Artists

We are delighted to welcome the following artists for our 2021 season!

* designates a resident artist for our 2021 August Festival

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MELISSA REARDON*

Artistic Director

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 City with their son Linus.

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RIEKO AIZAWA

Piano

Praised by the NY Times for an “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing,”Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including New York City’s Lincoln Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Wigmore Hall in London. Ms. Aizawa is also an active chamber musician. The youngest-ever participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has performed as a guest with string quartets such as the Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet. She is a founding member of the Horszowski Trio and of the prize-winning Duo Prism. Ms. Aizawa became artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010.

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JENNIFER ELOWITCH*

Violin

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 was the recipient of a 2016 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.

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ALEXANDER FITERSTEIN*

Clarinet

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.

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JOHNNY GANDELSMAN

Violin

Grammy award winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman's musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States in 1995. Richard Brody of The New Yorker has called Gandelsman "revelatory" in concert, placing him in the company of "radically transformative" performers like Maurizio Pollini, Peter Serkin and Christian Zacharias. As a founding member of Brooklyn Rider and a member of the Silkroad Ensemble, Johnny has closely worked with such luminaries as Bela Fleck, Kayhan Kalhor, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Morris, Anne Sofie Van Otter, Alim Qasimov & Fargana Qasimova, Joshua Redman, Suzanne Vega, Abigail Washburn and Damian Woetzel. He has appeared with Bono, David Byrne, Renee Fleming, Rhiannon Giddens, I'm With Her, Christian McBride, and many others.     

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BRIDGET KIBBEY*

Harp

According to the New York Times, harpist Bridget Kibbey “…makes it seems as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the energetic figures and gorgeous colors she was getting from it.” Called the "Yo-Yo Ma of the harp," by Vogue’s Senior Editor Corey Seymour, Bridget Kibbey is a winner of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Salon de Virtuosi SONY Recording Grant, an artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and winner of Premiere Prix at the Journées de les Harpes Competition in Arles, France. Kibbey has fast gained a reputation for her diverse, energetic programming that spans the baroque, French Masterworks, and rhythmic migration in South America.

JOÃO LUIZ*

Guitar

Two-time Latin Grammy nominee guitarist, educator, and composer João Luiz, began to play the popular music of his native Brazil professionally during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his mentor Henrique Pinto. Winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild Competition as a member of the critically acclaimed Brasil Guitar Duo, João has performed extensively in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His versatility led him to be chosen to collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on a project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer in a landmark concert in Cuba in 2014.

JESSE MILLS

Violin

Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention.  As a chamber musician Jesse has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in many prestigious European venues. He is co-founder of Horszowski Trio and Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006. Jesse is co-artistic director (with Ms. Aizawa) of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado.

TAI MURRAY*

Violin

Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist (2008 through 2010). She has performed as guest soloist on the stages of such halls as the Barbican, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, and Shanghai’s Concert Hall, performing with such ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. As a recitalist Tai has appeared in Berlin, Chicago, Hamburg, London, New York, and Washington D.C. among many others. As a chamber musician, she toured with Musicians from Marlboro and was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s prestigious CMS Two program. 

RAMAN RAMAKRISHNAN*

Cello

As a member of the Horszowski Trio for nine years, cellist Raman Ramakrishnan performed across North America, Europe, India, Japan, and in Hong Kong, and recorded for Bridge Records and Avie Records. For eleven seasons, as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, he performed around the world. Mr. Ramakrishnan is currently an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society. Mr. Ramakrishnan has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and has performed chamber music at Caramoor, at Bargemusic, with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and at the Aspen, Bard, Charlottesville, Four Seasons, Kingston, Lincolnshire (UK), Marlboro, Mehli Mehta (India), Oklahoma Mozart, and Vail Music Festivals.

JAMES AUSTIN SMITH

Oboe

Praised for his “virtuosic" and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs new and old music across the United States and around the world.  Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Decoda, co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco (and is one of PCMF's favorite collaborators!). He is a member of the oboe and chamber music faculties of Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music.

CARSTEN SCHMIDT

Harpsichord

Carsten Schmidt made his professional debut with the Essen Philharmonic in Germany in 1984, and has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, and Japan. Active both as a pianist and harpsichordist, his repertoire ranges from the early seventeenth century to contemporary works, of which he has premiered more than one hundred. He has appeared at such venues as the German Mozart Festival, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Schubert Festival in Amsterdam, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Merkin and Weill Recital Halls in NYC, the Moscow Conservatory, and the Kuhmo Festival in Finland. Carsten Schmidt joined the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in 1998, and is Artistic Director of the Staunton Music Festival in Virginia.

ALEX SOPP*

Flute

Alex Sopp, flutist of yMusic, The Knights, and NOW Ensemble, has been praised by the New York Times for her “exquisite” and “beautifully nuanced” playing. Comfortable in many genres, Alex has commissioned, premiered, toured, and recorded with some of the most exciting composers and songwriters of our time, including Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Folds, Philip Glass, Bruce Hornsby, St. Vincent, and The National. A sought-after soloist, Alex made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony, and has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. In addition, she plays frequently as a guest with the International Comtemporary Ensemble (ICE), and has made regular appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie Bremen, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

JIM WILSON

Cello

For more than thirty years, cellist James Wilson has enjoyed an exciting and varied career as a performer and educator, bringing the joy of music to audiences around the world. Acclaimed for his singing tone, the Los Angeles Times described Wilson as a musician “with something to say and a commanding way of saying it.”As a recitalist and chamber musician, he has appeared in many of the world’s most illustrious performing spaces, including America’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House, and the Musikverein in Vienna. Mr. Wilson is a Member of the acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and regularly serves as guest principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2004, he founded the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia and remains the group's Artistic Director.

HAO ZHOU*

Violin, 2021 Emerging Artist

Hailed by the LA Times as “dynamic” and “striking,” American violinist Hao Zhou is the Grand Laureate of the 2019 Montreal International Violin Competition and a founding member of the Viano String Quartet, First Prize winners of the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition. He has captivated audiences worldwide with his unique exuberance and natural enthusiasm in his "intensely involving, epic performances" (Bachtrack). His 2019-20 season will feature a debut in Florence, Italy and an artist residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, and will also be returning to Montréal for the Virée Classique, hosted by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. His appearances with the Viano String Quartet will include debut performances in Beijing, New York, Berlin, Brussels, and many other cities around the world.