The Manhattan Chamber Players are a chamber music collective of New York-based musicians who share the common aim of performing the greatest works in the chamber repertoire at the highest level. Formed in 2015 by Artistic Director Luke Fleming, MCP is comprised of an impressive roster of musicians who all come from the tradition of great music making at the Marlboro Music Festival, Steans Institute at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and Perlman Music Program, and are former students of the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, Colburn School, New England Conservatory, and Yale School of Music.
MCP was recently praised in Strings Magazine for “A fascinating program concept…It felt refreshingly like an auditory version of a vertical wine tasting.” The article went on to applaud MCP for “an intensely wrought and burnished performance…Overall, I wished I could put them on repeat.” At the core of MCP’s inspiration is its members’ joy in playing this richly varied repertoire with longtime friends and colleagues, with whom they have been performing since they were students. Building upon that foundation, new works commissioned from its composer members keep the ensemble firmly grounded in the music of both the past and present. Its roster allows for the programming of virtually all the core string, wind, and piano chamber music repertoire—from piano duos to clarinet quintets to string octets. While all its members have independent careers as soloists and chamber musicians, they strive for every opportunity to come together and again share in this special collaboration.
Members of MCP are current and former members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, ACJW, and the Amphion, Attacca, Dover, Escher, Vega, and Ying Quartets, and the Lysander, Madison, and Sheridan Piano Trios. They are top prizewinners in the Banff, Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, Melbourne, Naumburg, Osaka, Primrose, Queen Elisabeth, Rubenstein, Tchaikovsky, Tertis, and Young Concert Artists Competitions, and are some of the most sought after solo and chamber performers of their generation. The Manhattan Chamber Players has been featured multiple times on NPR’s Performance Today, and is the Ensemble-in-Residence at both the Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico and the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival in New Orleans. Now in its second season, MCP adds tours of Israel and China and a residency at Louisiana State University to its numerous concerts across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Manhattan Chamber Players is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Photo credit: Sophie Zhai
Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “glowing refinement,” violist Luke Fleming‘s performances have been described by The Strad as “confident and expressive…playing with uncanny precision,” and lauded by Gramophone for their “superlative technical and artistic execution.” Strings Magazine said of a recent performance by Mr. Fleming: “With tender lyrical lines, the viola’s richness suited the music wonderfully…I wished I could put [him] on repeat.” Festival appearances include the Marlboro Music School and Festival, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Perlman Music Program, the Norfolk and Great Lakes Chamber Music Festivals, the Melbourne Festival, Bravo!Vail, Festival Mozaic, and the Virginia Arts Festival, as well as concerts and residencies across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. From 2009 – 2015, Mr. Fleming was violist of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet, with whom he served as Quartet-in-Residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School. Mr. Fleming was awarded First Prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and top prizes at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, as well as the National Federation of Music Clubs Centennial Chamber Music Award.
In 2015, Mr. Fleming became the Founding Artistic Director of both the Manhattan Chamber Players, a New York-based chamber music collective, and the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival, a mission/outreach-centric festival held annually in his hometown, New Orleans. Mr. Fleming has been featured on a Live from Marlboro CD release on the Archiv Music label, and his recordings with the Attacca Quartet on Azica Records were released to widespread critical acclaim. He has performed as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Sejong Soloists, Ensemble Connect, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Classical Players, and the Serafin and Canterbury String Quartets, and has given masterclasses at UCLA, Louisiana State University, Ithaca College, Syracuse University, Melbourne University, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, among others. He has served on the faculties of the Innsbrook Institute, Renova Music Festival and Houston ChamberFest, and Fei Tian College, writes frequently for Strings Magazine, and is Lecturer-in-Residence for the concert series Project: Music Heals Us. Mr. Fleming holds the degrees of Doctor of Musical Arts, Artist Diploma, and Master of Music from the Juilliard School, a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from Louisiana State University. He is represented by Arts Global, Inc.
Photo credit: Sarah Fleming
Described as “stylish and articulate” in The New York Times and having “superstar qualities” by Le Libre, pianist David Fung is widely recognized for performances that are elegant and refined, yet intensely poetic and uncommonly expressive. Mr. Fung appears regularly with the world’s premier ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the major orchestras in Australia, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
In July 2016, Mr. Fung’s highly acclaimed debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival was “everything you could wish for” (Cleveland Classical) and he was praised as an “agile and alert interpreter of Mozart’s crystalline note-spinning” (The Plain Dealer). Other highlights of the season include invitations to the Louvre, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Kennedy Center, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and a recital tour of China. Mr. Fung will have his New York recital debut presented by Lincoln Center’s Great Performers and his debut at Caramoor later in 2016. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Fung is a frequent guest artist at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide. Festival highlights include performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Music@Menlo, Hong Kong Arts Festival, and Ravinia Festival. At his Edinburgh International Festival debut, The Edinburgh Guide described Mr. Fung as being “impossibly virtuosic, prodigiously talented… and who probably does ten more impossible things daily before breakfast.”
Mr. Fung garnered international attention as a winner in two of the “top five” international piano competitions (the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels and the Arthur Rubinstein Piano International Masters Competition in Tel Aviv). In Tel Aviv, he was further distinguished by the Chamber Music and Mozart Prizes, awarded in areas in which Mr. Fung has a particularly passionate interest. Mr. Fung is the first piano graduate of the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles and is a Steinway Artist.
Photo credit: Michael Xun
A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.” Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, the Ural Philharmonic of Russia, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and many others.
An accomplished chamber musician, Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center following her completion of a three-year residency as a CMS Two artist. She has appeared the Ravinia Festival, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, the Sarasota Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern of Germany, the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, among many others. Lee is a principal artist with Camerata Pacifica, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair. She is also the concertmaster of the groundbreaking Metropolis Ensemble, with whom she premiered Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which appears on Fung’s CD Dreamscapes, released on Naxos.
Lee is the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music, a chamber music series that aims to present authentically unique concert experiences and bridge the divide between the highest caliber classical music and the many diverse communities that reside in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Born in Seoul, Korea, Lee began studying the violin at the age of five, and within one year won First Prize at the prestigious Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the United States and continued her musical studies under Sonja Foster. Two years later, she became a student of Catherine Cho and Dorothy DeLay in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. In January 2000, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein, and served as an assistant teacher for Perlman’s studio as a Starling Fellow. She is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and has served on the faculties of the LG Chamber Music School in Seoul, Korea, El Sistema’s chamber music festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival.
Photo credit: Lauren Desberg
Grace Park is a dynamic violinist, dedicated chamber musician, and passionate pedagogue. Her diverse career has carried her from the world’s main concert halls as a soloist and chamber musician to giving masterclasses and teaching at universities around the country. As part of a residency at Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect (ACJW) program, Ms. Park pairs her elite musicianship with a commitment to community engagement.
As a soloist, Ms. Park has been the featured soloist at The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress, Walt Disney Hall, Jordan Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Grace Rainey Auditorium in the Metropolitan Museum, The Rudolfinum in Prague, and Glinka Hall in St. Petersburg, with orchestras including North Czech Philharmonia, Russian Chamber Philharmonic, Napoli Chamber Orchestra and most recently, an engagement with Maxim Vengerov at the Cartegena Music Festival and solo Bach alongside Yo Yo Ma. Upcoming concerto engagements include concerto debuts in Mexico and Poland with the Neilsen Violin Concerto.
A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Park has performed with a variety of ensembles around the world and has led chamber orchestras from the principal chair. She has performed world premieres of renowned emerging composers Samuel Carl Adams and Andy Akiho. Collaborations include the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Company, members of Silk Road Ensemble, principal dancers of La Scala Ballet Theater, the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet. Ms. Park has lead and performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed at many leading music festivals including Yellow Barn, Bravo!Vail, Music@Menlo, IMS Prussia Cove and the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop.
Ms. Park plays on a 1799 Nicolas Lupot, generously on loan from a private collection.
Photo credit: Jon Kim
Violinist Brendan Speltz, a Los Angeles native, began his serious music studies at the Colburn School of Music, studying with Chan Ho Yun, Henry Gronnier, and later Linda Rose. He received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California, studying with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Margaret Batjer. While at USC, Mr. Speltz was chosen by legendary violinist Midori Goto to participate in a string quartet program with the latter coaching from the second violin chair. In 2012, he earned his Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, studying with Laurie Smukler. At both institutions he served in a principal or concertmaster capacity.
Mr. Speltz has performed at a wide variety of music festivals as soloist and chamber musician, including the Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall, Encore, the Bach Akademie Stuttgart, the International Music Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Niagara, Canada. As a quartet musician, he has made appearances on Fox and NBC New York. Most recently, he performed Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat during a joint Russian and Swiss event at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Mr. Speltz has also performed as a chamber musician with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and as violinist with the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Ballet Theatre, and Symphony in C. He also serves as a seasonal artist on the New York-based chamber music series Omega Ensemble. Most recently, Mr. Speltz has been traveling the globe with Shuffle Concert, a groundbreaking chamber music ensemble that gives the audience an opportunity to choose the program in real time. Mr. Speltz plays on a 1925 Carl Becker violin.
Photo credit: Sophie Zhai
Praised for his “fluid virtuosity” and “soulful melodies,” Los Angeles native Brook Speltz has been inspired since childhood by the long tradition of deep musical mastery of artists such as Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Fournier, and the Guarneri String Quartet. As of May of 2015, he is the new cellist of the internationally renowned Escher String Quartet and an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
An extremely versatile cellist, Mr. Speltz has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist throughout the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. First Prize winner of the prestigious Ima Hogg Competition, he has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and International Contemporary Ensemble, among others, and is a regular performer at England’s IMS Prussia Cove and on tour with Musicians from Marlboro. An avid and sought after chamber musician, Mr. Speltz has been personally invited by musical giants such as Itzhak Perlman and Richard Goode to collaborate in chamber music recitals and tours throughout the country. As a result of these collaborations, he has been nominated for the inaugural Warner Music Prize, a newly established prize presented by Warner Music and Carnegie Hall.
A lover of all facets of the music world, Mr. Speltz has enjoyed performing on extensive tours with the cello rock band Break of Reality, whose online video of the Game of Thrones cover immediately went viral and has already received over 8.5 million views. Their recent U.S. tour raised funds and awareness for music programs in public schools all around the country. Mr. Speltz studied at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Peter Wiley and at the Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick, after his formative years of study with Eleanor Schoenfeld in Los Angeles. He performs on a 1756 J.C. Gigli on loan from his father, a cellist and his first inspiration in a family of professional musicians.