Yehuda Hanani (Artistic Director)
Named “one of the most polished performers of the post-Starker generation and a consistently expressive artist” by The New York Times, Yehuda Hanani’s charismatic playing and profound interpretations bring him acclaim and reengagements across the globe. He has won wide international acclaim as soloist, chamber musician and inspiring pedagogue, and serves on the faculty at the Mannes School in New York City. His concerto appearances have been with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, Irish National Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Taipei and Seoul symphonies among many other orchestras, and he has toured with I Solisti de Zagreb, conducting from the cello. A frequent guest at Aspen, Bowdoin, Chautauqua, Yale at Norfolk, Great Lakes, Casals Prades, Finland Festival, Ottawa, Oslo, Round Top Institute, Manchester, and the Australia Chamber Music festivals, he has collaborated in performances with preeminent fellow musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Dawn Upshaw, Yefim Bronfman, Eliot Fisk, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Escher, Dover, Ariel, Colorado, and Manhattan quartets. His recording of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, and on CD and in live performances, he has given premières of works of Nikolai Miaskovsky, Lukas Foss, Leo Ornstein, Paul Schoenfield, Thea Musgrave, Joan Tower, Eduard Franck, Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach, Tamar Muskal, Virgil Thomson, William Perry and Pulitzer Prize winners Bernard Rands and Zhou Long. In New York City, he has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully, and the Metropolitan Museum. Among the early designers and proponents of thematic programming, his engaging chamber music with commentary series, Close Encounters With Music, has captivated audiences from Miami to Kansas City, Omaha, Detroit, Calgary, Scottsdale, the Berkshires, and at the Frick Collection in New York City. A three-time recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller grant, Mr. Hanani’s studies were with Leonard Rose at Juilliard and with Pablo Casals. He has inspired scores of cellists as Professor of Cello at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and previously served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. Artistic director of Berkshire High Peaks Festival, he presents master classes internationally at conservatories and for orchestras, including the Juilliard School, University of Indiana at Bloomington, New England Conservatory, McGill University, Paris Conservatoire, Berlin Hochschule für Music, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School in London, Tokyo National University, Jerusalem Academy of Music, the Central Conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and the New World Symphony in Miami. In recognition of his distinguished teaching, he was given the title of honorary professor of the Tianjin Conservatory, China. His objective is to instill a sense of wonder and adventure in young musicians, to lead them to technical mastery and bridge tradition with innovation.
Charles Castleman, one of the world’s most active performer/pedagogues on the violin, has been soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai. Medalist at Tchaikovsky and Brussels. Mr. Castleman was the second violinist ever to record the Ysaye Solo Sonatas complete (for Nonesuch). His other solo CDs include works by Hubay for violin and orchestra, and ten Sarasate virtuoso cameos for the Music and Arts label;, Gershwin and Antheil for Music Masters; and contemporary violin and harpsichord music for Albany Records. Selected by the Ford Foundation as one of the sixteen most important Concert Artists under the age of 35, he commissioned the David Amram Concerto, premiering it with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, and recording it for Newport Classic. Charles Castleman has performed at such international festivals as Marlboro, AFCM (Australia), Budapest, Montreux, Shanghai, and the Vienna Festwoche. His recitals have been broadcast on NPR, BBC, in Berlin and in Paris. Professor at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Mr. Castleman has conducted master classes in London, Vienna, Helsinki, Kiev, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and all major cities in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His students, who have been winners at Brussels, Munich, Naumburg and Szeryng competitions, are members numerous chamber groups and first desk players in eleven major orchestras. He is founder/director of The Castleman Quartet Program, now in its 50th season S.U.N.Y Fredonia, and Linfield College in McMinnville Oregon. Yo-Yo Ma has praised it as “the best program of its kind—a training ground in lifemanship.” As a member of the Raphael Trio and New String Trio of New York, he recorded CDs of Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Wolf-Ferrari and presented premieres by Rainer Bischof and Frederic Rzewski for the Vienna Festival and Kennedy Center. Castleman earned degrees from Harvard, Curtis, and the University of Pennsylvania. His teachers were Emanuel Ondricek (teaching assistant of Sevcik, Ysaye student) and Ivan Galamian, his most influential coaches David Oistrakh, Szeryng, and Gingold. He plays the “Marquis de Champeaux” Stradivarius.
John Esposito (Visiting faculty, The Art of Improvisation) is an American pianist/composer/drummer/producer who works on a wide array of creative music projects. His technical skills and the range of his artistic palette extend across the stylistic boundaries of the stride piano, swing, bebop, modal, and free music movements. He has performed and recorded with artists including Nick Brignola, Dave Douglas, Dave Holland, Carter Jefferson, Franklin Kiermyer, Joe Lovano, J. R. Monterose, David “Fathead” Newman, Eric Person, Arthur Rhames, Sam Rivers, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders, and John Stubblefield. Esposito is the owner/executive producer of the independent label Sunjump Records, and has created music for theater, dance, film, TV commercials, and multimedia performance art. He is a visiting full-time assistant professor and artist in residence at Bard College and resides in New York State’s Hudson Valley. Gigs include NYC club appearances at the Blue Note, the Knitting Factory, and Visiones; tours of jazz festivals and clubs including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Billy Higgins Festival (Fresno), Savannah Jazz Festival, Texaco Jazz Festival (NYC), Newport/Friehoffer Jazz Festival (Saratoga Springs), Ford/Montreux Festival (Detroit), Newport Jazz Festival (NYC), and the Bell/Atlantic Festival (NYC). Media performances include a broadcast of the Detroit Montreux concert on Branford Marsalis’s Jazz Set on NPR. Esposito appeared on Eric Person CDs Extra Pressure (2000), Live at Big Sur (2003), and Reflections (2006) with Dave Douglas and Kenny Davis. He toured with Eric Person’s Meta Four in performances at the Guimaraes Jazz Festival (Portugal), the Blue Note (NYC), Big Sur Jazz Festival, Blues Alley (Washington, D.C.), Savannah Jazz Festival, Jazz Factory (Louisville), Brooklyn Academy of Music, and dozens of clubs, concerts, and workshops at colleges across the United States. Featured media performances have included a Knitting Factory concert and interview on BET Jazz and webcasts from the Blue Note and Knitting Factory.
After many years of performing in the United States and Europe, Argentine cellist Diego Fainguersch returned to Buenos Aires in 2010 to fulfill the position of principal cello with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Teatro Colon. Until that time, he was a member of the Carpe Diem String Quartet. This critically acclaimed ensemble served as the quartet in residence at Ohio Weslyan University, initiated the summer festival Scale the Summit, toured internationally with innovative programs, participated in community educational programs, and played for numerous recordings by Naxos and other labels. Diego Fainguersch has played with the Symphony, Ballet, and Chamber Orchestras of Cincinnati as well as having served as principal cello in many regional orchestras in Ohio and Pennsylvania. As a sought-after soloist, his interpretations of Haydn and Dvorak have captivated audiences. He has performed in some of the world’s top music festivals, including the Curitiba Music Academy (Brazil), Roman-sur-Isere (France), the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), and Domaine Forget (Canada). Now professor of cello at the Institute of Art at the Teatro Colon, he previously served as professor in two of Buenos Aires’ State Conservatories. In the United States he taught in the Preparatory Department of the University of Cincinnati and at Ohio Weslyan. In addition to being invited to fulfill the position of adjunct professor in 2012 at CCM as a sabbatical replacement for Yehuda Hanani, he had served as assistant to him for several years, as well as to David Premo at Carnegie Mellon University. First prize winner of the 2006 Concerto Competition and 2007 Chamber Music Contest at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Mr. Fainguersch is also recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Fulbright and Antorchas Foundation Music Scholarships. In great demand as a teacher, he has led master classes and music festivals throughout North and South America. His teachers have included Yehuda Hanani at CCM, David Premo and Ann M. Williams at Carnegie Mellon University, Patrick Gabard at the Lyon Conservatory in France, and Wladimir Glagol at the National Conservatory of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He has participated in master classes led by M. Rostropovich, W. Strehle, P. Muller, and Y. Chiffoleau. He plays a cello made by George Gemunder in 1887.
A versatile musician who has captivated audiences around the world with her artistry, pianist Gila Goldstein has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Korea, the Philippines, Europe and Israel. Notable performances included the Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta Da Camera in Mexico City as well as recitals and concerts at Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall in New York City, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Beijing Concert Hall in China, Seoul National University in Korea, the Purcell Room at the South Bank Center in London, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Musée de Louvre and Cité des Arts in Paris, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Gardner Museum and Tsai Performing Center in Boston, Dame Myra Hess concert series, Ravinia’s “Rising Stars” Series and Symphony Hall in Chicago, ”Great Performances“ series in St. Louis, Israel’s Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum, among others. A Board member of the American Liszt Society (ALS) and the Founder-President of its New York Chapter since 1992, she has been a frequent guest performer at the ALS annual festivals around the United States and Canada. She also performed at festivals such as La Jolla, Yellow Barn, Sonus, Summit, Colburn, OpusFest, Jewish Music Festivals in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and London and the Israel Festival. Gila Goldstein has been a sought-after pedagogue for nearly two decades and has given numerous master classes in the US, China and Korea. She is currently a member of the piano faculty at Longy School of Music in Boston and at Brown University, where she serves as the director of piano studies. Previous teaching positions included Boston University, BU Tanglewood Institute and New York University. A champion of the music of Israel’s leading composer Paul Ben-Haim for over two decades, Ms. Goldstein has recorded two volumes of his entire piano and chamber works on the Centaur label. She obtained her music degrees in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Nina Svetlanova and at Tel-Aviv University School of Music, with Victor Derevianko, both disciples of the legendary pianist and pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus.
Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, violinist/violist Ara Gregorian made his New York recital debut in 1996 in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall in 1997. He has since established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of his generation with performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and in major metropolitan cities throughout the world including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Helsinki. Throughout his career, Gregorian has taken an active role as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season, and has appeared at festivals worldwide including the SpringLight (Finland), Storioni (Holland), Summer Solstice (Canada), Casals (Puerto Rico), Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee (Israel), Bard, Bravo! Vail Valley, Taos, Beethoven Institute, Santa Fe, Skaneateles, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Cactus Pear, Wintergreen, Mt. Desert, Chesapeake, Madeline Island, Kingston, Manchester and Strings in the Mountains festivals. He is a member of the Cooperstown Quartet, has performed extensively as a member of Concertante and the Daedalus Quartet, and has recorded for National Public Radio, New York’s WQXR radio station, and the Bridge and Kleos labels. An active and committed teacher, Gregorian is the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Distinguished Professor in Music at East Carolina University where he has been on the violin/viola faculty since 1998. He has taught at numerous summer festivals and seminars and has taken a leading role in creating performing opportunities that bring together talented students, young professionals and world-renowned musicians through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Next Gen on the Road, Summer Chamber Music Institute and Winter Workshop initiatives.
Ross Harbaugh is Professor of Cello at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, and cellist of the Bergonzi String Quartet. His distinguished teachers include Janos Starker, Peter Howard and Leonard Rose in the United States and Andre Navarra at the Paris Conservatory, as well as chamber music study with the Juilliard Quartet. As a founding member of the New World Quartet, he won the Naumburg Prize, a Prix du Disque, and recorded 20 records and CDs for Vox, MCI Classic and IMP Masters, CRI, Centaur, Fleur de Son, and Musical Heritage labels. He was also instrumental in establishing the Blodgett Concert Series at Harvard. Harbaugh has appeared in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Wigmore Hall in London, and has concertized with such artists as Leonard Rose, Bill Preucil, Richard Goode, Jeffrey Kahane, Raphael Hillyer, Joel Krosnick, Jerome Rose, Gil Kalish, and the Guarneri Quartet. He has soloed with the Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati and Toledo Symphonies, among many others, and appears nationally in recital each year. His teaching experience includes stints at Harvard University, University of Michigan, and Interlochen, with master classes at Yale and Brown Universities. Mr. Harbaugh presents workshops in ensemble communication and gives cello workshops throughout the country. He has authored numerous articles for American String Teacher, The Strad, and is Editor of the American String Teacher’s Chamber Music Forum. He has served as a judge for the Fischoff Chamber music Competition, Stulberg Competition, and Fulbright Awards for Graduate Study Abroad. He has performed and taught at Cabrillo, Interlochen, the Margess Institute in Switzerland, the Castleman Quartet Program, Green Lake Chamber Music Festival, ORFEO Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy, and Cellos at Belle Serre in France.
Known for her musical sensitivity and deeply engaging performances that transport audiences beyond mere technical virtuosity, violinist Hye-Jin Kim leads a versatile career as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician since her First Prize win at the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition at the age of nineteen and a subsequent win at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Kim has performed as soloist with major orchestras worldwide including the Philadelphia, New Jersey Symphony, New Haven Symphony, BBC Concert (UK), Seoul Philharmonic (Korea), Pan Asia Symphony (Hong Kong), and Hannover Chamber (Germany). She has appeared in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Kimmel Center Verizon Hall, the Kravis Center, Salzburg’s Mirabel Schloss, and Wigmore Hall in London. At the invitation of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she performed at the U.N. Headquarters in both Geneva and New York and served as a cultural representative for Korea in Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan through concerts and outreach engagements. A passionate chamber musician, Kim appears in notable chamber music festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Four Seasons, Music from Angel Fire, [email protected], Seoul Spring, Bridgehampton, Music in the Vineyards and Prussia Cove in England. A dedicated teacher for the next generation of musicians, she presents master classes throughout the US and is invited as a jury member in notable international and national competitions. Born in Seoul, Hye-Jin Kim entered the Curtis Institute at age fourteen and earned her master’s degree at New England Conservatory. Her debut CD with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, “From the Homeland,” featuring works by Debussy, Smetana, Sibelius, and Janacek is available on CAG Records. She is Associate Professor of Violin at East Carolina University and a member of the Cooperstown Quartet. Kim is the creator of Lullaby Dreams, a project that brings beauty and humanity to the hospital experience of babies, families and medical staff in neonatal intensive care units and children’s hospitals through music.
A native of Taiwan, Ching-Yi Lin (Associate Faculty) quickly established himself after winning the First Prize and Commissioned Prize at the Taipei Taiwan International Piano Competition. He was awarded Second Prize at the 2022 Texas State International Piano Competition, performing with the Central Texas Philharmonic and Second Prize at the 2022 International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington D.C. His other major prizes in both regional and international competitions include the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Singapore, Marbella International Piano Competition, Metropolitan International Piano Competition, New York International Artist Association Competition, and the Wonderlic Piano Competition in Baltimore. In 2017, he was named winner of the Taiwanese Chapter of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Society. In addition to his solo engagement, Lin has collaborated with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, violinists Giora Schimidt and Audrey Wright, cellist Yehuda Hanani, pianist Alexander Shtarkman, and composers Wuan-Chin Li and Woody Lissauer at venues such as Centro Municipal de Musica y Danza de Malaga, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Mariam A. Friedberg Concert Hall in Baltimore, the New York Opera Center, Taiwan National Concert Hall and the Taiwan KHS hall. A dedicated music educator, Ching-Yi was appointed a faculty associate at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, giving piano instruction to both undergraduate and graduate students. In 2021, he was selected to participate in an “Interplay Program,” presenting master classes at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. Festivals include the Kirov International Music Festival, and he joinins the faculty of Berkshire High Peaks Festival in Sheffield, MA in 2023. Lin completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Soochow University in Taiwan. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Currently, he is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Peabody as a recipient of the Richard Franko Goldman Prize in Performance under the tutelage of Alexander Shtarkman.
Sae Rom Kwon
Alexander Shtarkman’s debut recitals in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City prompted strong words of praise from audiences and critics alike. Martin Bernheimer wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “Alexander Shtarkman. Remember the name… He plays the piano with all the strength, flash and eagerness that his age would suggest. He also plays with the sensitivity and mellow refinement one associates with certain grand old men of the keyboard, most of them Russian.” James Keller of The New Yorker staff wrote of Mr. Shtarkman’s 92nd Street Y appearance – “Shtarkman’s was a debut recital of importance. In fact, debuts just don’t come much better than this. Of the young pianists currently entering the international spotlight, Shtarkman is unquestionably among the most musicianly.” Recital appearances in the United States include the Ambassador Foundation, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Tisch Center for the Performing Arts, Ravinia Festival’s Rising Stars Series, San Francisco Performances, Regional Arts Foundation at the Kravis Center, The Peace Center and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Orchestral appearances include the Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta at Orchestra Hall, Northwood Festival Orchestra, Marin Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. In August 1995, Mr. Shtarkman was awarded the First Prize of the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy. As a result of this prize, he was offered over sixty recitals and orchestral engagements in Europe within the following seasons. Shtarkman is a major prizewinner of the 1989 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the 1994 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. He won the First Prize of the First Taipei International Piano Competition and was engaged for numerous concerts throughout Asia. Mr. Shtarkman performs extensively in Europe and Asia, South and North America, Russia and the former Republics of the USSR. He is a frequent guest performer at the prestigious Great and Small Halls of the Moscow Conservatory. Since 2002 Mr. Shtarkman is a member of the Piano Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Michael Isaac Strauss
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.
“It’s not often that a fortunate operagoer witnesses the birth of a star!” critics hailed soprano Danielle Talamantes’ role début as Violetta in La Traviata. Recent season found Talamantes performing in La Bohéme with Fairfax Symphony and returning to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Frasquita for their productions of Carmen. She appeared as a soloist in multiple classical masterworks including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Carnegie Hall, Verdi’s Requiem with the National Philharmonic, Fauré’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with Eugene Concert Choir, and in the National Philharmonic’s Bernstein Choral Celebration concert. Talamantes performed the role of Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Princeton Festival; Mimì in La Bohéme with the St. Petersburg (FL) Opera and Symphony of Northwest Arkansas; the title role of Susannah with Opera Roanoke; Anna in Nabucco and Frasquita in Carmen with The Met; Violetta in La Traviata with Finger Lakes Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Cedar Rapids Opera Theater; a début at Spoleto Festival USA as Sergente in Veremonda. Additional concert works include “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman!” with Close Encounters With Music in Great Barrington and at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts; Mozart’s Requiem with Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Cathedral Choral Society, and Fairfax Symphony; Brahms’ Requiem with National Philharmonic, Choralis and St. Mary’s College; Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Bach’s Magnificat, and appearances with the National Philharmonic, The City Choir of Washington, Phoenix and La Jolla symphony orchestras, United States Naval Academy, National Philharmonic, The New Choral Society, and Austin Symphony & Chorus Austin, Arizona State University’s Symphony Orchestra, Choral Artists of Sarasota and the Oratorio Society of VA. She was soprano soloist in Bob Chilcott’s Requiem at Alice Tully Hall; Dvořák’s Stabat Mater at North Carolina Master Chorale; Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Manchester Symphony Orchestra; and presented recitals and masterclasses with El Paso Pro Musica, Washington & Lee University, James Madison University and Point Loma University. Her debut album, “Canciones Españolas,” was recently released on the MSR Classics label and the album “Heaven and Earth, A Duke Ellington Songbook” has followed.
Kerry Wilkerson’s solo career has taken him from coast to coast performing major oratorios and recitals. A singer with unique evenness in register, he has been described by the Washington Post as an “exuberant” performer possessing the “amber tone of a lyric baritone with the imposing weight demanded by Handel’s low-lying writing.” He has enjoyed a celebrated career as a member of the United States Army Chorus, singing and conducting for world leaders, Supreme Court Justices, politicians and dignitaries of many nations during official ceremonies and protocol events. Wilkerson has sung professionally with the US Air Force Singing Sergeants and the critically acclaimed Robert Shaw Festival Singers in many of the most prestigious concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. He is well known to Washington, DC audiences through his solo recitals and regular guest appearances with choruses and orchestras such as the Händel Choir of Baltimore, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, City Choir of Washington, Choralis, and the Oratorio Society of Virginia. Recent seasons found him performing the role of Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Opera Roanoke, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with American University Chorus, Händel’s Messiah with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with Spokane Symphony, Faure’s Requiem with Eugene Concert Choir, Kodaly’s Te Deum with Oregon Music Festival, Bach’s B minor mass with City Choir of Washington, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Choralis and Durfle’s Requiem with the Washington Chorus. His Carnegie Hall debut was made in June of 2017, as baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Sancta Civitas, presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY). Other highlights include performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Fairfax Symphony and as a featured artist in a Bernstein & Friends concert with Close Encounters With Music in the Berkshires. Mr. Wilkerson is a member of the faculty of George Mason University.
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, Minnesota, and Hong Kong symphonies, 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, with whom 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.
One of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time, Jeffrey Zeigler has been described as “fiery” and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. He is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts, the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society’s Cultural Achievement Award. Following his eight-year tenure with the renowned Kronos Quartet, his multifaceted career has led to collaborations with a wide array of artists from Philip Glass and Tanya Tagaq to Yo-Yo Ma, from Laurie Anderson and John Corigliano to Hauschka and the Pulitzer Prize winning scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee. He has also performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Royal Danish Radio Symphony, New Century Chamber Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra under the batons of Peter Oundjian, JoAnn Falletta, Dennis Russell Davies and Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Zeigler’s most recent solo cello album, Houses of Zodiac, is his first full collaboration with his wife, trailblazing composer Paola Prestini. It is a multimedia experience that takes its title from the twelve houses of the zodiac and draws inspiration from explorations of the subconscious including Anaïs Nin’s House of Incest and the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Filmed by Murat Eyüboglu at MASS MoCA and Studio Polygons in Tokyo, Japan, the digital experience will feature the performances and original choreography of New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin. Other upcoming highlights include being featured in a new cello opera entitled The Old Man and the Sea directed by Karmina Silec with music by Paola Prestini. Zeigler was Music Director for two eco-documentaries that explore art, science, and community. Directed by Murat Eyüboglu, part one was entitled The Colorado and premiered at the Metropolitan Museum, Kennedy Center, Stanford Live and over 30 film festivals. Zeigler is the Label Director of National Sawdust Tracks, the in-house record label of National Sawdust, the multidisciplinary new music Brooklyn venue. He has released dozens of recordings for Nonesuch Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantaloupe, Smithsonian Folkways and National Sawdust Tracks and has appeared with Norah Jones on her album Not Too Late on Blue Note Records. He can be heard on the film soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award winning film, La Grande Bellezza, as well as Clint Mansell’s Golden Globe nominated soundtrack to the Darren Aronofsky film, The Fountain. He can also be seen making an on-screen cameo performing in Season 4 of the Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe Award winning series Mozart in the Jungle. A faculty member at the Frost School in Miami, he is on the Honorary Committee of the Sphinx Organization.
Staff: Kristine Moore
Staff: Sheila Wood
After earning her B.A. in history at UMass Amherst, Sheila Wood has gone on to work for several Berkshire area nonprofit arts organizations over the last ten years. She has been the Communications Coordinator at the Berkshire High Peaks festival for the last five. Although she now lives in the Hudson Valley of New York state, she maintains her connection to the cultural Berkshires through High Peaks and Close Encounters With Music. She values helping talented young artists take steps toward making their dream careers a reality. In addition to music (she’s a country fiddler), she participates in the arts through theater–as an actor with the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival–loves to travel, and enjoys the beautiful landscapes of the region as a hiker and cross country skier.