Charles Ives Concert Series Artists

Artistic Leadership

 

Paul Frucht, Artistic Director

Originally from Danbury, CT, Paul Frucht is an emerging American composer whose music has been hailed for its “sense of lyricism, driving pulse, and great urgency” (WQXR). His music has recently been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Weill-Cornell Music and Medicine Orchestra, the Chelsea Symphony, American Modern Ensemble, Ensemble dal Niente, the Les Deux violin duo, the LONGLEASH Trio, violinist Hannah Ji, cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki on Bargemusic’s Here and Now Labor Day Series, at the Utah Arts Festival, at the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute, at the Kyoto International Music Festival, at the Peabody-Essex Museum with the Asian American New Music Institute, and at the pianoSonoma Music Festival, where he was composer-in-residence from 2014-2015. Highlights of 2017 include performances of a new work for violist Caeli Smith as well as performances with the Ridgefield Symphony and the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, of which he has just been named composer-in-residence for the 2017-18 season.

Paul is the recipient of numerous honors and awards in composition. He was recently awarded a Morton Gould Young Composer Award from ASCAP. In 2015, he was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the recipient of Juilliard’s Gena Raps Chamber Music Prize, the Arthur Friedman Award for outstanding orchestral composition, and the Palmer Dixon Prize for the most outstanding work by a student composer in an academic year. He has also received recognition from Periapsis Music and Dance, the American Modern Ensemble, the Nashville Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Red Note New Music Festival the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and the American Composers Orchestra, from whom he received the Audience Choice Award for his work Dawn, which was showcased by the ACO as part of the 25th Annual Underwood New Music Readings.  He is also the recipient of several scholarships from the Juilliard School, including the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship, the Arlene J. Smith Scholarship, and the Marvin Hamlisch Scholarship in Composition.

 

Paul holds a Master of Music Degree in Composition from the Juilliard School, where he is now a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate. In 2011, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University’s Steinhardt School, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition. His principal teachers have been Robert Beaser and Justin Dello Joio. An enthusiastic educator himself, Paul was a teaching fellow in Juilliard’s College Division for four years and an instructor in Juilliard’s Pre-College for two years before joining the adjunct at New York University’s Steinhardt School in 2015. Hear his music at http://www.paulfrucht.com/

 

Jonathan Cziner, Associate Artistic Director

Jonathan Cziner (b. 1991) is an American composer based in New York City.  Jonathan’s works have been performed in the United States and Europe by artists including acclaimed pianist Steven Masi, Dallas Symphony principal harpist Emily Levin, and by ensembles including the New Juilliard Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, and violin duo Les Deux. His works have been commissioned for the Lyric Chamber Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Dallas Harp Quartet, with performance venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.

American composer David Conte has called Jonathan’s music “developed, consistent, and convincing…filled with surprises, that somehow sound natural.”

His work Transient Bodies for Sinfonietta, commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble, was awarded the 2017 Palmer Dixon Prize, given to the year’s most outstanding composition at the Juilliard School.  He has also received recognition from the Minnesota and Sioux City Symphony Orchestras for his orchestral work reAwaken.

Jonathan served for two years as co-artistic director of Dynamic Music Festival, an annual concert series dedicated to premiering works of student composers attending universities in the New York City area. He currently is the associate artistic director of the Charles Ives Concert Series, which focuses its programming on the music of Ives, as well as other past and present American composers. Equally dedicated to scoring for film, he was awarded best original score for up-and-coming director Nora Unkel’s 2015 film The Goblin Song, and is slated to score her first feature film, A Nightmare Wakes in summer 2018.

Jonathan began formal composition training upon his acceptance to New York University, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree studying with Justin Dello Joio. He completed his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Robert Beaser, and began studies last year in Juilliard’s prestigious C.V. Starr doctoral program.

Current projects include an orchestral work inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells, as well as a solo piano work for Italian pianist Edoardo Turbil.

 

Summer 2019 Artist-Faculty 

Katie Althen, flute

A provider of “great sinuous magic” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), flutist Katherine (Katie) Lee Althen is an active freelance musician in the NYC area. Recent performance highlights include sharing the stage with Renée Fleming while performing in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and concerts in Bermuda with the NYC based Frisson Ensemble.

As an orchestral and chamber musician, Katie has been heard in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Boston Opera House, Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Broadway Theatre. She serves as principal flute of the Reading, Pennsylvania based Berks Sinfonietta, and has also performed as a frequent substitute musician in the Reading Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra.

Her passion for community outreach was sparked during her teenage years at the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Shillington, Pennsylvania, where she regularly donated her time and musical talent during Sunday services. This drive to serve her community would later bring Katie and Argentine violinist Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where the two reached out to the injured runners and bystanders of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. The following year she and her chamber group, Dulce de Trio, presented a series of free concerts and masterclasses at assisted-living facilities and schools throughout Boston as recipients of the prestigious community outreach fellowship at the New England Conservatory. Katie was awarded a Juilliard Community Engagement Grant which enabled her to present a weeklong series of concerts in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania during May of 2016; “Duo Pagoda and Friends Concert Series.” Katie, along with fellow Juilliard student and Reading native, violist Linda Numagami, brought their music to several assisted-living facilities without ample or any activity budgets.

A firm believer in sharing her talent and love of music, Katie maintains a private flute studio in NYC where she teaches students of all ages. She has also taught as a substitute teacher at the New York Music School and at the JCC Thurnauer of School of Music, both in Tenafly, NJ.

Apart from sharing her music with her students and concert-goers, Katie also shares her passion for the flute with her 30,000+ followers on her popular Instagram account, @katieflute where she strives to make classical music readily accessible to all. This platform has allowed her to reach audiences around the world as well as act as a mentor to younger musicians.

Katie earned her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with the New York Philharmonic’s Robert Langevin. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, where she studied under international flute soloist, Paula Robison, who describes Katie as a “true, intelligent artist” with “a wonderful sense of humor and awareness of life’s surprises.” Most recently, she spent a year studying with Marina Piccinini at the Peabody Institute in the Graduate Performance Diploma program.

George Fu, piano

Hailed by the Boston Music Intelligencer as a “heroic piano soloist” with “stunning virtuosity”, Chinese-American pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard University. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and the National Auditorium of Mexico City. His live performances and interviews have been featured on several public television and radio broadcasts throughout the United States, such as On Stage At Curtis, Articulate with Jim Cotter, Performance Today, and Philadelphia’s Music Makers on WRTI Radio in Philadelphia. He has
won top prizes in the Oberlin (now Cooper), Lennox, Blount-Slawson, Lee University, and National Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competitions.
After a successful repeat performance as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony in the summer of 2018, this season sees George continue to make solo and chamber appearances throughout the UK, including a solo recital of all-contemporary music with Borough New Music in London; as well as spearheading a new spring chamber music festival in the US. He also embarks on a monthlong summer tour of Latin America with clarinetist Tania Villasuso and violist Roberto Diaz as part of Curtis on Tour.
Interested in interdisciplinary work, George has performed in various capacities: from frequently being an active chamber musician with duo partners and ensembles around the world; to collaborating in a ballet production with dancers Isaac and Esteban Hernandez to a capacity
crowd in Mexico City; to composing and recording original compositions to be featured with the artwork of Zilia Sanchez at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. An avid performer of contemporary music, George has collaborated with Krzysztof Penderecki, Harrison Birtwistle, Unsuk Chin, Matthew Aucoin, and Freya Waley-Cohen, in addition to being an active composer himself.

After a widely acclaimed performance as piano soloist in Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie alongside Stefan Asbury at the Tanglewood Music Festival in 2016, George was then selected as a New Fromm Player for Tanglewood’s 2017 summer season, being featured as a piano soloist in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques with Vinay Parameswaran, studying the solo piano works of Messiaen with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and focusing intensely on the work of living composers alongside the quartet in residence.

A native of Frederick, Maryland, George earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in economics. He then studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Jonathan Biss and Meng-Chieh Liu, and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London under with Christopher Elton and Joanna MacGregor.

Molly Goldman, viola

Violist Molly Goldman is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Roger Tapping. Her other teachers included Jeffrey Irvine, Carol Rodland and Stephen Sims. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music she has earned Bachelor of Music in Applied Music and Music Education with certification, in addition to receiving the prestigious Performance Certificate in recognition of “students who demonstrate outstanding performing ability.” An avid chamber musician, Ms. Goldman has collaborated with violinists Juliana Athayde and David Coucheron, pianist-composer Magnus Lindberg, and cellists Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott.  As a soloist Ms. Goldman has been heard with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra. She has held performance fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. In 2014 Ms. Goldman was also invited to participate in the Sibelius Academy’s Creative Dialogue Symposium, a collaborative workshop between musicians and composers in the creation of new music. Ms. Goldman’s musical talents go beyond classical music as she has performed with AXIOM, Ensemble Signal, New Juilliard Ensemble, Styx, Idina Menzel, Wild Cherry, and many others. She currently holds faculty positions at Silver Music School,and the Montserrat Music Festival. Ms. Goldman strives to make music exciting, engaging and accessible for all audiences.

 

Mitchell Lyon, cello

Cellist Mitchell Lyon approaches music making with a zeal for harnessing the unique power of musical experience. At home with audiences of all types, he has performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to intimate private homes.

An accomplished chamber musician, Mitch specializes in ensemble collaborations that run the gamut from classical piano trios, to crossover string quartets, to jazz combos, to dance and theater collaborations.

A native of Philadelphia, Mitch has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber musician, and in orchestras throughout the United States, France and the United Kingdom. As a recipient of Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship, he brought music to new and underserved audiences, including patients in New York area hospitals, nursing homes and alternative care facilities.  Mitch arranges, organizes and performs house concerts at private residences throughout the boroughs of New York City and in other locations by arrangement.

Passionate in his quest to spread the joy of music to young performers, Mitch has taught the children of New York through various Juilliard-funded fellowship programs at schools including Children’s Promise Zone and Harlem Promise Academy II. As a director of Juilliard’s student-run outreach organization, ARTreach, Mitch led several Juilliard teams to New Orleans, reaching out to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina and doing hands-on labor with Habitat for Humanity. Mitch continues his educational outreach mission in his current role as Teaching Artist Faculty for the New York Philharmonic School Partnership Program.

Mitch earned his MM degree with Timothy Eddy at the Juilliard School in May of 2014 as a Margaret J. & Roy H. Pollack and William R. Hearst Scholar. He earned his BM degree from the Juilliard School in May of 2012 as a student of Bonnie Hampton, where he held scholarships from the foundations of the Juilliard Alumni, Ruth Katzman, Presser, J & B Werter, and Stephen E. Somers. His former teachers include Jeffrey Solow and Deborah Reeder. For four years, Mitch held the Myer-Schwartz Piano Trio cello scholarship at Settlement Music School. His awards include the Ambler Symphony Menges Scholarship, the Bach Atonement Scholarship, and others. The summer of 2016 will find Mitch performing from the Finger Lakes region to California.  During past summers, Mitch has performed as a fellow of the Fontainebleau School in France, as a visiting artist at the Finchcocks Museum of Keyboard Instruments in Kent, UK, at Music in the Mountains in Eagles Mere, PA, as a fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and at the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in Santa Cruz, CA. Mitch spent four summers as a counselor at the Meadowmount School of Music, studying with Melissa Kraut and Hans Jorgen Jensen. During previous summers he studied at the Castleman Quartet Program, the Montecito Summer Music Festival, and Music in the Mountains. He has performed in master classes for Mark Kosower, Steven Isserlis, Christopher Rex, Andres Diaz, Timothy Eddy, Ko Iwasaki and Anne Martindale-Williams. He has worked privately with Gary Hoffman and Clive Greensmith.

Mitch plays on a Jules Grandjon cello dating from 1880, except when he is rocking out, when he uses a Quintus carbon-fiber cello built by Tony Cook of GraceStrings with an Acoustic Combo Amp, model AG120S and a ceramic under-bridge pickup.

George Meyer, violin

George Meyer, 25, plays the violin and writes music. He has performed his own compositions at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR; at the Savannah Music Festival, in Georgia; and at the Telluride and RockyGrass Bluegrass Festivals, in Colorado. In 2016, Ensemble Quodlibet premiered his Concerto Grosso, a 15-minute work for string orchestra with solo string quartet, in New York City. Meyer’s other performance appearances include the Rome Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival. He has appeared with his father Edgar Meyer, and with Jerry Douglas, Mike Marshall, and Sam Bush.

His violin teachers have included Stephen Miahky, Lucy Chapman, Jennifer Frautschi, Naoko Tanaka, Carolyn Huebl, and Carol Smith. He graduated from Harvard in 2015 with a degree in English; his thesis concerned the early poems of John Keats. In the fall of 2016, he began a master’s degree in violin at Juilliard, where he studies with Laurie Smukler and Naoko Tanaka. He is from Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

Ariana Nelson, cello

Cellist Ariana Nelson recently completed her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School, studying with Darrett Adkins. A proud member of the performing community in New York City, she is a recent member of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, performing at the Fort Washington Collegiate Church. Her eclectic tastes have led her to unexpected appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, featured performances for patients recovering in Mount Sinai Hospital’s transplant ward, to the recent Concert Across America to End Gun Violence in Danbury, Connecticut. In 2015 Ariana was invited to perform in a small chamber orchestra to accompany Yo-Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center Honors event, attended by President Obama and the First Lady. Ariana has received many honors as a soloist, most recently winning third prize at the 2016 Eisemann Young Artists Competition in Dallas, Texas.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Ariana grew up with a musical family and was exposed to  chamber music at a very young age. Forming her first string quartet at age eight, Ariana has been a member of numerous groups. During her undergraduate studies she co-founded the Azure Quartet, which over two years was cultivated into a prize winning chamber ensemble, winning second prize at the Music Teachers National Association 2014 chamber music competition. Her extensive chamber music experience has included coaching with renowned musicians such as Emanuel Ax, James Dunham, David Finckel, John Harbison, Desmond Hoebig, Jon Kimura-Parker, Joseph Lin, and Roger Tapping.

In recent years Ariana has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, the Olympic Music Festival and the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Italy. She spent the summers of 2015 and 2016 at the Tanglewood Music Center as the recipient of the James Taylor Fellowship. Her interest in improvisation and international music inspired her to take part in the the Silk Road Ensemble’s Global Musican Workshop at Tanglewood, which included performing in concert with the Silk Road Ensemble at the Koussevitsky Music Shed.

A fierce proponent of new music, Ariana has championed the works of many contemporary composers. She has played in a number of student composer concerts at the Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music. Her interest has led her to perform with the AXIOM contemporary ensemble, directed by Jeffrey Milarsky, in which she performed works by George Benjamin and Thomas Adès. During Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music she performed chamber music and orchestral music by composers including Dallapicolla, Druckman, and Messaien. Most recently she commissioned a cello and piano work entitled “Responses” by Juilliard DMA candidate Jonathan Cziner, which she premiered on her Master of Music degree recital.

Ariana received her Bachelor of Music degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she graduated cum laude in May of 2015. There she had the privilege of studying cello with Norman Fischer of the Concord Quartet.

 

Mika Sasaki, piano

Pianist Mika Sasaki has established herself as a sought-after chamber musician, soloist, and emerging educator. Since her solo debut with the Sinfonia of Cambridge at age seven, she appeared twice with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and more recently with the 92Y Orchestra in New York City. Mika has performed frequently in the U.S., Europe and Japan, at venues including the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Italy), Minatomirai Hall (Japan), Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Japan), Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and live on WQXR radio. Most recently, her solo debut CD album “Obsidian” was released on Yarlung Records, highly acclaimed by the Online Merker as “illuminat[ing] the artistic inspiration and creative exchange between these three Romantic souls,” Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.

A versatile pianist praised for her musicianship, Mika recently began a two-year fellowship with Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW), a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, performing and teaching chamber music around the city, focusing on audience engagement, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. Her love for chamber music and curiosity in exploring repertoire both new and old have led her to collaborate in diverse ensembles, sometimes serving as score-reader for conductors’ classes, rehearsal pianist for choruses, vocal coach, instrumental collaborator, or as toy pianist, celesta player or harpsichordist in small ensembles and orchestras.

As an accomplished chamber musician, she was invited to Music@Menlo as an international program artist, as well as the Tanglewood Music Center as a Leonard Bernstein Fellow, where her interpretation of Schubert’s Grand Duo for four-hands was hailed as a “colorful reading of the work … [with] nuance and sensitivity to Schubert’s music.” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Other festival appearances include the Estherwood Music Festival (U.K.), Aspen Music Festival, Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Mannes Beethoven Institute, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), Taos School of Music, ChamberFest at Juilliard, and the Focus! Festival at Lincoln Center. In 2016, she performed and taught as Artist in Residence at the pianoSonoma at Juilliard winter workshop in New York City, as well as its summer festival in Sonoma County, California, working with adult participants of all ages.

Born in Atlanta, Mika grew up in Demarest, New Jersey, and began her studies with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard Pre-College division at the age of seven. Moving to Tokyo, Japan, in 2001, she returned to the U.S. to pursue her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Benjamin Pasternack. A recipient of several awards in piano and chamber music during her studies at Peabody, she received the Tony & Tina Guilder Scholarship Award in Piano, William H. Kaltenbach Jr. Endowed Scholarship, Clara Asherfeld Award for Accompanying, Peggy & Yale Gordon Accompanist Recognition Prize, Sidney Friedberg Prize in Chamber Music, and was invited to join the U.S. national music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda, upon graduation.

Mika is currently completing her doctoral studies at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein as a recipient of the Isidore Kleppel Scholarship, Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship, Celia and Joseph Ascher Fund for Piano, and the C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship. At Juilliard, she held several teaching fellowships and faculty assistantships in Piano Literature, Sight-Reading, Secondary Piano and Music Theory, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Keyboard Skills and Piano Topics as a part-time faculty member. She currently teaches piano and keyboard skills in the Juilliard Evening Division, and works with middle school students at I.S. 025 in Queens as part of her fellowship with Ensemble Connect.
For more information, or any inquiries, please access mikasasaki.com.

Caeli Smith, violin and viola

Caeli Smith made her concerto debut at age ten with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony and has since appeared as a soloist with the Bach Festival Orchestra, Ocean City Pops, Ambler Symphony, and others.

In 2015, Caeli was a top prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Hugo Kauder Society Viola Competitions. She was the winner of the Juilliard concerto competition, and appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra.

Caeli has been featured multiple times on NPR’s From The Top, where she also served for three years as a cast member in the role of Roving Reporter. In 2004 she starred in Robert Downey Sr.’s feature documentary Rittenhouse Square. An avid writer, Caeli’s articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Strings, Teen Strings, and Symphony magazines.

In the summer of 2015, Caeli served as a principal viola of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. She is also a member of Symphony in C, a professional training orchestra based in New Jersey.

In May 2016, Caeli received a Master of Music degree at Juilliard, where she was co-principal viola of the Juilliard Orchestra. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Juilliard.

 

Jacob Shack, viola

Appointed Fourth Chair Viola of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2016, Massachusetts native Jacob Shack earned his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School as a student of Misha Amory and Heidi Castleman and frequently performed as co-principal of the Juilliard Orchestra. As an undergraduate at Harvard College, Jacob enjoyed playing with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra as principal violist, including on their tours to Cuba and the Middle East. He has toured the world as a chamber and orchestral musician, performing on four continents, most recently in Hong Kong at Bright Sheng’s Intimacy of Creativity Festival and in Colombia at the Medellín International Music Festival. He has performed at several other music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was the recipient of the Maurice Schwarz Prize in 2013. In addition, he was selected to participate in Jaime Laredo’s New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall in both 2010 and 2012. In addition to his dedication to orchestral playing, Jacob has been recognized in solo and chamber music competitions, including the Washington International Competition for Strings and the Stulberg International String Competition. He has collaborated in performance with such world-renowned artists as James Buswell, Steven Doane, James Dunham, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert Levin, and Joseph Silverstein, and has received numerous awards and scholarships from Harvard University, as well as from his alma mater Phillips Academy. In the summer of 2015, Jacob served as the violist of the New Fromm Players, an ensemble-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center devoted to contemporary performance. 

 

chelseastarbuckChelsea Starbuck Smith, violin

Acclaimed as a violinist of “compelling presence, fearless attack, and technical aplomb and bravado” (New London’s The Day), Chelsea Starbuck Smith, 25, is a young artist becoming recognized for her infectious enthusiasm for the violin.  She has performed as solo and chamber artist in venues across the United States and abroad, including Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Palais de Fontainebleau in France, and Centre National des Arts in Ottawa.  Ms. Smith made her solo debut in 2016 with both the Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Orchestra in Charleston, SC, and the Southern Finger Lakes Orchestra in Corning, NY.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Smith embraces contemporary as well as classical forms.  Recent collaborators include The Knights Chamber Orchestra and Debbie Harry & Blondie. She has participated in the acclaimed Music Academy of the West 2014 String Quartet Seminar led by the Takács Quartet, and the annual Juilliard ChamberFest concert series.  Ms. Smith recently appeared on the 20thCentury Fox Television series Glee, NYU Langone’s national television ad Fresh Thinking, WMNR Fine Arts Radio and Connecticut Public Radio, and is the featured violinist on The String Fingers Band’s debut bluegrass album Don’t Forget.

Ms. Smith just completed her studies at The Juilliard School, receiving a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of David Chan and Laurie Smukler, while also graduating with the Norman Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant for “talent, promise, creativity, and potential to make a significant impact in the performing arts.”  She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard where she studied with Sally Thomas.


Summer 2019 Guest Artists 

 

Peter Dugan, piano

Pianist Peter Dugan’s 2017 debut solo performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the SF Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad.  Prizing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms.
A sought-after crossover artist, Mr. Dugan has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. The Wall Street Journal described Mr. Dugan’s collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.” Mr. Dugan’s recent chamber music recitals include the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Music at Menlo, St. John’s College Recital Series, and a Weill Hall debut presented by Carnegie Hall.  His debut album with baritone John Brancy –  A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song – pays homage to composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War.  Brancy and Dugan won first prize at the 2018 Montreal International Music Competition and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
Mr. Dugan advocates the importance of music in the community and at all levels of society.  As a founding creator and the pianist for Operation Superpower, a superhero opera for children, he has travelled to dozens of schools in the greater New York area, performing for students and encouraging them to use their talents – their superpowers – for good.
Mr. Dugan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Matti Raekallio. He resides in New York with his wife, mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan, and serves onthe piano faculty at the Juilliard School Evening Division. Mr. Dugan is a Yamaha Artist.  

 

Charles Yang, violin

Recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award and described by the Boston Globe as one who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star”, Juilliard graduate Charles Yang began his violin studies with his mother in Austin, Texas, and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in concert in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Mr. Yang with his own “Charles Yang Day”.  In 2016 Mr. Yang joined the crossover string-band, Time for Three.
            Not only confined to classical violin, Mr. Yang’s improvisational crossover abilities as a violinist, electric violinist, and vocalist have led him to featured performances with a variety of artists in such festivals as The Aspen Music Festival, The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, The Crested Butte Music Festival, The Cayman Arts Festival, The YouTube Music Awards, The Moab Music Festival, TED, Caramoor, The EG Conference, Oncue Conference, Google Zeitgeist, YouTube Space Los Angeles, Interlochen, and onstage at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera House, David H. Koch Theater, Dizzy’s and David Rubinstein Atrium; The Long Center, The Royal Danish Theatre, Le Poisson Rouge, Highline Ballroom, Ars Nova, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Forbidden City in Beijing among many others. He has performed in the presence of two former US Presidents, the Queen of Denmark and has recently shared the stage in collaborations with artists including Peter Dugan, CDZA, Steve Miller, Jesse Colin Young, Jake Shimabukuro, Ray Benson, Michael Gordon, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Marcelo Gomes, Twyla Tharp, Misty Copeland and Jon Batiste. His career has been followed by various news media including The New York Times, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Playbill, The Boston Globe, Fortissimo, The Financial Times, The Austin-American Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, Shenzhen Daily, The Strad, Dallas Daily, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Juilliard Journal. Mr. Yang is featured in Nick Romeo’s book, Driven as well as Discovery Channel’s Curiosity.
            Regarding Mr. Yang, The Texas Observer has noted, “Mr. Yang is a true crossover artist, a pioneer who can hop between classical and popular music and bring fresh ideas to fans of both genres.  Rather than maintaining an insular focus and simply assuming that an audience for classical music will always exist, he wants to actively create that audience, to persuade and seduce others into enjoying a type of music as passionately as he does.”