Federico Agostini is a violinist renowned as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. After early training with his grandfather, he studied violin at his hometown’s conservatory of music in Trieste, Italy, then in Venice, and later at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, where he earned the Artist Diploma in violin. Salvatore Accardo and Franco Gulli were among his teachers.
Mr. Agostini made his debut as a soloist at the age of 16, playing Mozart under the baton of the late Carlo Zecchi. Ever since, he has performed throughout the world as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and as concertmaster of the legendary Italian ensemble I Musici. He has appeared in various international music festivals in Europe, the United States and Japan. Together with violinist Yosuke Kawasaki (currently concertmaster of the National Arts Center Orchestra, Ottawa), James Creitz (former violist of the Academica Quartet) and Sadao Harada (former cellist and founder of the Tokyo String Quartet), he founded the D’Amici String Quartet, which began its activities in 2004.
Mr. Agostini maintains a very busy schedule as a teacher; he has given classes at music schools in the United States and Mexico as well as Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Japan and Australia. He has served as a faculty member at the Orford Art Centre in Canada; Round Top Festival Hill Institute in Texas; and joined the Eastman School faculty in 2012, where he is co-chair of the strings department.
Dmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with "brilliant technical chops" (Gramophone), whose playing is "highly impressive throughout" (The Strad). As a soloist and recitalist, he has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Zankel and Weill halls at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Atapine regularly appears with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and his frequent festival appearances have included Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, La Musica Sarasota, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, and Aix-en-Provence Festival among many others, with performances broadcast on radio and television in Spain, Italy, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.
Mr. Atapine's multiple awards include top prizes at the Carlos Prieto International, the Florian Ocampo, and the Llanes cello competitions, as well as the Plowman, New England, and the Premio Vittorio Gui chamber competitions. His recent engagements have included collaborations with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, David Finckel, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna, David Shifrin, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Mr. Atapine’s recordings, among them a world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, Urtext Digital, BlueGriffin and Bridge record labels.
Mr. Atapine holds a doctorate degree from Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. Born into a family of musicians, his teachers have included Alexander Fedortchenko and Suren Bagratuni. The artistic director of Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival (Spain) and Apex Concerts (Nevada), he is the cello professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and has been a member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program.
Bruno Giuranna, the distinguished Italian violist and conductor, was born in Milan into a family of musicians and completed his musical studies in Rome. He was a founding member of the celebrated I Musici and performed extensively in the legendary Trio Italiano d’Archi. He began his solo career under the baton of Herbert von Karajan in its world premiere of Giorgio Federico Ghedini’s Musica da Concerto per Viola e Orchestra, a work composed especially for Giuranna. Since that time, he has played with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and La Scala Orchestra in Milan under such illustrious conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir John Barbirolli, Sergiu Celibidache, Carlo Maria Giulini and Riccardo Muti.
His extensive list of recordings for Phillips, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI include editions of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Franco Gulli, Henryk Szeryng and Anne-Sophie Mutter, the complete set of concertos for viola d’amore by Vivaldi and Mozart’s piano quartets with the Beaux Arts Trio. In 1990, the recording of Beethoven’s String Trios with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Bruno Giuranna and Mstislav Rostropovich won a Grammy nomination. As conductor, Giuranna has won the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Academie Charles Cros in Paris for the recording of Boccherini’s cello concertos with David Geringas as soloist. His latest recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante was performed with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.
Giuranna held the post of chair of viola at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin until 1998 and has taught at the Musik-Academie in Detmold, the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, the Royal College and Royal Academy in London, and has given master classes worldwide. Frequently invited to the Marlboro Festival in the USA, he currently teaches at the Fondazione Stauffer in Cremona and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. From 1983 to 1992 he was the artistic director of the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e il Veneto and in 1998 he presided over the First International Bruno Giuranna Viola Competition in Brazil.
Profoundly convinced of the importance of “playing together” as a unique and irreplaceable practice in the development of the musical personality, he has dedicated himself to the creation of chamber music projects where he plays alongside young musicians. In 1987, he was decorated by the Italian president with the title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce al Merito. He also received the D. Litt., honoris causa, from the University of Limerick in 2002. In 2011, after having presided over the Italian branch of ESTA (European String Teachers Association), he was elected European president.
His viola parts and his transcription for string trio of the Bach Goldberg Variations are freely downloadable at www.giuranna.it.
Derek Han is without a doubt among the leading American pianists of his generation. His elegant, polished and compelling playing has dazzled audiences across six continents. Though he was originally identified with the concertos of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven – not least because he recorded them all to highly favorable critical responses – he possesses a vast repertory that includes the concertos of Mendelssohn, Chopin and MacDowell, as well as individual concertos by Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, in addition to a large body of solo and chamber works. Han’s style is original though straightforward in its lucid tones, spirited character, and technical fluidity and accuracy.
Mr. Han was born in the United States to Chinese parents – a precocious child, becoming proficient on the piano at an early age, and then graduating from Juilliard at 18. His most important teacher there was Ilona Kabos, but he studied under a string of even more prominent ones after graduating: Gina Bachauer, Lili Kraus and Guido Agosti. Mr. Han’s breakthrough came in 1977, when he captured first prize at the Athens International Piano Competition. He thus experienced a meteoric rise in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, appearing as soloist with leading European and American orchestras and as a recitalist and chamber player at an array of important concert locales. He began to appear regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival (at the behest of Rudolf Serkin) and at many major concert venues in the United States, South America and Europe: New York, St. Louis, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Milan, Berlin, London, Warsaw, Moscow and elsewhere.
Described by The Times as a musician who is “simply superb regarding commitment, musicianship and technical command,” violinist Marta Kowalczyk is one of the most highly regarded and versatile artists of her generation.
Born in Poland, she began her violin studies at the age of seven. After graduating from the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Marta completed a Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with György Pauk. In 2017, she completed the Stauffer Academy in Cremona with Maestro Salvatore Accardo.
Ms. Kowalczyk made her solo debut with Sinfonia Varsovia at the age of 15 performing a Brahms concerto, and has since performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She has collaborated with artists such as Salvatore Accardo, Bruno Giuranna, Maxim Vengerov, Barry Douglas, Arto Noras, Antoni Wit, Sir Mark Elder, and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Recent appearances include her debut at Wigmore Hall premiering in the UK Penderecki’s La Follia for solo violin, a USA tour performing Sibelius and Wieniawski concertos, solo appearances with Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish National Philharmonic, the Bucharest Radio Orchestra, and the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra performing Krzysztof Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No. 2 Metamorphosen under the composer’s direction.
Ms. Kowalczyk is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, J&A Beare Prize, Grand Prix and two Special Prizes at the Ludwig van Beethoven International Chamber Music Competition in Poland, First Prize at the International Violin Competition in Bled, Slovenia, First Prize at the International Violin Competition in Belgrade, and Special Prize at the China International Violin Competition in Qingdao.
Since 2017, Ms. Kowalczyk has been concertmaster of the Basel Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland. In 2018, Ms. Kowalczyk recorded her debut CD with Krzysztof Penderecki’s First and Second Sonatas and La Follia, which has been widely distributed in Poland.
Korean-American cellist Christine J. Lee is hungry and passionate for new expressions and experiences. She believes in the transformative and healing powers of music and shares her musical knowledge through performing. As the recipient of 2018 Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Jean-Nicolas Firmenich, she will be launching her salon-concert series in Brussels to promote and celebrate women artists and composers. As a prize winner of many international competitions, she made her debut with the Brussels Philharmonic with Augustin Dumay, on the Brahms Double Concerto. In her previous seasons, Ms. Lee made solo appearances with the Monterey Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Symphony, Houston Symphony, as well as Young Belgian Strings, Orchestra of Mons and the National Orchestra of Belgium.
Since beginning the cello at the age of seven, she has performed with orchestras throughout the world, such as the Seoul Philharmonic and Korean Broadcasting Symphony (KBS) Orchestra, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Houston Symphony. After only three years of musical education, she was accepted to The Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 10 and since then, she has been performing in venues like Paris’ Musée du Louvre auditorium, Geneva’s Victoria Hall, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. She is living her dream of traveling the world and communicating with and educating her audience through music. Besides performing as a soloist, she especially enjoys collaborating with other musicians from different backgrounds in an intimate chamber music setting. She performs in prestigious music festivals such as Music@Menlo, La Jolla Summerfest, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Marlboro Festival, and Verbier Festival. Ms. Lee is forever grateful to her teachers Orlando Cole, Peter Wiley and Carter Brey from the Curtis Institute of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music, and Joel Krosnick from The Juilliard School for giving her the possibility of achieving her dreams.
She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium, where she works closely with Gary Hoffman and Jeroen Reuling.
Ruth Lenz became concertmaster of the Reno Philharmonic and Nevada Opera Orchestra in 2010 and of the Reno Chamber Orchestra in 2011. She has also served as concertmaster for the Fresno Philharmonic and the Sunriver Festival Orchestra. As a chamber and festival musician she has performed with the Sacramento Chamber Music Society in California; the Argenta Series for the University of Nevada, Reno; the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado; the Carpe Diem String Quartet in Columbus Ohio; Classical Tahoe in Nevada; and the Kammermusiktage in Barth, Germany. 2018-19 engagements include the La Musica Festival in Sarasota, Florida; the Tahoe Chamber Music Society series in Nevada; the Aurelia Chamber Players and Festival Napa in California; the Mayshad Festival in Morocco; and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. Dr. Lenz has had the honor of collaborating with such distinguished artists as Robert Levin, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Pascal Roge, James Buswell, Bruno Giuranna, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley and Carol Wincenc. Ruth has appeared as a soloist with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Ruby Mountain Symphony, the Carson City Symphony, the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival Orchestra, the Toccata Orchestra, the Reno Baroque Ensemble and the Sunriver Festival. This season she will be collaborating with the Reno Chamber Orchestra in a conductor-less performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Ruth began her violin studies at age two with her mother. Other formative childhood teachers include Roy Malan, Suzanne Beia, Won Bin Yim and Cynthia Lang. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in music performance from the University of Nevada, Reno where she studied with Phillip Ruder. She then went on to get her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana where she studied with Sherban Lupu and Danwen Jiang. In addition to performing, Ruth has a passion for teaching. She has attended intensive pedagogy seminars such as the week-long Delay Symposium at Juilliard in order to enhance her teaching skills. In her free time Ruth is an avid equestrian and outdoor enthusiast. She has two children, Sidonie and Benjamin. She plays a 1957 Simone Fernando Sacconi violin.
Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, flutist Demarre McGill is a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. Among the orchestras with which he has appeared as soloist are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and, at age 15, the Chicago Symphony. In September 2017, Demarre McGill became principal flute of the Seattle Symphony, having previously served as principal flute of the Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He recently served as acting principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and earlier with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of The Myriad Trio, a former member of Chamber Music Society Two, and has participated in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Marlboro Music, La Jolla Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, to name a few. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the chamber music organization Art of Élan and, with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Michael McHale, in 2014 founded the McGill/ McHale Trio whose first CD was released by Cedille Records in August 2017.
Media credits include appearances on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center, A & E Network's The Gifted Ones, NBC's Today Show and Nightly News, and, with his brother, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, Demarre McGill is currently visiting assistant professor of flute at the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), having previously taught at the Juilliard School’s pre-college division.
Mr. Palmizio established himself as one of today’s most highly regarded young violists with a string of competition successes and extensive concert experience. He has performed around the world as a soloist and collaborated with musicians such as Frans Helmerson, Hansjörg Schellenberger, Salvatore Accardo, Antonio Meneses, and Maxim Vengerov. He was recently described as a player of “instrumental mastery” characterized by “unselfconscious refinement.”
He is a laureate of the First Prize and Audience Prize in the Watson Forbes International Viola Competition, the First Prize in the Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome and the top viola prize in the Budapest International Competition. Solo performances include appearances with the Hungarian National Radio Orchestra, Szeged Philharmonic Orchestra, Kiev National Opera, Orchestra dell’ Arena di Verona, and recitals in Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, and Royal Festival Hall in London.
Mr. Palmizio studied in the class of Bruno Giuranna in Cremona, with whom he performed chamber music throughout Italy. Under Mr. Giuranna’s baton, with the Udine Symphony Orchestra, he performed Britten’s “Lachrymae” on several occasions.
Alongside performing commitments, Daniel Palmizio held the position of professor of viola at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, delivered numerous master classes in leading Italian conservatories, and is a guest professor of viola at the Amsterdam Conservatoire. Recent highlights included collaborating with pianist Beatrice Rana, and performances of his own arrangement of the Schumann cello concerto on a China tour as well as with the Orchestra dei Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan. He has performed the complete Bach solo suites in Cambridge UK and on tour in Korea.
Mr. Palmizio plays an 1800 Testore viola generously loaned from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.
Catherine Wethington, star of a new generation of American coloratura sopranos, has dazzled audiences in the United States and Europe with her artistry, delicate pianissimos, and expansive range. Comfortable in comedic and dramatic roles, she has triumphed in many leading roles including Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheé aux enfers, Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Monica in Menotti’s The Medium.
In addition, Ms. Wethington has performed Strauss’ Brentano Lieder and Milhaud’s Quatre Chansons de Ronsard, given lecture recitals and chamber recitals, and has premiered many new works for voice and piano. In 2015, she debuted on the Kennedy Center concert stage as a soprano soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and with the Choral Arts Society of Washington in May of that year. In July 2017, Ms. Wethington was soloist in a televised concert celebrating Carlo Bergonzi, in his home town Busseto, Italy, and was a highly acclaimed soloist in concert under the baton of the great Maestro Richard Bonynge. In August of 2018, Ms. Wethington was honored to make her London debut at Cadogan Hall.
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