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Nate Zeisler envisions a world where arts majors have a path to a sustainable career, creative minds are empowered to rule the workforce, and access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all. As the Director of Community Engagement and Career Development at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, Nate is building a pipeline of sequential arts learning so that children of all backgrounds may experience a performing arts education. He supports the careers of world-class artists and passionate entrepreneurs, offering career advice and learning opportunities that prime them for the 21st century workforce.
Praised for her captivating stage presence and performances that are technically and musically masterful, the groundbreaking young musician Hanzhi Wang is the only accordionist to ever win a place on the roster of Young Concert Artists in its 59-year history. Other firsts include being named Musical America “New Artist of the Month,” an interview and performance on the 2,145th episode of New York WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase as the first solo accordionist on the program, the Naxos label’s first ever solo accordion CD, “On the Path to H.C. Andersen, which was nominated for the prestigious Danish Radio P2 Prize in 2019.
Described by one pretty important radio guy as “not classical...but not not classical” (SiriusXM), Invoke continues to successfully dodge even the most valiant attempts at genre classification. The multiinstrumental quartet’s other not-nots encompass traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism. Fueled by their passion for storytelling, Invoke weaves all of these styles together to form a unique contemporary repertoire, featuring original works composed by and for the group. This passion also inspired Invoke’s ongoing commissioning initiative “American Postcards,” in which they draw on composers from all backgrounds to help tell the stories of America.
Comprising of Mason Yu, Erica Tursi, Jinsun Hong, and Alex Cox, the Omer Quartet is a leader among today’s young string quartets. Most recently first prizewinners of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, the quartet came into prominence in 2013 when it received Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Competition. They further received top prizes at major European competitions including Borciani, Trondheim, and Bordeaux. The quartet inaugurated a Music for Food concert series in the metro-DC area to support local hunger relief. They have been appointed Visiting Fellows at Yale University and are completing their Doctorate Degrees at the University of Maryland.
Applauded by the Calgary Herald as “…talented, sensitive…brilliant,” JIJI is an adventurous artist on both acoustic and electric guitar. Recent highlights include a wide array of venues, including: Carnegie Hall, David Geffen hall, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, Krannert Center, LPR, and 92nd Street Y. A passionate advocate of new music, JIJI has premiered works by numerous composers—including Paul Lansky, Joao Luiz, Natalie Dietterich, Molly Joyce, Krists Auznieks, Gulli Björnsson, and etc. ACO is commissioning a new guitar concerto by Hilary Purrington, to be premiered by JIJI in 2019 Fall. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Guitar at ASU.
Founded in Ann Arbor in 2016, the Ivalas Quartet is composed of violinists Reuben Kebede and Anita Dumar, violist Aimée McAnulty, and cellist Pedro Sánchez. The quartet won first prize in the 2019 WDAV Young Artists Chamber Music Competition, first prize in the 2018 Briggs Chamber Music Competition, and was a semifinalist group at both the M-Prize and Concert Artists Guild competitions. Ivalas regularly performs at schools, museums, shelters, and many other community centers. This year the quartet was privileged to attend the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Aspen Music Festival’s Center for Advanced Quartet Studies.
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Praised for his “warm lyricism and rich passion,” Venezuelan violinist Rubén Rengel is quickly gaining recognition as a remarkably gifted concert violinist, continuously captivating audiences with a lush, singing tone, and charismatic virtuosity. Mr. Rengel was the Winner of the 2018 Sphinx Competition. Concerto engagements this season include concerts with the Houston, Vermont, and Signature Symphonies. He has previously appeared with the Venezuela, Firelands, and CIM Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Rengel is an avid chamber musician, appearing in collaborations with Joseph Silverstein, Joel Krosnick, Pamela Frank, Timothy Eddy, and Gilbert Kalish. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Shepherd School of Music, as a student of Paul Kantor. Previously, he was a student of Jaime Laredo in Cleveland, and Iván Pérez Núñez in Caracas. He also enjoys performing other genres such as Venezuelan folk music and Jazz. Mr. Rengel plays on a 1908 Stefano Scarampella violin on loan from a private collection.
A virtuoso trumpeter and composer/arranger, Brandon Ridenour is a winner of the 2014 Concert Artist Guild competition and also an International Trumpet Guild solo competition winner. At age twenty, Brandon became the youngest member of the Canadian Brass, recording ten albums and receiving three Juno Award nominations during his seven years with the ensemble. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Brandon recently created two chamber ensembles, Founders and Useful Chamber, complementing his frequent international solo engagements in recital and with orchestra. His new album, Come Together, features his arrangements of Beatles songs scored for a diverse array of musicians/instruments, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the song and the importance of humanity coming together.
Thalea String Quartet
The Thalea String Quartet is dedicated to bringing timeless music to audiences from all walks of life. From living rooms to concert stages around the world, the Thalea String Quartet aims to connect with audiences on a musical, emotional, and personal level, from first time listeners to string quartet aficionados. They are devoted to building a new and diverse audience for chamber music through innovative programming and community engagement. The Thalea String Quartet were top prize winners at both the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2018 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2015-17 and were recently named the Young Professional String Quartet at the Butler School of Music, where they will study with the highly acclaimed Miró Quartet. They will also serve as Associated Artists at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel for the 2018/19 season, where they will be mentored by the Artemis Quartet. They are managed in North America by Lisa Sapinkopf Artists.
Hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble,” the Verona Quartet’s members represent four different nationalities, defying convention through their singular approach to musical and cultural cooperation. Notable projects include a performance art installation entitled “Bows and Elbows” (Ana Prvacki), a groundbreaking cultural exchange with Emirati poets (UAE) and numerous commissions including the 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Quartet, by Michael Gilbertson. A winner of the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the quartet was selected by Musical America as “New Artists of the Month” for May 2016, and since then has continued to garner worldwide recognition for their “interpretive strength…robust characterization [and] commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald).
Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.
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Annelle K. Gregory
Award-winning violinist Annelle K. Gregory is a laureate of international competitions, virtuoso violinist, and recording artist. She is 1st Prize winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition and Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. Gregory's most recent project was the release of the first-ever CD of Rachmaninoff's complete violin/piano works with Russian pianist Alexander Sinchuk. The CD has received international acclaim and aired on radio stations across the U.S. and Europe. As a soloist Gregory has performed with the symphonies of Detroit, La Jolla, San Diego, Chicago Sinfonietta, Houston, Nashville, Santa Monica, and Torrance, and made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, and the Kennedy Center, as well as abroad in Russia, the U.K., Germany, and Portugal. She has been featured on BBC, American Public Media, KUSC, and WQXR radios, as well as on German Television and Detroit Public TV. Gregory graduated summa cum laude from USC’s Thornton School of Music, where she studied under Glenn Dicterow. She also studied with Michael & Irina Tseitlin.
Praised for their "supreme melodic control and total authority," (Calgary Herald), the Argus Quartet is gaining a reputation as one of today's most dynamic young ensembles. The quartet has received grants from Chamber Music America, Tarisio, and the Caramoor Center to support their efforts to commission, perform, and record works by living composers. Argus has served as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music and
began an appointment as the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School in fall 2017. The quartet was recently awarded first prize at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and first prize at the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Competition.
Praised for “…spot-on ensemble playing and a beautifully blended sound…” the Delphi Trio has become a powerfully eloquent voice in the world of chamber music. Prizewinners of the 2015 Orlando Concours, the Trio has performed in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, and across the U.S. World premieres include trios by William Bolcom, Max Stoffregen, and Sahba Aminikia. Delphi Trio runs an Emerging Artist Program collaborating with collegiate students; curates the Practice Project, a social media group that fosters community among both professional and amateur artists; and collaborate with the Prison University Project to bring classical music to inmates in California.
Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Her burgeoning international career includes numerous prominent concerto engagements, including the Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Recent recital highlights include performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Gilmore Rising Stars, and, in Europe, at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall and the Louvre. Dong is the winner of the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition and finalist in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (highest American-born finisher), and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time. She has performed throughout the U.S. since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen. Keeping in touch with her Kentucky roots, Ms. Lark also performs bluegrass and Appalachian music regularly. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. Ms. Lark is represented worldwide by Sciolino Artist Management.
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Named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, Cheng² Duo engages global audiences with its innovative programming and presentations of classical music. Comprised of cellist Bryan Cheng and pianist Silvie Cheng, the sibling duo has performed recitals at prestigious venues and festivals in North America, Europe, and Asia, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Aspen Music Festival, Trasimeno Music Festival, and Ottawa Chamberfest, as well as live on CBC Radio and Vermont Public Radio. Captivating audiences and critics alike with its youthful spirit and mature artistry, the duo released its debut album, Violoncelle français, on the German label audite in October 2016.
Heigo Rosin (1989) is the first solo percussionist to emerge out of Estonia. He has appeared frequently performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras and solo recitals in all over the Europe and the USA. In 2015 Heigo was accepted into the Sponsorship Program of the Orpheum Foundation for the Advancement of Young Soloists. In the same year Heigo was also selected as principal percussionist with full scholarship to the World Percussion Group tour in the USA. Since 2016, Heigo is endorsed by Malletech Percussion Instruments. Over ten years of karate practice has inspired Heigo to combine the movements of karate with his percussion playing. This unique aspect of his playing makes his performances extraordinary not only to hear but to see.
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as having “exceeded the gold standard and moved on to platinum,” the Neave Trio recently gave the world premiere performance of Augusta Read Thomas's “Klee Musings,” which the esteemed composer wrote for them. 2016-2017 season includes residency at Brown University, release of all-American début CD on Chandos, and Piazzolla music video and CD on Azica label. Having appeared at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and La Jolla Music Society, they aim to fulfill the Boston Musical Intelligencer's prediction: “it is inconceivable that [Neave] will not soon be among the busiest chamber ensembles going.”
The Telegraph Quartet recently won the 2016 Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, the prize that also launched the careers of the Emerson, Pacifica, Miró and Brentano Quartets. Telegraph also won the Grand Prize in the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and were the only American quartet of the 15 from around the world invited to showcase at the 2016 Paris String Quartet Biennial. Formed in 2013 with a passionate commitment to the standard repertoire as well as contemporary and new music, Telegraph seeks to spread its music through education and audience engagement. The quartet's esteemed collaborators include pianist Simone Dinnerstein.
Cuban-American cellist, Thomas Mesa, is a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. Thomas is the winner of the Sphinx Competition (2016), Vivo Competition (2016), Thaviu Competition (2013), Alhambra Competition (2006), member of the Grammy-nominated St. Petersburg String Quartet and Piano Quartet, and doctoral candidate at Manhattan School of Music. He has collaborated with artists of the highest caliber including Itzhak Perlman, Kikuei Ikeda, Ivan Zenaty, Andres Diaz, Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, and Barry Shiffman. Past and present faculty positions include Montecito Music Festival, John Jay College, Meadowmount School of Music, Brooklyn Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and St. Petersburg Academy.
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