Past Artists

Sara Chen - Violin

Sara has had master class with well-known violinists, both nationally and internationally, such as Henning Kraggrud, Piotr Janowski, Detlef Hahn, Stephen Shipps, Almita Vamos, Ida Haendel, and Aaron Rosand. She also has attended many of the most prestigous masterclass festivals, such as Kronberg Masterclass, and Keshet Eilon. She has had numerous of performances broadcasted on television since the age of nine.
Her first appearance was with Arve Tellefsen, where she played the "Bach double violin concerto" in 1999. Later she was invited to play at a children channel with Minken Fossheim, and in 2001 she had her piano performance broadcasted at NRK's "Happy New Year". Two years later she played at another Christmas program with her big sister, Catharina Chen, all broadcasted by NRK.

In 2006 Sara had a great performance on the Norwegian National Television program: "Great opportunity", a live competition program of selected young artists from around the country. As a soloist, and a chamber musician, Sara has contributed in several national and international tours and festivals in the world.

Julia Hamos - Piano

Hungarian-American pianist Julia Hamos has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, notably in Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and throughout Europe. She has worked with artists including Andras Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Ferenc Rados, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Sergei Babayan and members of the Orion and Takacs String Quartets. She has given recitals and chamber music performances at the Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy, at Open Chamber Music of the IMS Prussia Cove festival, at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, at the Kneisel Hall Festival, at the Ravinia Steans Institute in 2015 and at the Verbier Festival Academy in 2016. In 2016-2017 she will perform in venues including Weill Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Gstaad Festival in Switzerland at the invitation of Andras Schiff, and in Osaka, Japan.  In 2015 she collaborated with the Martha Graham Dance Company for the company’s 90th anniversary performance at New York’s City Center. Julia is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Christopher Elton. She now studies at the Mannes College of Music with Richard Goode. 

Christina Hughes - Flute

Christina Hughes, 26, is a native of New Jersey and began her flute studies at the age of seven. A recent graduate of the Yale School of Music, Christina received her Master’s of Music under the tutelage of Ransom Wilson. Previously, she attended New England Conservatory for her Bachelor’s Degree as a student of Fenwick Smith. In 2011, Christina won first place in the James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition, and placed second in the NY Flute Club Competition in 2013. She has participated in the Sarasota, Atlantic, and Aspen Music Festivals as well as the New York String Orchestra Seminar. This past summer, Christina was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, working closely with members of the Boston Symphony. She has performed with the New World, Albany, Vermont, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston Symphonies. In addition to orchestral playing, Christina was a founding member of the Trade Winds Quintet and traveled to Nairobi, Kenya in 2013 to begin their mission to provide accessible music classes and performances. Her primary flute mentors include Bart Feller, Mark Sparks, and Bonita Boyd. In her spare time, Christina enjoys cooking, yoga, and reading

James Kim - Cello

Cellist James Kim has appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Lotte Concert Hall, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra at Tongyeong Concert Hall, Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Stern Auditorium, New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic at Jordan Hall, Korean Broadcasting System Orchestra at Changwon Arts Center, and New Jersey Camerata Virtuosi at Carnegie Zankel Hall with conductors such as David Zinman, Alexander Shelley, Michael Sanderling, Keith Lockhart, Benjamin Zander, and others. A recipient of Salon de Virtuosi’s Sony Career Grant and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, James Kim made his first international appearance at the 2006 David Popper International Cello Competition in Hungary, where he won First Prize. He was a top prizewinner at the 2015 Isang Yun International Cello Competition, where he was also awarded Special Prize. He has given solo recitals and chamber music concerts sponsored by Kumho Foundation's “Beautiful Thursday” and Prodigy Recital Series, the Sejong Soloists, Garden City Chamber Music Society, Yale School of Music, Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Encounters. His performances have been broadcasted on Robert Sherman’s WQXR Young Artist Showcase and National Public Radio. His Carnegie Weill Hall recital debut in 2013 sponsored by Yale School of Music received rave reviews, such as "this astonished and experienced connoisseur realized that James Kim is a miracle. Never before have I encountered such winged ease, such airborne joy, such silken smooth bowing and tone production. All of these facets were present at the service of stylistic knowledge, bracing rhythmic thrust and most importantly, an inviting warmth and modest honesty" (Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review). Upcoming performances include Gala concert with the Sejong Soloists on December 17 at Zankel Hall, Recital at the Greene Space of WQXR on March 1, and Cellists of Lincoln Center Concert on April 23 at Alice Tully Hall. His principal teachers include Susan Moses, Janos Starker, Laurence Lesser, Aldo Parisot, and Joel Krosnick. He is currently an Artist Diploma candidate at The Juilliard School, where he is also Studio Teaching Assistant. He performs on a Matteo Goffriller cello from Venice ca. 1715, generously loaned by The Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and The Stradivari Society® of Chicago, Illinois. 

Wenhong Luo - Viola

Wenhong Luo started to learn the violin when she was 4 years old, and at the age of 9 she won the Silver Award of the first National Children’s Art Competition. She entered the Beijing's Music School attached to Central Conservatory of Music and changed to the viola in 2004. During her studies at the school, she held the post of  principal violist in the China Juvenile Symphony Orchestra for 3 years. In 2006, she won first place in the Central Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition. At the age of 16, she performed the Walton viola concerto with China Broadcast Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, she was interviewed by magazines “Strad” and “China Music”, with the titles “Future Star” and “violist of the future”. In 2009, with orchestra, she performed “La Campanella” for the first time, which achieved great success. In 2010 she moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Professor Martin Outram. She won the Theodore Holland Viola Prize in 2010, and also the 3rd prize of the 19th Johnnes Brahms international competition in Austria in 2012. She was a prize was one of the semi-finalist and special prizes winner of the Lionel Tertis viola competition in the Isle of Man in 2013, and in the summer she played Hindemith's “Tauermusik” with orchestra in Italy, conducted by Professor Hartmut Rohde. She is now studying with ‪Kim Kashkashian in Boston at the new England Conservatory of Music. In March 2016, she went back to the Tertis competition and awarded the 3rd prize! She used a 1776 Gaspar Lorenzini viola which was kindly on loan by Reuning & son violins in Boston. 

Marthe Husum

Violist Marthe Grimsrud Husum (Viola) was born in Tønsberg, Norway in 1991. In high school and at The Norwegian Academy of Music, she studied with Prof. Morten Carlsen, then in Berlin at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler with Prof. Walter Küssner. Now, she just graduated from New England Conservatory with Prof. Kim Kashkashian as her teacher. Her passion is orchestra and chamber music. To mention a few she has attended Encurentro de Musica de Santander, Prussia Cove, Banff Chamber Music Residency, La Jolla Music Festival and Verbier Festival. She is also substituting in different professional Orchestras; Berliner Philharmoniker, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2013 as «Akademist» in Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Since 2008 she has also been a member of the new chamber orchestra in Norway – Ensemble Allegria. With this prize awarded orchestra, she recorded Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in 2015, and performed it this spring at "Sentralen" in Oslo. When not playing the viola, Marthe loves to cook and run.

 

 

Eric Gratz - Violin

Eric Gratz is entering his fourth season as concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. His playing has been described as “eloquent” and “spellbinding . . . a disciplined musician beyond his years” (Dallas Morning News/San Antonio Express News). A seasoned soloist and chamber musician, his performances have taken him throughout the U.S., as well as to Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, and China, appearing with members of leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. 

At 17, Mr. Gratz made his solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, as well as a recital debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  His subsequent solo appearances include the San Antonio Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Rice University Campanile Orchestra, and the Lexington Bach Festival Orchestra.  Recent debuts include Cactus Pear Music Festival, Austin Chamber Music, Incontri Musicali, and the Mainly Mozart Festival. For more information, visit ericgratz.net.

Katya Gruzglina - Soprano

Ukranian born soprano Yekaterina Gruzglina is a recent graduate of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. While there, she was seen as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro as well as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Marcellina in Fidelio in the Shepherd School's scenes program. Yekaterina spent the last two seasons with the Aspen Music Festival, where she performed Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Nanetta in Falstaff in the orchestrated opera scenes program. Recent roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Banff Opera Theatre Centre and Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera with the Juilliard Opera Workshop. Upcoming engagements include the cover of Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte with Opera Cooperative. 

Euntaek Kim - Piano

Euntaek Kim is a classically trained pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. A native of South Korea, Euntaek began his piano lessons at age three and was admitted to the preparatory division of the Korean National University of Arts at age nine. At twelve, he took his first conducting lesson and gave his first public piano recital in Seoul, presented by the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation. A year later, Euntaek emigrated to the United States to begin piano studies at The Juilliard Pre-College.

Euntaek has appeared at numerous venues around the world, such as the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Steinway Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, CO, to name a few.

Euntaek has participated in summer music festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival and School, Music Academy of the West, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. As a chamber musician, Euntaek has collaborated with members of the Enso, Escher, and Ying quartets. Recently, Euntaek’s collaboration with Eric Gratz, the concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, led to a successful release of a CD album in 2016.

Euntaek holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, and the Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. His private instructors include Jerome Lowenthal, Boris Berman, and Seymour Lipkin in piano, and Jeffrey Milarsky in orchestral conducting. Euntaek occasionally organizes orchestral concerts in New York City, in which he both performs and conducts.

He lives in New York City with his wife, Sara Rossi, a violist.

Luise Rummel - Oboe

Luise Rummel was born in 1987 in Northern Germany and took her first oboe lessons when she was eleven years old. She began to study at the music college in Frankfurt am Main in the class of Prof. Fabian Menzel and changed to the UdK Berlin in 2011 to study with Prof. Washington Barella. During this period, she received the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes“ scholarship. 

Luise was a member of the academy of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg and of the "Villa Musica“ program for chamber music. Since her graduation in 2013, she has been an oboe and englishhorn player in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Neubrandenburg. 

Luise has attended masterlasses with Christian Wetzel, Hansjörg Schellenberger and Ingo Goritzki, at the International Music Festival in Santander and the Academy "Collegium Musicum“ in Pommersfelden, where she was invited to play the oboe concerto of Richard Strauss as a soloist. 

She is a member two wind quintets, "Quintett Pasú“ and "5 Beaufort“, with whom she is now receiving her masters degree for chamber music at UdK Berlin in the class of the Artemis Quartett. The quintet received first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Chieri in 2013, played in the "Villa Musica“-Program and the "Styriarte Festival“ and performs all over Germany. 
 

Christopher Tun Andersen - Violin

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Christopher Tun Andersen started playing violin at the age of four. He has studied with Professor Isaac Schuldman, first at the Barratt Due Institute of Music and later from 2010 at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

From 2014, Christopher was admitted to graduate studies with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinca Kopec (Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program) at Manhattan School of Music, one of the world's leading music institutions, and with Peter Herresthal at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Christopher is laureate and participant in several international violin competitions, including the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (2015). He has won 2nd prize in the International Violin Competition in Wörthersee Austria (2007), 1st prize at the Jugend Musiziert competition in Germany along with the Europe Prize from the German Music Foundation (2007), and the Heifetz Prize in the IV International Jascha Heifetz Violin Competition (2013).

He has participated at masterclasses with Zakhar Bron, Sergei Stadler, Dora Schwarzberg, Anna Chumachenco, Pamela Frank, Kryzstof Wegzryn and Boris Kuschnir.

He has performed at festivals such as Holland International Music Sessions, Verbier Festival Academy, Kronberg Academy, Bergen International Festival and Glafsfjorden Music Festival. In 2015, Christopher was invited to play at the Oslo Chambermusic Festival with Arve Tellefsen in Oscarshall and in 2016  with Pinchas Zukerman in the University  Aula.

15 years old, he made his debut with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Kantorov. Since then he has played with this orchestra in St. Petersburg's legendary concert halls and performed violin concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Brahms.

In the year 2015, he performed as a soloist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Minsk State Chamber Orchestra. During the same year, he was a soloist in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, where he performed Sinding Suite in a minor. In 2016, at the Aftenposten New Year’s concert in Oslo Concert Hall, he played as a soloist with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Christopher plays on a violin built by G.B. Guadagnini (Milan 1753) kindly on loan by the Anders Sveaas Charitable Foundation.

Jun Cho - Piano

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Pianist Jun Cho has appeared as both solo and chamber musician at major New York venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Mr. Cho has also performed as concerto soloist with the orchestras of Rice University, The Juilliard School and The Mannes School. Prior to living in New York, Jun Cho received numerous awards in his native Korea, including first prize at the Korea Times and Samick competitions. In addition, he has appeared as a competitor in several international competitions including the Honens, Leeds, and Iowa competitions.

An avid collaborator, Mr. Cho has performed with renowned musicians including Kathleen Winkler, Toby Appel, and Nicolas Kitchen. He has given extensive collaborative performances at the Aspen Music Festival and the Sejong Music Festival, and served as a collaborative piano faculty at the Heifetz Institute. He currently serves as a faculty member at the Perlman Music Program.

Jun Cho received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees at The Juilliard School and currently resides in New York City while pursuing a doctoral degree at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

Caroline Gilbert - Violin

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Caroline Gilbert, born in Bloomington, IN, grew up playing the violin in the pre-college program at Indiana University. After a little soul searching at Vanderbilt University where she double majored in music and pre-med, she transferred to Indiana University where she completed her Bachelors of Music with Atar Arad. While at the University, she won the concerto competition and performed Hindemith Der Schwanendreher as a soloist with the Indiana University chamber orchestra and was asked to represent the school at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., performing in the "Conservatory Project” concert series. For her Masters of Music, she attended The Juilliard School where she studied with Samuel Rhodes and Rodger Tapping. After participating in the Keshet Elion summer mastercourse in Israel, where her performance was broadcast on the radio in New York,  she went on to play with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, worked with Michael Tilson Thomas as a member of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia, toured Turkey, Spain, and Germany with the Schleswig-Holstien Festival Orchestra, played alongside the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Music Festival, and spent the last three summers in Switzerland playing with the Verbier Festival Orchestra. After completing her degrees, she moved to Miami Beach to join the New World Symphony until recently winning the Principal Viola position with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Narek Arutyunian - Clarinet

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Clarinetist Narek Arutyunian is an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity” (The Washington Post).  He has performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall as well as Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with The Boston Pops.  Mr. Arutyunian has also appeared as soloist with the Meridian Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Long Bay Symphony, and the Longwood Symphony.  He has performed recitals at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the Westport Arts Center, the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Music for Youth, Iowa State University, Southern Adventist University, Missouri State University, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.

Mr. Arutyunian has performed extensively in Australia, Asia, and in Europe, where he appeared at the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa, among others.  He has appeared as soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in Russia with the Kaliningrad Philharmonic, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Arutyunian’s festival appearances include Juilliard ChamberFest, where he performed Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, the New York Festival of Song, Krzyzowa Music Festival in Poland, Germany’s Usedomer Musikfestival, Musica Viva’s Huntington Estate and Sydney Festivals in Australia, the 2013 Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing, and the Marlboro Music Festival.

Mr. Arutyunian’s growing career has also included numerous educational outreach programs in New York City public schools and around the country.  His 2016-2017 season includes recitals at the Morgan Library and Museum, Pepperdine University, Oneonta Concert Association, and a performance as soloist with the Bucks County Symphony.

Winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall and the Kennedy Center to rave reviews.  By the age of 16, he had already won First Prizes in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow.  He recorded the Weber Concertino for clarinet with the State Symphony Orchestra of New Russia.

Born in 1992 in Gyumri, Armenia, Mr. Arutyunian’s family moved to Moscow when he was three.  He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory where he worked with Evgeny Petrov.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School, where he worked with Charles Neidich.  He is currently a Master’s candidate at the Manhattan School of Music, where he continues his studies with Mr. Neidich.  Mr. Arutyunian’s clarinet is a personal gift from the conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov.  He receives general support for his career from the Guzik Foundation in California.

Luba Podgaskaya - Piano

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Russian born Luba Podgayskaya has been living in the Netherlands since 2008. Both a pianist and a harpsichordist, she graduated from the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory in 2008. Additional degrees include a Bachelor and Double Masters degree from the Royal Conservatoire where she studied piano with David Kuijken and harpsichord with Jacques Ogg.

Luba has won several prizes: 1st Prize on the International Piano Competition “Resonances” (Paris, France, 2014), a prize winner of the festival “In every music there is Bach” (Petrozavodsk, Russia, 2000), 3d Prize in the international B. Asafiev competition (Great Novgorod, Russia, 2006).

 Luba has participated in various projects such as “De Avond van de Jonge Musicus”, Grachtenfestival, International Masterclasses for Early Music (Irsee, Germany), International Clarinet Days (Izmir, Turkey), Student Philharmonic (Saint-Petersburg, Russia).

Since 2009 Luba has been working at the Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag as a vocal accompanist/repetitor. She currently works with different opera companies and projects: Opera2Day, National Opera & Ballet, Theater Transparant, Hojotoho Operastudio, McCray Operastudio.

Sayaka Selina - Cello

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Since her solo debut at the Tonhalle Zurich with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the age of 15, Sayaka Selina is considered one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from Switzerland.

Sayaka Selina gained international recognition in 2012, when she played Thomas Demenga's Double Cello Concerto at the Piatigorsky Festival in Los Angeles alongside the composer and the Festival Orchestra under the baton of Hugh Wolff. Since then, concerts have led her through Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Japan, Korea, Denmark and Norway, where she performed in venues such as the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Kumho Hall in Seoul and the Tonhalle Zurich.

Born in Zurich, Sayaka started playing the cello at the age of 6 with Rebecca Firth. At 15, she was admitted to Thomas Demenga's studio at the Hochschule für Musik Basel, where she graduated with honours in 2011. She then went on to study with Frans Helmerson and Jérôme Pernoo, also receiving top marks for her Masters Degree.

Other important musical advice came from personalities such as Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Natalia Gutman, Miklós Perény, Natalia Shakhovskaya, Miriam Fried, Gerhard Schulz, Lars Anders Tomter, Leon Fleisher and Menahem Pressler.

Sayaka is currently pursuing her Konzertexamen Degree at the renowned “Hanns Eisler” university in Berlin with Frans Helmerson.

Sayaka is a frequent soloist with orchestras in Switzerland, such as the Zurich- and Basel Chamber Orchestras, the Zurich Camerata and the New Zurich Orchestra. In the 2017/2018 season, she is looking forward to performing Boccherinis Concerto in B major with the Camerata Zurich, as well as the premiere of a piece for violin, cello and string orchestra, written by Thomas Demenga for her and her sister, violinist Sumina Studer.

An avid chamber musician, Sayaka has performed at Festivals such as the Santander-, Verbier- and Ravinia- and VivaCello Festivals, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, as well as Incontri Musicali Spoleto, the Norsjø Kammermusikkfest, and the Open Chamber Music Prussia Cove, where she worked with musicians such as Frans Helmerson, Thomas Demenga, Huw Watkins, Klaus Thunemann, and members of the Kuss Quartet, the Endemyon Ensemble, and Tecchler Trio amongst others.

Sayaka has been awarded numerous prizes at national and international competitions such as the “Antonio Janigro” International Competition in Croatia, the Domenico Gabrielli Competition in Berlin, and most recently at the “Viva Hall” Cello Competition in Japan.

She has been kindly supported by several foundations, such as the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Migros Kulturprozent, the Yamaha-, and the Kiefer-Hablitzel Foundations.

Emma Steele- Viola

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Originally a native of Chicago, Emma Steele performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist and as part of chamber ensembles. Favorite past performances have been in venues such as Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Carnegie Hall in New York, The Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague, and Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. Steele currently holds position as one of the concertmasters of the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra (Det Kongelige Kapel) in Copenhagen.

Steele has participated and won awards in many competitions, including in the Sibelius International Violin Competition where she became a finalist and received the Young Talent Prize. She has also received the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Silver Award, the WAMSO Elaine Louise Lagerstrom Memorial Violin Award, and a study grant from the International Pablo de Sarasate Violin Competition 2009. She also became a finalist and Silver Prize winner in the prestigious Irving M. Klein International String Competition 2012 in San Francisco.

An avid chamber musician, she has performed on From the Top and multiple WFMT radio shows including Introductions and the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series. As part of the Violin Virtuosi, she was featured in the PBS documentary, Circling Around: The Violin Virtuosi.

Steele’s first place awards include the Walgreens, Society of American Musicians Young Artist Division, Chinese Fine Arts Society, Musicians Club of Women, and Union League Civic and Arts Foundation competitions. She has soloed with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Radio Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with Cyrus Forough, and continued her studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Aaron Rosand.

 

Viller Valbonesi- Piano

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Viller Valbonesi studied in Italy with Mauro Minguzzi, Pier Narciso Masi, Fabrizio Lanzoni. From 2007 he studied with Sergio Perticaroli at the "Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia" in Rom, where he achieved the Diplom in 2010 with "Summa cum laude" and from 2012 he studied with Fabio Bidini at the Hochschule "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin where he graduated as Konzertexamen in 2015. Viller has performed in Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Norway, Japan and USA, at venues such as Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg, "Sala Petrassi" and "Sala S. Cecilia" in Rome, Sala dei Giganti in Padova, Teatro Malibran in Venezia, Troldhaugen in Bergen, Wiener Saal in Salzburg... He also performed as soloist with orchestras with many conductors, including Ovidiu Balan, Enrique Bàtiz, Christian Ehwald, Alberto Malazzi.

He is also active as a chamber musician and song accompanist. Since 2012 he is a member of the "Berolina Ensemble", recording 3 Cds with the label MDG. With this label he makes his appearance also as a soloist in the release „Rudorff Chamber Music“ (2015), interpreting Ernst Rudorff ́s piano works. The Berolina Ensemble won two times the prestigious „Echo Preis", the most important musical prize in German: the prize as "Best Ensemble of the year" in 2014 and the prize for the "best 19th century chamber music recording" in 2016.

Viller won other important prizes in many piano competitions, including Berliner Klavierwettbewerb, international Schubert Competition in Dortmund, International Arcangelo Speranza Competition in Taranto, International Val Tidone Competition, International Porrino Competition in Cagliari, International Scriabin Competition in Grosseto and „Premio Venezia“.

Viller is also a very active piano teacher: in the academic year 2015/2016 he was Fabio Bidini's assistent at the International Courses in Music Performance "Talent Music Masters" in Brescia . In 2015 he held the same role also at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin. Since 2016 he teaches piano at the „Bela Bartok“ Musikschule in Berlin and secondary piano at the anns Eisler Hochschule für Musik Berlin.

Lucie Chartin- Soprano

"When I grow up I want to be a pianist, a singer or a cleaning lady." 

Having explored both the piano and the cleaning options, Lucie is now pursuing her vocation as a singer. Born and raised in the south of France, her childhood was characterised by an endless round of piano and flute lessons. She participated successfully in a few competitions and won the second and first prize of her category at the Concorso Pianistico Nazionale di Cesenatico.

After finishing her piano degree 'cum laude' at barely 14 years old, she studied singing at the Early Music Department of the Amsterdam Conservatoire, from which she graduated in 2015 with the highest distinction. 

As a soloist she performed under the direction of Gijs Leenaars, Daniël Reuss, Richard Egarr, Sigiswald Kuyken, Yannick Nézét-Seguin and Hernán Schwartzman. She performed with orchestra’s such as The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Asko Schönberg, The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, in concerts venues including Tokyo International Forum, De Doelen (Rotterdam), Muziektheater aan't IJ, (Amsterdam), der Tonhalle (Düsseldorf), Royal Theater (The Hague) and Tivoli Vredenburg (Utrecht).

In opera she sung the role of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas under Richard Egarr in Amsterdam, and created the role of Mariken's Soul in Mariken in de tuin der Lusten by Callioppe Tsoupaki with the company OPERA2DAY. She then performed the coloratura part in their next production, Dr Miracle's Last Illusion. Both productions were live captured on DVD.

She made her debut at the Dutch National Opera with Before Present, a co-production with Amsterdam Dance Event staged by Sjaron Minailo, with another tailor-made composition this time by Anat Spiegel.

She just finished her first commercial recording with l'Orchestre de Suisse Romande and l'Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, Le Roi David by Arthur Honegger. 

Upcoming engagement include Ophélie in Hamlet (Ambroise Thomas) with OPERA2DAY and the part of Iseult in Frank Martin's Le Vin Herbé with the Sao Paulo Symphonic Orchestra.

 

Sam Almaguer- Clarinet

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Samuel Almaguer is the principal clarinetist of the North Carolina Symphony. Previous to his time in North Carolina, Sam has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Sam has been featured with Incontri Musicali in Spoleto, Italy and the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio. Sam’s performances have been broadcast on WGBH Boston, WUNC in the Research Triangle, and on local television in Los Angeles. At a young age he was featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” with pianist Christopher O’Riley. Sam is also an avid pursuer of contemporary music, having been featured as a guest artist with the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, Wild Up in Los Angeles, and various projects with the North Carolina Symphony.While in school, Sam was a fellow at both the Tanglewood Music Center and Music Academy of the West. He received his undergraduate degree at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA and attended Rice University for graduate studies. His primary teachers include Yehuda Gilad, Richie Hawley, and Ilya Shterenberg. Sam is a Vandoren Emerging Artist.