Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "impossible to resist, captivating with lyricism, tonal warmth, and boundless enthusiasm," violinist Giora Schmidt has appeared as soloist with many prominent symphony orchestras around the globe including Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Toronto, Vancouver and the Israel Philharmonic.
In recital and chamber music, Giora has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, San Francisco Performances, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and Tokyo's Musashino Cultural Hall. Festival appearances include the Ravinia Festival, the Santa Fe and Montreal Chamber Music Festivals, Bard Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music and Music Academy of the West. He has collaborated with eminent musicians including Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum and Michael Tree.
Born in Philadelphia to professional musicians from Israel, Giora began playing the violin at the age of four. A graduate of the Juilliard School, his teachers have included Geoffrey Michaels, Patinka Kopec, Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman; with additional guidance from Pinchas Zukerman. Committed to education and sharing his passion for music, Giora is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM) and on the artist faculty at New York University (NYU Steinhardt.) He was previously on the faculty of the Juilliard School and the Perlman Music Program. Through technology and social media, he continues to find new ways of reaching young violinists and music lovers around the world.
He is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, The Classical Recording Foundation's Samuel Sanders award, and was a Starling Fellow at the Juilliard School.
Giora plays a c. 1830 violin by Giuseppe Rocca and strings kindly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld, Vienna.
Renowned as a musical pioneer, cellist Matt Haimovitz is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles” and by The New Yorker as “remarkable virtuoso” who “never turns in a predictable performance.” He has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses – any place where passionate music can be heard. Alongside a relentless touring schedule, he mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal.
Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon. Haimovitz made his Carnegie Hall debut when he substituted for his teacher, the legendary Leonard Rose, in Schubert’s String Quintet in C, alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.
The solo cello recital is a Haimovitz trademark, both inside and outside the concert hall. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour, for which, to great acclaim, Haimovitz took Bach’s beloved cello suites out into the clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Haimovitz’ 50-state Anthem tour in 2003 celebrated living American composers and featured the cellist’s own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” He was the first classical artist to play at New York’s infamous CBGB club, in a performance filmed by ABC News for Nightline UpClose.
Haimovitz’ recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work on Deutsche Grammophon and his and composer/producer Luna Pearl Woolf’s own trailblazing independent label Oxingale Records, now in collaboration with PENTATONE. Haimovitz revisited the Bach cello suites in 2015 with the release of The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena, which was followed by 2016’s Overtures to Bach, featuring six new commissions that anticipate and reflect each of the cello suites. Both albums were among the credits for David Frost, for his 2016 GRAMMY® win for Best Classical Producer. Recent recordings for the PENTATONE Oxingale series include TROIKA, an all-Russian program from Rachmaninoff to Pussy Riot, with his longtime duo partner, pianist Christopher O’Riley, and ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling with the Bruckner Orchestra and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the composer's birth. Haimovitz’s recordings of Philip Glass’s Partita No. 2 for Solo Cello, and Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” with the Cincinnati Symphony and Dennis Russell Davies, on Glass’s Orange Mountain Music label, have been widely acclaimed.
In 2006, Haimovitz received the Concert Music Award from ASCAP for his advocacy of living composers and in 2004, the American Music Center awarded Haimovitz the Trailblazer Award. Born in Israel, Haimovitz has also been honored with the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1986), the Grand Prix du Disque (1991), the Diapason d’Or (1991) and was the first cellist to receive the Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” (1999). Haimovitz studied at the Collegiate School in New York and at the Juilliard School, in the final class of Leonard Rose, followed by cello studies with Ronald Leonard and Yo-Yo Ma. In 1996, he received a B.A. magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University. Matt Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller.
Michael Lowenstern, widely considered one of the finest bass clarinetists in the world, has performed, recorded and toured as a soloist and with ensembles of every variety.
Lowenstern has written music for concert, film, dance and various other new media over the span of his 25-year career. His performing credits include tenures with groups as diverse as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Steve Reich Ensemble and The Klezmatics. To date he can be heard on over fifty CDs, including six solo recordings of his own.
Not satisfied with the status-quo in music education, Michael’s irreverent and somewhat controversial YouTube series has become a source of information and edutainment for millions of viewers across the globe. And when he’s not teaching via the internet, he’s traveling regularly as a guest lecturer at universities across the world. When he’s stuck in New York, Michael serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Katherine. His kid is somewhere in Michigan attending some state school with a big blue football team.
Clarinetist Jo-Ann Sternberg leads a diverse musical life in the New York area as a chamber musician, orchestral player, music educator, and interpreter of new music. A member of Borealis Wind Quintet, Sequitur, the Saratoga Chamber Players, Wind Soloists of New York, the Richardson Chamber Players and the Riverside Symphony, she also regularly performs and tours with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the American Symphony, Mark Morris Dance, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Musicians from Marlboro, and can often be heard playing in a number of different Broadway musicals.
Following her undergraduate years in the combined Tufts University/New England Conservatory dual degree program where she was mentored by Peter Hadcock, Ms. Sternberg continued her studies at Yale University with David Shifrin and at The Juilliard School with Charles Neidich.
Currently, Ms. Sternberg serves on the faculty of the Music Performance Program of Princeton University, the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and maintains an active teaching studio from her New York home. Additionally, she serves as an advisor for New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Program and coaches chamber ensembles for the New York Youth Symphony. In the summer months, Ms. Sternberg lives in Maine where she is the founder and artistic director of The Maine Chamber Music Seminar, teaches and performs at the Chamber Music Conference & Composers’ Forum of the East at Bennington College, and participates in numerous performance residences throughout greater New England. Ms. Sternberg resides in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Sunghae Anna Lim has performed extensively throughout the United States, Central America, Europe and Japan. She is a founding member of the Laurel Trio and, as violinist of the New Millennium Ensemble, Ms. Lim won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and gave a debut recital at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She is actively involved in contemporary music, premiering and recording numerous works by living composers. Recent highlights include the premier performance of the Second Violin sonata by the late Donald Martino and a recording of Alexander Steinert’s violin sonata of 1921. She has worked with conductor Robert Craft to record chamber works of Webern for the Naxos label.
As an active recitalist, he has been featured on the Boston Celebrity Series, Mohawk Trail Concerts, Electric Earth Concerts, and Longy School of Music’s Modern American Music Concert Series’. As featured soloist with orchestra, Mr. Eng has performed with the Hart House Orchestra of Toronto, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, and the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Eng has collaborated with world-renowned artists including Elmar Oliveira, Eugene Drucker, Terry King, and Victor Rosenbaum. He has made festival appearances at Spoleto, Orford, Domaine Forget, Killington, the Scotia Festival, the Quartet Program at Bucknell University, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford University. He has performed and taught in Bermuda, China, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, and all over North America.
In 1998, Andrew received his A.R.C.T. Performer’s diploma from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada, and then in 2003 and 2005 respectively received his Undergraduate Diploma in Performance and Master of Music in Modern American Music at the Longy School of Music as a student of Laura Bossert.
Israeli musician Michal Schmidt has been a double major instrumentalist throughout her career. Her early musical training took place in Israel at the Rubin Academy of Music/ Tel Aviv University and the Royal Academy of Music in London England. There, she was the only student in the history of the school to receive Artist Diplomas for two instruments in one year. In the US, Michal studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the University of the Arts (Masters Degree). She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts at Temple University.
Ms.Schmidt won numerous awards and scholarships in both piano and cello including stipends from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation and the Israeli Arts Council; she received the Harold Samuels and Tobias Matthay piano awards of the Royal Academy of Music and more.
She currently teaches in the Philadelphia area; at Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges as well as at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Philadelphia Network of New Music, the Hildegard Chamber Players as well as Trio Camille and Piano4. Michal has established a yearly recital series named TRIBUTE with the goal of performing solo and chamber music being written now. Many of the works are by composers with whom she has collaborated closely. Among those represented in the series are Osvaldo Golijov, Richard Wernick, Margaret Garwood, Jay Reise and Sylvia Glickman. Michal spent numerous summers teaching at NEMC and recently joined the faculty of SummerTrios in Pennsylvania and the Lakeside Chamber Music Workshop in Illinois.
Pianist Sara Laimon is an active performer in both solo and chamber music. She has performed in Canada, the United States, England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Poland, and has represented the U.S. Information Agency as an Artistic Ambassador in India and Nepal.
Sara is founding member and co-artistic director of the acclaimed New York based group Sequitur, former pianist for Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, and has been guest artist with numerous other ensembles and festivals. As a sought after performer of new music, she has worked with such composers as Ligeti, Berio, Bresnick, Kirchner, and Matalon as well as performing and recording music of many younger composers. The NY Times has hailed her “a commanding and confident player with a strong technique and an ability to find the drama and wit in works that often had daunting surfaces”, and a performer with “a sense of knowing exactly where she wanted to go: music-making as intelligent as it was technically proficient.” Ms. Laimon has recorded for CRI, Capstone Records, North/South Recordings, MODE records and Albany Records. Her most recent recording on Disques XXI/21 features the Horn trios of Brahms and Ligeti with colleagues Jonathan Crow and John Zirbel. Her repertoire ranges from the Baroque through to the 21st century. Recent projects have included Ives’ Concord Sonata, Rzewski’s De Profundis, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (in a staged version) and Brahms Piano Concerto #2. She is a frequent performer on CBC and has also been heard on radio broadcasts from summer performances at Marlboro, Tanglewood and Banff. Born in Vancouver, Sara is a graduate of the Vancouver Academy of Music, the University of British Columbia, Yale School of Music and SUNY Stony Brook where she received a DMA under Gilbert Kalish. Ms. Laimon was a member of the piano faculty at the Yale School of Music (1990-2000) and the University of Manitoba (2000-2001) before joining the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in 2001 where she is currently Associate Dean, Professor of Piano, and a Resident Faculty Fellow with IPLAI (the Institute for Public Life of Arts and Ideas). She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her husband and two daughters.
Oboist, Jacqueline Leclair, is Associate Professor of Oboe, Woodwind Area Chair, and Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Schulich School of Music. She is a member of the ensembles Signal and Sequitur, and can frequently be heard performing solo and chamber music concerts internationally. Dr. Leclair was on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music (NYC) and was Assistant Professor of Oboe at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) 2007-2012. During her last two years at BGSU she also served as the Director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music.
Summer festivals for which Dr. Leclair has served as faculty and/or performer include the Lincoln Center Festival (NYC), Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College (VT), June In Buffalo (NY), Chamber Music Festival of Aguascalientes (Mexico), East/West Festival (Kazan, Tatarstan), and the Sebago Music Festival (ME) among others.
In addition to performing a variety of classical and other musics, Dr. Leclair specializes in the study and performance of new music. She has premiered many works, and regularly presents classes in contemporary music and its techniques at schools such as UCLA, the Eastman School of Music, Brigham Young University, The North Carolina School for the Arts, and the University of California in San Diego.
Dr. Leclair has recorded for Nonesuch, CRI, Koch, Neuma, Deutsche Grammophon and CBS Masterworks, receiving critical acclaim in particular for her premiere recording of Roger Reynolds’ Summer Island. She is the editor of Universal Edition’s Sequenza VIIa by Luciano Berio. And her recently published, and already acclaimed book about the oboe is: Oboe Secrets: 75 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Oboist and English Horn Player.
Originally from Syracuse NY, Dr. Leclair presently resides in Old Montreal, Quebec. Her musical studies were at the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Stony Brook where her oboe mentors were Richard Killmer and Ronald Roseman.
Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand.