AUGUST 26 - 30, 2021

Vivaldi Explosion!

Repeat: Avi Avital, mandolin & 25 artists

PROGRAM

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741)
1) Sonata in A minor for Cello and Continuo, RV 43 (c. 1739)

Largo
Allegro
Largo
Allegro

Efe Baltacigil, cello; Dane Johansen, cello; Paul O’Dette, lute; John Gibbons, harpsichord

VIVALDI
2) Concerto in G minor for Flute, Oboe, and Bassoon, RV 103

Allegro ma cantabile
Largo
Allegro non molto

Sooyun Kim, flute; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Bram van Sambeek, bassoon

3) VIVALDI
Concerto in F major for Three Violins, Strings, and Continuo, RV 551 (1711)

Allegro
Andante
Allegro

Todd Phillips, violin; Bella Hristova, violin; Chad Hoopes, violin; Sean Lee, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello; Anthony Manzo, bass; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord

–INTERMISSION (Discussion with artists)–

VIVALDI
4) Sonata in D minor for Two Violins and Continuo, RV 63, “La Follia” (published c. 1705)

Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Brook Speltz, cello; Jason Vieaux, guitar

VIVALDI
5) Concerto in D major for Mandolin, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93 (1730-31)

Allegro giusto
Largo
Allegro

Avi Avital, mandolin; Paul Huang, violin; Danbi Um, violin; Ani Kavafian, violin; Chad Hoopes, violin; Mihai Marica, cello; Daniel McDonough, cello; Anthony Manzo, bass; Jiayan Sun, harpsichord

NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
Program notes by Laura Keller, CMS Editorial Manager
© 2020 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center  

Any other use of these materials in connection with non-CMS concerts or events is prohibited. 

Violin virtuosity reached a new height around the year 1700. From the start of the Baroque Period a hundred years earlier, skilled craftsmen like Gasparo da Salò advanced string instrument building technique until it reached its apex with the instruments of Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri. The burgeoning music publishing industry also inspired composers to write pieces that would stand out and establish their international reputations. The new instruments and new ability to distribute music motivated and challenged composers to write technically demanding music that would have wide appeal.

Antonio Vivaldi, born in Venice in 1678, took advantage of these new trends in the music industry. He was an incredible violin virtuoso—his playing was so exhilarating and daring that a contemporary described himself as “terrified” when he heard it. He was also a prolific composer, a skilled opera impresario, and all-around musical entrepreneur. His vocal music, today mostly forgotten, was an important part of his career. He claimed to have composed 94 operas, both for his main theater, the Teatro San Angelo in Venice, and many patrons elsewhere, and he traveled extensively as an impresario after 1718. He also composed a wealth of instrumental music, including 90 sonatas and a whopping 500 concertos, nearly half for violin and the rest for an incredible variety of instruments including bassoon, cello, oboe, and flute.

When Vivaldi was starting out, the concerto form popularized by Rome-based composer Arcangelo Corelli dominated Italian instrumental music. It developed out of the trio sonata and its three solo instruments—two violins and cello—were accompanied by strings and continuo. Corelli had a lot of qualities that Vivaldi didn’t: he was well educated, a respected mentor and teacher, and a writer of virtuosic but tasteful music. Vivaldi was none of those things. He was brash, egotistical, and his playing was as fiery as his difficult personality. (“His vanity was notorious” according to biographer Michael Talbot.) Corelli’s students organized memorial concerts every year for decades after his death—Vivaldi had already been forgotten by the time he died penniless in 1741 in far-away Vienna.

The Sonata in A minor for Cello and Continuo, RV 43 was one of six published in Paris around 1739. Vivaldi probably wrote it much earlier, as manuscript evidence dates it back to at least ten years before. It wasn’t written for publication as the French edition was carried out without Vivaldi’s consent—unscrupulous practices were basically the norm in music publishing of the time and enforcement of intellectual property was nonexistent. Vivaldi’s cello sonatas aren’t like his violin works—they’re less virtuosic and in the more conservative sonata da chiesa (“church sonata”) style with four movements ordered slow-fast-slow-fast. They show a different side of the famously flashy composer, one that is composed, circumspect, refined, and elegant.

The Concerto in G minor for Flute, Oboe, and Bassoon, RV 103 is one of Vivaldi’s chamber concertos, a group of more than 20 works labeled as concertos that don’t have string ensembles accompanying the soloists. Instead, one group of instruments shares the solo and ensemble ripieno parts. Many are for mixed groups of soloists or strings—this is Vivaldi’s only chamber concerto for winds alone. This concerto is also one of just two of the chamber concertos that doesn’t have basso continuo. It isn’t known why he wrote these unusual pieces and they weren’t published in his lifetime but they were probably written in the late 1710s or 1720s.

The Concerto in F major for Three Violins, Strings, and Continuo, RV 551 (1711) was published in one of the most influential instrumental music publications of the 18th century, Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration), which set new standards in violin playing, elevating fiery virtuosity in fast movements and a singing tone in slow movements. L’estro armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration) also established Vivaldi’s preference for three contrasting movements (fast-slow-fast) and pioneered a new use of the ritornello form. The ritornello (“return”) started out in vocal music as a repeated instrumental interlude between sung sections and it was just entering the realm of instrumental music when Vivaldi started composing. Vivaldi quickly elevated it to the standard form for all concerto movements. In his music, ensemble ritornello sections are tonally stable to establish the home key at the start and end of the movement and reinforce each change of key during the movement. The solo sections, in turn, are tonally unstable, modulating between keys, which amps up the tension during the daring virtuosic passages.

Vivaldi published the Sonata in D minor for Two Violins and Continuo, RV 63, “La Follia,” the earliest piece on the program, just two years after getting a position as violin teacher at the Pio Ospedale della Pietà, a highly regarded girls’ orphanage with an unparalleled music program. This sonata is a one-movement set of variations on the famous tune La Follia, which was set by more than 100 composers dating back to late Renaissance Spain and Portugal. Vivaldi chose it as the final selection in his Op. 1, his first published set of compositions. The piece is a trio sonata with the two violins playing melody parts and cello and guitar sharing the accompanimental continuo part.

The Concerto in D major for Mandolin, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93 is one of three works Vivaldi originally wrote for lute for the Czech Count Wrtby while on a visit to central Europe when his operas were being performed in Vienna and Prague around 1730. The solo part is played here on a mandolin, a close relative of the lute family that is smaller and has fewer strings than the Renaissance lutes played in Vivaldi’s time and today. Vivaldi infused his characteristic vigor and virtuosity into the plucked solo part, which shines in rousing episodes in the first and third movements.

Notes by Laura Keller, CMS Editorial Manager

© Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. More than 100 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for him, while his inspired reimaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2015 ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Vivaldi. As the first mandolin soloist to become an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has made a number of recordings for the label to date: his 2012 debut, featuring his own Bach concerto transcriptions, and, his most recent, Art of the Mandolin. Recent highlights include dates at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, London’s Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, the Berlin Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, the Paris Philharmonie, and, with a live telecast on Arte, the Palais de Versailles. He is also a favorite on the international festival circuit, having appeared at the Aspen, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravenna, and Verbier festivals. Born in Be’er Sheva, Israel, Mr. Avital played in the mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy, where he studied original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi. He plays a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

Cellist Efe Baltacigil recently made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle alongside his brother Fora. He also performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Seattle Symphony, after which the Seattle Times described his “sublimely natural, so easily virtuosic, phenomenal, effortless musicianship.” Recent performances include Brahms’s Double Concerto with violinist David Coucheron and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote with the Seattle Symphony. He was a 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, named 2013 String Player of the Year in Turkey, and, as a member of the European Concert Hall Association’s Rising Stars program, he performed at Carnegie Hall and toured Europe in the 2006-08 seasons. Winner of the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he made his recital debut under its aegis at Zankel Hall. He has appeared with Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall, participated in Ma’s Silk Road Project, and performed at the Marlboro Festival. A member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, he was the associate principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra until 2011 and is currently the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Mimar Sinan University Conservatory in Istanbul, and earned his artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Mr. Baltacigil plays a Francesco Rugieri cello made in Cremona in 1680 and given to him by a Turkish sponsor.

Adam Barnett-Hart is the founding first violinist of the Escher String Quartet, which is a former member of The Bowers Program. The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, performing at venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, and Les Grand Interprètes series in Geneva. Alongside its growing success in Europe, the Escher Quartet continues to flourish in its home country, performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Chamber Music San Francisco, and the Ravinia, Caramoor, and Music@Menlo festivals. The quartet’s releases include the complete Zemlinsky Quartets on Naxos and the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on the BIS label. As a soloist, Mr. Barnett-Hart made his debut with the Juilliard Symphony at 19 performing the Brahms concerto in Alice Tully Hall. He has since performed with such orchestras as the Colorado Symphony, the Wichita Falls Symphony, the Riverside Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Jefferson Symphony. He is a touring member of the International Sejong Soloists. He was a top prize winner in the 2001 and 2002 Irving M. Klein competitions in San Francisco. He began studying with Pinchas Zukerman after graduating from The Juilliard School, where he completed his bachelor’s degree with Joel Smirnoff. Prior to Juilliard, he studied with James Maurer, Paul Kantor, and Donald Weilerstein.

Violinist Aaron Boyd enjoys a growing international reputation as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, recording artist, lecturer, and pedagogue. Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has concertized throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Formerly a member of the Escher String Quartet, together with whom he was a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Martin E. Segal prize from Lincoln Center, he was also awarded a Proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh for his musical accomplishments. An advocate for new music, he has been involved in numerous commissions and premieres and has worked directly with such legendary composers as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and Charles Wuorinen. He was also founder of the Zukofsky Quartet, the only ensemble to have played all of Milton Babbitt’s notoriously difficult string quartets in concert. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the BIS, Music@Menlo Live, Naxos, Tzadik, North/South, and Innova labels. He has been broadcast on television and radio by PBS, NPR, WQXR, WQED, and was profiled by Arizona Public Television. Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Boyd began his studies with Samuel LaRocca and Eugene Phillips and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied with Sally Thomas and coached extensively with Paul Zukofsky and Harvey Shapiro. He serves as Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Practice in Violin at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and lives in Plano, Texas with his wife Yuko, daughter Ayu, and son Yuki.

Cellist Timothy Eddy has earned distinction as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher of cello and chamber music. He has performed as soloist with the Dallas, Colorado, Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Stamford symphonies and has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Spoleto, and Sarasota music festivals. He has also won prizes in numerous national and international competitions, including the 1975 Gaspar Cassadó International Violoncello Competition in Italy. He is a member of the Orion String Quartet, whose critically acclaimed recordings of the Beethoven string quartets are available on the Koch label. A former member of the Galimir Quartet, the New York Philomusica, and the Bach Aria Group, Mr. Eddy collaborates regularly in recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish. A frequent performer of the works of Bach, he has presented the complete cello suites of Bach at Colorado’s Boulder Bach Festival and Vermont’s Brattleboro Music Center. He has recorded a wide range of repertoire from Baroque to avant-garde for the Angel, Arabesque, Columbia, CRI, Delos, Musical Heritage, New World, Nonesuch, Vanguard, Vox, and SONY Classical labels. He is currently professor of cello at The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music, and he was a faculty member at the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall.

Harpsichordist John Gibbons marks his 20th season performing with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A member of the Boston Museum Trio, he is resident harpsichordist and fortepianist of the Musical Instrument Collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and a frequent guest artist with the Da Camera Society of Houston, Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Aston Magna Festival in the Berkshires. He also appears with Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, and the Handel and Haydn Society. As a harpsichordist-conductor, he has directed the New York Chamber Symphony and has performed on various series at Weill Recital Hall, as well as at the festivals of Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Marlboro. He has recorded on the Centaur, Delos, Titanic, Cambridge, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Philips, and RCA labels. He received the Erwin Bodky Prize (1969), the New England Conservatory’s Chadwick Medal (1967), and a Fulbright scholarship for study with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. Mr. Gibbons graduated from the New England Conservatory, where he is chairman of the Historical Performance Department and director of the Bach Ensemble. He has taught at Lowell State College and Brandeis University.

Acclaimed by critics for his exceptional talent and magnificent tone, American violinist Chad Hoopes has remained a consistent performer with many of the world’s leading orchestras since winning First Prize at the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. He is a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant. Highlights of past seasons include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for the French premiere of Qigang Chen’s concerto La joie de la souffrance. He has performed with leading orchestras, including the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, and National Symphonies, as well as the Minnesota, Colorado Music Festival, and National Arts Centre Orchestras. He has additionally performed recitals at the Ravinia Festival, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Louvre, and at Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series in New York City. His debut recording with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi featured the Mendelssohn and Adams concertos and was enthusiastically received by both press and public. His recording of Bernstein’s Violin Sonata with pianist Wayne Marshall was recently released. Born in Florida, he began his violin studies at the age of three in Minneapolis, and continued his training at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He additionally studied at the Kronberg Academy under the guidance of Professor Ana Chumachenco, who remains his mentor. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he plays the 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz, ex Isaac Stern violin.

Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova’s growing international career includes numerous appearances as soloist with orchestra including performances with the Milwaukee and Kansas City symphonies, and Beethoven’s ten sonatas with acclaimed pianist Michael Houstoun on tour in New Zealand. Last season, she performed ten different works as soloist with orchestra, from Mozart to Sibelius to Bartók, as well as concertos by Florence Price (with the Knoxville Symphony) and David Ludwig (with the Hawaii Symphony and Symphony Tacoma). She has performed at major venues and worked with conductors including Pinchas Zukerman, Jaime Laredo, and Michael Stern. A sought-after chamber musician at festivals, she performs at Australia’s Musica Viva, Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro Music festivals. Her recording Bella Unaccompanied (A.W. Tonegold Records) features works for solo violin by Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and J. S. Bach. She is recipient of a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, first prizes in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and a laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Ms. Hristova attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian and Steven Tenenbom, and received her artist diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, she plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.

Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang makes recent and forthcoming appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, the Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, and the Houston Symphony with Andrés Orozco-Estrada. During Beethoven’s 250 anniversary celebrations in the 2020-21 season, he will perform the Beethoven Concerto with the Colorado Symphony and Eugene Symphony, as well as the Triple Concerto with the Charlotte Symphony. Other highlights will include appearances with the San Diego Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and the National Symphony of Mexico. Internationally, he will make his debut with Heidelberg Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic with Lahav Shani, and return to the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan as its artist-in-residence. A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he recently stepped in for Anne-Sophie Mutter at Bravo! Vail Music Festival playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin as well as a recital debut at the Lucerne Festival, both to critical acclaim. Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. He plays on the legendary 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Cellist Dane Johansen performs extensively as a soloist with orchestra, in recital, and as a chamber musician. He made his debut at Lincoln Center, performing Elliott Carter’s Cello Concerto with James Levine in celebration of the composer’s centennial. Formerly the cellist of the Escher String Quartet, he and his colleagues were BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, and recipients of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and Martin Segal Award from Lincoln Center. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw, Konzerthaus Berlin, and the Kennedy Center. He appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society and has performed at The Marlboro Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and the London Proms. A dedicated performer of Bach’s Six Cello Suites, he played them at Alice Tully Hall in 2010 and in 2014 made an unforgettable musical pilgrimage: 580 miles along the Camino de Santiago in Spain, presenting them in 36 concerts along the way. The story of his adventure was be made into a documentary film and recording. A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Mr. Johansen studied at The Cleveland Institute of Music, The Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris, and The Juilliard School. He is currently a member of the Cleveland Orchestra. He plays a cello made for him by Stefan Valcuha in 2014, a copy of the ‘Countess of Stanlein’ Stradivarius formerly owned by his teacher, Bernard Greenhouse.

Violinist Ani Kavafian enjoys a prolific career as a soloist, chamber musician, and professor. She has performed with many of America’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. In the 2019-20 season, she continued her longtime association as an artist of the Chamber Music Society with appearances in New York and on tour. Last summer she participated in several music festivals, including the Heifetz International Institute and the Sarasota Chamber Music, Bridgehampton, Meadowmount, Norfolk, and Angel Fire festivals. She and her sister, violinist and violist Ida Kavafian, have performed with the symphonies of Detroit, Colorado, Tucson, San Antonio, and Cincinnati, and have recorded the music of Mozart and Sarasate on the Nonesuch label. She is a Full Professor at Yale University and has appeared at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall numerous times with colleagues and students from Yale. She has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions award and has appeared at the White House on three occasions. Her recordings can be heard on the Nonesuch, RCA, Columbia, Arabesque, and Delos labels. Born in Istanbul of Armenian heritage, Ms. Kavafian studied violin in the US with Ara Zerounian and Mischa Mischakoff. She received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School under Ivan Galamian. She plays the 1736 Muir McKenzie Stradivarius violin.

Praised as “a rare virtuoso of the flute” by Libération, Sooyun Kim has established herself as one of the rare flute soloists on the classical music scene. Since her concerto debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, she has enjoyed a flourishing career performing with orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Munich Chamber Orchestra, and Boston Pops. She has been presented in recital in Budapest’s Liszt Hall, Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and Kobe’s Bunka Hall. Her European debut recital at the Louvre was streamed live on medici.tv. A winner of the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant, she has received numerous international awards and prizes including the third prize at the ARD International Flute Competition. Her summer appearances include the Music@Menlo, Spoleto USA, Yellow Barn, Rockport, Olympic, Charlottesville, Ravinia, and Tanglewood festivals. Her special interest in interdisciplinary art has led her to collaborate with many artists, dancers, and museums around the world such as Sol Lewitt, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Glassmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark. She choreographed and performed in dance works for Chamber Music Northwest and the Tivoli Dance Troupe in Denmark. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, she studied at the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Paula Robison. She is currently on the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College and teaches summer courses at Orford Musique. Ms. Kim plays a rare 18-karat gold flute specially made for her by Verne Q. Powell Flutes.

Pierre Lapointe is the violist of the Escher String Quartet and founded the group in 2005 with violinist Adam Barnett-Hart, violinist Wu Jie, and cellist Andrew Janss. The Escher Quartet was a member of The Bowers Program from 2006 to 2009 and continues to perform extensively in the United States and all over the world. In 2012 he completed a thesis on Zemlinsky’s Second Quartet to earn a doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music and finished almost simultaneously a recording project of all four Zemlinsky string quartets on the Naxos label. Before devoting himself entirely to the viola, he played the violin and studied composition. In 2002 he performed his first string quartet to great acclaim on the show Young Artists of CBC Radio in Canada. He also received a prize in 2004 from the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec for his work at the Gatineau Music Conservatory and was granted a gold medal by the University of Ottawa in 2000 for his undergraduate studies in composition and violin performance. His main teachers were Yaëla Hertz Berkson, Calvin Sieb, and Lawrence Dutton. Since 2015 Mr. Lapointe has been teaching chamber music at the Southern Methodist University of Dallas and is presently one of its adjunct professors.

Violinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences around the world with his lively performances of the classics. A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is one of few violinists who dares to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert, and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw praise for its use of technology in sharing unique perspectives and insight into violin playing. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice; and his recital appearances have taken him to Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. As a season artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he continues to perform regularly at Lincoln Center, as well as on tour. Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Lee studied with Robert Lipsett of the Colburn Conservatory and legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci before moving at the age of 17 to study at The Juilliard School with his longtime mentor, violinist Itzhak Perlman. He currently teaches at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, as well as the Perlman Music Program. He performs on a violin originally made for violinist Ruggiero Ricci in 1999 by David Bague.

Anthony Manzo’s vibrantly interactive and highly communicative music making has made him a ubiquitous figure in the upper echelons of classical music, performing at noted venues including Lincoln Center in NYC, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. He appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, both in NY and across the country. He serves as the solo bassist of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra and as a guest with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry. He is a regular guest with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Society, and the Baltimore Symphony when he happens to be near his home in Washington, DC. Formerly the solo bassist of the Munich Chamber Orchestra in Germany, he has also been guest principal with Camerata Salzburg in Austria, where collaborations have included a summer residency at the Salzburg Festival and two tours as soloist alongside bass/baritone Thomas Quasthoff, performing Mozart’s “Per questa bella mano.” He is an active performer on period instruments, with groups including The Handel & Haydn Society of Boston (where his playing was lauded as “endowed with beautiful and unexpected plaintiveness” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer), Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, and Opera Lafayette in Washington, DC. He is on the double bass and chamber music faculty of the University of Maryland. Mr. Manzo performs on a double bass made around 1890 by Jerome Thibouville Lamy in Paris (which now has a removable neck for travel!).

Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a first prize winner of the Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile and the Irving M. Klein International Competition, and is a recipient of Charlotte White’s Salon de Virtuosi Fellowship Grant. He has performed with orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, Xalapa Symphony in Mexico, the Hermitage State Orchestra of St. Petersburg in Russia, the Jardins Musicaux Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Santa Cruz Symphony in the US. He has also appeared in recital performances in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, South Korea, Japan, Chile, the United States, and Canada. A dedicated chamber musician, he has performed at the Chamber Music Northwest, Norfolk, and Aspen music festivals where he has collaborated with such artists as Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, André Watts, and Edgar Meyer. He is a founding member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet. A recent collaboration with dancer Lil Buck brought forth new pieces for solo cello written by Yevgeniy Sharlat and Patrick Castillo. He recently joined the acclaimed Apollo Trio. Mr. Marica studied with Gabriela Todor in his native Romania and with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music where he was awarded master’s and artist diploma degrees. He is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program.

Cellist Daniel McDonough has performed across the US and abroad as a chamber musician and recitalist. He is best known as cellist of the award-winning Jupiter String Quartet. The Jupiter Quartet has received first prizes at the 8th Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and the Young Concert Artists Auditions, as well as important honors such as Chamber Music America’s triennial Cleveland Quartet Award, the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and membership in The Bowers Program. Now entering its second decade, the Jupiter Quartet has enjoyed the great privilege of performing on the world’s finest concert stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Mexico City’s Bellas Artes, and the Schloss Esterhazy in Austria. He is also a founding member of the conductor-less ensemble ECCO, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, which has recently appeared at the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in Central Park. In addition to his concert career, Mr. McDonough is a passionate teacher. With the quartet he holds the position of artist-in-residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the summer he appears and teaches regularly at the Aspen Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. He lives in Urbana, Illinois with his wife (and violinist of the Jupiter Quartet), Meg Freivogel, and their two children, Lillian and Felix.

Paul O’Dette has been described as “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument.” (Toronto Globe and Mail) He appears regularly at major festivals throughout the world performing lute recitals and chamber music programs with leading early music colleagues. He has made more than 140 recordings, winning two Grammy awards, six Grammy nominations, and numerous other international awards. The Complete Lute Music of John Dowland (a 5-CD set for harmonia mundi usa), was awarded the prestigious Diapason D’or de l’année, and was named Best Solo Lute Recording of Dowland by BBC Radio 3. The Bachelar’s Delight: Lute Music of Daniel Bacheler was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 as Best Solo Instrumental Recording. Also active as a conductor of Baroque opera, he won a Grammy for Best Opera Recording of 2014, as well as two Echo Klassik Awards, and a Diapason D’or de l’année. In addition to his activities as a performer, he is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of 17th-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices, and lute music. He has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice and co-authored the Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Mr. O’Dette is Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music and Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.

Todd Phillips has performed as a guest soloist with leading orchestras throughout North America, Europe, and Japan including the Pittsburgh Symphony, New York String Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with which he also performs frequently as concertmaster. His leadership experience with that group has led to guest appearances as conductor/concertmaster with such groups as the New World Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta of Finland, and Camerata Nordica of Sweden. He has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Marlboro, and Spoleto festivals, and with Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y and New York Philomusica. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as Rudolf Serkin, Jaime Laredo, Richard Stoltzman, Peter Serkin, and Pinchas Zukerman and has participated in 18 Musicians from Marlboro tours. He is one of the violinists of the Orion String Quartet, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The Orions perform regularly at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and are quartet-in-residence at New York’s Mannes College of Music, where they are featured in a four-concert series each year. He has recorded for the Arabesque, Delos, Deutsche Grammophon, Finlandia, Koch International, Marlboro Recording Society, New York Philomusica, RCA Red Seal, and SONY Classical labels. He serves as professor of violin at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Mannes College the New School for Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Praised for his “fluid virtuosity” and “soulful melodies,” Los Angeles native Brook Speltz has been inspired since childhood by the long tradition of deep musical mastery of artists such as Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Fournier, and the Guarneri String Quartet. He has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist throughout the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. First Prize winner of the prestigious Ima Hogg Competition, he has performed with the Houston Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and International Contemporary Ensemble, and is a regular performer at England’s IMS Prussia Cove and on tour with Musicians from Marlboro. Chamber music tours with Itzhak Perlman and Richard Goode caused him to be nominated for the inaugural Warner Music Prize, a newly established prize presented by Warner Music and Carnegie Hall. He has also toured with the cello rock band Break of Reality, whose cover of music from Game of Thrones has received over 19 million views online. The band’s recent US tour raised funds and awareness for music programs in public schools all around the country. After studying with Eleanor Schoenfeld, Mr. Speltz attended the Curtis Institute of Music with Peter Wiley and The Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick. He performs on an 1857 J.B. Vuillaume on loan from his father, a cellist and his first inspiration in a family of professional musicians.

Michael Sponseller is recognized as one of the outstanding American harpsichordists of his generation. A highly diversified career brings him to festivals and concert venues all around as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and active continuo performer on both harpsichord and organ. He studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Lisa Goode Crawford with additional studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music, The Hague. He has garnered prizes at the International Harpsichord Competitions of Montréal (1999), the International Harpsichord Competition at Bruges (1998, 2001) as well as First Prizes at both the American Bach Soloists and Jurow International Harpsichord Competitions. He appears regularly as harpsichordist and continuo organist with several of American’s finest Baroque orchestras and ensembles, such as Bach Collegium San Diego, Les Délices, Aston Magna, Tragicomedia, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and can be heard on over 20 recordings from Delos, Centaur, Eclectra, and Naxos. At home, he is a regular presence at Boston’s Emmanuel Music, having performed over 125 sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach. His various recordings feature a diverse list of composers—including Bach, Handel, Rameau, Praetorius, and Laurenti—and received excellent reviews throughout the world. Early Music America Magazine has said of his performance of the J.S. Bach concertos: “His well-proportioned elegance carries the day quite stylishly.” Mr. Sponseller has been on the faculty at Longy School of Music and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and is associate music director of Bach Collegium San Diego.

Praised for his “revelatory” (New York Times) and “technically flawless, poetically inspired, and immensely assured playing” (Toronto Star), harpsichordist and pianist Jiayan Sun performs frequently with The Cleveland Orchestra, Fort Worth and Toledo symphony orchestras, Toronto and Aspen concert orchestras, and The Hallé, Chinese, and RTÉ (Ireland) National symphony orchestras, collaborating with prominent conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Michail Jurowski, Stefan Sanderling, Leon Fleisher, David Hayes, Thomas Crawford, and Kerry Stratton. He has conducted the Meininger Hofkapelle from the keyboard. His performances have been broadcasted on BBC, RTÉ, China Central Television, and classical music radio stations in North America. In addition to capturing top prizes in the Leeds, Cleveland, Dublin, and Toronto international piano competitions, Mr. Sun has given critically acclaimed performances as a harpsichordist and fortepianist, including an appearance with the American Classical Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. In 2014 he performed a series of recitals commemorating the tricentennial of C.P.E. Bach’s birth on the clavichord, harpsichord, and fortepiano. He has studied harpsichord with Lionel Party and fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and Audrey Axinn. From Yantai, China, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. He continues his studies at Juilliard as a doctoral candidate under the tutelage of Yoheved Kaplinsky and Stephen Hough. He has performed and participated in music festivals in Aspen, Verbier, and Sarasota.

Stephen Taylor is one of the most sought-after oboists in the country. He is solo oboist with the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble (for which he has served as co-director of chamber music), the American Composers Orchestra, the New England Bach Festival Orchestra, and is co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. His regular festival appearances have included Spoleto, Aldeburgh, Caramoor, Bravo! Vail Valley, Music from Angel Fire, Norfolk, Santa Fe, Aspen, and Chamber Music Northwest. Among his more than 300 recordings are Bach arias with Kathleen Battle and Itzhak Perlman, and Elliott Carter’s Oboe Quartet, for which he received a Grammy nomination. He has performed many of Carter’s works, giving the world premieres of Carter’s A Mirror on Which to Dwell, Syringa, and Tempo e Tempi; and the US premieres of Trilogy for Oboe and Harp, Oboe Quartet, and A 6 Letter Letter. He is entered in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and has been awarded a performer’s grant from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. He has collaborated with the Vermeer, Shanghai, Orion, American, and Artis-Vienna String Quartets. Trained at The Juilliard School, Mr. Taylor is a member of its faculty as well as of the Yale and Manhattan schools of music. He plays rare Caldwell model Lorée oboes.

Praised as an “utterly dazzling” artist (The Strad), 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, she showcases her artistry in concertos, chamber music, and recitals. After winning the Music Academy of the West Competition in 2014, she made her concerto debut performing the Walton Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein. Highlights of her 2019-20 season included solo appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (Kimmel Center) and Brevard Philharmonic, a national tour with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and debut performances at premier national series including Wolf Trap, Cincinnati’s Linton Chamber Series, and Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Concerts. An avid chamber musician, she is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. Her festival appearances have included those at Marlboro, Ravinia, Yellow Barn, Moab, Seattle, Caramoor, Moritzburg, and North Shore. Her chamber music collaborators have included Vadim Gluzman, Pamela Frank, Frans Helmerson, Jan Vogler, David Shifrin, and Gilbert Kalish. Admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of ten, Ms. Um graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Her teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, and Hagai Shaham. She is a winner of Astral’s 2015 National Auditions and plays on a 1683 “ex-Petschek” Nicolò Amati violin, on loan from a private collection.

Bram van Sambeek was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award, and in 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award. He performs regularly as a soloist with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Gothenborg Symphony, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Symphony, and South Netherlands Philharmonic. In 2010 he was offered a Carte Blanche series at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in 2015 he received a “Wild Card,” presenting many adventurous concerts at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, also in Amsterdam. He is a regular guest at the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival, Orlando Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. He performs in many diverse styles, working with rock musician Sven Figee at Konzerthaus Berlin, jazz musician Joris Roelofs at the North Sea Jazz Festival, and Arabic musician Kinan Azmeh in the Morgenland Festival. His most recent recording features new bassoon concertos by Sebastian Fagerlund and Kalevi Aho for the BISlabel; his previous recordings, on the Brilliant Classics label, include Bassoon Concertos and Bassoon-Kaleidoscope. Mr. van Sambeek began his studies with Fred Gaasterland and continued with Joep Terwey and Johan Steinmann at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. After graduation he took private lessons with Gustavo Núñez. Last season he started a professorship at the Hochschule für Music und Tanz in Cologne, and he was the spokesman of the Holland Festival’s “Save the bassoon” campaign. He is a former member of CMS’s Bowers Program.

Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation” (NPR), is a guitarist that goes beyond the classical. His solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Recital highlights include performances at Caramoor, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Ravinia, 92nd Street Y, Bard Music, and Strings Music Festival. He has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras and his passion for new music has fostered premieres by Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vivian Fung, Jeff Beal, and more. He continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well, and has released 15 albums. Most recently he recorded Ginastera: One Hundred (Oberlin Music) and released Infusion (Azica) with bandoneonist Julien Labro. He was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series. In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011 he co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the 2015 Eastern Music Festival. Mr. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001. He has received a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant.