Violin & Artistic Director
Violinist Angella Ahn has had an extensive career performing in every state in the US and in over 30 countries. As a member of the Ahn Trio she has played in venues as diverse as the White House, the Jazz Dock in Prague, Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colon, Vienna’s Musikverein, New York’s Lincoln Center, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Beijing’s Concert Hall, Istanbul’s Aya Irini in Topkapi Palace, the iTunes Festival, and TEDWomen.
In addition to live performances, Angella has an impressive discography with her trio. The nine enthusiastically received albums include Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac, released by Sony (No. 8 in the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks); Dvorak, Suk and Shostakovich, released by EMI (winner of Germany’s prestigious ECHO Award); and their most recent, Blue, a musical diary. She has recently released two digital tracks with her trio, “Nuvole Bianche “and “Candybox.” Wide-ranging collaborations have allowed the trio to work with modern dance companies (including a B-boy group), film directors, rock bands, and DJ Spooky. Because of their eclectic interests and innovative exploration in music, New York Newsday has called the trio “Classical revolutionaries.”
Angella enjoys living in Bozeman, Montana, where she is currently Associate Professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University. The depth of her experience and knowledge has made her perfectly suited to help the next generation of young musicians and she is a devoted and sought-after teacher, named by the university as both a “Most Valuable Professor” and “Professor of the Month.” Beyond her teaching she serves on the Montana Arts Council, on the board of the Bozeman Symphony, and is the artistic director of the Big Sky Classical Music Festival, where she is heard performing with many guest artists such as Matt Haimovitz and Rachel Barton Pine. She has often taught at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle camps and has been featured with musicians as diverse as Phil Aaberg, Darol Anger, Emmylous Harris, and John Prine. She can be seen in “Angella Ahn and Friends,” a program presented by Montana PBS’ Emmy award- winning 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, as well as in The Hive, a film produced by Tippet Rise Art Center in collaboration with the acclaimed sculptor Stephen Talasnik and director Matthew McKee.
Angella has given masterclasses throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. A graduate of Juilliard School of Music, she shares the widely regarded pedagogy of her mentors Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. She plays a 2013 violin made for her by the renowned luthier Sam Zygmuntowicz of Brooklyn, New York.
Philip Aaberg gained international recognition through a series of successful piano recordings released on Windham Hill Records. Classically trained, he incorporates classical, jazz, bluegrass, rock, and new music elements into his compositions and musical structures. Although best known for his solo piano work, he is most at home in the chamber jazz genre. His compositions are noted for their “rigorous keyboard technique, diverse influences, and colorful compositional style.”
A Montana native, Aaberg was raised in Chester, performing with local bands at dances by the age of 14. He studied music at Harvard University on a Leonard Bernstein scholarship. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in music, he moved to Oakland, California and played in blues clubs for several years. He also toured and recorded as a member of Elvin Bishop’s Group at the time of its greatest popularity, and co-wrote the title song of the band’s 1976 “Struttin’ My Stuff” release. In 1985, Aaberg signed a recording contract with Windham Hill Records and released the highly acclaimed solo album High Plains that showcased his eclectic musical background. He followed this up with five solo albums: Cinema (1992), Field Notes (2000), Live From Montana (2000) which received a Grammy nomination, Christmas (2002), and Blue West (2005). Aaberg also appeared regularly on the popular Windham Hill Sampler albums over the past 20 years and has success in various collaborations and ensemble projects.
Aaberg has performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra and has appeared at the Marlboro Chamber Music Festival. As a guest artist, he has performed on over 200 albums and on PBS’s All-American Jazz program, which earned him an Emmy Award nomination. He has appeared with Peter Gabriel and the Doobie Brothers in concert. In 2000, Aaberg began his own record label, Sweetgrass Music, through which he has since endeavored to produce music that “connects a global audience to the sweeping landscape of the West.”
Photo © Thomas Lee Photography.
Oliver Aldort joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2015, and was appointed Assistant Principal Cello in the 19/20 season. Raised on Orcas Island, WA, Mr. Aldort began his musical studies at the age of six. He has performed throughout North America as a soloist, appearing with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, Newton Symphony Orchestra, and as a recitalist at the Miami International Piano Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, and the Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur in Montreal. His media appearances have included KOMO TV’s Northwest Afternoon, NPR’s From the Top, CBC Radio, and WFMT in Chicago.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Aldort is a member of the newly formed Steans Piano Trio. He has performed internationally with Curtis on Tour, as well as at the Tanglewood Music Center, Verbier Festival Academy, Steans Music Institute at Ravinia, and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, collaborating with many distinguished artists including Miriam Fried, Desmond Hoebig, Roberto Díaz, Martin Chalifour and Jon Kimura Parker.
Mr. Aldort graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Music in 2015. His major teachers have included Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Lynn Harrell, Ron Leonard and Amos Yang.
Steven Ansell joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as principal viola in September 1996, occupying the Charles S. Dana chair, having already appeared with the BSO in Symphony Hall as guest principal viola. A native of Seattle, he also remains a member of the acclaimed Muir String Quartet, which he co-founded in 1979, and with which he has toured extensively throughout the world. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle, Ansell was named Professor of Viola at the University of Houston at twenty-one and became assistant principal viola of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under André Previn at twenty-three. As a recording artist he has received two Grand Prix du Disque awards and a Gramophone magazine award for Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year.
He has appeared on PBS’s “In Performance at the White House,” has participated in the Tanglewood, Marlboro, Schleswig-Holstein, Newport, Blossom, Spoleto, and Snowbird music festivals, and premiered Ezra Laderman’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra with the Berkshires Symphony Orchestra. Ansell teaches at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. As principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he is also a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
His solo appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra have included performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, Bruch’s Concerto for Viola, Clarinet and Orchestra, Strauss’s Don Quixote (which he will play again with James Levine and the orchestra in February), and Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, which he has previously performed with the BSO under the direction of both Emmanuel Krivine and James Levine, his performances of the Berlioz with Levine in October 2008 and at Tanglewood in July 2009. In March of 2018 he appeared as solo violist, with solo cellist Yo-Yo Ma, in the Boston Symphony’s performance of Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote.
Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet, as described by The Nation, “lives in the present aesthetically, without rejecting the virtues of the musical past”, and it is this dexterity to glide from the music of the 18th through to the 21st century repertoire that place them as one of the most versatile and outstanding ensembles of the moment –a quartet for modern times.
Passionate advocates of contemporary repertoire, their latest recording, Orange, features string quartet works by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw. Greatly received by the critics, Attacca Quartet won the 2020 Grammy award in the category “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” in recognition for their work on this album. Previous recordings include three critically acclaimed albums with Azica Records, including a disc of Michael Ippolito’sstring quartets, and the complete works for string quartet by John Adams. Touring extensively in the United States, recent and upcoming highlights include Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, New York Philharmonic’s Nightcap series, Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival and Miller Theatre, both with Caroline Shaw, Phillips Collection, Chamber Music Austin, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and Trinity Church at Wall Street where they will perform the complete cycle of the Beethoven String Quartets. Attacca Quartet has also served as Juilliard’s Graduate Resident String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Ensemble-in-Residence at the School of Music at Texas
State University. Outside of the US, recent performances include Gothenburg Konserthuset, MITO Septembre Festival in Italy, and their debut in London at Kings Place and in Oslo at the Vertravo Haydn Festival. As well as their recent tour in Central and South America, they will return to Europe for a tour of ten concerts around Sweden as well as taking part in the Prague String Festival and September Me Festival in the Netherlands.
Passionate advocates of contemporary repertoire, their latest recording, Orange, features string quartet works by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw. Greatly received by the critics, Attacca Quartet won the 2020 Grammy award in the category “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” in recognition for their work on this album. Previous recordings include three critically acclaimed albums with Azica Records, including a disc of Michael Ippolito’s string quartets, and the complete works for string quartet by John Adams.
Brant Bayless is the Principal Violist of the Utah Symphony. Born in Kansas and raised in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Brant Bayless came to Utah after completing his studies in New York City. After early piano lessons and singing in his father’s various church choirs, Brant started the viola at age 12. Winning the Governor’s Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp in 1992 gave him his first glimpse of the musical world outside Oklahoma. After two years at the University of Kansas studying with Michael Kimber, Brant found his way to New York. Invited to study on scholarship with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music, Brant finished his bachelor’s degree in 1997.
Brant started his career while still at Manhattan as the violist of the Arcata String Quartet. His performances with the Arcata were heard throughout the US and Europe, including concerts at New York’s Town Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie and London’s famed Wigmore Hall. The Arcata’s Beethoven Cycle at Wave Hill, the Bronx estate of Arturo Toscanini, and their many recordings, some of which are available still, continue to be memorable highlights. In 1998, the Arcata inaugurated a residency at Utah State University, a position that they held for three years.
Since joining the Utah Symphony in 2001, Brant has immersed himself in the vibrant musical community in Salt Lake City. From his regular performances on the NOVA and Intermezzo chamber music series, to a teaching post at Westminster College, occasional appearances with Canyonlands New Music Ensemble and Salty Cricket Composers Collective, masterclasses and teaching at institutions statewide, and such special events as the William Primrose Memorial Recital he gave at BYU in 2005, Brant remains busily committed to his art even when off the Abravanel Hall stage.
Summers take him further afield. Brant regularly performs at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Bellingham (WA) Festival of Music, and the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs (CO). This summer he will return to Bozeman, MT, playing with members of the Muir Quartet, and will also accept an invitation to teach at the Killington Festival in Vermont.
As guest violist, Brant traveled to Brazil in 2010 with the Fry Street Quartet, performing at the Oficina de Musica de Curitiba. More recently, he played as guest principal violist with the St. Louis Symphony under their music director David Robertson.
As concerto soloist, Brant has made regular appearances with the Utah Symphony: in March 2012 with conductor Jun Markl in Takemitsu’s “A String Around Autumn”; in August 2010 with conductor David Lockington in Bruch’s “Romance” and von Weber’s “Andante and Rondo Ungarese”; and in October 2008 with then Music Director Keith Lockhart and Concertmaster Ralph Matson in Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante.” Also recently of note was his NOVA series performance of Berio’s “Chemins II” in March 2011.
His viola is attributed to the Milanese maker Luigi Bajoni from 1858. Having fallen in love with the mountains and deserts of Utah, he spends as much time as possible hiking, cycling, and seeking out backcountry ski descents. Brant was recently married to the cellist Anne Francis Bayless.
William Hagen has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2021, William makes his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Rheingau Music Festival, and appears at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
As soloist, William has appeared with the Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and regularly appears as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival. In Europe, he has soloed with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (HR Sinfonieorchester), the Vienna Radio Symphony (ORF Radio Sinfonieorchester Wien), and the major orchestras of Belgium, including the Brussels Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Belgium, and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. William has also soloed in Japan with the Yokohama Sinfonietta and the Sendai Philharmonic.
As recitalist and chamber musician, William has performed at venues such as Wigmore Hall and the Louvre, and collaborated with artists such as Steven Isserlis, Gidon Kremer, Edgar Meyer, and Tabea Zimmerman, among others. He maintains an active schedule on both sides of the Atlantic, making frequent trips to Europe and cities around the US to play a wide range of repertoire.
In 2019, William released his debut album, “Danse Russe,” with his good friend and frequent collaborator, pianist Albert Cano Smit. The album is available on all streaming platforms.
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, William began playing the violin at the age of 4, studying with Natalie Reed and then Deborah Moench. He studied with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho at the Juilliard School, Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, and was a longtime student of Robert Lipsett, studying with Mr. Lipsett for 11 years both at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts and at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. In 2015, William won 3rd prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
William performs on the 1732 “Arkwright Lady Rebecca Sylvan” Antonio Stradivari, on generous loan from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation.
Ilse-Mari Lee serves as the Dean of the Honors College at Montana State University. Born in South Africa, her principal teachers include Barbara van Wyk, Adolph Hallis, Betty Pack, Raya Garbousova, GordonEpperson and Robert Muczynski. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Masters degrees in Cello Performance, and in Theory and Composition, from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctorate in Cello Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Arizona
Dr. Lee is active as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, and performs regularly at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was awarded the Montana Arts Council Individual Fellowship Award and was selected to perform at the American Cello Congress in Phoenix in1991. In 1992, she premiered the Cello Concerto, Opus 55, by Eric Funk. Collaborative performances include performances with the internationally renowned Moscow, Muir and Fry Street string quartets. CD releases include The Duet Album with classical guitarist Stuart Weber, Song of the Cello with pianist Michele Levin, and In Performance at St. Timothy’s with the Muir Quartet. Dr. Lee founded the MSU Cello Ensemble in 1998. The ensemble has toured throughout the Northwest, as well as to Italy and Central Europe in May 2000 and to China in March 2006, performing in Beijing, Xian, and Tianjin.
Active as a composer, Dr. Lee’s compositions have been performed in South Africa, Canada, Europe, Southeast Asia and in China. In 2002, Dr. Lee premiered her Cello Concerto Mandela with the Billings Symphony. Her film scores for Certain Green, and Forced into Comfort, Fighting for Apology were awarded gold medals at the Park City Film Music Festival in 2008 and 2009.
A dedicated teacher, she was awarded the “Mortar Board Professor of the Month”, and the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce “Excellence in Teaching” Award. (2000, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016). She is a recipient of the prestigious President’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2006), the Distinguished Service to the Honors Program Award (2007), the Wiley Award for Meritorious Research (2008) and was invited to present a Provost Distinguished Professor lecture, as part of the Year of Engaged Leadership.
Piano and Composer
Pianist and composer Michele Levin has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a multi-faceted musician of extraordinary sensitivity, virtuosity, and dedication to the art of making music. Michele is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music with a double major in piano and composition. She began her studies there at the age of eleven and is the first woman to receive a Master’s degree in Composition.
The Johann Sebastian Bach International Piano Competition in Washington DC awarded her First Prize in competition with pianists from fourteen countries. Michele has performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Florida Philharmonic, Miami Chamber Symphony, Sinfonia Virtuosi, New World Symphony, Albany Symphony, and Virginia Symphony. She has also given solo and chamber music recitals in major cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.
Michele is very much in demand as a chamber musician, touring the world with violinists Peter Zazofsky, Joseph Silverstein, Ruggerio Ricci, Nina Beilina, Daniel Phillips, Mark Kaplan, Donald Weilerstein, Sydney Harth, Ik-Hwan Bae, Ida Levin, Maria Bachman, Arve Tellefson, Andrew Dawes, Lin Chang, and Yehonaton Berick; with violists Rivka Golani, Paul Neubauer, Atar Arad, Kirsten Johnson, Rainer Moog, and Jessie Levine; and with cellists Yehuda Hanani, Simca Heled, Ronald Thomas, and Wolfgang Boettcher. She has performed with clarinetists Mitchell Lurie, Alexander Fiterstein, Eli Eban, and Charles Neidich; with harpist Heidi Lehwalder; and with flutists Thomas Wolf, Carol Wincenc, and Eugenia Zuckerman.
Michele tours regularly with the Muir String Quartet and as a guest artist with the Miami String Quartet. In 2007, the Muir Quartet premiered her String Quartet No. 1. Her vast repertoire extends into the realm of vocal music, having given recitals with Metropolitan Opera vocalists Gwendolyn Bradley, Marvis Martin, Martina Arroyo, D’Anna Fortunato, Carol Farley, Lucy Shelton, and William Sharp. Ms. Levin records for Koch International, EcoClassics, Altarus, and the Canadian Broadcasting Companies. NPR regularly broadcasts her performances nationwide.
Lucia Lin made her debut performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11. Since then, she has been a prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She has performed in solo recitals throughout the U.S., making her New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in March 1991, and has appeared with the Boston Pops Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria.
A frequent collaborator in chamber music, Ms. Lin is a member of the Muir String Quartet, the quartet in residence at Boston University. She is also a founding member of the Boston Trio and the chamber group Innuendo. She has performed in the Sapporo Music Festival, Taos Festival, Da Camera Society in Houston, St. Barts Music Festival, and Barbican Hall Chamber Series in London. She has also recorded for Nonesuch Records as a guest of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New World Records on a disc featuring the works of Bright Sheng, and most recently on a recording featuring the works of Gabriela Lena Frank.
A native of Champaign, Illinois, Lin received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois and her master’s degree at Rice University in Houston. Important musical influences include Sergiu Luca, Paul Rolland, Josef Gingold, Dorothy DeLay, and Louis Krasner.
Lin joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and served as assistant concertmaster from 1988 to 1991 and 1996 to 98. During the 1991-92 season, she was acting concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and during the 1994 to 1996 seasons, she served as joint concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The Muir String Quartet has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its “exhilarating involvement” (Boston Globe),”impeccable voicing and intonation” (San Francisco Examiner) and “unbridled musicality” (American Record Guide).
Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Muir String Quartet first appeared on the scene in 1980, and was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in the New Yorker. The quartet was also featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan. Formed in 1979 following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Muir String Quartet’s principal chamber music teachers were Felix Galimir and members of the Guarneri and Budapest Quartets.
Some of the awards Muir has garnered include a Grammy (Beethoven Quartets Op. 132 and Grosse Fuge/EcoClassics), a Grammy nomination (Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets/EcoClassics with Mitchell Lurie), two Grand Prix du Disques, and the Gramophone Award. In its commitment to advancing contemporary American music, the Muir Quartet has had commissioned works written for them by such distinguished composers as Joan Tower (Night Fields), Sheila Silver (From Darkness Emerging), Richard Danielpour (Shadow Dances and Psalms of Sorrow – featured on CBS Sunday Morning), Richard Wilson (Third String Quartet), and Charles Fussell (Being Music – based on poetry of Walt Whitmen). The quartet also gave the World Premiere performance of the Native American collaborative work, Circle of Faith, featured on National Public Radio. Other premiered works include those by esteemed American composers Richard Danielpour (Feast of Fools – for bassoon and string quartet), Lucas Foss (String Quartet #4), Ezra Laderman (String Quartets #9 and #10), Joelle Wallach (String Quartet #3), and Ronald Perera’s first Quartet. In 2013-2014, the Quartet continues its series at Boston University, Rhode Island College and with the Montana Chamber Music Society with a retrospective of works from old and new Vienna, and other performances around North America. 2011-2012 highlights included a tour of China, with concerts and master classes in Beijing, Xian, Shenyang and Shanghai. The Muir’s recording of the Kreisler, Berg Op. 3 and Schulhoff 5 Pieces was released on the KidsClassics label during 2013.
The Muir Quartet has been in residence at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts since 1983, and gives annual summer workshops at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). The Muir Quartet has also given master classes at schools worldwide, including the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, China. Since 1989, the quartet has presented the Emerging Quartets and Composers Program in Utah with eminent composer Joan Tower. This program is now part of the Muir’s role as resident chamber ensemble with the Deer Valley Festival, in partnership with the Utah Symphony/Opera.
Kathleen Reynolds joined the College of Music at the University of North Texas as Professor of Bassoon and Woodwind Chamber Music Coordinator in the fall of 1995 and retired in the spring of 2020. In 2011 she became Coordinator of the Woodwind Area. She was principal bassoon of the Dallas Opera Orchestra for 25 years and performed regularly with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Fort Worth Symphony. She has performed with the Peter Britt Music Festival, the Fredericksburg Festival, and Montana Chamber Music Festival with members of the Muir String Quartet.
Prior to her appointment at UNT, Kathleen was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic for twenty-two years and taught at SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, and the Hochstein School of Music. EcoClassics recorded her solo bassoon CD with pianist Michele Levin and clarinetist Mitchell Lurie. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and studied with K. David Van Hoesen, Norman Herzberg, and Bernard Garfield.
William Scharnberg (Bill) has been principal horn of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 2007. He graduated from the University of Iowa with the BM, MA, MFA, and DMA degree and has performed as Principal Horn of the Tri-City (now Quad-City) Orchestra, Tacoma Symphony, Flathead Festival Orchestra, Royal Opera Orchestra (Stockholm), Dallas Symphony, Dallas Ballet, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Big Sky Orchestra, Intermountain Opera, and The Dallas Opera (for 32 years).
He taught horn and various subjects at Central Missouri State University (1973-74), Pacific Lutheran University (1975-77), the University of Oklahoma (1977-83), the Royal Academy of Music (Stockholm – fall of 1987), and the University of North Texas (1983-2018), where he retired as a Regents Professor with a horn class of fifty students. Fourteen students were mentored through the DMA degree, all of whom are either teaching at a university and/or performing in an orchestra, with two recently retired from universities.
He was the Editor of The Horn Call, journal of the International Horn Society from 2003 to 2020. He served the IHS as President (1990-92), Advisory Council member (1986-92 and 1999-2003), music review editor, and hosted two International Horn Symposia (1991 and 2012). He has performed at international and regional horn conventions, in recital at several universities, concerti with regional ensembles, as a chamber musician at several festivals, and recorded on Crystal, EcoClassics, Centaur, and Klavier labels. He commissioned and premiered works by Paul Chihara, David Maslanka, Cindy McTee, Anthony Plog, Kim Scharnberg, and Yehudi Wyner. His editions of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century horn works were published by McCoy’s Horn Library. He has also been a frequent finalist in the Reader’s Digest and Publisher’s Clearinghouse sweepstakes
Albert Cano Smit
Pianist Albert Cano Smit is already becoming an audience favorite for his performances as soloist with orchestra and in recital. He recently performed the Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Las Vegas Philharmonic conducted by Donato Cabrera, and he has also appeared with the San Diego Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony.
Albert won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He also won First Prize at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, which presented him in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Most recently, Albert was awarded the 2020 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize from The Juilliard School.
This past season, Albert made his New York debut at Merkin Concert Hall, presented by Young Concert Artists. This season, he will perform recitals at the Kravis Center, Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, University of Florida Performing Arts, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Bach Festival Montréal, and will also appear with the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City.
He has also performed at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, and for the Steinway Society The Bay Area in San Jose, New York’s Salon de Virtuosi, and Bravo! Vail, and has been in residency at the Tippet Rise Art Center. He has given recitals abroad in Xiamen, China, in France at the Wissembourg Festival and Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, at Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, and throughout Spain. Albert is also a sought-after collaborative pianist, and has toured with violinist William Hagen in venues throughout the U.S. and in Germany, and with flutist Anthony Trionfo he has performed across the United States.
Albert is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School. Previous teachers include YCA alumnus Ory Shihor, Graham Caskie and Marta Karbownicka. He has benefited from extensive artistic advice by YCA alumni Richard Goode and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the latter with whom he gave four-hand performances at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles and Wallis Annenberg Center Hall in Beverly Hills. Albert is an alumnus of both the Colburn School and the Verbier Festival Academy.
Sara Stalnaker, cellist, has performed as a chamber musician with acclaimed groups ranging from the Turtle Island to the Orion and Borromeo String Quartets. She has collaborated in concerts with renowned talents Jonathan Biss, Matt Haimovitz, and Kim Kashkashian and has performed as a regular member of the New Haven and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestras. Sara has been on staff at Community MusicWorks for the past 15 years. Other notable work includes a recording on the MMC label, a recent sound track for PBS and an upcoming project of Reinhardt transcriptions on the KidsClassics label. Sara received a B.M. under the tutelage of Peter Rejto at Oberlin Conservatory, followed by an M.M. under Norman Fischer at Rice University.
A native of Belgium, Steven Vanhauwaert was hailed by the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed for his “impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique.” Since then, Mr. Vanhauwaert has appeared in solo recitals at the world’s leading venues, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, REDCAT Auditorium, Bovard Auditorium, the Concertgebouw, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Bulgaria Hall in Sofia, and the Shanghai City Theatre. He has appeared with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony, the Flemish Symphony, the Lviv Philharmonic, USC Symphony, Collegium Instrumentale, Sinfonietta Sofia, the Auburn Symphony, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Kyiv Kamerata, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Peninsula Symphony, and Prima la Musica.
Many of Mr. Vanhauwaert’s performances have been broadcast live on networks such as PBS, K-MZT, K-USC, K-PFK, K-NCJ, W-FMT, RTBF, WTV, Radio4, and KLARA. He was also a featured guest in a documentary on creativity for the German/French channel ARTE. He is the co-director of the Unbound Chamber Music Festival in Mammoth Lakes, a 3-week long summer festival featuring guest artists from around the world. He also serves as the Artistic Director for the Second Sundays at Two recital series in Rolling Hills, CA.
Mr. Vanhauwaert is passionate about discovering the less familiar jewels of the classical repertoire and sharing them with his audiences. He has given the West Coast premiere of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano in San Francisco and the US premiere of Eric Tanguy’s Piano Trio. He also frequently collaborates with and performs works by today’s leading composers such as Jeremy Cavaterra, György Kurtág, Sean Friar, Magnus Lindberg, Andrew McIntosh, Thomas Adès, Veronika Krausas, Adam Schoenberg, Vera Ivanova, Steve Reich, and Eric Tanguy.
He made his debut for the Piano Spheres concert series in Disney Hall’s Redcat Auditorium, with a program consisting exclusively of 20th and 21st century Etudes for the piano, including two special commissions by composers Eric Tanguy, and Veronika Krausas. He appeared as a soloist at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to premiere Fratello by Magnus Lindberg, written in memory of composer Steven Stucky. He was invited by New York University to perform a series of lectures and performances of the works by Viktor Ullmann, including the monumental seventh piano sonata and the melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke. He toured with the complete 12 Transcendental Etudes by Franz Liszt and will record them in the upcoming season. He is frequently invited to give guest lecture recitals and masterclasses at universities throughout the world, including Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing University, the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (Tel Aviv), New York University at Abu Dhabi, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Qingdao Central Music School, Dalian University, the Colburn School, the University of Tennessee, the University of Louisiana, Whittier College, Ningbo University, Nanning University, the Jerusalem Music Center, the University of Connecticut, the University of California at Los Angeles, California State University at Long Beach, California Institute of the Arts, Wuxi University, Suzhou University, and Guiyang University.
He is the recipient of the Maurice Lefranc award, the Galiot Prize, and the Grand Prize at the 2004 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. His discography includes a solo album with works by Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, and Debussy; two 4 hand-discs on WideBench Records featuring arrangements of Stravinsky’s popular ballets Petrushka and the Le Sacre du Printemps, as well as works by Satie, Ravel, Poulenc and Casella, and a disc with works by composer Lior Rosner for Bridge Records. For Sonarti Records he recorded an album with works by Joseph Woelfl, which received was unanimously praised in the press, made the top 10 lists in several European radio stations, and received 5 diapasons in the French magazine Diapason. For the label Éditions Hortus, he recorded the albums Pensées Intimes (featuring works by Hans Pfitzner, Lili Boulanger, Georges Antoine, and the world premiere recording of the Gallipoli Sonata by F.S. Kelly along with violinist Guillaume Sutre – 5 diapasons), Dispersion (featuring by works by Schulhoff, Casella, Hindemith, Vierne, and the world premiere recording of the piano sonata by Belgian composer Raymond Moulaert), Romance de Guerre (featuring works by Edward Elgar, Philippe Gaubert, Blair Fairchild, and Benjamin Dale, with violinist Ambroise Aubrun), Paris <-> Los Angeles (featuring works by Milhaud, Mozart, and Zeisl with violinist Ambroise Aubrun), and the most recent release: Ferruccio Busoni: l’Énigme (a solo album featuring works by the enigmatic Italian composer). He is also featured on a CD with works by Tigran Mansurian on ECM Records.
The Westerlies, “an arty quartet…mixing ideas from jazz, new classical, and Appalachian folk” (New York Times) are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along. Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music).
Peter Zazofsky has performed as a solo violinist and chamber musician throughout the US, Canada, and twenty-one countries in South American and Europe, including solo appearances with the Boston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Brussels Symphony, Symphony of Buenos Aires, Montreal Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
He was raised in Boston where he studied with Joseph Silverstein, concertmaster of the Boston Symphony. Following studies at the Juilliard School with Dorothy Delay and Ivan Galamian, he attended the Curtis Institute, and spent five summers at the Marlboro Music Festival.
After graduating from the Curtis Institute in 1976, he toured several seasons with “Music from Marlboro.” He won the Grand Prize of the 1979 Montreal International Competition, Second Prize of the 1980 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, and was the winner of the 1985 Avery Fisher Career Grant.