Meet the Taconic Chamber Players

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. Dr. Braun-Bakken 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. Dr. Braun-Bakken received 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. Dr. Braun-Bakken has coached chamber music and violin at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Point Counterpoint, Manchester Music 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. 

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. Ms. Genova 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, Ms.Genova was concertmaster of the Amsterdam Bach Consort and a member of Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Since 2000, Ms.Genova has lived in the US 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.  She 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. Ms. Genova has performed as soloist with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan, Rockaway and Danbury Symphonies, Berkshire Symphony, Yonkers Philharmonic and Manchester Festival Orchestra. Ms. Genova resides in Manchester, Vermont with her husband, Ariel Rudiakov, and their two children, Michael and Liliana.

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 on festivals and programs across the U.S. and internationally presenting concert programs, master classes, and lectures. Mr. Gold 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. Mr. Gold 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.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana 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. Mr. Rudiakov 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 Artistic Director of Taconic Music.  Mr. Rudiakov 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). Mr. Rudiakov 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.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Liam Veuve began playing the cello at the age of six at the School for Strings in New York City.  Liam has performed in wide array of settings, including orchestral and chamber music in Carnegie Hall, a solo performance in Avery Fisher Hall, and tours across North and South America and Europe.  He was selected as a fellow of the Louis Moreau Institute, which held its first two seasons in New Orleans in 2015 and 2016. He recently performed as as a guest artist in the Manchester Music Festival Ensemble, the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble, the North Jersey Chamber Music Society, among others, and serves as cello faculty at the United Nations International School. Mr. Veuve is a founding member of the Puck Quartet, which in Spring 2014 performed the world premiere of a new work for string quartet entitled "Ascension" by Jason Eckardt.  The Puck Quartet recently was selected to participate in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, and invited to perform in their International Showcase at Bing Concert Hall in Palo Alto, CA. He has held the principal cello position in the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and YOA Orchestra of the Americas, a touring orchestral festival whose mission is to bring classical music to underexposed areas and communities as a catalyst for social change.  In the summer of 2012, he was selected to travel throughout Chile for four weeks, performing in halls such as the beautiful Teatro del Lago in Fruitillar.  In addition to his performing activities, Mr. Veuve is dedicated to music education and outreach.  He has held a faculty position at the the Mahanaim School in Huntington NY, and an Assistant Faculty/Chamber Music Coach position at the Manhattan in the Mountains Festival in Hunter, NY.  Mr. Veuve completed Suzuki teacher training with Dr. Melissa Kraut at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a certified Suzuki instructor. Mr. Veuve holds a BA from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in music, language and philosophy.  He received his MM in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under the tutelage of Richard Weiss and Merry Peckham. Most recently, he completed a post-graduate Artist Diploma at SUNY Purchase, studying with Julia Lichten. His principal teachers have been Astrid Schween and Katharine Brainard.