Close Encounters With Music

Artist Bios 2018-2019 Season

The American Brass Quintet is internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time, celebrated for peerless leadership in the brass world. As 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field, ABQ’s rich history includes performances in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and all fifty U.S. states; a discography of nearly sixty recordings; and the premieres of over one hundred fifty contemporary brass works. ABQ commissions by Robert Beaser, William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Eric Ewazen, David Sampson, Gunther Schuller, William Schuman, Joan Tower, and Charles Whittenberg, among many others, are considered significant contributions to contemporary chamber music and the foundation of the modern brass quintet repertoire. The ABQ’s Emerging Composer Commissioning program has further brought forth brass quintets by Gordon Beeferman, Jay Greenberg, Trevor Gureckis and Shafer Mahoney. Among the quintet’s recordings are eleven CDs for Summit Records since 1992 including their 50th release State of the Art—The ABQ at 50 featuring recent works written for them. Committed to the promotion of brass chamber music through education, the American Brass Quintet has been in residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970. Since 2000 the ABQ has offered its expertise in chamber music performance and training to young players with a program of mini-residencies as part of its regular touring.


Caryl Clark is Professor of Music History and Culture at the University of Toronto. She studied music history at the University of Western Ontario, McGill University, and Cornell University, and holds diplomas in piano performance and pedagogy from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College
of Music, London. Her research and teaching interests include enlightenment aesthetics, gender and ethnicity in opera, the politics of musical reception, Haydn studies and the social history of keyboard instruments. Author of Haydn’s Jews: Representation and Reception on the Operatic Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and commissioning editor for the Cambridge Companion to Haydn (Cambridge University Press, 2005), she is currently writing a book on Haydn, Orpheus and the French Revolution, and co-editing the Cambridge Haydn Encyclopedia. Clark has held four SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) grants for projects on eighteenth-century musical topics, and a Halbert Foundation grant with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem investigating the Jewish diaspora in music, theatre, and culture. She is also a DAAD (Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst) alumna. Her current SSHRC Insight Grant explores Joseph Haydn’s interactions with musical, theatrical, political, and visual culture in 1790s London in relation to British anxieties about the revolution in France. As co-chair of The Opera Exchange, a partnership between the Canadian Opera Company and Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, she has co-organized over forty educational symposia probing opera from multidisciplinary perspectives. She is a fellow of Trinity College, and holds cross-appointments with the Graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, the Centre for Comparative Literature, the Department of Germanic Languages, and the Centre for Jewish Studies.
 
The Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, recently presenting the complete Zemlinsky Quartets Cycle in a concert streamed live from the Rose Studio. In 2013, they became one of the very few chamber ensembles to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Within months of its founding in 2005, the ensemble came to the attention of key musical figures worldwide. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, they were invited by both Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist’s summer festival: the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre; and the Perlman Chamber Music Programme on Shelter Island, NY. The quartet has since collaborated with artists including Leon Fleischer, Joshua Bell, Vilde Frang and David Shifrin. The Escher has played throughout Europe, in halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus and for the Les Grands Interprètes series in Geneva. Last season also saw debuts at London’s Kings Place, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, and festival appearances at Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses and the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway. Alongside its growing European profile, the Escher continues to flourish in the U.S., performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Ravinia and Caramoor festivals. The ensemble made its first Australian appearance at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2012, and last season made its debut at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. Return engagements took them to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel and the Campos do Jordão Music Festival in Brazil. Their set of the complete Mendelssohn quartets on the BIS label has been received with the highest critical acclaim; Volume II was hailed for its “sheer finesse” by Gramophone. The Escher Quartet takes its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.

 

“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most exciting, communicative and poetic artists of her generation through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well as genre-bending, interdisciplinary projects. Following acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Her 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR Classics drew rave reviews: the disc’s pre-viewer on WTT W Chicago called her “High priestess of the piano…as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” Her MSR Classics CD Sound of Verse featured largely unknown music of Boris Pasternak and works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Ms. Faliks’ distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti engagements throughout the U.S., Asia, and Europe, performing at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in the festivals of Verbier, Portland International, Music in the Mountains, Brevard, Taos and Chautauqua. Highlights of recent seasons include a 2016 tour of China, with appearances at the Beijing Center for Performing Arts, Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater and Tianjin Grand Theatre; in the Fazioli Series in Italy and Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum. Faliks is founder and curator of the of the Manhattan Arts Council award-winning poetry-music series “Music/Words,” creating performances in collaboration with distinguished poets. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in Admission—One
Shilling, a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. She went on to create a one-woman show, performing at Baruch Performance Center’s “Solo in the City—Jewish Women, Jewish Stars” Festival in NYC, and at the Ebell of Los Angeles, where she gave the premiere of “Polonaise-Fantaisie, Story of a Pianist,” an autobiographical monologue for pianist and actress. A recent collaboration with WordTheatre features today’s leading screen actors in literary readings. Constantly in dialogue with today’s composers, she is the creator of the “Reimagine: Ravel and Beethoven” project, where composers such as Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres and Paola Prestini are writing works for her in response to Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and Beethoven’s Bagatelles opus 126. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA.
 
Double bassist and composer David Grossman enjoys a multifaceted musical career on both the East and West Coasts—as a bassist in the New York Philharmonic (having joined in spring 2000 as its youngest member) and as newly appointed principal bass of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist and clinician, Mr. Grossman has given recitals and master classes at prestigious venues and music schools across the country, including the Boston Conservatory, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, The Hartt School, Penn State University, and the New York Summer Music Festival. He has released two albums—one classical and one jazz—titled The Bass of Both Worlds. An ardent educator, he is a member of the double bass faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and joined the Mannes School of Music in fall 2017. Also a passionate chamber musician, he performs in the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series at Merkin Concert Hall and has appeared at 92nd Street Y and with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the field of jazz, Mr. Grossman was a member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and has performed with Wynton Marsalis. As a composer, his compositions include Mood Swings for trombone and double bass, written for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi; Fantasy on “Shall We Gather at the River?”, available on former New York Philharmonic English Horn Thomas Stacy’s recording Plaintive Melody; and two early compositions, Swing Quartet and String Quintet No. 1, which were premiered by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


 

First-prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style,” and by the Washington Post for her “stunning command of the keyboard.” Lee has been guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony in the U.S.; the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulsan Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta de Valencia (Spain) and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Otto-Werner Mueller. Recent recital appearances have been at New York’s Zankel, Weill, Merkin and Alice Tully halls; Washington’s Kennedy Center, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Stars” series, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid (part of a 13-city tour of Spain), and Finland’s Mänttä Music Festival. An active chamber musician, she frequently collaborates in festivals throughout the U.S., including Santa Fe and Music Mountain. At Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, her performance of the Mozart Piano Trio was broadcast on PBS “Live from Lincoln Center.” A Naxos recording artist, her discography spans Scarlatti sonatas, Liszt opera transcriptions, and two volumes of Scriabin works, with upcoming releases of Clementi Sonatas. She has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, Ursula Oppens, and Jerome Lowenthal. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Lee was awarded every prize given to a pianist at Juilliard, including the William Petschek Piano Debut Award at Lincoln Center and the Arthur Rubinstein Award. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series dedicated to bringing together young professionals in New York City. Assistant Professor of Music in Piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, she lives in Cincinnati with her husband, pianist Ran Dank, and their two children, Noah and Ella.

 

Karine Lethiec holds advanced diplomas from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris as well as that of Lyon, the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and the Berne Musikschule Konservatorium. She is an award winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and teaches at the Conservatoire de la ville de Paris. With the Stradivari Quartett, she has recorded the complete Mozart quintets (Dynamic). Lethiec encourages new music by commissioning, programming and performing new works, with over 50 world premieres to her credit. She has recorded Kryštof Maratka’s Astrophonia with both the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France (France Musique) and the Talich Chamber Orchestra (Arion). Performances have taken her around the globe—to the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Athens Festival at the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Berlin Festival at Tempelhof, Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Rudolfinum in Prague. An eclectic artist, she directs the Ensemble Calliopée, currently in residence at the Musée de la Grande Guerre des Pays de Meaux (Museum of the Great War) with programs that bring together the fields of music and history. This project is supported by the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Culture. The Ensemble also partners with other museums to connect music and painting through thematic programs. This season begins a partnership with the National Museum of Archeology at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the first castle of King Louis IV, with a program connecting the origins ofmusic, from Paleolithic times to the Middle Ages. Lethiec wrote the screenplay for the film H136 on the rediscovery of a score composed by Martinu, a member of the Janácek Movement in France. She created and played the soundtrack of Don Kent’s film Juste avant l’orage. With her friend the astrophysicist Hubert Reeves she conceives performances that intertwine the cosmos and music, one of the most notable of which is “Mozart et les étoiles” (Mozart and the Stars). Ms. Lethiec plays an Italian viola from 1777.


 

Pianist Max Levinson’s career was launched when he won first prize at the Guardian Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2005, the Andrew Wolf Award for his chamber music playing. The Boston Globe proclaimed: “The questioning, conviction, and feeling in his playing invariably remind us of the deep reasons why music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much about it.” Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Uriel Segal, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival (Ouray, Colorado), he has appeared at major music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Bravo/Vail, Seattle, Killington, Vancouver, Cartagena, and Switzerland’s Davos Festival. Max Levinson garnered international accolades for his two recordings. Max Levinson, his debut recording, traces the musical lineage between Brahms, Schumann, Schönberg and Kirchner. American Record Guide declared Levinson’s second disc, Out of Doors: Piano Music of Béla Bartók “an important recording and a great one. The disc blew me out of my chair….Hearing performances as riveting as these produces a rare frisson; indeed, this is the most brilliant and exciting Bartók piano disc I have heard. On the basis of only two recordings, Mr. Levinson has created the myth of a pianist with everything.” He has experimented with internet broadcast, served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Lowell House for four years, and has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “A Note to You.” He has also taught master classes at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Harvard, MIT, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, the University of Washington, UCLA, the Colburn School, and Boston University. Mr. Levinson is chair of the Piano department at the Boston Conservatory, and is also a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.
 
American contralto Emily Marvosh has been gaining recognition for her “sterling voice” and “graceful allure,” on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Prague’s Smetana Hall, and Vienna’s Stefansdom. Following her solo debut at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 2011, she has been a frequent soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society. Other recent solo appearances include the American Bach Soloists (Messiah), Charlotte Symphony (Messiah), Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Mahler’s 3rd Symphony), Chorus Pro Musica (Stravinsky’s Les Noces), Music Worcester (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony), L’academie (Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus), Back Bay Chorale (Bach Magnificat), the Brookline Symphony (Sea Pictures) and the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe. Awards include the prestigious Adams Fellowship at the Carmel Bach Festival (2013) and the American Prize in the Oratorio and Art Song divisions (2013). She is a founding member of the Lorelei Ensemble, which promotes innovative new music for women. With Lorelei, she has enjoyed collaborations with composer David Lang, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Of a recent Lorelei performance, one critic wrote, “Marvosh, whose stage presence was a joy to behold, offered a tone that had the velvety soulfulness of a cello...”. A native of Michigan, she has created a recital program that celebrates the history and culture of her home state. The Michigan Recital Project features commissions by emerging composers and performances by fellow Michiganders. Recent ensemble appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival under the direction of Helmut Rilling, the Bachakademie Stuttgart, Portland Baroque Orchestra, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Boston Camerata, the Skylark Chamber Ensemble, the Yale Choral Artists, and Cambridge Concentus. Miss Marvosh can be heard on two recent Grammynominated recordings: Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Seraphic Fire, and Prayers and Remembrances with True Concord Voices and Orchestra. She holds degrees from Central Michigan University and Boston University.

 

Praised by the Boston Globe as “not just a virtuoso, but an artist,” Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. She achieved early international acclaim as an outstanding young soloist, recitalist and chamber musician winning top prizes in several prestigious international violin competitions including the Montreal, Queen Elizabeth, Pro Musicis, Presser Music Award, and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association. Recent solo engagements include appearances with the Boston Pops, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), Syracuse Symphony, Metropolitan Orchestra (Montreal), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria, S. Africa), Romanian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), and the Boston Philharmonic. In 2013, Muresanu introduced her “Four Strings Around the World” project, a solo violin recital featuring works of composers inspired by various musical cultures around the world. In November 2015 she received a Creative and Performing Arts Award from the University of Maryland that will allow the commissioning of new works for this project. Her recent recording releases include the Thomas Oboe Lee’s Violin Concerto (dedicated to Ms. Muresanu) on the BMOP label and the complete William Bolcom Violin and Piano Sonatas on the Centaur label with pianist Michael Lewin. An active chamber musician and recitalist, Ms. Muresanu is a member of the Boston Trio. Festival appearances have included Bay Chambers and Bowdoin in Maine, Strings in the Mountains and San Juan Music Festival in Colorado, Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, Festival van de Leie in Belgium, and the Renncontres des Musiciennes Festival in France. Irina Muresanu currently serves on the faculty the University of Maryland and Boston Conservatory and has taught in the Harvard and MIT music departments. She received an Artist Diploma degree and a Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory. She plays an 1849 Giuseppe Rocca violin and an Etienne Pajeot bow.

 
Educated both in Israel and the United States, Tamar Muskal’s music harmonizes the unique cultural aspects of both places, writing in carefully structured counterpoint style. Ms. Muskal studied viola, music theory and composition at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem and earned her BA in 1991, studying with Mark Kopytman. She subsequently earned her master’s degree from Yale University, where she studied with Jacob Druckman and Martin Bresnick. At the City University of New York, she studied with David Del Tredici and Tania Leon. Recent and future commissions include a double concerto for saxophone and viola for the Williamsport Symphony, an orchestral piece for the Idyllwild Arts Academy, music for a documentary film about finding the cure for blindness narrated by Robert Redford, a song cycle commissioned by ASCAP, a piece for percussionist Steve Schick and to accompany a visual work by Daniel Rozin. Also noteworthy are music for the historic film La Venganza de Pancho Villa for string quartet and a Mexican musicians band (a collaboration with the Library of Congress), a piano solo piece for Benjamin Hochman for the New York 92nd Street Y, and a piece for Lucy Shelton and the Colorado String Quartet on text by poet Hanoch Levin. Ms. Muskal served as the Westchester Philharmonic’s education composer-in-residence, and in that capacity composed three orchestral pieces based on students’ artwork and poetry. Ms. Muskal also focuses on music for theater. Recent works include Angels in America performed in Cincinnati, The Labor of Life and The Seven Beggars performed at La Mama Theater in New York, and Cristabel and Trojan Women performed in New Haven.

 

The eloquent pianist Roman Rabinovich, a top prizewinner at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in 2008, has since been highly lauded by the international press. He has performed throughout Europe and the U.S. in venues such as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Millennium Stage of Kennedy Center. Rabinovich has participated in such festivals as Marlboro, Lucerne, Davos, Prague Spring, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, and Mecklenburg- Vorpommern. In 2017-18, he made debuts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington, as well as with the NFM Leopoldinum, Szczecin Philharmonic and Radom Chamber Orchestras in Poland, and Sinfonia Boca Raton under James Judd. He also returned to Wigmore Hall twice, both for a solo recital and with violinist Liza Ferschtman, and made his recital debuts for Washington Performing Arts, the Janácek May International Music Festival and the Chamber Music Festival of the Liszt Academy. In 2015, pianist Sir András Schiff chose Rabinovich for the inaugural “Building Bridges” series, created to highlight young pianists of unusual promise. As Artist in Residence at the Lammermuir Festival in Scotland in September 2016, he presented a “Haydn Marathon” performing 25 Haydn sonatas in five days, part of an ongoing exploration of Haydn’s piano music. Roman Rabinovich made his Israel Philharmonic debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age ten and appeared again as soloist with the same forces in 1999 and 2003. He has been heard as soloist with all the Israeli orchestras, the Polish Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Prague Symphony, Dohnányi Orchestra and many others. Born in Tashkent, he immigrated to Israel with his family in 1994, beginning his studies there with Irena Vishnevitsky and Arie Vardi; he went on to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Seymour Lipkin, and earned his master’s degree at the Juilliard School with Robert McDonald. A gifted visual artist, he often illustrates his programs with his own artwork.

Acclaimed by the New York Times as an “extraordinary violist” of “immense flair,” Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. Mr. Scheindlin has recorded extensively for EMI, Teldec, Auvidis, and Mode, and won the Gramophone Award in 2002 for the Arditti Quartet’s recording of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Pulse Shadows. As a member of the Arditti Quartet, he gave nearly 100 world premières, among them new works by Benjamin Britten, Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, Thomas Adès and Wolfgang Rihm. He has also been broadcast on NPR, BBC, CBC, and on German, French, Swiss, Austrian, Dutch and Belgian national radio networks. Dov Scheindlin was raised in New York City, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes and William Lincer at the Juilliard School. He has taught viola and chamber music at Harvard, Wilfrid Laurier University and Tanglewood. He regularly participates in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles. His chamber music partners have included members of the Juilliard, Alban Berg, Tokyo, and Borodin String Quartets, as well as concertmasters of many major symphony orchestras. He plays a viola made by Francesco Bissolotti in 1975.

 

Hagai Shaham is internationally recognized as one of the astonishing young violinists who have emerged from Israel in recent years. He began studying the violin at the age of six and was the last student of the renowned Professor Ilona Feher. He also studied with Elisha Kagan, Emanuel Borok, Arnold Steinhardt and the Guarneri Quartet. In addition to winning first prize at the ARD International Competition in Munich in the violin-piano duo category with his duo partner Arnon Erez, Shaham’s other awards include first prizes at the Ilona Kornhouser competition, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Young Artist competition, The Tel-Aviv Rubin Academy competition, four Clairmont Awards, and annual scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation. As a soloist he has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Belgian National Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique Francais; Taipei, Singapore and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, SWF Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, Slovak and Belgrade Philharmonic, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. In 1985 he was invited to join Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zukerman in a gala concert at Carnegie Hall, following which, Zubin Mehta invited him to perform Brahms’ Double Concerto at Carnegie Hall. Hagai Shaham is a professor at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, and his master classes in Europe and Israel attract a great many students. Together with his colleague, violinist Ittai Shapira, he is co-founder of The Ilona Feher Foundation.

 

Known for his “rich tone and lyrical acumen” (Chicago Tribune), violist MICHAEL ISAAC STRAUSS has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, in chamber music, and in symphonic settings. His love for the intimate concert setting has led to performances on concert series, live radio broadcasts, and festival appearances across Europe, North America, and Asia. A former member of the distinguished Fine Arts Quartet, Strauss made several European and domestic tours with them, as well as a critically acclaimed recording of Mozart’s complete viola quintets on the Lyrinx label. He is a founding member of the new Indianapolis Quartet, in residence at the University of Indianapolis since 2016, where he also serves on the faculty. Strauss has also taught at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music since 2016 and is the violist for the Dana Piano Quartet, in residence at Youngstown State University. Strauss’ solo work is featured on several CDs—the debut recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Sonata, David Finko’s Viola Concerto, Stamitz’s works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur), and the Suzuki Viola School CDs, Volumes 8 and 9. He has also recorded chamber works by living composers with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001, the complete string quintets by Mozart with the Fine Arts Quartet, and he recently released Wordless Verses (Naxos)—trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano with the Jackson Trio. Strauss was principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years and has served on the faculty of several prominent schools including Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and performs on a viola attributed to Matteo Albani of Bolzano, Italy in 1704.


 

Recent highlights for soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad include Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans evicta Holofernis barbarie (Abra and Ozias), Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (La Fortuna, Giunone; Grammy-nominated recording with Linn Records) and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (First Lady) with Boston Baroque. She has made appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society in Bach’s St. John Passion and Purcell’s Fairy Queen; Porpora’s Calcanta ed Achille for A Far Cry; Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Blue Hill Bach Festival (Galatea); Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 for high soprano with the Boston Modern Orchestra Projects and her Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts, both with the New York City Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Tengblad has also made appearances with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and Minnesota’s Oratory Bach. A champion of new music, she curated Modern Dickinson, a program featuring all 21st century settings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was nominated for four Austin, TX Critic’s Table Awards. She has appeared with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and premiered Shirish Korde’s Questions for the Moon with members of the Silk Road Ensemble. Ms. Tengblad performs with the Grammy-winning ensemble Conspirare in Austin and Boston’s Blue Heron and Lorelei Ensemble, which enjoyed their debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Other highlights include Caccini’s Alcina with the Boston Early Music Festival, Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Drusilla, Fortuna) and Handel’s Jeptha (Angel) with Boston Baroque, national tours of Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, as well as Debussy and Puccini with the Lorelei Ensemble and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

 
Xiao-Dong Wang has been called the most talented violinist to emerge from China. He began his studies at age 3 with his father, concertmaster of the Shanghai Symphony; he then studied with the renowned teacher Zhao Ji-Yang at the Shanghai Conservatory. As first prize winner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition and the Wieniawski-Lipinski International Violin Competition at the ages of 13 and 15, he was brought to the attention of violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay who arranged a four-year scholarship at Juilliard. Mr. Wang has performed as soloist with orchestras around the world, including the London Royal Philharmonic, the London Mozart Players, Adelaide, Perth, Queensland symphony orchestras and Sydney Opera Orchestra. His recording credits include the Bartok Concerto No. 2 and Szymanowski Concerto No. 1 for Polygram. He has also appeared performing on both violin and viola in chamber music concerts at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aspen, Ravinia and festivals and music series worldwide. Wang was the resident soloist of the Shanghai Symphony for the 2012-13 season, during which he also performed as a soloist with other major Chinese orchestras, including the China Philharmonic in Beijing. He is artistic director of the chamber music group Concertante, collaborating with world renowned musicians and producing a vast number of recordings.


 

Violinist Peter Zazofsky has enjoyed a richly varied career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator that spans thirty years and thirty countries on five continents. He has performed with many of the great orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta, Minnsota, and Hong Kong, collaborating with maestros Tennstedt, Ozawa, Ormandy, Kurt Sanderling and Charles Dutoit. As a recitalist, Mr. Zazofsky has given innovative programs in Carnegie Hall, Sala Cecilia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aries. He also tours the world’s music centers as first violinist of the Muir String Quartet, for which he has performed many complete cycles of the Beethoven quartets. A native of Boston, he first studied with Joseph Silverstein before entering the Curtis Institute, where he continued with Ivan Galamian, Dorothy Delay and Jaime Laredo. Graduating in 1976, Zazofsky went on to win top prizes in several international violin contests, including the 1979 Montreal Competition and 1980 Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. He is a frequent visitor to Israel, where he has given over forty performances of concerti, from Beethoven and Sibelius to Bach, Berg and Brahms. In recent years Peter Zazofsky added several new facets to his career. He has given premieres of new works written for him by composers in Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Spain, and he recorded concerti by Robert Chumbley and Frederick van Rossum in Belgium and Poland. He has also encouraged creation of new works by American composers Joan Tower, Sheila Silver and Richard Danielpour. Long committed to teaching, Zazofsky holds the position of Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Boston University and serves as a jury member for the violin competitions in Montreal, Brussels and Odense, Denmark.
 
Hailed as a “poet of the violin” and one of the most soulful, evocative artists of his generation, Itamar Zorman is a committed chamber player and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Since his emergence with the top prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he has appeared with major orchestras across the world, including the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Tokyo Syphony in Japan’s Suntory Hall, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse in France, the Israel Philharmonic, as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Russsian State Symphony Orchestra “Novaya Rossiya.” This season, Zorman will appear with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern and in his own solo program “Four Seasons
around the Globe,” with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. As part of an ongoing exploration of the music of Paul Ben-Haim, he is recording a CD of the works for violin and orchestra with BBC National Orchestra of Wales for BIS Records. Zorman is a founding member of the Israeli Chamber Projects and a member of the Lysander Piano Trio, with which he won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prize in the 2011 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and a bronze medal in the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Mr. Zorman began his studies at the age of six at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and received his BM degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as a student of Hagai Shaham, his MM from The Julliard School in 2009, and Artist Diplomas from the Manhattan School of Music in 2010 and from Julliard in 2012. He is also an alumnus of the Kronberg Academy where he studied with Christian Tetzlaff. He plays on a Guarneri Del Jesu from 1734, from the collection of Yehuda Zisapel.


 
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