and Guest Musicians
Artistic Director and Founder, New Canaan Chamber Music
Founder and Artistic Director of New Canaan Chamber Music, pianist and New Canaan native Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences as soloist at major concert halls across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic.
Andrew’s vast repertoire of more than 50 concertos with orchestra have been performed across the globe with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Günther Herbig, Stefan Sanderling, Jean-Marie Zeitouni and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. As a chamber artist, he has performed with the Elias, Alexander, American, Manhattan String Quartets, and as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society and Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players.
With violinist James Ehnes, he recorded all 10 Beethoven Violin Sonatas to celebrate the master’s 250th birthday, performing the cycle around the world over the past two years with concerts in London, Glasgow, Dresden, throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Andrew serves as Artistic Director of two thriving series in South Carolina, the Columbia Museum of Art’s Chamber Music on Main and the USC Beaufort Chamber Music Series.
In addition to his many concerts, his performances are heard regularly on National Public Radio, WQXR, New York City’s premier classical music station, and on stations across the country.
Andrew Armstrong lives in Massachusetts with his wife Esty, their three children Jack, Elise and Gabriel, and their two dogs, Comet & Dooker.
Guest Artist for the
July 26th Concert at Summer Theatre of New Canaan
Tessa Lark, Violin
Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category and received one of Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards, the special Hunt Family Award. Other recent honors include a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition. A budding superstar in the classical realm, she is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky, delighting audiences with programming that includes Appalachian and bluegrass music and inspiring composers to write for her.
Tessa has been a featured soloist at numerous U.S. orchestras, recital venues, and festivals since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen. She has appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; the Louisville Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic; the Albany, Indianapolis, Knoxville and Seattle symphonies; and has been presented by such venues as Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Music Center at Strathmore, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, San Francisco Performances, Ravinia, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Australia’s Musica Viva Festival, and the Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Bridgehampton, and La Jolla summer festivals.
Highlights of her 2021-22 season include debuts at London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; return appearances for recital series such as Cal Performances and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and numerous concerto engagements, including the world premiere of Michael Schachter’s violin concerto, Cycles of Life, with the Knoxville Symphony in April 2022.
Tessa’s debut commercial recording—SKY, a bluegrass-inspired violin concerto written for her by Michael Torke and performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra—earned a 2020 GRAMMY nomination, and Tessa’s discography has been expanding ever since. Recordings include Fantasy, an album on the First Hand Records label that includes fantasias by Schubert, Telemann and Fritz Kreisler, Ravel’s Tzigane, and Tessa’s own Appalachian Fantasy; Invention, a debut album of the violin-bass duo Lark and Thurber that comprises arrangements of Two-Part Inventions by J.S. Bach along with non-classical original compositions by Tessa and her fiancé, Michael Thurber; and a live performance recording of Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, released in 2021 by the Buffalo Philharmonic in honor of Piazzolla’s 100-year anniversary.
Her newest recording, The Stradgrass Sessions, is scheduled for release in 2022 and includes collaborations with composer-performers Jon Batiste, Edgar Meyer, Michael Cleveland, and Sierra Hull; original works by Tessa; and the premier recording of John Corigliano’s solo violin composition STOMP.
Tessa’s belief in music’s power to foster global connection and community across boundaries manifests in her genre-defying collaborations. Along with the Lark and Thurber duo, new projects include a string trio with composer-bassist Edgar Meyer and cellist Joshua Roman and a duo partnership with jazz guitarist Frank Vignola.
In addition to Tessa’s performance schedule, she was recently named Artistic Director Designate of Musical Masterworks, a chamber music presenter in Old Lyme, CT, for the 2021-22 season, and will assume the role of Artistic Director on July 1, 2022. Tessa is also a champion of young aspiring artists and supports the next generation of musicians through her work as Co-host/Creative of NPR’s From The Top, the premier radio showcase for the nation’s most talented young musicians; and as Mentor and board member of the Irving M. Klein International Strings Competition.
Her primary mentors include Cathy McGlasson, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Miriam Fried, and Lucy Chapman. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory and completed her Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Ida Kavafian, and Daniel Phillips.
Tessa plays a ca. 1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
New Canaan Chamber Music's Roster of Talented Artists from Our Previous Concerts
Edward Arron, Cello
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, cellist Edward Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician in major concert halls throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
The 2021-22 season marks Mr. Arron’s 13th season as the artistic director and host of the acclaimed Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He is also the co-artistic director with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Mr. Arron tours and records as a member of the renowned Ehnes Quartet, and he appears regularly at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where he has been a resident performer and curator of chamber music concerts for over a quarter of a century.
In 2013, he completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. Edward Arron is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. In 2016, Mr. Arron joined the faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst, after having served on the faculty of New York University from 2009 to 2016.
Edward Arron performed at the May 23, 2021 concert.
Ani Aznavoorian, Cello
The Strad magazine describes cellist Ani Aznavoorian as having “scorchingly committed performances that wring every last drop of emotion out of the music. Her technique is well-nigh immaculate, she has a natural sense of theater, and her tone is astonishingly responsive.” Ms. Aznavoorian has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the Boston Pops, and the Juilliard Orchestra.
Ms. Aznavoorian is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She is the principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica and has served on the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. She performs regularly at the Seattle Chamber Music Society and at the Jupiter Chamber Players series in NY. Her numerous accolades include being the recipient of the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry, being named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts upon receiving a medal by President Bill Clinton, and being a prize winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition. She is a proponent of new music and she has premiered concertos by Lera Auerbach and Ezra Laderman and continues to expand the chamber music repertoire with commissions by John Harbison, David Bruce, and Bright Sheng. Ms. Aznavoorian records for Cedille Records and this season will release an album of all Armenian cello and piano music with her sister Marta. She proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Ani Aznavoorian performed at the March 27, 2022 concert.
Raphael Bell, Cello
Raphael Bell enjoys a varied career as a principal cellist, chamber musician, teacher, and festival director. He is currently principal cello of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in Belgium, founder and co-director of the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival in Virginia, and co-Artistic Director of La Loingtaine in Montigny-sur-Loing, France.
As a chamber musician he has performed at Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Köln Philharmonie, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Kyoto Concert Hall. His appearances at festivals include the Wiener Festwochen, Ravinia, Elba, Verbier and Resonance Festival Belgium. Bell was part of the IMS Prussia Cove tour that won the Chamber Music Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, and has collaborated with artists such as Steven Isserlis, James Ehnes, Martha Argerich, Maxim Vengerov among others.
He has also appeared with the Munich Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. As a membr of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, for many years, he played in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s celebrated Mahler Symphony Cycle with Claudio Abbado.
Molly Carr, Viola
Violist Molly Carr enjoys a diverse musical career as recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. Hailed as “one of the most interesting interpreters of the viola today” (Codalario Spain) and praised for her “intoxicating” (New York Times) and “ravishing” (STRAD) performances, she has been the recipient of numerous international awards, including the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chamber Music America, ProMusicis Foundation, and the Davidson Institute. In 2018 she was named by the Sandi Klein Show as one of America’s leading “Creative Women,” honored at the United Nations, and awarded the International Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community ‘Service for her work in prisons and with refugees around the globe as the Founding Director for Project: Music Heals Us, a non-profit which brings free chamber music performances and interactive programming to marginalized populations with limited ability to access the Arts themselves. Her performances have taken her across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on PBS, CNN, NPR, and BBC World News. She serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Bard College Conservatory, The Juilliard School’s Precollege Division, and Musical Arts Madrid.
Molly Carr performed at the March 27, 2022 concert.
David Cooper, French horn
David Cooper’s passion for the French horn is in his blood, with both his uncle and grandmother serving as horn players in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. When David was only 11, he earned his grandmother’s horn after proving he could play his first scale. She sent him home with a couple of Dennis Brain recordings and he has been enthralled with the horn ever since! He began his studies right away with Dr. Dale Bartlett, his Grandmother’s former colleague in the Lansing Symphony. David began playing with Michigan State University ensembles when only 15 and was in the top MSU collegiate ensemble at age 16.
David attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia from 2002-2004 and was awarded a Tanglewood Fellowship in 2003. Soon after school he did a year of service as an Americorps intern with the Jefferson Land Trust in Port Townsend, Washington. David’s first professional symphonic appointment was as acting Principal horn of the Victoria Symphony from 2006 -2008. While still in Victoria, David won Co Associate Principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony and was there from 2008-2011. After Fort Worth, David moved next door to the Dallas Symphony as 3rd horn in 2011. In 2013, David won Principal horn of the National Symphony in Washington D.C. but, within weeks, he was appointed Principal horn of the Dallas Symphony, where he played from 2013-2019. In 2016 David won Solo horn of the Berlin Philharmonic where he played from 2017-2018. At the beginning of the 2018-19 season he returned back to Dallas and resumed his position as Principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In February of 2019 David won Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he currently plays. David has also played guest Principal horn with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. David enjoys many solo and chamber music appearances in the United States and abroad. He currently released his second solo CD “Impressions” on CD baby and it is also available on iTunes for purchase as well as all other streaming services.
David Cooper performed at the March 27, 2022 concert.
Gabriela Diaz, Violin/Viola
Gabriela Diaz, violin/viola, began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother, and the next year, violin with her father. A childhood cancer survivor, Gabriela is committed to supporting cancer research and treatment as a musician. In 2004, she was awarded a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Foundation to organize a series of chamber music concerts in cancer units at various hospitals in Boston called the Boston Hope Ensemble. This project is now a part of her chamber music organization, Winsor Music. A fierce champion of contemporary music, Gabriela has worked closely with many significant composers, including Pierre Boulez, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Joan Tower, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, Tania León, and Helmut Lachenmann. Gabriela is a member of several Boston-area new music groups, including Sound Icon, Ludovico Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva and Callithumpian Consort. She also appears frequently with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, A Far Cry, and other chamber music ensembles throughout the United States. She is a member of the Wellesley College faculty and can be heard on New World, Naxos, Centaur, BMOPSound, Mode, and Tzadik records. Gabriela's recording of Lou Harrison's Suite for Violin and American Gamelan was highlighted in the New York Times Article "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music. Gabriela is proud to be a core member of the team that created Boston Hope Music, bringing music to patients and frontline workers during the pandemic.
Gabriela Diaz performed at the May 23, 2021 concert.
James Ehnes, Violin
James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras.
Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Noseda, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Shelley, San Francisco Symphony with Janowski, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, London Symphony with Harding, and Munich Philharmonic with van Zweden, as well as his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lincoln Center in spring 2019. In 2019/20, Ehnes is Artist in Residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which includes performances of the Elgar Concerto with Luisi, a play/direct programme leg by Ehnes, and a chamber music programme. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Ehnes has been invited to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall throughout 2019/20. Elsewhere Ehnes performs the Beethoven Sonatas at Dresden Music Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at Aspen Music Festival (as part of a multi-year residency) and at Bravo Vail Festival during his residency week also including the Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Runnicles. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.
As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Lortie, Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Tamestit, Vogler and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Walton, Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Strauss, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 (Onyx Classics).
Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal aged 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.
James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.
James ehnes performed at the two October 29, 2021 concerts.
Alexander Fiterstein, Clarinet
Alexander Fiterstein is considered one of today’s most exceptional clarinetists. Fiterstein has performed in recital, with distinguished orchestras, and with chamber music ensembles throughout the world. He won first prize at the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant Award. The Washington Post has described his playing as “dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility, and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness” and The New York Times described him as “a clarinetist with a warm tone and powerful technique.”
As soloist he has appeared with the Czech, Israel, Vienna, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Belgrade Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, KBS Orchestra of South Korea, Jerusalem Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Kansas City Symphony, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He has performed in recital on the Music at the Supreme Court Series, the Celebrity Series in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Tel Aviv Museum, and NYC’s 92d Street Y.
A dedicated performer of chamber music, Fiterstein frequently collaborates with distinguished artists and ensembles and regularly performs with the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Among the highly regarded artists he has performed with are Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Pinchas Zukerman, and Steven Isserlis. He spent six summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and appeared at the Caramoor, Moab, Music@Menlo, Montreal, Toronto, Jerusalem, and Storioni Chamber Music Festivals.
Fiterstein has a prolific recording career and had pieces written for him by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates and Paul Schoenfield. He was born in Belarus and immigrated to Israel at the age of 2 with his family. A Juilliard graduate, he won first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received grants from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He is currently Associate Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Woodwinds at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Fiterstein is a Buffet Crampon and Vandoren Performing Artist.
Alexander Fiterstein performed at the March 27, 2022 concert.
Jennifer Frautschi, Violin
Two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient violinist Jennifer Frautschi has appeared as soloist with innumerable orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and St Paul Chamber Orchestra. As chamber musician she has performed with the Boston Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared at Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Music@Menlo, and the Bridgehampton, Charlottesville, Lake Champlain, Moab, Ojai, Santa Fe, Seattle, and Spoleto Music Festivals.
Her extensive discography includes several discs for Naxos: the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, conducted by the legendary Robert Craft, and two GRAMMY-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry Quartet, of Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra , and the Schoenberg Third String Quartet.
Born in Pasadena, California, Ms. Frautschi attended the Colburn School, Harvard, the New England Conservatory, and the Juilliard School. She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the “ex-Cadiz,” on generous loan from a private American foundation with support from Rare Violins In Consortium. She currently teaches in the graduate program at Stony Brook University.
Jennifer Frautschi performed at the May 23, 2021 concert.
Solomiya Ivakhiv, Violin
Hailed by critics for her “crystal clear and noble sound” (Culture and Life, Ukraine), Solomiya Ivakhiv enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, North America, and China. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, CBC Glen Gould Studio, Curtis Institute Field Concert Hall, Pickman Hall in Cambridge, MA, San Jose Chamber Music Society, Old First Concerts in San Francisco, Astoria Music Festival (Portland), Tchaikovsky Hall (Kyiv), and at UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Ivakhiv has made solo appearances with the International Symphony, Istanbul State Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China, and the Bach Festival Orchestra.
Ms. Ivakhiv’s debut album, Ukraine-Journey to Freedom, released on Labor Records with NAXOS of America was featured among the top four classical albums on iTunes. Her newest album, Poems and Rhapsodies, is set to release on Centaur in late 2021. Ms. Ivakhiv is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings at the University of Connecticut. She graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and the late Rafael Druian. Ms. Ivakhiv holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University.
R.J. Kelley, French horn
R.J. Kelley is regarded as a hornplayer of unusually broad musical scope, whether as soloist (American Classical Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica), chamber musician (Manhattan Brass; Smithsonian Chamber Players; Aspen Wind Quintet; Universal Piston), orchestral performer (New York Philharmonic; Metropolitan Opera, Orpheus, American Ballet Theater, Mostly Mozart), recording artist (Mozart Concerti on natural horn; Grammy-nominated Das Lied von der Erde - Mahler/Schoenberg reduction), or educator (artist faculty, Julliard School of Music; guest teacher/lecturer: Yale University; Hartt School of Music; SUNY Stony Brook; Washington University; San Jose State University).
Recently hailed in the Horn Call of the International Horn Society as performing "with virtuosity, precision, and a stylistic mastery that could be matched by few, surpassed by none", R.J. is a participant in music festivals worldwide:(Edinburgh; Berkeley, Boston, and Bloomington Early Music festivals; Montreux-Detroit, Sacramento, and Mammoth Lake Jazz festivals; Mostly Mozart, Lincoln Center, Washington Square Park). With appearances on Saturday Night Live, the Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and over 100 cd's (PBO, NY Philharmonic, Manhattan Brass) and films (Casanova, Snake Eyes) to his credit , R.J. has worked with commercial artists ranging from Jimmy Page and Puff Daddy, to Johnny Mathis, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Killers, Chuck Mangione, and CeeLo Green. A Detroit native, he has resided in the New York City area since 1989.
R.J. Kelley performed at the August 8, 2021 concert.
Matthew Lipman, Viola
Violist Matthew Lipman has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing.” He has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Minnesota Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and has been a featured soloist at the Zürich Tonhalle, Aspen Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, Wigmore Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The Strad praised his “most impressive” 2019 Cedille Records debut album Ascent, and his recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Sir Neville Marriner on the Avie label topped the Billboard Classical charts.
A former artist-in-residence for the American Viola Society, he was featured on WFMT Chicago’s “30 under 30” list of the world’s top classical musicians. An alumnus of the Bowers Program, Lipman holds the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Chair at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He was the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a major prize winner in the Primrose, Tertis, Washington, Johansen, and Stulberg International Competitions. Lipman is on faculty at Stony Brook University.
Amy Schwartz Moretti, Violin
Violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti is equally versatile as chamber musician, concertmaster, soloist, and educator, performing around the world and throughout the United States. Her many festival appearances include Bridgehampton, ChamberFest Cleveland, La Jolla, Meadowmount, Seattle, Music@Menlo and Manchester Music Festival. She is former concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony and Florida Orchestra and has served as guest concertmaster for the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, the New York Pops, Hawaii Pops, and the festival orchestras of Brevard, Colorado and Grand Teton.
Moretti was awarded The Cleveland Institute of Music’s Alumni Achievement Award, was the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Fanfare Honoree, and was honored as one of 2018 Musical America’s “Top 30 Professionals of the Year.” Since 2007, she has been Director of the McDuffie Center for Strings and has developed the Fabian Concert Series in Macon, GA and holds the Caroline Paul King Chair at Marcer University Townsend School of Music. She lives in Georgia with her family.
Arnaud Sussmann, Violin
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s PioneerPress writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you'll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener. His clear tone [is] a thing of awe-inspiring beauty, his phrasing spellbinding.” A thrilling young musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, Arnaud Sussmann has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Strasbourg, France and based now in New York City, Arnaud Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman. Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Mr. Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years. Mr. Sussmann now teaches at Stony Brook University on Long Island and was recently named Co-Artistic Director of Music@Menlo’s International Chamber Music Program. He is also the new Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach in Florida.
Arnaud Sussmann performed at the March 27, 2022 and August 8, 2021 concerts.
Alice Yoo, Cello
Alice Yoo has been warmly hailed for her sensitive musicianship, expressive nuance, and passionate commitment to chamber music and teaching.
Co-founder and Co-Artistic director of the Denver Chamber Music Festival, Alice is a sought-after chamber musician and has collaborated with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Pamela Frank, Kim Kashkashian, Midori Goto, Miriam Fried, Jonathan Biss, and members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Takács, and Juilliard Quartets. Festival appearances include tours with Musicians from Marlboro and Marlboro Music Festival, Caramoor, Ravinia Festival, Olympic Music Festival, and Moab Music Festival.
Passionate about new music, Alice has worked closely with many esteemed composers including Jennifer Higdon, and John Harbison. Top prize wins include the Holland-America Music Society, Schadt, and Klein International String Competitions. Her many solo appearances with orchestra include USC Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic and New York Classical Players.
Alice holds degrees from the New England Conservatory, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and USC's Thornton School of Music. She is currently on the chamber music faculty at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. Other teaching posts include faculty of cello at the Green Mountain Chamber Festival, and Boulder Cello Festival.