Skip to main content

2024 Musicians

Nina Bernat

Double bass

23-year-old double bassist Nina Bernat, acclaimed for her interpretive maturity, expressive depth and technical clarity, emerges onto the world stage with awards and accolades, thrilling audiences everywhere. 

This year, Nina is honored as a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Recent 1st prizes include the Barbash J.S. Bach String Competition, the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition, the Juilliard Double Bass Competition, and the 2019 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition.

Nina began her studies with her father, double bassist Mark Bernat. A recipient of the Kovner Fellowship, she continued her studies with bassist Tim Cobb and cellist Astrid Schween. She is currently completing her graduate degree at Juilliard.

Engaged in all aspects of double bass performance, in 2019 she was invited to perform as guest principal bassist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, serving under the batons of András Schiff and Osmo Vänskä. Additionally, as a substitute musician, Nina has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and plays regularly in that capacity with the New York Philharmonic. 

Nina is in demand as a passionate chamber musician. She begins her involvement with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as a member of the Bowers Program in 2024. Among her regional chamber performances are appearances with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Series, and Mostly Music. This summer, Nina heads out to Vermont for her second season at both the 2023 Marlboro Music Festival and the Lake Champlain Music Festival. She returns to the 2023 Grace Note Farm Summer Music Festival in Rhode Island for her third season, as both performer and co-organizer. 

Nina’s 2023-2024 season includes a concerto debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and performances as guest principal of the Oslo Philharmonic. 

Nina performs on a beautiful and sonorous early-18th century bass, handed down to her from her father. Attribution Guadagnini.  

Michael Stephen Brown


Michael Stephen Brown has been described as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” (New York Times). Winner of a 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS's Bowers Program. He makes regular appearances with orchestras such as the National Philharmonic and the Seattle, Grand Rapids, North Carolina, and Albany symphonies, and was selected by pianist András Schiff to perform an international solo recital tour, making debuts in Zurich’s Tonhalle and New York’s 92nd Street Y. This season he makes European recital debuts at the Beethoven Haus in Bonn and the Chopin Museum in Majorca. He has appeared at the Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart, Marlboro, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Tippet Rise, Bridgehampton, and Bard music festivals, and performs regularly with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis. A prolific composer, his Piano Concerto (2020) was co-commissioned by the Gilmore Piano Festival and the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra in Poland and was premiered by the Kalamazoo Symphony with Brown as soloist. He was the composer- and artist-in-residence at the New Haven Symphony for the 2017–19 seasons and a 2018 Copland House Award winner. He is the First Prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild competition and earned degrees in piano and composition from the Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser.

Nicholas Canellakis


Hailed by the New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation. In the New York Times his playing was praised as "impassioned... the audience seduced by Mr. Canellakis's rich, alluring tone.” His recent highlights include solo debuts with the Virginia, Albany, Bangor, and Delaware symphony orchestras; concerto appearances with the Erie Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony as artist-in-residence, and the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall; Europe and Asia tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and recitals throughout the United States with his longtime duo collaborator, pianist-composer Michael Stephen Brown, including a recital of American cello-piano works presented by CMS. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he is a regular guest artist at many of the world’s leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bard, Bridgehampton, La Jolla, Hong Kong, Moab, Music in the Vineyards, and Saratoga Springs. He is the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Sedona in Arizona, and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory. Filmmaking and acting are special interests of his. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos.

Photo: Sophie Zhoi

David Finckel


Cellist David Finckel’s dynamic musical career has included performances on the world’s most distinguished stages as well as ground-breaking entrepreneurial projects. As cellist of the Emerson String Quartet for thirty-four seasons, his massive chamber music repertoire – both performed and recorded - includes virtually the complete string quartets of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Brahms, Bartok and Shostakovich, as well as the additional collaborative masterpieces and discoveries that he performs annually.

His solo and duo discography is equally comprehensive, including all the standard literature for cello and piano. Fascinated since student days by recording technology, David created ArtistLed with pianist Wu Han in 1997, the first artist-directed, internet-based classical label. His discography includes commissioned works by George Tsontakis, Gabriela Lena Frank, Bruce Adolphe, Lera Auerbach, Augusta Read Thomas and Pierre Jalbert, and his orchestral recordings include both the Dvorak and Harbison Concertos.

David’s enthusiasm for living luthiers is evidenced through his performances, since 1993, on a cello made for him by the Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz, a copy of the “Duport” Stradivari cello of 1711. At age ten, deeply inspired by the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, David committed himself to life as a cellist, and at age sixteen became Rostropovich’s first American student.

After first playing with pianist Wu Han in 1981, David added to his already busy career the responsibilities and opportunities of a professional cello-andpiano duo, both in the recording studio and on the concert stage. As artistic co-director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (since 2004) and the Music@Menlo Festival in Silicon Valley (since 2002), David Finckel oversees CMS’s Bowers Program, as well as Menlo’s annual Chamber Music Institute.

He teaches cello and chamber music at both the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University

Wu Han

Piano and Artistic Director

Pianist Wu Han, recipient of Musical America’s Musician of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization, enjoys a multi-faceted musical life that encompasses performing, recording and artistic direction at the highest levels. Currently artistic co-director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Music@Menlo, Silicon Valley’s innovative chamber music festival, she also serves as artistic advisor for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music in the Barns series and for Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts.

Her recent concert activities have taken her from New York’s Lincoln Center stages to the most important concert halls in the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition to countless performances of virtually the entire chamber repertoire, her recent concerto performances include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony and the Aspen Festival Orchestra.

She is the founder and artistic director of ArtistLed, classical music’s first artist-directed, internet-based recording label (1997) which has released her performances of the staples of the cello-piano duo repertoire with cellist David Finckel. Her more than 80 releases on ArtistLed, CMS Live and Music@Menlo Live include masterworks of the chamber repertoire with numerous distinguished musicians, the latest being Schubert’s Winterreise with baritone Nikolay Borchev.

During the past season, Wu Han designed and produced more than 200 digital media projects, including concerts and innovative educational programs, which have sustained the art of chamber music in dozens of communities across the United States. At CMS, Wu Han was instrumental in transforming the CMS Two Program into today’s Bowers Program, which admits, through rigorous and highly competitive auditions, stellar young musicians to the CMS roster for a term of three seasons.

Passionately dedicated to education for musicians of all ages and experience, Wu Han directs the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo, which immerses some forty young musicians every summer in the multi-faceted fabric of the festival. Wu Han was privileged to serve on multiple occasions as a faculty member of Isaac Stern’s Chamber Music Encounters in Israel, New York and Japan.

A recipient of the prestigious Andrew Wolf Award, Wu Han was mentored by an elite selection of some of the greatest pianists of our time, including Lilian Kallir, Rudolf Serkin, and Menahem Pressler. 

Married to cellist David Finckel since 1985, Wu Han divides her time between concert touring and residences in New York City and Westchester County. 

Sooyun Kim


Since her concerto debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at age ten, Flutist, Sooyun Kim has enjoyed a flourishing career performing with orchestras around the world including the Bavarian Radio, Munich Philharmonic, Munich Chamber, and Boston Pops orchestras. She has been presented in recital series worldwide including the Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center and Seoul Arts Center. She was the first flutist to present a recital at the Louvre Museum’s “Concert a midi”. A winner of the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant, Ms. Kim has received numerous international awards and prizes including the third prize at the ARD International Flute Competition. She makes regular summer appearances at the Music@Menlo, Spoleto USA, Yellow Barn, Rockport, Olympic, and Chamber Music Northwest festivals. An alum of Bowers Program (formerly CMS TWO), she is an Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Her special interest in interdisciplinary art led her to collaborate with many visual artists, dancers, and museums around the world such as Sol Lewitt, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Glassmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark. As an educator, she has given masterclasses and lectures around the world including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Mannes School of Music, Sibelius Academy in Finland and Seoul National University in Korea. She is currently on the faculty of Longy School of Music of Bard College and teaches summer courses at the Orford Musique. Ms.Kim studied at the New England Conservatory under tutelage of Paula Robison.

In addition to her musical training, she studied Baroque Dance with Melinda Sullivan. Praised for her tone that “shone like bright jewel” (San Jose Examiner), Ms. Kim plays on a rare 18-carat -gold flute specially made for her by Verne Q. Powell Flutes.

Paul Neubauer


Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led the New York Times to call him “a master musician”. He is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey. This season he will be featured in a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and will premiere a new work for viola and piano by Liliya Ugay written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carson McCullers’s birth. He also appears with his trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, and as soloist with orchestra. His recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, a work he premiered with the St. Paul Chamber, Los Angeles Chamber, and Idyllwild Arts orchestras and the Chautauqua Symphony will be released on Signum Records.

A two-time Grammy nominee, in 2016, Mr. Neubauer released a solo album of music recorded at Music@Menlo. His recording of piano quartets with Daniel Hope, David Finckel and Wu Han was recently released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Joan Tower’s Purple Rhapsody with Timothy Russsell and the Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, commissioned for him by seven orchestras and the Koussevitsky Foundation, was released by Summit Records. Other recorded works that were written for him include: Wild Purple for solo viola by Joan Tower for Naxos; Viola Rhapsody a concerto by Henri Lazarof on Centaur Records; and Soul Garden for viola and chamber ensemble by Derek Bermel on CRI. His recording of the Walton Viola Concerto was recently re-released on Decca and his Schumann recital album with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott was recorded for Image Recordings.

During his six year tenure with the New York Philharmonic, Paul Neubauer appeared as soloist with that orchestra in over twenty performances. One particularly memorable performance was the New York premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Viola Concerto with Penderecki conducting. He has appeared with over 100 orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the San Francisco, National, St. Louis, Dallas, Indianapolis, Puerto Rico and Cincinnati symphonies, the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn (with whom he performed the world premiere of the newly revised version of Bartók’s Viola Concerto), the Kansas City Symphony (premiering Tobias Picker’s Viola Concerto), the English Chamber Orchestra (performing the world premiere of Gordon Jacob’s Viola Concerto no. 2), and the Knoxville Symphony (premiering David Ott’s Viola Concerto).

Mr. Neubauer made his Carnegie Hall Debut playing the first performance of Joel Philip Friedman’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the National Orchestral Association. He has also appeared with the Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ensemble orchestral de Paris, Orquesta Filharmonica de Buenos Aires, Bournemouth Symphony, and the Taipei National Symphony. In Rome, he has performed with violinist Vladimir Spivakov and the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecelia. Other collaborations include performances with Andre Watts and Vladimir Feltsman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis at London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Hall’s; and with Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Vladimir Spivakov and Alicia de Larrocha at the Mostly Mozart Festival. He has also collaborated with the Emerson, Shanghai, Juilliard, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Orion, Borromeo, Miami, and Brentano quartets.

Mr. Neubauer’s musical activities are consistently creative. In a pair of highly acclaimed New York premieres, he performed Bartók’s Viola Concerto (which he helped to revise along with Bartók’s son, Peter and composer Nelson Dellamaggiore), and Max Bruch’s Double Concerto for Clarinet and Viola with clarinetist David Shifrin. He also gave the North American premiere of the Detlev Müller-Siemens Viola Concerto and Richard Suter’s Three Nocturnes for Viola and Orchestra. He has been featured as a special guest artist of the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center in performances of Viola Alone, and on the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was very successful as the director of Voilà Viola, a viola festival held at Merkin Hall in New York, and has toured the United States with pianist Christopher O’Riley, violinist Pamela Frank, and cellist Carter Brey.

In addition to his innumerable orchestral, recital, and festival appearances, Paul Neubauer is accessible to a broad range of television and radio audiences through Live from Lincoln Center telecasts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning; in recital on PBS’s Front Row Center and In Concert; on Argentinean, Brazilian, and Mexican television as soloist with orchestras; on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and Morning Edition, on St. Paul Sunday Morning, as well as on international radio performances throughout the world.

Among Mr. Neubauer’s numerous awards are First Prize in the Mae M. Whitaker International Competition, the D’Angelo International Competition, and the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. He has been the recipient of a Solo Recitalist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a special prize from the Naumburg Foundation, which awarded him an Alice Tully Hall recital debut. Moreover, the Epstein Young Artists Program has sponsored him and he was the first violist chosen to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Born in Los Angeles and currently residing in New York City, Mr. Neubauer studied with Alan de Veritch, Paul Doktor, and William Primrose. He holds a Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School where he is now a member of the faculty. He also teaches at Mannes College.

Learn more about him from THIS DOCUMENTRY

Juho Pohjonen


Lauded for his “impeccable technique” (The Washington Post) and “elegant musicianship” (The New York Times), pianist Juho Pohjonen is in demand internationally as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber performer. An ardent exponent of Scandinavian music, Pohjonen’s growing discography offers a showcase of music by Finnish compatriots such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho and Jean Sibelius.

The “fast rising Finnish star” has garnered acclaim as a “delightfully unassuming but bewitching soloist” (The Guardian) in recent engagements with the German Radio Philharmonic, Taiwan, BBC, and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras; the Symphonies of San Francisco, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Colorado; National Arts Centre Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Mostly Mozart Festival.   

He recently performed Sauli Sinojev's Piano Concerto with the Lahti Symphony and Daniel Bjarnason’s concerto, Processions with the Helsinki Philharmonic, both with Bjarnason at the podium. Pohjonen has also collaborated with today’s foremost conductors, including Marin Alsop, Lionel Bringuier, Marek Janowski, Fabien Gabel, Kirill Karabits, Osmo Vänskä, Pietari Inkinen, Stefan Asbury, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Markus Stenz, and Pinchas Zukerman. 

Pohjonen has performed in recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Steinway Society in San Jose, Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, and in San Francisco, La Jolla, Philadelphia, Detroit, Savannah, and Vancouver.  He made his London debut at Wigmore Hall, and has played recitals throughout Europe in Antwerp, Hamburg, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw. Following a program at the 92nd Street Y in New York featuring Salonen’s Dichotomie, the New York Times commented, “[Pohjonen] played it like a master.” 

Pohjonen enjoys an ongoing relationship with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom he has performed at Alice Tully Hall, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Wolf Trap. He has played also alongside the Escher and Calidore String Quartets, and regularly collaborates in programs at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and with violinist Cho-Liang Lin. He has played festivals in Lucerne, Finland, Norway, and Germany; at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival; the Marlboro Music Festival; and ChamberFest Cleveland. 

Pohjonen’s growing discography includes The Dvořák Album, recorded with Jan Vogler and the Moritzburg Festival (Sony Classical 2022); Cello works (Inbal Segev) of Chopin, Grieg and Schumann (AVIE 2018); Bach: 6 Sonatas for Violin (Nicolas Dautricourt) and Piano (La Dolce Volta 2018); Music@Menlo Live: Maps and Legends (2010); and Plateaux, works by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, recorded with Ed Spanjaard and the Danish National Symphony. Pohjonen is a founding member of the Sibelius Piano Trio, who released “a gorgeous debut” (Stereophile) in honor of Finland’s 1917 centennial of independence (Yarlung Records 2016). 

Pohjonen earned a master’s degree from Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He was selected by Sir Andras Schiff as the winner of the 2009 Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship. In 2019, Pohjonen launched MyPianist, an AI-based app that provides interactive piano accompaniment. (

You can also learn more about him through this short film from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Julian Rhee


Violinist Julian Rhee has been establishing himself as a prominent musician and performer across the United States.

The first prize winner of the Johansen International Competition in Washington DC, Julian was also awarded the Solo Bach, Commissioned Work and the Elaine H. Klein Prize at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition. In January of 2018 Julian was named a Finalist of the National YoungArts Foundation, and he performed at the New World Center in Miami. Subsequently, Julian appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholars in the Arts and received his medal at the White House. This past summer, Julian was the recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Scholarship, and was named the winner of the Aspen Music Festival Violin Concerto Competition, where he performed with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra at Benedict Music Tent.

An avid soloist, Julian made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut at age eight, and has gone on to perform with orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Avanti Symphony Orchestra, West Suburban Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Lacrosse Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. In June of 2017 Julian toured across Argentina and Uruguay performing the Brahms Concerto as the guest soloist. He has performed in an array of venues including Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, Heinz Hall, the Overture Center for the Arts, Teatro El Círculo in Rosario, Argentina, The Musikverein in Vienna, Bartok Hall in Hungary, New World Center and the John F Kennedy Center.

A passionate chamber musician, Julian’s performance on violin and viola earned him and his String Quartet first prize in the 2018 A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition and Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition, and Gold Medals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition. Julian has appeared with the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and will be performing with Henry Kramer at Pierce Hall this August.

Julian has appeared alongside internationally-renowned ensemble Time for Three on National Public Radio’s From The Top, 98.7 WFMT’s Introductions, Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7, Milwaukee Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio and Television (WPT/WPR).

Julian shares his passion for music by serving in the local community as an assisting artist and mentor of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra (WIO), which brings together musicians of all ages and skill levels in a challenging, non-competitive environment. In addition, he regularly speaks and performs at schools and retirement homes in Wisconsin and Illinois, most recently at West Bend High School and North Shore Country Day School as its Susan Marshall Artist.

Julian Rhee studied with Almita and Roland Vamos as a scholarship recipient at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He is a graduate of Brookfield East High School as Class President and Valedictorian. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory.

Philip Setzer


Violinist Philip Setzer, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and began studying violin at the age of five with his parents, both former violinists in the Cleveland Orchestra. He continued his studies with Josef Gingold and Rafael Druian, and later at the Juilliard School with Oscar Shumsky. In 1967, Mr. Setzer won second prize at the Marjorie Merriweather Post Competition in Washington, DC, and in 1976 received a Bronze Medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels. He has appeared with the National Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony (David Robertson, conductor), Memphis Symphony (Michael Stern), New Mexico and Puerto Rico Symphonies (Guillermo Figueroa), Omaha and Anchorage Symphonies (David Loebel) and on several occasions with the Cleveland Orchestra (Louis Lane). He has also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival.

Mr. Setzer has been a regular faculty member of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. His article about those workshops appeared in The New York Times on the occasion of Isaac Stern's 80th birthday celebration. He also teaches as Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook and has given master classes at schools around the world, including The Curtis Institute, London's Royal Academy of Music, The San Francisco Conservatory, UCLA, The Cleveland Institute of Music and The Mannes School. The Noise of Time, a groundbreaking theater collaboration between the Emerson Quartet and Simon McBurney--about the life of Shostakovich--was based on an original idea of Mr. Setzer's.

In April of 1989, Mr. Setzer premiered Paul Epstein's Matinee Concerto. This piece, dedicated to and written for Mr. Setzer, has since been performed by him in Hartford, New York, Cleveland, Boston and Aspen. Recently, Mr. Setzer has also been touring and recording the piano trios of Schubert and Mendelssohn with David Finckel and Wu Han.

Photo: Jurgen Frank

James Austin Smith


Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling,” and “brilliant” performances (New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the United States and around the world. Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble, and Cygnus, as well as Co-Artistic Director of Decoda, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco. He is a member of the Manhattan School of Music and State University of New York at Purchase faculties.

Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, Stellenbosch, Orlando, Stift, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Spoleto USA; he has performed with the St. Lawrence, Orion, and Parker string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode, and Kairos labels. His debut solo recording, Distance, was released in early 2015 on South Africa’s TwoPianists Record Label.

Mr. Smith received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music; he graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, the Weill Music Institute, and the New York City Department of Education. Mr. Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli and Ray Still.

The son of musician parents and the eldest of four boys, Mr. Smith was born in New York and raised in Connecticut.

James Thompson


Violinist James Thompson enjoys a multifaceted career as a chamber musician, soloist, educator, and lecturer. He is currently on faculty at Music@Menlo and has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program since 2021.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Thompson considers himself fortunate to have been surrounded by an abundance of world-class musical artists and educators from a young age. Through the preparatory program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he was introduced to the world of chamber music – an artform whose intimacy and power inspired his devotion to the violin.

Thompson has since performed for prestigious chamber music organizations across the country including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, the Four Arts Society, Parlance Chamber Concerts, the Perlman Music Program, and the Taos School of Music. Solo engagements include appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra. He was invited to perform in Budapest as part of the First Bartok World Competition and in Sendai for the Seventh Sendai International Violin Competition.

Recently, Thompson’s abilities as a presenter have earned him invitations to speak at a variety of established concert series. His multimedia live-interview with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, hosted by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, was a highlight of his 2021/2022 season. As newly-appointed director of Music@Menlo’s Winter Residency, he curates diverse student and community programs in the Bay Area.

Alongside his career onstage, Thompson is forming a strong reputation as a private instructor and chamber music coach. In 2019, he joined the faculty of Music@Menlo as both a coach for the Young Performer’s Program and a mainstage artist. He has recently served as a teaching fellow at both the Encore Chamber Music Festival and the Western Reserve Chamber Music Festival. He views his work with young people as an immensely important aspect of his calling as a musician, and is grateful to have the opportunity to share with everyone the joy he has found making music.

Thompson holds Bachelor of Music, Masters, and Artist Diploma degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music; his primary teachers include Jaime Laredo, William Preucil, and Paul Kantor. He currently resides in Rochester, New York with his wife, violinist Jeanelle Thompson.

Danbi Um


Praised by The Strad as an “utterly dazzling” artist, with “a marvelous show of superb technique” and “mesmerizing grace” (New York Classical Review), violinist Danbi Um captivates audiences with her virtuosity, individual sound, and interpretive sensitivity. A Menuhin International Violin Competition Silver Medalist, winner of the prestigious 2018 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and a recent top prizewinner of the Naumburg International Violin Competition, she showcases her artistry in concertos, solo recitals, and in collaboration with distinguished chamber musicians. 

Ms. Um's recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (Kimmel Center) and her Washington D.C.'s recital debut at the Phillips Collection. This season will also see Ms. Um's return to the Rockport, Moab, Saratoga Performing Arts (SPAC), Santa Fe, and North Shore Music Festivals, as well as her debuts at Mostly Music, Newburyport, La Musica (Sarasota), and Chelsea Music Festivals. In addition, Ms. Um returns to the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island this summer for a recital evening as part of the Stires-Stark Recital Series. 

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Um debuts this season with the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music San Francisco, and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for both national and international tours. She also embarks on a duo recital tour with guitarist Jiji in Delaware, Houston, New York, and Nova Scotia. Ms. Um's chamber music collaborators have included Anthony Marwood, Vadim Gluzman, Pamela Frank, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Frans Helmerson, David Finckel, David Shifrin, Wu Han, and Gilbert Kalish.  A recording artist for Avie Records, Ms.Um's debut album, Much Ado: Romantic Violin Masterworks, will be released worldwide in fall of 2023. 

In 2018, Ms. Um made her New York recital debut at Lincoln Center presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. After winning the 2014 Music Academy of the West Competition, Ms. Um made her concerto debut in the Walton Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein. Past concerto engagements include appearances with the Israel Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, and the Dartmouth Symphony. She also recently appeared in recital and in chamber music performances in such venues as the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Harris Theatre in Chicago, Wigmore Hall in London, and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Born in 1990 in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Um began violin lessons at the age of three. In the year 2000, she moved to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree. She also holds an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. Her teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, and Hagai Shaham.Ms. Um is a winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions. She plays a 1683 “ex-Petschek” Nicolo Amati violin, on loan from a private collection.

Learn more aboout her from this documentary on YOUTUBE.

Radovan Vlatković


One of the leading instrumentalists of his generation, Radovan Vlatković has travelled the globe performing extensively as a soloist and popularizing the horn as recording artist and teacher.


Born in Zagreb in 1962 he completed his studies with Professor Prerad Detiček at the Zagreb Academy of Music and Professor Michael Höltzel at the Music Academy in Detmold, Germany. Radovan Vlatković is the recipient of many first prizes in national and international competitions, including the Premio Ancona in 1979 and the ARD Competition in Munich in 1983 – the first to be awarded to a horn player for fourteen years. This led to numerous invitations to music festivals throughout Europe including Salzburg, Vienna, Edinburgh and Dubrovnik to name but a few, the Americas, Australia, Israel, Korea as well as regular appearances in Japan.


From 1982 until 1990 he served as Principal Horn with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (now Deutsches Symphonie Orchester) under Maestros Riccardo Chailly and Vladimir Ashkenazy. From 1992 to 1998 he held the post of Horn Professor at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule. 1998 he became Horn Professor at the renowned Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since 2000 he holds the Horn Chair “Canon” at the “Queen Sofia” School in Madrid.


Radovan Vlatković has appeared as soloist with many distinguished symphony and chamber orchestras including the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Munich Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, Mozarteum Orchestra, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Santa Cecilia Orchestra Rome, Rotterdam Philharmonie, the orchestras of Berne, Basel and Zürich, the Lyon and Strassbourg Orchestras, NHK Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan and Yomiuri Orchestra, Adelaide and Melbourne Orchestras.


From 2000 – 2003 he has been Artistic Director of the September Chamber Music Festival in Maribor, Slovenia. He regularly performs with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger, Elmar Schmid and Klaus Thunemann. Very much in demand as chamber musician he has performed at Gidon Kremer’s Lockenhaus, Svyatoslav Richter’s December Evenings in Moscow, Oleg Kagan and Natalia Gutman’s Kreuth, Rudolf Serkin’s Marlboro, András Schiff’s Mondsee, Vicenza and Ittingen Festivals as well as Kuhmo, Prussia Cove and Casals Festival in Prades.


Radovan Vlatković has participated in first performances of works by Elliott Carter, Sofia Gubaidulina, Heinz Holliger and several Croatian composers who have written concertos for him. In May 2008 he premiered the Horn Concerto written for him by Krzysztof Penderecki together with the Bremen Philharmonic and the composer conducting. There were further performances in Japan, Taiwan as well as in Poland for the occasion of the composers seventy-fifth birthday. Further performances are scheduled for Germany, Spain, Italy and Croatia as well as a performance in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall with his former Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester under Vladimir Ashkenazy. In the season 2008/09 Vlatkovic continued his activity as “artist-in-Residence” with the Verdi Orchestra in Milano. 


Radovan Vlatković has received the German Critics Award for several of his discs. His numerous recordings include Mozart and Strauss Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra and Jeffrey Tate, works by Saint-Saens with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Jean-Jacques Kantorow, the Britten Serenade for tenor, horn and strings with Neil Jenkins and the Oriol Ensemble in Berlin, Concertos for two horns by Leopold Mozart and Fasch with Herrmann Baumann and Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields and Iona Brown. More recordings including chamber music have been issued by EMI, DECCA, Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, Teldec, Dabringhaus & Grimm and Denon labels.


In 2014 Vlatković was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM), an honour bestowed upon only 300 distinguished musicians worldwide.


Radovan Vlatković plays a full double horn Model 20 M by Paxman of London.