Since winning the 1991 Naumburg Viola Award, Misha Amory has been active as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed with orchestras in the United States and Europe, and has been presented in recital at New York’s Tully Hall, Los Angeles’ Ambassador series, Philadelphia’s Mozart on the Square festival, Boston’s Gardner Museum, Houston’s Da Camera series and Washington’s Phillips Collection. He has been invited to perform at the Marlboro Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Vancouver Festival, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and he has released a recording of Hindemith sonatas on the Musical Heritage Society label. Mr. Amory holds degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School; his principal teachers were Heidi Castleman, Caroline Levine and Samuel Rhodes. Himself a dedicated teacher, Mr. Amory serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School in New York City and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
Twenty-six year old American violinist Benjamin Beilman is recognized as one of the fastest rising stars of his generation, winning praise in both North America and Europe for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive” and The New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast.” Following his performance of the Sibelius Concerto at the Montreal Competition, the Strad described his performance of the slow movement as “pure poetry.”
In the 16-17 season, Mr. Beilman returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin in subscription, and on tour with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He also appears as soloist on the Chicago Symphony’s new music series, and performs with the Symphony orchestras of Detroit, San Diego, Atlanta, and Grand Rapids, as well as making recital debuts in San Francisco and Vancouver. Abroad, Mr. Beilman makes his debuts with the City of Birmingham Symphony, and at the Dvorak Festival in Prague; he also returns to London’s Wigmore Hall, and appears in recital on a ten-city tour of Australia – including debut appearances in Sydney and Melbourne. In March 2016, Warner Classics released his debut recital CD of works by Schubert, Janacek, and Stravinsky. Highlights last season include his debut with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony and the world premiere of a new concerto written for him by Edmund Finnis with the London Contemporary Orchestra. He also returned to Europe to play Beethoven with the London Chamber Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, and for recitals at the Louvre, and the Wigmore Hall, as well as at the Verbier and Aix-en-Provence Festivals.
In recent seasons, Mr. Beilman has appeared in subscription with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and returned to play with them at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, and, last Summer, at Saratoga. He also made his debut in recital at the Berlin Philharmonie, and appeared with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and with Orchestra St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall. He has recently appeared both in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium with the New York Youth Symphony and Weill Hall, for his recital debut, in a program that included the premiere of a new work by David Ludwig commissioned for him by Carnegie Hall. Mr. Beilman also previously performed with the Basel Symphony, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Abroad, Mr. Beilman has appeared as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Sir Neville Marriner, with l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and with the Malaysian Philharmonic and Hans Graf. He has also appeared in recital internationally at the Louvre, Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall, and Festpiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Mr. Beilman is a frequent guest artist at festivals including at Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, and Chamber Music Northwest as well as at the Bridgehampton, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Seattle, and Sedona Chamber Music Festivals. Mr. Beilman collaborates abroad at the Kronberg Academy in Frankfurt, Spectrum Concerts Berlin, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at the Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing.
Mr. Beilman is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a 2012 London Music Masters Award. In 2010, he won First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and First Prize in the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition. In 2009, he was a winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions. Beilman recorded Prokofiev’s complete sonata for violin on the Analekta label in 2011.
Mr. Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy. Mr. Beilman plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.
Picked by the Boston Globe as one of the Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything,” pianist Gloria Chien made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has appeared as a soloist under the batons of Sergiu Comissiona, Keith Lockhart, Thomas Dausgaard, and Irwin Hoffman. She has presented concerts at Alice Tully Hall, Library of Congress, Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, Phillips Collection, Jordan Hall, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Savannah Musical Festival, Kissingen Sommer, Dresden Chamber Musical Festival, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with artists such as the St. Lawrence, Miró, Pacifica, Brentano Quartets, David Shifrin, Daniel Hope, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Jaime Laredo, James Ehnes, Roberto Diaz, David Finckel, Jan Vogler, Soovin Kim, Radovan Vlatković and Carolin Widmann; and she recently released a CD with clarinetist Anthony McGill. In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga, as its Founder and Artistic Director. The following year, she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. A native of Taiwan, Ms. Chien is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She is an Artist-In-Residence at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, and is an artist of Chamber Music Society. Gloria is a Steinway Artist.
For over two decades cellist Christopher Costanza has enjoyed a varied and exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and a recipient of a prestigious Solo Recitalists Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mr. Costanza has performed to wide critical acclaim in nearly every state in the U.S., and in Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, and Hungary. His summer festival appearances include the Marlboro, Yellow Barn, Santa Fe, Taos, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Bay Chamber Concerts, Ottawa, and Bravo! Vail Valley festivals. Mr. Costanza is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied cello with Laurence Lesser, David Wells, and Bernard Greenhouse, and chamber music with Eugene Lehner, Louis Krasner, and James Buswell.
Mr. Costanza joined the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 2003, and tours extensively with that ensemble, performing over 100 concerts annually throughout the world. As a member of the St. Lawrence, he is an Artist in Residence at Stanford University, where he teaches cello and chamber music and performs a wide variety of formal and informal concerts each season, from the stages of the University’s concert halls to student dormitories and lecture halls. A strong proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Costanza works regularly with some of the world’s most notable composers, such as John Adams, Jonathan Berger, Osvaldo Golijov, Mark Applebaum, Pierre Boulez, Christos Hatzis, Roberto Sierra, R. Murray Schafer, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, and Bright Sheng. As a student, he had the honor of studying Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” under the guidance of the composer.
Mr. Costanza’s discography includes numerous chamber music and solo recordings on the EMI/Angel, Naxos, Innova, Albany, Summit, and ArtistShare labels. In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of major chamber works for winds and strings by Mozart. Additionally, several St. Lawrence String Quartet recordings on EMI have also been nominated for Juno awards. Mr. Costanza is frequently heard on radio broadcasts worldwide, including the CBC in Canada, NPR in the United States, and on various European broadcasting networks. He is privileged to perform on an early 18th century Venetian cello made by Francesco Gobetti and Joseph Guarneri, currently in the Stanford instrument collection.
In addition to his varied musical interests, Christopher is an avid long-distance runner and hiker, in an effort to offset the dozens of hours spent planted in a chair playing the cello. A self-described train enthusiast, he enjoys riding and exploring the passenger railways of the world. Additionally, Chris is fascinated by architecture (railway stations, for starters), and seeks out innovative architectural offerings of each city he visits on tour. At home in California, he is also passionate about cooking, focusing his attention on new and creative vegetarian and vegan dishes which take advantage of the abundance of remarkable organic local produce. Christopher lives with two wonderful violinists: his wife, Debra Fong, and their daughter, Isabella.
As a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, pianist Leon Fleisher was recognized as a “consummate musician whose career is a testament to the life-affirming power of art.”
The child prodigy began to study the piano at the age of four and by the age of nine, the legendary Artur Schnabel invited him to be his student, first in Lake Como, Italy and then in New York, where he nurtured and inspired the young Mr. Fleisher for the next ten years as he evolved into one of the great music masters of our time. Leon Fleisher made his debut with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Pierre Monteux when he was sixteen years old. Maître Monteux called him “the pianistic find of the century.”
Mr. Fleisher went on to international renown, becoming the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition in Brussels in 1952. He subsequently enjoyed a prolific recording career, most notably with George Szell and The Cleveland Orchestra, recordings recognized as among the great collaborations in the concerto repertoire. In 1965, before a scheduled tour of Russia with The Cleveland Orchestra, Leon Fleisher began to suffer symptoms of a debilitating condition of his right hand, later diagnosed as focal dystonia, a neurological condition that causes the fingers to curl into the palm of the hand.
After a period of great despair, Mr. Fleisher channeled his creativity in new directions, mastering the piano repertoire for left hand and initiating a career in conducting. He renewed his dedication to teaching at Peabody, where he has been the inspiration to hundreds of students since 1959. Leon Fleisher holds the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. As a teacher, he has carried on a tradition that descends directly from Beethoven himself, handed down generationally through Carl Czerny, Theodor Leschetizky, Artur Schnabel and Leon Fleisher himself.
In the mid-90s, with the combined therapies of Botox injections and Rolfing, he regained sufficient use of his right hand, leading to an extraordinary career renaissance. In 2003, Mr. Fleisher joined forces with his wife, pianist Katherine Jacobson, to form the Fleisher-Jacobson Piano Duo, giving concerts world-wide and recording for Sony Classical. Leon Fleisher released the album "Two Hands" in 2004, which went on to hold a Top 5 Billboard Chart position and was hailed by critics as one of the best recordings of the year. "Two Hands" is also the title of the Oscar nominated documentary film about his amazing life story. In 2013, Sony Classical issued a 23-CD box set of his entire recorded output, and in 2014, Mr. Fleisher released his first solo CD in a decade, the Grammy nominated "All The Things You Are."
In 2006, in Paris, Leon Fleisher received the honor of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters by the Minister of Culture of the French government.
At age 88, in addition to his teaching at Peabody, Mr. Fleisher continues with an international schedule of master classes, performances and orchestral guest conducting.
Percussionist Christopher Froh specializes in promoting and influencing the creation of new music through critically-acclaimed performances and dynamic lectures. A member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Empyrean Ensemble, Rootstock Percussion, and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Froh has premiered over 100 chamber and solo works by composers from 15 countries. As a soloist, he has appeared at festivals and recitals across Japan, China, Turkey, Europe, and the United States. He has recorded with the San Francisco Symphony on SFS Media; as a soloist on Albany, Bridge, Innova, and Equilibrium labels; and as a chamber musician on Music@Menlo LIVE. He teaches percussion at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
Hsin-Yun Huang has forged a career as one of the leading violists of her generation. She has been soloist with the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Zagreb Soloists and the London Sinfonia, among many others. She performs regularly at festivals, including Marlboro, Spoleto, Rome, Santa Fe among many others. She was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet from 1994 to 2000.
She is active in commissioning works for solo viola and chamber ensemble. Her 2012 recording, Viola Viola, for Bridge Records, included commissions from Shih-Hui Chen and Steven Mackey, and works by Elliott Carter, Poul Ruders, and George Benjamin. Upcoming recording project include complete Solo Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas on the Viola to be released in 2017.
A native of Taiwan, Ms. Huang first came to international attention as the gold medalist and youngest competitor in the 1988 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. She was educated at the Menuhin School in UK prior to received degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. She and now serves on the faculties of both schools and lives in New York City.
Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute’s intricately crafted performances and ability to communicate the essential substance of a work has led critics to describe her as possessing ‘razor-sharp intelligence and wit' (The Washington Post) and as ‘an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament and persuasive insight’ (The New York Times). In 2006, she was honored as a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship.
Labor Records released Ieva’s debut recording in 2010 to critical international acclaim, which resulted in recitals in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Vilnius, and Toulouse. Over the last seasons, she made her orchestral debuts with the Chicago Symphony; in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and, last season, with the American Youth Philharmonic. In February 2017, Ieva will solo with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo in Uruguay. Her piano trio—Trio Cavatina—won the 2009 Naumburg International Chamber Music Competition. Ieva’s latest recording: Returning Paths: solo piano works by Janacek and Suk was also released to critical acclaim in 2014.
In the fall of 2016, Ieva began a collaboration with the violinist Midori Gato, with recitals in Canada and at the Cartagena International Music Festival in Columbia. They will perform in Germany, Austria this spring and tour Japan in September.
A much sought after chamber musician, Ieva’s collaborative endeavors have brought her to major stages around the world, such as: Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. She regularly appears at international music festivals including: Marlboro, Ravinia, Bard, Caramoor, Chesapeake Chamber Music, Four Seasons, Prussia Cove in England.
Earning degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and from Mannes College of Music, her principal teachers have been Seymour Lipkin and Richard Goode. In the fall of 2015, Ieva began her tenure as Assistant Professor, Piano at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. This summer, Ieva will be a faculty member of Curtis Summerfest in Philadelphia and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival in Blue Hill, Maine.
The profound influence of pianist Gilbert Kalish as an educator and pianist in myriad performances and recordings has established him as a major figure in American music-making. This season he appears with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, performs at the Ojai Music Festival, and holds a residency at the San Francisco Conservatory. In 2006 he was awarded the Peabody Medal by the Peabody Conservatory for his outstanding contributions to music in America. He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years, and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group that flourished during the 1960s and 70s in support of new music. He is particularly known for his partnership of many years with mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, as well as for current collaborations with soprano Dawn Upshaw and cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnik. As an educator and performer he has appeared at the Banff Centre, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Music@Menlo; from 1985 to 1997 he served as chairman of the Tanglewood faculty. His discography of some 100 recordings embraces both the classical and contemporary repertories; of special note are those made with Ms. DeGaetani and that of Ives' Concord Sonata. A distinguished professor at SUNY Stony Brook, Mr. Kalish has been an Artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006.
Percussionist Ayano Kataoka, formerly a member of Chamber Music Society Two and the first percussionist to be so chosen, is known for her brilliant and dynamic technique, as well as the unique elegance and artistry she brings to her performances. She has collaborated with many of the world’s most respected artists, including Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Ani Kavafian, David Shifrin, and Jeremy Denk. She gave the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Self Comes to Mind for cello and two percussionists with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the American Museum of Natural History in 2009. She presented a solo recital at Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall which was broadcast on NHK, the national public station of Japan. Her performances can be also heard on the Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, New World, Bridge, New Focus, and Albany recording labels. Since 2013, she has toured the US and Mexico extensively as a percussionist for Cuatro Corridos, a chamber opera led by Grammy Award-winning soprano Susan Narucki and noted Mexican author Jorge Volpi that addresses human trafficking across the US-Mexican border. Most recently, the opera was presented as a special event at 2015 FIL/Guadalajara International Book Fair, the largest Spanish language book fair in the world. A native of Japan, Ms. Kataoka began her marimba studies at age five, and percussion at 15. She received her artist diploma degree from Yale University School of Music, where she studied with marimba virtuoso Robert van Sice. She is a faculty member of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
American violinist Soovin Kim is increasingly sought after for the character, nuance, and excitement of his performances as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, both in the U.S. and abroad. Particularly known for his breadth of repertoire, Mr. Kim typically takes on everything from Bach to Paganini to big romantic concertos to new commissions within a single season. He has performed in the U.S. with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s and the Baltimore, San Francisco, and Indianapolis Symphonies, in Europe with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Prague Chamber, Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestras, and in Asia with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and KBS Symphony. He has given solo recitals at Weill Hall in New York, Terrace Theater in Washington D.C., Ravinia, Tokyo’s Casals Hall, and the Seoul Arts Center. Long associated with the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico, Soovin founded the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington VT in 2009. His recording of Paganini's 24 Caprices for solo violin was released in February 2006 and was named Classic FM Magazine's "Instrumental Disc of the Month." Mr. Kim won first prize in the 1996 Paganini International Competition and was also awarded the Henryk Szeryng Career Award, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in autumn 2014.
Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. An adventurous musician, she collaborates with artists of multiple disciplines and curates projects that find connections between music of all eras from traditional to contemporary. She believes that all the arts and music of the past and present form a continuum and has premiered over 50 works written especially for her.
This season, Ms. Koh performs a broad range of concertos that reflects the breadth of her musical interests, including Steven Mackey’s concerto Beautiful Passing with the Baltimore Symphony led by Marin Alsop and Naples Philharmonic led by Eric Jacobsen, Mozart’s First Violin Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Nicholas McGegan, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony led by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra led by Xian Zhang. Ms. Koh will perform world premieres of violin concertos by Christopher Rountree with the new music collective wild Up as part of Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella “From Noon To Midnight” music marathon, and by Vijay Iyer at the 2017 Ojai Festival. She also performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra led by Jaime Laredo.
Ms. Koh presents a year-long focus on the music of Kaija Saariaho, one of her most notable collaborators. Ms. Koh has premiered numerous works, in performance and on recording, by the Finnish composer including Frises for solo violin and electronics, and Light and Matter and Aure, both with cellist Anssi Karttunen. This season, she performs Ms. Saariaho’s violin concerto, Graal Theatre, with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble in Philadelphia as part of a collaborative residency that also includes master classes and coachings; the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland; and the Orchestre de Radio France on a program that also features Frises and Light and Matter with Mr. Karttunen. In New York, Ms. Koh performs Ms. Saariaho’s Cloud Trio on a chamber music program with the Variation Trio in its 92nd Street Y debut and Tocar for violin and piano with Shai Wosner as part of a recital for the People’s Symphony Concerts. In the summer of 2016, Ms. Koh and Ms. Saariaho were in residency at the Aspen Music Festival.
Ms. Koh’s foray into curating projects has led her to commission works by today’s foremost composers. Shared Madness comprises short works for solo violin that explore virtuosity for the violin in the 21st century by more than 30 of today’s most celebrated composers, all of whom gifted their music for the project. Shared Madness premiered over two recitals in May 2016 at National Sawdust as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial. Her Bridge to Beethoven recital series, performed with pianist Shai Wosner, explores the impact and significance Beethoven has had on a diverse group of composers and musicians. Pairing Beethoven’s ten sonatas for violin and piano with new works by composers Vijay Iyer, Andrew Norman, and Anthony Cheung over four programs, the project seeks to ignite creative conversations around Beethoven not only as a cornerstone of classical music but as a universal source of inspiration. This season, Ms. Koh perform works from Shared Madness in a recital at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and continues Bridge to Beethoven with Shai Wosner in recital at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and in cities nationwide.
The exploration of Bach’s music and its influence in today’s musical landscape has played an important role in Ms. Koh’s artistic journey. Bach and Beyond, which she launched in 2009 in commemoration of the 325th anniversary of Bach’s birth, is a three recital series that traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas to composers ranging from Bartók, Berio, Carter, Salonen, and Ysaÿe with commissions and world premieres by composers John Harbison, Phil Kline, Missy Mazzoli, Kaija Saariaho, and video artist Tal Rosner. Another project that presents works in response to Bach is Two x Four, which explores mentorship and collaboration between teacher and student and shows how performance traditions and composition practices are passed from generation to generation. Two x Four, performed with Ms. Koh’s former teacher, violinist Jaime Laredo, features double violin concerti by Bach, Philip Glass, Anna Clyne, and David Ludwig, the latter of the two being commissioned and premiered as part of the project. Bach & Beyond Parts 1 and 2, and Two X Four with Mr. Laredo and the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, have been released on recordings by Cedille Records.
Ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, BBC Symphony Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Mariinsky Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New World Symphony, NHK Symphony (Tokyo) Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia (London) Orchestras, Pittsburgh Symphony, RAI National Symphony Orchestra (Torino), St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Singapore Symphony, among others. Conductors she has worked with include John Adams, Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Giancarlo Guerrero, Manfred Honek, Louis Langree, Carlos Kalmar, Lorin Maazel, Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Juraj Valčuha, Osmo Vänskä, Alexander Vedernikov, and Edo de Waart. A prolific recitalist, she frequently appears at major music centers and festivals, and played the role of Einstein in the revival of Philip Glass’s Einstein On the Beach from 2012–2014. A particular highlight of her career was performing for the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Yoon-ok, in 2011.
Ms. Koh brings the same sense of adventure and brilliant musicianship to her recordings as she does to her live performances. Her latest album, Tchaikovsky: Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra with the Odense Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, released in September 2016, is Ms. Koh’s eleventh recording for the Cedille Records label. Ms. Koh first performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto conducted by Mr. Vedernikov in the final round of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 1992 and went on to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow with the concerto in 1994. In addition to her Bach & Beyond and Two x Fouralbums, her discography on Cedille Records also includes Signs, Games + Messages, a recording of violin and piano works by Janáček, Bartók, and Kurtág with Mr. Wosner; Rhapsodic Musings: 21st Century Works for Solo Violin; the Grammy-nominated String Poetic, featuring the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s eponymous work, performed with pianist Reiko Uchida; Schumann’s complete violin sonatas, also with Ms. Uchida; Portraitswith the Grant Park Orchestra under conductor Carlos Kalmar with concerti by Szymanowski, Martinů, and Bartók; Violin Fantasies: fantasies for violin and piano by Schubert, Schumann, Schoenberg, and saxophonist Ornette Coleman, again with Ms. Uchida; and Ms. Koh’s first Cedille album, from 2002, Solo Chaconnes, an earlier reading of Bach’s Second Partita coupled with chaconnes by Richard Barth and Max Reger. Ms. Koh is also the featured soloist on a recording of Ms. Higdon’s The Singing Rooms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Robert Spano for Telarc.
Ms. Koh is the Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us. The organization supports artistic collaborations and commissions, transforming the creative process by engaging with specific ideas and perspectives, investing in the future by cultivating artist-citizens in partnership with educational organizations. A committed educator, she has won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative “Music Messenger” outreach program. Ms. Koh is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for the Advancement for the Arts, a scholarship program for high school students in the arts.
Born in Chicago of Korean parents, Ms. Koh began playing the violin by chance, choosing the instrument in a Suzuki-method program only because spaces for cello and piano had been filled. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. Ms. Koh is Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. For further information visit www.jenniferkoh.com.
Performing for over six decades before audiences across the globe, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his stunning orchestral debut at the age of eleven with the San Francisco Symphony, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. That debut inspired one critic to write: "In the 1920's it was Yehudi Menuhin; in the 1930's it was Isaac Stern; and last night it was Jaime Laredo."
In addition to beloved performances of Bach, Barber, Mozart, Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, Laredo's commitment to new works is ever-present and the recent premiere, to great critical and audience acclaim of the new Double Concerto by Andre Previn is one example. Additional works recently performed with his wife, acclaimed cellist Sharon Robinson, include the Rozsa Sinfonia Concertante, the Zwilich Double Concerto and the world premieres of four works written for them: "In the Arms of the Beloved" and "A Child’s Reliquary" for violin, cello and orchestra by Richard Danielpour, "Masquerade" by Daron Hagen and David Ludwig’s Double Concerto. The latter 3 works appear on the acclaimed “Triple Doubles” CD (recorded with Sarah Hicks, Troy Peters and the VSO for Bridge; released November 2011). The premiere of two works, the recently Grammy nominated "Prince of Clouds" by Anna Clyne and David Ludwig's "Season's Lost" with former student Jennifer Koh, joined the Bach Double Violin Concerto and Glass' "Echorus" as part of their ambitious "2x4" touring and recording project celebrating the amazing relationship between teacher and student through music.
Eduardo Leandro, percussion
Eduardo Leandro is the Artistic Director of the Contemporary Chamber Players, the new music ensemble at Stony Brook University in New York, where he is also associate professor in percussion. He is a guest lecturer at the Peabody Conservatory, regular faculty at Yellow Barn Summer Institute in Vermont, at the Winter Festival in Campos do Jordao, and the Summer Academy at Femusc, both in Brazil.
He previously taught at the Haute École de Musique de Genève and directed the percussion program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Eduardo Leandro has conducted major works by Stravinsky, Bartok, Boulez, Xenakis, Ligeti, and Stockhausen among others, with ensembles such as Camerata Aberta in Brazil, Talea and Sequitur Ensembles in the United States, Ensembles Namascae in France, the Instrumental Ensembles in the conservatories of Geneva and Lausanne. He has recently conducted a concert of chamber music with musicians from the Orchestre Nacional de France at Radio France, with pieces by Andre Jolivet and Elliot Carter, and New York New Music Ensemble with music by Charles Worinen and Harvey Sollberger. Mr. Leandro has conducted the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra every season since 2010.
This season the program with SBSO consisted of Ravel’s La Valse, Richard Strauss’ Burleske, and Beethoven’s Third Symphony. Next season the program will include Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia with Roomfull of Teeth. He has been invited to conduct the entire 2015-2016 season with New York New Music Ensemble (NYNME).
As a percussionist Eduardo Leandro has performed as soloist and with ensembles in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He is part of the Percussion Duo Contexto, ensemble in residence at the Centre Internacional de Percussion in Geneva for ten years. Duo Contexto has premiered dozens of works and recorded several Cd's, including collaborations with Swiss flutist Verena Bosshart and composer Flo Menezes. He played regularly with Ensemble Champ d'Action in Belgium, with Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and with Ensemble Contrechamps in Switzerland, under the direction of Pierre Boulez, Heinz Holliger, and David Robertson among others.
He has performed in music festivals throughout the world such as the Suita Music Festival in Osaka, Ferienkurse fur Neue Muzik Darmstadt, Festspiel in Salzburg, Ars Musica in Brussels, Archipel in Geneva, Nits de Altea in Spain, Espinho Music Meeting in Portugal, Izmir Music Festival in Turkey, Athenaeum Concert Series in Helsinki and Festival d'Automne in Paris.
He has won the New Music Contest in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the Eldorado Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Eduardo Leandro was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He attended the Sao Paulo State University, the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands, and Yale University, having studied conducting with Gustav Meier and David Gier; and percussion with John Boudler, Jan Pustjens, and Robert van Sice.
David Ludwig is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (The New York Times) and “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare). Ludwig has written for many prominent artists, including Jonathan Biss, Jennifer Koh, the Dover and Borromeo quartets, eighth blackbird, ECCO, and orchestras including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and National Symphonies. In 2013 his choral work, “The New Colossus,” was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama’s second inauguration. In 2012 NPR Music selected him as one of the Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the world.
This season’s highlights include the premiere of a violin concerto written for his wife, acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova; the concerto was commissioned by a consortium of eight orchestras across the United States. Ludwig was also awarded a prestigious Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Performance Grant to support the creation of The Anchoress, a new song cycle for the PRISM Quartet, Piffaro “The Renaissance Band,” and soprano Hyunah Yu. The work will open the 2018 season for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Other recent commission and performance highlights include Titania’s Dream for the KLR Trio, Swan Song for Benjamin Beilman commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and Pictures from the Floating World commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra for bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This year will feature the premiere of a new piano concerto written for pianist Anne-Marie McDermott commissioned by the Bravo! Vail music festival in honor of their thirtieth anniversary.
An award-winning film composer, Ludwig scored Michael Almareyda’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (Lionsgate), produced by Anthony Katagas (Twelve Years a Slave) and starring Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, and Dakota Johnson. The film was awarded a top spot and premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Ludwig is the recipient of the First Music Award, a two-time winner of the Independence Foundation Fellowship, and a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, as well as awards from New Music USA, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
He has had multiple residencies at the Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies, the Isabella Gardner Museum and Marlboro Music. After three years as Composer-in-Residence with the Vermont Symphony, he is their permanent New Music advisor. Ludwig has served on the faculty of Yellow Barn and the Ravinia Steans Institute, and is Artistic Director of the Curtis Young Artist Summer Program. He was in residence at the Shanghai International Music Festival in 2012, and is resident composer for the STUDIO2021 Ensemble at Seoul National University.
Born in Bucks County, P.A., Ludwig comes from several generations of eminent musicians including grandfather Rudolf Serkin and great-grandfather Adolf Busch. He holds degrees from Oberlin, The Manhattan School, the Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig serves on the composition faculty of Curtis and is the Gie and Lisa Liem Dean of Artistic Programs and Performance and director of the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Marc Neikrug is a unique and multi-faceted artist. A world-renowned composer whose works have been programmed by leading orchestras and opera houses, he is also an esteemed pianist who has performed duo recitals with Pinchas Zukerman for over 20 years. Neikrug has recently expanded his artistic activities even further, serving his third critically acclaimed season as Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Credited with rejuvenating the Festival, Neikrug has brought its focus back to small, high-caliber chamber groups since becoming Artistic Director in 1998. He has been commended for his imaginative programming and community outreach efforts, combining a strong commitment to contemporary music with an interest in Santa Fe’s Spanish and American Indian heritages. He has also established an exceptional mentoring program which pairs young musicians with distinguished artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher, Michael Tree, and Ralph Kirshbaum.
Marc Neikrug’s 2000/2001 season as a pianist includes recitals with Pinchas Zukerman in Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto, Hawaii, and Australia; the two artists will also perform in Italy, Spain, Austria, and the Netherlands. Together the duo has made numerous recordings for CBS, Philips, and BMG, including the complete sonatas for piano and violin of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as works by Brahms, Fauré, Debussy, Franck, Schumann, Stravinsky, Paganini, Falla, Ravel, Albéniz, Strauss, Prokofiev, Elgar, Kreisler, and Bartók.
Ranging from chamber music to symphonies and operas, Neikrug’s own works have been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Frankfurt Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, and London’s South Bank Festival. The New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, David Zinman, Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Shlomo Mintz, and the Tokyo and Vermeer String Quartets have performed his works. He has also conducted performances of his works with the Victorian State Symphony (Melbourne), Tonhalle Orchestra (Zurich), Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, and Liège Orchestra (Belgium) and performed his Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Barcelona Symphony.
Neikrug has written for both opera and musical theater, and has produced two important works in the genres: Through Roses and Los Alamos. Through Roses, an “extraordinary achievement” (The New York Times) that blends music with a dramatic text (also written by Mr. Neikrug), has been translated into eleven languages. It has received hundreds of performances in England, North and South America, Austria, Germany, Israel, Scandinavia, Australia, and Japan, has been recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, and is the subject of a prize-winning documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nupen. A feature film version of Through Roses was recently produced for worldwide release featuring Academy Award winners Maximilian Schell (Best Actor, Judgment at Nuremberg) and cinematographer David Watkin (Out of Africa). An opera about the formation of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos was the first American work commissioned and premiered by the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The North American premiere of the opera was given at the Aspen Music Festival in 1992. In 1998 the world premiere of “Suite from Los Alamos” was given in Brussels by the English Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. The Suite was also featured in the Orchestra’s North American tour and received its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall. Marc Neikrug’s compositions are published by Theodore Presser Company and Chester Music Limited.
Born to a musical family in New York, Neikrug is a fourth-generation musician on his mother’s side; both his parents were cellists. He served for seven years as Special Consultant for Contemporary Programs to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, during which time the Orchestra received three annual ASCAP awards for adventuresome programming. In addition, he served three terms as Director of Melbourne Summer Music, an Australian festival which commenced in 1986 under his direction. Marc Neikrug lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The music of Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964 in New York) is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful — "it is boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
In February 2015, music critic Edward Reichel wrote, "Augusta Read Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today. Her music has substance and depth and a sense of purpose. She has a lot to say and she knows how to say it — and say it in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated."
The New York Times article of March 6, 2015 states that Thomas had the distinction of having her work performed more frequently in 2013-2014 than any other living ASCAP composer, according to statistics from the performing rights organization. Former Chairperson of the American Music Center, she serves on many boards, is a generous citizen in the profession at large, and, according to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, "has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music."
A Grammy winner, her impressive body of works embodies unbridled passion and fierce poetry. The New Yorker magazine called her "a true virtuoso composer." Championed by such luminaries as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Boulez, Eschenbach, Salonen, Maazel, Ozawa, and Knussen, she rose early to the top of her profession.
An influential teacher at Eastman, Northwestern, Tanglewood, and Aspen Music Festival, she is only the 16th person to be designated University Professor at the University of Chicago (one of only seven currently holding the title). Augusta said, "Teaching is a natural extension of my creative process and of my enthusiasm for the music of others."
Thomas was the longest-serving Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony, for Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez, from 1997 through 2006. This residency culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle, one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned orchestral works, but was also central in establishing the thriving MusicNOW series, through which she commissioned and programmed the work of many living composers.
Recent and upcoming commissions include those from the Boston Symphony, the Utah Symphony, Wigmore Hall in London, JACK quartet, Third Coast Percussion, Tanglewood, Spektral Quartet, Chicago Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, the Danish Chamber Players, Notre Dame University, Janet Sung, Lorelei Vocal Ensemble, and the Fromm Foundation. She won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, among many other coveted awards. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ms. Thomas studied composition with Oliver Knussen at Tanglewood (1986, 1987, 1989); Jacob Druckman at Yale University (1988); Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University (1983-1987); and at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1989). She was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University (1991-94), and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College (1990-91). Thomas has also been on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center since 2000, as well as on the boards and advisory boards of several chamber music groups. She was elected Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, a volunteer position that ran from 2005 to 2008. She is University Professor (one of six University Professors) at The University of Chicago. Augusta was MUSICALIVE Composer-in-Residence with the New Haven Symphony, a national residency program of The League of American Orchestras and Meet the Composer. Augusta has been on the Board of the ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) for many years; is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Alice M. Ditson Fund; is on the Board of Trustees of The American Society for the Royal Academy of Music; is a Member of the Conseil Musical de la Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco; and is on the Eastman School of Music's National Council.
Winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, the Piatigorsky Memorial Award, the Pro Musicis Award, and a Grammy Nominee, cellist Sharon Robinson is recognized worldwide as a consummate artist, one of the most outstanding musicians of our time. Whether as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, or member of the world-renowned Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, critics and audiences alike respond to what the Indianapolis Star has called "A cellist who has simply been given the soul of Caruso."
Ms. Robinson divides her time among solo engagements, teaching, performing with her husband, violinist and conductor Jaime Laredo, and touring with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Ms. Robin- son and Mr. Laredo recently premiered André Previn’s Double Con- certo for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, performing with the orchestras
of Austin, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Toronto, as well as the Pacific Symphony in California. In Europe, they premiered the Previn with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammer- philharmonie. Currently, the pair are celebrating their 40 years of marriage by assembling a coalition of orchestras to co-commission a new Double Concerto for them by Chris Brubeck.
Guest appearances with orchestras include the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, National, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco symphonies, and in Europe, the London Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Zürich's Tonhalle Orchestra, and the English, Scottish, and Franz Lizst chamber orchestras.
In 2012, Sharon Robinson joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Highly sought after for her dynamic master classes, she brings insight to her teaching from her lifetime experiences as a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Ciompi String Quartet of Duke University, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, plus countless solo recitals and concerto performances.
In 2009, Ms. Robinson, along with Mr. Laredo, became co-Artistic Directors of the famed Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati. The couple also continue as co-Artistic Directors of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle at Bard College, and Artistic Advisors for the Brattleboro Music Center in Vermont.
Sharon Robinson has recorded extensively, both as soloist and in conjunction with the Kalichstein- Laredo-Robinson Trio. Recently, BRIDGE Records released Triple Doubles, an album of three new Double Concertos written for Ms. Robinson and Mr. Laredo by Daron Hagen, Richard Danielpour, and David Ludwig, plus the complete Schubert Trios with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
Praised for his “excellent” and “precisely attuned” performances by the New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum has developed a musical breadth far beyond his years. He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition.
Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2012 as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history. He has appeared at the Bay Chamber, Bridgehampton, Chamber Music Northwest, Music@Menlo, Norfolk, and Yellow Barn festivals.
Highlights of the 2016-2017 season include the world premiere of Quixote, an evening- length theatrical work with music by Amy Beth Kirsten and direction by Mark DeChiazza, a visit to the Adam Chamber Music Festival in New Zealand, and world premieres by Andy Akiho, Christopher Cerrone, Thomas Kotcheff, and Polina Nazaykinskaya, among others.
In early 2017, Mr. Rosenbaum released his first solo album, Memory Palace, on VIA Records. It features five commissions from the last several years and includes collaborations with Brooklyn Rider and Gina Izzo.
Mr. Rosenbaum is a member of Sandbox Percussion, HOWL, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Foundry, and Novus NY. He has recorded for the Bridge, Innova, Naxos, and Starkland labels and is on the faculty of the Dwight School in Manhattan. Mr. Rosenbaum endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.
Hailed for his warm, expressive sound and winning way with the audience, baritone Randall Scarlata is firmly established as one of the most highly regarded musical interpreters of his generation. His performances throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America have garnered raves from audiences and critics alike. Mr. Scarlata has appeared as soloist with great orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Vienna's Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, the National Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the American Symphony. He has also been a guest at international music festivals, including Ravinia, Cervantino, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Vienna, Salzburg, Aspen, and Spoleto. A frequent performer of new music, he has given world premieres of works by Ned Rorem, George Crumb, Richard Danielpour, Christopher Theofanidis, Thea Musgrave, Daron Hagen, Samuel Adler, and Paul Moravec. His numerous recordings can be heard on the Chandos, Bridge, Naxos, Albany, Arabesque, CRI, and Gasparo labels. His awards include First Prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize at the Das Schubert Lied International Competition in Vienna, First Prize at the Joy in Singing Competition in New York, and the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award. Mr. Scarlata received a Fulbright Grant to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. He currently serves on the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at West Chester University. He is co-artistic director of the AlpenKammerMusik festival in Carinthia, Austria.
An eloquent communicator both on and off the concert stage, one of Boston’s musical treasures, legendary pianist Russell Sherman continues to garner accolades from critics and audiences alike for his grace, imagination, and poetry. The New York Times calls him “one of the best pianists in this or any other country.” As the author of a highly acclaimed book Piano Pieces (a rhapsodic compilation of vignettes and personal anecdotes from Sherman’s life experiences as a pianist and teacher), Russell Sherman has been praised not only as an ingenious virtuoso but also as an insightful master.
Sherman has performed with such major orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (with whom he performed the five Beethoven concertos), Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony. Abroad, Sherman has played in the major cities of Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Korea, China, and South America.
In recital, Russell Sherman has appeared on Carnegie Hall’s Keyboard Virtuoso Series, California’s Ambassador Foundation Series, the Distinguished Artists Series at New York’s Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y, and the Bank of Boston Celebrity Series. He has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jordan Hall, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. Additionally, he has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Wolf Trap Festival, as well as recitals at Spain’s Santander Festival and Germany’s Ruhr Triennale Festival. In 2010, he collaborated with Mark Morris Dance Group alongside Minsoo Sohn and the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music in the Boston premiere of Mozart Dances, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston.
Sherman is a prolific recording artist. He has recorded the five Beethoven concertos with the Czech Philharmonic and the Monadnock Festival Orchestra, and the complete Beethoven sonatas, recorded as five dual-CD sets (each having been released individually and as a complete set). The entire Beethoven sonatas project has been called “a set for the ages” by Bernard Jacobson in Fanfare. This makes Sherman the first American pianist to have recorded all of the sonatas and concertos of Beethoven.
Sherman has also recorded Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 and Fantasies, Op. 116, Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28, Schubert’s Sonata in D major, D. 850 and Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960, both Grieg and Schumann concertos, and works by Liszt, including the B minor Sonata, Don Juan Fantasy, and transcriptions. He has also recorded Mozart’s two concertos in minor keys plus solo fantasies with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music under Craig Smith. Additional recordings include a GM Recording CD, Premieres & Commissions, in which he performs contemporary repertoire by Schoenberg, Schuller, Helps, Perle, and Shapey. Except for Schoenberg’s Six Piano Pieces, he has personally premiered and commissioned all of these works. Sherman’s releases on Avie Records include a CD of Debussy’s Estampes, Images Book II and Préludes Book II, a DVD of his live performance of the Liszt Etudes d’exécution transcendante, and most recently, the complete Chopin Mazurkas. Sherman has also performed and recorded the complete sonatas of Mozart, the Bach English Suites and the complete piano works of Schoenberg.
Russell Sherman was born in 1930 and educated in New York, beginning piano studies at age six. By age eleven, Sherman was studying with Eduard Steuermann, a pupil and friend of Ferruccio Busoni and Arnold Schoenberg. Sherman graduated from Columbia University at age nineteen with a degree in the humanities. He was Visiting Professor at Harvard University and is currently a Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at New England Conservatory. Sherman continues to explore, and to merit the title “a thinking man’s virtuoso.”
Cellist Wilhelmina Smith has been awarded a 2015-2016 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music. She made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra while a student at the Curtis Institute of Music and in 1997 was a prizewinner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition. She has gone on to solo with orchestras including the Orquesta Millenium of Guatemala and the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and has performed recitals across the US and Japan. A strong supporter of new music, she has worked frequently with composers such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, with whom she collaborated to performed his cello concerto, Mania, and gave the American premiere of his solo cello work, Knock, Breathe, Shine.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Smith has performed with Paul Tortelier, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Brentano, Miami, Borromeo and Galimir String Quartets in venues across the US and Europe. She has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and is a founding member of Music from Copland House. In 2005, she formed the Variation String Trio with violinist Jennifer Koh and violist Hsin-Yun Huang, a group that has performed across the US and Europe. She is founder and Artistic Director of Salt Bay Chamberfest on the coast of Maine.
Ms. Smith’s solo CD of sonatas by Britten and Schnittke with pianist Thomas Sauer was released on the Arabesque label in 2006. Her recordings of chamber music include the complete chamber works of Aaron Copland, works by Sebastian Currier, John Musto and Aaron Jay Kernis. She has performed frequently with pop musician Sting and can be heard on recent recordings for both Sting and Bruce Springsteen. She currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband Mark Mandarano and children August and Giovanna.
Samuel Zygmuntowicz, violinmaker, was already a prize-winning sculptor before beginning his instrument-making studies at age 13.
Since 1985 he has made instruments by advance commission for performers such as Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Maxim Vengerov, Yo-Yo Ma, Leila Josefowicz, David Finckle and the Emerson String Quartet members.
A 1994 violin that he made for Isaac Stern set a record for the highest auction price paid for a musical instrument by a living maker. The Harper Collins book The Violinmaker documents his making of a violin for Eugene Drucker.
He is a graduate of the SLC Violinmaking School, and studied advanced making and restoration with Carl Becker and Rene Morel. His faithful copies of classic violins won early acclaim, and he has designed many personal models as well.
In addition to his extensive studies of traditional violinmaking, often featured in THE STRAD magazine, he has worked closely with acoustic researchers and is often on staff at both the Violinmaking and Violin Acoustics Workshops at Oberlin College. With Strad3D, he has brought together an inspiring group of scientists, violinmakers, musicians, filmmakers and designers.
He has presented his findings throughout the USA, including The Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School, Friends of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Music@Menlo and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals, plus conferences including theAmerican Society of Acoustics, Arts and Science at CUNY, the E.G. Conference in Monterey CA, the Musical Instrument Museum in Pheonix AZ, and MOMATH in NYC, and presented internationally in Italy, Sweden, England, Belgium, Spain, Australia, and Canada, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Sam lives in Brooklyn NY with his wife and two young sons, and still plays fiddle with a variety of performing folk music groups. His CD recordings include Grand Picnic and Jump When the Trumpets Blow.