Tong Chen

“Masterfully presented the Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony” described by the Leipzig Time.
A prize winner of the prestigious International Malko Conducting Competition, Tong Chen, has quickly established herself as one of the most promising and exciting young conductors in her generation.

Ms. Chen has worked with numerous orchestras across the globe, including Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Brazil), Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Besançon Symphony Orchestra (France), Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orhcestra, Richmond Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Orchestra St. Luke’s, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, XiaMen Philharmonic (China) and Shanghai Opera House.

A frequent cover conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and Alabama Symphony, she also worked with the LA Phil from 2009-11. Ms. Chen was chose by Kurt Masur to receive the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 2012. She has participated in the conducting program the Aspen Music Festival and Cabrillo Festival, studying under David Zinman and Marin Alsop. Her main studies were with Gustav Meier at Peabody Conservatory, where he received master’s degrees in conducting and Maurice Peress at Copland School of Music. In 2015, Ms. Chen made her Lincoln Center debut at David H. Koch Theater with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Orchestra St.Luke’s. The season’s highlight includes Tong’s debut with Alabama Symphony Orchestra, MSM Philharmonia and Shanghai Philharmonic. Tong Chen is currently the music director of Yonkers Philharmonic and principal

Mizuki Hayakawa

Mizuki Hayakawa is a senior at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, NY. She is currently enrolled in Juilliard pre-college division studying with Natasha Brofsky. She started her music path with the violin in Japan and grew interested of the cello at age 10 where she started studying with Nicole Johnson. Mizuki was in the Firefly Quartet as well as the orchestra through the New York Youth program. She has won numbers of competitions as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in venues such as the Weill Hall, Stern/Perelman Auditorium in Carnegie Hall, Rose Studio in Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Ozawa Hall, Koussevitzky shed at Tanglewood. During the summer, Mizuki has attended Kinhaven music school, Greenwood music camp, String Quartet and Young Artists Orchestra at Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and YellowBarn young artists program. As an orchestral cellist, she has been principal for Juilliard pre-college symphony, Tanglewood’s orchestra program and NYSSMA All-State. She has performed in master classes with Paul Katz, Richard Aaron, Paul Watkins, Alan Harris, Fred Sherry, Clive Greensmith, Norman Fischer, Roger Tapping, Shanghai Quartet, and Muir Quartet.

Kyle Ritenauer

Kyle Ritenauer enjoys a many-faceted musical career as a conductor, percussionist, and teaching artist in New York City. As a conductor, Ritenauer has had the opportunity to study closely with legends in the field including Maestros Kurt Masur and Leonard Slatkin. Most recently, Ritenauer was invited to participate as a fellow in Maestro Slatkin’s new Manhattan School of Music/Detroit Symphony Orchestra Conductors’ Project, where Ritenauer rehearsed and performed with both ensembles and apprenticed Maestro Slatkin during the two-week program. Ritenauer has also worked with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as a cover conductor. In December of 2016, he made his Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium debut, leading students of the Manhattan School of Music in performing the orchestral music of composer Rongxin Peng.

A passionate advocate for contemporary music, Ritenauer regularly collaborates with composers, resulting in the premiere of over 55 works over the past six years. His work in the new music community led Ritenauer to create the Uptown Philharmonic, an ensemble dedicated to promoting the music and musicians of today. In June 2016, Mr. Ritenauer led the Uptown Philharmonic, in collaboration with RIOULT Dance NY, in premiering Richard Danielpour’s ballet, Cassandra’s Curse, at The Joyce Theater.

As a percussionist, Ritenauer currently serves as the Principal Percussionist of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in Poughkeepsie, NY. He has also performed with several other orchestras including extensive work with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition to orchestral percussion, Ritenauer has performed on and off Broadway in shows such as Pippin, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, and Passion.

A passionate teacher, Ritenauer is a co-founder and former Artistic Director of the Bridge Arts Ensemble (BAE), an organization based around teaching artists in upstate New York that reaches over 40,000 students annually. During his tenure, Ritenauer assembled a world-class roster of NYC’s top musicians in the classical, jazz, and musical theater communities. He also assisted in establishing relationships with over 50 school districts and curated BAE’s performances and workshops while in residence at each school.

Ritenauer holds two degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (BM - Classical Percussion ‘11, MM - Contemporary Conducting ‘15). Due to Ritenauer’s extensive work with young composers, the former President of the Manhattan School of Music created the Contemporary Conducting Program, where Ritenauer studied with Maestro Jeffrey Milarsky. Ritenauer owes his foundation as a conductor to the Pierre Monteux School, where he studied with Maestro Michael Jinbo. Ritenauer has also studied with Maestro Tito Munoz and Roger Nierenberg.

Grace Han

At the age of 12, California born pianist Grace Han, made her orchestral debut at Colburn’s Zipper Hall performing the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor with the Torrance Symphony Orchestra. Among her awards are prizes with the Korea Times Piano Competition, Southern California Bach Competition, Music Teacher’s Association of California Piano Solo and Concerto Competition, and recently, the Rondo Young Artist Piano Competition in New York City.

She has held solo performances in various venues in Los Angeles and New York including the Steinway Piano Gallery, Yamaha Peninsula Music Center, Kaufman Music Center, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

She is equally active as a chamber musician and has coached and performed with Daniel Avshalomov, Alan Kay, and David Krakauer, as well as participated in chamber music programs such as the YMF Chamber Music Series.
She is also a teaching artist with the Bridge Arts Ensemble and maintains a private studio in New York City and New Jersey as well.

Ms. Han holds a Bachelors and Master of Music Degree in the Classical Piano Performance Program from the Manhattan School of Music. She has studied previously with Dr. Louise Lepley, Dr. Solomon Mikowsky, and Alexandre Moutouzkine.

Jennifer Russo

Soprano, Jennifer Russo, an active performer in the tristate area is quickly establishing herself as a singer to watch.

Operatic highlights include Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordilig in Così fan tutte, Copper Woman in Grapes of Wrath, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Celidora in L'oca del Cairo and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Oratorio and concert credits include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Haydn’s The Creation, Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Saint-Saëns' Oratorio de Noël.

As a Young Artist, Ms. Russo was a member of the Sugar Creek Opera Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute and the Bay View Music Festival. Ms. Russo holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology from The George Washington University

She currently studies with Dr. Sherry Overholt. For more information visit

Alex Wen

Alex Wen is in his third season as principal conductor with the Golden Rose Opera Works, having led performances of La Boheme, Carmen, and Suor Angelica in past years. During his time in New York, Alex has worked with the contemporary chamber opera company, Rhymes With Opera, the Queens College Orchestra, Litha Symphony Orchestra, the St. Peter's Festival Orchestra, and collaborative projects with musicians from the Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Aaron Copland School of Music. He often assists and cover conducts for groups such as the Yonkers Philharmonic, the Sound Symphony, Massapequa Philharmonic, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony.

Under the tutelage of Maurice Peress at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Alex received his Masters degree in conducting while managing the Queens College Conductors Workshop over several years. In the role, he assisted Maestro Peress and composers such as David Amram, Bruce Saylor, and George Tsontakis. With a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from Azusa Pacific University (APU), he also gained choral experience as an assistant conductor to the APU Chamber Singers. In that role, he prepared the orchestra and covered major rehearsals for occasions such as the National Collegiate Choral Organization's renowned conference. Before relocating to New York City, he was assistant conductor for the Celestial Opera Company in Los Angeles, where he has also enjoyed performing on multiple film scores as a conductor and violist.

Sergey Prokofyev

Originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, violinist Sergey Prokofyev began his studies there at the age of 5 with notable teacher Irina Svyatlovskaya of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1998, Sergey and his family immigrated to the United States where he continued his studies in New York City, first attending Kaufman Center’s Special Music School, and later graduating from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, and the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. He received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City, where he studied under Professor Daniel Phillips.

Mr. Prokofyev enjoyed an active and versatile career as a freelance musician in New York. He served as Concertmaster of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, was a member of the string ensemble Bachanalia led by world renowned violinist Nina Beilina, and is a charter member of the Tsenov Chamber Ensemble. He has performed concerts with the New Britain Symphony Orchestra (CT) and the Musical Olympus Festival Orchestra (NY). In 2014, Sergey toured Europe and Russia as a guest member of New York’s BARD College Conservatory Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein. Earlier that year, he toured China as a member of the Manhattan Symphonie Orchestra under the direction of Gregory Singer. Sergey made his new music debut with InnoVax, a contemporary music ensemble based in New York, and made his international debut in 2015 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Earlier this year Sergey joined The Halcyon Chamber Series to perform Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet with clarinetist Charles Neidich. Sergey now resides in Washington, D.C. where he has been a member of the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” since 2015.

Christian Barros

Violist Christian Barros is a recent graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and a former member of the New York Youth Symphony. His previous teachers include Daniel Phillips of the Orion Quartet and Edward Klorman, teaching assistant to the renowned Heidi Castleman, at the Juilliard School.

As an avid freelancer, Christian Barros has had the opportunity to perform in performance halls throughout New York City and New Jersey, such as Symphony Space, Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, Bohemian National Hall, Flushing Town Hall, United Palace Theatre, NJPAC’s Prudential Hall and Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall. Christian has performed abroad at Music at Port Milford in Ontario, Canada in Havana, Cuba as part of the 'Ship of Tolerance’ and throughout China as a member of the Philadelphia Festival Orchestra.

Christian Barros has also participated in masterclasses of Shanghai Quartet, Toby Appel, Daniel Phillips, John Manasse, Wolfram Koessel, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, and Fred Sherry. Christian was awarded the 2013 McCrindle Fellowship and Director's Award for Commitment and Achievement from the New York Youth Symphony. As a recipient of this award, Christian performed at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall alongside Daniel Phillips. 

In recent months, Christian has been studying under Karen Ritscher, internationally renowned pedagogue and soloist.

Scott Jackson Wiley

Maestro Wiley is currently in his 19th season as Music Director of the South Shore Symphony in Rockville Centre, New York. Under his leadership, the South Shore Symphony has grown exponentially, and is considered by many to be the finest orchestraon Long Island. Additionally, Mr. Wiley has been Associate Conductor of The Centre Symphony Orchestra in New York City since 2010, following a four-season tenure (2006-2010) as Music Director and several seasons as guest conductor. An experienced opera conductor, Mr. Wiley has recently been appointed Music Director of Opera at the Madison, a new center for opera on Long Island at Molloy College’s Madison Theatre.

Mr. Wiley teaches conducting, Techniques of Music, chamber music, and classical guitar in the Preparatory Division of the Mannes College The New School for Music. Many of his conducting students have gone on to pursue professional careers. He is also staff conductor of the Mannes Community Orchestra. A classical guitarist by training and a horn player from an early age, Mr. Wiley is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, French and Italian, and he is a serious student of the violin and the flamenco guitar.

Mr. Wiley studied conducting under Michael Charry at the Mannes College of Music, under Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, and with his father, the late Jackson Wiley. In addition, Mr. Wiley studied guitar at the Conservatory of Barcelona, Spain, where he graduated with first prize honors. As guitarist, his main influence was that of the great Spanish master, Narciso Yepes.

In the summer of 2105, Mr. Wiley was invited to conduct in the Fifth International Festival "Palermo Classica" in Palermo, Italy. The success of the performance led to an invitation to return the following year to lead the closing concert of the festival. He has again been invited to return for the summer of 2018.

Scott Jackson Wiley has been a resident of Chelsea since 1980.

Wendy Y. Chen

The New York Times has written that violinist WENDY Y. CHEN’s “playing [had] a kind of clean intoxication to it, pulling the listener along.” Born into a musical family in Shanghai, China, Chen started her violin studies at age 4 under the guidance of her father—a professor of violin at the Shanghai Conservatory—and her mother—a violinist with the Shanghai Philharmonic. Having attracted international attention at age 13 as a winner at the Prague Spring International Music Competition, Chen has performed extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Prior to joining the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2007, Chen was a founding first violinist of the Vega String Quartet (formerly the Harid String Quartet). Her seven seasons with the group marked their appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Schneider Series of New York, Musée d’Orsay of Paris and Aspen Winter Concert Series, among others. The quartet was on the artist roster for Carnegie Hall and served as the quartet-in-residence at the Van Cliburn Institute. Chen’s last season with the quartet included a complete Beethoven string quartet cycle, as well as concert tours in the United States and Germany. Her selected chamber music awards include four of the total six prizes from the 1999 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France (ex-Evian), including the Grand Prize of the International Music Critics, as well as first prize at the 1998 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in the United States. Chen was a top prize winner in the fourth national Violin Competition in China. Her performances, both solo and with her quartet, have been heard on NPR’s “Performance Today,” WQXR Radio and the National Radios of China, France, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic. Chen recorded the first recording of John Carpenter’s String Quartet on the Naxos record label.

In March 2014, Chen was a judge of the New York International Artist Association’s International Violin Competition. In June 2014, immediately after Chen’s performance of Brahms’ Double Concerto with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra at NYC’s Symphony Space, she was rebooked for repeat solo performances in the orchestra’s 2015 and 2017 seasons. She also appeared with the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble in 2015, playing the Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto in New York. Coincidentally the piece’s premiere (1959) soloist, Lina Yu, was one of Chen’s major teachers in China.

Holding a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, a performance certificate from the Shanghai Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree of Music from the Harid Conservatory, Chen’s major teachers include Glenn Dicterow, XinZhi Chen, Lina Yu and Sergiu Schwartz. She also studied with Sir. Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus String Quartet.

Chen lives in Ridgewood NJ with her husband and their two children. In her spare time, she enjoys ballroom dancing.

Patrick Hopkins

Cellist Patrick Hopkins is an active soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player having performed in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Carnegie hall, The Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall, The New World Center, and Symphony Space. He made his Lincoln Center debut in 2008 performing Haydn’s D Major Concerto with the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra and has appeared three times as soloist with the Fairbanks Symphony. In July 2015 he was soloist/principal cellist with the National Repertory Orchestra performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto. In 2011, Mr. Hopkins was the Grand Prize winner of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. Mr. Hopkins was the recipient of the 2010 Young Alaskan Artist Award that led to his Anchorage recital debut. He is also a Yamaha Young Performing Artist.

Mr. Hopkins has appeared as a member of the Juilliard Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Fairbanks Symphony and has served as principal cellist with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, the MSM Chamber Orchestra, and currently, the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, James DePriest, George Manahan, and Yannick Nezet-Sequin. He has studied chamber music with members of the American, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, and Orion Quartets as well as Toby Appel, Joseph Kalichstein,Seymour Lipkin, Ann Stezer, and Sylvia Rosenberg. Mr. Hopkins has performed in masterclasses with Zuill Bailey, Colin Carr, Timothy Eddy, Claude Frank, Pamela Frank, Franz Helmerson, and Daniel Phillips.

Mr. Hopkins began cello studies at age four with Peggy Swartz of Fairbanks, Alaska and received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School as a student of Bonnie Hampton and Richard Aaron. Mr. Hopkins received his Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance program as a student of Alan Stepansky. He is a graduate of Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. Other teachers with whom he has worked extensively include the late Katherine Brainard, Amy Barston, and Hans Jorgen-Jensen. He has attended the Meadowmount School of Music and received summer fellowships from the National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto Music Festival (USA), Aspen Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Hopkins is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rutgers University as a scholarship student of Jonathan Spitz. He also serves as a co-adjutant at Rutgers.

David Ordovskiy

David Ordovskiy was born in 1989 in Kiev, Ukraine, and grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Flute studies since the age of 5 with Alexander Kiskachi. Participant and prize-winner in various competitions and festivals in Russia, Israel, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Netherlands. At the age 17, David moved to California to attend Idyllwild Arts Academy on a full scholarship, studying flute with Sara Andon. Having graduated from Idyllwild in 2009, David moved to New York to attend Mannes College and join Judith Mendenhall's studio. He received his Bachelors Degree in 2013, sfollowed by Masters in 2015, and he is currently pursuing his Professional Studies Diploma, all at Mannes. Throughout his years in New York, David has performed actively as an orchestra member at such venues as the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie, the Met Opera, Alice Tully Hall, and as a soloist at Weill Hall, Metropolitan Club, The Union Club, Bohemian National Hall, the German Consulate, among others. David has made his New York concerto debut in 2014 as one of the winners of the Mannes Concerto Competition. 1st prize, New York Flute Club Competition, 2015.

Xiao Wang

Quoted by the New York Times, “ The excellent young violinist, Xiao Wang, was wonderfully clean in Sibelius, and he made the most of its expressive opportunities.”

Xiao Wang is First prize winner of the 2012 Szigeti International Violin Competition, 2016 William C Byrd Young Artist Competition, 2016 New York Concert Artist Competition. He is laureate of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition and 2015 Seoul International Competition. Xiao has performed as soloist in many prestigious concert halls with distinguished conductors and orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with the National Orchestra of Belgium under the baton of Marin Alsop as well as toured with Kodaly Philharmonic Orchestra in Hungary. Mr. Wang also soloed with Maestro David Gilbert at Carnegie hall in New York City, the Gewandhaus Academisches Orchester in the GewandhausLeipzig Germany and performed under the baton of Maestro Andreas Ligeti appearing in Hungary’s Bela Bartok National Concert Hall. Among other engagements he has also invited to give solo recitals and master classes in many music festivals such as Budapest Spring Festival, Texas Music Festival, Qingdao Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy and more.

As first prize winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists competition, Mr. Wang soloed with the Texas Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Lavard Skou Larsen. In addition, he was heard in live performances on Houston Public Radio’s “Front Row” series. He is also first prize winner of Heida Hermanns International String Competition, Waldo Mayo Memorial Competition and Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition.

Mr. Wang is a passionate chamber musician and has collaborated with Phillip Entremont, the American String Quartet, members of the Mendelssohn String Quartet and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Xiao Wang began playing the violin at age 5. At age 10, he was accepted to study at the Central Conservatory in Beijing with Professor Wei-dong Tong, later studying at the Curtis Institute of Music with Joseph Silverstein. Mr. Wang is faculty of the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division. Xiao Wang plays on the Ex Sandor Vegh Guarneri Del Gesu generously loaned by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

Teresa Cheung

Equally at home with both orchestral and vocal genres, Teresa Cheung is in frequent demand for symphonic, choral, and operatic productions in the US and Canada. Her recent conducting appearances include the Amarillo Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Mobile Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Portland Symphony, the Regina Opera, the Stamford Symphony, the Western Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Aside from maintaining an active schedule with professional orchestras, Cheung often appears as conductor for All State/County Orchestra Festivals, and has been a clinician for Lincoln Center’s “Meet The Artist” program since 2007.

The 2013-2014 season marks Cheung’s sixth season as the Music Director and Conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. Cheung made her conducting debut with the New York City Ballet in their Balanchine Nutcracker production. She has recently concluded her tenure as Resident Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra in New York City and the Assistant Conductor for the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape, two positions that she held since 2004. Some of the most outstanding examples of her work include the 2010’s highly acclaimed US premiere of Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, the first US fully-staged production of Robert Schumann’s Genoveva in 2006, and the 2004 production of Mark Blitzstein’s Regina.

Known for her creative concert programming, collaborative projects and outreach programs, Cheung is a passionate advocate for music education for all ages. Since the beginning of her tenure with the Altoona Symphony in 2008, Cheung has created numerous programs that engaged area children and high school musicians and choristers. On the other hand, the launching of the Altoona Symphony Apprentice Program last season (A. S. A. P.) has given selected high school string players a chance to study and perform with the ASO on specific concerts in a professional setting. In April 2010, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra performed its first Side-by-Side concert in its 83 year history with Gustav Holst’s The Planets, partnering with the Juniata College Orchestra. The success of the project led to another collaboration with the Penn State University Percussion Ensemble in Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas in May 2011. Cheung’s vision of taking Altoona Symphony beyond Central Pennsylvania has led to a collaborative project with Pennsylvania Council for the Arts’ Commonwealth Speaker Karl Middleman in “Dvorak’s New World”, a Humanities on the Road program that was broadcasted throughout the state of Pennsylvania in December, 2011. ( )

Cheung began her career as Resident Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, where she was also conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Evansville Philharmonic Chorus. Amongst her many initiatives, she led the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on its first international concert tour to Japan in 2002. A native of Hong Kong, Cheung received her Masters Degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. She is a recipient of the JoAnn Falletta Conducting Award for the most promising female conductors

Jennifer Grimaldi

Soprano, Jennifer Grimaldi made her European debut as the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Charlemagne Orchestra in Brussels, under the direction of Bartholomeus-Henri Van de Velde. Other major highlights for Ms. Grimaldi include being the soprano soloist in: Mahler’s Symphony 8 and Symphony 2 under the baton of Carlo Miguel Prieto with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City, Wagner’s Wesendonck Liederand the Vier letzte Lieder of Richard Strauss in New York City with the New York Repertory Orchestra, both under the direction of David Leibowitz, Brahms’ Ein deutsches requiem with the Flint Symphony in Michigan under the direction of Enrique Diemecke, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Sheboygan Symphony in Wisconsin under the direction of Kevin McMahon.

Recently, Ms. Grimaldi, sang the role of Senta in a concert version of excerpts from Wagner's Der fliegende Höllander with the Chappaqua Orchestra under the direction of Michael Shapiro and was the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony the New York Repertory Orchestra, under the direction of David Leibowitz with the Young New Yorkers' chorus.

Other orchestral engagements for Jennifer Grimaldi include the soprano soloist in a concert of operatic arias with the North Shore Symphony on Long Island, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel's Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the New Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915 with Agincourt Orchestra, and Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate with the Third Street Music School Settlement Orchestra.

Jennifer Grimaldi was also heard as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni both with Amsterdam Concert Opera in NYC and Raylynmor Opera in New Hampshire. She created the role of Dolly in the New York City Premiere of Orpheus Descending by Bruce Saylor, was the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Alma Hix in The Music Man for the Utah Festival Opera. Ms. Grimaldi has performed with opera companies and festivals including Sarasota Opera, Brevard Music Festival, Intermezzo Opera Festival, Utah Festival Opera, and Raylynmor Opera, where she has performed as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte,
Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi,Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Suzel in L'amico Fritz, Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme and the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah among others.

Jennifer Grimaldi has been the recipient of awards and competitions such as Friday-Woodmere Young Artist Competition, Claire Bennet Moringiello Award, Violet Zatkin Award for Opera, and the Paul Robeson Vocal Competition. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York.

Carolyn Pollak

Oboist Carolyn Pollak was the Principal Oboist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for 27 years, and currently is the Principal Oboist of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as principal oboist with that group’s Summer Orchestra series at St. Peter’s Chelsea for the past three seasons.

As a freelance oboist living in Chelsea, some of the others groups with whom she has performed include the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Musica Sacra, and many others. Ms. Pollak holds a B.M. degree from Indiana University, an M.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin, and continued postgraduate work in professional studies at Yale University. Her teachers were Jerry Sirucek, Ray Still, and Robert Bloom.

Gemma New

Renowned for her insightful interpretations and thrilling performances, New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New currently serves as Music Director for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, Associate Conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Founder and Director of the Lunar Ensemble, a contemporary music collective in Baltimore, Maryland. For the 2015-16 season, Ms. New has additional engagements with several ensembles, most notably the Long Beach and Toledo Symphonies, and the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio.

As one of two Dudamel Conducting Fellows with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2014-15 Season, Ms. New led nine LA Phil ‘Symphonies for Youth’, ‘Symphonies for Schools’, and ‘Community’ concerts and covered frequently for their Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen and other guest conductors. For the month of September 2014, at the invitation of Maestro Kurt Masur, Ms. New resided in Leipzig, Germany as a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow, where she studied Mendelssohn’s music under Maestro Masur and led the Leipziger Symphonieorchester in the historic Lindensaal of Markkleeberg.

In recent seasons Ms. New has guest conducted several orchestras, including the Atlanta and Miami Symphonies in the USA, as well as the Christchurch Symphony and Opus Orchestras in New Zealand. In 2013 Ms. New made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut, leading works by Adams, Norman and Ives on the American Soundscapes series. That same year she was selected as the David A. Karetsky Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival. One year prior Ms. New was awarded the Ansbacher Fellowship, in which she was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to take up residence at the Salzburg Music Festival.

Danielle Buonaiuto

Danielle Buonaiuto appears as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Canada, singing a broad range of music encompassing the standard repertoire, rarely-performed operatic works, and modern music, as well as new works written especially for her.
Ms. Buonaiuto made her symphonic debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Knabe 1 in Die Zauberflo?te. She appeared in 2013 as a Bel Canto Young Artist at the Caramoor Festival in New York, singing Voix en Haut in Don Carlos. She returned to Caramoor for their 2015 season. She was also seen in Quebec and Ontario as Musetta in La Bohe?me with Jeunesses Musicales Canada, and appeared as Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring with the Bronx Opera. Most recently, she sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Peninsula Music Festival.
Ms. Buonaiuto is a sought-after interpreter of new music. In June, she appeared in Miami in Carson Kievman’s highly-acclaimed new opera Intelligent Systems. Other appearances have included Crumb’s Madrigals, Berio’s Folk Songs, Golijov’s Ayre, and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. In August 2014, she joined the Lucerne Festival Academy for a performance of Berio’s Coro under Sir Simon Rattle. She has commissioned young Canadian and American composers individually and with her pierrot ensemble, the Lunar Ensemble, led by executive director Gemma New.

Ms. Buonaiuto released her debut recording, Songs of Innocence and Experience, in April 2014, with pianist Bethany Pietroniro. Upcoming projects include a recital centred around the admirers of Alma Mahler, and a recording of the art song of emerging American composers.

Nico Olarte-Hayes

Nico Olarte-Hayes is quickly establishing himself as one of his generation’s leading musical talents. As a cellist, he has given solo recitals at Lincoln Center and the Neue Galerie in New York City, in Memphis’ Artists Ascending Series and New York’s Young Musician’s Forum, and throughout the Netherlands and Japan. He has played on Live From Lincoln Center (PBS) and The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) in tribute to violinist Itzhak Perlman, a longtime mentor, and has collaborated frequently with Perlman, giving performances in Carnegie Hall, in Sarasota’s Van Wezel Hall, and most recently, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Other collaborations include performances with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, pianist Christopher O’Riley in Boston’s Jordan Hall, and violinist Ryu Goto in sold-out tours of Japan and the United States, broadcast on PBS, NPR, and Fuji TV, respectively.

Equally accomplished as a conductor, Nico was recently named winner of the 2015 Vincent C. LaGuardia Conducting Competition, and has served as Music Director of New York’s IconoClassic Opera and Harvard’s Dunster House Opera, leading fully staged productions of Massenet’s Werther and Britten’s Albert Herring. He has led the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Antonio Soler, and Salzburg Chamber Soloists as a participant in numerous international workshops, including the Tanglewood Festival Conducting Seminar, and this October will lead the New World Symphony in a workshop with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

A passionate educator, Nico recently served as Music Director of New York’s East End Youth Orchestra, an intensive workshop in ensemble playing for talented public school students. For many years, he also toured as an ambassador for New York’s Midori and Friends, giving performances for under-served children at inner-city schools, and on the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, was asked by the City of New York to perform at “Ground Zero” for the official memorial on NBC. In recognition of his accomplishments and artistic contributions to his community, Nico was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, given a Hispanic Heritage Youth Award, and honored by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

Nico began his musical studies with his mother at the age of three. He completed pre-college studies “with distinction” at The Juilliard School under cellists David Soyer and Harvey Shapiro, and studied for eight years at the Perlman Music Program, Itzhak Perlman’s private music school, under Ronald Leonard. In 2012, Nico graduated with honors from the Harvard/NEC Joint Program, simultaneously earning an A.B. in Physics from Harvard College, where he studied music with Robert Levin, and his M.M. from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Laurence Lesser. While at Harvard, Nico coached numerous student groups, performed as soloist with the Bach Society and Haydn Society Orchestras, and was Assistant Conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. He currently lives in New York City.

Michelle Ross

Hailed as a ‘Renaissance Woman’ and trained with Itzhak Perlman for over a decade, violinist and composer Michelle Ross is unique as both a solo artist and collaborative visionary. Michelle had her Carnegie Hall Debut in 2013 with Maestro Harry Bicket, and her European Debut as both soloist and conductor, with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris as part of Play/Direct, in Cite de La Musique. Michelle is the recipient of the 2012 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts, with which she recorded the complete Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach. Michelle is also the Artistic Director and founder of Music in the Mountains, a classical chamber music festival presented by Summit Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah. Highlights last season included European tours as guest concertmaster with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and a Musicians from Marlboro tour in Carnegie Hall.

As a chamber musician, Michelle has toured extensively with Itzhak Perlman, and has also collaborated with Denes Varjon, members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Cleveland String Quartets, among other distinguished artists. Michelle has been an artist at the Marlboro Music Festival since 2011, and has been touring with Musicians from Marlboro for every season since 2012. Festival appearances include Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Lucerne Festival, Perlman Music Program, Kneisel Hall, IMS Prussia Cove, and YAP Ottawa. Michelle has performed at the Isabella Gardner Museum, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Avery Fisher Hall, Virginia Arts Center, Union College Concert Series, Smith College, Westbury Gardens, Cite de la Musique, Luzerne Hall, Neue Galerie, Arscht Center Miami, Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Trasimeno Festival Italy, Quincena Musicale San Sebastian.

Also a composer and improviser, Michelle is extremely interested in creating multimedia and collaborative works. Her work ‘Square None’ has toured with the Aspen Sante Fe Ballet for three seasons, and she has also had premieres in Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Joyce Theater and in Lincoln Center's Beyond the Machine Festival. Her work has also traveled to Germany and the Philippines.

Michelle holds a M.M. from the Juilliard School and a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she studied in the Columbia/Juilliard joint degree program. She has studied with Dorothy DeLay, Itzhak Perlman, Catherine Cho, Ronald Copes, Patinka Kopec. From 2012-2014, Michelle Ross was a member of Ensemble ACJW, in residency at Carnegie Hall, where she also taught part-time at a High School in Brooklyn, and performed outreach concerts around NYC.

Daniel Phillips

Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as an established chamber musician, solo artist and teacher. Mr. Phillips has performed as soloist with many of the country's leading symphonies, including Pittsburgh, Houston, New Jersey, Phoenix, San Antonio and Yakima. He appears regularly at the Spoleto USA, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Chesapeake Music Festival, and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England. He has also been serving on the summer faculties of the Banff Centre, Heifetz Institute, and the Colorado College Music Festival. He is a member of the renowned Bach Aria Group, and has toured and recorded in a string quartet for SONY, with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. Recently he shared the solo spotlight in a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons in Santa Fe with violinists Benny Kim, Bella Hristova, and William Pruecil. Upcoming are concerto appearances with the Nova Philharmonic in New York, and the Queens College Symphony under Maestro Maurice Peress. His major teachers are his father, Eugene Phillips, former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony and a composer, Ivan Galamian, Sally Thomas, Sandor Vegh, and George Neikrug. Daniel Phillips is Professor of Violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College, and on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music and the Bard Conservatory.

Matthew Oberstein, Special Guest Conductor

Matthew Oberstein is in his fourth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey. Since beginning his work with the Philharmonic, Mr. Oberstein has propelled the orchestra to new heights of performance, leading new holiday and outdoor summer concerts, commissioning new work in partnership with orchestras around the country, collaborating with other area arts and civic organizations, and building bridges into schools and the greater community. He has spearheaded new marketing initiatives that continue to deliver record-breaking concert attendance.

In addition to leading the Philharmonic, Mr. Oberstein is Principal Conductor of the Artemis Chamber Ensemble and Special Guest Conductor of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Regina Opera. Mr. Oberstein was in residence with the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2009 Salzburg Festival as winner of the Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors. In 2012, he assisted the American Symphony Orchestra in its 50th anniversary performance of Mahler 8 at Carnegie Hall. Other recent engagements have included collaborations with the Kronos Quartet, Westchester Philharmonic, Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina, South Shore Symphony, Riverside Orchestra, New Rochelle Opera, SYREN Modern Dance, and Purchase Dance Corps.

Mr. Oberstein has served as assistant to conductor Jane Glover in performances by the Chicago Opera Theatre at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. He is founder and conductor of the Purchase Chamber Orchestra and Purchase Pops, and recently returned to his alma mater as guest conductor of the Purchase Chorus. He is a recipient of the 2005 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the Purchase College President’s Award for Achievement. He was awarded the Tilles Scholar Award by the TillesCenter for the Performing Arts and the Special Conductor’s Award at the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival.

Mr. Oberstein has participated in master classes and workshops with such notable conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Donald Thulean, Daniel Lewis, John Farrer, Neil Thompson, Larry Rachleff and Harold Farberman. His principal teachers have been Mark Stringer, Yuji Yuasa, Miriam Burns, Michael Adelson, Scott Jackson Wiley and the late Jesse Levine; piano studies with Stephanie Brown. His graduate and undergraduate studies were completed at Purchase College, State University of New York, with a postgraduate diploma from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Yoonie Han

South Korean pianist Yoonie Han has won top prizes in distinguished international competitions and the highest accolades for her poetic performances in major concert halls in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2009, Ms. Han was honored with the Gawon Music Award as the “most brilliant pianist aged 17 to 31 of any nationality who possesses the most promising potential for global prominence.”

She is the first-prize winner of the Washington International Piano Competition, the Fulbright Competition, Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, the World Piano Competition, and the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition, and has garnered major prizes at the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition, Concorso Pianistico Ettore Pozzoli Internaziole, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize, and Recontre International Piano Competition in Paris. Following her 2001 grand-prize award in the Korea National Music Competition, the Korean Ministry of Culture named her its “most promising young artist.” She is the recipient of “Brava!” award by the Italian Academy Foundation.

Ms. Han made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 13, and has since performed with the Berlin Symphoniker, Buffalo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Banff Festival Orchestra, and I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milan. She has played solo recitals at the Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Frick Collections New York, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Salle Cortot in Paris, and Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. Her performances have also been broadcast on WQXR- New York, NPR’s “Artist Showcases”, Chicago’s WFMT, and many others.

Ms. Han received a Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, and is completing her Doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook. Yoonie Han is a Steinway Concert & Recording Artist.

Urara Mogi

Urara Mogi, has performed widely throughout North America, Europe, and her native Japan. Hailed for her "rich sound" and "kaleidoscopic range of expression" (Music World Magazine [Japan]), Urara has been the recipient of numerous awards in solo and chamber music, with her many recitals having been presented to critical acclaim.

Urara is First Violinist with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. She also serves as concertmaster for a number of regional New York and New Jersey orchestras, and as Artistic Director of Colza Concerts, a Japan-based chamber ensemble and concert series that introduces young gifted performers and seldom-heard chamber music to the public.

Urara plays a 1698 Carlo Antonio Testore violin with bows by James Tubbs and Isaac Salchow. She lives in New York City with her husband, clarinetist Scott Gerhardt.

Jennifer Sheehan

Multi award-winning vocalist Jennifer Sheehan is the first performer to star in the new WNET/WLIW (PBS) TV series, ‘66th and Broadway,’ which premieres February 5 on WLIW and on WNET on February 20.

Jennifer has performed for audiences from coast to coast and in the UK, including Carnegie Hall, as the guest of Michael Feinstein, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 54 Below and Town Hall in New York, and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, among other renowned venues.

Her critically acclaimed shows have entertained audiences at Cafe Carlyle, Feinstein’s, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Savannah Music Festival, Ely Cathedral (U.K.), the Historic Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, The Royal Room in Palm Beach, the Juilliard in Aiken Festival, The Gardenia in LA, the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, Electric Earth Concerts in New Hampshire, the Brownville Concert Series in Nebraska, and many other concert venues and private clubs around the country.

In October of 2014., in Rose Hall at Jazz in Lincoln Center, Jennifer was honored to receive the Donald F. Smith Award, named for the highly esteemed late founder of the Mabel Mercer Foundation and the New York Cabaret Convention.

The first-ever recipient of the Johnny Mercer Foundation‘s "Margaret Whiting Award" and the first-ever winner of the "Noel Coward Foundation Competition Award", Jennifer also received the Dorothy Loudon Foundation’s "Dorothy London Award.”

Previously, she received the "Julie Mlson Award" for outstanding interpretation of the Great American Songbook, and she was the first-place winner in the National Glenn Miller Vocal Competition.

Jennifer also performs in the theater, most recently appearing in ‘The Radio City Christmas Spectacular' as one of six vocalists, and regionally, starring as Betty Haynes in "White Christmas." She has performed in shows at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, Guild Hall in East Hampton, the York Theater in New York, the Bard Summerscape Festival, The MUNY in St. Louis, Boston Musical Theater, and on national tours.

A Cabaret Scenes magazine review of her debut album, "You Made IMe Love You,” states “It is rare that one singer has as much going for her as Jennifer displays on this disc."

Jennifer is a graduate of The Julliard School.

Kevin Lin

Violinist Kevin Lin is a student at The Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where he studies with Robert Lipsett. In recent years, Mr. Lin has won numerous prizes in international competitions, including 4th prize at the 2013 Irving Klein International String Competition, and 1st prize at the 2011 Schmidbauer International Young Artist String Competition, Junior Division. He also recently competed in the 2014 Menuhin Competition in Austin, Texas.
Praised for “captivating the audience” with his “virtuosity and musicianship” (Sylvia Bierschenk, SFA News), Mr. Lin performs regularly and has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestra of the Pines, Sound Symphony Orchestra, Greenwich Village Orchestra, and Livingston Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Lin presented a sold-out concert series with clarinetist San Yoon Kim and pianist Vincent de Vries at the Shinsegae Culture Hall in Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Lin has also given several solo and chamber music performances in the Los Angeles area.
As an avid chamber musician, Mr. Lin has performed as a part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society and the Thurnauer School of Music, collaborating with artists such as Andrew Bain, Martin Beaver, Robert Levin, John Perry, Cynthia Phelps, and the Ebene Quartet.

Outside of the academic year, Kevin has attended music programs around the United States such as the Heifetz International Institute, Kinhaven Music School, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. In 2009, he was also a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar in New York, and performed in Carnegie Hall. As an orchestral player, Mr. Lin is currently Co-Concertmaster of The Colburn Orchestra, and has previously held the positions of Assistant Concertmaster and Principal 2nd Violin of the American Academy of Conducting Aspen Orchestra.

In 2014, Mr. Lin was awarded a “Talented Students in the Arts Initiative” String Mentor-Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School, giving him the opportunity to share leadership opportunities with other orchestra members and faculty members. He was also awarded a Colburn Teaching Fellowship in 2013, and taught students in the Los Angeles area through an outreach program at The Colburn School.

Mr. Lin began his violin studies at the age of 6 and studied with Cheryl Norman, Julie Becker, and Sharon Roffman before entering the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division under the guidance of Patinka Kopec.

Mr. Lin plays on a 1925 Vincenzo Sannino on generous loan from the Chi-Mei Cultural Foundation.

Yuga Cohler

Since making his debut with the Juilliard Orchestra as a last-minute substitute,
twenty-four-year-old Yuga Cohler has established himself as one of the most promising conductors of his generation. He currently serves as the music director of the Music and Medicine Orchestra of Weill Cornell Medical College, and regularly works with the Juilliard Orchestra as both guest and assistant conductor. Orchestras Yuga has recently conducted include the Dallas Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Forth Worth Symphony, the New World Symphony, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie, and the Jena Philharmonic.

Yuga is a graduate of the Juilliard School’s course in orchestral conducting, where he was the youngest student of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. During his time at Juilliard, Yuga regularly conducted the Juilliard Lab Orchestra in both rehearsal and concert, and participated in masterclasses given by many of the most prominent conductors alive, including Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Herbert Blomstedt. A recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and Charles Schiff Conducting Prize, Yuga served as assistant conductor of the Juilliard Orchestra under Itzhak Perlman, and in December 2013, led the group in Stravinsky’s Cantata as a part of the school’s New Dances PLUS show.

Summer festivals Yuga has attended include the Aspen Music Festival and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he was a conducting fellow, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he participated in the Conducting Seminar. In 2012, Yuga was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic for the Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors, which enabled him to be in residence at the Salzburg Summer Festival. Shortly thereafter, the New York Times lauded his “strong rendition” of Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto, which he performed in Carnegie Hall as a part of a Professional Training Workshop led by David Robertson and John Adams.

Prior to his graduate studies, Yuga served as assistant conductor of the World Civic Orchestra, with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut. Yuga also held the music directorship of the Harvard University Bach Society Orchestra, a post formerly occupied by such luminaries as Alan Gilbert, Hugh Wolff, John Adams, and John Harbison. Noted by the Harvard Crimson for his “excellent dynamic control” and eliciting a “refined sound,” Yuga conducted the orchestra in several sold-out performances, including those with violinist Ryu Goto and pianist Robert Levin. At Harvard, Yuga also music directed the Dunster House Opera in its 2009 production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which marked the first Boston performance of the work in over twenty years.

Yuga was born into a musical family and consequently commenced his musical training at a very early age. He began studying solfège, ear training, and piano with his mother at the age of three and conducting with his father at fifteen. Yuga graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where he studied computer science, and was a recipient of the David McCord Prize for Artistic Excellence, the Detur Book Prize, and the John Harvard Scholarship.

Julian Schwarz

Born in 1991 to a musical family, cellist Julian Schwarz is already being recognized as one of the finest cellists now before the public. In August 2013 he won the first prize in the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong.

Mr. Schwarz made his orchestral debut at the age of 11 playing the Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony and his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium. Since then he has appeared as soloist with the Virginia, Omaha, Hartford, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids, Columbus, San Diego, Memphis, Sarasota, Springfield MA, Syracuse, Boca Raton, Chesapeake, Greensboro, Seattle, Wichita, Binghamton, UNLV, and Las Cruces Symphonies, as well as many regional orchestras from the Pacific Northwest. In winter of 2010 he was one of the featured soloists on an extensive US tour with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing 13 concerts on East and West coasts, as well as the deep South.

Upcoming performance highlights include concerto appearances with the Modesto, Queensland, Toledo, Amarillo, Hartford, and Charlotte Symphonies, the Louisville Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta, and the Symphony Silicon Valley. In Fall 2013 he was a featured soloist with the All Star Orchestra for national public television, performing the Samuel Jones Cello Concerto. After broadcast, the performance was released as a DVD on the Naxos label.

Julian Schwarz has performed solo recitals in Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, New York, Greensboro, High Point, Tacoma, Aspen, Seattle, St Thomas USVI, and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. In summer 2009 he was the "Featured Young Artist" at both the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Seattle Chamber Music Society. He has appeared at the Verbier, Bellingham, Aspen, Interlochen, Encore music festivals, and in Pollack and Weill Halls as part of the Montreal International String Quartet Festival and a Carnegie Hall workshop, respectively. Summer 2014 includes performances as faculty at the Eastern Music Festival, and at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. In August, he returns to the pianoSonoma festival for his 3rd summer as an Artist in Residence.

In 2007 Mr. Schwarz was appointed assistant conductor of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra under Christophe Chagnard. In his two years as assistant he led the orchestra in Borodin's Second Symphony and Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice at Seattle's Town Hall. He returned to LUCO as cellist in 2010 for a performance of the Elgar Concerto.

Mr. Schwarz was profiled in the Spring '09 cover story of Teen Strings Magazine, the July '11 cover story of GoTriad Magazine, and has been featured on the acclaimed NPR radio program "From the Top." He has recorded twice for the Naxos Label: a world premier recording of Gerard Schwarz’s “In Memoriam” (2006) and a recording of traditional concertos (2009). In 2011, a live recording of his Brahms Double concerto was limitedly released by WCPE Greensboro.

Mr. Schwarz is an advocate for contemporary music and has premiered many works for chamber ensembles as well as solo cello. Of particular note were the premiers of Henri Lazarof's Piano Quartet (2008), Samuel Jones' Cello Concerto (2010), and Richard Danielpour's "A Prayer for Our Time" for cello and orchestra (2013).

Julian Schwarz started piano lessons at the age of five and began his cello studies the following year with the late David Tonkonogui; subsequent teachers have included the late Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Paul Coletti, Neal Cary, Arnold Steinhardt, Andre Roy, Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School.

Ena Shin

Ena Shin is one of eighteen conductors who were invited from over five hundred applicants from thirty countries to participate in the Svetlanov Conducting Competition in Paris. There she conducted the Orchestre Philharmonie de Radio France. Ena Shin conducted the premieres of three concerti in 2013, most recently as the guest conductor of the American Modern Ensemble in New York City, on which one reviewer commented, “The music had a feeling of natural sounds, of a nobility which far transcended mere great playing.” Ena is the assistant conductor of the Hartt Orchestra where she regularly guest conducts. Last year she conducted in a masterclass with Rossen Milanov.

As music director of the Illini Symphony, while pursuing a masters degree, Ena began initiatives such as student composition readings and premiere performances, volunteer concerts in the community, and a reading session open to the entire university. Her concert programming has included works by composers Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Kenji Bunch, and Bernard Herrmann. At the Hartt School, she initiated and conducted in a Halloween Concert that brought fresh faces through the door. As a pianist, Ena performed as a concerto soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony and in the Keys to Education series at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. As an orchestral pianist, she performed Anna Clyne’s Rewind and Stravinsky’s Petrushka. She was on the piano faculty at Hood College in the preperatory division and a tenured teacher at the United Nations International School in New York City.

Ena also holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and Columbia University. She is finishing graduate studies at the Hartt School in Orchestral Conducting on full scholarship.

Sean Kennard

Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.

Kennard has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as Japan’s NHK Chamber Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Belgique and Orchestre Royal de Chambre in Belgium, the German Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt am Main, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, Sinfonia Perugina, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Charleston, Sioux City and Honolulu.

The Washington Post wrote of his “powerful and involved music making” and described him as “a strong luminous pianist.” American Record Guide said that he “plays Chopin’s preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them. He boasts a huge, romantic sound and a bold melodic vision.” Fanfare wrote that “his playing is full of life and sparkle.”

Sean received a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004. In his final year at Curtis, he won their Sergei Rachmaninoff Award, given to one graduating pianist each year, and went on to work with pianist Enrique Graf. He received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School (studios of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald) and subsequently joined the studio of Richard Goode. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music.

Emily Daggett Smith

Violinist Emily Daggett Smith has been praised as having “a very beautiful tone” ( and giving performances with “poised elegance” ( and “irrepressible élan” (The Seattle Times). With regular performances as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad, Ms. Smith is emerging as one of the most compelling artists of her generation. Ms. Smith won first place in the Juilliard concerto competition and at 21 years old made her New York concerto debut in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra and conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Ms. Smith has appeared at various festivals including the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Ravinia's Steans Institute, and the Festival Mozaic, and has performed in venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Her performances have been featured on PBS's national broadcast Live from Lincoln Center, NPR's From the Top, and Classical King FM in Seattle. Ms. Smith holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School. She performed as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra under many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson-Thomas, Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan. Her teachers have included Soovin Kim, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler, Masuko Ushioda, and Donald Weilerstein. Ms. Smith plays on a Johannes Cuypers violin and a Vuillaume bow, both generously donated by Dr. Marylou Witz.

Elzbieta Weyman

Assistant Principal Viola Elzbieta Weyman joined the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2013. A native of Newton, MA, Weyman began studying violin at age 4 and switched to viola at 13, studying with Boston Symphony member Michael Zaretsky. She continued her musical education at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Masao Kawasaki and Michael Tree. Weyman was a member of the New World Symphony, an orchestral training program for postgraduate musicians, from 2011–13.

Weyman has made several solo and chamber music appearances. She performed Walton’s Viola Concerto at the Aspen Music Festival under the baton of Leonard Slatkin in 2007 and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Juilliard Orchestra with conductor Xian Zhang in 2010. In addition to the Aspen Music Festival, she has participated in many summer festivals, including La Jolla Summerfest, Saito-Kinen Music Festival and, most recently, the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

In her spare time, Weyman enjoys running, yoga and eating

Guerguan Tsenov,

Guerguan Tsenov began his conducting career in his native country Bulgaria where he conducted most of the top orchestras including Sofia State Philharmonic, New Symphony Orchestra and Classic FM Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 Guerguan Tsenov was awarded a full scholarship by the Bruno Walter Foundation to study orchestral conducting at The Juilliard School. There he studied under the direction of James DePreist. Prior to his studies at The Juilliard School Mr. Tsenov has earned his first Master’s Degree in orchestral and opera conducting from the National Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria where he studied with Vassil Kazandjiev. In the United States Mr. Tsenov has worked and performed with orchestras such as AACA Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, Detroit Civic Orchestra, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Juilliard Conductors Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra and others. Immediately after his graduation from The Juilliard School in 2007 he was appointed conductor of NYU Symphony Orchestra in New York. In the same year he was invited as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. In 2009 Mr. Tsenov had the opportunity to work under the direction of Kurt Masur in a seminar given by the legendary maestro in New York. Other conductors with whom Guerguan Tsenov has closely collaborated include David Zinman, George Manahan and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Mr. Tsenov is a recipient of many prizes and distinctions including the Prize of the International Academy of Arts and the Prize of the foundation Open Society.

Mr. Tsenov is also an accomplished pianist with Master’s Degree in Piano performance. His performances as a conductor and pianist have been broadcast on Bulgarian National Television, Bulgarian National Radio and NYU Television. Recording with his live performance of J. S. Bach’s D minor Concerto for Keyboard and Orchestra was released by Unison Records.

Assaff Weisman

Pianist Assaff Weisman’s performances have taken him to some of the major venues in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. These include appearances at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Philips Hall in The Hague, and Lincoln Center in New York. As first prize winner in the 2006 Iowa International Piano Competition, he has appeared as soloist with the Sioux City Symphony, the American Chamber Orchestra, the Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Peru. His radio credits include WQXR’s “Young Artist Showcase” and “The Voice of Music” in Israel, as well as multiple appearances on WGBH radio in Boston, where he has recorded repertoire ranging from Bach to André Previn. His 2002 release of an all-Schubert recording for Yamaha’s “NYC Rising Star” series quickly became one of its best sellers. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Weisman has collaborated with Isidore Cohen, Peter Wiley, and Michael Tree, among others, and has taken part in the Aspen Music Festival, Campos do Jordão (Brazil), Lima Chamber Music Festival (Peru), The Music Festival of the Hamptons, and Verbier (Switzerland). He is a founding member, and the Executive Director of the award-winning Israeli Chamber Project, with which he has toured since 2008. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a student of Herbert Stessin, and where he now is a member of the Evening Division piano faculty. Prior to his studies in New York, Mr. Weisman studied with Professor Victor Derevianko in Israel where he was a winner of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarships.

John WIlson

Praised by the Baltimore Sun as having, “admirable technical confidence and expressive sensitivity” John Wilson is an emerging artist known for his technicalbravura and assured musicality at the piano. His 2013-14 season highlights include concerto performances with theConcert Artists of Baltimore, Peabody Recital Orchestra, and solo recital appearances at the Aspen Music Festival and the Chevy Chase Guest Artist series. He has recently been invited to compete in the 10th Liszt International Piano Competition. Last season, Wilson made his solo performance debut atCarnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, and has performed solo recitals at the US Embassy in Prague and the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

As a chamber musician Wilson has collaborated with world-renowned artists such Josef Burgstaller (trumpet soloist), Daniel Hope (violinist), Ron Barron (Boston Symphony, former principal trombone), Joseph Rodriguez (Baltimore Symphony, principal trombone) and mezzo-soprano Denise Graves. Wilson is also an active chamber musician and contemporary music artist, having recently performed in Baltimore’s Shriver Hall and the Scandinavian Embassy in New York City.

As an orchestral pianist, Wilson has worked with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, David Robertson, and Andrew Grams. In this capacity, or asrehearsal pianist, he has played for the Baltimore Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic, Aspen Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Wind Ensemble, and Peabody Symphony.

Wilson earned his Bachelor of Music and Master’s degrees with distinguished honors at Peabody Conservatory, studying with Marian Hahn and at present, Benjamin Pasternack. While at Peabody, Wilson earned the Presser Award and Clara Ascherfield Award. He has had the added advantage of master classes with Leon Fleisher, Murray Perahia, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and additional studies with Rita Sloan and Ann Schein.

Stephen Fang

Stephen Fang has been Assistant Principal Cellist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2007. Prior to joining the NJSO, he served as Assistant Principal of the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Akron Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra and Canton Symphony Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, he won the Grand Prize at the 30th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (with the Verklärte Quartet) and First Prize at the 56th and 59th Annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competitions (with the Linden and Svanito Quartets, respectively). He was featured in the Fischoff Grand Prize Winner’s Tour, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Recital Series, Cleveland Chamber Music Society Series and Cleveland Chamber Music Guild Series.

He has performed concertos with orchestras including the NJSO, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Colonial Symphony, Livingston Symphony Orchestra, Montclair Chamber Ensemble and New Jersey Philharmonic.

Fang earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was the winner of the 2003 Ellis A. Feiman Memorial Award for Achievement in Cello and 2003 Dr. Bennett Levine Memorial Award for Achievement in Chamber Music. He studied with preeminent professors and principal cellists of major orchestras, including Carter Brey, Richard Aaron, Desmond Hoebig, Stephen Geber and Eric Kim.

Karen Mason

Karen Mason has starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway, television, and recording: and "has few peers when it comes to ripping the roof off with her amazing voice that knows no bounds!" ( Karen is a ten -time MAC Award winner and has won the MAC Award for Major Female Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years. She has also won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist and has three Bistro Awards.

Ms. Mason most recently garnered rave reviews starring as The Queen of Hearts in WONDERLAND on Broadway She originated the role of Tanya on Broadway in Abba's MAMMA MIA!, and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other leading roles include Norma Desmond in SUNSET BOULEVARD, which she performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years; Velma von Tussel in the final Broadway company of HAIRSPRAY; "Monotony" singer, Mazeppa in JEROME ROBBINS' BROADWAY; Rosalie in CARNIVAL (another Drama Desk nomination); plus featured roles in Broadway's TORCH SONG TRILOGY; and PLAY ME A COUNTRY SONG.

Karen won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND, and starred Off-Broadway in her own show KAREN MASON SINGS BROADWAY, BEATLES AND BRIAN.

Her television appearances include the hit dramas ED and LAW & ORDER: SVU. Film credits include SLEEPING DOGS LIE and A CHORUS LINE.

In regional theatre, Karen starred in the 1st National Tour of A CHRISTMAS STORY as Miss Shields, in the world premiere of the stage production of WHITE CHRISTMAS, (playing the Rosemary Clooney role at St. Louis Muni Opera), SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM (Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida), GYPSY (Sundance Theatre in California), the world premiere of ONE TOUGH COOKIE (Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago), HEARTBEATS (Goodspeed Opera House in NY) and COMPANY (Huntington Theatre in Boston). Most recently in New York, Karen starred in the one-woman musical about Dorothy Parker YOU MIGHT AS WELL LIVE.

Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein's at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars, the Algonquin, Arci' Place, The Supper Club and The Ballroom in NYC; The Cinegrill and the UCLA/ASCAP Concert Series in Los Angeles; The Plush Room in San Francisco; and Davenport's in Chicago.

She has shared concert stages with Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, Chita Rivera, Luciano Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, and John Kander & Fred Ebb, among others. Karen has given concerts in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, Tokyo and Osaka. Her starring symphonic performances include The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Michael Berkowitz, The Philly Pops with Peter Nero, The New York Pops with Skitch Henderson, The Oklahoma Philharmonic with Joel Levine, the premier performance of The Chicagoland Pops, The Indianapolis Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony with John McDaniel.

Her highly acclaimed recordings include her newest single, IT'S ABOUT TIME, written by Paul Rolnick and Shelly Markham; her 2009 MAC AWARD-winning Right Here/ Right Now, 2005’s The Sweetest of Nights, the MAC Award-winning When The Sun Comes Out, as well as three other CD’s: Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!, recorded live at the West Bank Café; Better Days, featuring songs by her longtime composer/arranger, Brian Lasser (including the 1998 Emmy Award-winning song "Hold Me"); and Not So Simply Broadway. Karen has been featured on the soundtrack of the original cast CD of Wonderland; Jeffrey (Varese Sarabande), the studio cast recording of Wonderful Town (JAY Records), the original cast album of And The World Goes Round (RCA Victor), The Child In Me, Vol. 1 (Harbinger Records), and Lost in Boston ll (Varese Sarabande)

Lionel Cottet

Lionel Cottet was born in Geneva in 1987. He recently received the Swiss Ambassador's Award 2011 and gave his Debut at the Wigmore Hall in London as well as further recitals in Manchester and Edinburgh with his duo Partner Louis Schwizgebel.

The season 2011-2012 also includes his Debut at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, a chamber music concert at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York as well as a solo-tour with the Camerata de Lausanne conducted by the renowned french violinist Pierre Amoyal.

He has performed as a soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Radio Orchestra, the Swiss Italian Orchestra and the Geneva Symphony Orchestra in prestigious venues such as the Zurich Tonhalle, the Warsaw Philharmonie and the Victoria Hall in Geneva.

His passion for chamber music has taken him all over Europe, to the Chopin Festival in Poland, the Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg and the "Sommets Musicaux" in Gstaad among others where he has played alongside such renowned artists as Bruno Giuranna, Ilya Gringolts and Martin Stadtfeld.
His performances have been broadcast on Polish and Austrian radio stations, as well as Bavarian Radio and Radio Suisse Romande.

Lionel Cottet has received numerous honors including second prizes at the Lutoslawski Competition in Warsaw and at the Brahms Competition in Austria as well as first prize at the Dotzauer Competition in Dresden.

He has been invited to work with distinguished teachers at the Verbier Festival and Academy, Seiji Ozawa's International Music Academy Switzerland, the London International Master classes and the Pablo Casals Festival in France.

He has developed a deep interest in modern music through his collaboration with the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik in Salzburg. He also performs a wide repertoire of contemporary pieces, both as a soloist and a chamber musician.

He studied with François Guye at the Geneva Conservatoire, Clemens Hagen at the Salzburg Mozarteum and Thomas Grossenbacher at the Zurich Hochschule. He is currently at the Juilliard School of Music in the class of Joel Krosnick, cellist of the very well-known Juilliard String Quartet.

Lionel Cottet plays a 1852 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violoncello.

Michael Kerschner

Michael Kerschner has developed a national reputation for choral excellence. Michael is the Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Chorale, which has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He received a B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University and his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of North Texas. While at UNT he served as Assistant to the Director of Choral Studies, and was assistant conductor of the A Cappella Choir, Baroque Orchestra and Collegium Singers. As a choral singer he has performed in nine European countries and at regional and national confer ences. He has taught at the NYSSSA choral studies program and at the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University as choral director and Music Education specialist. Choirs under his direction have performed the Command Performance at the Nevada All -State Conference, the Western Division ACDA Student Symposium, and with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Long Island Pops Orchestra. Michael was the director of choirs at Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where his choirs consistently received the highest possible ratings at local and national festivals. He currently is Director of Choral Activities at North Shore High School, and his ensembles there have received gold with distinction honors at NYSSMA festivals, and completed a performance tour through Italy.

Weston Sprott

Weston Sprott was appointed to the position of second trombone of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the spring of 2005. He began his musical training in his hometown of Spring, TX. Mr. Sprott attended Indiana University before completing his Bachelor of Music degree at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His primary teachers were Michael Warny, Carl Lenthe, and Nitzan Haroz.

While a student at Curtis, Mr. Sprott held the positions of Principal Trombone in the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra (Philadelphia) and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. He was the founding member of the Texas Trombone Octet, a group that won the Emory Remington competition and was featured in concert at the International Trombone Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

Mr. Sprott has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Hot Springs Music Festival, The American Wind Symphony Orchestra, and The Sphinx Symphony (Detroit). He has also performed with the St. Barts Music Festival and the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society.

Mr. Sprott was recently featured in the documentary film "A Wayfarer's Journey:Listening to Mahler" with actor Richard Dreyfuss and actress Kathleen Chalfant. He was also a performer in the film "Rittenhouse Square" under the direction of Robert Downey, a documentary that played in major film festivals throughout the United States to critical acclaim. In September 2007, Mr. Sprott made his Carnegie Hall solo debut performing Lars Erik-Larsson's Concertino in Weill Recital Hall at the invitation of the Bulgarian Consulate. Performances and interviews with Mr. Sprott have been seen and heard on PBS' Great Performances, NPR's Performance Today, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

In demand as a soloist and masterclass clinician, Mr. Sprott has been a featured guest artist at several of America's leading conservatories and universities. He is currently on the faculty at Mannes College (The New School for Music), Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and Juilliard's Music Advancement Program in New York City. Weston Sprott is an artist/clinician for the Antoine Courtois Instrument Company and Music In Reach. He performs exclusively on Courtois trombones and regularly plays the Legend AC420R.

Young New Yorkers' Chorus

Since spring, 2001, the Young New Yorkers' Chorus has brought together the finest choral musicians from the thousands of young people who flock to this city for its excitement and artistic life. Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Kerschner, the choir performs works by classical greats such as Brahms, Durufle and Bernstein, and debuts original works through the annual Competition for Young Composers. YNYC also provides a close-knit fellowship for talented singers in their twenties and early thirties.

Chistopher DeVage

Baritone Christopher DeVage was recently heralded as “Impressive” by the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini for his creation of the title role in the world premiere of Francesco Cilluffo’s Il Caso Mortara (Dicapo Opera Theatre). declared, “The most convincing performance comes from Christopher DeVage…who plays the adult Edgardo Mortara. DeVage possesses a sweet and sensual baritone and offers a remarkable acting performance.” During the 2009-10 season Mr. DeVage was also heard in Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Artemis Chamber Ensemble), the world premiere of Jeffrey Parola’s oratorio Such Beautiful Things (Choral Chameleon), Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen (Washington Vocal Arts Society’s America Sings Festival), Haydn’s The Seasons (Academy Chamber Society), in Bach to the Beginning: Baroque Oratorio; a masterclass with Kent Tritle (Metropolitan Opera Guild); with the NY Choral Artists in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (NY Philharmonic), with the Concert Chorale of NY in D’Indy’s Fervaal and Schumann’s Szene aus Goethe’s Faust (American Symphony Orchestra) and in Mozart’s Davidde Penitente (Mostly Mozart). Other notable performances include his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall (Bernstein’s West Side Story Suites); solo appearances in J.S. Bach’s Cantata #82, Ich habe genug (Symphony Space’s Wall to Wall Bach) and Brahms’ Neue Liebeslieder Walzer (Alice Tully Hall); a recital appearance as part of Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s Sacred Music in a Sacred Space; as Baron Douphol in Verdi’s La Traviata (New Rochelle Opera) and as Il Conte in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Modus Opera). Upcoming engagements include Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (UMD’s Schumann Bicentennial Festival) and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra). A graduate of The Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma program, Mr. DeVage has performed as a young artist with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Steans Institute (Ravinia Festival) and Music Academy of the West. He was a winner in the Oratorio Society of New York solo competition, a district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and a semi-finalist in the inaugural MEZZO Television International Opera Competition in Hungary. Christopher has been awarded the Santa Fe Opera Foundation Grant, the MONC Encouragement Award, the Shenandoah University Young Career Award and the University of Maryland School of Music Ulrich Award for Excellence. Mr. DeVage holds a Master of Music from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory.

Monica Davis


Gabrielius Alekna

Pianist Gabrielius Alekna is the first Lithuanian to hold a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School. The winner of the second prize at the 2005 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna, Austria, Mr. Alekna has appeared as a soloist in Vienna’s Musikverein with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO Wien) under the baton of Bertrand de Billy. Mr. Alekna has been a featured soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in New York and with the Belarus State Symphony Orchestra in Minsk, while in his native country the pianist appears regularly with major orchestras, including the National Symphony, the State Symphony, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, and the Christopher Chamber Orchestra. Daniel Barenboim recently recognized him as a highly gifted pianist and musician. Mr. Alekna has garnered more than a dozen top prizes in competitions on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Hilton Head (United States), Maria Canals (Spain), and Ciurlionis (Lithuania) International Piano Competitions.

In 2009/20010, Gabrielius Alekna collaborates with the two-time Grammy-winning producer Judith Sherman and the two-time Grammy-nominated pianist Ursula Oppens in recording complete Mots by the Lithuanian composer Vytautas Bacevicius for the British label ‘Toccata Classics.‘ Other activities include solo recitals in Adelphi University in New York, in large halls of National Philharmonic Societies of Lithuania and Belarus, and in Lozzo di Cadore, Italy, while orchestra engagements include performances with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and Belarus State Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, piano works by Jeronimas Kacinskas, recorded by Mr. Alekna, have been released by LMIPC. Mr. Alekna’s recent engagements have included solo recitals in Vienna’s Musikverein,Bösendorfer Saal, and Stadtsalon, New York's Deutsches Haus, and Greenwich, Connecticut’s Bruce Museum; performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with the pianist Ursula Oppens and the New York Philharmonic’s timpanist Joe Pereira in New York’s Yamaha Piano Salon; chamber music appearances with the cellist Zvi Harel (Israel) and with both the Vilnius String Quartet and the Ciurlionis String Quartet (Vilnius); and performances at festivals such as Liszt in Vredenburg Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands), Music Festival of the Hamptons (New York), Piano Century and Chamberfest at Alice Tully Hall (New York), and Europeisches Musikfest Muensterland (Muenster, Germany). In 2007, the Lithuanian National Radio released a CD of cello and piano music recorded by Gabrielius Alekna and Edvardas Armonas. In 2003, Mr. Alekna was one of only six pianists invited by Carnegie Hall (New York) for The Daniel Barenboim Workshop: The Beethoven Piano Sonatas. His recorded concerto performances were broadcast on the BBC, Österreich 1, and EuroClassic radio programs in twelve European countries, while in the US he was heard on WQXR (New York) and on XM satellite radio (Channel 113). Excerpts of Mr. Alekna’s recorded Beethoven interpretations were featured in conference papers on Beethoven in Warsaw (2005), on musical semiotics in Paris and Imatra, Finland (2004), as well as in the conference on performing studies Performa07 in Aveiro, Portugal (2007). The pianist was named the Artist in Residence for the 2002-2003 season at International House, New York, a community of selected graduate students and interns from around the globe.

Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, the pianist began his music studies at the age of five. After graduation from the M. K. Ciurlionis Arts Gymnasium in Vilnius, he continued his studies at the Lithuanian Music Academy. In 1996, Gabrielius Alekna was invited to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, receiving Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in music.

Alexandre Moutouzkine

Mr. Moutouzkine has toured throughout Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Italy, and North and South America, as well as in China and Japan. In recent seasons, he has appeared as soloist with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Television Orchestra of Spain, Cleveland Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Valencia Philharmonic, the Gran Canaria and Tenerife symphonies in the Canary Islands, the National Symphonic Orchestra of Panama, the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra of the Czech Republic. His recital in London’s Wigmore Hall was hailed by International Piano magazine as “grandly organic, with many personal and pertinent insights, offering a thoughtful balance between rhetoric and fantasy…technically dazzling.” Mr. Moutouzkine’s performance of Chopin Etudes in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory was recorded live and released on the Classical Music Archives label in Russia.

The winner of many renowned competition awards, Mr. Moutouzkine claimed top prizes at the Walter W. Naumburg, Cleveland, Montreal, and Arthur Rubinstein international competitions, among others. He is a winner of Astral Artists’ 2009 National Auditions, and The Philadelphia Inquirer said of his Philadelphia recital debut under Astral’s auspices, “Moutouzkine’s kind of talent has an impact on his surroundings…[he gives] clarity to his musical choices, but heat to the conviction behind them,” and went on to say that his is “a career that will matter.” Recent highlights include debuts at the Great Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Berliner Symphoniker, a chamber music concert in Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse with the Jasper String Quartet, an appearance with The Philadelphia Orchestra on its “Beyond the Score” series, performances in Colombia, a recital in Puerto Rico, and recitals throughout Asia, including appearances in the Beijing Concert Hall and Japan’s Yokohama Hall. The Greenwich Citizen claimed of his recent debut with the Greenwich Symphony in Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 that Mr. Moutouzkine is “poised to join the pantheon of greats...outperforming even the composer himself.” Following the success of a performance of his own solo piano transcription of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, performed live alongside specially commissioned animation entitled Who Stole The Mona Lisa?, he opened Astral’s 2012-2013 season with a repeat performance in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, to rave reviews.

Alexandre Moutouzkine holds a Master’s degree and post graduate degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky. He holds undergraduate degrees from the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hannover and Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Music Academy. He is currently a teaching associate at the Manhattan School of Music where he also received a 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Michael Boriskin (photo credit: Richard Bowditch)

Michael Boriskin is widely hailed as one of the most versatile and dynamic American pianists of his generation. He has taken audiences in the United States and over 30 countries on vividly-guided, provocative journeys across three centuries of music. He appears regularly at many of the world’s foremost concert venues, including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BBC in London, Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and Vienna’s Arnold Schoenberg Center. He also performs with leading international orchestras, including the Munich and Polish National Radio Orchestras, San Francisco, Utah, and Seattle Symphonies, UNAM Philharmonic of Mexico, and American Composers Orchestra, and, as a sought-after chamber music collaborator, with the Borromeo, Lark, St. Lawrence, and St. Petersburg String Quartets, Dorian and Arioso Wind Quintets, and New York Philharmonic Ensembles. A prolific recording artist, his discography ranges widely from Brahms and Tchaikovsky to the present on BMG/Conifer, New World, Koch, Bridge, Arabesque, and many other labels. His innovative National Public Radio series, CENTURYVIEW, was heard regularly for three years on over 200 stations coast-to-coast, and he was Music Director for three seasons of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. His writing has appeared in many publications, and he has served as an artistic advisor or program consultant for the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the U. S. State Department. He is Artistic and Executive Director of Copland House, the unique creative center for American music based at Aaron Copland’s restored, landmark home near New York City.

Ankush Kumar Bahl

Described as an "energetic" conductor who leads with "clear authority and enthusiasm" by the New York Times after his Carnegie Hall debut, Ankush Kumar Bahl is currently the Music Director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Bahl received a double degree in Music and Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and completed his Master’s Degree in conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with teachers Zdenek Macal, George Manahan and David Gilbert. Prior to MSM, Mr. Bahl’s principal conducting teachers were Kenneth Kiesler, Alasdair Neale, and David Milnes. He is also fortunate to have participated in master classes and workshops with Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, David Zinman, David Robertson, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, Jorma Panula, Michael Stern, Murry Sidlin, Colin Metters, and David Effron. Mr. Bahl lives in New York City where he regularly works with the conservatories, regional orchestras and professional orchestras in the area. Recent seasons have also included repeat guest conducting stints with the Ridgefield Symphony, the Chelsea Symphony, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra as well as his debuts with the Portland Symphony (Maine) and Indianapolis Symphony. In the summer of 2006, Bahl was one of three Americans invited out of over 500 applications to compete in the Solti International Conducting Competition and this past fall he was invited by incoming Music Director, Alan Gilbert, to conduct the New York Philharmonic as part of their periodic «young conductor readings.» This past spring, Mr. Bahl conducted in concert at a workshop with Kurt Masur where he once again caught the attention of the NY Times who wrote «By Saturday the orchestra had become as fine a Mendelssohn vehicle as any young conductor could want, and most handled it capably, though without carrying it to great heights of inspiration. One who did seem to inspire it was Ankush Kumar Bahl, in the finale of the «Reformation» Symphony. Mr. Bahl was also one of the few who, in the earlier sessions, took the lead in rehearsing the orchestra in detail rather than simply waiting for Mr. Masur to interrupt and take matters into his own hands… the «Reformation» Symphony was a great success.» Mr. Bahl currently spends his summers in Vermont as a guest conductor of the Kinhaven Music School and in Switzerland as the Artistic Director of the International Goppisberger Music Festival. As a 2009 recipient of the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship, Bahl will spend part of next season in Leipzig working privately with Maestro Masur and the Gewandhaus Orchestra as the city celebrates the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Gabriela Martinez

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, 25-year-old pianist Gabriela Martinez has already amassed an impressive list of recital, concerto, and chamber music performance credits. Since making her orchestral debut at age 7, Ms. Martinez has appeared as soloist with the New Jersey, Fort Worth, Pacific and San Francisco Symphonies, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, MDR Rundfunkorchester, Symphonisches Staatsorchester Halle, Tivoli Philharmonic, and regularly performs with the Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel. She regularly performs with Itzhak Perlman, and has collaborated with the Takacs quartet. Ms. Martinez has performed under the batons of conductors Lawrence Foster, James Gaffigan, Dirk Brosse, Klauspeter Seibel, Giordano Bellincampi, Guillermo Figueroa, David Machado, Anne Manson, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Egmon Colomer, Pedro and Cristobal Halffter among others.

Ms. Martinez regularly performs at Carnegie Hall, and has performed at Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully Halls, Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg; Semperoper in Dresden, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the Verbier Festival, Dresden Music Festival, Snow and Symphony Festival in St. Moritz, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Festival dei Due Mondi, The International Holland Music Sessions, and the Mostly Mozart and Tokyo International Music Festivals. She has toured both as soloist and chamber musician in over 50 concert halls in the U.S. and Germany, as well as in Salzburg, Copenhagen, Holland, St. Moritz, Verbier, Sendai, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Montpellier, Rome, Venice, London, Spoleto, Brussels, Caracas, and Bogota.

Ms. Martinez has won numerous national and international prizes and awards. Her most recent accomplishments include first prize and audience award at the Anton Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Dresden. She was a semifinalist at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where she also received a Jury Discretionary Award. Her performances have been featured on MDR Kultur (Germany), NHK (Japan), Radio France (France), RAI (Italy), Deutsche Welle (Germany), National Public Radio, CNN, PBS, 60 minutes, ABC, From the Top (USA), and numerous television and radio stations in Venezuela.

Ms. Martinez earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School as a full scholarship student of Yoheved Kaplinsky, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Halle, Germany with Professor Marco Antonio de Almeida. From 2007-2009, Ms. Martinez was a member of the fellowship "The Academy- a Program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute.» Ms. Martinez was invited to join the Kean University Concert Artist Faculty in 2008.

Weiyin Chen

The Taiwanese-American pianist Weiyin Chen has performed internationally as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She marked her debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Edo de Waart in May of 2008. Recent highlights include concerto engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra with renowned violinist Cho-Liang Lin at the Taipei National Concert Hall, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra at the Shanghai Concert Hall during the orchestra's 2006 tour to the Shanghai International Music Festival, the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan and the Orquesta Sinfónica Millennium in Spain. Her recital appearances include engagements in France, Holland, Panama and New York. Ms. Chen's performances have been televised nationally in Taiwan, China and on UCSDTV in California. Her playing was broadcasted on WQXR's Young Artists Showcase, WQXR's Reflections from the Keyboard hosted by David Dubal, NPR's Performance Today and NPR's From the Top where her performance received the Audience Choice Award and was selected to be on the show's CD release in 2003.

A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Chen has performed and participated in numerous prestigious festivals including La Jolla SummerFest in California, Verbier Festival&Academy in Switzerland, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany, Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, Chamber Music at the Perlman Music Program and Chamber Music at the Banff Centre in Canada. She has performed with soloists such as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Ilya Gringolts, David Chan, Alina Pogostkina, violist Paul Neubauer, cellist Gary Hoffman and Felix Fan.

Ms. Chen is a winner of Princess Cecilia di Medici's La Gesse Foundation Fellowship in 2006. She is also a prizewinner of the Sorantin International Young Artists Award in 2001.

Born in 1983, Ms. Chen has received her Bachelor Degree of Music from The Juilliard School where she studied piano with Oxana Yablonskaya and chamber music with Joseph Kalichstein. She is currently pursuing studies with renowned pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher.

Vladimir Kulenovic

As one of 12 conductors worldwide selected to compete in the 9th Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition in the fall of 2010, Vladimir Kulenovic continues to make his mark as a rising conductor.  The upcoming season will also include his debut concert with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in the Kolarac National Philharmonic Hall in March of 2011, as well as two concerts in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Conductors’ Orchestra. Mr. Kulenovic made his professional conducting debut in 2006 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. Since then, he has conducted performances with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Beethoven-Orchester Bonn, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein, Aspen Music Festival AACA Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Indian Hill Orchestra, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Conductors' Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Institute Symphony Orchestra and The Boston Conservatory Orchestra. In addition to spending the summer of 2010 at the Aspen Music Festival as a conducting fellow, he has also been invited to conduct in prestigious music festivals world wide, including the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, National Arts Centre Conducting Programme, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA and the Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg. Mr. Kulenovic has been studying with maestro Kurt Masur since the 2008 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar in New York City, where he returned in 2009, and continued studies with the maestro in Bonn with the Beethoven-Orchester Bonn. He was subsequently one of four conductors worldwide invited by Maestro Masur to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland where he had the opportunity to intensively work and perform with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in the two final concerts of the Festival, which were televised internationally on Medici TV.

As a recipient of the Bruno Walter memorial scholarship, Mr. Kulenovic will complete his postgraduate conducting studies at the Juilliard School under the mentorship of Maestro James DePreist in May of 2011. At Juilliard, he also had the opportunity to work with maestri Alan Gilbert and Leonard Slatkin. Prior to his studies at Juilliard, Mr. Kulenovic was engaged as the cover conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Baltimore Opera Company and the Graduate Conducting Assistant of Orchestras at the Peabody Institute where he earned his Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestral Conducting under the tutelage of Gustav Meier and Marin Alsop.

From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Kulenovic was the Assistant Conductor of the Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Indian Hill Orchestra and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, where he also earned his Master’s degree in Conducting and Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance, graduating summa cum laude as Valedictorian, and earning the prestigious Alfred B. Whitney Prize for the highest scholastic achievement.  As a pianist, Mr. Kulenovic was awarded the Second Prize at the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris and the First Prize at the Churchill Piano Competition in Boston.

Angela Leson

Soprano Angela Leson began her musical journey at the age of 5 participating in Canadian Music festivals in her home town of Canora, Saskatchewan. She was then enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Music Program at the age of twelve, excelling in both voice and piano. Since then, she has developed into a mature vocal artist that combines beautiful sound with a keen sense of role interpretation.

As a soprano soloist she has performed in Messiah, Fauré's Requiem, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Bach Magnificat, and Mahler's Symphony No. 2. Angela received degrees in vocal performance from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Kentucky. She was also a studio artist with Central City Opera, where she was cast in the world premiere of the opera Gabriel’s Daughter. She recently performed Anna Bolena and Giulietta in Les Contes D’Hoffman with Opera Forum of New York.

B.D. Wong

B.D. Wong can currently be seen on "Law and Order: SVU" as Dr. George Huang. Wong gained notice as a cast regular on the critically acclaimed series "Oz," playing the resilient prison priest, Father Ray, for the show’s five-season run. Other television credits include a starring role in "All-American Girl," "And the Band Played On," "Welcome to New York," "Chicago Hope," "The X-Files," "Bless This House," "Shannon’s Deal" and the Hallmark miniseries "Marco Polo." Wong has also appeared in more than 20 feature films, including Steven Spielberg’s "Jurassic Park," and "The Freshman" opposite Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick. Wong can also be heard as the voice of Shang in the Disney animated film "Mulan."

Wong is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York theater awards for a single role. For his performance in "M. Butterfly," his Broadway debut, he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award, and the Clarence Derwent Award. Additional New York theater credits include "The Tempest," "A Language of Their Own," "As Thousands Cheer," the Broadway musical revival of "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown," in a critically acclaimed performance as Linus, and the Roundabout Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s "Pacific Overtures," for which he received a Drama League nomination for distinguished performance.

Nathan Madsen

Nathan Madsen is completing his third season as Music Director of the Bard Orchestra, which is gaining a reputation throughout the Hudson Valley for its innovative programming and artistic excellence.

Recent guest conducting appearances include performances with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Bard Musical Theatre Group. In addition, Mr. Madsen is a frequent guest clinician with youth orchestras, including the Empire State Youth Orchestra, Albuquerque Youth Symphony, Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony.

A strong and passionate advocate of new compositions, he regularly appears at the Conductors Institute’s Composer-Conductor Week, and has collaborated with Scottish conceptual artist Martin Creed in a British commission for the dedication of the Hessel Museum . In 2008 he commissioned a new work for Grammy-award winning soprano Kelley O’Connor from American composer Jennifer Jolley. That same month, he assisted James Bagwell and Dawn Upshaw In the production of a new opera by English composer David Bruce.

Mr. Madsen received his master’s degree from The Conductors Institute at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Harold Farberman. He holds a dual degree in music and East Asian languages and cultures from the University of Southern California . A recipient of a study grant from the Freeman Foundation, he also attended The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee, the First Prize Winner of the 2005 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, was featured in the «Launch Pad» column of The Strad as the magazine’s «pick of up-and-coming musicians» for June 2007. Describing her recent recital on the Ravinia Rising Stars series, the Chicago Tribune said: «...Lee’s breathtaking dexterity should enchant anyone within hearing distance.»

Current engagements for Ms. Lee include a concerto appearance with the Modesto Symphony in California and her debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, as well as festival appearances at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and Santa Fe Music Festival. Special projects comprise a number of featured performances with dance companies, including Lar Lubovitch, Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Richmond Ballet.

Jessica Lee’s 2006 concerto debut at Alice Tully Hall, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, was broadcast twice on WQXR-FM. Commenting on an April 2007 performance of The Lark Ascending with the Richmond Symphony, her hometown orchestra, the Richmond Times-Dispatch said: «Her performance was flawless.»

Other recent recital highlights include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on the CAG/Winners Series, as well as recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Caramoor Festival in New York, Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama and Purdue University. Her recital for the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock was selected by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette as one of the «Top Ten Classical Concerts of 2007.»

Georgy Valtchev

Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Georgy Valtchev began his violin studies at the age of six and gave his first performance with orchestra six years later at the Music Academy of his native city. He received his basic music education first at the Plovdiv Music School, and then at the State Music School "Lubomir Pipkov", Sofia as a student of Boyanka Shopova, Vlado Vladigerov, Mitcho Dimitrov and Prof. Dora Ivanova. At age sixteen, he won the Grand Prize and the Special Prize at the "Kocian" International Competition in the then Czechoslovakia. Georgy Valtchev came to the United States as a scholarship student of Dorothy Delay and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.

Since then has been honored with a number of awards, and has appeared as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States , Europe and Asia, most recently in recitals, and as soloist with orchestras in New York, Boston, Bangor, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, London, Tel Aviv and in his native Bulgaria. His concerts have been broadcast live on Bulgarian TV and Radio, Swedish Radio and WFMT Chicago. His most recent CD, Sonatas and Rhapsodies for violin and piano by Bela Bartók, recorded with his wife and chamber music partner, pianist Lora Tchekoratova, was released to critical acclaim in 2008 by GEGA New label.

Samuel Banks

Samuel Banks became a member of the bassoon section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in June 2004. Born in the San Francisco Bay area, Banks began his instrumental career on the clarinet at age 9 and switched to bassoon at age 11. His father, Ridgway Banks, was a composer who studied with Nadia Boulanger and provided early encouragement to Samuel’s pursuit of music.

Samuel Banks earned a B.M. degree from Northwestern University where he studied with Robert Barris. Before coming to Indianapolis, he played with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, where his bassoon coach was Bill Buchman, the Elgin Symphony and as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He won first prize in the Van Waynen Winds Competition and has played with the National Repertory Orchestra, the New York String Orchestra and the Kent-Blossom Music Festival. Away from the Orchestra Banks enjoys cooking, running, playing chamber music and rooting for his beloved Oakland A’s.

Karen Lubeck

Karen Lubeck attracts attention as a promising artist with a beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and thoughtful interpretation. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002, sharing the stage with trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. She recently sang Frasquita in Carmen with the Duluth-Superior Symphony and appeared as a guest soloist with the New York Choral Society in Orff's Carmina Burana. She was also featured as a soloist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic as part of the Interfaith Committee of Remembrance's concert. In New York, she sang the role of Sophie in a concert version of Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier with Dell'Arte Opera. Ms. Lubeck has appeared with Opera Illinois as Despina in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, and as soloist in numerous performances throughout the United States and Europe. She appeared as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Illinois and was a soloist at the American Symphony Orchestra League's convention in Washington, D.C.

Highlights of recent seasons include a performance of Mahler's Fourth Symphony with the Keene Chamber Symphony, and Mozart concert arias for the Westchester Symphony's 10th anniversary concert. Her engagements included Fauré's La Bonne Chanson with Newburgh Chamber Music and at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, song recitals at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Maryland and the Norfolk Library in Connecticut, as well as concerts throughout the United States.

Ms. Lubeck participated in a Gershwin celebration at the Tilles Center in Long Island and appeared at the Berkshire Opera in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. She also took part in the National Symphony Orchestra's Mozart Festival with a concert at the Austrian Ambassador's residence. Switzerland's Verbier Academy invited her to its summer workshop with Gundula Janowitz and Brigitte Fassbaender. She attended the European Mozart Academy, where she studied with Benita Valente, Eva Blahova,
and Kerstin Meyer, most notably, and was a featured soloist in concerts in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. She made her European operatic debut as Silvia in Haydn's L'isola disabitata at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany.

Ching-Wen Hsiao

Winner of the 2000 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition at the Juilliard School, Ching-Wen Hsiao has performed throughout the North America, Germany, Portugal, Mexico, and Asia. Ms. Hsiao made her concerto debut with the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra in the Philippines at age 16 and has appeared with the Ars Viva Orchestra in Chicago, New York Youth Symphony, Du Page County Youth Symphony, and Yi-Qi Orchestra at the Taiwan National Concert Hall.

After winning the first place in the 1995 Taiwan National Piano Competition, she continued her competition victory in the United States, winning the Steinway Society Solo Piano and Concerto Competition, American Musician Scholarship Competition, Chinese Arts Competition in Chicago, Concerto Competition at the Music Institute of Chicago, and was the second place winner of the Concerto Competition at Juilliard. Ms. Hsiao was also a national finalist of Music Teacher National Association Piano Competition and the audition for Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society II.

An avid chamber musician and Twentieth-Century music performer, Ms. Hsiao has performed with renowned violinist Cho-Liang Lin at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and University of Texas in Austin. Her performance of John Corigliano’s Etude Fantasy earned the composer’s acclaim. In 2006, she was awarded the “New Rising Star” prize in Taiwan, which led to two recitals at the Taiwan National Concert Hall in 2006-2008 seasons. Ms. Hsiao’s performances have been broadcasted live on WNIB in Chicago and WQXR in New York. She is scheduled to record with Cho-Liang Lin in 2008.

Ms. Hsiao has taught at the International Music Festival in Portugal, and attended the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Festival, Music at Menlo, and Music Academy of the West. She has performed in masterclasses for Krystian Zimerman, Arie Vardi, and Claude Frank, and worked with musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Jeffrey Kahane, David Finckel, Gilbert Kalish, and Gary Hoffman.

Ms. Hsiao is currently a Doctoral of Musical Art candidate at the Juilliard School. She holds her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School, receiving the Alan Fay “Outstanding Pianist Award”. Her principal teachers include Yoheved Kaplinsky, Jerome Lowenthal, and Emilio del Rosario. Ms. Hsiao is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the Southeastern University in Florida.

Eugene Tzigane

Eugene Tzigane won Second Prize at the Fourth International Lovro von Matacic Competition of Young Conductors in Zagreb, Croatia, this past September. Mr. Tzigane was also awarded the prize for “Best Artistic Achievement” by the Croatian Society of Music Artists. Immediately following the final concert, he was invited to conduct the Zagreb Philharmonic in the coming seasons. In late November, Mr. Tzigane will compete in the Eighth Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Katowice, Poland, having been chosen from over 200 applicants from 41 countries.

Mr. Tzigane is currently the Apprentice Conductor to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic where he is mentored by Alan Gilbert, the newly appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Alongside his apprenticeship, Mr. Tzigane works closely with renowned Finnish conducting teacher Jorma Panula as a member of his conducting class at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Mr. Tzigane was a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival for two summers, where he studied with David Zinman and conducted in a master class of Alan Gilbert. In August 2006, Mr. Tzigane conducted the Trondheim Symphoniker in Norway as part of a master class with Jorma Panula. He has also participated in a number of opera master classes with George Manahan conducting scenes from Puccini’s La Bohème and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Lucia di Lammermoor. Mr. Tzigane also recently conducted a performance of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore for Opera for Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps fund cancer research.

Mr. Tzigane holds a master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Juilliard School, where he worked with all of the Juilliard orchestral ensembles; highlights include numerous orchestral performances in Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Bruno Walter Auditorium, and Paul Hall. Mr. Tzigane conducted the Western Hemisphere performance of Hungarian composer Gyula Csapó’s "Tundragobelin" for the Magyar Legacy 2007 FOCUS! Festival at the Juilliard School. Mr. Tzigane is the recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship at the Juilliard School, where he was a student of James DePreist.

Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC

Founded by Jenny Clarke in 2003, Melodia explores, performs and promotes rarely heard women’s choral music, including classical, contemporary and premiere works. Central to our mission is a commitment to create opportunities for women musicians and composers including through our annual composers’ commissioning program. Under the direction of conductor Cynthia Powell since its inception, the ensemble aspires to achieve the highest level of performance while offering innovative programs that appeal to broad audiences.

Jiwon Evelyn Kwark

Jiwon Evelyn Kwark made her solo debut at the age of 9 with the Amabile Orchestra in South Korea. Since then, she has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States, including Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, South Coast Symphony, Palisade Symphony Orchestra, and Chungnam State Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea. She also was the grand-prize winner of International Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival and ‘Tomorrow’s Stars at the Center’ of the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Ms. Kwark has received scholarships from Leni Fe Bland Scholarship, Westside Committee Scholarship of LA Philharmonic orchestra, and Young Musicians Foundation.

As an active chamber musician, she has performed with ensembles in Young Musicians Foundation Chamber Music, Sarasota Music Festival, and Bowdoin Music Festival, working with renowned musicians including Claude Frank, Nicholas Mann, Alice and Eleanore Shoenfeld, and Mark Kaplan, as well as members of Tokyo Quartet, Ying Quartet, and American String Quartet. Her trios and quartets have won many chamber competitions including the Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival and were broadcasted live on radio KMZT in Los Angeles numerous times. In December 2012, her string quartet at Manhattan School of Music (MSM) performed at MSM’s Winter Chamber Music Festival as the winner of Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition. As a selected recent graduate of as Yale School of Music, Ms. Kwark was invited to perform with the Yale School of Music (YSM) faculty for "Serenades and Metamorphosis" Concert at Sprague Hall, New Haven, Connecticut and Zankel Hall of Carnegie Hall, New York. Committed to modern music, Ms. Kwark premiered the up-and-coming composer Michael Lee’s Capriccio for Violin and Piano, A Voice in the Waves, at The Juilliard School. The composer wrote the piece for Evelyn, having been inspired by her earlier performance of his String Quintet. Ms. Kwark’s recording of Mr. Lee’s Capriccio was released in Millennial Masters Vol. 2 as the winner of Millennial Masters Master tape prize, available on Amazon.

Urara Mogi and Scott Gerhardt

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