2018 FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS
Joana Genova, violin and Artistic Director
Joana Genova is Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin and Director of Chamber Music Initiatives at University of Indianapolis, second violinist of The Indianapolis Quartet, and co-founder and Artistic Director of Taconic Music. Joana began playing violin at the age of 6 in her native Bulgaria, made her solo debut with the Plovdiv Chamber Orchestra at 12, and is a prizewinner of Bulgaria’s National Competition. She earned her Bachelor of Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and her Master’s in chamber music at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. Her former teachers include Peter Brunt, Ilya Grubert and Samuel Thaviu. In Holland, Joana was concertmaster of the Amsterdam Bach Consort and a member of Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Since 2000, Joana has lived in the United States, maintaining an active career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and soloist. She was Artist Associate at Williams College, and a faculty member of the Manchester Music Festival (MMF) and Michael Rudiakov Music Academy, Smith College and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. From 2011 to 2016 Joana served as MMF's Education Director, organizing outreach programs and family concerts. Orchestral positions include principal second violin of the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Manchester Festival Orchestra, member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and others. Joana has performed as soloist with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, Metropolitan, Rockaway, Danbury and Berkshire Symphonies, Manchester Festival Orchestra and Yonkers Philharmonic. Her collaborations include performances with the Shanghai Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Trio Solisti, members of the Lark Quartet, Toby Appel, Andrés Cárdenes, Nathaniel Rosen, Danwen Jiang, Austin Hartman, Renee Jolles, Michael Rudiakov, Yehuda Hanani, Tom Landschoot, Sophie Shao, Ruth Laredo, Davide Cabassi, David Deveau, Michael Brown, Todd Palmer and David Krakauer, among others. Joana performs with Taconic and Williams Chamber Players and is a frequent guest at festivals and concert series on the East Coast, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona. She is on the summer faculty of Taconic Music’s Chamber Music Intensive and the InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy. Joana divides her time between Indianapolis, Vermont, and New York City with her husband, violist Ariel Rudiakov, and their two children.
Ariel Rudiakov, viola and Artistic Director
Violist and conductor Ariel Rudiakov is co-founder and Artistic Director of Taconic Music, Music Director and conductor of the Danbury (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra, and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Indianapolis, conducting the chamber orchestra and coaching chamber music. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Riverdale, NYC, Ari comes from a musical family going back three generations. He received his early musical training from his parents, Michael and Judith, before attending pre-college at Manhattan School of Music, holds viola performance degrees from SUNY Purchase (BM) and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (MM), and was a scholarship student at Yale University’s master’s program, where he studied viola with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet. He enjoys a diverse musical life, performing solo and chamber music to critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and abroad, with many fine musicians including the Shanghai and Jupiter Quartets, current and former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, and pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, Michael Brown, Andre Michel Schub, and Vassily Primakov, among many others. Former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet and founding member and president of SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City), Ari was Artistic Director of the Manchester Music Festival (Vermont) from 2000–2016. Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saëns and the piano quintet by Vittorio Giannini (MSR Classics), which Fanfare magazine described as “utterly superb”. Composers Richard Lane, Philip Lasser and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson have dedicated works to Ari, who is active in commissioning and recording new music. At the podium, he has collaborated with violinist Jaime Laredo, cellists Sharon Robinson and Bernard Greenhouse, pianists David Deveau, Christopher O’Reilly, and others. Resident and guest conducting positions have included the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony, Bergen and Yonkers Philharmonics, Antara Ensemble, Manchester Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, Sage City Symphony and recording sessions with Dance Theater of Harlem for their World Premiere production of Alexander Glazunov’s ballet Raymonda. Ari plays a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.
Rieko Aizawa, piano
Praised by the NY Times for her “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing”, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall and Vienna's Konzerthaus. On the recommendation of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida, Rieko was brought to the attention of the esteemed conductor, Alexander Schneider. Mr. Schneider engaged her at the opening concerts of Tokyo's Casals Hall; later that year, he presented her in her U.S. début concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with his New York String Orchestra. She has since established her own unique musical voice, and is an active chamber musician. The youngest-ever participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has also performed as a guest with string quartets such as the Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet. She is a founding member of the Horszowski Trio and of the prize-winning Duo Prism. Rieko became artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010. In 2005 her solo debut recording of Scriabin’s and Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes was released by Altus in Japan, and her second album of Messiaen's and Faure's preludes is soon to be released. Rieko was the last pupil of Mieczyslaw Horszowski at the Curtis Institute, where she was awarded the Rachmaninoff Prize. She also studied with Seymour Lipkin and Peter Serkin at the Juilliard School. She lives in New York City, and she is on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College. Rieko Aizawa is a Steinway Artist.
Amadi Azikiwe, viola
A native of New York City, violist Amadi Azikiwe enjoys a global, multi-faceted career and reputation, known for his solo and recital performances, chamber music collaborations and community engagement events. In the United States, Amadi has been heard as a recitalist in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, DC, including a performance at the Supreme Court of the United States. He has also been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, both in New York City and at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Internationally, he has toured in Canada, Central and South America, Switzerland, Israel, Nigeria, India, Japan, Hong Kong and throughout the Caribbean. Amadi has been guest soloist with the American symphony orchestras of Delaware, Fort Collins, Indiana University, North Carolina, Roanoke, Salisbury, Virginia, Virginia Beach, Winston-Salem and Western Piedmont, the Prince George’s and Richmond philharmonic orchestras. Amadi Azikiwe was born in 1969. After early studies with his mother, he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, as a student of Sally Peck. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, earning his Bachelor’s degree. Subsequently, he became a student of Atar Arad at Indiana University, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate, served as an associate Instructor and received his Master’s degree. Among Amadi’s prizes and awards are those from the New York Philharmonic, Concert Artists Guild, North Carolina Symphony, National Society of Arts and Letters and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with which he maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.
Richard Belcher, cello
New Zealand cellist Richard Belcher has performed as a chamber musician and soloist across the United States and internationally. Based in New York City, he is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet, with regular tours and performances in many of the major concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Library of Congress. Richard is also principal cellist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), and has appeared at many festivals, including St Bart’s, Festival d’Aix en Provence, Prussia Cove, Madeline Island, Campos do Jordao International Winter Festival, SummerFest La Jolla, and the San Miguel de Allende International Chamber Music Festival. Active in both period music and contemporary repertoire, Richard has taken part in many live and prerecorded radio and internet broadcasts, in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He enjoys teaching, and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, and is currently on the faculty of the Adult Chamber Music Camp at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Richard moved to the United States in 1998 to study with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, and it was there in 1999 that he co-founded the Enso String Quartet, with violinist and fellow student Maureen Nelson. His other principal teachers include Norman Fischer, Marc Johnson, and Alexander Ivashkin. Richard plays an N.F Vuillaume cello made in 1856, and is married to the violinist Cece Belcher.
Heather Braun-Bakken, violin
Violinist Heather Braun-Bakken performs as first violinist of the prize-winning Arneis Quartet and as co-concertmaster and soloist with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music. Heather was appointed to the Boston University School of Music faculty in 2014 and the St. Anselm College faculty in 2016. Recent performing highlights include recitals at Cabot Theater, Concord Free Library, Williams College, Frederick Collection, Rockport (MA) Chamber Music Festival, and East-West Virtuosi. She has performed as a soloist with various orchestras in Boston, Milwaukee, Washington DC, and Manchester, VT. Heather earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Boston University, studying with Peter Zazofsky. While a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she received the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize; other awards received include the Zulalian Foundation Award and Silver Medal at the ICMEC Competition. Heather has coached chamber music and violin at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Point Counterpoint, Manchester Music Festival, Taconic Music's Summer Festival, and Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music; she coaches chamber music for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. She can be heard on the recently released, pale reflections...The Arneis Quartet and Friends on the Centaur Records label.
Zachary DePue, violin
Known for his virtuosic, high‐energy performances, violinist Zachary DePue successfully balances his roles as Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) concertmaster, first violinist of the Indianapolis Quartet, soloist, chamber musician, fiddler, community leader and mentor with passion and dedication. A rising star among both classical and crossover music fans, he was appointed concertmaster of the ISO in 2007, becoming one of the youngest concertmasters in the country. He graduated in 2002 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with renowned violinists Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo. Zach earned a full‐tuition scholarship to Curtis and he also held the David H. Springman Memorial Fellowship. He served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra before becoming a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to entering Curtis, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. With an innate talent for improvisation and arranging, Zach found much of his inspiration from his three older brothers, all violinists and fiddlers. In 1985, the four classically‐trained brothers formed their own acclaimed group, The DePue Brothers, which combines classical and bluegrass for an eclectic, fun concert experience. The group’s father is Wallace DePue, a composer and professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University. Zach is also a founding member of Time for Three, ISO’s first ever ensemble-in-residence, alongside his fellow Curtis colleagues, violinist Nick Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer. With its dynamic energy and unique mash-ups of bluegrass, jazz and classical music, Time for Three has reinvented the ISO’s Happy Hour Series and has introduced new audiences to the symphony experience. His violin was made by Ferdinand Gagliano of Naples, Italy, in 1757.
Enso String Quartet
Susie Park and Ken Hamao, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Richard Belcher, cello
One of its generation’s most compelling string ensembles, the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet was founded at Yale University in 1999, and has been described by Strad magazine as “thrilling,” and praised by the Washington Post for its “glorious sonorities.” The quartet has won numerous awards, including top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and has performed in many of the United States’ most prestigious venues including Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and New York’s Lincoln Center. Recent international tours have taken the quartet to Colombia, Brazil, and a 25-city, 30-concert tour of Australia and New Zealand. Frequent guests at many summer festivals, Enso String Quartet has performed at festivals in North and South Carolina, Connecticut, California, Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota and New York. Sought after as teachers and coaches, in 2015 the quartet started their own highly successful Enso Chamber Music Workshop for advanced students and young professional musicians at Music Mountain in Connecticut. Apart from a busy touring and teaching schedule, the New York-based quartet has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings for the Naxos label. The Enso regularly performs the classics of the string quartet literature, but also champions lesser-known works that deserve to be heard, along with much contemporary music, including works the Enso has commissioned. The ensemble also performs its own transcriptions, including arrangements of 16th-Century Renaissance music. The ensemble gives masterclasses for the next generation of professional musicians, and also works with enthusiastic amateurs, young and old, and in conjunction with the United Kingdom-based organization Music for Autism. The quartet has been awarded for its work with schoolchildren in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Based in New York City since 2007, the Enso String Quartet has held residency positions at Rice University in Houston, Texas, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, and at Northern Illinois University. The ensemble’s name is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle, which represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void, the endless circle of life, and the fullness of the spirit.
Matthew Gold, percussion
Matthew Gold is a percussionist in the Talea Ensemble, where he also serves as Director of Operations, and a member of the Talujon percussion group. As a soloist and chamber musician, he appears frequently in festivals and programs across the U.S. and internationally, presenting concert programs, masterclasses, and lectures. Matt performs with the Mark Morris Dance Group, serves on the artistic faculty of the Wellesley Composers Conference, and has been an artist-faculty member of the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College and a member of the resident ensemble at the Walden School’s Young Musicians Program. Recent highlights include Talujon’s performance of Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de l’Étoile on the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York and performances of works by Stockhausen and Boulez with the New York Philharmonic on its “Philharmonic 360” program at the Park Avenue Armory. In addition to his solo and collaborative work, Matt is Artist in Residence in Percussion and Contemporary Music Performance at Williams College, where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble, the I/O New Music Ensemble, and the annual I/O Festival of New Music.
Ken Hamao, violin
Described by the New York Times as having “especially eloquent playing,” Ken Hamao is a member of the Grammy-nominated Ensō String Quartet, whose recent seasons featured worldwide tours of Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and New Zealand, along with performances at the Kennedy, Kimmel, and Lincoln Centers. With the quartet, he helped found the Enso Chamber Music Workshop in Connecticut, and has taught at the Astoria Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, SoCal Chamber Music Workshop, and the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival. As a much sought-after chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Borromeo, Cavani, Daedalus, Guarneri, Momenta, and Verona Quartets and the Horszowski Trio, as well as former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Recent engagements as a soloist include concertos by Giya Kancheli, Kurt Rohde, and Tan Dun, the latter of which with the composer at the podium. In addition to his activities with the Enso String Quartet, Ken is a core member of Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Échappé, and New York Classical Players, and appears frequently with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra and the Talea Ensemble. An active presence in contemporary music, he has worked in close collaboration with eminent composers of our time, including John Adams, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Paul Moravec, Andrew Norman, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sean Shepherd, and John Zorn. Ken attended both Columbia University and the Juilliard School as part of the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Program, and received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Juilliard School. His mentors include Zakhar Bron, Ronald Copes, Masao Kawasaki, Robert Lipsett, and Mark Steinberg. In addition to music, his passions involve aviation, cocktails, and cooking.
The Horszowski Trio
Jesse Mills, violin; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Rieko Aizawa, piano
Hailed by The New Yorker as “destined for great things,” the Horszowski Trio (Hor-SHOV-ski) takes inspiration from musicianship, integrity, and humanity of its namesake, the great pianist Mieczysław Horszowski. Concert engagements have taken them on tour throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong. They are scheduled to make their debut in Mexico at the Festival Internacional de Música de Cámara de San Miguel de Allende in 2018 and their Wigmore Hall debut in London in 2019. Their debut recording, an album of works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, and D’Indy—all composers Mieczysław Horszowski knew—was released by Bridge Records in the fall of 2014. The album was a featured Recording of the Month by MusicWeb International. Their next recording, in collaboration with violist Masumi Per Rostad, will comprise the complete piano quartets of Brahms. The Horszowski Trio has particularly championed the music of Joan Tower, whose work, “For Daniel,” they have performed on stages across the U.S. and overseas, and which they have recorded as part of a series of chamber music recordings to be released to celebrate the 75th birthday of Ms. Tower. Electric Earth Concerts, a festival in New Hampshire, commissioned a new work for the Trio from Eric Moe, “Welcome to Phase Space.” The work was premiered in June 2014. Chamber Music America has commissioned a work for the Trio from Andreia Pinto-Correia, to be premiered in November 2017 for the San Jose Chamber Music Society. The Horszowski Trio is based in New York City, and is Ensemble-in-Residence at the Longy School of Music in Boston.
Austin Huntington, cello
Cellist Austin Huntington is a member of the faculty at the University of Indianapolis, where he is also the cellist of The Indianapolis Quartet, the university’s string quartet-in-residence. He was appointed principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in June 2015 at the age of 20, currently making him one of the youngest principal musicians of any major American orchestra. Previously, he served as principal cellist in the Colburn Orchestra and Encore Chamber Orchestra, as well as serving as a substitute cellist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. Austin is the grand-prize winner of the 2012 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the 2011 Stulberg International String Competition, the 2012 MUSICAAS International String Competition, the 2013 Aspen Music Festival’s Low String Strings Competition, and the 2009 MTNA National String Competition. He has collaborated in chamber music performances with artists such as violinists Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Renaud Capucon, Augustin Hadelich, and Anne Akiko Meyers, violist Cynthia Phelps, cellists Robert DeMaine and Mark Kosower, pianists Wu Han, Garrick Ohlssohn, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and bassist Edgar Meyer. Since his first solo orchestra debut at age 10, he has gone on to perform as a guest soloist with orchestras such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Marin Symphony, Colburn Orchestra, Salomon Chamber Orchestra, Peninsula Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and Chicago Northwest Symphony Orchestra. In the summer, Austin has attended the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Kronberg Academy in Germany, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Perlman Music Program, the Academie International de Music de Montpellier in France, the Credo Chamber Music Festival, and the Meadowmount School of Music. Austin holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn School, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. His previous teachers include Richard Hirschl, Brinton Smith, Paul Katz, David Finckel, and Richard Aaron. He plays on a beautiful old Italian cello by an anonymous maker of the Florentine school, c. 1750.
The Indianapolis Quartet
Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violins; Michael Isaac Strauss, viola; Austin Huntington, cello
The Indianapolis Quartet, ensemble-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, is an elite ensemble of widely acclaimed musicians whose global reputations and history of performance successes have established the Quartet as a quintessential example of musical excellence in the Midwest. Founded in 2016 through a collaboration between esteemed University faculty and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Quartet has since performed to capacity crowds and continued the tradition of artistic and culture significance at the University of Indianapolis. The Quartet performs in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, an award-winning performance space, art gallery and working classroom that hosts a number of performances a year to an established and evolving arts and culture community. The talents of the individual Quartet members are impressive in their own right, and collectively the group is destined to showcase to the world the dynamic and innovative musical heritage that exists in Indianapolis and the Midwest. The ensemble has several scheduled performances for 2017–2018 and will continue expand its scope to regional, national and international audiences. The members have performed with some of the top concert orchestras in the world, and future collaborations will allow the Quartet to expand its repertoire to new audiences through its unique musical language and emotional performance styles.
Danwen Jiang, violin
Internationally renowned violinist Danwen Jiang has concertized extensively as a concerto soloist and recitalist throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and has performed at world renowned concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., La Salle Gaveau in Paris, Beijing Concert Hall, and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. She has appeared at international music festivals such as Festival du Quercy Blanc and Festival Dan le Gard in France, InterHarmony International Music Festival in Germany and Italy, Harpa International Music Academy in Iceland, Victoria International Music Festival in Canada, Rutgers SummerFest, Sanibel Chamber Music Festival, Yale Chamber Music Series, Manchester Music Festival, and the Taconic Music Festival in Vermont. As an avid chamber musician, she has performed with distinguished musicians including members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Tokyo, Emerson and Shanghai String Quartets, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Chamber Players, and Soloists of the Pacific Rim as well as violinist Menahem Breuer, cellist Nathaniel Rosen, pianist Andre-Michel Schub, clarinetist Stanley Druker, harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, and Jazz violinist Regina Carter, among others. Many of her performances are available on CDs under Soundset Recordings, Eroica Classical Recordings, and the China Record Corporation labels. A recipient of the Professor of the Year Special Recognition Award (2012), President’s Tenured Faculty Exemplar Award (2008), and the Distinguished Teaching Award (2005) at Arizona State University, Jiang’s international reputation as an exceptional performer and teacher yields her frequent invitations to perform and present guest masterclasses at distinguished music institutions in China, Germany, Italy, Canada, Iceland, Australia, and the United States, among other countries. She has been featured as concerto soloist as well as collegiate-level violin masterclass clinician by the American String Teachers Association National Conferences. Prior to joining the ASU School of Music faculty, Professor Jiang has taught at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Danwen performs on a 1727 Antonio Stradivarius violin (the “ex-Ries”).
Yi-Wen Jiang, violin
Violinist Yi-Wen Jiang was born into a musical family in Beijing, where both parents were professional musicians. Beginning his violin studies with his father at age six, Yi-Wen made his concerto debut at the age of 17 with the Central Opera House Orchestra in Beijing, where he played the Prokofiev D Major Concerto Opus 19. After winning top prize at the first China Youth Violin Competition in 1981, Yi-Wen was accepted to study with Professor Han Li at the Central Conservatory of Music. In 1985, after receiving a full scholarship from McDonnell-Douglas, he came to the U.S. to study with Taras Gabora and Michael Tree. In 1990, with the support of the Ken Boxley Foundation, he went to Rutgers University to work with Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri Quartet. Other teachers include Gérard Poulet and Pinchas Zuckerman. As a prizewinner at the Montreal International Competitions, he appeared as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony and Montreal Symphony. Yi-Wen had appeared at many international music festivals by the age of 22. He has recorded for the Record Corporation of China. As a composer, he has arranged more than 50 pieces for string quartet and other instruments, many pieces composed with Eastern repertoire and Western influence. In addition to his extensive touring and recording schedule, Mr. Jiang maintains a close relationship with his students. He teaches at Montclair State University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and is guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory. When not performing, composing or teaching, Yi-Wen enjoys photography and food & wine.
Jon Klibonoff, piano
A versatile recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician, Jon Klibonoff has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. His various honors include first prizes in the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition and the silver medal in the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Klibonoff has appeared as soloist with the Utah, Baltimore, Richmond, Denver, New Orleans, Oakland, Syracuse, and North Carolina symphonies, as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Denver Chamber Orchestra. Jon is a past recipient of a NEA solo recitalist's grant and has been sponsored by the Pro Musicis Foundation in recital throughout the world. A founding member of the acclaimed ensemble, Trio Solisti, he has performed in major venues such as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States. He has appeared at many significant music festivals including Caramoor, Moab Music Festival, Norfolk Music Festival, Juneau Music Festival, Grand Canyon Music Festival and Bridgehampton. His numerous guest appearances in chamber music include the Lark Quartet, Shanghai Quartet and members of the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets. Jon is a also a principal member of Associated Solo Artists, an organization that performs concerts, educational programs and corporate events. Klibonoff has recorded for BMG, Bridge, and Naxos records. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and a Masters Degree in Music from The Juilliard School and has served on the music faculties of Purchase College Conservatory, Hunter College and Manhattanville College. Jon is currently a member of the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Concordia Conservatory of Music.
Thomas Landschoot, cello
Praised for his charismatic playing and his virtuoso and poetic music making, Belgian cellist Thomas Landschoot enjoys an international career as a concert and recording artist and pedagogue. He has toured North America, Europe, South America and Asia and has appeared on national radio and television worldwide. He has soloed with the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra, Tempe Symphony, Prima la Musica, Symphony of the Southwest, Shieh Chien Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, Scottsdale Philharmonic, Bucharest Festival Orchestra, Flemish Symphony Orchestra, Kaohsiung City Symphony, Loja Symphony Orchestra in Ecuador and the Orchestra of the United States Army Band, and has appeared at Bargemusic, Park City, Santa Barbara, Mammoth Lakes, Eureka, Utah, Red Rock, Park City, Manchester, Fresno, Madeline Island, Waterloo, Killington and Texas Music Festivals. His recordings are available on Summit, Organic, Kokopelli, ArchiMusic and Centaur Records. He is a member of world class Rossetti Quartet. Tom has also performed with the Takacs, Dover and Arianna Quartets and members of the Cleveland, Vermeer, Tokyo, and Orion Quartets. Past collaborations include Lynn Harrell, Peter Wiley, Gilbert Kalich, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver and Martin Katz. An avid promoter of music of our time, he has commissioned and premiered over 20 new works for cello, including concerti by Dirk Brosse and Frank Nuyts. He has served as a faculty member at the Music Academy of the West, Castleman Quartet Program, Killington, Meadowmount, Foulger International, High Peaks, Madeline Island, Manchester, Montecito, and Texas Music Festival. Tom has given masterclasses at conservatories and universities throughout Asia, the U.S., Europe and South America. Tom teaches at the Arizona State University; his students can be found among the ranks of national and international competition winners, occupy principal positions in major orchestras and teach at Universities around the US and abroad. Thomas Landschoot is the Artistic Director of the Sonoran Chamber Music Festival, as well as the President of the Arizona Cello Society. He Performs on a cello by Tomaso Balestrieri (1776) and a Dominique Pecatte bow.
Honggang Li, viola
Honggang Li is a founding member Shanghai Quartet, now in its 34th season. He has performed over two thousand concerts in 30 countries and can be heard on more than 30 CD albums. Honggang began studying the violin with his parents at age 7. When the Central Conservatory of music in Beijing reopened in 1977 after the Cultural Revolution, Mr. Li was selected to attend from a group of over five hundred applicants. He continued his training at the Shanghai Conservatory and co-founded the Shanghai Quartet with his brother Weigang while in his senior year in the conservatory. The quartet soon became the first Chinese quartet to win a major international chamber music competition (the London International) and came to the U.S. in 1985. Honggang Li received his M.M. from Northern Illinois University, and served as a teaching assistant at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1987, he won the special prize (a 1757 DeCable violin) given by Elisa Pegreffi of Quartetto Italiano at the First Paolo Borciani International Competition in Italy. Honggang is currently also an artist-in-residence and faculty at Montclair State University. He held the same title at University of Richmond in Virginia from 1989 to 2003. He has been the guest professor of the conservatories both of Shanghai and Beijing. Mr. Li has been the guest principal violist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 2009.
Weigang Li, violin
Born into a family of well-known musicians in Shanghai, Weigang Li began studying the violin with his parents when he was 5 and went on to attend the Shanghai Conservatory at age 14. Three years later, in 1981, he was selected to study for one year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music through the first cultural exchange program between the sister cities of Shanghai and San Francisco. In 1985, upon graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory, Weigang Li again left China, to continue his studies at Northern Illinois University. He later studied and taught at the Juilliard School as teaching assistant to the Juilliard Quartet. His teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Isadore Tinkleman, and Tan Shu-Chen. Mr. Li was featured in the 1980 Oscar winning documentary film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. He made his solo debut at 17 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with Shanghai Symphony, China Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Asian Youth Orchestra. Weigang Li is a founding member and first violinist of the Shanghai Quartet since 1983. In its 34th season, the Shanghai Quartet has performed well over 2000 concerts in 30 countries; recorded 34 CD albums, including a 7-disc cycle of complete Beethoven string quartets on the Camerata label. Weigang Li is a violin professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. He also holds the title of guest concert-‐master of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and guest professor at Shanghai Conservatory and Central Conservatory in Beijing. Mr. Li plays on the 1600 Giovanni Paolo Maggini violin (ex-Burmester), which is on a generous loan from Mr. Rin Kei Mei.
Jesse Mills, violin
Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. Since his concerto debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Jesse has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has been a soloist with the Phoenix, Colorado, New Jersey, and Green Bay Symphonies, the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, the Denver Philharmonic, the Teatro Argentino Orchestra (in Buenos Aires), and the Aspen Music Festival’s Sinfonia Orchestra. As a chamber musician he has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, including concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Gardener Museum, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared at prestigious venues in Europe, such as the Barbican Centre of London, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Carré Theatre, Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan, and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Jesse is co-founder of Horszowski Trio and Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006. With Rieko, Jesse became co-artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010. He is also known as a pioneer of contemporary works, an improvisational artist, and a composer. He earned Grammy nominations for his performances of Arnold Schoenberg’s music, released by NAXOS in 2005 and 2010. He can also be heard on the Koch, Centaur, Tzadik, Max Jazz and Verve labels for various compositions of Webern, Schoenberg, Zorn, Wuorinen, and others. As a member of the FLUX Quartet from 2001–2003, Mr. Mills performed music composed during the last 50 years, in addition to frequent world premieres. As a composer and arranger, he has been commissioned by venues including Columbia University’s Miller Theater, the Chamber Music Northwest festival in Portland, Oregon, and Bargemusic in New York City. Mr. Mills began violin studies at age 3. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2001. He studied with Dorothy DeLay, Robert Mann and Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Mills lives in New York City. He is on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College and at New York University. In 2010 the New York’s Third Street Music School Settlement honored him with the ‘Rising Star Award’ for musical achievement.
Steven Moran, double bass
A native of Long Island, New York, Mr. Moran began playing the bass at age fourteen. By age seventeen, he had gone on to perform orchestral and chamber music on four continents. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory and a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School where he was the teaching assistant to New York Philharmonic Principal Bassist, Eugene Levinson and to the late renowned keyboardist/historian, Albert Fuller, all on full scholarship. As a chamber musician, Mr. Moran has been a member of New York City’s esteemed Jupiter Chamber Players and now regularly performs in both a chamber and orchestral capacity with NYC's Harlem Chamber Players. He's also currently solo bassist with Vermont's Taconic Music and with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He served for 22 years as a member of the Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota and is now a frequent guest of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony and the Harrisburg Symphony in Pennsylvania. He also is a member of New York City’s Sonos Chamber Orchestra and the Berkshire Symphony in Massachusetts. Among his other titled positions, Mr. Moran's past appointments have included Principal Bassist of Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony and of Florida’s Key West Symphony, as well as Assistant Principal Bassist of the Sarasota Opera in Florida. A champion of twentieth century music, he was the solo bassist in the world premiere of David Amram's Starry Night and before that, in the world premiere of Edgard Varèse's recently discovered work, Dances for Burgess at New York City’s Symphony Space. Another of his noted ventures into the promotion of serious contemporary music was in the New York premiere and then reprise of the gargantuan John Cage/Merce Cunningham collaboration, Ocean, at Lincoln Center. As a member of Sonos, he continues in this vein. Mr. Moran’s playing can be heard on major media and motion picture soundtracks and he has also recorded with the rock band, They Might Be Giants. He plays on a 1922 double bass by the early 20th century Cremonese master Romedio Muncher.
Susie Park, violin
Hailed as "prodigiously talented" (Washington Post) and praised for her "freedom, mastery and fantasy" (La Libre, Belgium), Sydney native Susie Park, first violinist of the Enso String Quartet, first picked up a violin at age 3, made her solo debut at 5, and, by 15, had performed with every major orchestra in her country. Susie's international career was launched at age 16, when she took first place in the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in France. She has concertized around the world, soloing and touring with European orchestras including the Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille, and the Royal Philharmonic; American orchestras including the Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Indianapolis Symphonies; Korea's KBS Orchestra; Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand; and all of Australia's major orchestras. From 2006 to 2012, Susie was the violinist of the Eroica Trio, with which she recorded and toured internationally. She was also a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two, in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival, and has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro. Susie has performed chamber music with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Emerson, and Cleveland Quartets, Kim Kashkashian, Pamela Frank, Jason Vieaux, Cho-Liang Lin, and Jaime Laredo. Susie was recently appointed first associate concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, and is a founding member of ECCO, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. Her diverse musical interests have also led to collaborations with artists such as trumpeter Chris Botti, with whom she performed at New York's Blue Note jazz club. Susie holds degrees from the Curtis Institute and the New England Conservatory; her principal teachers include Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Shi-Xiang (Peter) Zhang, and Christopher Kimber. She performs on a J.B. Guadagnini violin made in 1740. Susie's pursuits include knitting, garment design and other creative arts.
Raman Ramakrishnan, cello
Cellist Raman Ramakrishnan is a member of the Horszowski Trio with violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Rieko Aizawa. The trio has performed across the United States, India, Japan, and in Hong Kong, and records for Bridge Records. For eleven seasons, as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, he performed around the world. Raman is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, and is on the faculties of Columbia University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and has performed chamber music at Caramoor, at Bargemusic, with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and at the Aspen, Bard, Charlottesville, Four Seasons, Kingston, Lincolnshire (UK), Marlboro, Mehli Mehta (India), Oklahoma Mozart, and Vail Music Festivals. Raman has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and has performed, as guest principal cellist, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a guest member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, he has performed in New Delhi and Agra, India and in Cairo, Egypt. Raman was born in Athens, Ohio and grew up in East Patchogue, New York. His father is a molecular biologist and his mother is the children's book author and illustrator Vera Rosenberry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in music from The Juilliard School. His principal teachers have been Fred Sherry, Andrés Díaz, and André Emelianoff. He lives in New York City with his wife, the violist Melissa Reardon, and their young son. He plays a Neapolitan cello made by Vincenzo Jorio in 1837.
Melissa Reardon, viola
Melissa Reardon is the violist in the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet. Lauded by Classical Voice for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances, the Massachusetts-born musician won first prize at the Washington International Competition, and is the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions, as well the Tourjee Award in 2002. Solo engagements have included performances at the Stevens Center, Kennedy Center, Symphony Hall, and Jordan Hall. She has performed as a soloist with Camerata Notturna and the Boston Symphony. In 2006, she was chosen as one of four violists internationally to participate in “Chamber Music Connects the World,” in Kronberg, Germany, alongside Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet. Melissa is also a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and is a sought-after collaborative musician. She has performed with the Miami, Miro, Daedalus, and Borromeo Quartets, and with members of the Guarneri, Mendelssohn, Brentano, St. Lawrence, and Shanghai Quartets, and the Beaux Arts Trio. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the United States, Europe, India, and Korea. She has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and with Musicians from Marlboro. Melissa holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Kim Kashkashian, Michael Tree, Joseph dePasquale, Karen Tuttle, Samuel Rhodes, and Hsin-Yun Huang, in addition to early chamber music studies with Eugene Lehner. Melissa held the position of Assistant Professor of Viola at East Carolina University from 2006–2013. She is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan.
The Shanghai Quartet
Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violins, Honggang Li, viola, Nicholas Tzavaras, cello
Renowned for passionate musicality and impressive technique, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, they have performed throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, from the Beijing International Music Festival to Carnegie Hall and the Beethoven Festival in Prague. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Wu Man and Peter Serkin. The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and recently premiered new works by Bright Sheng, Carl Vine and David Del Tredici. Their extensive discography of more than 30 recordings includes the complete String Quartets of Beethoven as well as the Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Rudolf Buchbinder. Since 2002, the Shanghai Quartet has been artist-in-residence at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University. The ensemble celebrated its 34th Anniversary in 2017.
Sophie Shao, cello
Cellist Sophie Shao received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at age 19, was a major prizewinner at the 2001 Rostropovich Competition, and a laureate of the XII Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002. She has given the world premiere performances of Howard Shore's Mythic Gardens, a concerto written for her, and Richard Wilson's Concerto for Cello and Mezzo-Soprano with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Haydn C Major concertos, performed the Saint-Saens La Muse et Le Poete with violinist Miranda Cuckson at the Bard Music Festival, and presented the six Bach Suites in one afternoon at Union College in Schenectady. She has made recital and chamber music appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. She can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (Marlboro Music’s 50th anniversary recording), and on Albany Records, and will be releasing a double-CD set of the Bach cello suites this season. Ms. Shao studied at The Curtis Institute with David Soyer and Felix Galimir, and, upon graduating, continued with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Yale College and a Master’s of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Ms. Shao plays on an Honore Derazey cello previously owned by Pablo Casals and is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two.
Michael Isaac Strauss, viola
Violist Michael Isaac Strauss performs around the world as a solo, chamber, and symphonic musician. 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 Lyrinx. His solo work is featured on several other CDs - the first recording of Jennifer Higdon's Viola Sonata, David Finko's Viola Concerto (re-released in 2015), Stamitz's works for solo viola with orchestra (Centaur), and the Suzuki Viola School CDs, Volumes 8 and 9. Additional chamber music recordings with the Philadelphia-based Orchestra 2001 include pieces by living composers. In 2016, he released Wordless Verses - trio works inspired by poetry for oboe, viola, and piano - distributed by Naxos. 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, and Swarthmore College. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and performs on a 1704 viola attributed to Matteo Albani of Bolzano, Italy.
Nicholas Tzavaras, cello
A Native of Spanish Harlem in New York City, cellist Nicholas Tzavaras has become a sought-after chamber musician and educator across all continents. Reviews in the New York Times have called his playing "richly singing and beautifully nuanced.” Recent summer engagements have included the Santa Fe, La Jolla and Taos festivals, the Casals festival in Prades, France and the Marlboro Festival. He has recorded more than 20 albums for the Naxos, Delos, Bis, Centaur, Camerata, and New Albion labels. Since 2000, Nicholas has been the cellist of the internationally renowned Shanghai Quartet. Formerly on the faculty of the University of Richmond, Nicholas is currently the coordinator of the String Department and artist in residence of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is also a guest professor at the Shanghai and Central Conservatories in China. Since 2009, he has held the esteemed title of guest principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and the State University of New York at Stonybrook, where his teachers included Laurence Lesser and Timothy Eddy. Nicholas can be seen in the Academy-Award nominated documentary Small Wonders, the motion picture Music of the Heart starring Meryl Streep and with the Shanghai Quartet in Woody Allen's Melinda Melinda. When he is not with his cello, Nicholas is an avid cyclist, amateur olympic distance triathlete (when time permits), enthusiastic but unfortunately average chess player and, perhaps most importantly, a challenged yet determined father of three young children.