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Chamber Music Seminar Instructors

2024 Guest Artists & Faculty

William Coleman

William Coleman, viola

William Coleman, chamber musician, soloist, and violist of the acclaimed Berlin Kuss Quartet, has performed at the Salzburg, Verbier and Edinburgh Festivals, as well as the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Carnegie Hall, New York, and regularly at the renowned Berlin techno-club, Watergate Club. Chamber music partners have included Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Miklos Perenyi, Clemens Hagen, Mischa Maisky, Kim Kashkashian, Antje Weithaas and Leif Ove Andsnes, the dancers Yui Kawaguchi and Bill T. Jones, the actors Udo Samuel and Nina Hoss, as well as extensive experience working with the composers György Kurtag, Helmut Lachenmann and Harrison Birtwistle. 

A desire to curate relevant programming and broaden the possibilities of concert life has inspired yearly commissions of new works. A recent recording, “Krise” contains three commissions, including a work for string quartet and artificial intelligence computer programming. He has, with the Kuss Quartet, recorded for Sony/BMG, Onyx, and ECM, in 2018 won an Opus Klassik award, and in 2020 a new recording of the Weinberg Piano Quintet was released by SONY. Also in 2020, the complete Beethoven cycle of quartets was released, Live from Suntory Hall, Tokyo, performed on the famous “Paganini Quartet” of Stradivaris, on loan from the Nippon Foundation. 

A formative experience was his first masterclass at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, Cornwall. Founded by Sandor Vegh, it marked the beginning of many journeys to Budapest over the following decade to study with the pianist Ferenc Rados. At the same time he studied in Salzburg with Thomas Riebl, and at Boston’s NEC with Kim Kashkashian. For three years he was also fortunate enough to travel regularly to Canada and Philadelphia for masterclasses and private lessons with Karen Tuttle, a formative soul of the viola world. He is professor for viola at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, was recently on the jury of the International Tertis Competition, Isle of Man and in 2022, jury-member of the Tokyo International Viola Competition. He has given many masterclasses, including at the Kronberg Academy, Hans Eisler Berlin, Suntory Hall Academy Tokyo and the Juilliard School. William Coleman plays the ex-Tertis Testore of 1735, is a Pirastro artist, playing exclusively on Evah Pirazzi Gold and Oliv strings.

Hannah Collins

Hannah Collins, cello

Winner of De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, cellist Hannah Collins is a dynamic performer devoted to building community through musical expression. Resonance Lines, her solo debut album on Sono Luminus, is an “adventurous, impressive collection of contemporary solo cello music,” negotiated “with panache” (The Strad), pairing music by Britten and Saariaho with commissioned works by Caroline Shaw and Thomas Kotcheff.

Over the past decade, New Morse Code, her “remarkably inventive and resourceful duo” (Gramophone) with percussionist Michael Compitello, has developed projects responding to our society’s most pressing issues, including The Emigrants, a documentary chamber work by George Lam, dwb (driving while black), a chamber opera by Roberta Gumbel and Susan Kander, and The Language of Landscapes, a multimedia work by Rome Prize winner Christopher Stark. They were named the winners of the 2020 Ariel Avant Impact Performance Prize which supports the development of new works addressing sustainability and scientific innovation. 

Solo and chamber music performances have taken Hannah to festivals such as the Aldeburgh Festival, Musique de Chambre à Giverny, Orford Centre d'arts, and Kneisel Hall. She is a member of A Far Cry and Bach Aria Soloists, and has recently performed with The Knights, Decoda, and Grossman Ensemble. Praised for her “incisive, vibrant continuo” playing (S. Florida Classical Review), Hannah also appears regularly as a Baroque cellist with the Sebastians, TENET, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra.

Hannah earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Yale and holds degrees in music from the Yale School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and City University of New York. She is an alumna of Ensemble Connect, a fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and Weill Music Institute, and is currently Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Kansas School of Music. 

 

Jennifer Frautschi

Jennifer Frautschi, violin

Two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient violinist Jennifer Frautschi has appeared as soloist with innumerable orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and St Paul Chamber Orchestra.  As chamber musician she has performed with the Boston Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and appeared at Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Music@Menlo, Tippet Rise Art Center, Toronto Summer Music, and the Bridgehampton, Charlottesville,  Lake Champlain, Moab, Ojai, Santa Fe, Seattle, and Spoleto Music Festivals.  

Her extensive discography includes several discs for Naxos: the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, conducted by the legendary Robert Craft, and two GRAMMY-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry Quartet, of Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra , and the Schoenberg Third String Quartet. Her most recent releases are with pianist John Blacklow on Albany Records: the first devoted to the three sonatas of Robert Schumann; the second, American Duos, an exploration of recent additions to the violin and piano repertoire by contemporary American composers Barbara White, Steven Mackey, Elena Ruehr, Dan Coleman, and Stephen Hartke. She also recorded three widely praised CDs for Artek: an orchestral recording of the Prokofiev concerti with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony; the violin music of Ravel and Stravinsky; and 20th-century works for solo violin. Other  recordings include a disc of Romantic Horn Trios, with hornist Eric Ruske and pianist Stephen Prutsman, and the Stravinsky Duo Concertant with pianist Jeremy Denk.

Born in Pasadena, California, Ms. Frautschi attended the Colburn School, Harvard, the New England Conservatory, and the Juilliard School.  She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the “ex-Cadiz,” on generous loan from a private American foundation with support from Rare Violins In Consortium.  She currently teaches in the graduate program at Stony Brook University.

 

Alexi Kenney

Alexi Kenney, violin

Violinist Alexi Kenney has forged a career that defies categorization, following his interests, intuition, and heart. He is equally at home creating experimental programs and commissioning new works, soloing with major orchestras in the USA and abroad, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. Alexi is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Alexi has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, California Symphony, and Sarasota Orchestra, as well as in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 92nd Street Y, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Alexi has been profiled by Musical America, Strings Magazine, and The New York Times, and has written for The Strad. 

Chamber music continues to be a major part of Alexi’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto, as well as on tour with Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is a founding member of Owls, a new quartet collective with violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko.

 

Ayane Kozasa

Ayane Kozasa, viola

Hailed for her "magnetic, wide-ranging tone" and her "rock solid technique" (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa is a sought-after chamber musician, collaborator, and educator. Since winning the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition—where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances—Ayane has appeared on stages across the world, from Carnegie, Wigmore, and Suntory Hall to Ravinia, Aspen, and the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a passionate advocate for the expansion of viola repertoire, and has commissioned multiple new works featuring the viola, including “American Haiku” by Paul Wiancko and “K’Zohar Harakia” by Judd Greenstein.

Ayane Kozasa is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, who were the 2018 quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum and the grand prize winners of both the Osaka International String Quartet Competition and MPrize Chamber Arts Competition.

 

Nina Lee

Nina Lee, cello

An active chamber musician, Nina Lee has collaborated with such artists as Felix Galimir, Jaime Laredo, David Soyer, Nobuko Imai, Isidore Cohen, and Mitsuko Uchida. She has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and participated in the El Paso and the Portland Chamber Music Festivals. She has also performed for the Helicon Foundation and Bargemusic in New York City. Her principal teachers have been Joel Krosnick, David Soyer and Anne Fagerburg-Jacob. She has received degrees and certificates from The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. As an advocate of music education, Ms. Lee has served as returning guest faculty at the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford and at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop. In 2012,she made a cameo appearance in A Late Quartet, a film which featured the Brentano Quartet on its soundtrack. Before joining the Yale faculty as a member of the Brentano Quartet, Ms. Lee taught at Princeton and Columbia Universities.

 

Pedja Muzijevic

Pedja Muzijevic, piano

Pianist Pedja Muzijevic has toured extensively as soloist with orchestras and as a recitalist throughout eastern and western Europe, Great Britain, Canada, the United States, South America, Australia, and Asia. A native of Sarajevo, his artistic curiosity has led him to explore both the music of the 18th and 19th centuries on period instruments and the music of contemporary composers such as Knussen, Carter, Cage, Henze, Nancarrow, Crumb, Adès, and many others. His many festival engagements include, among others, performances at Tanglewood, Spoleto USA, Mostly Mozart, Newport, OK Mozart, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber Concerts, San Miguel de Allende, Aldeburgh, Lucerne, Holland, Melbourne, Aix-en-Provence, Dubrovnik, Merano, and Bratislava festivals. Mr. Muzijevic’s recording Sonatas and Other Interludesis available on Albany Records—it juxtaposes music for prepared piano by John Cage with composers ranging from W. F. Bach to Liszt.

 

John Novacek

John Novacek, piano

Versatile, Grammy-nominated pianist John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist; in the latter capacity he has presented over thirty concerti with dozens of orchestras. John Novacek is a highly sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, Jeremy Denk, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mørk, Elmar Oliveira and Emmanuel Pahud, and, as well as the Afiara, Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of the multi-faceted Intersection, a piano trio that includes violinist Kaura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper. As a tireless advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Novacek has also given numerous world premieres and worked closely with composers John Adams, Kenji Bunch, Gabriela Lena Frank, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, George Rochberg, Robert Sierra, John Williams and John Zorn. In 2022, John Novacek was appointment to the Piano and Collaborative Piano faculty of The Mannes School of Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts in New York City.

 

Tara Helen O’Connor

Tara Helen O’Connor, flute

Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a two-time Grammy nominee and the first wind player chosen to participate in The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she is now a Season Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Tara regularly participates in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.  Along with her husband Daniel Phillips, she is the newly appointed Co-Artstic Director of the Music From Angel Fire Festival in New Mexico.

Markdavin Obenza, voice and Crooners

Markdavin Obenza is a choral director, recording producer, singer, and composer. Markdavin is the director and co-founder of two Seattle-based vocal groups: the internationally acclaimed Byrd Ensemble (founded in 2004) and Radiance (founded in 2019), professional ensembles specializing in the performance of Renaissance vocal music and American choral music, respectively. He is the artistic director of the Byrd International Singers, a select group of singers from around the world who participate in an annual Renaissance course offered by the Byrd Ensemble. He is also the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Parish Church in Seattle, WA. Markdavin has also produced and directed a number of virtual choirs, including Caroline Shaw's and the swallow, which was featured on Canada's choral broadcast of Modern Choral Masterworks on CBC. He has also produced concertmentaries, and musical broadcasts in collaboration with various music ensembles and artists during the pandemic, including Shaker Spirituals in Maine (2021) for the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, featuring composer Kevin Siegfried and Radiance. As a freelance video editor, Markdavin has worked on iNDIEFLIX film Envisioning Many Messiahs (2021). As a baritone and countertenor, Markdavin has performed with the Byrd Ensemble, Tudor Choir, members of the Tallis Scholars, Kronos Quartet, and Early Music Vancouver. 

Todd Palmer

Todd Palmer, clarinet

Clarinetist Todd Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world. A three time Grammy nominated artist, he has appeared as soloist with the Atlanta, Houston, BBC Scotland orchestras; St. Paul, New York, Cincinnati, Montréal, and Metamorphosen chamber orchestras, as well as many others. He’s collaborated with many of the worlds finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica, Daedalus and Ying quartets; and has also shared the stage with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Elizabeth Futral, Heidi Grant Murphy and Dawn Upshaw, and many other notable instrumentalists. He has championed Osvaldo Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind  around the world and commissioned the theatre work  Orpheus and Euridice  by  Ricky Ian Gordon which was presented  by  Great Performers at Lincoln Center in 2005 .  He was a winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, and has  participated in numerous music festivals in the US and abroad including 18 years at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, 5 years at the Marlboro Festival and the Tanglewood Institute, where he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship.  He has also held principle clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Gotham Chamber Opera and the Grand Teton Festival.  In 2008 he premiered  David Bruce’s Gumboots, a Carnegie Hall commission that was written especially for him and the St. Lawrence Quartet, and for two years appeared in Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific.Recently he appeared as soloist in Robert Lepage’s staging of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other  Fables at BAM — dressed as a Cossack and performed the Mozart clarinet concerto as a part of Great Performers at Lincoln Center’s What Makes It Great series.

 

Daniel Phillips

Daniel Phillips, violin

Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as an established chamber musician, solo artist, and teacher. In 2020, he was named co-artistic director of Music from Angel Fire with his wife, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor.

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Mr. Phillips’s major teachers were his father, Eugene Phillips; Ivan Galamian; Sally Thomas; Nathan Milstein; Sandor Vegh; and George Neikrug. He’s a founding member of the Orion String Quartet, which was established in 1987. The quartet was in residence at the Mannes School of Music for 27 years, and it performs regularly with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The quartet’s discography includes the complete quartets of Beethoven and Kirchner.

 

Stephen Prutsman

Stephen Prutsman, piano

Stephen Prutsman has been described as one of the most innovative musicians of his time. Moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles as a pianist, composer and conductor, Prutsman continues to explore and seek common ground and relationships in the music of all cultures and languages. From 2004-2007 Stephen was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he conducted concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, conducted works of living composers, developed and arranged collaborations for their Engine 408 series of contemporary and world music, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. From 2009 – 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music, South America’s largest festival of its kind, programming and curating concerts with themes ranging from Mozart celebrations, to eclectic evenings of folk and popular music of the Americas, to hybrid programs fusing art and dance music of multiple musical dimensions. 

 

Scott St. John

Scott St. John, violin

Violinist and violist Scott St. John, from London Ontario, is known for his joyful style of music-making and inspiring chamber music coaching. Scott is Concertmaster and Artistic Partner of the innovative ROCO Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas, and teaches Chamber Music at University of Toronto. He performs frequently with the St. John – Mercer – Park Piano Trio, and returns often to the summertime Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. 

Early violin success with teacher Richard Lawrence in London Ontario gave Scott a path to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the chance to work with David Cerone, Arnold Steinhardt and Felix Galimir. After winning the Alexander Schneider Competition and playing a Carnegie Hall debut, NYC pulled Scott into its orbit, where Young Concert Artists gave him fabulous opportunities for performance. Scott has been Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, and Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University as part of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. From 2018 to 2021 he was Director of Chamber Music at The Colburn School in Los Angeles.

Scott has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and won a Juno Award for recording Mozart with his sister Lara St. John. He founded the Felix Galimir Award for chamber music students at University of Toronto. Scott loves chamber music, Dvorak, new music, music by less-known composers, and a great espresso. He has been to all the Canadian provinces, 49 of the United States, and would prefer to travel by train when practical.

 

Paul Wiancko

Paul Wiancko, cello

As a chamber musician, Paul Wiancko has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Olympic Music Festival, appearing alongside members of the Guarneri String Quartet, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Ysaÿe Quartet (1984), and others. Wiancko performs with several New York-based music ensembles, including the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), TAK Ensemble, Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, Meridionalis, Bird's Eye Trio, and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). In April 2018, Wiancko received the S&R Foundation Washington Award for his work as a composer. Wiancko has composed works for the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, Metropolitan Opera soprano Susanna Phillips, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, yMusic, Bargemusic, and many others, and has been the composer-in-residence at Twickenham Fest, the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. In 2016, Wiancko composed the score for the prison-drama feature film Heartlock, as well as a Mars exploration-based work for solo piano commissioned by scientist and NASA project leader Peter Smith.

The St. Lawrence String Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. Its mission: bring every piece of music to the audience in vivid color, with pronounced communication and teamwork, and great respect to the composer. Since winning both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1992, the quartet has delighted audiences with its spontaneous, passionate, and dynamic performances. Alex Ross of The New Yorker magazine writes, “The St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.”

Previous Faculty and Guest Speakers

The Chamber Music Seminar's previous faculty has included:

John Adams, composer

Tyler Duncan, baritone

Martin Beaver, violin

Pamela Frank, violin

June Goldsmith, music educator, concert presenter, and broadcaster

Osvaldo Golijov, composer

Paul Groves, tenor

Gryphon Trio: Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; James Parker, piano

Henk Guittart, conductor and coach

Matt Haimovitz, cello

Jesse Irons, violinist and founding member of A Far Cry

Michael Kannen, cello

Rob Kapilow, composer and commentator

John Lad

Maria Lambros, viola

Nina Lee, cello

François Malo, bowmaker

Bill McGlaughlin, composer and pianist

Douglas McNabney, viola

Pedja Muzijevic, piano

Howard Nelson, physical therapist

Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola

Tara Helen O'Connor, flute

Frederik Øland, violin

Todd Palmer, clarinet

Daniel Phillips, violin

Stephen Prutsman, piano

Masumi Per Rostad, violin

Mikael Ringquist, percussionist

Sebastian Ruth, violin/viola

Stephen Sano, conductor and choral studies faculty, Stanford University

Scott St. John, violin (former member of SLSQ)

Erika Switzer, piano

Alasdair Tait, cello

Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Gregory Wait, music director, Schola Cantorum, and voice faculty, Stanford University

Paul Wiancko, cello

Dr. Lisa Wong, guest speaker, author, pediatrician

Georges Zeisel, director and founder, ProQuartet, Paris

Samuel Zygmuntowicz, luthier