Diali Cissokho, Kora, Percussion, Vocals
A renowned korist and percussionist from Senegal, Diali Cissokho moved to the US after years of performing and teaching in Senegal and in Europe.
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Born into a rich ancestry of Manding griots (the musician caste), Diali has been playing traditional West African music for as long as he can remember. While his greatest love is the kora, a 21-stringed African harp that is at the heart and soul of much West African music, he is also a passionate singer, songwriter, and percussionist. Crossing cultural boundaries with a wide range of sounds, from explosive dance rhythms to soothing hypnotic grooves, Diali brings an unparalleled virtuosity and unique personal style to this respected traditional art form.
Diali’s mother, MoussuKeba Diebate, and father, Ibrahima Cissokho, both hailed from long lines of griot musicians. Historically, each village had its own griot who told tales of births, deaths, marriages, battles, hunts, affairs, and other important events and celebrations. In Mande society the griot, or jeli, served as a historian, advisor, praise singer, and storyteller. These musicians served as walking history books, preserving and sharing the stories and traditions of their culture through song. This inherited tradition, with deep connections to spiritual, social, and political powers, has been passed down through generations. https://www.koraanddrums.com/
Paul Wianko, Cello
Leading a double life, Paul converted his dorm room into a production studio and began arranging and recording strings for local underground punk artists, eventually leading to collaborations with bands like Pennywise,…
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…Veruca Salt, and Yellowcard. Paul’s productions, which range from experimental orchestral works to gospel funk tunes, can be heard on numerous albums and film scores. Ever the versatile musician and improviser, Paul has toured and performed extensively with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Chick Corea, and others, while working closely with them on arrangements. He appears on two of Corea’s albums, including Hot House, which won a Grammy in 2013. He has also had the honor of performing with the late Etta James at the Hollywood Bowl, and with Stanley Clarke at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Paul spent many summers nurturing his love for chamber music at the Aspen, Perlman, Olympic, and Marlboro Music Festivals, where he performed with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Ysaye Quartets. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Wiley and Richard Goode, among many others. After moving to New York in 2009, Paul joined the award-winning Harlem String Quartet, with whom he spent 3 years performing and teaching extensively throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Africa. Paul currently writes and performs as a member of the dynamic viola/cello duo Ayane & Paul, as well as the folk-inspired Bird’s-Eye Trio, and tours regularly with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME).
Winner of the 2018 S&R Foundation Washington Award for Composition, one of Paul’s first large-scale works was a highly virtuosic concerto for cello, orchestra, and electronics. Entitled “Tales From Bent City,” the piece blends Paul’s passion for hip-hop and improvisation with his love of the great 19th century late-romantic composers, and its New York premiere was hailed by Sequenza21 as “surprising, fun, fresh, and innovative.” Paul has since composed works for the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, Met Opera soprano Susanna Phillips, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, yMusic, Boston Cello Quartet, Bargemusic, and many others, and has been the composer-in-residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Twickenham, Newburyport, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festivals. Paul recently completed composing the score for the new prison-drama feature film Heartlock, as well as a Mars-exploration-based work for solo piano commissioned by NASA scientist Dr. Peter Smith.
Paul performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Though cello was his first love, Paul also enjoys playing guitar, bass, violin, viola, harmonica, berimbau, shamisen and theremin. He is passionate about woodworking and hiking, and never travels without a Tenkara rod.
Ayane Kozasa, Viola
Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa enjoys a career that spans a broad spectrum of musical personas. A violinist turned violist,…
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…she was inspired to dedicate herself to the alto clef when she discovered the beauty of playing the viola part in string quartets during her undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her commitment to pursue a life in viola led to a graduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music as well as a Further Masters Degree from the esteemed Kronberg Academy Masters School in Germany.
Ayane’s solo career took off when she won the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition, where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances. Following the competition, she joined the Astral Artists roster, and became a grant recipient from the S&R Foundation, an organization recognizing and supporting young, aspiring artists of all mediums. Her international solo opportunities have been a platform to unearth seldom heard works and commission new pieces, an aspect of viola playing that she loves. Most recently, she commissioned a work by Brooklyn composer Paul Wiancko for viola and piano, which she premiered at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society with pianist Amy Yang.
Chamber music has also been a vital part of Ayane’s musical career, and her interests have led her to appearances at numerous festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and the Ravinia Festival. She is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, the 2014-16 Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, and prizewinner of the 2015 London Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. They will also be the 2017-18 Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The quartet has proved to be a multi-faceted group, commissioning and touring works by world-renowned composers such as Caroline Shaw, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Paul Wiancko, and Gabriella Smith.
From 2012 to 2016, Ayane served as the principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She is also a member of the IRIS Orchestra, and has played with notable ensembles such as the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, The Philadelphia Orchestra, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Ayane is deeply grateful for the mentorship she received from her past teachers, Nobuko Imai, Kirsten Docter, Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, Michael Tree, and William Preucil. Outside of music, she loves to bake pastries, create fonts, run long distances, and be surrounded by mountains or the ocean — all interests that fuel her musical creativity. http://ayanekozasa.com/
Jennifer Curtis, Violin
Violinist Jennifer Curtis, a Chapel Hill, NC native, navigates with personality and truth in every piece she performs. Her second solo concert in Carnegie Hall was described by the New York Times as…
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…“one of the gutsiest and most individual recital programs,” and she was celebrated as “an artist of keen intelligence and taste, well worth watching out for.” An improviser, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Jennifer is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and founder of the group Tres Americas Ensemble. She has appeared as a soloist with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela and the Knights Chamber Orchestra; performed in Romania in honor of George Enescu; given world premieres at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York; collaborated with composer John Adams at the Library of Congress; and appeared at El Festival de las Artes Esénias in Peru and festivals worldwide. An educator with a focus on music as humanitarian aid, Jennifer has also collaborated with musical shamen of the Andes, improvised for live radio from the interior of the Amazon jungle, and taught and collaborated with Kurdish refugees in Turkey.
Bird’s Eye Trio
Bird’s Eye Trio brings together three of the brightest young string talents in the field: violinist Jennifer Curtis, violist Ayane Kozasa, and cellist Paul Wiancko. Jennifer Curtis teaches violin and improvisation at Duke,…
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…and is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and founder of the group Tres Americas Ensemble. Her second solo concert in Carnegie Hall was described by the New York Times as “one of the gutsiest and most individual recital programs.” Winner of the prestigious Primrose International Viola Competition in 2011, Ayane Kozasa captured the Competition’s Mozart Award for the best chamber music performance, as well as its Askim Award for her performance of the Competition’s commissioned work. She was named principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in 2013, and also performs as a member of the Aizuri Quartet. Paul Wiancko has led an exceptionally multi-faceted musical life as a cellist, composer, and collaborator. The winner of top prizes at several international cello competitions, he joined the award-winning Harlem String Quartet, with whom he performed and taught throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Africa. He is a member of the dynamic viola/cello duo Ayane & Paul, as well as the folk-based Bird’s Eye Trio, and tours regularly with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME).
James Grymes, Author
Dr. Grymes is the author of Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour (HarperCollins, 2014). A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope…
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…tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and of the Israeli violinmaker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. Composer John Williams describes Violins of Hope as “a work of research and scholarship that forms one of the most moving chronicles in the history of Western music,” and Publishers Weekly praises it for “breath[ing] new life into history.” Violins of Hope won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category, and is currently being translated for publication in German, Japanese, and Thai.
He is also a leading authority on the Hungarian musician Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960), a forgotten hero of the Holocaust resistance who was later falsely accused of Nazi war crimes. Dr. Grymes is the author of Ernst von Dohnányi: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 2001) and the editor of Ernst von Dohnányi: A Song of Life (Indiana University Press, 2002), which has been praised as being “undoubtedly indispensable” (Times Literary Supplement), “accurate and heartfelt” (Tempo), “inordinately recommendable” (Klang:punkte), and even “irreplaceable” (Hungarian Quarterly). Dr. Grymes also edited Perspectives on Ernst von Dohnányi (Scarecrow Press, 2005), a collection of essays that Classical Music calls “valuable” and “indispensable.”
In addition to his books, Dr. Grymes has written essays for the Huffington Post and the Israeli music magazine Opus, and his articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as Acta Musicologica, Hungarian Quarterly, Music Library Association Notes, and Studia Musicologica. His internationally significant research has been published in English, French, German, Hebrew, and Hungarian. He has also presented papers on a wide variety of topics from the medieval period through the present at regional, national, and international conferences hosted by organizations such as the American Musical Instrument Society, American Musicological Society, American String Teachers Association, College Music Society, College Orchestra Directors Association, Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Society for Ethnomusicology.
He is a dynamic lecturer who has addressed audiences all over the country, including prominent venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. His lectures at UNC Charlotte have been featured in news stories by regional affiliates of CBS, Fox, NBC, and NPR, some of which have been rebroadcast nationwide, and he has been interviewed by national print and broadcast media including the New York Times, ABC News, and CNN about his classes.
A recipient of teaching awards from the American Musicological Society and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Dr. Grymes has introduced his pedagogical innovations at national conferences hosted by the American Musicological Society, the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, the College Music Society, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the National Symposium on Music Instruction Technology. The techniques he pioneered for using the performances on American Idol to introduce the principles of music criticism is featured in a book on Pop-Culture Pedagogy in the Music Classroom: Teaching Tools from American Idol to YouTube (Scarecrow Press, 2011). The groundbreaking methodology he developed with composition professor John Allemeier to integrate composition and improvisation into the study of music history and literature was the subject of an article in the Journal of Music History Pedagogy.
He holds a baccalaureate degree in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, and master’s degrees in Music Performance and Musicology, a Certificate in Early Music, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from The Florida State University. He is a recipient of the Warren D. Allen Citation for Excellence in Scholarship from the FSU College of Music.
Janet Sung, Violin
Violinist Janet Sung enjoys an acclaimed international career as a virtuoso soloist, recognized for her intense, exhilarating performances, and by her signature lustrous, burnished tone.
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Hailed by The Washington Post for her “riveting” playing and “exquisite tone”, her playing possesses the rare blend of fierce intelligence, subtlety and brilliant virtuosity.
Since her orchestral debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 9, she has performed with leading orchestras worldwide. Recent seasons has seen her as soloist with, among others, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, South Korea’s Pusan Philharmonic Orchestra, Germany’s Stelzen Festival Orchestra, Russia’s Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra and National Symphonic Orchestra of Bashkortostan, the Aspen Festival Chamber Symphony and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, as well as the orchestras of Boise, Bozeman, Corpus Christi, Delaware, Dubuque, Fargo-Moorhead, Hartford, Las Cruces, Springfield (Massachusetts and Ohio), Tacoma and Wyoming. This season, she will make her debut with the Goettinger Symphonie Orchester in Germany.
An artist of remarkable versatility, Ms. Sung is celebrated for her compelling performances of traditional works from Bach to Berg, and is passionate about promoting works of the 20th and 21st centuries. In recent years, she has performed repertoire as diverse as Henri Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, L’Arbes des Songes, to Astor Piazzolla’s Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas. In 2009, Ms. Sung presented the world premiere of Kenneth Fuchs’ American Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, and in 2011 the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Double Helix, which was recently released on Nimbus Records. In upcoming seasons, she will present the world premieres of Kenneth Hesketh’s Inscription/Transformation for violin and orchestra in Germany and a new Violin Concerto by Augusta Read Thomas. Additionally, she has toured throughout the United States with fiddler Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration, showcased in performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, and original compositions by O’Connor.
Her solo performances have frequently been aired on radio and television, nationally and internationally, including multiple broadcasts of her performance of Korngold’s Violin Concerto on NPR’s “Performance Today,” and regular featured performances on Chicago’s Classical WFMT. She is featured on recordings of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, the latter with members of the Gewandhaus Orchestra recorded at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany. Her latest recording project includes the complete works by J.S. Bach for Violin and Keyboard with pianist and Bach specialist, Sean Duggan.
In recital, Janet Sung has been presented in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Louisville, New York City, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, as well as in Odense, Denmark, Lausanne, Switzerland and Queenstown, New Zealand. She is frequently heard as concerto and recital soloist at distinguished festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Bellingham Festival, Britt Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Germany’s Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival, and Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival. She is also a performing artist at numerous chamber music festivals, including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Kreeger Chamber Music Festival in Washington, D.C., the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the Newport Music Festival, and is a regular guest with the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble and the American Chamber Players.
Janet Sung was chosen by Leonard Slatkin as the recipient of the Passamaneck Award, for which she performed at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Hall for the Y Music Society Concert Series.
Born in New York City, Janet Sung began her violin studies at age seven, making her public debut the following year. At age nine, she began a decade of private studies with renowned violinist and pedagogue, Josef Gingold, a period that overlapped with her attendance at Harvard University. She graduated with honors earning a double degree in anthropology and music, a reflection of her inquisitive passion and curiosity. Ms. Sung was subsequently invited to study on full scholarship with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School. Other influential teachers include Masao Kawasaki, David Cerone, Eugene Phillips and the Juilliard String Quartet.
Currently Head of Strings and Associate Professor of Violin at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, Ms. Sung is a highly sought after artist-teacher and regularly conducts master classes at conservatories throughout the U.S. and abroad. She also serves as associate faculty at The Juilliard School (initially as the Starling/DeLay Fellow). During the 2003-2004 season, she was invited as the Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard University for the “Learning from Performers” program, whose previous guests included Isaac Stern, James Galway, Mark Morris and Quincy Jones.
Janet Sung plays a c.1600 Maggini violin crafted in Brescia, Italy.
Shana Tucker, Singer, Songwriter, Cellist
With a deep respect for lyrical storytelling, cellist/singer-songwriter Shana Tucker delivers a unique voice through her self-described genre of ChamberSoul™.
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Shana’s melodies weave strong hints of jazz, classical, soulful folk, acoustic pop and a touch of R&B into a distinctive rhythmic tapestry.
Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as a jazz talent “…whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible…” Shana’s style and sound as been described as a blend of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity that is reminiscent of Bill Withers. ChamberSoul™ best describes what the listener should expect when experiencing Shana’s music. “I’m intrinsically drawn to “real” instruments, with resonance, tone and depth that can sound without amplification. Whenever and however possible, I always try to set a tone of acoustic intimacy with my colleagues on stage, and also with the audience, so that the music, performers and audience feel close and tangible, no matter the size the venue.”
Growing up on Long Island, NY as a beneficiary of public school arts education, Shana’s classical cello and singing talents awarded her a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC, where she was first introduced to jazz and other essential musical resources, on campus and around the city. While at Howard, Shana initiated her improvisation chops and honed her songwriting skills, but decided to relocate to NYC to study with master cellist Marion Feldman and complete her undergraduate studies in performance at CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.
A 2011 NPR interview about Shana’s debut CD, “SHiNE” and her ChamberSoul style prompted an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the company as cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas, where she stayed until 2017. With collaborations as the cornerstone of her artistry, Shana is currently a featured artist performing with legendary jazz saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin; jazz drummer/composer Shirazette Tinnin and Sonic WallPaper; Grammy-nominated NuSoul collective, The Foreign Exchange; Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a North Carolina-based, socially conscious theatrical organization; and her newest project, Women’s Work, a female-led collective of jazz, soul and pop singer-songwriters and musicians representing both east and west coasts.
Having opened for internationally-acclaimed artists including Norah Jones, Lisa Fischer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Javon Jackson, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and Indigo Girls, Shana’s vocals and cello are featured on several studio and live recording projects by both independent and signed label artists and producers. She also devotes a considerable amount of her time to working with students in schools & universities, community centers and summer camps throughout the year as part of her mission to promote arts education programming for students of all ages.
Shana is a recipient of two Nevada Arts Council grants, including the prestigious Performing Artist Fellowship for her exemplary work as a singer-songwriter, cellist and teaching artist. She serves on review panels and advisory committees for arts organizations across the country. She is also a board member for Carolina Wren Press, a Durham, NC-based small-press organization that publishes diverse minority writers of quality fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature.
A front-line advocate for arts education, Shana has been a teaching artist with United Arts Council of Raleigh/Wake County NC, The Smith Center for Performing Arts – Las Vegas, NV and Southern Nevada Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. She incorporates artist-in-residences, workshops and community outreach opportunities whenever possible, wherever in the world her performances take her. shanatucker.com
Rachel Niketopoulos, Horn
The seventh of eight children growing up in a house full of art, music, and bicycles in Davenport Iowa, Rachel Niketopoulos began playing the horn at age 11. She studied horn performance at the Universities of Iowa and…
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…Missouri (Kansas City). As a student, she attended the Music Academy of the West, the Sarasota Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. She also toured Europe with the New World Symphony (where she met her future husband) and the North Carolina School of the Arts Orchestra. After seven seasons with the Virginia Symphony and Opera, she joined the North Carolina Symphony in 2005. She performs regularly with the NC Symphony Wind Quintet, and was a soloist with the Orchestra in performances of Schumann’s Konzertstuck for four horns.
Trained at the Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia, she has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique for over 10 years. She maintains a busy schedule of private lessons, and gives workshops for musicians all over North Carolina and Virginia, including the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, and recent Southeast Horn Workshops at Appalachian State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and UNC-Greensboro. She works with Yoga students at Global Breath Yoga in Durham, teaching Alexander Technique and Anatomy. She volunteers with the Jobstart program in Raleigh, where she teaches yoga and mindfulness to 10 women inmates every Monday.
She married her horn section colleague Christopher Caudill at the Outer Banks, and they love living in North Carolina. As a duo, Rachel and Chris have performed on both Baroque and Natural horns with North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, playing copies of horns from 18th and early 19th-century Paris.
Together, they have rescued two extremely sweet girl dogs, and more than a few cute cats.
Chris Caudill, Horn
Christopher Caudill began playing the horn at age ten while living in London, England with his family. Piano and violin lessons failed to do the trick, but a London Symphony concert at the Barbican with famous soloist Barry Tuckwell…
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…made him fall in love with the horn. At Northwestern University he studied with the Chicago Symphony’s solo horn Dale Clevenger and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He spent two summers with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and toured Russia with the American-Russian Youth Orchestra.
He was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach for three years (where he met his future wife, NCS horn section colleague Rachel NIketopoulos) before being invited to play Principal Horn with the Honolulu Symphony for the 1997-98 season. After two years with the Virginia Symphony he joined the North Carolina Symphony in 2003.
He has performed on Natural Horn with the North Carolina Baroque and the Brussels Chamber Orchestra and he and his wife perform on Baroque and Classical horn copies by Richard Seraphinoff of Indiana University.
David Kirkland Garner, Composer
David Kirkland Garner writes music for a variety of ensembles and occasions including chamber, orchestral, electro-acoustic, and vocal works. Most often, D.K. Garner draws on the music of the American South as inspiration…
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… focusing on performance, specifically style, technique, tuning, and timbre, rather than the tunes themselves. He is interested in the rich recorded history of early roots music and our cultural fascination with, as Greil Marcus puts it, the “Old, Weird America.” Even when he is not using traditional music as inspiration Garner strives to write music with the qualities many traditional musics exude: emotional clarity, visceral rhythmic energy, and melody rooted in song. In the future he hopes to develop this language through large ensemble, chamber, and electro-acoustic compositions.
Garner has worked with world-renowned ensembles including the Kronos Quartet, which commissioned a work based on the music of the Scottish diaspora. Awards include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, an ASCAP Young Composer Award, and first prizes in the OSSIA, Red Note, and NACUSA competitions.His music has been performed by the Ciompi Quartet, Vega Quartet, San Deigo Symphony, Locrian Chamber Ensemble, the Wet Ink Ensemble, the Boston New Music Initiative, and the yMusic ensemble. With degrees from Duke University, University of Michigan, and Rice University, Garner currently teaches at Elon and Duke Universities and lives in Durham, NC with his wife Bronwen, son Rhys, and dog Niko.
Kelly Nivison, Baroque Flute
Kelly Nivison performs with the Durham Symphony on flute and piccolo, performs regularly with the Fayetteville Symphony, and on traverso, she performs with the Raleigh Camerata, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, and the Catawba River Baroque.
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She teaches flute, clarinet, saxophone, and piano privately, and has previously served as the adjunct professor of applied woodwinds at Vincennes University. Kelly has previously performed with Indy Baroque Orchestra’s Ensemble Voltaire, Bourbon Baroque Orchestra, and Owensboro Symphony in addition to several other modern orchestras and ensembles. She served as the volunteer coordinator and board member for the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and was previously the president of Gamma Ut, the student organization for the Early Music Institute at Indiana University.
Kelly is an up and coming name in the early music community. In addition to performing with the Catawba River Baroque and Raleigh Camerata, she serves as the artistic director and founder of the Raleigh Camerata. She has won second place in the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra’s Concerto Competition (2014), has been a semi-finalist in the National Flute Association’s Baroque Flute Artist competition four times (2007, 2009, 2012, 2015), and has won the National Flute Association’s Baroque Masterclass Performers competition (2011). Known for her performances, Peter Jacobi of the Herald Times writes: “[Kelly] provides an exhibition of accomplished techniques: scales and tricks, trills and flutters…” and “treats [her music] with concern for tonal felicity and a desired sensation of ease.” She has performed for notable period flutists, including Barthold Kuijken, Claire Guimond, Rachel Brown, Sandra Miller, Stephen Schultz, Janet See, Christopher Krueger, and Stephen Preston. Kelly is a doctoral candidate in historical flute performance at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where she also completed a minor in music education and modern flute performance. Additionally, Kelly holds flute performance degrees from Florida State University (M.M) and Appalachian State University (B.M.), a certificate in early music from Florida State University, and a K-12 music education degree from Appalachian State University (B.M.). Her teachers include Barbara Kallaur, Kathryn Lukas, Eva Amsler, and Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham.
Three cats and two dogs join Kelly and her husband, Joe, in their home in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is an advocate for feline diabetes treatment and knowledge along with giving special needs kitties a chance at life. For fun, Kelly enjoys the outdoors, and has hiked several sections of the Appalachian Trail.
Jeremy Thompson, Piano
Jeremy Thompson was born in Dipper Harbour, a small fishing village in New Brunswick, Canada. Dr. Thompson furthered his studies at McGill University in Montreal, studying with Marina Mdivani who was herself…
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…a student of Emil Gilels. Thompson was honored with two of Canada’s most prestigious doctoral fellowships to pursue his doctoral studies and in 2005, he earned a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance.
Dr. Thompson has performed to universal acclaim in recital and concerto settings throughout North America. He has performed concertos with the Saint Petersburg State Academic Orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic Orchestra, the Georgian National Orchestra, and the McGill Symphony Orchestra as well as appearing extensively in recital performances including a Debut Atlantic tour of Eastern Canada and three trips to the former Soviet Union. Recent performances include performances with the North Carolina Symphony, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick and the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra as well as recitals in Montreal, Philadelphia, Reading, Hamilton, Potsdam, Louisville, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. He regularly presents masterclasses and is a passionate teacher focusing on a relaxed and fluid technique and developing self-expression. He is also in high demand as a collaborative pianist. He is comfortable in music from all eras, yet specializes in highly virtuosic repertoire.
Dr. Thompson also studied the organ with Dr. John Grew at McGill University and is currently a concertizing organist and the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA.
Dr. Thompson has a personal interest in championing the works of Canada’s major composers such as Brian Cherney, Jose Evangelista, and Jean Papineau-Couture. He recently released a recording of Piano Music from Quebec on the McGill label. He plans to release two recordings this year, a recording of piano music by Scriabin to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death and an organ recording to mark the 20th anniversary of the Casavant organ at First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville.
Matvey Lapin, Baroque Violin
Matvey Lapin, Baroque violin, enjoys multifaceted career as a recitalist, chamber music performer, orchestra leader and teacher. His professional engagements brought him around the world,…
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…including most of the Europe, Japan and Korea. Russian native, he accomplished his conservatory training in St. Petersburg, and currently is completing his DM in violin performance at IU Jacobs School of Music, minoring in historical violins and music history.A former member of Grammy-nominated St. Petersburg String Quartet, Matvey collaborated with such musicians as Alex Kerr and Barthold Kuijken, among others. Duo Amabile, a chamber music duet formed with his wife, pianist Katya Kramer-Lapin, performs intensively across US and in Europe. As a historically informed performer, Matvey performed with Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble ad Libitum. Demanded teacher, Matvey currently teaches violin and viola for Virginia Tech Outreach Program and Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia. He is a faculty member of the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival and Courses in Prague, Czech Republic.