Manhattan Chamber Players Ensemble-in-Residence Photo Credit: Sophie Zhai

Manhattan Chamber Players, Ensemble-in-Residence

The Manhattan Chamber Players is 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.  During its inaugural season, in addition to numerous concerts across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia, 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. Upcoming seasons add tours of Israel, France, and China to MCP’s busy concert schedule in NYC and across the U.S.

Manhattan Chamber Players is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

manhattanchamberplayers.com
Photo credit: Sophie Zhai

 

Luke Fleming, CCCMF Founding Artistic Director

Luke Fleming, Founding Artistic Director and Violist

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.  He was also 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 every summer 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 currently Director of Outreach Activities at Louisiana State University’s School of Music and Dramatic Arts and Lecturer-in-Residence for 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.

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Photo credit: Sophie Zhai

 

Molly Carr, Violist

Molly Carr, Violist

Violist Molly Carr, praised for her “ravishing sound” (The Strad) and her “passionate talent and beautiful poise” (AVS), was a top prizewinner in the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition.  As winner of the 2010 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition, Ms. Carr made her New York Concerto debut with the Juilliard Orchestra under Xian Zhang in Alice Tully Hall.  She is the recipient of major prizes and scholarships from the Davidson Institute, ASTA, ARTS, the Virtu Foundation, and the Julliard and Manhattan Schools of Music.  An avid soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ms. Carr has appeared across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Asia.  She is currently an artist of the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed at Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK), Malaga Clasica, Bari International Music Festival (Italy), Mozartfest (Wurzburg, Germany), Music from Angel Fire, Yellow Barn Music Festival, YAP Ottowa, and the Perlman Music Program.

Ms. Carr has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Orion and American Quartets, performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.  She is a member of the Solera Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame) and a former member of the Serafin Quartet.  Ms. Carr recorded the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Hidgon on NAXOS with the Serafin Quartet; in 2016 she joins pianist Josu De Solaun in a NAXOS recording of Enescu’s Op. 16.  A native of Reno, Nevada, Ms. Carr holds a B.M. and M.M. from the Juilliard School, having studied with Heidi Castleman, Steven Tenenbom, and Pinchas Zukerman.  She is on the Viola Faculties of the Juilliard Precollege Division and the Galamian School in Málaga, Spain.

molly-carr.com
Photo credit: Dario Acosta

 

Josu De Solaun, Pianist

As a First Prize winner of the XIII George Enescu International Piano Competition in Bucharest, the XV José Iturbi International Piano Competition and the I European Union Piano Competition, held in Prague, Spanish pianist Josu De Solaun has been invited to perform in distinguished concert series throughout the world, having made notable appearances in Bucharest, Saint Petersburg, Washington, D.C., New York, London, Paris, Leipzig, Taipei, Mexico City, Prague, Rome, and all the major cities of Spain.  His performances have been broadcast on Spanish National Radio, Taiwanese National TV, and Czech National TV, as well as on New York’s WQXR, Princeton’s WPRB, and Chicago’s WFMT.

Highlights of recent seasons include performances as soloist with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, New York’s American Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera; a tour of Spain with the Basque National Orchestra; chamber music performances at the Virginia Arts Festival; solo recitals in Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and Mexico City’s UNAM; and his conducting debut in Spain with the Joven Orquesta de Malaga.  In 2015, the NAXOS label released his recording of Stravinsky’s Les Noces under JoAnn Falletta and members of the Virginia Symphony and Chorus, and in 2016, the NAXOS label will release his 3-CD Box Set of the complete works for piano of George Enescu.

Josu De Solaun is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where his two primary teachers and main musical influences were Nina Svetlanova and Horacio Gutierrez. In Spain, where he studied until the age of 17, his main teachers were Ricardo Roca, Ana Guijarro, and Maria Teresa Naranjo. Throughout his almost 16 years of study in the USA, he has also benefited from the valuable advice and mentorship of Albert and Miyoko Lotto, Joaquin Achucarro, Matti Raekallio, Edna Golandsky, and Jerome Lowenthal.

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Photo Credit: David A. Beloff

Jacob Fowler, Cellist

Cellist Jacob Fowler holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and the Shepherd School of Music in Houston, TX.  His principal teachers include Alan Harris, Norman Fischer, Brinton Smith, and Desmond Hoebig.  As a chamber musician, Mr. Fowler has participated in several chamber music festivals including Charlie Castleman’s acclaimed Quartet Program and the Thy Masterclass festival in northern Denmark.  Mr. Fowler has performed on numerous occasions for the Masterworks Series at BargeMusic in Brooklyn, NY, collaborating with violinist Mark Peskanov.  Since moving to Virginia, Mr. Fowler has worked many times with Norfolk Chamber Consort, and is a faculty member of the Hampton Roads Chamber Players.

As a soloist, Mr. Fowler performed with the Shepherd School of Music Percussion Ensemble performing Tan Dun’s “Elegy: Snow in June.”  In November 2014, Mr. Fowler collaborated with Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company to perform the Suite for Solo Cello by Gaspar Cassadó with choreography by Ricardo Melendez, opening with great success and critical acclaim.  His performance was praised by M.D. Ridge of Norfolk’s WHRO as “the pièce de résistance.  [Mr. Fowler] sang sweetly…and the result was spectacular.”  In the summer of 2015, Mr. Fowler helped found, and is now director of, the OBX Chamber Music Series, hosted by the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The first festival of its kind in the area, the Series hosted five musicians, including Mr. Fowler, from all over the east coast and was received with great enthusiasm.

As an orchestral musician, Mr. Fowler has received fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center (2008-09) and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (2011).  He served as principal cellist under Christoph Eschenbach performing in Istanbul, Spain, Austria, and throughout Germany. Mr. Fowler has been invited on several international tours, including the Houston Symphony’s tour of the U.K. in 2010.  As a principal cellist of the Manhattan Symphonie, he has performed on many political and cultural tours of China, performing in every major city in the country, and performed in the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 in a program honoring relations between the U.S. and Japan.  Since joining the Virginia Symphony in 2010, Mr. Fowler has also performed regularly with the Williamsburg Symphonia and Richmond Symphony.

Photo credit: David A. Beloff

Francisco Fullana, Violinist

Acclaimed for his performances in both Europe and the U.S., Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana is enjoying a diverse international career of concerto and recital appearances, as well as a wide array of collaborations as a chamber musician.  Recent appearances include his debut under Gustavo Dudamel performing Brahms’s Violin Concerto in Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Hall, as well as debuts with Maryland Symphony, Madrid State Orchestra and St. Petersburg State Capella.  Solo performances include engagements at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Spain’s National Hall and Hakuju Hall in Tokyo.

First Prize winner at the 2015 Angel Munetsugu International Violin Competition in Nagoya, Japan, Mr. Fullana also obtained all four special prizes, including Audience Prize, and the loan of the 1697 “Rainville” Stradivarius.  Other recent successes include First Prize at the Pro Musicis International Awards in New York, First Prize at the 2014 Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria, and multiple top prizes at the 2014 Henri Marteau Competition in Germany.  Mr. Fullana was named Artist-in-Residence of the Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra in Spain last season, a three-year project that brings him back to his home country for multiple concerto performances each season.  Since 2013, he has been part of the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival, and will be part of two Musicians from Marlboro tours in 2016, performing at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Washington D.C.’s Library of Congress and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.  Mr. Fullana is also the concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, TX.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Fullana obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki.  He is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma with his mentor Midori Goto at the University of Southern California.  Mr. Fullana has been a recipient of the Stradivari Society of Chicago since 2013.

franciscofullana.com
Photo credit: Sophie Zhai

 

Vivian Fung, Composer

Vivian Fung, Composer

Juno Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, often including influences such as non- Western folk music, Tibetan chant, and Brazilian rhythms. Recent works include Aqua, commissioned by the Chicago Sinfonietta and inspired by Chicago’s iconic Aqua Tower; Violin Concerto No. 2, commissioned and premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Jonathan Crow, violin; and Biennale Snapshots, a 25-minute work for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, premiered in the VSO’s 2015 – 2016 season opening concerts this past September. Among her upcoming commissions are a new work for the Daedalus Quartet and clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois, co-commissioned by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Chamber Music Northwest; Humanoid for cello and electronics, for a consortium of cellists in Canada and the U.S.; Baroque Melting for the San José Chamber Orchestra; and a new orchestral work commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.

Ms. Fung has received numerous awards and grants, including a Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard Fellowship, ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, MAP Fund, Music Alive! and the League of American Orchestras, American Composers’ Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Born in Edmonton, Canada, Ms. Fung began her composition studies with composer Violet Archer and received her doctorate from the Juilliard School in New York, where her mentors included David Diamond and Robert Beaser. She was a faculty member at Juilliard from 2002 – 2010, and currently lives in California with her husband Charles Boudreau, their son Julian, and their Shiba Inu, Mulan.

vivianfung.net
Photo credit: Charles Boudreau

 

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Caroline Goulding, Violinist

Named “precociously gifted” by Gramophone, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemble mini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.  She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  The 2015 – 2016 season brings forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony.

Ms. Goulding is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label.  She has appeared on NBC’s TodayMARTHA hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón, and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Ms. Goulding splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts.  Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c. 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

carolinegoulding.com
Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

 

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Katie Hyun, Violinist

Praised for her “sensitivity and top-shelf artistry” (Cleveland.com), violinist Katie Hyun has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Soloists Orchestra in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Columbia Festival Orchestra, among others. Other highlights include concerto performances with the Busan Sinfonietta and Incheon Philharmonic in South Korea, the world premiere of Wei-Chieh Lin’s Concerto for Violin and Cello with cellist Michael Katz and the New York Classical Players, and recitals with pianist Roman Rabinovich as the Maxwell Shepherd Fund’s Artist-in-Residence. Festival appearances include ChamberFest in Cleveland, Chelsea Music Festival in New York, Habitat4Music in Vermont, Bravo! Vail in Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest Winter Festival in Portland, Bright Sheng’s “Intimacy of Creativity” in Hong Kong, and “New York in Chuncheon” and the Busan Chamber Music Festival, both in South Korea.

Ms. Hyun is the founder and director of Quodlibet Ensemble, a small chamber orchestra that made its debut in 2008 to great acclaim and has since performed at the Shepherd Music Series in Collinsville, CT, the Yale British Arts Center, and Drew University in Madison, NJ.  Quodlibet Ensemble released its debut album in the spring of 2014.  Ms. Hyun is also a member of the award winning Amphion String Quartet, which is under Concert Artists Guild Management and is in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program. Ms. Hyun received her Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music, studying with Ani Kavafian, and her Masters Degree at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, where she studied with Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, and Philip Setzer.  Ms. Hyun studied with Aaron Rosand and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Bachelor degree.

Photo credit: Sophie Zhai

 

Janss

Andrew Janss, Cellist

The New York Times has hailed cellist Andrew Janss for his “glowing tone,” “insightful musicianship,” and “sumptuous elegance.” He has been featured at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Louvre Museum, and the Sydney Opera House. Classically, Mr. Janss has collaborated in concert with a long list of the world’s greatest artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, and members of the Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard, and Takács Quartets. As a soloist, he has performed the concertos of Dvořák, Haydn,Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Beethoven, and Saint-Saëns. He has performed as principal cellist of the renowned Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and from 2007 – 2010 was an artist at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Chamber Music Society Two with the Escher String Quartet. He has performed at many major classical music festivals, including the Marlboro, La Jolla, Ravinia, Santa Fe, and Music@Menlo Festivals.

Mr. Janss loves collaborations that take him outside the traditional concert hall. He tours regularly with the Mark Morris Dance Group, performing with them across the U.S. and internationally to Italy, China, and Australia. In 2015, he joins the cello band Break of Reality for tours of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Brazil, and Haiti. The 2013 premiere of Mr. Janss’ arrangement of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon for string quartet and singer was attended by over 5,000 people at the Levitt Pavillion in Los Angeles to rave reviews. Respected as a clinician, he has been invited to residencies at Notre Dame, Tulane, VCU, SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Idaho. He also consulted for actor Christopher Walken on how to play the cello for the critically acclaimed movie A Late Quartet. Mr. Janss is Program Director of the Omega Ensemble, where he curates concerts of the best emerging classical artists.

andrewjanss.com
Photo credit: Steve Riskind

 

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JP Jofre, Special Guest Artist

Argentinean bandoneon player and composer JP Jofre has been repeatedly highlighted by The New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. His music has been recorded by 16 Grammy Winner Paquito D’ Rivera and choreographed/performed by ballet star Herman Cornejo (Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre). A recipient of the National Prize of the Arts grant in Argentina, Mr. Jofre has taken his form of contemporary tango to some of the most important venues in Asia, Europe, America and the Caribbean as soloist and composer. He has collaborated with many famous musicians in a wide range of musical styles, including Paquito D’Rivera, Kathryn Stott, Symphony Silicon Valley, Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Argentina, Sacramento Philharmonic, Philippe Quint, Fernando Otero, New York Jazzharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Napa Symphony and Fred Sturm, among others.

Mr. Jofre has received commissions and been part of many prestigious festivals including the Celebrity Series of Boston, Umbria Jazz Festival, Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Seattle Town Hall’s Global Rhythms, Belgorod Music Festival, Sudtirol Jazz Festival, and Seoul Arts Center, among others. For the world premiere of his Bandoneon Concerto, The Mercury News wrote: “…he is an electrifying composer-bandoneon player.”  In 2012, Mr. Jofre was invited by the Free University of Bolzano and SudTirol Festival (Italy) to perform in homage to Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Perez Esquivel. He proudly uses the New AA by Bandonion Fabrik Klingenthal.

www.JPJofre.com
Photo credit: Mihyun Kang

 

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Michael Katz, Cellist

Hailed by the press for his “bold, rich sound” (The Strad) and “nuanced musicianship,” (The New York Times), Israeli cellist Michael Katz has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Tokyo’s Oji Hall, and Jerusalem’s Henry Crown Auditorium. His musicianship has been recognized with many awards, among them all three prizes at the 2011 Aviv Competition, and First Prizes at the Juilliard School’s 2010 Concerto Competition and the 2005 Turjeman Competition.

High in demand as a chamber musician, Mr. Katz has collaborated and performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Anthony Marwood, Donald Weilerstein, Peter Frankl, Roger Tapping, Charles Neidich, and others. As the cellist of the Lysander Piano Trio, Mr. Katz was a winner of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and was awarded first prize in the 2011 Coleman Competition and 2011 J.C. Arriaga Competition. His festival appearances include performances at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Lucerne, Yellow Barn, Sarasota, Malaga Clasica, and the Holland Music Sessions. Deeply committed to audience engagement and community outreach, Mr. Katz was a Fellow in Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect from 2014 – 2016

Born in Tel-Aviv, Mr. Katz began his cello studies at age seven, and his early teachers included Zvi Plesser, Hillel Zori and the late Mikhail Khomitzer. Mr. Katz received his Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory as a student of Laurence Lesser and his Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Krosnick. He has completed a Doctor of Music degree at SUNY Stony Brook as a student of Colin Carr.

Photo credit: Sophie Zhai

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Violist

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Violist

Praised by The Strad as having “lyricism that stood out…a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines,” violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt has already established herself as one of the most sought-after violists of her generation. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall. Festival appearances include the Marlboro Music School and Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo!Vail, SummerFest at LaJolla, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Perlman Music Program.

Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt is the founding violist of the Dover Quartet, recipient of the Cleveland Quartet award and First Prize winner and sweeper of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013 and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Her numerous awards also include First Prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Sphinx Competition.

Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Roberto Diaz, Michael Tree, Misha Amory, and Joseph de Pasquale. She then received her Master’s Degree in String Quartet with the Dover Quartet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as a student of James Dunham. She and the Dover Quartet currently serve on the faculty of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

 

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Grace Park, Violinist

Grace Park is a dynamic violinist, dedicated chamber musician, and passionate pedagogue. Her diverse career has carried her from the world’s concert halls to inner city schools as a soloist, collaborator, coach, and multi-disciplinary educator. As part of a residency at Carnegie Hall – the Academy Carnegie Juilliard Weill (ACJW) program, Ms. Park pairs her elite musicianship with a fervent commitment to community engagement. As a soloist, Ms. Park has been the featured artist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Jordan Hall in Boston, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Auditorium in New York, the Rudolfinum in Prague, and Glinka Hall in St. Petersburg, with orchestras including the North Czech Philharmonia, Russian Chamber Philharmonic, and Napoli Chamber Orchestra. A laureate of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloist Competition, Ms. Park has also achieved many competitive successes.

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 the world premieres of renowned emerging composers Samuel Carl Adams and Andy Akiho, and has been recognized for her work in the Vitas Quartet and collaborations with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Park has also performed and taught at many of the world’s leading music festivals, such as the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Innsbrook Music Institute, Bravo!Vail, Music@Menlo, IMS Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop.

Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

 

Anna

Anna Petrova, Pianist

Bulgarian pianist Anna Petrova has been praised for her “hallmark performances” of “excellent technical mastery and powerful control of timbre.” – Levante, Spain. Prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including the José Roca (Valencia), Val Tidone (Italy) and Maria Yudina (St. Petersburg), Anna was a semifinalist at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in Belgium, 2010, where she performed as soloist with the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia under Paul Goodwin. At her North-American orchestral debut with conductor Philippe Entremont, which was shortly followed by a second invitation, Anna was praised for her “ultra-smooth playing style”- New York Fine Arts Examiner.

Other conductors with whom she has performed include Bruno Aprea, JoAnn Falletta, Ramón Tébar, and Francisco Valero-Terribas. Highlights of recent seasons include concerto performances with the Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra, the Monterey Symphony Orchestra of California, and the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo recitals in halls such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’ Conservatoire Royal, and Carnegie’s Weil Recital Hall.  Future performances include a solo tour of China and concerto performances with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra and the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

Recent chamber music engagements include residencies at Málaga Clásica Festival in Spain, Virginia Arts Festival in Virginia; Mozartfest in Würzburg, Germany; and Music@Menlo Festival in California with members of New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Her recording of Stravinsky’s Les Noces with members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Choir under conductor JoAnn Falletta will be released on Naxos in 2016.  In May 2016, Ms. Petrova was awarded her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from New York’s Manhattan School of Music, where her main teachers were Horacio Gutiérrez and André-Michel Schub. She now divides her time between New York and Houston, Texas, where she has recently joined the piano faculty at Sam Houston State University. Her performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, New York’s WQXR, Chicago’s WFMT, and Bulgarian National Radio and Television.

 

Photo Credit: Sophie Zhai

Brendan Speltz, Violinist

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