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Misha Amory, viola
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.
Benjamin Beilman, violin
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.
Gloria Chien, piano
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.
Christopher Costanza, cello
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.