Strings for Kids Faculty
Deanna Baasch, violin
A native of Vermont, violinist Deanna Baasch began studying the violin at the age of eight. By the time she was 17, Deanna had performed both violin and flute in more than 30 countries including China, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, and throughout Europe as a member of the New England Youth Ensemble, the Southern Maine Ensemble, and the Baasch Family Ensemble. She also toured extensively with the New England Symphonic Ensemble under the direction of John Rutter, both at Carnegie Hall and internationally. During this time she was a student of Joana Genova. With a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and a Master’s in Social Work from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, she studied under the direction of Mark Reneau and served as concertmaster of Southern Adventist University’s Symphony Orchestra. Since moving back to Vermont, Deanna has been freelancing as a violinist, performing regularly with the Manchester Festival Orchestra, the Berkshire Symphony Orchestras and the Taconic Chamber Players. Since 2013, Deanna has taught violin and viola in Manchester, VT. In addition to her musical career, Deanna is also a mental health therapist and restorative yoga teacher.
Joana Genova, violin
Bulgarian violinist Joana Genova, Artist Associate at Williams College and Co-Artistic Director of newly founded Taconic Music, Inc., has an active career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and soloist. She began playing violin at the age of six, made her solo debut at the age of twelve with the Plovdiv Chamber Orchestra and is a prizewinner of the National Competition in Bulgaria. Joana received her Bachelor of Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and her Master’s degree in chamber music at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. Her former teachers include Peter Brunt, Ilya Grubert and Prof. Samuel Thaviu. In Holland, she was concertmaster of the Amsterdam Bach Consort and a member of Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Since 2000, Joana has lived in the U.S., where she is the principal second violin of the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, former concertmaster of the Manchester Festival Orchestra and a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. She was on the faculty of the Manchester Music Festival (MMF), Michael Rudiakov Music Academy and has taught at Smith College and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. From 2011 to 2016 she served as MMF's Education Director, organizing numerous outreach programs and family concerts. Joana is a member of the Williams Chamber Players , Taconic Chamber Players, is a frequent guest at various festivals and concert series performing extensively on the East Coast as well as Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona. Her collaborations include performances with the Shanghai String Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo Robinson trio, Trio Solisti, members of the Lark Quartet, Toby Appel, Andres Cardenes, Nathaniel Rosen, Danwen Jiang, Renee Jolles, Michael Rudiakov, Yehuda Hanani, Tom Landschoot, Sophie Shao, Ruth Laredo, Davide Cabassi, David Deveau, Michael Brown, and David Krakauer, among others. Joana has performed as soloist with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan, Rockaway and Danbury Symphonies, Berkshire Symphony, Yonkers Philharmonic and Manchester Festival Orchestra. She resides in Manchester, Vermont with her husband, violist Ariel Rudiakov, and their two children, Michael and Liliana.
Ariel Rudiakov, viola
Born in Indianapolis, IN and raised in Riverdale, NYC, conductor and violist Ariel Rudiakov 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. Ariel 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 masters program where he studied privately with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet. He is Music Director and conductor of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra (CT) and Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Taconic Music, Inc. Ariel was Artistic Director of the Manchester Music Festival (VT) from 2000 to 2016. 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, pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, Michael Brown, Andre Michel Schub, and Vassily Primakov, among many others. At the podium he has collaborated with violinists Jaime Laredo, cellists Sharon Robinson and Bernard Greenhouse, pianists David Deveau, Christopher O’Reilly, and others. Additional 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, and others. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet and was a founding member and president of SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City). Recent and upcoming activities include recording sessions with Dance Theater of Harlem for their World Premiere production of Alexander Glazunov’s ballet Raymonda, guest conducting Vermont’s Sage City Symphony and performing as a visiting artist at University of Indianapolis. Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens 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 Ariel, who is active in commissioning and recording new music. Recent commissions include a piano quintet by Stephen Dankner and Dance of the Marionettes for mixed ensemble by Sato Matsui. Ariel resides in Manchester, Vermont and Yonkers, New York with his wife, violinist Joana Genova, and their two children,; Michael Arthur and Liliana Judith. He plays a viola made by Geoffrey Ovington in 2000.
Jared Shapiro, cello
Jared Shapiro holds a BA in Music and Natural Science and an MFA in Cello and Composition from Bennington College. He studied composition with Henry Brant, Vivian Fine, Allen Shawn, and Louis Calabro and improvisation with Milford Graves. His interest in world music has led to ongoing collaborations and performances with musicians from diverse international music cultures. In 2014, Jared commissioned Norwegian composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred to write a duo for cello and bayan (Russian button accordion), sponsored by the Norwegian Composer’s Fund. He has been playing in the eclectic trio Natural History since 1973. He is an active freelancer, an Adjunct at Green Mountain College and Castleton University and coaches for the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber Music Workshop. Jared was on the faculty of the Manchester Music Festival’s Michael Rudiakov Music Academy for 13 years and currently teaches for Taconic Music's Strings for Kids program as well as privately in East Dorset and Manchester, Vermont.