Classical Music in Manchester Vermont

Manchester Music Festival 2014 Artists

Ariel Rudiakov Ariel Rudiakov, viola
Artistic Director and Conductor

Violist and conductor Ariel Rudiakov is a third-generation musician, receiving his early musical training from his parents, Michael and Judith in Riverdale, NYC. Rudiakov has been Artistic Director of the award-winning Manchester (VT) Music Festival MMF since November 2000 and is Music Director and conductor of the Danbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra. Ari holds viola performance degrees from SUNY Purchase (BM) and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (MM), and was a scholarship student at Yale University's masters program where he studied privately with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet.

In both capacities, Rudiakov enjoys a wide-ranging and diverse musical life, performing solo and chamber music throughout the USA and abroad to critical acclaim with many fine musicians including the Shanghai and Jupiter Quartets, current and former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, André Michel Schub, Adam Neiman and many others. At the podium he has collaborated with violinist Jaime Laredo, cellists Sharon Robinson and Bernard Greenhouse among others of similar note. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet and was a founding member of SONYC (the String Orchestra of New York City).

Most recently he conducted the recording session for Dance Theater of Harlem's chamber orchestra version of Alexander Glazunov's ballet Raymonda, performed at Lincoln Center in April. He can also be seen playing the role of conductor in the recently released film Breathe In starring Guy Pierce and Felicity Jones.

Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens and the piano quintet by Vittorio Giannini (released 2012 on MSR Classics), which Fanfare Magazine described as "utterly superb". Composers Richard Lane, Philip Lasser and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson have dedicated works to Rudiakov, who is also active in commissioning and recording new music.

Ariel resides in Manchester, VT and Yonkers, NY with his wife, violinist Joana Genova and their two children; Michael Arthur and Liliana Judith. He playes a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.

top of page


Amadi Azikiwe Amadi Azikiwe, viola
Guest Artist

Amadi Azikiwe, violist, violinist and conductor, has been heard in recital in major cities throughout the United States, such as New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., including an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Azikiwe has also been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has appeared in recital at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, on the "Discovery" recital series in La Jolla, at the International Viola Congress, and at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since then, he has performed throughout Israel, Canada, South America, Central America, India, Japan, Hong Kong, and throughout the Caribbean.

"Violist Amadi Azikiwe is a musician who plays so effortlessly that the listener does not fully appreciate what has been accomplished until reflection after the fact. . He captured perfectly the spirit of the Jewish prayer (Bruch's Kol Nidre, Op. 47) and the technical feats demanded by the Paganini (Sonata per la Grand Viola)"
—Raoul Abdul, New York Amsterdam News, New York, NY

As a soloist, Mr. Azikiwe has appeared with the Prince George's Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony, Virginia Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, Roanoke Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, Salisbury Symphony, the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, the City Island Baroque Ensemble of New York, the National Symphony of Ecuador, and at the Costa Rica International Music Festival. He has also toured with Music from Marlboro, and performed at the Sarasota, Tanglewood, Aspen, Norfolk, and San Juan Islands Festivals, El Paso International Chamber Music Festival, Salt Bay Chamber Festival, Maui Classical Music Festival, Missouri Chamber Music Festival, Yachats Music Festival, Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Mr. Azikiwe's performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio's "Performance Today", "St. Paul Sunday", on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, WFMT in Chicago, and the BBC, along with television appearances in South America.

"Most delicious of all were Azikiwe's warm tones and ardent phrasing in the second movement-there was a little master class in rubato here. He then leapt into the finale with some stunning fingerwork."
—David Perkins, The News and Observer, Raleigh, NC.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Azikiwe has appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Kandinsky Trio, the Harlem Chamber Players, the Chester, Miro, St. Lawrence, Anderson, Arianna, Harrington and Corigliano quartets. He has also performed extensively and recorded with the Concertante Chamber Players, and the Ritz Chamber Players. Among Mr. Azikiwe's prizes and awards are those from Concert Artists Guild, the North Carolina Symphony, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with whom he still maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.

Mr. Azikiwe was previously the conductor of the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta University Center Orchestra. He was also a visiting faculty member of Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN. Currently, he is on the faculty of James Madison University, and Music Director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted for the Intercollegiate Music Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association All-Collegiate Orchestra, Third Street Philharmonia, Gateways Music Festival, and Trinity Opera Company.

Mr. Azikiwe has appeared as artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Killington Music Festival, Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Session and the Aria International Academy in London, Ontario.

"Violist Amadi Azikiwe clarified not only the work's structure, but also revealed a depth of power and lyric beauty. A wide, rich palette of tone further enhanced the remarkable young artist's expressive approach to the music."
—Sharon McDaniel, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY

As an orchestral musician, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as principal violist of the SHIRA Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra and guest principal violist of Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of conductors Lorin Maazel, James DePriest, Christoph Eschenbach, Gerard Schwarz, Marek Janowski, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Morgan, Pinchas Zukerman, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sixten Ehrling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Bernstein.

A native of New York City, Amadi Azikiwe was born in 1969. After early studies with his mother, he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts as a student of Sally Peck. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, receiving his Bachelor's degree. Mr. Azikiwe was also awarded the Performer's Certificate from Indiana University, where he served as an Associate Instructor, and received his Master's Degree in 1994 as a student of Atar Arad.

top of page


Edward Arron Edward Arron, cello
Guest Artist

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, cellist Edward Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at the Opening Night Gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, Mr. Arron has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. In the spring of 2013, Mr. Arron completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the critically acclaimed Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. In 2009, Mr. Arron succeeded Charles Wadsworth as the artistic director, host, and resident performer of the Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as concert series in Beaufort and Columbia, South Carolina. Mr. Arron is also the artistic director of the Caramoor Virtuosi and is the co-artistic director along with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the new Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Mr. Arron has performed at Carnegie's Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York's Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic and numerous summer festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. He has participated in the Silk Road Project and has toured and recorded as a member of MOSAIC, an ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. Mr. Arron is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. He has served on the faculty of New York University since 2009.

top of page


Heather Braun Heather Braun, violin
Guest Artist

Originally from Milwaukee, violinist Heather Braun earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University, studying under Peter Zazofsky. She performs as a co-concertmaster and soloist with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, with whom she made her concerto debut in 2013. Recent highlights include performing in the Rockport Chamber Music Festival with the Manchester Chamber Players, and with East-West Virtuosi in Ashland, Oregon. Ms. Braun has been first violinist of the award-winning Arneis Quartet since 2009, with recent recitals in Beijing, Vancouver, and Stanford (CA). A two-time Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she was awarded the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize in 2005. Ms. Braun earned her bachelor's from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Mikhail Kopelman. While pursuing her Master of Music and DMA degrees at B.U., she was twice honored with the String Department Award and received the Zulalian Foundation Award in 2010. She has collaborated in concert with the Ying Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, and Marc Johnson. She performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and freelancer throughout Boston and New England, maintains a private studio and teaches privately for the Brookline Public Schools Extension Program, and serves as a coach for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.

top of page


Michael Brown, piano
Guest Artist

The New York Times declared Michael Brown "a young piano visionary," praising his "powerful technique and a vivid imagination." Noted for his "great confidence and rhythmic flair" by Gramophone, he is the First Prize winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. An equally committed pianist and composer, Mr. Brown's artistry stems from this duality and is reflected in his creative approach to programming. He has appeared in major venues including Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, and as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall under NY Philharmonic Maestro Alan Gilbert. He attends the Marlboro Music Festival and has toured the U.S. with Miriam Fried and the Steans Institute at Ravinia. Mr. Brown has appeared as soloist with symphonies across the U.S. and in Israel, has performed on the Ravinia Rising Stars Series, and has played at Carnegie's Weill Hall and at Alice Tully Hall, as winner of the Petschek Award and the Gilmore Festival's Rising Stars Series. An accomplished composer, Mr. Brown was awarded the 2009 Palmer-Dixon Prize from Juilliard; his works have been performed internationally by various ensembles. Mr. Brown earned dual Master of Music degrees in Piano and Composition from Juilliard. He studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald, and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser.

top of page


E. Scott Brubaker, horn
Guest Artist

Scott Brubaker has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1973. Mr. Brubaker has also developed a notable career as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist, performing throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Dedicated to enriching the repertoire for solo horn and the public's awareness of the horn as a solo voice worthy of greater attention, Mr. Brubaker has commissioned, premiered, and recorded the works of outstanding American composers. Additionally, he has transcribed, published, and recorded several important major works. Mr. Brubaker has performed chamber music with the Marlboro Festival, the Emerson String Quartet, Speculum Musicae, Harmonie Ensemble, I Musici de Montreal, and the MET Chamber Series.

top of page


Deborah Buck Deborah Buck, violin
Guest Artist

Described by Strad Magazine as "Particularly impressive for her surpassing degree of imagination and vibrant sound," violinist Deborah Buck has built a strong musical career as chamber musician, concertmaster, and soloist. For ten years, she has enjoyed a versatile musical life as the first violinist of the LARK Quartet and the tenured Concertmaster of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The Lark Quartet recently recorded the piano quintets of Pulitzer Prize winning composers Jennifer Higdon and Paul Moravec with pianists Gary Graffman and Jeremy Denk for Bridge Records. Highlights of performances this past year have included the world premier of Gandharba's Song, a piece for solo violin and film written by Randall Woolf and commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, VT. In 2013, Ms. Buck became Assistant Professor of Violin at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Ms. Buck performs on a violin by Vincenzo Postiglione graciously loaned by Ray and Marcia Corwin.

top of page


Adam Cioffari Adam Cioffari, bass-baritone
Guest Artist

Bass-baritone Adam Cioffari joins the Utah Symphony in the 2013-14 season for his first performances of Brander in Berlioz's La damnation de Faust and reprises the role and piece later with the Tucson Symphony. He also sings Zuniga in Carmen with Pensacola Opera and Dottore Grenvil in La traviata with Florentine Opera in addition to returning to Verdi's Requiem with the Boise Philharmonic and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. In the summer, he will join The Glimmerglass Festival as the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos. His engagements in future seasons include his debuts of two Mozart roles: Papageno in Die Zauberflöte in a return to the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Columbus. Last season he joined the Staatstheater Stuttgart for a year for a number of roles including Masetto in Don Giovanni; Patrocle in a new production of Iphigénie en Aulide and Lakai in Ariadne auf Naxos, both new productions; Angelotti in Tosca, Gran Sacerdote in Nabucco, in addition to joining the company for its productions of Alcina and L'écume des jours. He also sang the Novice's Friend in Billy Budd with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and a Flemish Deputy in Don Carlo at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse in addition to Verdi's Requiem with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

He recently completed a two-year tenure in the Opera Studio of the Komische Oper Berlin, where his roles included Morales in Carmen and the Brother in Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, both new productions, as well as Nightwatchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Hermann and Schlemil in Les contes d'Hoffmann, First Nazarene and Second Soldier in Salome, Plutus in Pique Dame, Marquis D'Obigny in La traviata, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, and the Herald in The Love for Three Oranges. Also while in Berlin, he sang Kaspar in Der Freischutz in student performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as well as at the Heimathafen Neukölln and de Suze in Maria di Rohan with the Berlin Opera Group. He returned to the States for Count Ceprano in concert performances of Rigoletto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he created the role of Stanley in the world premiere of Andre Previn's Brief Encounter, a recording of which has been released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Other performances with the company include Elviro in Xerxes, both Angelotti and the Jailer in Tosca, Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and previous performances of Count Ceprano in Rigoletto. He also offered recital performances of Brahms' Vier ernste Gesänge with pianist Kathy Kelly.

Other recent performances include Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Music Academy of the West, Masetto in the same opera with San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, and Colline in La bohème with Aspen Opera Theater. He was a finalist in HGO's 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers. He holds bachelor and master of music degrees, both in voice performance, from Indiana University, from which his credits include Monterone in Rigoletto and Dr. Miracle and Coppelius in Les contes d'Hoffmann.

top of page


Benjamin Elton Capps Benjamin Elton Capps, cello
Guest Artist

Cellist Benjamin Elton Capps enjoys an extraordinarily versatile performing career as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral principal. He has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie´s Stern Auditorium, Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center´s Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, and Rose Halls, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Mann Hall in Tel Aviv, Meyerson Hall in Dallas, and the Auditorio Nacional, the Palace of Fine Arts and Sala Nezahualcoytl in Mexico City. Mr. Capps is principal cellist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. An ardent promoter of new music, he is committed to performing new music of today´s composers, and has premiered numerous new cello works. His recording of Andrew Violette´s Songs and Dances for unaccompanied cello on Innova Records was released in June 2010. A native and current resident of New York City, Mr. Capps began playing the cello at age four. He earned his bachelor's from the Manhattan School of Music in 2008, and his Master of Music from Juilliard in May 2010, both under the guidance of David Soyer.

top of page


David Deveau David Deveau, piano
Faculty Artist

Now in his 18th year as Artistic Director of Rockport Music, pianist David Deveau has been acclaimed internationally for his expressive and poetic interpretations of repertoire ranging from Haydn to the present. He has earned enthusiastic praise from major publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Minneapolis Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, Washington Post, American Record Guide, Le Figaro (Paris), and China Daily (Beijing). Mr. Deveau's orchestral engagements over the last three decades include solo performances with the Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Houston symphonies, Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Louis and Miami symphonies, and many others. He has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops, the Handel and Haydn Society, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Philharmonic, has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum. He has also appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., San Francisco's Herbst Theater, Seattle's Benaroya Hall, Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall, and on myriad other series throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Deveau has performed with members of the Juilliard, Shanghai, Jupiter, Cleveland, Borromeo, Muir, Ying, Kronos, Brentano, and St. Lawrence string quartets, and has been a guest artist with the Boston Chamber Music Society. Festival engagements include Tanglewood, Caramoor, Wolf Trap, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Strings Festival (Colorado), the Montana Music Festival, and the Olympic Festival, among many others. A music faculty member at MIT since 1988, Mr. Deveau has given master classes in piano and chamber music at colleges and conservatories across the United States. Mr. Deveau is heard internationally on PRI, as well as on the BBC, CBC, NPR, CCTV, and on commercially available recordings on Albany, Centaur, and EcoClassics.

top of page


Julio Elizalde Julio Elizalde, piano
Faculty Artist

Praised as a musician of "compelling artistry and power" by the Seattle Times, pianist Julio Elizalde has emerged as one of the most versatile and sought-after artists of his generation. He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America, to popular and critical acclaim. The summer of 2014 marks his third season as Co-Artistic Director of the Olympic Music Festival, near Seattle. Mr. Elizalde has collaborated with many of the leading musicians of our time, and is the North and South American recital partner to violinist and Sony recording artist Ray Chen. He has also performed recitals with world-renowned violinist Sarah Chang. Mr. Elizalde is a member of the New Trio, winner of both the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions, and the recipient of the Harvard Musical Association's prestigious Arthur W. Foote Prize. He was a featured performer for the soundtrack of the 2013 film Jimmy P., composed by Academy Award winner Howard Shore. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2011. His principal teachers were Paul Hersh, Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.

top of page


Jason Ferrante Jason Ferrante
Guest Artist

Jason Ferrante is recognized as one of the leading character singers of his generation. Praised by Opera News for “singing up a stylish storm” and for getting “the gold star for trills”, the American tenor sings both comedians and protagonists on the operatic stage, and in concert, a repertoire of a wide range of composers from Bach and Handel to John Musto and Lowell Liebermann. Engagements for the 2012-2013 season included his return to the Orlando Philharmonic for Basilio and Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, the Fourth Jew in Salome for Palm Beach Opera, and his return to New York City opera covering the role of Aronne in Mose in Egitto. In the upcoming 2013-2014 season, Jason debuts with the Boise Philharmonic and returns to Jacksonville Symphony as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, makes a guest artist appearance with the Sarasota Artist Series, joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the Fourth Jew in Salome and sings Spoletta in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera. Additional upcoming engagements include a return to FGO for the Shepherd in Tristan und Isolde. The 2011-2012 season saw him with Florida Grand Opera and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as Borsa in Rigoletto and Syracuse Opera for their production of Madama Butterfly, as well as a concert appearance with the Jacksonville Symphony for Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Jason then returned to the Bard Summerscape Festival for Basile in Le Roi Malgré Lui.

Jason began the 2010-2011 season as Jacquino for his debut with Opera Boston in Thaddeus Strassberger's new production of Fidelio, and also appeared in his most frequently performed role, Goro in Madama Butterfly, for debuts at Opera Omaha and Kentucky Opera. He returned to the Jacksonville Symphony for performances of Handel's Messiah, and to Opera New Jersey as the Magician in The Consul. In the 2009-2010 season, Jason made debuts at the New York City Opera as King Ouf in L’étoile, the Wexford Festival as the Tenor Opera Box Ghost in The Ghosts of Versailles, the Eugene Opera as Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, and he returned to Italy as the Beadle in Sweeney Todd at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Teatro Municipale di Piacenza. He also traveled to Guangzhou, China to sing Pong in Turandot under the baton of Lorin Maazel to open Guangzhou Opera House. In the 2008-2009 season, Ferrante was heard as Goro in Madama Butterfly in a debut with Madison Opera, as Pang in Turandot with the Jacksonville Symphony, in multiple roles in Candide at Toledo Opera, Tavannes in Les Hugenots at the Bard Summerscape and in his European debut at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as well as the Teatro Comunale di Modena, and the Teatro Rossini di Lugo as the Beadle in Sweeney Todd.

In the 2007-2008 season, Ferrante returned to Arizona Opera as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, and Monostatos in The Magic Flute. His schedule also included performances as Pong in Turandot with Orlando Opera, Borsa in Rigoletto with New Jersey Opera Theater, Eumete in The Return of Ulysses with the Greenwich Music Festival, a solo recital with pianist Kathleen Kelly at the Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA and Don Basilio/Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro at Berkshire Opera. Highlights of the 2006-2007 season included a return to Arizona Opera as Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro directed by Sir Thomas Allen, a debut at the Kennedy Center as the Second Nazarene in Salome with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin and starring Deborah Voigt, a debut with Orlando Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly,a return invitation to sing at the 2006 Wolf Trap Ball at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, and his first performances as the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Ferrante’s other operatic credits include Goro in Madama Butterfly with Berkshire Opera, Harrisburg Opera, Opera Birmingham, Jacksonville Symphony and Annapolis Opera, St.Brioche in The Merry Widow with Indianapolis Opera, Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette and the Beadle in Sweeney Todd at Wolf Trap Opera where he was a two-time recipient of a Shouse Grant, The Magician in The Consul at Arizona Opera, Paolino in The Secret Marriage with Berkshire Opera, Cornaccio in the world premiere of John Musto’s Volpone at Wolf Trap, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Sideshow Opera, Rooster in the musical Annie with Ash Lawn Opera, Spalanzani in The Tales of Hoffman with the Sarasota Opera, Torquemada in L’heure Espagnole and Bardolfo in Falstaff at Tanglewood under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Monostatos in The Magic Flute with the Aspen Opera Theatre Center.

While a student at Juilliard from 1993-2000, Jason appeared in many roles including Ximenes in the U.S. stage premiere of Weill’s Der Kuhhandel. He has been heard in concert and recital on five continents and holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School.

top of page


Mitsuko Flynn Mitsuko Flynn, cello
Guest Artist

Cellist Mitsuko Flynn received a Bachelor of Music degree from Montclair State University where she is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma. She was awarded the John J. Cali Young Artist Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. Mitsuko has performed in masterclasses held by world famous musicians such as Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt, Carter Brey and Peter Serkin. She also has attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine. Miss Flynn is the associate principal cellist of the Montclair State University Symphony Orchestra and a member and manager of the Cali Camerata, a conductor-less chamber orchestra. Her recent concert engagements include performances at The Van Vleck House in Montclair, NJ and Carnegie hall's Weil Recital Hall and Stern Auditorium. Miss Flynn is also an active music educator and she serves as cello instructor at the Montclair State University Prepatory Center for the Arts. Mitsuko is a student of Nicholas Tzavaras and studies chamber music with members of the Shanghai Quartet.

top of page


Arthur Fredric Arthur Fredric, narrator, Family Concert
Guest Artist

Arthur Fredric is in his 17th year with Jacques d'Amboises's nationally acclaimed National Dance Institute, and has been honored as an NDI Teacher of the Year for his work in New York City public schools. Since 1997, he has been the Artistic Director of the Danbury Music Centre's Nutcracker Ballet. Mr. Fredric's career as an actor, dancer, and stunt man was highlighted by his appearance in the role of Action in the 1980 revival of West Side Story. As a choreographer, he collaborated with jazz dance innovator Ronn Forella for 11 years, and has choreographed and served as stunt coordinator for numerous shows and movies from Off Broadway to Hollywood; and directed and choreographed musicals at Albany's Park Playhouse and Gateway's Candlewood Playhouse. He was the Founder and Artistic Director of the New Dance Collective, a jazz dance troupe devoted to the creation of new work. He has taught at Columbia, Binghamton, and Western Connecticut State universities and Manhattanville College, teaching jazz dance, stunt training and stage combat for actors, and yoga. Mr. Fredric runs a video production company and is currently directing a documentary film about poets and a unique poetry conference. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

top of page


Joana Genova Joana Genova, violin
Faculty Artist

Violinist, Education Director of the Manchester Music Festival and Artist Associate at Williams College, Joana Genova has an active career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and soloist. She began playing violin at the age of six in her native Bulgaria, made her solo debut at the age of twelve with the Plovdiv Chamber Orchestra and is a prizewinner of the National Competition in Bulgaria. Ms. Genova received her Bachelor of Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and her Master's in chamber music at the Rotterdam Conservatory in The Netherlands. In Holland, Ms. Genova was concertmaster of the Amsterdam Bach Consort and a member of Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Since 2000, Ms. Genova has lived in the U.S., where she is the principal second violin of the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Manchester Chamber Orchestra and a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. She on the faculty of the Manchester Music Festival and teaches violin at the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy in Vermont. Ms. Genova is active as a chamber musician for the Manchester Music Festival and the Williams Chamber Players and is a frequent guest at other festivals and concert series. Her collaborations include performances with the Shanghai Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo Robinson trio, Andres Cardenes, Nathaniel Rosen, Michael Rudiakov, Yehuda Hanani, Ruth Laredo, Davide Cabassi, David Deveau, Adam Neiman and David Krakauer, among others. Ms. Genova has performed as soloist with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan, Rockaway and Danbury Symphonies, Berkshire Symphony and Manchester Festival Orchestra. She resides in Manchester, Vermont with her husband, violist and conductor Ariel Rudiakov, and their two children.

top of page


Alexis Pia Gerlach Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello
Faculty Artist

Lauded by the press for the "gripping emotion" and "powerful artistry" of her interpretations, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach has appeared in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. A sought-after chamber musician, she performs at festivals including Marlboro, Aspen, Bridgehampton, La Musica di Asolo and Caramoor, where she is a Texaco Rising Star, and as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; she has toured nationally and internationally with Musicians from Marlboro. Ms. Gerlach is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Concertante, a string sextet based in New York City. A frequent collaborator with dancers, Ms. Gerlach has performed as solo cellist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company on tour in India and at New York's City Center, and as a duo with NYC Ballet principal dancer Damian Woetzel. She is active in commissioning and premiering new chamber works by preeminent composers, including Kevin Puts, Lowell Liebermann, Shulamit Ran, Richard Danielpour, Tigran Mansurian and Paul Moravec, and has worked with many others including Philip Glass, Thomas Adès, Osvaldo Golijov and Bright Sheng. Ms. Gerlach was born in New York City where she first studied cello at The Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. She graduated from The Yale School of Music and The Juilliard School where she was a student of Aldo Parisot. She worked additionally with Pierre Fournier, William Pleeth and Janos Starker.

top of page


Matthew Gold Matthew Gold, percussion
School Residency Week

New York based percussionist Matthew Gold is a member of the multi-media chamber group Sequitur, the Glass Farm Ensemble, the Orchestra of the League of Composers/ISCM, the IFCP ensemble, and a co-director of the TimeTable percussion trio. An advocate of new music, he has commissioned and premiered numerous new works and has performed frequently with the Da Capo Chamber Players, New York New Music Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Washington Square Ensemble, ISCM Chamber Players, Ahn Trio, SEM Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, and has been a member of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. He appears regularly with the Westchester Philharmonic, the Mark Morris Dance Group, the New York City Ballet, and was the percussionist for the Lincoln Center Theater production of The Light in the Piazza. Mr. Gold is an instructor of percussion at Williams College where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble, co-directs the in-residence ensemble I/O New Music, and serves as principal percussionist in the Berkshire Symphony.

top of page


Yehuda Hanani Yehuda Hanani, cello
Faculty Artist

Yehuda Hanani's charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, and his native Israel. 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, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and Seoul Symphony among others. He has collaborated with prominent fellow artists, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, Itzhak Perlman, members of the Emerson, Vermeer, Muir, Julliard, Tokyo, and Cleveland Quartets and with actors Richard Chamberlain, Jane Alexander, and Sigourney Weaver in specially designed programs. His pioneering recording ever of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata, received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and his other discs have won wide recognition. Mr. Hanani is Professor of Cello at CCM and presents master classes internationally in conjunction with concert tours. As Artistic Director of the Close Encounters with Music chamber music series in the Berkshires and in Scottsdale, he presents an innovative approach to programming that explores the common roots of all the arts. He has commissioned over thirty new works from leading composers including Lera Auerbach, Robert Beaser, Osvaldo Golijov, and Bernard Rands. Soloist, chamber musician, master teacher, and ambassador of the arts, Mr. Hanani inspires audiences the world over. His studies were with Leonard Rose at the Julliard School and with Pablo Casals.

top of page


Austin Hartman Austin Hartman, violin
Faculty Artist

Austin Hartman has distinguished himself as both chamber musician and soloist with performances throughout the United States and abroad. Having served for twelve seasons as founding first violinist of the Biava Quartet, Mr. Hartman was the winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has performed to acclaim in important venues throughout North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, and the Baroque Art Hall in Seoul. Other highlights from recent seasons include appearances at the Mostly Mozart, Rockport and Aspen Music Festivals, Chautauqua Institution, and Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Mr. Hartman has earned much recognition as a solo violinist having appeared twice with the Philadelphia Orchestra and was awarded the Gold Medal Prize at the Stulberg International String Competition. He has recorded for the Naxos and Cedille labels and has been heard on London's BBC Radio 3. Austin Hartman serves on the faculty at the University of Indianapolis as Assistant Professor of Violin and Director of String Ensembles. He has earned Artist Diplomas from both the Juilliard School and Yale School of Music as well as degrees from the New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music.

top of page


Danwen Jiang, violin
Faculty Artist

Danwen Jiang's international reputation as an exceptional performer and teacher yields her frequent invitations to present solo performances and master classes in China, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Canada, and across the United States. As an avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in concerts with distinguished musicians such as members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Tokyo, Emerson and Shanghai String Quartets, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Chamber Players, as well as cellist Nathaniel Rosen, pianist Andrè-Michel Schub, clarinetist Stanley Drucker, and Jazz violinist Regina Carter. A recipient of the Professor of the Year Special Recognition Award, the Distinguished Teaching Award, and President's Tenured Faculty Exemplar Award at Arizona State University, Ms. Jiang was a featured concerto soloist and master class clinician in the 2005 and 2008 American String Teachers Association National Conferences. Her latest CD of Debussy, Frank and Ravel sonatas for violin and piano with pianist Walter Cosand, released in 2012 by Soundset Recordings, was described as "Absolutely exquisite" by Fanfare magazine.

top of page


Devin Johnson Devin Johnson, tap dancer
Guest Artist

Devin has over sixteen years of tap experience, primarily studying with Tina Fretto Baird, a protege of Brenda Bufalino. He is classically trained and also has deep roots in rhythm tap. Over the years Devin has honed his craft with tap notables including Prince Spencer, Brenda Bufalino, Michelle Dorrance, Andrew Nemr, Mike Minery, Cassie Abate, and Jeff Shade.

Devin Has been a soloist or featured performer at the D.U.M.B.O Dance Festival, The Duke Theatre, The National Museum of Dance, and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He has performed excerpts from Morton Gould's Tap Dance Concerto with the Danbury Symphony in Danbury, CT, and Regional theatre credits for productions of 42nd Street, On Your Toes, and Drowsy Chaperone. Devin holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. devin-johnson.com

top of page


Caren Levine Caren Levine, piano
Guest Artist

Caren Levine has established a reputation as one of today's most compelling artists. The San Francisco Chronicle described her as "a petite powerhouse, with technique to burn and unimpeachable musicianship." An alumna of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has been on the roster of the Met as Assistant Conductor/Prompter since 2003. In 2012, she received a Grammy for Best Opera Recording of John Adam's Doctor Atomic. An active performer, Ms. Levine's collaborators include Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Laurent Korcia, Susanne Mentzer, Lawrence Brownlee, Morris Robinson, Susanna Phillips, and soprano Barbara Bonney, with whom she has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia since 1996, when the two first performed together at Tanglewood. She has also been featured on WNYC "Soundcheck" with Bass Morris Robinson and on ArtsPass with Tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Highlights of her recent engagements include pianist/continuo for the LA Phil production of Don Giovanni with Maestro Dudamel, prompter for the Met Opera premiere of The Tempest, Doctor Atomic, Satyagraha and Two Boys, and faculty at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Ms. Levine received a Bachelor of Music degree from The Peabody Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. She has studied under Samuel Sanders, Ken Noda, Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida.

top of page


Ron Levy Ron Levy, piano
Guest Artist

Internationally acclaimed pianist Ron Levy has been called "first-class" by the New York Times. He regularly appears in major venues, both as a soloist and in partnership with many of the world's leading singers and instrumentalists. A graduate of Oberlin, Mr. Levy has been pianist and harpsichordist of the Oberlin Orchestra, the Westchester Symphony, and the Albany Symphony, among others. Presently, he is Associate Artist with the All Seasons Chamber Players, and is the pianist of the Orpheus Men's Chorus. For more than 20 years, he was associated with the Manchester Music Festival, where he was a faculty and Board member. While living in Vermont, he was Music Director & Conductor of the Opera Theatre in Weston, and impresario of the Third Saturday chamber music series at the historic Equinox Hotel, as well as the Music on the Hill music series at the Southern Vermont Art Center. Mr. Levy has taught at numerous colleges, and is currently an instructor at Montclair State University; he maintains an active and on-going affiliation with the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). A two-term president of the Professional Music Teachers' Guild of New Jersey, he is a contributing editor to BIM Music Publications, Switzerland. Recordings by Mr. Levy are available on the Albany, Centaur, Eroica, Koch International, MMF and High Point labels.

top of page


Christopher Lewis Christopher Lewis, piano
Guest Artist

Christopher Lewis has taught and performed throughout the U.S., Italy and British Columbia since graduating from SUNY Purchase in 1979. He has performed in concerts in such major venues as Carnegie, Weill, and Alice Tully Halls in NYC; Orchestra Hall in Detroit; Empire State Performing Arts Center in Albany. He has won prizes at the American National Chopin Competition and NY Leschetizky Society and made recordings on the Newport Classics label. He held faculty positions at New York University as well as several private schools in New York City. An accomplished organist, he is currently Organist and Director of Music at Zion Episcopal Church in Manchester, VT. He has served on the faculty at Bennington College since 2003. Christopher resides in South Londonderry, VT with his wife and five sons, ages 24, 17, 15, 13 and 8.

top of page


Conor Meehan, percussion
Guest Artist

Conor Meehan is a versatile and sought-after drummer who has appeared on more than 40 recordings and performed in Japan, Europe, Brazil and North America. He currently lives in New York City, where he regularly performs and records with many different artists. Some career highlights include playing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, a Blue Note jazz club tour of Japan, and many TV appearances, among them Late Night with David Letterman. Musically, Mr. Meehan's versatility and interest in varied styles such as jazz, rock, Brazilian, folk, and blues have afforded him opportunities to work with musicians ranging from Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers, singer-songwriter Sonya Kitchell, blues guitarist Albert Cummings, and numerous others, including Heiruspecs and HoneyHoney. Conor Meehan earned a Bachelor of Music from Purchase College in 2004, where he studied with John Riley. Since 2005 he has been an adjunct faculty member at Williams College. He has also taught at Bennington College, UMASS Amherst's Jazz in July summer workshop and Interplay Jazz Workshop in Woodstock, Vermont.

top of page


Stefan Milenkovich Stefan Milenkovich, violin
Faculty Artist

Awarded Serbia's "Brand Personality of the Year" (2010), "Most Humane Person" (2003) and "Artist of the 20th Century" (2002), Violinist Stefan Milenkovich is recognized internationally for both exceptional artistry and his life-long commitment to humanitarianism. He came to international attention when, at age 10, he was invited to perform for President Ronald Reagan at the White House Christmas Show. Mr. Milenkovich's 2013-14 season includes performances with Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo Evansville (IL) Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Orchestra della Fondazione Arena di Verona, as well as performances in the United States at the Olympic, Manchester and DoCha Music Festivals and Jupiter Chamber Music Series; the Zagreb Chamber Music Festival (Croatia), and Gumusluk International Festival (Turkey). Mr. Milenkovich has performed with five-time Grammy-nominated rock band Gorillaz at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Grammy-nominated lutist Edin Karamazov, and the Slovenian ensemble Ars Tango, performing both as a violinist and a dancer. Firmly dedicated to pedagogical work, Mr. Milenkovich taught in collaboration with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School and in the Perlman Music Program, before accepting his current position as an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2012, he also became a visiting professor at the University of Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia.

top of page


Erin  Nafziger Erin Nafziger, soprano
Guest Artist

Soprano Erin Nafziger is a frequent soloist with the Williams Chamber Players and The New Opera Company.  She has performed at the historic Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA for the Made in the Berkshires Festival, and she was featured in an abbreviated version of The Marriage of Figaro as Countess Almaviva at the Adams Memorial Theater in January of 2013.  Other roles include Micäela in La Tragedie de Carmen, Mimì in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas,Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Soeur Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Jenny in Company.  Other New England area performances include appearances as the soprano soloist in Igor Stravinsky's Les Noces, Handel's Messiah andOrff's Carmina Burana in Vermont, and J.S. Bach's Magnificat in New York.  She received First Prize in the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Vocal Concerto Competition, Third Place in the Bel Canto Foundation Competition, and was a finalist in the Rochester Classical Idol Competition of 2014.  She was the soprano soloist in John Adams' Grand Pianola Music, Fauré's Requiem, Vaughn Williams' Hodie, and Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from DePaul University, and a Master's Degree from Northwestern University in Vocal Performance.  She has been an Artist Associate at Williams College since 2006, and is a co-director of the Williams Opera Workshop.

top of page


Christopher O'Riley Christopher O'Riley, piano
Guest Artist

Known to millions as the host of NPR's From the Top, the most popular classical radio show ever, Christopher O'Riley continues to enjoy the most diverse creative life of any pianist of his generation: now in its 15th year, he collaborates with and introduces to nationwide audiences the next generation of Classical music stars every week over more than 200 stations (and the two-year PBS run of 'From the Top Live from Carnegie Hall garnered two Emmys). As recitalist, his programs embrace a multitude of styles and genres from pre-Baroque to compositions of the present day: as concerto soloist and conductor, the dozens of works in his repertoire with orchestra span all centuries.

As arranger (still the only Classical artist to have received a four-star review from Rolling Stone Magazine for the 2003 Sony release, True Love Waits: O'Riley Plays Radiohead) he continues to infuse works from Bach organ works to opera scenes to Piazzolla tangos, songs from the jazz and rock repertoire from an enormous list of his favorites of decades past and Present Day: Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, Cocteau Twins, Stephen Sondheim, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Bad Plus, The Velvet Underground, The Cure, Jon Hassell, Joni Mitchell, John McLaughlin, Raymond Scott, Tori Amos, Guided By Voices, Tears For Fears, Portishead, The Smiths, Billy Joel, Arcade Fire, Beach House, and favorite film scores of Bernard Herrmann with his own brand of pianism and reimagination with which he has toured internationally to festivals of Istanbul, London, Glasgow Sydney, St. Malo and Paris in France, and Sicily.

As multi-media artist, he has collaborated with choreographer Martha Clarke to create Vers la flamme, Chekhov short stories coupled with the music of Alexander Scriabin, a production that ran on Broadway at the New Victory Theater and was presented by Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center, American Dance Theater and the Kennedy Center; his arrangements of music by Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake were the basis for real-time visual improvisation in a triptych of concerts presented in New York by Columbia University; as composer, O'Riley has taken his love of literature and made it an opportunity to collaborate with writers Mark Z. Danielewski, touring his musical score and soundscape to Mark's ghost story with its chorus of narrators, The 50-Year Sword. The score also serves as soundtrack to the eBook.

His latest work with Danielewski is much larger scale: overtures for each of the 90 chapters of the epic, road-novel, archetypal romance of eternal teenagers, Only Revolutions, created for the eBook to appear later this year. O'Riley contributed his Prelude, Variation and Hymn, Time of my Time to the track list of music inspired by his novel, Reverend America, and his first film music will be a piece composed for the film adaptation of Saknussemm's absurdist play, The Humble Assessment.

O'Riley lives by the Duke Ellington adage, "there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad." Genre distinctions are not foremost in his consideration of what repertoire he believes in deeply enough to share with his audiences. This informs his presentation of those rock pieces he feels most passionately about as well as his championing of such under sung masters as Cyril Scott, Federico Mompou, Jean-Phillippe Rameau, William Byrd, Manuel Ponce among others.

Among his many cherished concerto events must be mentioned his tour with the St. Martin-of-the-Fields Chamber Orchestra visiting 10 American cities in 2 weeks, playing Bach, Mozart and Liszt concerti; a series of dates with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra performing Gorecki and Michael Dougherty's Le Tombeau de Liberace, his tour of the US with the Ulster Orchestra performing Ravel, a concerto he recently performed with Banjamin Zander's Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in NYC, and his tour of the UK with Vassily Sinaisky and the Moscow Philharmonic playing Tschaikovsky and the Prokofiev 2nd. He has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, numerous times with the Colorado Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra, the symphonies of San Francisco Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Detroit, Colorado, Atlanta, Baltimore and many others.

He has had the honor and pleasure to work with conductors Marin Alsop, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, Benjamin Zander, John Williams, William Eddins, Neeme Järvi, JoAnn Falletta, Hugh Wolff, Roger Norrington, Bobby McFerrin, Hans Graf, Alan Gilbert, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Semyon Bychkov, Yoel Levi, Andrew Litton and many others.

An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Mr. O'Riley has twice participated in the annual "Absolute Concerto" concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, a brainchild of O'Riley's fan in the 80's, Andy Warhol, premiering works by Richard Danielpour and Michael Torke. In 1999-2000 he performed Michael Daugherty's Le Tombeau de Liberace He has also premiered works by Aaron Jay Kernis, including his piano quartet, Still Movement with Hymn, (also recorded for Decca's Argo label) and the "Superstar" Etude No. 1, inspired by the pianism of Jerry Lee Lewis.

From early in his career, Mr. O'Riley was honored with many awards at the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Busoni and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He was also a ?nalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1981.

His most recent solo recording was his first Classical record in a dozen years: O'Riley's Liszt on Oxingale Records, which featured two discs of Liszt's transcriptions, including songs by Schumann and Schubert, the famous opera paraphrase on Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Don Juan Fantasy, and Liszt's own transcription of the complete Symphonie Fantastique of Hector Berlioz, liberally re-imagined by O'Riley. His previous Oxingale release was his first collaboration with cellist, Matt Haimovitz, their genre-hopping double-disc set, Shuffle.Play.Listen. Their traversal of the Complete Sontatas & Variations of Beethoven, recorded on an 1823 Broadwood fortepiano and Matt's gut-strung Gofriller will be released in September of this year.

Among his many solo releases are a Scriabin disc for Image Recordings, an all-Stravinsky disc on Elektra Nonesuch, featuring Three Movements from Petrouchka and Mr. O'Riley's ?rst foray into transcriptions with his own versions of Apollo and Histoire du Soldat. Other recordings include an RCA Victor Red Seal release of French repertoire for ?ute and piano with James Galway; his audacious debut disc of music of Busoni including the monumental Fantasia Contrapuntistica, a disc of Ravel's solo works; a recording of Beethoven Piano Sonatas; Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic, a collaboration with cellist Carter Brey entitled Le Grand Tango; and the premiere recording of P.D.Q Bach's "The Short-Tempered Clavier" by the fabled composer-satirist Peter Schickele. Other contemporary composers he has recorded include John Adams, Richard Danielpour, Robert Helps, Todd Brief and Roger Sessions.

In addition to his own transcriptions, Mr. O'Riley has ventured into alternate territory on tour with other classical artists including fellow pianists: Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos, with the jazz pianist Fred Hersch; and Los Tangueros, with the Argentinian pianist and original member for decades of Astor Piazzolla's New Tango Quintet, Pablo Ziegler, presently touring a program of two-piano arrangements that feature Astor Piazzolla's classic tangos and many of Pablo's new compositions. He has also collaborated in a number of long-term chamber music collaborations, prominently among them work over the past decades with master flutist, Sir James Galway, cellists Matt Haimovitz and Carter Brey.

His radio and tv show can be found on-line at www.fromthetop.org. His personal website is at www.christopheroriley.com.

top of page


Jeewon Park Jeewon Park, piano
Guest Artist

Praised for her "deeply reflective playing" (Indianapolis Star) and "infectious exuberance" (New York Times), Korean-born pianist Jeewon Park has garnered the attention of audiences for her dazzling technique and poetic lyricism. Since making her debut at the age of 12, Ms. Park has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kravis Center, and Seoul Arts Center in Korea.

Ms. Park has performed at prominent festivals throughout the world, including the Spoleto USA, Bridgehampton and Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festivals, the Appalachian Summer Festival, the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, the Taos Summer Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, the Emilia-Romagna Festival (Italy), the Music Alp in Courchevel (France), and the Kusatsu Summer Music Festival (Japan). She is regularly invited to collaborate with the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, and has performed with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Vermeer, Brentano, Tokyo, Fine Arts, and Miami Quartets.

Ms. Park has been heard in numerous live broadcasts on National Public Radio and New York's Classical Radio Station, WQXR. Additionally, her performances have been nationally broadcast throughout Korea on KBS television. She came to the U. S. in 2002, after having won all the major competitions in Korea, most notably Joong-Ang and KBS competitions. Ms. Park is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale University, where she was awarded the Dean Horatio Parker Prize. She holds the DMA degree from SUNY Stony Brook. Her teachers include Young-Ho Kim, Herbert Stessin, Claude Frank and Gilbert Kalish.

top of page


Nathaniel Parke Nathaniel Parke, cello
Faculty Artist

Nathaniel Parke is a member of the Bennington String Quartet, principal cello of the Berkshire Symphony and co-principal cello of the Berkshire Opera Orchestra. He has also been a member of the Boston Composers String Quartet with whom he can be heard performing new works by Boston composers on the MMC label. He is currently artist associate in cello at Williams College and instructor of cello at Bennington College in addition to maintaining a studio of private students. He has served as a faculty member and chamber music coach at the Longy School of Music, Skidmore College, SUNY Albany and the Chamber Music Conference and Composer's Forum of the East. As a soloist, he has been heard with the Wellesley, Berkshire and Sage City Symphonies. Mr. Parke's free-lance work in the Albany and Boston areas ranges from period instrument performances to premieres of new works. He can be heard on Albany records performing solo cello music by Ileana Perez-Velasquez. He received his training at the Longy School of Music, studying with George Neikrug, and in London with William Pleeth. He holds an MFA from Bennington College, where he studied with Maxine Neuman. Mr. Parke plays on an instrument made in 1721 by C.G. Testore.

top of page


Vassily Primakov, piano Vassily Primakov, piano
Faculty Artist

Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. His first piano studies were with his mother, Marina Primakova. He entered Moscow's Central Special Music School at the age of 11, 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, presenting 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, he won First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In 2007 he was named the Classical Recording Foundation's Young Artist of the Year. In 2009, Mr. Primakov's Chopin Mazurkas recording was named Best of the Year by NPR. He has released numerous recordings for Bridge Records. In 2011, Mr. Primakov and his duo partner, Natalia Lavrova, established a record company, LP Classics. Their first release was Anton Arensky: Four Suites for Two Pianos. More recently, they released Primakov's Chopin recording on two discs featuring three sonatas, four ballades and four scherzos, which was showcased as an "Album of the Week" on WQXR. In March 2012 Vassily Primakov became a Yamaha Artist.

top of page


Jayn Rosenfeld Jayn Rosenfeld, flute
Guest Artist

Jayn Rosenfeld, flute teacher, chamber music specialist, and champion of contemporary music, has advanced the technique and interpretation of flute playing for the present generation, and been a major stimulus for developing new repertory for flute and for small ensemble. Her many recordings include concerti by Domenico Cimarosa, Dinos Constantinides, Rand Steiger and Leo Kraft, solo works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Leon Kirchner, John Anthony Lennon, Robert Erickson and David Froom, more than sixty works of contemporary chamber music, many with The New York New Music Ensemble, and a recording of the flute chamber music of Albert Roussel (Centaur). Ms. Rosenfeld was the flutist and executive director of The New York New Music Ensemble for over thirty years and was the first flutist of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra for the same period; she has also been first flutist in the American Symphony Orchestra. Currently, she plays with the Orchestra of the League of Composers, the Richardson Players at Princeton University, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, and the Manchester Music Festival, while concentrating on teaching, coaching, and master classes. Ms. Rosenfeld, a graduate of Radcliffe College and the Manhattan School of Music, teaches flute and coaches ensembles at Princeton University and at Greenwich House, NYC, where she gives a flute workshop for amateurs.

top of page


Dimitri Rudiakov Dimitri Rudiakov, bassoon
Guest Artist

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Dimitri Rudiakov is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. He joined the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Kondrashin. In 1973, Mr. Rudiakov moved to Israel, where he worked as solo bassoonist at the Jerusalem Radio Orchestra. He later joined the Nuremberg and Bochum Orchestras in Germany as solo bassoonist. Mr. Rudiakov is the Director of the wind ensemble Serenata in Stuttgart, Germany, which has presented concerts in Switzerland, Poland, the United States and Israel.

top of page


The Shanghai  Quartet The Shanghai Quartet
Guest Ensemble

Renowned for its passionate musicality and impressive technique, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres from masterpieces of Western music to cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet has worked with the world's most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia, from the Beijing International Music Festival to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell and Peter Serkin. The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and has premiered works by such composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng and Zhou Long. Their extensive discography includes more than 25 recordings, the most recent of which are the complete Beethoven String Quartets on Camerata. The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Montclair State University and Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. They are visiting guest professors at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing. (www.shanghaiquartet.com)

top of page


Sophie Shao Sophie Shao, cello
Guest Artist

Cellist Sophie Shao received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at age 19, was a major prizewinner at the 2001 Rostropovich Competition, and a laureate of the XII Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002. She has given the world premiere performances of Howard Shore's Mythic Gardens, a concerto written for her, and Richard Wilson's Concerto for Cello and Mezzo-Soprano with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Haydn C major concertos, performed the Saint-Saens La Muse et Le Poete with violinist Miranda Cuckson at the Bard Music Festival, and presented the six Bach Suites in one afternoon at Union College in Schenectady. She has made recital and chamber music appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. She can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (Marlboro Music's 50th anniversary recording), and on Albany Records, and will be releasing a double-CD set of the Bach Cello Suites this season. Ms. Shao studied at The Curtis Institute with David Soyer and Felix Galimir, and, upon graduating, continued with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Yale College and a Master's of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Ms. Shao plays on an Honore Derazey cello previously owned by Pablo Casals and is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two.

top of page


Morrie Sherry Morrie Sherry, clarinet
Guest Artist

Clarinetist Morrie Sherry is an avid chamber musician and a dedicated teacher. She has performed in numerous solo and chamber recitals in major venues in the New York and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas and the Northeast. Ms. Sherry has been featured as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, the Manchester Festival Orchestra, the International Jewish Arts Festival Orchestra, the Hawthorne Symphony and the Rottenberg Chorale and was principal clarinetist with the Metropolitan Soloists in New York City for eighteen years. Currently, she performs with the St. Cecilia Chamber Ensemble. The Arlington Journal noted of her performance of the Mozart Quintet with the Vermilion String Quartet, “ ...she demonstrated that she is an artist of superb ability and flawless musicianship.” At the Manchester Music Festival, Ms. Sherry has performed in chamber music concerts for over 20 years and, in 2000, premiered David Amram’s “Starry Night” for clarinet and string orchestra commissioned by the festival. As an orchestral player, Ms Sherry has performed with the Queens Philharmonic, on tours with Opera Northeast, the New York Grand Opera and for several seasons, played principal clarinet for the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Children’s Concerts with David Amram at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

At the Kaufman Center in New York City, Ms. Sherry teaches clarinet, coaches chamber ensembles, and enjoys performing with fellow faculty in recitals. She maintains a private studio. Ms. Sherry holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. Principal teachers were Ben Armato, Leon Russianoff, Ignatius Gennusa and David Glazer. Her awards include competition prizes from the Baltimore Symphony, ClariNetwork International, the Virginia Symphony, and Artists International.

top of page


Max Sopher Max Sopher, violin
Guest Artist

Born in New Hampshire to non-musician parents, Max Sopher began learning the violin from Theresa Carr at age 5. He was a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra from 2004-2005 and made his solo debut in 2006 with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra at age eleven. His love for chamber music began at Kinhaven Music School, where he spent four happy summers from 2009-2012 studying with Nick DiEugenio, Anna Elashvili, and Patrick Wood Uribe. Max continued his studies with Svetlana Gurina at Phillips Exeter Academy, and following graduation in 2013 he enrolled at Williams College. He now studies with Joana Genova and is a member of the Berkshire Symphony. Max is planning to major in Music and has a special interest in composition. He also plays guitar and enjoys creative writing.

top of page


Caroline Stinson Caroline Stinson, cello
Faculty Artist

Praised for her vibrant lyricism, fresh interpretations and expressive performances, cellist Caroline Stinson is sought after in North America and Europe as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Ms. Stinson's solo invitations include the Museum of Modern Art's Summergarden Series, Poisson Rouge and Bargemusic in New York; Cité de la Musique Strasbourg, the Lucerne Festival in Europe, and the Centennial Centre and Winspear Halls in Canada, the Banff Festival and Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestras, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Interlochen World Youth and Syracuse symphonies. A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Stinson has commissioned concerti from Steven Bryant, Andrew Waggoner, and Patrick Carrabre, in addition to chamber music with the Lark Quartet and her new music and improvisation group, Open End Ensemble. Her début CD, Lines, was released in 2011 on Albany Records, and she has over a dozen other chamber music recordings to her credit on labels from Bridge to Naxos. Her teachers were Alan Harris, Maria Kliegel, Joel Krosnick and Tanya Prochazka. Ms. Stinson is co-Artistic Director of the Weekend of Chamber Music in NY State and teaches cello and chamber music at The Juilliard School in the Pre-College Division and as Assistant Faculty for Joel Krosnick.

top of page


Danielle Talamantes Danielle Talamantes, soprano
Guest Artist

"It's not often that a fortunate operagoer witnesses the birth of a star!," noted of Soprano Danielle Talamantes' recent role debut as Violetta in La traviata. This rising star makes an exciting stage début in the upcoming 2014-2015 season as Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen in a return to The Metropolitan Opera, as well as a return to the National Philharmonic for both Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mozart's Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate.

Danielle first earned a spot on the Metropolitan Opera roster in the spring of 2011, covering the role of Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, and was subsequently reengaged to cover the role of the Flower Maiden in Wagner's Parsifal, the soprano in the quartet of lovers in the Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island, and most recently to perform in Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Her 2013-2014 season highlights include a début at Avery Fisher Hall as the soprano soloist in Bob Chilcott's Requiem, a perfomance he is to conduct. In addition, she performs the soprano lead in a world premiere production of Janice Hamer's Lost Childhood with the National Philharmonic in Washington D.C., Elijah with the Blacksburg Master Chorale, Mozart's Mass in C minor with the City Choir of Washington, and also debuts the role of Mimì in Puccini's La bohème with Capital City Symphony.

Recent opera engagements also include the roles of Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Opera on the James. Other performed roles include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Micäela in Carmen, Alexandra in Regina, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.

An accomplished recitalist, Danielle Talamantes has been the featured soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic Chorale & Orchestra, United States Army Band, Oratorio Society of Virginia, Nashville Symphony, Choralis and Baltimore Choral Arts Society. A native of Northern Virginia, Talamantes made her Carnegie Hall début in a sold-out solo recital in 2007, and was the Soprano in Residence for the Summer 2012 at the Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro, Vermont.

Ms. Talamantes has been awarded first-prize in several prestigious opera competitions, including: the Irene Dalis Opera San Jose Competition; Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition; XII Concurso de Trujillo; International Lotte Lehman Cybersing Competition; NATS Artist Award; and the Vocal Arts Society Discovery Series competition. In addition, she has garnered honors and awards in vocal competitions with the National Opera Association, Liederkranz Foundation, Seoul International Music Competition, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Giulio Gari Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Plácido Domingo's Operalia and Thomas Quasthoff's Das Lied.

top of page


Renee Tatum Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano
Guest Artist

Noted for her “commanding and dramatic presence” (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2013-14 season for productions of The Magic Flute conducted by Jane Glover, Rusalka led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Die Frau ohne Schatten with Vladimir Jurowski.  The California native makes her Houston Grand Opera debut as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold under the baton of Music Director Patrick Summers and joins the Orange County Philharmonic Society for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with conductor Daniel Wachs.

A recent alumna of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Miss Tatum’s Metropolitan Opera performances include the roles of Emilia in Otello under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, Adonella in Zandonai’s seldom heard Francesca da Rimini conducted by Marco Armiliato, Fenena in Nabucco with Paolo Carignani, and Flosshilde in Robert Lepage’s landmark production of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Fabio Luisi.

Miss Tatum made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2010-11 season as Inez in Il trovatore conducted by Marco Armiliato.  Highlights of the recent past have featured the artist as Háta in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth, led by James Levine, in a collaboration between the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School, and in the roles of Flosshilde and Grimgerde in San Francisco Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Donald Runnicles.  Other performances include La Haine in Gluck’s Armide in a co-production between the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School and the role of Medea in Handel's Teseo with Chicago Opera Theater.  As a member of the Adler Fellowship program, her San Francisco Opera performances have included Inez in Il trovatore, Annina in La traviata, and Emilia in Otello.

She has sung Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte with the Santa Fe Opera conducted by Lawrence Renes and in a new production at San Francisco Opera led by Rory Macdonald, Amando in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert, and The Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with Chautauqua Opera.

Ms. Tatum is a winner of the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, a finalist of the 2011 George London Foundation Competition, 2010 Grand Prize Winner of The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition, The Opera Index Competition, The Jensen Foundation Award from Chautauqua Opera, and two-time recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.  A Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Tatum holds degrees from The Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music.

top of page


Blair Tindall, oboe
Guest Artist

Writer and oboist Blair Tindall writes about classical music for the New York Times and has performed, toured and recorded with the New York Philharmonic. As an oboist, Ms. Tindall's musical career has taken her from the classical stage of Carnegie Hall to the late-night ambiance of New York's famed Blue Note Jazz Club. She has appeared both at home and abroad with the New York Philharmonic and its fifteen-member chamber ensemble and has played principal oboe with the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York City Ballet and Opera Orchestras and the New Jersey Symphony. She has also appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Jose Symphony, Ballet and Opera, the New England Bach Festival, Bargemusic, the Lark and Colorado String Quartets and was principal oboist of the Vivaldi Traveling Circus. Ms. Tindall's recordings can be found on the Opus One, Deutsche Grammophon, Chesky, Columbia, Varese Sarabande, Nonesuch and Premier record labels. In addition to her reporting for the New York Times, Ms. Tindall writes regularly about environmental issues for Sierra magazine. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Harvard's Nieman Reports, the San Francisco Examiner, Yoga Journal, Strings, Symphony, and Art & Antiques. She holds an MA in journalism from Stanford University, and BM and MM degrees in music performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her 2005 tell-all book Mozart in the Jungle was recently piloted on Amazon Prime Video.

top of page


Vladimir Valjarević Vladimir Valjarević, piano
Guest Artist

A dedicated chamber musician and soloist, pianist Vladimir Valjarević has been praised for his "caressing legato," "silk-on-velvet seductiveness" (Fanfare Magazine), "beautiful lyricism and . . . wide variety of tones and colorings, perceptively applied with care" (All Music Guide). He has also been called "an outstandingly responsive partner and superb tonalist" (The Strad). His performances have taken him throughout America, Europe, and Asia, and have garnered enthusiastic critical acclaim. Mr. Valjarevic has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers in various projects, including commissions, recordings, and world premiers. He has recorded for Labor Records, Centaur Records, and MSR Classics. Mr. Valjarević studied in his native Bosnia, at Mannes College The New School for Music (BM & MM), Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (DMA) and at Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His primary piano instructors are Pavlina Dokovska, Pascal Devoyon, Susan Starr, and Planinka Jurisic-Atic. He is on piano faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Mannes Preparatory and Extension Divisions, and is the Teaching Assistant of Pavlina Dokovska at Mannes College. Mr. Valjarević teaches piano pedagogy at Mannes and Rutgers, where he also lectures on the history of piano literature. His festival affiliations include Beijing International Music Festival and Academy in China, and both Pianophoria Festival and The Center for Music Excellence (CME) in New York City.

top of page


Calvin Wiersma Calvin Wiersma, violin
Faculty Artist

Violinist Calvin Wiersma has toured throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician. He was a founding member of the award-winning Meliora Quartet, a founding member of the Figaro Trio and is a member of the Manhattan String Quartet and the Purchase Faculty String Quartet. Mr. Wiersma has appeared at numerous summer Chamber Music Festivals, among them the Aspen, Vancouver, Rockport, Bard, Portland, Crested Butte, North Country, Central Vermont, New Hope, Interlochen, Prairie School, An Appalachian Summer, Cape May, and Music Mountain Festivals. Former member of New York Philomusica and frequent performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, he has also performed with the Da Camera Society of Houston, the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, The Festival Chamber Music Society, the Chamber Music Society of New Hope, the Carnegie Chamber Players, and Close Encounters with Music. Recent recordings include Jacob Druckman's Third String Quartet for Philomusica; Elliott Carter's Syringa; Milton Babbitt's Swan Song; chamber music of Nils Vigeland; and chamber music of Stephen Foster with flutist Paula Robison for Telarc. Mr. Wiersma is on the faculty of the Purchase Conservatory of Music, has conducted clinics and master classes worldwide, and has been an artist-in-residence at numerous institutions, including Middlebury College, Colgate University, the California Summer Arts Program, the Smolny Institute in Moscow, and the Institute for Chamber Music in Khiryat Shemona, Israel.

top of page