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We are delighted to welcome the following artists to Portland for our 2023 season!
Borrome String Quartet
Walter van Dyk
Artistic Director Melissa Reardon is an internationally renowned performer whose solo and chamber playing spans all musical genres. Founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and a sought-after collaborative musician, the Massachusetts native has been lauded for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances. She performed around the world as a member of the Ensō String Quartet from 2006 until its final season in 2018, has appeared in numerous festivals nationally and internationally, and toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and with Musicians from Marlboro. First prize winner at the Washington International Competition and the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions, Melissa is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, and they live in New York with their son Linus.
Praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw's National Philharmonic. He has released several award-winning recordings with his longtime recital partner James Ehnes, has performed with the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. In addition to his performance activities, Andrew serves as Artistic Director of two flourishing series in South Carolina—the Columbia Museum of Art’s Chamber Music on Main and the USC Beaufort Chamber Music Series.
BORROMEO STRING QUARTET
Each visionary performance of the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet strengthens and deepens its reputation as one of the most important ensembles of our time. Admired and sought after for both its fresh interpretations of the classical music canon and its championing of works by 20th and 21st century composers, the ensemble has been hailed for its “edge-of-the- seat performances,” by the Boston Globe, which called it “simply the best.” The BSQ has been ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory and Taos School of Music, both for 25 years, and has, for over two decades, enjoyed a long-term relationship with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where it continues to regularly appear.
Bassoonist Gina Cuffari is a dynamic and versatile musician who performs a variety of roles in the New York City area. Gina is Co-Principal Bassoonist and one of three Artistic Directors of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She’s also a member of the Riverside Symphony, Sylvan Winds, Trio Cabrini and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Additionally, she is a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a frequent performer with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Composers Orchestra, the Knights, Alarm Will Sound, and more. As an educator, Gina teaches at New York University during the year and at the Mostly Modern Festival at Skidmore College every summer. She is thrilled to be joining Stony Brook University as the new bassoon faculty in Fall 2023!
Gabriela Díaz began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother, and the next year, violin with her father. As a cancer survivor, Gabriela is committed to supporting cancer research and treatment as a musician, bringing music to cancer units at various hospitals in Boston. Gabriela is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, A Far Cry, Castle of our Skins, is Co-Artistic Director of Winsor Music, and plays regularly with other chamber music ensembles throughout the United States. Her 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.
Violinist and Portland native Jennifer Elowitch is Founder and Artistic Director Emerita of the Portland Chamber Music Festival and Director of Music at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in MA, where she has twice been the recipient of the E.E. Ford Faculty Award for Exceptional Merit. A noted chamber musician, she has appeared as a guest artist with the Franciscan and Fidelio Quartets, the Winsor and Andover Chamber Music Series, the Williamstown and Walden Chamber Players, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Ms. Elowitch has also performed with well-known contemporary ensembles including Boston Musica Viva, Collage New Music, and the Fromm Players at Harvard.
Having earned his master’s degree on full scholarship at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, drummer Lee Fish received his earliest musical education (starting at age 3) on the road, performing with his parents’ band Amante at venues across North America. Since then, he’s performed all over the world on nearly every continent, appearing on more than 50 recordings, including Mike Tucker’s 2014 release Live! featuring Warren Wolf, and Jason Palmer’s critically acclaimed 2019 release Sweet Love that received four stars from DownBeat Magazine. Lee performs regularly throughout New York City including at The Jazz Gallery and Bar Next Door in downtown Manhattan and Sunny’s in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He has been a Zildjian artist since 2018.
Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is considered one of today’s most exceptional artists. 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. A dedicated performer of chamber music, Alex frequently collaborates with distinguished artists and ensembles and regularly performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has a prolific recording career and has worked with composers John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov and had pieces written for him by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Paul Schoenfield, and Chris Brubeck, among others.
Devon Gates, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is currently studying music and the social sciences at Harvard University while pursuing a dual degree with Berklee College of Music in jazz performance. She has performed with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater and Tia Fuller, and is passionate about her role as an arranger and featured performer in the Harvard Opportunes acapella ensemble as well as her involvement with Berklee’s Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice. At the institute, Gates has worked on a broad range of projects, including helping put together a book of compositions called “New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers,” by author Terri Lyne Carrington, a Grammy-winning jazz drummer, composer, and educator.
GREGORY GROOVER JR.
Raised with devotion for music, Gregory Groover, Jr. is a tenor saxophonist and educator from Roxbury, Massachusetts. As a performer, Gregory has had the honor to share the stage with musicians such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, and Esperanza Spalding. As a bandleader and a sideman, he has performed in music festivals in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Gregory serves as the co-chair of music at his alma mater, the Boston Arts Academy. In addition to teaching, Gregory continues to perform regularly with his working bands and is earnestly working towards the release of his second album: the Negro Spiritual Songbook Volume II - “The Message”.
In all roles, from soloist to chamber musician to conductor, Benjamin Hochman regards music as vital and essential. Composers, fellow musicians, orchestras and audiences recognize his deep commitment to insightful programming and performances of quality. Since his concerto debut with the Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall conducted by Pinchas Zukerman, he has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonia under conductors including Gianandrea Noseda and Trevor Pinnock. A winner of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, Hochman performs at the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Louvre, among others. His chamber music collaborations include the Emerson and Jerusalem Quartets. Following his conducting studies with Alan Gilbert at Juilliard, he recorded Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 17 and 24, playing and directing the English Chamber Orchestra (Avie Records).
Praised by The Cleveland Classical Review for his “astonishingly confident technique” and The New York Times for “thrilling [and] triumphant” performances, pianist Henry Kramer is developing a reputation as a musician of rare sensitivity who combines stylish programming with insightful and exuberant interpretations. In 2016, he garnered international recognition with a Second Prize win in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Most recently, he was awarded a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant by Lincoln Center – one of the most coveted honors bestowed on young American soloists. Kramer began playing piano at the relatively late age of 11 in his hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle and was recently appointed to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music faculty as Assistant Professor of Violin. Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Hawai’i Symphony, and Korean Broadcasting Symphony. An accomplished chamber musician, Lee is also a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Anthony Manzo's vibrantly interactive music-making has made him a ubiquitous figure in the upper echelons of classical music, performing regularly at venues including Lincoln Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and at festivals including Spoleto USA, Music@Menlo, Bowdoin International Festival, and La Jolla SummerFest. He appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and with chamber music groups and chamber orchestras across the country. Mr. Manzo has also been guest principal with Camerata Salzburg during their summer residency at the Salzburg Festival, as well as two European tours as soloist alongside bass/baritone Thomas Quasthoff. Mr. Manzo is also an active performer on period instruments with the Handel and Haydn Society and Philharmonia Baroque, and teaches at the University of Maryland.
British violinist Anthony Marwood, appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honors List, is known worldwide as an artist of exceptional expressive force. His energetic and collaborative nature places him in great demand as soloist/director with chamber orchestras worldwide. He is Principal Artistic Partner of the celebrated Canadian chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, a post he took up in 2015. Anthony is a celebrated champion of contemporary music, alongside more traditional repertoire. Among those new works composed for him is Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto Concentric Paths. Marwood premiered the work in Berlin and at the BBC Proms with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Adès conducting.
Equally at home in an orchestra or in a jazz club, it is the goal of Boston-based harpist Charles Overton regardless of the genre of music, to create a musical environment that is accessible, exciting and can resonate deeply with any audience. He began his harp studies at the age of ten, where as a member of the "American Youth Harp Ensemble,'' he was afforded the opportunity at an early age to perform internationally in notable venues such as the Salle Gaveaux in Paris and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Originally from Richmond, VA, Charles moved to Boston in 2012 to attend the Berklee College of Music where he was the first harpist to be accepted to Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute - a prestigious and highly specialized program in which students are able to study and work intimately with master jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, and Terri-Lynn Carrington.
Todd Palmer is a three-time Grammy nominee and has appeared as soloist, collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world. As a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and grand prize winner in the Ima Hogg Young Artist Auditions, he has appeared as soloist with many symphony and chamber orchestras including those of Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati, and BBC Scotland. In addition to many summers at PCMF, his other festival appearances include Spoleto USA, BRAVO!, Music@Menlo, La Jolla, Vancouver, Banff, Manchester, Marlboro and Tanglewood - where he received the Leonard Bernstein fellowship as a student. Mr. Palmer's Broadway credits include South Pacific, Les Miz, The King & I, Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, My Fair Lady, and currently, Sweeney Todd starring Josh Grobin.
Hailed as “prodigiously talented” (Washington Post), Australian violinist Susie Park has performed as soloist with the Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis Symphonies, among others. She won top prizes in the Indianapolis, Menuhin and Wieniawski International Competitions. Festival appearances include Marlboro Music Festival, touring with Musicians from Marlboro, Music from Angel Fire, Prussia Cove, and the Seattle, Aspen, Caramoor, Bermuda, Maui, Napa, Skaneateles and Ravinia Festivals. She was in the Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, performing throughout the US, Brazil, Europe and New Zealand, releasing a Grammy-nominated album for EMI Classics. A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, she is a founding member of ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), and joined the Minnesota Orchestra as First Associate Concertmaster in 2015.
Raman Ramakrishnan is a founding member and current cellist of the Horszowski Trio. As a former founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, Mr. Ramakrishnan won the grand prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition. With the quartet, he has performed coast-to-coast in the United States and Canada, in Japan, Hong Kong, and Panama, and across Europe. Mr. Ramakrishnan holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in music from The Juilliard School. He lives in New York City with his wife, the violist Melissa Reardon. He plays a Neapolitan cello made by Vincenzo Jorio in 1837.
Horn player Zohar Schondorf moved to NYC in 2001 and joined the American Symphony Orchestra, where he has been serving as Principal since 2012. Also serving as Principal of the Westchester Philharmonic and Co-Principal at ABT and Orchestra Lumos, Mr. Schondorf enjoys a prosperous career, performing in studios and on stage with numerous international, regional and local orchestras and ensembles. Notable appearances include the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus, Harrisburg Symphony, American Composer’s Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, the KNIGHTS, and more. Also a member of Sylvan Winds and Zephyros Winds, Mr. Schondorf has been featured in high profiled Broadway shows like Spamalot, The Little Mermaid, Addams Family, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, and West Side Story.
Before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1998, Brant Taylor was cellist of the award-winning Everest Quartet, prizewinners at the Banff and Fischoff competitions. A faculty member at DePaul University, Mr. Taylor's interest in teaching has taken him to music institutions and festivals around the U.S. A frequent guest at Miami's New World Symphony, he has appeared as soloist with that orchestra and led master classes and audition training seminars. With the band Pink Martini, Brant has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Late Show with David Letterman," and in nightclubs and concert halls across North America. He attended the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, where his teachers were Paul Katz and Janos Starker.
WALTER VAN DYK
Walter van Dyk has been a professional actor for 43 years. He most recently filmed Steeltown Murders for Severn Screen/BBC1, and The Gold for BBC1 starring Hugh Bonneville and Dominic Cooper. He has worked opposite Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley on The Mauritanian directed by Kevin MacDonald, and with Sienna Guillory and Lindsay Duncan on A Banquet directed by Ruth Paxton. He can currently be seen in the TV series Mood with Nicole Lecky on BBC America and with David Tennant on PBS in the TV series Around the World in 80 Days. In theatre he has worked extensively in London's West End in Olivier Award nominated shows. Walter just finished performing the role of Haushofmeister in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at Garsington Opera in the UK.
The award-winning Steinway Artist Diane Walsh has toured the globe, with performances in forty-six of the fifty States and twenty-three other countries. Highlights include recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonia in St. Petersburg, and Dvorak Hall in Prague. Ms. Walsh has been awarded many honors including the top prizes at the Salzburg Mozart, Concert Artists Guild, Young Concert Artists and Munich international competitions; she was also a prizewinner at the Ferruccio Busoni, Van Cliburn and William Kapell international competitions. She has released nineteen recordings on the Bridge, Navona, Newport, Sony, Nonesuch, Koch, Stereophile, CRI, Jonathan Digital, and Naxos labels.
TIEN-HSIN CINDY WU
Praised by the Seattle Times as “Simply marvelous,” violinist/violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Cindy has collaborated in concerts with renowned artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Midori, Yuja Wang, and members of the Alban Berg, Guarneri, Orion, and Tokyo string quartets at prominent venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and festivals such as La Jolla Summerfest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Cindy is a recipient of many awards including the Milka Violin Artist Prize from the Curtis Institute of Music, and third prize at the International Violin Competition of David Oistrakh. She is currently the Music Director of New Asia Chamber Music Society and founded Sunkiss’d Mozart.
Gregory Groover Jr.
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