solzhenitsyn’s lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world.
Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Ignat Solzhenitsyn is much in demand as a guest conductor, having recently led the symphonies of Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Phoenix, Seattle, and Toronto, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Czech National Symphony, as well as many of the major orchestras in Russia including the Mariinsky Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the Moscow Symphony. He has partnered with such world-renowned soloists as Richard Goode, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Leila Josefowicz, Sylvia McNair, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Garrick Ohlsson, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Mitsuko Uchida.
In recent seasons, his extensive touring schedule in the United States and Europe has included concerto performances with numerous major orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, London, Paris, Israel, and Sydney, and collaborations with such distinguished conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, Lawrence Foster, Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gerard Schwarz, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Maxim Shostakovich, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman. In addition to his recital appearances in the United States at New York’s 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, St. Paul’s Ordway Theatre, Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and many others from coast to coast, Mr. Solzhenitsyn has also given numerous recitals in Europe and the Far East in such major musical centers as London, Milan, Zurich, Moscow, Tokyo, and Sydney.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Solzhenitsyn has collaborated with the Emerson, Borodin, Brentano, and St. Petersburg String Quartets, and in four-hand recital with Mitsuko Uchida. He has frequently appeared at international festivals, including Salzburg, Evian, Ludwigsburg, Caramoor, Ojai, Marlboro, Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow’s famed December Evenings.
A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Ignat Solzhenitsyn serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has been featured on many radio and television specials, including CBS Sunday Morningand ABC’s Nightline. Born in Moscow, Mr. Solzhenitsyn resides in New York City with his wife and three children.
The first German artist to ever win the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York, Axel Strauss has been equally acclaimed for his virtuosity and his musical sensitivity. The Salt Lake Tribune praised his well-rounded artistry by saying, “Strauss quickly established that he is a virtuoso to be reckoned with. But amid his technical acumen, there was a genuine musician. His interpretive prowess was delightful.”
Mr. Strauss made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and his New York debut 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 premiere of “Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby” – written for him by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Mr. Strauss has performed as soloist with major orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia and has collaborated with conductors such as Maxim Shostakovitch, Rico Saccani, Joseph Silverstein, and Alasdair Neale. Mr. Strauss has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic as well as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
His recordings include the Brahms violin concerto (BPOlive), the violin version of the Sonatas Opus 120 by Brahms (Organum) and the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodaly (Oehms Classics). For the Naxos label he has recorded a selection from Mendelssohn’s “Songs without Words”, the 24 Caprices for solo violin by Pierre Rode, the last three violin concertos by Rodolphe Kreutzer and the complete works for violin and piano by George Enescu. Amadeus Press has issued a DVD featuring Axel Strauss in concert at Steinway Hall in New York City.
Mr. Strauss frequently performs at various music festivals in the US. Festival visits abroad have taken him to Germany, India, Korea and Japan. His chamber music partners have included Menahem Pressler, Kim Kashkashian, Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann and Bernhard Greenhouse.
Since his European debut in Hamburg in 1988, Axel Strauss has been heard on concert stages throughout Europe. He has given concerts in Moscow, Vilnius, Berlin, Bremen, Leipzig and Nuremberg. Concert tours have taken him to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Romania. He has also toured South America and performed in Japan with the Philharmonic Violins Berlin.
At the age of seventeen he won the silver medal at the Enescu Competition in Romania and has been recognized with many other awards, including top prizes in the Bach, Wieniawski and Kocian competitions. Mr. Strauss studied at the Music Academies of Lübeck and Rostock with Petru Munteanu. In 1996 he began working with the late Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School and became her teaching assistant in 1998. He has also worked with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Felix Galimir, and Ruggiero Ricci, and at the Marlboro Music Festival with Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff. Mr. Strauss has been residing in the United States since 1996. He maintains a busy performance schedule and serves as Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. Before moving to Canada he was Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Lina Tetriani has been praised for her glowing, rich timbre as well as her intense dramaticism. Ms. Tetriani made her professional debut as Antonia Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Staatstheater Stuttgart, where Opernwelt hailed her as “one of Europe’s most exciting young talents.” Later, while a member of the ensemble at Oper der Stadt, Köln, Lina appeared as Micaela Carmen, Mimi La Bohème, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and Arminda La finta giardiniera, and sang a critically-acclaimed Nedda in Christopher Alden’s production of I Pagliacci. Recent successes include her interpretation of the role of Lora in Wagner’s rarely heard first opera, Die Feen, under the baton of Marc Minkowski at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris. Ms. Tetriani received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and her Master of Music in Opera degree from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Concert appearances include Shostakovich’s Seven Romances based on the poetry of Alexander Blok with Jupiter Symphony in New York, a solo recital for the United National Women’s Guild, Berg’s Seven Early Songs at the Colorado Music Festival, an American premier of composer Lera Auerbach’s The Last Letter, a Liederabend with Oper der Stadt Koln, as well as concerts in Moscow and Tbilisi.
Cellist Bion Tsang has been internationally recognized as one of the outstanding instrumentalists of his generation: among his many honors are an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Bronze Medal in the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition and a Grammy nomination for his performances on “Conspirare in Concert.” He has performed as soloist with such orchestras as the New York, Moscow and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, the Atlanta, Pacific, Civic, American and National Symphony Orchestras, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Saint Paul and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the
Mr. Tsang’s chamber music career has also been a distinguished one, marked by collaborations with such artists as violinists Pamela Frank, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers and Kyoko Takezawa and Chee Yun, violist Michael Tree, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Gary Karr and pianist Leon Fleisher. He has been a frequent guest artist of the Chamber Music Societies of Boston, Brooklyn and Fort Worth, Chamber Music International of Dallas, Da Camera of Houston, Camerata Pacifica of Los Angeles and Bargemusic in New York and performed at such festivals as Marlboro Music Festival, the Cape Cod, Tucson, Portland and Seattle Chamber Music Festivals, the Bard Festival, Bravo! Colorado, Music in the Vineyards and the Laurel Festival of the Arts, where he served as Artistic Director for ten years.
Mr. Tsang has toured the complete Beethoven works for cello and piano with pianist Anton Nel in, among other venues, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, with the latter performance recorded by WGBH and commercially released on the Artek label. Artek subsequently released Tsang’s performance of the Brahms Cello Sonatas and Hungarian Dances (transcribed by Tsang), also in Jordan Hall with Nel, in early 2010.
Mr. Tsang received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.M.A. from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. His other cello teachers included Ardyth Alton, Luis Garcia-Renart, William Pleeth, Channing Robbins and Leonard Rose.
Mr. Tsang resides in Austin, Texas, where he is the first holder of the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Chair in Cello at the UT Butler School of Music and enjoys chasing after his three young children: Bailey, Henry and Maia.
San Francisco native Meta Weiss (pronounced MAY-ta) made her international debut at the age of seven in Utrecht, Holland, and has established herself as one of the leading cellists of her generation. An acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, and artist, her performances have taken her to venues throughout the US and internationally, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, The Kimmel Center, Royal Albert Hall, and Teatro Britanico (Peru).
She has garnered top prizes in numerous competitions, including the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, Washington International Competition, Seattle Ladies Musical Club Award Tour Competition, Carmel Music Society Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition, Schadt Cello Competition, and the TexASTA Solo Competition. As a member of the cello-rock group Break of Reality, she was selected by the US Department of State as a “musical ambassador” for the American Music Abroad Program. With Break of Reality, she has toured across America, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Brazil. Weiss has also been featured on National Public Radio on many occasions, including as guest artist on the shows A Prairie Home Companion, Performance Today, Northwest Focus Live!, Radio Astana KZ, and From the Top. The debut album of duoW, her violin-cello duo with violinist Arianna Warsaw-Fan, entitled Entendre, was released in August 2013 on the Grammy award-winning label Sono Luminus. Entendre is the winner of the Violoncello Foundation 2nd Annual Listener’s Choice Award. A Dué Celli, her most recent release (December 2015), was recorded in San Francisco at Studio Trilogy with cellist David Requiro as the Weiss-Requiro Duo.
Weiss began the cello at age four and has studied with Joel Krosnick, Darrett Adkins, Norman Fischer, Irene Sharp, Joan Jeanrenaud, and Michael Reynolds. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Weiss completed her Master’s of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at The Juilliard School as a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow and a SYLFF Fellow.
She was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Cello at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2015. Her previous faculty positions include Artist-in-Residence at the University of Puget Sound, Cello Fellow in the Juilliard Music Advancement Program, and Virtuosi Artist at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Weiss performs on a Gioffredo Cappa cello, c. 1690, generously provided for her by an anonymous supporter.
A multi-faceted performer with unique communicative abilities, MingHuan Xu has delighted audiences with her passion, effortless technique, sensitivity and charisma. Her versatility allows her to perform an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from the standard works to avant-garde contemporary repertoire. She has performed extensively as a concerto soloist, duo-recitalist and chamber musician throughout five continents. Ms. Xu’s latest recital and chamber music performances have brought her to prominent American venues including Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute. In 2010, she performed recitals and taught master classes in China: at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Her South American debut in 2006 brought her to the Festival Musica Nova in Brazil and the Festival Encuentros in Argentina. As a dedicated champion of contemporary music, Ms. Xu believes fervently in the importance and relevance of the music of our times. Her passions involve multi-disciplinary projects, which also include collaborations with dance, electronic media, poetry and visual arts. Ms. Xu’s studies were at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, the Interlochen Arts Academy, Northwestern University, and Stony Brook University. Now an accomplished and devoted teacher, Ms. Xu taught at Grand Valley State University before moving to Chicago, where she is now an Artist-Faculty member at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. She also coaches chamber music for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Xu plays on a 1758 Nicolas Gagliano violin.