After growing up in Wausau, Wisconsin, cellist and SBCE director Michael Andrews attended the University of Wisconsin and University of Illinois, where he studied with Gabriel Magyar of the Hungarian String Quartet. Following graduation he moved to Boston to study with George Neikrug. For five years Mr. Andrews played with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Caracas, Venezuela, taught at the orchestra's conservatory and toured Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Returning to the US he taught and performed at the Wausau Conservatory of Music. In Florida he has played in the Naples Philharmonic, Southwest Florida Philharmonic and the Symphony of the Americas.
In August 2005 he played at the Villa-Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro with violinist Thomas Moore, part of SBCE's Music in Motion: Miami to Rio. In June 2006 he created a successful annual chamber music festival, South Beach Up North, in his hometown. In September 2007 he and Mr. Moore toured Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Buenos Aires with their second Music in Motion project. Past travels have included Paris, Lourdes and Budapest. Mr. Andrews implemented and taught a chamber music program at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy for Girls, South Miami and at Fisher Island Day School. He continues to teach cello privately.
Luis Fernandez, violinist and conductor, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began violin studies through the El Sistema music program and the Academia Latinoamericana del Violín. After immigrating to the United States, he studied at the New World School for the Arts with Thomas Moore, as well as at the University of Florida and University of Miami, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in 2011. As a performer, Fernandez has performed with the New World Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Grand Opera, numerous other orchestras in South Florida, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. With the Nuevo Mundo String Quartet, he toured Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Spain, France, England, Germany and Japan, and is currently a member of Miami Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has played at the Pine Mountain, Sewanee, Aspen Music Festival, Del Sol, and Hot Springs Music Festivals. Active as a teacher as well as performer, Fernandez is on the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan) and has been invited to implement the teaching techniques of Venezuela's renowned El Sistema in Bolivia, Cuba, Colombia, and most recently Mexico.
A native South Floridian, Anthony Seepersad graduated from the University of Miami with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. While in school he served as concertmaster at the Cannon Music Camp and at the Eastern Music Festival. Since graduation he has recorded with several artists such as Cristian Castro, Ricardo Montaner and Barbra Streisand. He has also performed on stage with such artists as Barry Gibb, Josh Groban, and Pavorotti. He can currently be found playing with the Naples Philharmonic and the Florida Grand Opera.
In addition to playing the violin, Anthony is also a noted pianist and singer. Right now he is hard at work on his first album fusing together alternative and electronic musical styles.
Beginning his viola studies at an early age in Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez became involved in classical music with “el Movimiento” Simon Bolivar in 1992. His honors include 2nd place at the State Mandolin Festival, Capacho, Venezuela, a full scholarship with the Slava Bogu String Quartet, Bogotá, Colombia, and First Prize winner of the chamber music competition at Florida International University (2006 and 2007). Mr. Ramirez has participated in master classes with Zvi Zeitlin, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Marc Johnson, Roberto Diaz, Lewis Kaplan, Toby Appel, Erick Shumsky, and the Vermeer, Shanghai, Ying, Bergonzi and Miami String Quartets.
Engagements have included appearances as a soloist with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Táchira State, Venezuela, Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Táchira, Camerata San Cristobal, Collegium Musicum-FIU, Miami Bach Society Orchestra, Hampden-Sydney Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival and Pine Mountain Festival. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate in Music Performance at the University of Miami. Mr. Ramirez is also a member of the Miami Symphony, Palm Beach Pops and Symphony of the Americas.
Ciro Foderé, a former pianist with the New World Symphony, regularly performs chamber music and orchestral works in Miami. He has also performed with the NWS in Rome and Perugia, Italy, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Mr. Foderé has been a soloist three times with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ignat Solzhenitsyn and David Stahl, performing Gershwin and Saint-Saens concertos.
After being featured numerous times in all the important halls in his native Uruguay, Mr. Foderé played in the Final Gala Concert Festival in Londrina, Brazil, and the International Piano Series twice. He also appeared at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Drayton Hall, Circulo Hispanoamericano, 20th Century Pittsburgh Hall, Pittsburgh Concert Society and the Trujillo Music Festival, Spain.
current guest artists
Sarah Schreffler is currently concertmaster of Musica Nova, an ensemble in Phoenix, Arizona, committed to performing and recording diverse and overlooked repertoire. She has performed as a soloist with the Musica Nova Baroque Orchestra, and is an active recitalist and chamber musician. In addition to performance activities, she currently maintains a large private studio, and has also been a teaching assistant at Arizona State University and at the Brevard Music Center. In Fall 2009, she began Doctoral studies as a Graduate Fellow at Arizona State University. Ms. Schreffler holds performance degrees from ASU and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where her principal teachers were Katherine McLin and David Updegraff.
Soprano Anna Hersey, a recent Fulbright fellow at the Kungliga Musikhogskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm, has established herself as an expert on Swedish song. She has performed Scandinavian repertoire in Stockholm, Helsinki, Berlin, and most recently as guest artist at the Leiv Eriksson International Festival in Minneapolis, along with Swedish pianist Matti Hirvonen. Her book, Scandinavian Song: A Guide to Diction and Repertoire, is forthcoming from Scarecrow Press. A native of Minnesota, Anna has performed with Palm Beach Opera, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, Skylark Opera, The Minnesota Opera, Theatre de la Jeune Lune (at Berkeley Repertory Theater), The Schubert Club, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, and ACTORS Theater.
Past roles include the Contessa in Theatre de la Jeune Lune's Mozart/Beaumarchais adaptation Figaro at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (nominated for Best Ensemble by the Bay Area Critics Circle), Mag (Richard Wargo's Ballymore), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Concepción (L'heure Espagnole), La Princesse (L'Enfant et les sortileges), Frasquita (Carmen), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Fiona (Brigadoon), and Joanna (Godspell).
Anna has performed in master classes with Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Vivica Geneaux, Marianne Hirsti, Jennifer Larmore, Christopher Maltman, Håkan Hagegård, and Simon Estes. She holds master's degrees in performance and musicology from the University of Minnesota and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy with acclaimed soprano Raina Kabaivanska (thanks to an Emma Contestabile scholarship). Currently she is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Miami, where she is a Smathers Fellow.
Kenneth Martinson, is the President of the International Viola Society and the owner of Gems Music Publications, a company devoted to promoting rare and previously out of print or unpublished viola scores. Currently, he is the Principal Violist of the Brevard Symphony (Melbourne, Florida). He was assistant professor of Viola at University of Florida, Western Illinois University, and the Crane School of Music-SUNY Potsdam, NY, as well as resident faculty at Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI. His musical training includes receiving his M.M. (Viola Performance) from the Eastman School of Music and his B.M. (Viola Performance/Music Composition) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Ken had an early success in becoming the principal violist of the Interlochen World Youth Symphony. He was the violist of the Julstrom String Quartet, the Potsdam Piano Quartet, the Artaria Quartet, Boston, and the Rackham String Quartet. Mr. Martinson has held principal chairs in the Orlando, Toledo, Peoria, Lansing, Dubuque, and Santa Cruz Symphonies. Ken is a frequent recitalist and has performed the solo sonatas of Paul Hindemith and the complete sonatas of Darius Milhaud, also on his Centaur Records CD. He has two other Centaur CDs, viola chamber music of Rebecca Clarke and Bohuslav Martin.
Ken has performed throughout the United States and Canada as well as Brazil, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Russia, Poland, South Africa, and Switzerland. The Toledo Blade has described his sound as being "rich and tawny, and one would like to hear it even more".
Since his solo debut with Jovenes Arcos de Caracas at the age of seven, Oscar Soler has been invited to play with the National Repertory Orchestra, Orquesta Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho, Virtuosi de Caracas, and Orquesta Juvenil de Caracas. His playing has been described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer to apply "generous allure" to the violin solos of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben after his performance as concertmaster of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra at Severance Hall. He has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, and Canton Symphony. Oscar was appointed assistant concertmaster and concertmaster of the National Repertory Orchestra for their summer seasons in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Mr. Soler studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with violinist and pedagogue Paul Kantor and was on the violin faculty at Cleveland School for the Arts and Boulder Suzuki Strings. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree this in 2007 and Master of Music degree in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy in 2009. Oscar was appointed to the faculty of the Aber Suzuki Center, UW-SP in 2011. Mr. Soler is a native of Caracas, Venezuela.
Bassist Cindy Blandino has a diverse background in both chamber music and the symphonic repertoire. While a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she studied with David Perlman (Former Principal Bass, The Cleveland Orchestra) and was Principal Double Bass in the Canton Symphony (Canton, Ohio), Ohio Chamber Orchestra, New Cleveland Opera and Opus I Chamber Soloists. Ms. Blandino studied chamber music at the Blossom Music Festival and played in the Colorado Philharmonic (The National Repertory Orchestra). Cindy Chalfant Blandino
She held the position of Principal Bass in both the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, (Dominican Republic) and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Caracas (Venezuela), where she met South Beach Chamber Ensemble founder and cellist, Michael Andrews. Upon her return to the U.S., she continued as principal bass with the Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, and the Florida Symphonic Pops of Boca Raton. She also performed with the Miami City Ballet, Gold Coast Opera and South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Cindy currently plays Principal Bass in the Phoenix Opera and the Musica Nova Orchestra, freelances in symphonic and chamber music ensembles throughout Arizona and is the String Department Chairman and Orchestra Director at the Arizona School for the Arts.
Pianist Thomas Dickinson has performed across the United States and abroad in England, the Czech Republic, Russia, Taiwan and China. His teachers include Sue Liu Wen, Frances Clark, Donald Betts and Donald Currier. Additional studies were with Jerome Lowenthal, Richard Goode and André Watts. He was ITT Fellow for two years of study with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and Germaine Mounier of the Paris Conservatory. He earned his Bachelor's, Master's and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Yale University.Cindy Chalfant Blandino
He was the first Western artist to cross the Sino-Russian border in more than thirty years when he toured eastern Siberia in 1989. Following subsequent tours there he founded Musical Bridges, Inc., now called Siberian Bridges, Inc., a non-profit now in its 16th year that focuses on support and cooperation between the Upper Midwest of the U.S. and the area east of Lake Baikal, called "Zabaikalye," and its center, the city of Chita. His 2005 recital in Chita lay the foundation for Chita's first privately organized classical performance series based at the Art Museum, which itself led to the formation of Sibirskye Mosti ("Siberian Bridges"), a new Russian NGO that partners with Siberian Bridges, Inc. on projects of mutual interest.
Mr Dickinson teaches privately in his home in Minneapolis.
past guest artists
Nancy Hambleton-Torrente grew up in Englishtown, New Jersey. She has been the director of 6th through 12th grade orchestras in Yorktown Central Schools, Yorktown Heights, NY since 1999. During her tenure there the Yorktown High School orchestra has performed in festivals in Florida, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Quebec City, Montreal, Salzburg and Vienna. She has been a faculty member of Villanova University’s Eastern String Educator’s Workshop where she taught cello pedagogy as well as classroom string teaching. In recent years has been an invited conductor at festival orchestras in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and in New York. Her prior teaching experience includes the East Harlem String Program in NYC and St. Francis Preparatory HS in Queens NY. She maintains an active private cello studio and in addition to her love of teaching, Ms. Hambleton-Torrente is a professional cellist. She has been a member of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Caracas (Venezuela), Opera Barga (Italy), Taconic Opera Company, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and the Seranata Ensemble. In addition to frequent recitals, she has recorded all types of music from Latin to rock and can be heard playing duets with jazz saxophonist David Liebman on “A Walk in the Clouds “ and “Dedications” on the “Arkadia” label. Ms. Hambleton-Torrente resides in Westchester County, NY with her husband and their two sons.
Born in Cuba, Al Torrente came to this country at age eleven and grew up in Miami, Florida, playing in bands as a guitar player as well as a trumpet player. After graduating from the University of Miami with a Theory and Composition degree where he studied with Clifton Williams and James Progris, Mr. Torrente taught at the Berklee School of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, teaching Composition and Arranging. When he moved to New York he began playing, recording and traveling with many artists, including Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Kendricks, Southside Johnny. Al received a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in Jazz Composition, studying with Bob Brookmeyer. His ever-expanding body of work includes numerous pieces for Big Band, Chorus and Orchestra, small ensembles and the BMI Composer’s workshop. Currently Al is a Band Director in Westchester, NY.
Sara Usher has played and taught professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past thirty three years. She plays regularly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and New Century Chamber Orchestra. She enjoys varied chamber music opportunities and is a founding member of Corvo String Quartet. Ms. Usher directs the Honors Ensemble Program at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland as well as teaching privately in her home.
Violist Dee Martz joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in 1979 where she also served as Director of the American Suzuki Institute, the oldest and largest Suzuki summer school in North America, from 1986-2009. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Mrs. Martz's studies as a merit scholarship student with David Dawson at Indiana University led to membership in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, la Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional del Peru, the Indiana String Quartet, the J.S. Bach Chamber Orchestra and her current position as principal violist in the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. An active performer and clinician Dee's professional travels have taken her to more than 25 states, Canada, South America and Australia.
is a recent graduate of the New World School of the Art's composition program. He has led several band's and recording projects in a variety of genres but the South Beach Chamber Ensemble has offered him his first opportunity to write classical music for professional classical musicians.
Pianist, percussionist, harpist and conductor, Michael Linville is currently Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music Activities for the New World Symphony, the orchestral academy founded in 1987 by Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Linville is also artistic coordinator of the New World Percussion Consort, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music that features percussion.
As a soloist, Mr. Linville has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Breckenridge Chamber Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra. In addition, he has played with the Honolulu Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and was a featured keyboardist with the Florida Philharmonic. His playing can be heard on a number of recordings, including New World Jazz (BMG), A Night in the Tropics the Music of Gottschalk (Naxos), and White Mares of the Moon Chamber Music of Dan Welcher (CRI), which Mr. Linville also produced.
Janet Clippard spent most of her musical career as the assistant principal bassist of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. As a founding member of the American Sinfonietta, a professional chamber orchestra, she toured annually playing in the great concert halls of Europe such as Vienna's Musikverein. Ms. Clippard has also performed with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Florida Orchestra. Presently, she is a member of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra and is the principal bassist for the Miami City Ballet.
In chamber music, Janet has collaborated in chamber music with such groups as the Austrian String Quartet, the Miami String Quartet, the Amernet String Quartet and the Eroica Trio.
Pianist Hyojin Ahn's musical life has taken her across Europe, the United States and her home country of Korea. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center in a performance aired live on NPR, and twice toured the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. As a chamber musician and orchestral pianist, she spent three years playing in the New World Symphony under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.
Ms. Ahn was awarded the Presser Music Award with which she studied and toured in France, Italy, and Austria. Her repertoire includes not only standard recital fare, but also 20th and 21st century music by Xenakis, Stockhausen, Berio, Ligeti, Messiaen, and Bolcom. She has premiered many compositions and collaborated with eminent composers such as Gunther Schuller, Wolfgang Rihm, Oliver Knussen and John Adams.
A graduate of Seoul National University and the University of Michigan, she earned her doctorate from Rice University. She teaches at Barry University and holds the position of Principal Keyboard of the Southwest Florida Symphony in Fort Meyers, Florida.
Mara Beckman received her Bachelor of Arts in Piano from UW-Stevens Point and received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Accompanying and Coaching from UW-Milwaukee. She has studied with Jeffry Peterson, Judit Jaimes, Katja Phillabaum and Michael Keller. Currently she is an instructor of piano at the Wausau Conservatory of Music. In addition to teaching, Ms. Beckman is a freelance performer throughout the Midwest. She has played for Opera for the Young, Milwaukee Ballet Company/School, Skylight Opera Company, String Academy of Wisconsin, Wausau Symphony, and numerous opera and musical productions. Mara is the accompanist for Pro Musica and Wausau Conservatory’s Choralation Choir.
Dr. David Severtson, pianist, maintains an active performing career as a solo and collaborative artist. He has performed on faculty and guest artist recitals at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Luther College, St. Olaf College, Bemidji State University, and he has appeared on concert series throughout the country. Dr. Severtson holds graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Minnesota. His research interests include the interdisciplinary study of 19th and 20th century French and German music and culture, including a published scholarly article on the literary influences on Robert Schumann’s piano music in the Music Research Forum.
Molly Roseman serves as Assistant Professor of Piano at UW-Stevens Point. She is an active solo and collaborative pianist throughout Wisconsin and has been a featured performer with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, and on Wisconsin Public Radio’s "Live at the Elvehjem" series. She has performed in many venues throughout the United States including the National Flute Association Conventions, the U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, Atlanta Pro-Mozart Society, and the Tallahassee Bach Parley. She is also an active music clinician and adjudicator in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest.
Her formal training includes a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory; a M.M. in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music; and a D.M. in Piano Performance from Florida State University. She has studied piano with James Streem, Jeffrey Kahane, and Richard Cass. Additional studies include collaborative piano with Jean Barr at the Eastman School of Music.
Matthew Michelic enjoys a diverse musical career as a teacher and performing violist. He has studied viola performance with William Primrose and Bernard Zaslav, string pedagogy with Mimi Zwieg, and has received coaching from members of the Amadeus, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets. Mr. Michelic has toured widely and recorded as a member of the DaVinci and Delos Quartets. Currently he is a professor at Lawrence University's Conservatory of Music, where he teaches viola, chamber music and classes in music history and orchestral literature. He has recently toured in China and Vietnam with the Lawrence Chamber Players, and performs frequently on broadcasts of Wisconsin Public Radio.
Born in Pittsburgh, Melissa began violin at the age of three and studied at Duquesne University’s City Music Center. Under the guidance and teachings of Pittsburgh Symphony members, she has won numerous awards and was recognized on WQED Radio Station for the Performing Arts. She was a first violin member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony for three years and was the recipient of the Ruth Montgomery Fellowship for her leadership as the first violinist of the Ruth Montgomery Quartet. Under scholarship, she attended Carnegie Mellon University studying under Sydney Harth and Cyrus Forough and is continuing her education at the New World School of the Arts with Thomas Moore in Miami.
Melissa has played in master classes with Charles Castleman and Andres Cardenas as well as the Guaneri Quartet, Emerson Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, and Eroica Trio. She plays with Miami Symphony as well as other groups in the Miami Area. Also studying piano for 14 years, she enjoys teaching violin and piano. Melissa loves to explore other kinds of music, including contemporary and improvisatory styles.
Jonathan T. Kane
Jonathan T. Kane was the Acting Assistant Violist for six seasons with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, in Veracruz, Mexico, formerly under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto and now Fernando Lozano. He was on the faculty at the Facultad de Música-Universidad Veracruzana, and the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruza. He is currently on the faculty of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. As an avid chamber musician, Mr. Kane has formed other string quartets such as the KLEF Quartet in Miami, Florida, and most recently the Tamayo String Quartet in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
At the age of 17, he won the Wendell Irish Viola Competition, and later that year he went to the Harid Conservatory where he studied with Victoria Chiang and received a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance. He received his Master of Music in Viola Performance from the University of Miami, where he was the Teaching Assistant to Pamela McConnell.
As a soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician, Mr. Kane has toured the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Cayman Islands, and most of Europe. He has played in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angles, Bellas Artes and Nezhualcoyotl in Mexico City, and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Violist Richard Fleischman has performed in twenty countries around the world and has been acknowledged for his "expert and sensitive performances" (Philadelphia Inquirer) and "commanding leadership" (San Francisco Chronicle). He was Winner of the 1988 Windsor Prize, presented by Leonard Bernstein, and the Edward Steuermann Prize, the highest honor bestowed by the Juilliard School. Born in New York City, Fleischman received degrees from the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.
As viola soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician, Mr. Fleischman performed throughout the United States, Mexico, South America, Asia and Europe on radio, television and recording. He was a long-time member of the San Francisco Symphony, has been principal violist of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra since 1990, performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and, during 2005-2006, was frequent guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Since 1996, Richard Fleischman has taught at the New World School of the Arts where he is Associate Professor of Music.
A native of Reno, Nevada, Dustin began his musical training at the age of eight studying the piano, but soon realized his true passion was for the viola. He went on to study at the Cleveland Institute with Jeffrey Irvine and then at the New England Conservatory with Martha Katz. While in school, Dustin was a founding member of the Mephisto Quartet, which performed alongside members of the Cavani, Tokyo, Vermeer, and Cleveland Quartets, and received the Russell Award at the Colman Chamber Music Competition. Currently a member of the New World Symphony, Dustin has also been a member of the Portland Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and has performed at Ravinia, Norfolk, and Verbier Festivals.
Huifang Helen Chen
Huifang Chen, a native of Taiwan, earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and her Master of Music Degree from the University of Miami. She was a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from 1994 until its demise in 2003.
She is an Associate Conductor of the Florida Youth Orchestra and is on the faculty of the University of Miami and the Young Musicians’ Camp held each summer at the University of Miami.
As a soloist, Ms. Chen has appeared with the Miami Bach Society, Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, Florida Youth Orchestra, University of Miami Symphony (2003 Concerto Competition Winner), Music America Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Macomb Symphony, Oakland-Pontiac Symphony, Warren Symphony, Amber Symphony, and Taipei Symphony Orchestra (1999 Young Concert Artist of the Year) among others.
Canadian-American violist Laura Wilcox has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Americas and Europe. She is active in performing and commissioning works from composers from North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Her studies included SUNY-Purchase in New York and McGill University in Montreal. Her teachers were Charles Castleman, Emanuel Vardi, Robert Levin, Paul Rolland, John Graham and the Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Orford String Quartets.
Laura is the music director of the ArtSouth Ensemble, Homestead, Florida, a member of Florida International University’s new music ensemble Nodus, and principal violist for the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet Orchestras. Her CDs are available on the SNE record label.
Pianist Tao Lin’s appearances in Asia, North America and Europe have brought unanimous critical accolades and praise for his subtle, intimate pianism and brilliant technique. “He has excellent facility and keen musical intelligence, his Schumann, Brahms were broad and searching, his Beethoven was crisp, crystalline, and exhilarating.” The Miami Herald
As a soloist, he has performed with Winnipeg Symphony, Miami Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Civic Orchestra, University of Miami Symphony, Harid Philharmonia, and Lynn University Chamber Orchestra. A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Lin performs regularly with the renowned Jacques Thibaud Trio, as well as Miami, Bergonzi, Alcan, and Rosalyra String Quartets. He has also collaborated with distinguished soloists such as Ida Haendel, Charles Castleman, Roberta Peters, Eugenia Zukerman, Philip Quint and Claudio Bohorquez.
Mr. Lin has worked with a series of distinguished teachers including Joseph Kalichstein, John Perry, Leon Fleisher, Rita Sloan, Stephen Hough, Ivan Davis, and Roberta Rust. He has recorded for the Piano Lovers record label, and features works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Balakirev.
Mei Mei Luo
Violinist Mei Mei Luo was assistant concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic for two years. She played with the Philharmonic for eleven years. Born and raised in China, Mei Mei won Second Prize in the Nations Youth Competition(China) and Third Prize in the San Diego Youth Music Competition(USA). At the age of twelve she performed with the prestigious Peking Opera Company. Ms. Luo participated in the Reunification Ceremony in Hong Kong in 1997. She is also a member of the Florida Atlantic University Chamber Soloists.
Licia Lucas was born in the Brazilian city of Itu, in the state of São Paulo. She began her musical studies with the piano teacher Nayl Cavalcante Lucas and graduated from the National School of Music in the class of Professor Neida Cavalcante Montarroyos. Ms. Lucas studied in Brazil with Homero de Magalhães, a disciple of Alfred Cortot, and in Italy, at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Rome, with Vincenzo Vitale. She further perfected her piano technique with Bruno Seidhofer and Hans Graf of the “Viennese School.”
Those knowledgeable concerning piano technique often compare her with the legendary Brazilian pianist Guiomar Novaes. She initiated her career by winning first place at the competition for soloists of the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra, interpreting Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto under the direction of the conductor Eleazar de Carvalho. In Italy she received the Gold Medal at the International Viotti Competition in Vercelli, being the youngest among all the competitors (the prize being presented by the president of the jury, pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli). Since then, she has performed with great success, both as recitalist and soloist, with more than 40 symphony orchestras in Europe, the United States and Latin America.
Ms. Lucas was acclaimed when she performed at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow as soloist with the Moscow State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Then she played at the legendary “Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic,” receivng a long ovation from the public assembled to hear her interpret Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 and Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra on June 17, 2004. Ms. Lucas has recorded Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Beethoven and Chopin piano concertos with the orchestra.
Violist Renata Hornik, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, has received performance degrees from Kent State and Rice University. As a founding member of the Euclid Quartet, she received top prize in the Carmel national chamber music competition in 2000. Currently residing in Madison, Ms. Hornik is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and has recently appeared as guest artist with the Oakwood Chamber Players and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
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