ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PIANO
A dazzling soloist and an ensemble partner of great sensitivity, Russian-born pianist Tatiana Goncharova has been described as a “sensational pianist” by the Providence Journal, “a musician on the threshold of a brilliant career” by the Washington Post and praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “exceptional musicianship.” Appearing on many of the world's leading stages such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kravis Center, Philadelphia's Kimmel center, LG Arts Center in Korea, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory among others, Ms. Goncharova performed extensively throughout the continents of the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Ms. Goncharova's artistry has taken her to such renowned venues as the Aspen Music Festival, Japan's Miyazaki Music Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, National Hall in Taipei, Colden Center for the Arts, Singapore Sun Festival, Caramoor and Ravinia music festivals, Montpellier Music Festival in France, as well as the Appalachian Summer Music Festival and the Great Composers Festival in Canada, to name a few. Her many collaboration with artists of international statue include the celebrated violinist Pinchas Zukerman with whom she has performed extensively, including a special duo recital in May of 2003 in Tokyo for the Empress of Japan. Her performances have been broadcast by Radio France, New York's WNYC and WQXR, nationally on PBS and NPR's Performance Today, and in Japan.
Highlights of Ms. Goncharova's recent seasons include a recital with Pinchas Zukerman in Mumbai as part of Mehli Mehta Centenary concerts as well as a performance on Svyatoslav Richter's December Nights festival in Moscow. As a soloist, she has been invited to return to the Long Island Mozart Festival for a series of five concerto performances with the Orchestre de Chambre Francais under the direction of an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Daniel Boico. In addition, Ms. Goncharova has recently been presented by the Lyric Chamber Music Society in performance of Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in E minor with the Lyric Chamber Ensemble, marking the work's American premiere. Other recent performances include Big Arts and Ridotto Series, New York's Merkin Hall, Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, New York Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, Bar Harbor and Newport Music Festivals, recital tours of Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Spain, as well as duo-recitals with Pinchas Zukerman in Taiwan, India, Japan, Russia , Korea and Singapore.
A resident artist of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, Ms. Goncharova is a founding member of the acclaimed TAGI ensemble comprised of the internationally renowned clarinetist Igor Begelman, violinist/violist Grigory Kalinovsky and cellist Sophie Shao. The ensemble, which has been proclaimed as "second to none" by London's Music Web, has performed to great praise from critics and audiences alike throughout the US, with recent performances and master classes at the Chamber Music Monterrey Bay, Utica Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Des Moines, as well as the Asheville Chamber Series, Universities of South and Western Carolina, Lukas Foss's Festival of the Hamptons, Bentley College, Los Alamos Concert Series, Howland Music Center, EMMA series in Florida, and the Lyric Chamber Music Society.
Tatiana Goncharova's recording debut for Centaur Records of Dmitriy Shostakovich's Violin Sonata and 24 Preludes with violinist Grigory Kalinovksy was released to great acclaim, having been praised by the International Record Review for its “emotional intensity” and “overwhelming mastery” while the Fanfare magazine labeled it as “one of the best.”
Ms. Goncharova is currently on the faculty of Pinchas Zukerman's National Arts Center Young Artists Program in Canada, Precollege division of the Manhattan School of Music in New York, Zukerman Performance Program, Summit Music Festival and formerly at the Perlman Music Program, Fordham University and Illona Feher Festival in Israel.
Ms. Goncharova is a winner of numerous prizes and awards, including Olga Koussevitzky Piano Competition, Bergen Philharmonic Concerto Competition, Moscow Conservatory Concerto Competition and Byelorussian National Competition. She has studied with such renowned musicians as Leon Fleisher, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Oxana Yablonskaya and Eugene Malinin at the Moscow State Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PIANO
Pianist Joanne Polk was catapulted into the public eye with her recordings of the complete piano works of American composer Amy Beach (1867-1944) on the Arabesque Recordings label. Ms. Polk celebrated the centennial of Beach's Piano Concerto by giving the work its London premiere with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican Center under the baton of Paul Goodwin. A few days later, Ms. Polk performed the Piano Concerto with the Women's Philharmonic in San Francisco with conductor Apo Hsu in a performance described as "brilliant" by critic Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The first recording in the Beach series, by the still waters, received the 1998 INDIE award for best solo recording. Empress of Night, the fifth volume of Ms. Polk's survey of Beach's piano works, includes the Piano Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra, Paul Goodwin conducting. The sixth volume of the series, Morning Glories, joins Ms. Polk with the Lark Quartet in three outstanding chamber music works by Amy Beach. Two all-Beach performances at Merkin Concert Hall, which featured Joanne Polk and the Lark Quartet, were applauded by the New York Times, as they deemed Polk's performances “polished and assured.” The American Record Guide reported, “Polk and the Larks played their hearts out. We in the audience shouted ourselves hoarse with gratitude.”
Prior to recording the complete piano music of Amy Beach, Ms. Polk recorded Completely Clara: Lieder by Clara Wieck Schumann, her debut CD for Arabesque Recording, featuring Metropolitan Opera soprano Korliss Uecker. This CD was selected as a “Best of the Year” recording by The Seattle Times and was featured on Performance Today on New York Public Radio. Ms. Polk's CD for Albany Records, Callisto, features the solo piano music of Judith Lang Zaimont. Her 2007 CD titled Songs of Amy Beach, recorded with baritone Patrick Mason for Bridge Records, was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award. In 2010, Ms. Polk's two-CD set of solo piano music by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Songs for Pianofore, was released on the Newport Classic label. Ms. Polk's most recent solo piano CD, titled Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, was released in June, 2012 on the Bridge Records label.
Ms. Polk received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from The Juilliard School, and her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Manhattan School of Music. She has given master classes at many summer festivals and universities across the country, including Summit Music Festival, New York Summer Music Festival, Montclair State University, Kutztown University, and at the University of Minnesota.
Ms. Polk is a member of the piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Polk is an exclusive Steinway artist.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, MUSIC HISTORY
Dr. Jeffrey Langford received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the music history faculty of Manhattan School of Music in 1982, after teaching at Skidmore College for six years. He presently serves as Chair of the Music History Department and as Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies. Dr. Langford has devoted much of his research and writing to the music of Hector Berlioz, especially its literary and autobiographical connections. He is the author of an annotated bibliography of research materials on Berlioz titled Hector Berlioz: A Guide to Research. In addition, Dr. Langford has appeared as a pre-concert lecturer at the New York Metropolitan Opera for the past ten years, where he presents talks on both French opera and the works of Verdi. His recent book Evenings at the Opera is a collection of essays addressing the question of the relationship of music to drama in opera from Mozart to Britten. He is currently at work on a textbook titled The Symphony: A Contextual Survey, to be published by Routledge Co.
Marion Feldman is recognized as one of today's leading performers and pedagogues of cello and chamber music. She is a member of the artist faculty at New York University, Steinhardt School Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, where she teaches cello and chamber music. Along with this, she has been on the cello and chamber music faculty of Manhattan School of Music, College and Preparatory Divisions, since 1974 and the CUNY Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music since 1972. She also is a member of the faculty at the City University Graduate Center.
Miss Feldman received her training as a scholarship student at The Juilliard School, where she studied with her mentor, Luigi Silva. Additional studies were with Leonard Rose, Bernard Greenhouse, and Zara Nelsova. Chamber music tutelage was with the members of the Juilliard String Quartet,William Primrose, Artur Balsam, Louis Persinger, and Hans Letz. Later, she attended the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, ltaly, for summer courses with Andre Navarra. Following this, she coached with Marion Davies, a student of the famous Emanuel Feuermann, gaining musical and technical insight into his highly regarded approach to music-making and cello playing. Miss Feldman has appeared extensively throughout the United States and the Far East as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Included among her many engagements have been numerous recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall(Weill), Tully Hall( Lincoln Center), and Merkin Hall in New York City.
She been invited to many festivals in the Far East, among them those in Taiwan, Korea, and Mainland China. In 1992 and in 2001, she participated in government-sponsored tours of Taiwan. In addition to this, in 2001 she appeared in concert in Taipei giving master classes sponsored by the Quanta Education Foundation and the Taipei American School. This led to a collaboration for concerts at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and master classes with members of the Ars Trio Taipei. From 1993 to the present, she has appeared at many festivals in Korea. These include the Seoul Music Festival, Cheju-Halla Festival, and the Kangneung-Manhattan Festival. She was invited to be a visiting professor for the spring festival at the Soong-Sil University in Seoul, where she gave a series of master classes. During the last three summers she has taught and performed at the Dae-Jin University Festival in Seoul, Korea. Ms. Feldman was invited by the government of Mainland China to give master classes and a recital at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Marion Feldman is presently a member of the chamber group Metamorphosis, a piano quartet that is comprised of NYU faculty members.
She was for ten years a member of the New York Lyric Arts Trio. The group not only toured the United States but also founded the Downeast Chamber Music Center in Castine, Maine. The Center ran both a summer school and a chamber series which featured the trio. Later, she joined the New Manhattan Trio with the late Erick Friedman, violinist, and Joseph Seiger, pianist. She has also been a member of the Lorenzo Trio and the Aureus Ensemble.
“She cultivates an unusually large, resonant tone, and relies on a bowing technique that is constantly secure and poised.”
New York Times
“The Shostakovich Sonata, which covers an especially wide range of musical gestures, was particularly well realized with all of its diversity of expression carefully considered and convincingly unified. Miss Feldman caught the tender. capricious nature of the Beethoven most effectively, while the Chopin Sonata was phrased with real aristocratic elegance.”
New York Times
“Ms. Feldman is a strong and solid musician ... a cellist of supreme accomplishment. She is an artist of the first water, a warm communicative musician, a master of her instrument and a seasoned veteran of the concert stage. These are all qualities she holds in abundance.”
New York Times
Julian Langford began his cello studies at the age of six. He chose the cello after trying every instrument he could get his hands on and was taken by the sound of the cello even at that early age. A few years ago, Julian was a winner of National Public Radio’s From the Top, and performed on the From the Top radio program. In the same year, Julian performed the Schubert Two Cello Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and was invited to be a guest artist with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center at Damrosch Park. As a student at Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, Julian studied with renowned cellist David Soyer, from which much of his early influence and artistic approaches originate. He participated in a master class taught by distinguished cellist Steven Isserlis.
Julian has participated in many summer festivals, including Boston University Tanglewood Institute (where he was one of three cellists selected to be principal cellist of the Young Artists Orchestra), the Heifetz International Music Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival, Zuckerman Young Artist’s Program in Ottawa, Canada, and Orford Arts Centre Cello Master Class Program. During these festivals, Julian was able to work with some inspiring cellists and chamber groups including Amit Peled, Raph Kirshbaum, Paul Katz, Steven Doane, Hans Jorgen-Jensen, Michel Strauss from the Paris Conservatory, Jerry Grossman of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Enso Quartet and the Chiara Quartet.
In 2014, Julian attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he was awarded an orchestral fellowship and was selected as a principal cellist. In 2015, he attended the Your Body Is Your Strad program at the National Summer Cello Institute in Madison, Wisconsin with esteemed cellists Tim Eddy and Paul Katz. This program was a fascinating combination of master classes, solo performance opportunities, and Feldenkrais. This gave him a completely different perspective on the physicality of musical performance. He is currently a member of the faculty at Manhattan in the Mountains Summer Music Festival in Hunter, NY.
Three years ago, Julian was a prizewinner in the Pearl and Julius Young Music Competition. As recently as last year, Julian performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Bergen (NJ) Philharmonic.
Two years ago, Julian became the cellist of the New York Trio, with pianist Patricio Molina, and violinist Yura SJ Oh. The trio is devoted to promoting the great composers and music of our time, such as Grammy Award-winning composer Robert Aldridge, while also celebrating the more traditional and unusual chamber music repertoire of the past, such as the little-known Beethoven “Kakadu” Variations. They have played in multiple locations including cities in New Jersey, New York City, and upstate New York.
In May of 2014, Julian received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Richard Aaron. Julian is continuing his studies with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School as a Master of Music Degree candidate. Julian plays a 2009 Wiebe cello.
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, VIOLIN & VIOLA
Jaram Kim has recently accepted a violin faculty position at Florence University of Arts. From last fall, Ms. Kim has been working with the orchestra La Verdi in Milan after winning the Primi Violini. She has spent three consecutive summers teaching at the Conservatory Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado and also has been invited as a violin faculty to the Manhattan in the Mountains in New York for the summer 2013.
A laureate of the 2000 Yehudi Menuhin International Young Violinists Competition, Jaram Kim made her debut at age six in GwangJu Namdo Art Concerto Hall. The following year Ms. Kim won the Gold Medal in GwangJu HoNam Art Competition and at the age of ten, she performed Wieniawski Second Violin Concerto with the Seoul Chamber Orchestra. With the help of Keum Ho Young Artists scholarship, Ms. Kim came to the United States to study at the Juilliard Pre-College under the guidance of Prof. Hyo Kang. While attending Juilliard, she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist of the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. She also attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College in the studio of Prof. Grigory Kalinovsky and soon made her New York debut performing as a soloist with the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Jens Nygaard.
After graduating from the studio of Prof. Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music with B.M., she began her graduate studies at the Yale School of Music under the direction of Prof. Ani Kavafian. Soon after, Ms. Kim moved to Italy to continue her studies: in Florence, at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole with M° Pavel Vernikov and in Cremona with M° Salvatore Accardo at the Accademia Walter Stauffer Fondazione.
Ms. Kim participated in numerous festivals and masterclasses including Aspen Music Festival and Bowdoin International Music Festival. She was also one of the youngest participants of Pinchas Zukerman's National Arts Centre Orchestra Young Artists Program in Canada. Her participation in european masterclasses include the Kronberg Academy in Germany and Aurora Masterclasses in Sweden.
Performance engagements in Italy include the Spoleto Festival, Amiata Piano Festival and Veneto Festival. In addition to performing and teaching classical music, Ms. Kim enjoys performing/recording with singer/songwriter Vil Rouge.
Xiao Wang is First prize winner of the 2012 Szigeti International Violin Competition, 2016 New York Concert Artist Competition, 2016 William C Byrd Young Artist Competition. He is laureate of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition and 2015 Seoul International Competition. Xiao Wang 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. He performed with the Gewandhaus Academisches Orchester in the Gewandhaus Leipzig 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.
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 currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music precollege division. Xiao Wang plays on the 1734 Antonio Stradivari ex Wilemotte generously loaned by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.
A laureate of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Ukrainian-born pianist Inesa Sinkevych has also won first prizes in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and at the Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio “Jaén” in Spain, as well as awards in the Minnesota International Yamaha Piano-e-Competition, the Vianna da Motta and the Porto international competitions in Portugal, the Casagrande International Competition in Italy, the Panama International Competition and the the Cidade del Ferrol and the Spanish Composers competitions in Spain. Inesa Sinkevych has been praised for her “intense, thrilling and sophisticated playing” (General-Anzeiger, Germany), "grand passion and elegant lyricism" (Audiophile Audition), “rich cantabile” (Ritmo, Spain), "maturity that belies her age”, and called a "Schubertian of real distinction" (Music Web International). As soloist she has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic of Spain, the Porto Symphony of Portugal and the Tenerife Symphony of the Canary Islands. She has performed as recitalist, chamber player and orchestral soloist at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Purcell Room in London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Minnesota’s Orchestra Hall, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Hong Kong City Hall and the Great Hall of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. She has also performed at international summer festivals in France, Spain, Italy, and Cuba. Recent performances include appearances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, a tour of China that included performances in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang and Guangzhou, and soloist with the Orquesta Nacional del Cuba. Inesa Sinkevych began her piano studies at the Kharkov Special Music School in her native Ukraine with Victor Makarov and later studied with Alexander Volkov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. A scholarship from the America–Israel Cultural Foundation enabled her to further her studies with Solomon Mikowsky in the United States, where she received her Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Sinkevych has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music Piano Faculties of the College Division since 2014 and the Precollege Division since 2008.
Mr. Hana Kim has earned high praise for his passionate and expressive musicianship and has established a reputation as a versatile clarinetist. He performs extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, China and his native Korea. He plays with such distinguished organizations as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, Riverside Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, New World Symphony, KBS Symphony, and the International Sejong Soloists, and was invited as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and National Repertory Orchestra. Mr. Kim has also appeared in many prestigious concert halls including Konzert Haus in Berlin, Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, Ton Halle in Zurich, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, New York Korean Cultural Center, the Kennedy Center, Zipper Concert Hall and Sejong Cultural Center.
Mr. Kim made his New York debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Artists International Auditions and since then performed as recitalist in countless venues in the New York metropolitan area. As an avid chamber musician, he was invited to perform at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, Summer Music at Harkness, Connecticut, Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Massachusetts, Portland Summer Music Festival in Maine, Bargemusic, the Bachanalia Chamber Series, the Transfiguration Ensemble, Trio Alpha, and the contemporary music group Soundclock. Mr. Kim is also the leader of Quartet Piri, an active clarinet quartet based in New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Kim won many awards including first prize in the Dong-A Daily Newspaper Competition and KBS Young Artist Competition and received the Hugo Kortschak Award for outstanding achievement in chamber music from Manhattan School of Music where he earned a master’s degree. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and a doctoral degree from SUNY at Stony Brook.
Mr. Kim’s teaching experiences include clarinet faculty at Music Seminar in Kitakaruizawa, Japan, Summer Clarinet Seminar in Korea, faculty at Mozart Concert Academy in Saarburg, Germany, chamber music coach at Summer Trios in Pennsylvania, masterclasses at Portland State University, the Korean Clarinet Festival, and visiting professor at Montclair State University, Queens College at CUNY, Purchase College at SUNY, and the Juilliard pre-college division.
Mr. Kim performed as soloist with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra at Seoul Art Center’s IBK Hall to a packed audience, and was also well received in a recital given as Duo Music Korea artist for the company’s 20th anniversary at Perigee Hall.
January, 2015 Mr. Kim was invited by Buffet Crampon of China to give a masterclass and recital in Shanghai.
He is also music director and conductor of the New York Wind Orchestra, which is composed of the finest professional wind and percussion players in New York and New Jersey.
Hyung-ki Joo & Aleksey Igudesman
Hyung-ki Joo was born. He is British, but looks Korean, or the other way around, or both. On the Internet, related searches for
#Hyung-ki Joo include: Composer, Pianist, Conductor,
FastestToothbrusherInTheWorld, JediMaster, and TaylorSwift’sSecretAsianFantasy, Hyungki, pronounced forever, “Young Key” with an “H” in front, is also the only Korean Jew, in the world. He started piano lessons at the age of eight and a quarter, and two years later won a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School. There, he discovered that he was among geniuses and child prodigies and was convinced he would be kicked out of the school. In the end, he was never kicked out, but teachers and fellow students, such as Aleksey Igudesman, did kick him around in various parts of his anatomy.
No matter how difficult those seven years at the school may have been, it only strengthened his love of music, and a while after graduation, he was chosen by Yehudi Menuhin himself to perform as soloist for his eightieth birthday concert at the Barbican Hall, London. The London Times said, “Joo brought a freshness of approach. . . . That joy in communication is all too rare in professional music-making.“ Igudesman finally stopped bullying Joo and they became great friends and artistic partners. In fact, together, they now tour the world making people happy and having loads of funny videos on their YouTube channel, which has been hit over 40 million times.
Before Joo teamed up with Igudesman, Hyung-ki created and developed DUEL a show combining music, humor, and theatricality with the French cellist, Laurent Cirade. Several years later, the show was produced and released as a DVD by Sony/BMG. Hyung-ki has small hands, and therefore finds some piano repertoire quite difficult to play, such as the music of Rachmaninov, who had Big Hands. Anyway, even with this small hindrance, he performs chamber music, recitals, concertos, his own compositions, and anything else that includes a good piano part. As much as he loves playing piano, his original desire as a musician was to become a composer. The dream came true and now Universal Edition and Modern Works publish his music, and musicians and orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and London Philharmonic, have performed it. Hans Zimmer says about Joo:
“The beauty of his writing emerges with ingenious subtlety, as he knows full well that you need to seduce listeners with charm before devastating them with emotion.” One dream still to be realized is Joo’s wish to conduct and work with youth orchestras
as much as possible. Always concerned about the state of musical education, Joo’s passion for teaching has led him to develop his own personal style of workshop: Beyond the Practice Room. To find out more, please visit his homepage,
Best known as a violinist and composer, Aleksey Igudesman has also established himself as an actor, comedian and filmmaker. His music has earned admiration for capturing the essence of diverse musical languages in a uniquely clever and joyful way.
Igudesman attended the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. There he met Hyung-ki Joo, his comedy partner to be, bonding over a mutual passion for dead composers and deadpan humor. He later studied under Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatoire. The violinist has enjoyed a successful career playing, composing, and arranging for his string trio Triology, recording several CDs for BMG, teaching master classes, and performing with Bobby McFerrin, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer, Sir Roger Moore and John Malkovich, among others. Igudesman also directed, produced and starred in the feature length mockumentary “Noseland,” an award winner at the Doc Miami International Film Festival. As a composer, Igudesman has written pieces performed by ensembles and orchestras worldwide including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has frequently collaborated with Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer on movies, including “Sherlock Holmes,” nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score, and “Jealous of the Birds,” which won Best Original Score at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. He is one half of the deliciously daft Igudesman & Joo, whose inspired silliness can start with Rachmaninoff or Liszt and find its way through martial arts, movie classics, rock, hip hop, folk, heavy metal, disco and step dancing. Sketches from their concert shows shredding the classical canon have gone viral on YouTube, with some 40million views.
Pianist André-Michel Schub has been described by The New York Times as “pianistically flawless… a formidable pianist with a fierce integrity.” He has repeatedly performed with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, among them the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Detroit Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony.
Since 1997 he has been music director of the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Music Series, planning its chamber music programming and performing on a number of programs each year. Mr. Schub was the 1981 grand prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 1977 recipient of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, and 1974 winner of the Naumburg International Piano Competition.
Born in France, Mr. Schub came to the United States with his family when he was eight months old; New York City has been his home ever since. He began his piano studies with his mother when he was four and later continued his work with Jascha Zayde. Mr. Schub first attended Princeton University and then transferred to the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Rudolf Serkin from 1970 to 1973. André-Michel Schub’s recordings, for Vox Cum laude, Piano Disc, Musical Heritage Society and SONY Classical, include works of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Liszt.. He is currently on the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.
Violinist Yang Liu enjoys an active performing career on stages around the world. In addition to performances with leading orchestras in North and South America and Asia, Mr. Liu also joined his wife, Olivia Tsai, in a 24-concert tour across the United States in 2014.
Yang Liu is a prize winner in the Twelfth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the winner of China’s 5th National Violin Competition. He made his North American debut in 2002 with the Atlanta Symphony orchestra performing Paganini’s First Violin Concerto. This success was followed by engagements with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Spano; the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, and the São Paulo Symphony in Brazil,
Yang Liu was honored to be chosen as the subject of a documentary film titled “String of heart--Yang Liu,” which explores his artistic life. This production was aired on CCTV (China Central Television) and was accompanied by the publication in 2014 of his autobiography Performing in Love. Yang was also a featured performer in Starling’s Emmy Award-winning educational video, Classical Quest. His debut recording, “Song of Nostalgia,” was released to critical acclaim, and has been aired frequently on National Public Radio.
Mr. Liu resides in Chicago with his wife Olivia Tsai and two sons. He frequently performs and teaches at the Great Wall Music Academy led by his former teacher/mentor Kurt Sassmannshaus, at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, and the SESC international music festival of Brazil. He makes frequent appearances on the Chicago classical music radio station WFMT, and gives master classes in major universities and conservatories around the world.
Yang Liu studied with Lin, Yaoji in Beijing, China, then moved to U.S. in 1998 to study with Kurt Sassmannshaus and Dorothy Delay.
Mr. Liu plays a 1741 Guarneri on generous loan from the Stradivary Society and Bein & Fushi Rare violins.
Jessica Chen is a very active cellist in Taiwan, born in Taichung where she began studying the cello at the age of 9. At 11, she won the cello competition of Taichung, and later won the National Cello Competition, both the adolescent division, and then some years later, the adult division. She also won the concerto competition held by Taipei City Symphony Orchestra, and performed with the orchestra under the baton of Lü Shao-chia.
With a merit scholarship, she studied with Marion Feldman and Lorne Munroe at Manhattan School of Music in New York. After receiving her Master’s Degree in 1991, she decided to stay at MSM one more year in order to work in the Orchestral Performance Program.
As a founding member of Ars Trio Taipei, Ms. Chen and her group members have presented many concerts since 1994. They have attended festivals including the 5th Music Festival in Costa Rica, the Banff Music Festival and the FAME Festival. They have also toured in Taiwan, the United States and Israel.
Ms. Chen has served as the founder and artist director of the Taiwan Classical Music Society from 2000-2014, sharing her time between directing that organization and playing solo concerts, teaching, giving master classes, and organizing seminars.
She was regularly invited to be a member of the juries for the Taipei City Music Competition, the National Cello Competition in Taiwan, and the Asia International Competition. In addition she has served as a member of the evaluation committee of the National Taichung Theater.
She was invited to give lectures in Beijing in 2016, and was also on the faculty of Summer String at NYU. Ms. Chen is currently an associate professor at National Taipei University of Education, Taichung University and Shih-Chien University.
Kathryn Lockwood has been hailed as a violist of exceptional talents in reviews around the country and abroad for her performances as a chamber musician and soloist. Formerly a founding member of the Pacifica Quartet, she currently performs with the Lark Quartet, duoJalal with percussionist and husband Yousif Sheronick, and teaches at both the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and at the John Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Kathryn is frequently invited back to her homeland of Australia to perform with the Camerata of St.John’s and to teach at her alma mater school at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. CD credits include a solo CD of Viola Music by Inessa Zaretsky, “Fireoptics”, duoJalal’s “A Different World” and "Shadow & Light", and several Lark and Pacifica Quartet recordings. Kathryn plays on an unknown Italian viola from the 18th Century Brescian School and performs during the summer for the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble in NC, Elm City ChamberFest in CT and at the Telluride ChamberFest in CO.