(Click thumbnails for bios)
(Click thumbnails for bios)
Artistic Director and flutist STEPHANIE JUTT's performances of new music, transcriptions, and traditional repertoire have made her a model for adventurous flutists everywhere. Her transcriptions of Brahms sonatas were published by International Music Publishing, and an all-Brahms recording with pianist Jeffrey Sykes, Stolen Moments, was released in 2005 on Centaur. Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music, Ms. Jutt won the Concert Artist Guild and Pro Musicis International Soloist awards and received solo recitalist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. Ms. Jutt has performed in recital throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. She has served as a board member and program chair for the National Flute Association. Ms. Jutt is principal flute of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and was awarded the Margaret Rupp Cooper Award in honor of her years of service, commitment to the orchestra, and musicianship. A recipient of a grant by the Kauffmann Foundation for Entrepreneurship, she is the founder of UW-Madison Arts Enterprise, a multi-faceted initiative that enables student artists to survive and thrive in today's creative economy. Ms. Jutt recently retired from the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and resides in New York City. (Website)
Artistic Director and pianist JEFFREY SYKES has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Western Europe. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with oboist Gerard Reuter and flutist Stephanie Jutt under the auspices of the Pro Musicis Foundation. He holds degrees with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his doctorate. He has garnered numerous awards, including the Jacob Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and a Fulbright grant to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. Dr. Sykes serves on the music faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and California State University East Bay. He is a member of the San Francisco Piano Trio and resides in San Francisco. (Website)
SAMANTHA CROWNOVER is in her 22nd year as executive director of Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society. A strong advocate for the arts, she is involved in many free-lance arts and architecture-based projects, ranging from managing events for Performing the Jewish Archive at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music, to consulting on works-on-paper purchases and collections management, to caring for historic buildings and property management. Past consulting projects include co-founding Arts Enterprise, a University of Wisconsin-Madison program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to artists, and architectural studies for the cities of Racine and Milwaukee. She has served as interim-director of the Madison Arts Commission and as a curator at Tandem Press, a fine-art press affiliated with the UW-Madison Art Department. A college semester in Florence led to positions as an assistant at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and as staff to the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She has also led the boards of directors of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, Capitol Neighborhood’s First Settlement, the Friends of the UW-Madison Geology Museum, and Wormfarm Institute in Reedsburg, WI. She is currently on the board at EAGLE School. She holds a BA and MA from UW-Madison. (website)
Korean-born violinist SOH-HYUN PARK ALTINO is a teacher and performer of solo and chamber music. Her concert engagements have taken her to Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Korea, and Venezuela and throughout the United States, and she has collaborated with such artists as Monique Duphil, Oleh Krysa, Laurie Smukler, Suren Bagratuni, Steven Mackey, and Jasper de Waal. Before joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015, she served as associate professor of violin and chamber music at the University of Memphis, where she regularly performed as a member of the Dúnamis Trio and the Ceruti Quartet. She directed the String Intensive Study Program at the MasterWorks Festival for eleven summers, and has taught and given master classes at festivals and universities in the U.S. and abroad. She is a strong advocate of continuing education of performers and teachers and has presented professional development sessions and held forums and clinics for violin teachers and their younger students. Her teachers include Violaine Melançon at the Peabody Institute and Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned her Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
Soprano EMILY BIRSAN made her role debut as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with Madison Opera in 2016 and added Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Boston Lyric Opera and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Florentine Opera in 2017. On the concert stage, she made her debut with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra singing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and was featured with the BBC Symphony in London singing Arthur Bliss’ Beatitudes. Recently Ms. Birsan appeared as the Italian Singer in Capriccio at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Leila in The Pearl Fishers with Florida Grand Opera, and as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress at the Edinburgh International Festival. Other performances on the concert stage include Elgar with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, Verdi and Puccini with the Knoxville Symphony, and Mozart's Mass in C minor in her Carnegie Hall debut. Ms. Birsan earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin, and her Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music in 2010. From 2011 to 2014 she was a member of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.. (Website)
SALLY CHISHOLM is violist of the Pro Arte Quartet, professor of viola, and artist in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a permanent member of Midsummer's Music Festival (Wisconsin), the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute (Minnesota), and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. During the 2013-14 season, Ms. Chisholm served as principal viola of the Chicago Philharmonic. She performs annually in the Festival der Zukunft in Switzerland and the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, and in 2013 she performed at the International Viola Congress in Krakow, Poland. Ms. Chisholm was a founding member of the Thouvenel String Quartet, which co-commissioned quartets of Elliot Carter, Milton Babbitt, Mel Powell, and Ernst Krenek. Her recitals of twentieth-century American viola music and her premieres include Edmond Cone's Variations for Solo Viola, John Harbison's The Violist's Notebooks, Andrew Imbrie's Sonatina, the American premiere of Yehuda Yannay's Viola Sonata, and new chamber works for the Hun Qiao Concert with Yo-Yo Ma. Ms. Chisholm won first prize at the Weiner International Chamber Music Competition and was a Naumburg Competition finalist. She has performed on the Today Show and has toured in China and Tibet.
Cellist JEAN-MICHEL FONTENEAU is a founding member of the San Francisco Piano Trio and Quatuor Ravel String Quartet, which was awarded two prizes at the Evian String Quartet Competition and won the first French Grammy Award, Les Victoires de la Musique Classique. The quartet has toured extensively around the world and created the first-ever string quartet residency program in France. Mr. Fonteneau performs frequently with such artists as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, Pro Arte, Escher, Tokyo, and Fine Arts Quartets. He served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France, until 1999, when he moved to the U.S. to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He appears regularly at summer festivals, including the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Morges Summer Academy in Switzerland, and Oberlin at Casalmaggiore. Mr. Fonteneau's recordings can be found on the Musidisc-France and Albany Records labels. (Website)
Violist ARA GREGORIAN made his New Recital Hall debut and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1997. Since then, he has performed in New York's Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall; Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center; and in major cities throughout the world, including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Helsinki. Throughout his career, Mr. Gregorian has been active as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, North Carolina, and has appeared at festivals worldwide. He has also performed as a member of the Daedalus Quartet, Concertante, and the Arcadian Trio and has recorded for National Public Radio and the Bridge and Kleos labels. Mr. Gregorian is a member of the violin faculty at East Carolina University and has created opportunities for established musicians to mentor and perform with talented students through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival's Next Generation concerts. Mr. Gregorian received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School. He performs on a Francesco Ruggeri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006. (Website)
Helen Hawley is a visual artist whose multidisciplinary projects include books, sculpture, painting, prints, performance and video. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Drawing Lines Across Mediums at Site: Brooklyn and Performancy Forum Quinquennial at Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center and Wassaic A.I.R. Special projects include collaborations with The Willy Street Chamber Players in Madison, WI and the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, MO. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a graduate fellowship. She lives in Madison, WI and is an instructor of drawing at Beloit College.
Pianist RANDALL HODGKINSON, grand prize winner of the International American Music Competition sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the Rockefeller Foundation, has performed with orchestras in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Boston, and Cleveland, and abroad in Italy and Iceland. In addition he has performed numerous recital programs spanning the repertoire from J.S. Bach to Donald Martino. He is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society and performs the four-hand and two-piano repertoire with his wife, Leslie Amper. Festival appearances include Blue Hill (Maine), Bargemusic, Chestnut Hill Concerts (Madison, Connecticut), Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon), and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. Mr. Hodgkinson recently released a CD of solo piano music on the Ongaku label. Other recordings include a live world premiere of the Gardner Read Piano Concerto for Albany records. Mr. Hodgkinson is on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Longy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Website)
Cellist JOSEPH JOHNSON has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician and educator. His festival appearances include performances in all classical genres at the American festivals of Santa Fe, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Bard, Cactus Pear, Grand Teton, and Music in the Vineyards as well as the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Virtuosi Festival in Brazil. Mr. Johnson's recent season included concerto performances of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Toronto Symphony and the North American premiere of Marc-Andre Dalbavie's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra with the Esprit Orchestra. Other concerto appearances include Tan Dun's Elegy: Snow in June with the New World Symphony in Miami and the Dvorak Concerto at the Lakes Area Festival. He made his Edmonton Symphony debut with a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto as well as Miguel del Aguila's Concierto en Tango. Mr. Johnson is principal cello of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera and assistant professor of cello at the University of Toronto. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Johnson earned his master's degree from Northwestern University. He performs on a Juan Guillami cello, crafted in 1747 in Barcelona.
Baritone TIMOTHY JONES has performed in opera houses and with symphony orchestras in the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. He has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. In opera houses he has performed leading roles in The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, La Bohème, Falstaff, Macbeth, and La Traviata. He has been a frequent guest with the Victoria Bach Festival, New Texas Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. As a committed performer of contemporary music, Mr. Jones has commissioned and premiered many compositions by leading composers of our time. He lives in Houston, where he serves on the faculty of the University of Houston. (Website)
Cellist MADELEINE KABAT made her solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at age 18, has been subsequently featured as soloist with the orchestras of Lima International Festival (Peru), Gulf Coast (MS), Minot (ND), Red de Escuelas de Musica (Medellin, Colombia), Cleveland State University, Oberlin Sinfonietta, Cleveland Philharmonic (OH), Spoleto Festival (SC), Festival Mozaic (CA), Springfield (MO) and Marin (CA). She recently made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and stepped in for delayed cello soloist Alban Gerhardt on a few hours notice to rehearse Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto with the Madison Symphony. Ms. Kabat has won prizes in the competitions of Fischoff, Hellam, Klein International, Young Texas Artists, Akron Tuesday Musical, San Antonio Tuesday Musical, Mid-Texas Symphony, and the Cleveland Cello Society.
Madeleine currently serves as Artist-In-Residence at La Sierra University in Los Angeles. She performs chamber music during the summer at Festival Mozaic (CA), Renova Chamber Music Festival (faculty - PA), Lima International Chamber Music Festival (Peru), and Festicamara (Medellin, Colombia), and has given masterclasses at Festicamara and La Sierra University as well as at the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point, Minot State University (ND), and La Jolla’s SummerFest. Past festival appearances include Bravo!Vail, Spoleto, La Jolla SummerFest, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota, Verbier, Round Top, Domaine Forget, and Zephyr (Italy). An active orchestral musician, Ms. Kabat has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Houston Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and as guest principal cellist with the Philharmonia Mexico in Mexico City. She began cello lessons in Cleveland at age 11, and holds diplomas from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University, the Juilliard School, and most recently Oberlin Conservatory, where she was a teaching assistant for Professor Darrett Adkins. Photo by Christian Steiner.
Clarinetist ALAN R. KAY is principal clarinet and a former artistic director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. A founding member of Windscape Quintet, he is a regular participant in the Yellow Barn, Orlando (Holland), and Skaneateles (New York) festivals and directed a series at the Cape May (New Jersey) Music Festival for 25 years. Mr. Kay’s honors include the Classical Recording Foundation Samuel Sanders Award, the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Award, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet Hexagon. Mr. Kay teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, and Stony Brook University. He has recorded wind chamber music with Hexagon, Windscape, and the Sylvan Winds. Mr. Kay recently released his first solo CD, Max Reger: Music for Clarinet and Piano on Bridge Records with pianist Jon Klibonoff. He also recently recorded Perry Goldstein’s Quintet with the “M” Prize-winning Calidore String Quartet as well as with Gruppo Montebello in the Netherlands. He has served on the juries of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Concert Artist Guild Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as well as of international chamber music competitions in Trapani, Italy, and Rolduc, Holland. (Website)
Violinist HYE-JIN KIM has performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and has appeared as a recitalist at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and London's Wigmore Hall. An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has toured throughout the U.S. with Musicians from Marlboro, and has made festival appearances at Marlboro, Ravinia, and Martha's Vineyard. Ms. Kim has also served as a cultural representative for South Korea in Switzerland, Australia, and Kazakhstan through concert and outreach engagements. Awarded first prize at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition at age nineteen, Ms. Kim is also the winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild Competition and the Philadelphia Orchestra Concerto Competition. Ms. Kim's debut CD, From the Homeland, featuring music by Debussy, Sibelius, Smetana, and Janacek, in a collaboration with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, was released in spring 2014 on CAG Records. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Kim studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and earned her master's degree at the New England Conservatory. She is an assistant professor of violin at East Carolina University. She plays a Gioffredo Cappa violin, crafted in Saluzzo, Italy, in 1687.
In 1998, violinist AXEL STRAUSS became the first German artist ever to win the Naumburg Violin Award. Mr. Strauss made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. Since then he has given recitals in major North American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world premiere performance and recording of Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby, written for him by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Mr. Strauss's discography includes the Brahms violin concerto, the three last violin concertos by Kreutzer, the complete Caprices for solo violin by Pierre Rode, and the complete works for violin and piano by George Enescu. Mr. Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, and Cincinnati, and has served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony. In 2012 Mr. Strauss was appointed professor of violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. Before moving to Canada, he was professor of violin and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. (Website)
Pianist CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR is known for his advocacy of music written in the past 100 years, but his repertoire spans four centuries and includes the complete Beethoven sonatas, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Mr. Taylor has concertized around the globe, with his most recent international tours taking him to Korea, China, Singapore, Italy, and Venezuela. In the U.S. he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony. As a soloist he has performed in New York’s Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls, in Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Ravinia and Aspen festivals. His recordings have featured works by Liszt, Messiaen, and present-day Americans William Bolcom and Derek Bermel. Mr. Taylor serves as Paul Collins Associate Professor of Piano Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where a current project involves building a modernized version of a unique double-manual Steinway piano. He pursues a variety of other interests, including mathematics, philosophy, computing, linguistics, and biking, which is his primary means of commuting. Mr. Taylor lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters.
Violinist CARMIT ZORI, at the recommendation of Isaac Stern and Alexander Schneider, came to the U.S. from her native Israel at the age of fifteen to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ms. Zori is the recipient of a Levintritt Foundation Award, a Pro Musicis International Award, and the top prize in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and in solo recitals at Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, and Tel Aviv Museum. Her engagements abroad have included performances throughout Latin America and Europe, as well as in Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. In addition to appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Ms. Zori has been a guest at chamber music festivals and concert series around the world and is the artistic director of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, which she founded in 2002. She has recorded on the Arabesque, Koch International, and Elektra-Nonesuch labels. Ms. Zori is professor of violin at Rutgers University and at SUNY Purchase. (Website)
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, cellist TRACE JOHNSON received his Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2012 and was recently awarded his Master of Music degree at the Lynn Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. As the first place winner in the conservatory's annual concerto competition, he performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Lynn Philharmonia in 2014. Later that fall, he won first prize in the 2014 Lyric Chamber Society of New York's chamber competition, and in 2016 he performed in a New York debut concert with fellow Lynn Conservatory musicians at the Kosciuszko Foundation. For the past two summers, Mr. Johnson has appeared in both orchestral and chamber ensembles as a fellow with the Atlantic Music Festival. He has also participated in other summer festivals including the Meadowmount School of Music, Orford Centre d'Arts, and Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. Mr. Johnson is currently working in a variety of performing ensembles in South Florida and is a section cellist with the Symphony of the Americas in Ft. Lauderdale. Mr. Johnson is a member of the BDDS Dynamite Factory, a program featuring young artists. (Website)
Violist JEREMY KIENBAUM, first prize winner in the 2015 Enkor International Chamber Music Competition and the 2013 National Federation of Music Clubs Student/Collegiate Competition, is a chamber musician, soloist and teacher. He has performed with members of the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic Orchestras and worked with conductors Fabio Luisi, Alan Gilbert, and Itzhak Perlman. As a chamber musician, Mr. Kienbaum has worked with members of the Juilliard, Shanghai, and Kronos Quartets, and has been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio and Classical KING radio in Seattle. A devoted supporter of the arts in schools, Mr. Kienbaum teaches for the Juilliard Music Advancement Program and for the After-School Arts Program at Nord Anglia International School in New York City. Originally from Wisconsin, Mr. Kienbaum studied with David Perry and Sally Chisholm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will complete his master’s degree in May 2017 under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes at the Juilliard School. Mr. Kienbaum is a member of the BDDS Dynamite Factory, a program featuring young artists. (Website)
Violinist Misha Vayman, grandson of the late great Soviet violinist Mikhail Vaiman, began his musical studies at the age of four in St Petersburg, Russia. He has studied with a number of prominent pedagogues, including Kurt Sassmannshaus, Mauricio Fuks, ISO concertmaster Zachary DePue, and acclaimed concert violinist Joan Kwuon. Mr. Vayman has won a large number of fellowships and has performed as recitalist and chamber musician at many festivals in the USA and internationally. In 2016, he added a faculty position at Benefic Chamber Music Festival to his summer schedule, coaching and private teaching, as well as performing with the internationally renowned American Piano Trio. He has also led workshops and masterclasses in El Paso, Texas. He has been named the first prize winner at the ENKOR International Violin Competition, the Paris Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Symphony of the Lakes concerto competitions. Mr. Vayman has performed as a soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Starling Chamber Orchestra at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, China, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Symphony of the Lakes Orchestras, Indiana, the Lake Charles Symphony, Louisiana, the El Paso Symphony, Texas, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Russia. His performances have been broadcast nationally and internationally. In 2011 Misha starred in the music video “Stronger” with groundbreaking string trio Time for Three (the video was featured on CNN in 2012). Mr. Vayman earned his BM attending the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is now a MM’18 candidate at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he studies with violinist and pedagogue Martin Beaver.