A versatile musician, violinist and violist John Vaida performs regularly as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. He is a dedicated teacher, serving on the faculty at Mansfield University and Wilkes University, and Artist-in-Residence at the Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School. During the summers he is on the faculty at the Killington Music Festival. An avid chamber musician, he is the executive director and co-founder of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society, an organization dedicated to fostering the growth of chamber music in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region.
He has given performances in the United States and Europe, most notably at venues such as Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Tenri Institute in New York City; the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York; the Goodrich Theater in Oneonta, New York; and the Kirby Center for Creative Arts in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He has appeared on numerous occasions on radio and television including most recently on WVIA FM’s Simply Grand concert series.
Mr. Vaida has collaborated with renowned artists such as Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet, Randolph Kelly of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and violinist Sergiu Schwartz. He has performed as a member of numerous groups and festivals including the Florestan Piano Quartet, the Terrace Piano Quartet, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Eastman Chamber Music Society, the Manchester Chamber Orchestra, Tangueros De Ley (an Argentinian Tango ensemble), the Killington Music Festival, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Scranton Bach Festival, the Sunflower Music Festival, the Meadowmount School of Music, the Waterville Valley Music Festival, and AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria. An advocate of new works, in recent years he has premiered compositions such as Three Little Lights by Baljinder Sekhon and the Viola Sonata no. 2 by Hwaen Ch’uqi, both of which were written for him.
Mr. Vaida’s principal teachers have included Charles Stegeman, Daniel Phillips, and Zvi Zeitlin. He holds a B.M. from Duquesne University and a M.M. degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and has studied chamber music with Randolph Kelly, Jean Barr, Richard Killmer, and members of the Ying Quartet.
Mr. Vaida plays on a violin made by Carl G. Becker in 1974, in Chicago, Illinois.
Born in Portugal, clarinetist Nuno Antunes performs extensively with a variety of ensembles in and around New York City. Nuno is currently a member of Sylvan Winds, IRIS Orchestra and Principal Clarinetist with Opera Saratoga. He is a frequent collaborator with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s, American American Ballet Theatre, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the America Symphony Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic and New York City Opera. He played clarinet and bass clarinet for the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, and has been a substitute clarinetist for the productions of My Fair Lady, The King and I, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. Nuno has appeared as a soloist with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, performing Strauss’s Duett Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon and Orchestra. Other solo performances include Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra and Lutoslawski’s Dance Preludes. He has performed as a guest artist with various chamber music groups, including the Parker Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players and the Jasper String Quartet. Nuno holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra.
Hailed for his “beautiful command of tone and mood…and unruffleable savoir-faire” (San Francisco Chronicle), his “layers of emotional expression” (The Examiner) and his “level of artistry that seem far beyond his years” (Contra Costa Times), Carlos Avila is one of the most in-demand pianists on the classical music scene. His concerts have taken him across North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
Carlos began his professional career in 2001 when he stepped in for an ailing Stewart Goodyear at 24-hours-notice to play the Rachmaninoff First Piano Concerto with the California Symphony – a “pinch-hit homerun” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Since then, Carlos has been a guest at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, Sarasota, Aspen, Banff, Music Academy of the West, Pianofest, Holland, ChamberFest Dubuque, Atlantic Music Festival, Lake George, and the Carnegie Hall Workshops where he had the opportunity to work and study with the late Isaac Stern, Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode and members of the St. Lawrence, Tokyo, Guarneri, Juilliard, Ying, and Borodin String Quartets.
Carlos is also an avid collaborator – he shares a 20-year partnership with acclaimed violinist Jay Oh, with whom he has given over 80 recitals across Asia and the United States. These past seasons, he performed in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s All-Access Chamber series and the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein salon series. Prior to that, he embarked on a country-wide 29-city tour with award-winning Baritone Leon Williams. Carlos was also recently showcased on New York’s WQXR, where he gave an all-transcription recital broadcast as one of the winners of Juilliard’s prestigious Gina Bachauer Piano Competition.
A dedicated member of community outreach, he also collaborates frequently with the New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim and participates in the promotion of her Doublestop Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing young musicians with no-cost loans of high-quality instruments. He has also made a large part of his musical home in South Korea where he was recently awarded Honorary Ambassadorship of the city of Chuncheon for his work in the chamber music initiative “New York in Chuncheon” and promoting and supporting national and international activities in the fields of policy, tourism resources, culture and art.
Carlos is on Collaborative Piano Faculty at the Heifetz Institute, where he makes his summer home and for which he works year-round on American tours to promote the innovation of cross-disciplinary learning and communication in student training. Since the spring of 2018, he is also the new pianist of the Boreal Trio, represented exclusively by Sciolino Artist Management. In addition, he is also the studio pianist for Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School.
A proud Filipino-American, Carlos is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal and did prior studies at Yale with Peter Frankl and Claude Frank. He currently resides in New York City.
In 1975, Jonathan Pineno earned his Bachelor of Science degree, in Music Education from Mansfield University, Mansfield, Pa. After undergraduate school, Jonathan studied for four years with Anthony Gigliotti, first chair clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and in 1979, he earned a Master’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.
From 1979 through 2006 Jonathan performed as the principal clarinetist for the Northeast Pa Oratorio Society Orchestra, Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra, Wyoming Valley Band, Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, and more than 50 shows at the Music Box Theater, Little Theater, The Kirby Center for the Performing Arts – Wilkes-Barre, and the Scranton Cultural Center. Jonathan performed clarinet, saxophone, and vocals with Eddie Derwin and The Polka Naturals from 1994 through 2005.
Starting in 1975, Jonathan taught music classes, for 34 years, in the Lake-Lehman School District. He devoted 20 years in elementary general, vocal, and instrumental music, 14 years in Junior and Senior High Chorus and general music classes, was the assistant High School Band Director for 6 years, directed 6 elementary musicals, and produced and directed 14 high school plays and musicals.
For 40 years, Mr. Pineno has been an adjunct faculty member at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. At Misericordia he started teaching private clarinet lessons in 1979, taught Instrumental Methods Classes, facilitated Music and Art History Classes on campus, created and taught Jazz/Popular Music courses, and for the last 15 years, has been a leading faculty member, in the creation and facilitation of online Arts Courses.
From 2011-2017, Jonathan taught online Humanities and Arts classes, for the University of Phoenix.
Currently, Jonathan Pineno is a full-time Arts and Humanities Faculty member for Penn State Wilkes-Barre. He teaches Art and Music History, American Popular Music, History of Hip Hop, History of Photography, and Forensic Photography. He also manages the on campus Friedman Art Gallery and is the current president of Arts at Hayfield.
Composing and Arranging Music:
Jonathan Pineno started composing and arranging music in 1965 with the help of his music teacher parents. At Mansfield University, he studied music theory and advanced composition techniques with Professor John Little. Through the years Jonathan has composed and arranged multiple pieces for Bands, Choruses, and Orchestras.
Some of his more recent compositions and musical arrangements are included in the Documentary films, “Harvey’s Lake – A Video Postcard”, “The Battle of Wyoming,” and “The Frances Slocum Project.”
Since January 1986 Mark Laubach has served as Organist and Choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, the Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of Bethlehem, where he administers an active liturgical and choral music program, concert series, and Music from St. Stephen’s, a radio broadcast heard weekly on WVIA 89.9 FM Public Radio. In 2008 Bishop Paul Marshall made Mark Honorary Canon Precentor of the Diocese in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the musical and liturgical life of the Diocese of Bethlehem.
Mark Laubach received a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music from Westminster Choir College in 1982 and a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in 1984. He served for one year as Fellow in Church Music at Washington National Cathedral. His organ teachers have included Clinton Miller, George Markey, Donald McDonald, and David Craighead. Since winning first prize in the 1984 American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance, Mark has performed in many of the most prominent churches and concert halls in the USA and in Great Britain and Germany. Notable UK recitals have included appearances at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, and cathedrals in Bristol, Chichester, Gloucester, Lincoln, Norwich, Wells, and Winchester. He is a frequent recitalist, clinician, presenter of hymn festivals, and competition adjudicator for National and Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and National and Regional Conferences of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM). He has recorded three critically acclaimed compact discs on the Pro Organo label: Teutonic Titanics, French Fest, and Mosaics in Sound. Canon Laubach teaches organ students privately and at Marywood University in Scranton. He is represented by the Concert Artists Cooperative, based in Sebastopol, California.
Recent performances by Canon Laubach have included recitals at First Lutheran Church of Brockton, Massachusetts, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, The First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown, New Jersey, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Marblehead, Massachusetts, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a featured recital for the 2017 Region III AGO Convention in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1993 and 1994, Mark started his involvement with the Royal School of Church Music in America when he served as an organist for the Valley Forge Course, which moved to Wilkes-Barre in 1995 and became the King’s College Course. He served as Course Manager in the late 1990s in Wilkes-Barre, and has served as an organist for the Course in the years since. He also served as organist for the Atlanta Girls’ Course at St. Philip’s Cathedral in 1998.
In August 2018 Mark served as a co-organist for a weeklong residency at Lincoln Cathedral in England by the Choir of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Harleysville, PA. In the following week he served as organist for another residency at Ely Cathedral by the combined Choirs of Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green in New Castle, DE, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, DE.
in Harleysville, PA. In the following week he served as organist for another residency at Ely Cathedral by the combined Choirs of Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green in New Castle, DE, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, DE.
Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida, cello, completed her musical studies at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Frankfurt, Germany, under the tutelage of Professor Susanne Mueller-Hornbach and has undertaken additional studies with Gerhard Mantel, Siegfried Palm, Hubert Buchberger, Ulrich Voss, Menachem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio), and Edna Golandsky.
Before moving to Northeastern Pennsylvania, she taught at Justus-Liebig- University, Giessen, and headed the string department for the Buseck Music School while performing regularly both as soloist and chamber musician throughout Germany.
Currently a member of Marywood University’s string faculty, Ms. Appenheimer-Vaida teaches applied cello, chamber music and cello methods, as well as all levels of cello instruction in Marywood’s award winning String Project. She also serves as artist-in-residence at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania, where she teaches String Ensemble, music theory and chamber music while maintaining a private cello studio. In addition, Ms. Appenheimer-Vaida is the artistic director of an annual chamber music festival at Wyoming Seminary. Most recently the festival has featured the music of Arnold Schoenberg (2010), Alfred Schnittke (2011), Dimitri Shostakovich (2012), Ernest Bloch (2013), Béla Bartók (2014), Erich Wolfgang Korngold (2015), Antonín Dvořák (2016), Gabriel Fauré (2017), Johannes Brahms (2018), and Edward Elgar and Frank Bridge (2019). During the summer, she is on the faculty of the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary. Ms. Appenheimer-Vaida is an active free-lance performer with various chamber ensembles and orchestras in the region.
One of the most brilliant virtuosi ever to perform on the double bass, James VanDemark was hailed by the New York Times at his Lincoln Center recital debut as “an exceptionally gifted string player and a musician of taste, intelligence and the best spontaneous musical instincts, with an unerring sense for exact intonation.” The San Francisco Chronicle praised his “wonderful facility for making really musical phrases, relaxing, building, shading with unlimited subtleties – and a capacity to dig into whole pages of rip-roaring coloratura and make every note count.”
VanDemark began his musical studies at the age of 14 in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota, making such rapid progress that just 18 months later he made his solo debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. Subsequently, VanDemark has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic (Mehta), St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (Zukerman), Buffalo Philharmonic (Yoel Levi), Grant Park Symphony (James Paul), Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (Peter Bay), the San Antonio Symphony (Barrios), the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (Rampal), the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra (Hugh Wolff), the New Mexico Symphony (Lockington), the Quebec Symphony, the National Symphony of Mexico, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, and in numerous other concerto appearances.
VanDemark’s duo recitals with André Watts, including one on Lincoln Center’s Great Performer Series, and also with Samuel Sanders, Anthony Newman, Barry Snyder, and Robert Spillman have won him great acclaim. Chamber music collaborations with the Guarneri, Cleveland, Colorado, Muir, Ying, and Audubon Quartets, the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, Vienna Schubert Trio, Kandinsky Trio, Gryphon Trio and pianists Gary Graffman, Alfred Brendel, Anton Nel, Anton Kuerti, and Jeffrey Kahane highlight VanDemark’s versatility.
The recipient of numerous commissioned works, including those by three Pulitzer Prize winners – Gian-Carlo Menotti, Joseph Schwantner, and Christopher Rouse – VanDemark also performed the American premieres of Nino Rota’s Divertimento Concertante(Charlotte Symphony) and Edvard Tubin’s Double Bass Concerto (Queens Symphony). VanDemark’s most recent commission is a solo double bass work by the noted composer/violist Adrienne Elisha.
VanDemark recently premiered and recorded the recital work Dana la Colora by composer/cellist Emilio Colon. He also recently premiered the concerto Shiva Shakti by composer Todd Coleman, winner of the Scorch Music Competition, and performed and recorded Jerod Sheffer Tate’s Iyaaknasha’ (The Medicine Man and His Helper) with the Columbus (OH) Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra.
Also in considerable demand as a narrator with orchestra, VanDemark has appeared on numerous occasions with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Texas Festival Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, the NEO Ensemble, and many others. In June, 2011, VanDemark will premiere a new narrated work with orchestra, A Young Rodent’s Guide to the Orchestra (for which VanDemark wrote the text and Emilio Colon the music), with the Texas Festival Orchestra.
As a sought-after guest artist at summer festivals, VanDemark performs at the Mostly Mozart, Spoleto, Seattle Chamber Music, Montreal Chamber Music, Round Top, Maverick, Norfolk, South Bank (London), and Newport festivals.
An important direction in VanDemark’s career has been his involvement with Native American performers in Circle of Faith, composed by Alton Clingan. VanDemark commissioned this unique musical and cultural collaborative work, developing it in conjunction with respected Native artists and elders. He also produces the work, which has had more than two dozen performances since its 1992 premiere with the Muir Quartet.
Appointed Professor of Double Bass at the Eastman School in 1976, at age 23, VanDemark became the youngest person ever to hold such a position at a major music school. VanDemark is recognized as a renowned teacher; his students hold positions with many of the world’s major orchestras – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, San Francisco, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and the orchestras of Syracuse, Buffalo and Wichita. Currently, VanDemark serves as Co-Chair of the String Department at the Eastman School, and Chair of the Musical Arts Major, Eastman’s interdisciplinary academic honors program.
As a recording artist, VanDemark can be heard on d’Note Records, Philips, Telarc, Vox, Pantheon, and NEXUS.
VanDemark has been profiled in such diverse media as Connoisseur magazine, the New York Times, on PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and in the Lakota Times, the largest Native American newspaper in the United States.
VanDemark graduated in 1976 from SUNY Buffalo (BFA, Magna cum Laude). His principal teachers include bassist James Clute and cellist Paul Katz, with additional study with bassist Gary Karr and cellists Gabor Rejto and Leonard Rose.
Born and raised in Bulgaria, Vlada Yaneva moved to New York in 2011 and earned her degrees at the Manhattan School of music. She is the co-founder and piano duo partner of the Masterwork Conversations project where alongside husband Matthew Harrison she presents interactive storytelling concerts. Her solo and chamber music concerts have been heard by audiences in Italy, France, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, England and the United States. In NYC she has performed at Weill recital at Carnegie hall, Steinway hall, Yamaha hall, Trinity Church, Scandinavian House, St.John the Divine, Barge museum, Bulgarian Consulate and many more.
Mrs. Yaneva cherishes the opportunity to share her passion for music through teaching. In 2007 she became a team leader of the first Children’s Music Social Project at the New York Cares organization working with kids in transitional shelters for two years. Later in 2011 she joined the New Victory Theater Teaching Artist Ensemble where she currently works with students from New York public schools, as well as researches the intrinsic impact of arts in education. She also holds her teaching studio in the city for the last seventeen years.
For fun Vlada enjoys performing with the Bulgarian folk dance group “Bosilek”, composing music for puppetry theater, hiking, reading and cooking. She lives in Washington heights, NYC with her husband Matthew and their daughter Yana.
As a bassoonist, Gina Cuffari performs with many orchestras and chamber ensembles in the New York City area. Gina became a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2018 as Co-Principal Bassoonist. She is also a member of the Lincoln Center-based Riverside Symphony, and performs with the Westchester Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theater, Stamford Symphony, New Haven Symphony, and American Symphony Orchestra. She has subbed on Broadway productions which include Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard, and My Fair Lady. Gina is a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and Sylvan Winds. She has appeared with the renown west coast-based ensemble Camerata Pacifica, and is a recent addition to the artist roster of the Boston-based Walden Chamber Players. Gina is also a champion of new music, and is a frequent collaborator with Alarm Will Sound. A passionate educator, Gina is an Adjunct Professor of Bassoon at New York University and Western Connecticut State University. Gina is also a versatile singer who enjoys performing in many different styles. From classical to musical theater to jazz/pop/r&b, she loves it all, and has professional experience performing in all genres. In a New York Times review of the Jupiter Chamber Players, Allan Kozinn said, “Gina Cuffari, a soprano (though she is usually the group’s bassoonist), sang them (set of Toscanini songs) with the right balance of gracefulness and passion.” Gina’s current passion project is commissioning composers to write pieces that integrate both voice and bassoon into the same work.
Pianist TIMOTHY BURNS is a versatile performer and collaborator, with significant instrumental, vocal, and choral accompanying experience. He holds degrees in piano performance, music theory pedagogy, and collaborative piano from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, studying with Carol Schanely-Cahn, David Allen Wehr, and Jean Barr. Currently, Dr. Burns serves as Supervisor of Piano Accompanying at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where he frequently collaborates with faculty, guest artists, and students.
Dr. Burns has performed throughout the United States and Canada. He has served as staff accompanist for the 2010 King Award Competition, the 2012 International Viola Congress, the 2013 International Society of Bassists Competition and Conference, and the 2017 International Horn Competition of America. Recent performances include the world premiere of James David’s Swing Landscapes (2018) for Piano and Wind Orchestra, a chamber music recital on the Frick Collection’s “Salon Evening” concert series in New York City, and duo performances with clarinetist Wesley Ferreira at the 2016 ClarinetFest International Conference.
As an avid supporter for new and current music, Dr. Burns has performed works by current composers such as Mari Esabel Valverde, Margaret Brouwer, Mathjis van Dijk, Baljinder Sekhon, and James M. David. Past summer residences have included the New York State Summer School of the Arts Choral Studies Program in Fredonia, NY, the Performing Arts Institute at the Wyoming Seminary near Wilkes-Barre, PA, and the Eastman School of Music’s “Summer@Eastman” program in Rochester, NY. For the Summer of 2019, Dr. Burns will be in residence with the Just Chamber Music program, the Lift Clarinet Academy in Fort Collins, CO, the International Horn Competition of America, and the International Keyboard Odyssiad, U.S.A. Dr. Burns currently resides in Broomfield, CO with his wife and fellow collaborative pianist, Suyeon Kim, and his two-year old son, Stephen.
Theodore Buchholz is the cello professor and head of strings at the University of Arizona. Described by newspaper critics as a “virtuosic cellist” with a “warm beautiful sound,” he recently performed in prominent venues from New York’s Lincoln Center to international halls in Italy and Tokyo, and in important venues across the United States. He toured the recently commissioned concerto The High Songs by Carter Pann, and this season he will perform Brahms’s Double Concerto and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with orchestras across the U.S. Buchholz is the cellist of the Deco Piano Trio which holds a residency at the White Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Buchholz’s upcoming album, Afterglow, will feature Henry Hadley’s complete works for cello and piano, and will be released by Centaur Records. His recording of the Hans Winterberg Cello Sonata was released under the Toccata label in 2018, and he is a member of True Concord whose CD recording won a 2016 Grammy Award. He performs on an outstanding cello made in 1877 by French luthier Charles Mennégand. As a nationally recognized researcher, Dr. Buchholz served as the Cello Forum Editor for the award-winning journal American String Teacher. During the summers he performs and teaches at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Dr. Buchholz studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Arizona, and the Manhattan School of Music.
Joseph Murphy has been the saxophone professor at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania since 1987. He has also been director of bands, department chair, and taught a variety of courses. He received the bachelor of music education from Bowling Green State University (OH), and the masters and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. Dr. Murphy was the music director of Tiffin (OH) Calvert High School from 1983-85. In 1985‑86 he received a Fulbright Award for a year of study in Bordeaux, France where he received a Premier Prix. In June 1996 Dr. Murphy performed a solo recital at Lincoln Center. He has performed in all 50 states, 8 Canadian provinces, 24 countries, and 6 continents. He has performed in New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Sydney, Athens, Tokyo, Bangkok, Johannesburg and at 8 World Saxophone Congresses. He has premiered over 60 new works and is a clinician for the Selmer Corporation and Rico Corporation and has been recorded on Erol (France), Mark, and Opus One labels. Dr. Murphy’s memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers National Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors, College Band Directors National Association, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Kappa Psi. His award winning website is www.saxophone-education.com
“Full of Herculean power” (Time Out), cellist Miho Weber continues to excite audiences with her thought-provoking performances throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia. In New York, she regularly performs at Bargemusic, Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and the UN. Miho’s recent projects have included the Glass Farm Ensemble, InterPlay duo, and collaborations with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Memling Ensemble. She has performed with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Paragon Orchestra, and String Orchestra of New York City throughout the USA as principal cello. Her popular engagements have included a performance with Imagine Dragons on Saturday Night Live and Josh Groban at the US Open.
Miho has held residencies at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, Schleswig-Holstein, and many others. She is the founding director of the strings after-school program at NEST+m, a specially gifted and talented school in math and science, and InterPlay Chamber Music, an educational organization with the unique mission to create an inspiring learning environment for chamber musicians of all ages. She has coached chamber music and private lessons at Riverdale Country School and chamber music for the New York Youth Symphony and New York Pops. Miho has given lectures on the Bach Suites at CUNY Baruch College and string pedagogy at CUNY Brooklyn College. During the summer, she has taught at the New York Summer Music Festival, Blue Mountain Festival at Franklin and Marshall College, the Odyssey Chamber Music Festival in residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Point CounterPoint, and is currently the music director of the Middlebury Community Music Center Chamber Music Workshop.
“This is true talent, a genuine diamond that you so rarely see.”–St. Petersburg Times
An Inca Indian and a native of Peru, pianist Hwaen Ch’uqi is a world-renowned soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has performed throughout the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia, Taiwan, and Japan. His labors have brought him to such venues as Seiji Ozawa Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Knitting Factory, and Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is co-founder of several ensembles including Duo Feathers, a piano duo which performs completely from memory; the Florestan Piano Quartet; Blue Ivory, a piano-banjo duo which seeks to fuse elements of genres particular to each instrument; and Johnny Carcrash, a piano-saxophone duo specializing in free improvisation.
Mr. Ch’uqi’s gifts as a composer of the highest order are being increasingly recognized. In 2009, he, in collaboration with five other composer-pianists, was commissioned to produce a second book of Hexameron Variations. The work was a feature of the 2010 conference of the American Liszt Society. In 2011, he was commissioned by Lynnann Wieringa of Notes and Tones Music Studio to produce a suite of pieces with a pedagogical bent, written for piano students at the late intermediate/early advanced level. In March, 2012, he was a finalist at the 17th International Piano Duo Composition Competition in Tokyo, Japan. He has completed a massive first piano sonata, several chamber sonatas, a song cycle, suites for solo piano, a cycle of twenty-five preludes for piano, four hands, and a children’s musical.
Mr. Ch’uqi’s published output includes four CD recordings and a growing collection of scores. He is currently authoring a partial autobiography called The Redemption of Hwaen Ch’uqi, and he is the subject of an upcoming documentary entitled Coda.
Hwaen Ch’uqi holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Natalya Antonova. He quickly distinguished himself as one of the rare pianists to be three times invited as a fellow to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center; there, he studied with such luminaries as Gilbert Kalish and Leon Fleisher. He was a semifinalist at the Second Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow and was awarded the Special Prize.
It is Mr. Ch’uqi’s fervent prayer that such music as he is privileged to render might serve as a catalyst for wondrous change in the lives of all who hear it.
Having given solo and ensemble performances to critical acclaim in over a dozen countries across five continents, Amy Iwazumi enjoys a diverse career as a musician, web developer and graphic designer, and the co-founder and chief of operations of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chamber Music Society.
She has performed in major venues in the United States such as the Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall; Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall), Alice Tully Hall, Rose Theater, and Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Lincoln Center; Harris Hall and the Bayer-Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, Colorado; and the Terrace Theater at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Abroad, she has given performances at notable venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, UK; Salle Cortot in Paris, France; Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea; and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan. She has also made TV and radio appearances on WQXR, NPR and CNN in the United States; Viva La Mañana and Tu Mañana in El Salvador; TeleClub in Costa Rica; KBS in South Korea; and NHK Radio in Japan.
She has performed at several music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Festival Ljubljana in Slovenia, Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, Holland Music Sessions in the Netherlands, La Jolla Summerfest in California, Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Salzburg Sommerakademie in Austria, and the Taipei International Arts Festival in Taiwan.
Ms. Iwazumi is also a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship Grant which supported a four-month cultural research residency in Japan where she furthered her studies playing the Shamisen, a three-stringed traditional Japanese instrument, and her practice of Omotesenke school of tea ceremony.
At age eight she was accepted as a scholarship student to the Juilliard Pre-College Division studying violin with the late Dorothy DeLay and composition with Eric Ewazen. She continued her studies with Ms. DeLay at The Juilliard School receiving her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, and studied chamber music with Martin Canin, the late Jacob Lateiner, the late Seymour Lipkin, and Joel Smirnoff.
French double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman enjoys a diverse career performing as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, recording artist, commissioner of new music, educator and founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash.
As a soloist, she has performed with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, the North Shore Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, Longy Chamber Orchestra and others. New Music Connoisseur described her playing from a recent concert as having “technical certainty and musical imagination” and by the Phoenix as “ a gifted colorist ….who produced an entire range of orchestral effects”.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with violinists Midori, Joel Smirnoff, St. Petersburg String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, members of the Lark String Quartet, Fidelio; pianists Virginia Eskin, Victor Rosenbaum, Randall Hodgkinson, and with soprano Dawn Upshaw. She was a prizewinner at the Prague International Chamber Music Competition and won first prize with honors for double bass performance at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. She has recorded CDs of chamber music with the Albany, Archetype, Arsis, AFKA and CRI labels and has appeared on NPR’s Artbeat, WGBH Boston, Vermont Public Radio, France Inter, Radio France Toulouse, and local television stations.
As an orchestra player, Ms. Delache-Feldman has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Toulouse Capitole National Orchestra (France), and as principal bassist with Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, New England String Ensemble and BMOP, among others.
As co-founder of Duo Cello e Basso (formerly the Axiom Duo) with cellist Emmanuel Feldman, she has concertized both in the US and in Europe at such distinguished venues as the Phillips Collection, Jordan Hall, Sanders Theater, Liszt Academy Budapest, Altes Rathaus Vienna, Radio France Paris and many others. Duo Cello e Basso’s repertoire champions music of our time and collaborates with dynamic artists from many genres. The duo has arranged more challenging and diverse music from Bach to Bartók and has commissioned numerous pieces including composers John Harbison, Daniel Pinkham, John McDonald, Eric Sawyer, Andrew List, Mark DeVoto, Alexander Blechinger, Elena Ruehr, Hayg Boyadjian and many others.
The duo debuted on the Boston Celebrity Series in collaboration with the Rebecca Rice Dance Group and has realeased their first CD on Synergy Classics.
Since 2001, Ms. Delache-Feldman has been the founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash, an international festival dedicated to the double bass that included guests Rufus Reid, Michael Moore, Edwin Barker, Larry Wolfe, Don Palma, Tim Cobb and many others.
Ms. Delache-Feldman teaches double bass at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Tufts University, Brown University, New England Conservatory and Rivers School of Music and has been recently invited to give masterclasses at Eastman and Berklee among others. She has taught at the Yellow Barn and Summit Music Festivals, and is on the faculty of the Killington Music Festival, Foundation for Chineses Performing Arts and the Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center.
A second-generation bassist, she studied with her father Jean-Claude Delache from age 10 at the Toulouse Conservatory, later studying with Jacques Cazauran and Frédéric Stochl at the Paris Conservatory where she earned her Bachelor of Music. Ms. Delache-Feldman came to the US to study with Roger Scott at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Artist Diploma. She has also studied with Edwin Barker, Evgeny Kosolov, and violinist and renown pedagogue Burton Kaplan. Ms. Delache-Feldman was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and participated in the Pablo Casals and Schlesswig Holstein Musik Festivals.
Hailed by John Williams as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist”, Emmanuel Feldman has emerged as one of the most innovative and expressive cellists of his generation. Of his recent CD release on Delos, Our American Roots, Gramophone called Feldman, “an artist who combines communicative urgency with tonal splendor.” Known for intense and soulful playing that explores a broad range of repertoire and styles, he enjoys a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and educator.
With a solo concert career that has taken him throughout Europe and North Hall America, Feldman has performed at Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, The Phillips Collection, Salle Gaveau, Radio France, Franz Liszt Academy, and countless other venues in Germany, France and Spain. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, New England String Ensemble, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, and Boston Philharmonic, amongst others. Following his 2006 his debut on the Marquee Celebrity Series of Boston, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked that, “Emmanuel Feldman was superb in the Bach Solo Suites”. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with pianists Robert Levin, Gilbert Kalish, Yehudi Wyner, Jorge Bolet, and also with pianist Joy Cline-Phinney whom he recorded several CDs; instrumentalists Paul Neubauer, Richard Stoltzman, Jennifer Frautschi, Karen Dreyfus, and Elmar Oliveira, as well as the Borromeo String Quartet, and members of the Lydian and Jupiter String Quartets. He has also appeared frequently on radio and television broadcasts, including WQXR New York, WCRB and WGBH Boston, Vermont Public Radio and Radio France.
Through newly commissioned premieres and interdisciplinary collaborations with dance and poetry, Feldman has fostered collaborations with artists and ensembles such as the Mark Morris Dance Group, Rebecca Rice Dance, Aurea Ensemble, and Bobby McFerrin, helping to create unique and unexpected concert experiences. A champion of new music, he has premiered works by composers Richard Danielpour, Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison, Aaron Kernis, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Charles Fussell, Jan Swafford, Andrew List, Yakov Yakoulov, John McDonald, and Gilbert Trout, amongst others. As co-founder of Cello e Basso (formerly Axiom Duo), with double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman, they have commissioned more than a dozen new works. As a composer, Feldman’s own compositions have been performed by the New England String Ensemble, Cello E Basso, and the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival including his “Synergy” for String Orchestra and “Enigma #1” for cello and double bass. Additionally, he has arranged Gershwin’s Three Preludes for cello and piano available on his album “Our American Roots”. With nearly a dozen recordings to his credit, his discography has been recognized for its commitment to solo and chamber works by contemporary and American composers. His 2007 release on Albany Records, Rider on the Plains, was hailed by the New York Times as “an excellent new recording” and received a 2008 Grammy nomination for producer Blanton Alspaugh (Producer of the Year).
Feldman in addition to his NEC teaching is also on the cello and chamber music faculty at Tufts University, International Cello Institute, Heifetz International Music Institute, Duxbury Music Festival, Easton Music Festival and Killington Music Festival. He also maintains an active private studio in the Boston area. He has also taught at Yellow Barn, New York Summer Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, and Chappaquiddick Music Festival. Feldman’s cello students have been accepted to virtually every major music school and conservatory in the United States and abroad, many having gone on to enjoy careers as artists and educators. Several have garnered top prizes in international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, Presidential Scholars in the Arts, Brahms International Competition, Irving Kline, and Stulberg Competition, and have appeared on NPR’s “From The Top”.
Born in New York City to a large musical family of Juilliard trained parents, Feldman first studied the violin, piano and French horn and then chose the cello at age 12. He later made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 14 performing the Dvorak cello concerto. Feldman went on to study cello at the Curtis Institute of Music with Orlando Cole, and chamber music with Felix Galimir, Karen Tuttle, and Jascha Brodsky. His other cello teachers include David Finckel, Bernard Greenhouse, Arto Noras, Jonathan Miller, Leopold Teraspulsky, Amy Camus and Igor Gavrytch. In summers past he was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has been invited to participate in numerous other festivals, including Meadowmount, Encore School for Strings and the Marlboro Music Festival. For many years he also enjoyed an extensive career as an orchestral musician, having held principal cello posts with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the New England String Ensemble, and section cello and part time positions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra.
Hailed as “a violinist of outstanding technical accomplishment and exceptional musical talent” (Fanfare Magazine), violinist Boris Abramov has established himself in recent years as a young promising artist, performing across the world as a soloist as well as a chamber and orchestral musician. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1989, Mr. Abramov immigrated to Israel in 1990, and began studying the violin at the age of 6 with Stella Zlatkovsky. Since 2001, Mr. Abramov received annual scholarships and prizes from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and was declared second prize winner in Israel’s Rising Star National Music Competition in 2004. Mr. Abramov has been heard on Israeli Radio broadcasts, playing chamber music at the Jerusalem Music Center, and at age 16, served as Concertmaster of the Israel Youth Philharmonic Festival.
At the age of 17, Mr. Abramov continued his studies at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University in the United States, where he completed his bachelor’s (cum laude), master’s and artist diploma degrees with the renowned violinist and pedagogue Sergiu Schwartz. Since his move to the United States from his native Israel, Mr. Abramov has participated in several music competitions as a soloist, winning several awards at the national and international level. Among them include being a three-time Concerto Competition Winner at Columbus State University, National Winner of the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Competition for strings in 2008 in Denver, CO, and a special prize at the 2009 Pablo de Sarasate International Competition in Pamplona, Spain.
Mr. Abramov’s solo career includes appearances with the Jerusalem Festival, Columbus Symphony, Lagrange Symphony, Brevard Symphony, Auburn Symphony and Verde Valley Sinfonietta Orchestras, as well as recitals and concerts in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Russia and the United States. Recent chamber music engagements include performances with the American Chamber Players as well as performances at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont and the XX and XXI Homecoming Chamber Music Festival in Russia collaborating with world-renowned performers such as Alexander Kobrin, Carmine Miranda, Alexander Buzlov, Anton Dresller, Maxim Rysanov, Roman Mintz, and Wendy Warner.
Boris Abramov’s recent album, Mozart-Beethoven Violin and Cello Duets with the renowned cellist, Carmine Miranda was released to critical acclaim by Navona Records and was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2017 Global Music Awards and nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award.
Mr. Abramov currently serves as principal second violinist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and as Professor of Violin at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University (USA).
Mr. Abramov is a Dogal Artist performing exclusively on Dogal Capriccio Violin Strings and performs on a violin made by Anthony Wrona in 1959, in Buffalo, New York.
Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak is an internationally admired concert artist and educator, whose professional engagements have taken her across Europe, Asia, and North America. A native of South Korea, her career was launched with top prizes in the Samick National Piano Competition (South Korea), Tokyo International Piano Duo Competition (Japan), International Beethoven Sonata Competition (Memphis, TN), and others. Her diverse concert life has included concerto appearances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra (Seoul), Sun-Hwa Philharmonic Orchestra (Seoul), Racine Symphony Orchestra, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra, and numerous university orchestras. She has given recitals in significant venues, such the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts (Chicago), World Piano Conference (Novi Sad, Serbia), American Landmark Festival (New York), Taipei National Recital Hall (Taiwan), with several broadcast internationally (WFMT-Chicago, KBS-Seoul, Christian Radio-Taiwan, Wisconsin Public Radio-Madison). An avid chamber musician, she was a member of the international prize-winning Cheng and Kwak Piano Duo, the Clarus Piano Trio, and has performed with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra. Her professional recordings are available from Northwestern University Press, Vienna Modern Masters label, and the Naxos Music Library.
Kwak continues to be in great demand as clinician, adjudicator and lecturer. Twice she was a judge for the International Smetana Piano Competition (Czech Republic), and has been an invited guest of the Isidor Bajic Conservatory (Serbia), Shin-Zhu Teachers University (Taiwan), Music Teachers National Association, PianoArts of Milwaukee National Competition, New York State School Music Association, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, and many other organizations.
After completing the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Seoul National University, Kwak emigrated to the United States, where she earned the Master of Music from Roosevelt University and Doctor of Music from Northwestern University. She studied with Jeong-Joo Oh, Kui-Hyun Kim, Pawel Checinski, David Kaiserman, Sylvia Wang, and took master classes with such artists as Robert Levin, Ursula Oppens, and Garrick Ohlsson. Professor Kwak previously taught at Truman State University, Northwestern University, Carthage College, Cardinal Stritch University, and is now Keyboard Area Chair/Assistant Professor of Piano at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Matthew Slotkin is an acclaimed performer, teacher, and scholar, and has appeared in leading venues on six continents. A commitment to contemporary music has resulted in premieres of numerous works by composers including Linda Buckley, John Anthony Lennon, Scott Lindroth, John Orfe, and many others. Festival performances include concerts at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Walled City Music Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institution, the Guitar Foundation of America, and the World Saxophone Congresses in Scotland, Thailand and Slovenia. He has performed on numerous classical guitar society concert series including New Zealand (GANZ), Montreal, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Iowa, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the Great Lakes. He has given performances with many prominent chamber ensembles including Cantata Profana, Metropolis Ensemble, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Duo Montagnard, and Dez Cordas. Recordings on the Summit, Centaur, and Liscio labels have been praised as “wonderful…a very enjoyable disc” (Soundboard), and “a magnificent achievement…the concept of this program is brilliant” (American Record Guide). Soundboard magazine called him an “exceptional” player, and a recent concert review from the Classical Voice of North Carolina states that “Slotkin performed brilliantly.” Slotkin is an Associate Professor of Music at Bloomsburg University, where he has directed the guitar program since 2004. He has given masterclasses at numerous institutions and festivals including the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Victorian College of the Arts (Australia), ESMAE (Portugal), National University of La Plata (Argentina), the Alexandria Guitar Festival, and many others. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied guitar with Nicholas Goluses.
Matthew Slotkin is an acclaimed guitar performer, teacher, and scholar, and has appeared in leading venues on six continents. He has released eight recordings on the Centaur, Liscio and Summit record labels, several of which have received critical praise from leading publications including American Record Guide, Fanfare and Soundboard. A commitment to contemporary music has resulted in world premiere performances of over fifty works in both solo and chamber music settings, and Slotkin has given performances with many prominent chamber ensembles including Cantata Profana, Metropolis Ensemble, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Duo Montagnard and Dez Cordas. Slotkin is an Associate Professor of Music at Bloomsburg University, where he has directed the guitar program since 2004.
“Clearly knowing the power of sonority” (Philadelphia Inquirer), the music of Baljinder Sekhon has been presented in over 500 concerts in twenty countries. From works for large ensemble to solo works to electronic music, Sekhon’s demonstrate a wide range of interests and styles. Sekhon’s compositions for saxophone and percussion instruments are widely recognized as pioneering work in those genres with numerous presentations, CD recordings, and guest lecture appearances.
The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” presented a portrait concert of Sekhon’s chamber music in Arlington, VA, in March 2017. Also in 2017, his saxophone works were presented at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and at the EurSax2017 Conference. His recent Double Percussion Concerto and his choral work There Are No Words were both premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage. His recent orchestral work The Offering is a 22-minute, three-movement concerto for saxophone and orchestra that received its premiere by saxophonist Doug O’Connor and the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra. His work Civil Variations for orchestra was performed at the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival in 2015 and Ancient Dust, also for orchestra, was premiered at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music (Marin Alsop, director) where it was described as “still and mysterious, animated, haunting and peaceful” by the Epoch Times. In 2009, Sekhon composed a voice and chamber orchestra work for Grammy-nominated soprano Tony Arnold. Musica Nova premiered the resulting work, Post, under the direction of acclaimed conductor Brad Lubman. Recent commissions include Sekhon’s involvement in the Global Premiere Consortium Commissioning Project, which resulted in his work Sonata of Puzzles for the top saxophonists around the world. Consortium members for this project include Artur Mendes, Tim McAllister, Dale Underwood, Connie Frigo, Chien-Kwan Lin, John Sampen, Jérôme Laran, Seung-Dong Lee, Douglas Braga, Clifford Leaman, and Yo Matsushita, among more than forty other saxophonists. In addition, over forty percussionists recently joined together to commission Passageways, a solo steel pan and percussion ensemble work, The Passageways commission was initiated by percussionist David Gerhart who served as the soloist for the work’s premiere in 2015 with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Percussion Ensemble. Most recently, Sekhon completed a new work for solo marimba entitled Distances, commissioned by Michael Burritt and a large consortium of soloists.
Additional platforms for the performance of Sekhon’s music have included the Seoul Arts Center, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, National Orchestra Institute, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the Paris Conservatory, MATA’s Interval Series, New World Symphony’s Musician Forum Series, the World Saxophone Congress, International Viola Congress, Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Bang On a Can Festival, Root Signals Electronic Music Festival, Stallenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (South Africa), and a full concert of his works at John Zorn’s contemporary art space The Stone. Several commercial recordings of Sekhon’s music have been released, including two by the McCormick Percussion Group (USA), a recording of Drifting Seeds by the Couloir Duo (Canada), Bunker by the Evolution Duo (Netherlands), Compass by the Juventas New Music Ensemble on New Dynamic Records, Gradient by the Heisler/Yeh duo on AMP Records, Double Percussion Concerto by the USF Wind Ensemble on Mark Records, Gradient by Jerome Laran on Klarthe Records (France), Regeneration by Phillip O’Banion on BCM&D Records, and Sonata of Puzzles by Artur Mendes (Portugal) and by Adam Estes on Albany Records (USA). Sheet music of Sekhon’s works is available internationally from Keyboard Percussion Publications, Glass Tree Press, Steve Weiss Music, Le Vent Music (Taiwan), AvA Musical Editions (Europe), and Southern Percussion (UK). A portrait CD of Sekhon’s music, featuring the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, line upon line percussion trio, guitarist Dieter Hennings, and the McCormick Percussion Group will be released on Innova Records in 2018.
Sekhon serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of South Florida where he received a 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher award, he and holds the PhD and MA from the Eastman School of Music where he is a three-time recipient of the Howard Hanson Orchestral prize and served as president of the highly acclaimed OSSIA New Music Ensemble. Sekhon also holds a BM from the University of South Carolina. Additional honors include the Wayne Brewster Barlow Prize, New Music USA’s Composer Assistance Grant, Audio Inversions, Percussive Arts Society Composition Competition, Brian M. Israel Prize, Boehmler Foundation Commission, Met Life Creative Connections Grant, Belle Gitelman Prize, Barbara B. Smith Prize, multiple awards from ASCAP including the Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2006), and he was named the MTNA/FSMTA Commissioned Composer of 2012. His numerous appearances as a percussionist include those at the L.A. Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series in Walt Disney Hall, Festival Spazio Musica in Cagliari, Italy, and at the Bang On a Can Marathon in New York City.
Taiwanese-American Dr. Rong-Huey Liu is one of Southern California’s most active oboists, holding principal positions in Long Beach Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, and Riverside County Philharmonic. In high demand as a multi-faceted soloist, Liu has performed concertos of Bach, Corigliano, Daugherty, Ferran, Kalliwoda, Lebrun and Mozart, Navarro, to name a few. As the featured soloist in the world premiere of Saul’s “Kiev 2014: Rhapsody for Oboe and Orchestra”, she garnered critical acclaim for her “sublime playing and crisp performance, filled with quiet perseverance and passion.” Her Lebrun Oboe Concerto performance with Long Beach Symphony earned the review of “Her radiant tone easily filled the cavernous Terrace Theater, and she played with consummate grace and musicality. She put on an awesome technical display in the finale and played with assurance as Lebrun took the instrument way up high and way down low. And in the second movement, a lovely little song that is just cute as a bug’s ear, she was downright charming.” Her festival credits include performances at Ojai Summer Music Festival, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Southwest International New Music Festival, International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, and at the Cactus Pear Music Festival her playing was noted by San Antonio critics for “sweetness shaped by a sense of crisp articulation” and for leading a performance of a “razzle-dazzle piece…the audience was thrilled”. As a recording artist, she has recorded on the “Fireflies in the Garden”, “Star Wars VIII”, “Lady Bird”, “Ferdinand”, and on the recording of Chris Botti, the Isley Brothers, and Andrew Bocelli, to name a few.
Rong-Huey holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Her teachers include Rong-Yi Liu, Joseph Robinson, and David Weiss. She is oboe professor at California State University Fullerton School of Music, La Sierra University and Riverside City College Coil School for the Arts.
Appointed Artistic Director of the Olympic Music Festival in 2014 and praised as a musician of “compelling artistry and power” by the Seattle Times, the gifted American pianist Julio Elizalde leads an active career as soloist, chamber musician, artistic administrator, curator, and educator.
He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America to popular and critical acclaim. Mr. Elizalde has collaborated with a wide range of artists including violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pamela Frank, composers Osvaldo Golijov and Stephen Hough, baritone William Sharp, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets.
Mr. Elizalde is a founding member of the New Trio, grand prize winner of the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions. In 2012, he was honored to be the youngest juror in the history of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde received a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Paul Hersh. He holds a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.
Praised as “spectacular” and a “virtuosic tour-de-force” (New York Concert Review) cellist Patrick Jee has earned international acclaim for his bold musicality, rich sound, and passionate performances. He has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, and Wigmore Hall as well as special performances at the United Nations and on CNN, American Morning.
In 2006, Mr. Jee won the Grand Prize in the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition as well as top awards in other major competitions such as the Andre Navarra and Irving Klein. Mr. Jee joined the New York Philharmonic in 2013 after previously serving as the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Principal Cello of the Grant Park Orchestra.
His transcription of the Glazunov Meditation, published by International Music Co., won the Music Publisher’s Association’s Paul Revere Award. His transcription of Corelli’s “La Folia” Variations was released in 2013 as well as J.S. Bach’s Two Part Inventions and Bernard Romberg’s Three Themes of Mozart both for violin and cello.
Mr. Jee is on faculty at New York University and holds a B.M. from the Juilliard School and a M.M. from Yale University where he studied with Aldo Parisot. He can be heard on the Albany, Urtext, and HM record labels.
Andrew Wan was named concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) in 2008. As soloist, he has performed worldwide under conductors such as Maxim Vengerov, Vasily Petrenko, Bernard Labadie, Carlo Rizzi, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern and James DePreist and has appeared in recitals with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Vadim Repin, Marc-André Hamelin, Daniil Trifonov, Menahem Pressler, Jörg Widmann, Emanuel Ax, James Ehnes, and Gil Shaham.
His discography includes Grammy nominated and Juno award-winning releases on the Onyx, Bridge, and Naxos labels with the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Metropolis Ensemble, and the Juno and Opus-award winning New Orford String Quartet. In the fall of 2015, he released a live recording of all three Saint-Saëns violin concerti with the OSM and Kent Nagano under the Analekta label to wide critical acclaim, garnering a Prix Opus and an ADISQ nomination.
Mr. Wan graduated from The Juilliard School with three degrees and is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Director of the Soloists of the OSM and Artistic Partner of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Andrew Wan performs on a 1744 Michel’Angelo Bergonzi violin, and gratefully acknowledges its loan from the David Sela Collection.
Rapidly gaining recognition, the New Trio has been garnering enthusiastic reviews all over the country. The Washington Post describes them as “Ravishing,” with a “warm subjectivity, intensity, and consciousness,” and the Seattle Times adds, “Aside from individual virtuosity, there was a welcome flexibility and warmth of expression in everything they did.”
Formed in 2004 at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the trio has since gone on to win Grand Prizes at the 2008 Fischoff, 2007 Coleman, and 2007 Plowman Chamber Music Competitions in addition to being the recipient of the Harvard Musical Associations’ Arthur W. Foote Prize, given to the most promising ensemble of 2010.
The New Trio has given performances at prominent venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Jordan Hall as well as being presented by chamber music series and festivals across the country including: The Cleveland Chamber Music Society, The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading (PA), The Perlman Music Program (Shelter Island, NY), The Olympic Music Festival (Quilcene, WA), and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Highlights of the trio include being selected to perform for President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall in New York City as well as collaborating with violinist Itzhak Perlman at Pro Musica Hebraica’s inaugural concert In Washington D.C. In 2008, the New Trio was awarded the Gluck Community Service Fellowship, which enabled them to bring chamber music to inner-city schools, hospitals, retirement homes, and shelters. The trio continues its commitment to education having given lectures and master classes throughout the Midwest, Pennsylvania, and San Francisco areas.
The New Trio’s members hold artist diplomas and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It has been in residence at the Juilliard School and New England Conservatory where they worked intensely with the Weilerstein Trio, Emanuel Ax, Robert McDonald, Mark Steinberg, Bonnie Hampton, Joseph Kalichstein and Charles Neidich.
Dr. Jennie Congleton holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Music Degree with Honors from The New England Conservatory of Music. She is a retired university professor of fine arts, and after an early retirement has spent several years traveling the world as a presenter on art and music history on luxury cruise ships. She has performed on the viola, violin, and baroque violin as a soloist, in chamber music groups, and as an orchesta member in the United States and Europe. Jennie’s continuing travels, interest in music and history, and sense of humor bring not just information to her audiences, but insight that enhances their artistic experiences.
Prizewinner of the Aleksander Glazunov International Competition (Paris), Dr. Elena Chernova-Davis has enjoyed a career as soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster in her native Uzbekistan and throughout the United States. After graduating with honors as a full-scholarship student from the Tashkent State Conservatory, she came to the United States to continue her studies with soloist Elmar Oliveira and first violinist of the Vermeer Quartet Shmuel Ashkenasi. She is a recipient of the Irene Alm Memorial Award for excellence in performance and scholarly research and has worked with conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Esa Pekka-Salonen, Gerard Schwarz, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Jeffrey Tate to name but a few. Collaborating with various New York ensembles including musicians from the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, MET Opera Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony, her recent performing venues include Carnegie Hall – Isaac Stern Auditorium, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, and the New Jersey State Theatre among others. As a passionate and dedicated teacher her philosophy is to guide development and tailor an individual approach to each student that encourages growth, curiosity and motivation. She is currently on the faculty at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
“The program succeeded in highlighting new talent…Saeka Matsuyama as a lyrical soloist in the last movement of Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto”. – The New York Times
Saeka Matsuyama combines flawless technique with breathtaking artistry to create an inspiring, introspective, and invigorating musical experience. A native of Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, the Japanese violinist remains in high demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.
She has held recital and orchestra appearances in US, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, South America, and Japan. Highlights of Ms. Matsuyama’s past seasons include concerto appearances with the leading orchestras of Japan: Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, among others. In July of 2008, she performed Thomas Ades’ Violin Concerto as its Japan premier at Suntory Hall, Tokyo. Her recital appearance at the Philia Hall in Yokohama, Japan has been broadcasted on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).
In 2007, she was invited to present at ‘Goodbye Alice’ to commemorate Alice Tully Hall’s renovation, and in 2008, she appeared at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia as her Philadelphia Debut, presenting the Brahms Double Concerto. Most recently, Ms. Matsuyama released two CDs with the works of Brahms, Franck, short works, and completed a 6-week recital tour.
The recipient of numerous international competition and audition awards, Ms. Matsuyama’s past accolades include: the S&R Foundation Award in 2007, the Astral Artists 2006 National Auditions, the 2005 Juilliard/Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra Auditions, the 2005 Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition, 2004 Sendai International Violin Competition, the 2003 Hannover International Violin Competition, the 2000 St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Competition, the 1999 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, and the 1998 Kobe Newspaper/Matsukata Hall Competition.
Saeka Matsuyama has participated in such internationally-renown summer festivals as the Marlboro Music Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Academy, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Accademia Musicale di Siena, the Encore School for Strings, the Aspen Music Festival, the Meadowmount School of Music, and the Music Masters Course in Kazusa, Chiba, Japan. She also continues to conduct private masterclasses in the United States and Japan.
Saeka Matsuyama started her violin studies at age two. She moved to New York from Japan at the age of nine, at which time she matriculated at Juilliard’s Pre-College program under the tutelage of Dorothy DeLay and Robert Chen. She earned a Bachelor, a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Michael Gilbert, Ronald Copes, Donald Weilerstein, and Glenn Dicterow. She served as an Assistant Teacher for Ronald Copes.
Throughout Saeka Matsuyama’s years at the Juilliard School, the conservatory has acknowledged her artistic excellence with several scholarships including the prestigious Dorothy DeLay Scholarship, the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, Teplitsky Memorial Scholarship, and Jean Doyle Loomis Scholarship.
Jonathan Weber maintains a versatile musical career in multiple genres as a violinist, violist, conductor and composer. A graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY) and classically trained under violinist Daniel Phillips, Mr. Weber has collaborated in the chamber music field with artists including Daniel Phillips and Timothy Eddy of the Orion String Quartet, Tara Helen O’Connor of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Windscape, oboe virtuosos Ronald Roseman and Randall Wolfgang, and the Bach Aria Group. Mr. Weber has also made solo and ensemble appearances with symphony orchestras both in the United States and abroad. Branching into alternate musical genres such as jazz, hip-hop, country, and rock, Mr. Weber has performed with artists including Billy Joel, Roger Daltrey, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Taylor Swift, Idina Menzel, Sarah McLachlan, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock, Savion Glover, Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys, The Roots, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and fusion band DBR & The Mission (Opus 3 Artists) for which he has received critical acclaim. As an active New York freelancer, Mr. Weber performs regularly in the Broadway circuit and has also appeared on occasion with jazz band: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. CD credits include Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium, Jay-Z: Kingdom Come, Albert Hammond Jr.: Como Te Llama, and Boardwalk Empire Volume 3: Music from the HBO series. Mr. Weber has also participated in television and film score collaborations with artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto and Steven Van Zandt. Journeying into the cinematic medium, Mr. Weber has appeared as an on-screen musician in films such as Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Billy Joel: The Last Play at Shea (2010), the HBO Miniseries: “Mildred Pierce” (2011) and Annie (2014). He has also made performance appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Rachel Ray Show, The View, Christmas: Live at Rockefeller Center”, PBS programs: Great Performances and Soundstage, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made his televised conducting debut in 2014, performing in collaboration with comedian Dana Carvey and The Roots. Mr. Weber currently serves as a faculty member at the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music (CPSM) at Queens College (CUNY), the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and has served on the faculties of the University of Buffalo Summer Strings Workshop, the New York Summer Music Festival in Oneonta, NY, and the Odyssey Chamber Music Festival at the University of Missouri.
Zhi Yi (Emma) Dong, born in Beijing, China P.R.C., currently studies at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, PA. Emma has been playing the violin since the age of four. She took part in the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in the summers of 2012, 2013 and 2014. In the summer 2015, she studied and performed for five weeks at the Killington Music Festival. Emma has studied music theory and composition at Wyoming Seminary, and has written a string quartet which was performed at the school last spring. The same quartet was programmed again at the Killlington Music Festival. Emma has studied with Mr. Xiong Da Jiang and Mr. Hai Yu. She currently studies with Mr. John Michael Vaida.
Hailed as an “Exemplary Leader” by the New York Times for leading members of the New York Philharmonic and the Manhattan School of Music in Carnegie Hall, violinist Daniel Andai has shared his versatile artistry as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, concertmaster, conductor and recording artist in major concert venues in over 50 countries across five continents, the Middle East, the Caribbean and over 30 United States. He is a prizewinner of national and international competitions and has soloed with orchestras around the world.
Daniel Andai is concertmaster, frequent soloist and guest conductor of The Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO). He was also concertmaster and frequent soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in New York with whom he recorded multiple Billboard rated SONY Classical CD’s, made numerous televised solo appearances and was featured on AeroMexico’s inflight entertainment systems.
He has held concertmaster positions with orchestras in Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, and France, performed in the sections of the New York Philharmonic and the Miyazaki Festival Orchestra in Japan, and worked closely with members of major string quartets and symphony, opera and ballet orchestras around the world. He is also Principal Conductor of the Alhambra Orchestra.
Daniel Andai is the Dean of Music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and the Artistic Director of the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Dr. Andai previously was the violin professor and The Marialice Shivers Endowed Chair in Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Edinburg and served on faculties at Miami-Dade College and New World School of the Arts. He holds degrees from the University of Miami, the Manhattan School of Music and Lynn University.
The counties that comprise Northeastern Pennsylvania are Bradford County, Carbon County, Lackawanna County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Monroe County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Snyder County, Sullivan County, Susquehanna County, Tioga County, Union County, Wayne County and Wyoming County. Northumberland County, Montour County, Columbia County, Lehigh County, Northampton County, and Centre County, Pennsylvania may also be considered part of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The region overlaps with the Pocono Mountains, the Endless Mountains, the Wyoming Valley, the Coal Region, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and, by some definitions, the Lehigh Valley.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia
Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as an established chamber musician, solo artist and teacher. Born into a musical family, Mr. Phillips began violin studies at age four with his father Eugene Phillips, a composer and former violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He continued his professional training at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas, and has worked extensively with and served as teaching assistant to Sandor Vegh. As a winner of the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1976, he performed acclaimed debut recitals in New York’s Alice Tully Hall and the 92nd Street “Y.” Mr. Phillips has performed as soloist with many of the country’s leading symphonies, and appears regularly at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto USA and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England. He has toured and recorded in a string quartet (for SONY) with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma.
Daniel Phillips is a founding member of the Orion String Quartet, which tours internationally. They have residencies at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and at the Mannes College of Music. Available on CD are the Mendelssohn Octet with the Guarneri String Quartet as well as an all-Dvorak CD with pianist Peter Serkin. A quartet written for them by Wynton Marsalis, called “At the Octoroon Balls” is also available on SONY. The Chamber Music of Lincoln Center presented the Orion Quartet in a cycle of the complete Beethoven string quartets in six free concerts in May, 2000 each concert honoring a different children’s arts organization in New York City. They did Beethoven Cycles in Kansas City and Pittsburgh last season, and are doing the cycle this season at Indiana University in Bloomington and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In a year-long project, the quartet performed internationally in a unique collaboration with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Check out the quartet’s website, www.orionquartet.com, for a complete look at its accomplishments and busy touring schedule.