2019 YPCA Facilitator
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 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.