Cellist, Brannon Cho is quickly gaining recognition as one of the top talents of his generation. Winner of the ‘City of Brussels’ Prize and the title of ‘Laureate’ at the first ever Queen Elisabeth International Competition for cello, Cho’s other notable prizes include the Second Prize at the 2015 Naumburg International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Minnesota Orchestra Young Artists Competition, Third Prize at the 2013 Cassadó International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2012 Johansen International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Mondavi Center Founders Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Skokie Valley Symphony Young Artists Competition, the Silver Medal at the 2012 Stulberg International Competition, the Silver Medal from the National YoungArts Foundation in 2013, and the Grand Prize at the 2010 ASTA National Solo Competition. In 2015, Cho received the Birte Moller Young Artist Award from the Center for Musical Excellence, and subsequently performed in Carnegie Hall.
Cho has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, most notably the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Pyeongchang Music Festival Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Cho has performed with Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer, Philip Setzer, Stephen Williamson, Barbara Westphal, and went on a chamber music tour with Joshua Bell to New York City, London, Washington D.C., and Miami. Cho has participated in several prestigious summer festivals, such as the Verbier Festival Academy, the Heifetz Institute, the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy, Meadowmount School of Music, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Encounters. Cho’s 2016-2017 season solo performance highlights include the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, Bargemusic Masterworks Series, the Schubert Club of St. Paul, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cho completed his Bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music with Hans Jørgen Jensen, and will begin studying at New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Laurence Lesser in the prestigious Artist Diploma program in the Fall. Cho plays on a rare cello made by Antonio Casini in 1668 in Modena, Italy.
Chinese pianist Rixiang Huang is the 2016 gold medal winner of the New York International Artists Piano Competition, and is praised by audiences and critics for his superb artistry and passionate, charismatic performances on three continents. Mr. Huang’s highlights include solo performances in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Japan’s Hamamatsu ACT Concert Hall, Indonesia’s Aula Sinfonia Jakarta, Germany’s Brunswick Concert Hall, Spain’s Torrelodones Teatro Bulevar, Chautauqua Amphitheater, and China’s National Center for the Performing Arts and Beijing Concert Hall. Additionally, he has appeared as a guest soloist with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Indonesia National Symphony Orchestra, and Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast by WCLV, China Radio International, Radio Online Indonesia, and Channel 5.
In the Fall, Mr. Huang will begin the Master of Music program at the Juilliard School under Matti Raekallio. Previously, he worked with Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Paul Schenly at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded the Arthur Loesser Memorial Prize for outstanding achievement in piano performance. Mr. Huang has performed in master classes for Sergei Babayan, Jerome Lowenthal, John Perry, Andrea Bonatta, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Stephen Hough, Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, and other world-renowned pianists. An avid chamber musician, he was selected to participate in CIM’s Advanced Piano Trio Program under the direction of Sharon Robinson of the acclaimed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
Violinist Dylan Kennedy has been praised for his “exceptionally well crafted dynamics and phrasing” and for “not shying away from the challenges” (Sarasota Harold Tribune). Kennedy completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Professor Ivan Zenaty, and is pursuing his Master’s Degree at the New England Conservatory under Professor Ayano Ninomiya. A native of Rochester, NY, he previously studied with the late Distinguished Kilbourn Professor, Zvi Zeitlin, at the Eastman School of Music.
Kennedy has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Penfield Symphony Orchestra, Hochstein Alumni Orchestra, Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra, Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra, and at Bowling Green State University. Kennedy has won the Albright Award at the Rochester Philharmonic League Young Artist Competition, the David Hochstein Recital Competition, and gave live performances on the radio show ‘Live from Hochstein’ on WXXI in three consecutive years. He was also awarded 3rd prize in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition, and was a quarter-finalist in the Prague Spring International Competition.
As concertmaster, Kennedy has led the Moritzburg Festival Orchestra in Germany, CIM Orchestra, and Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, among others. A dedicated chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Silverstein, Martin Chalifour, and Peter Lloyd, and will be a guest artist with the Boston Chamber Music Society next season. He has attended and performed at several summer music festivals, including the Sarasota Music Festival, National Arts Centre of Ottawa Young Artists’ Program, Music Academy of the West, and the Meadowmount School of Music.
Anna Maimine was born in Moscow, Russia, where she started studying piano at age four with Natalya Dolenko at the Gnessin School for Children. At age twelve Anna came to Rochester where she continued her studies at the Eastman School with Gary Fisher, Alla Kuznetsov, Natalya Antonova, Nelita True, and Douglas Humpherys.
Anna graduated from the Eastman Community Music School with an Honors Diploma in Piano and a Certificate of Merit. During those years, she was a prize winner of the SUNY-Geneseo Young Artist Competition, the Junior All-Star MTA Piano Competition, and the Arco and Fortissimo Chamber Music Competition. Most recently Anna garnered prizes at the Moulin d’Ande Annual Concerto Competition in France, the Annual 1,000 Islands International Young Artist Competition, the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, the Empire State Piano Competition, and performed Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto as the winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition. She was also a National Finalist at the 2011 MTNA Young Artist Competition.
Anna has performed at multiple venues throughout New York state including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. She performed the inaugural concert for Classical Pianists of the Future series at the Tri-Cities Opera House in Binghamton, NY. Further engagements included performances as part of the Second Sunday series at the Phelps Mansion and the Guest Artist Piano Series at the Kilmer Mansion also in Binghamton. An active collaborator, Anna premiered an award-winning chamber music composition through the Rochester Chamber Music Society and performed as part of the Music for a Summer’s Eve series at Hobart & William Smith College.
Anna completed all of her collegiate studies at the Eastman School of Music where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the tutelage of Douglas Humpherys. She maintains an active career as a solo and chamber music performer collaborating regularly with soloists from the Greater Rochester area. Anna joined the Buffalo State faculty in 2009 where she teaches piano lessons, keyboard classes, and serves as an accompanist.
Korean violist Jenni Seo is an immersive and versatile soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician who has performed extensively with international artists all over the United States in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Hahn Hall, Granada Theater, Walt Disney Hall, Loberto Theater, Van Wezel Hall for the Performing Arts, the Sarasota Opera House, and many more. The winner of the 2011 ASTA National Solo Competition, Seo is the recipient of th Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, Beatrice Scacher-Myers Scholarship, the C.V. Starr Scholarship, and the Juilliard Alumni Scholarship. A recent alumna of the Music Academy of the West, Ms. Seo is also a returning artist of the Perlman Music Program Summer School, Chamber Music Workshop, and its traveling residencies to Stowe Sarasota and Tel-Aviv. She has been coached by world-renowned chamber musicians such as Merry Peckham, Donald Weilerstein, Roger Tapping, as well as additional members of the Cleveland, Takacs, and Juilliard String Quartets. She is currently the violist of the Bordone Quartet, which recently performed at Alice Tully Hall, on WQXR, the Harvard Club of NYC, and in Mountain Lake, Florida.
Ms. Seo has worked under influential conductors including Alan Gilbert, Emmanuel Villaume, Itzhak Perlman, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin, Jeffrey Milarsky, Michael Tilson Thomas, James DePriest, Nicholas McGegan, Osmo Vanska, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and James Gaffigan. She is currently a principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra and is a frequent substitute with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The former student of Heidi Castleman, Steven Tenenbom, and Donald McInnes, Ms. Seo is currently a graduate student at The Juilliard School with Cynthia Phelps.
The daughter of Russian-Israeli immigrants, Sandra Shapiro began her studies at the age of three and a half, and by age 11, was performing in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras. Because of her prodigious talent, Ms. Shapiro left home at age 15 to study at the Juilliard School upon the recommendation of her mentor, Gina Bachauer. Her teacher's and greatest musical influences include Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Nadia Reisenberg, and Guido Agosti.
As a member of the renowned duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, Ms. Shapiro's laureates include winning the Munich International Duo Piano Competition, the Ellis National Duo Piano Competition, and top prizes in the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. Ms. Shapiro's performances have taken her throughout most major cities in the United States and Europe. She has been featured in radio and television productions for RIAS Berlin; Sudwestfunk Radio Production, PBS; WQXR, NPR McGrawHill Young Artist Showcase, Australian Broadcasting Commission and NPR.
As a soloist, orchestral appearances include the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Stuttgart Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Belgrade String Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra, Florida Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Everett Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, as well as Cleveland Orchestra appearances at both Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Festival.
The laureate of many National and International Competitions, awards and prizes include First Prizes in the Young Musician's Foundation National Debut Competition, and The World Piano Competition, as well as a laureate in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition. Other recognitions include the “Outstanding Chamber Musician Award” from the University of Southern California, and the “Young Maestro Award” from the Peabody Institute of Music.
Her great love for chamber music has led to collaborations with Truls Mork, Peter Rejto, Stanley Drucker, Mats Lidstrom, Franklin Cohen, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Joan Kwuon, and members of the New York Philharmonic on the New York Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Series. Recordings include "Sentimiento" on the Azica label, as well as a collaboration with the principal wind players of the New York Philharmonic in an album entitled "The Complete Music of Robert Schumann for Winds and Piano.”
Ms. Shapiro is a member of the Piano and Chamber Music faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Visiting Chamber Music Teaching Artist at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and an alumni teaching artist for The Juilliard-Nord Anglia Global Partnership Program.
Ms. Shapiro is a Steinway Artist.
Dmitri Vorobiev first came to international attention after winning the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy in 1994, followed by performances at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto and numerous recitals throughout Italy. Mr. Vorobiev has been a major prize-winner in the Busoni, Cincinnati World, Ibla Grand Prize, A.M.A. Calabria, Iowa, and Alabama international piano competitions. In 2000, he placed first and also took three special prizes at the UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, and in 2003, Dmitri won the first prize in the New Orleans International Piano Competition. He appeared as a soloist with Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Pretoria Chamber Orchestra, Durban Symphony, Terni Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and Western Piedmont Symphony. His solo recitals took him throughout the United States, Israel, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, and South Africa.
A native of Moscow, Russia, Dmitri began his piano studies when he was 5. He attended the School of Music and the Music College of the Moscow State Conservatory where he studied with Nina Levitzkaya and Victor Bunin. In 1992, he was invited by Eric Larsen to study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. Mr. Vorobiev completed his Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music as a full scholarship student of Marc Silverman and winner of the Harold Bauer award. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, working with Arthur Greene.
Dmitri Vorobiev is currently an Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music, where he is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Midwest International Piano Competition. In the fall of 2017 he will join the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as an Associate Professor of piano. Mr. Vorobiev is now Artistic Director and leading teacher of the Leipzig Summer Piano Institute in Germany - an intensive three-week course of piano lessons, master classes, and seminars.
Mason Yu is founding violinist of the Omer Quartet, Grand Prize and Gold Medal recipients of the 2013 Fischoff Competition, top prize at the Premio Borciani String Quartet Competition, and special prize winner at the 2016 Bordeaux International Competition. With the quartet, he has performed concerts throughout North America and Europe, as well as given masterclasses and discussions that accompany these performances. Committed to community engagement, he and the quartet are active members of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative for local hunger relief. Recently, the Boston Foundation awarded the quartet a grant to perform concerts in the Quincy, MA area in venues such as homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers.
Previous solo highlights included concerto appearances with the Lucerne Festival Academy orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music orchestra, and the Cleveland Philharmonia, working with conductors such as Pablo Heras-Casado, Jane Glover and Joel Smirnoff. As part of Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Series, Mason consecutively performed both violin and piano solos. He led the Boston Chamber Orchestra as co-concertmaster in a tour of Kyushu, Japan, and served as concertmaster in the orchestra’s collaboration with the Kyushu Symphony. Mason was also on the faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and served as a teaching artist for Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Crescendo” program.
Mason received a M.M. and G.D. at the New England Conservatory, studying violin with Donald Weilerstein and professional quartet development with Paul Katz. Previously, he received a B.M. at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Ivan Zenaty. In the Fall, he will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area to start a doctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland with the Omer Quartet.
Music critics, fellow musicians, and audiences are calling Ivan Zenaty “the most important Czech violinist of this time.” Besides the technical perfection one would expect, he is also appreciated for his taste, style and a captivatingly beautiful tone. With his exceptional wealth of repertoire including more than 50 violin concertos, he is a favored guest artist with many international orchestras. Known for his versatility, his engagements also include solo recitals and chamber music collaborations.
The springboard to his international career came as a result of being a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, followed immediately by debut engagements with the Moscow and Czech Philharmonic. Other successes include First Prize at the Prague Spring Competition, as well as being a chosen laureate of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Young Performers. In the subsequent years following his victories, Mr. Zenaty made his orchestral and solo debuts in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Jerusalem.
The musicianship of Ivan Zenaty has been influenced the most by his personal encounters with Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci and André Gertler. Studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow under the tutelage of Igor Bezrodny had the greatest impact on his technical approach to the violin.
The great Czech musical tradition was passed on to Mr. Zenaty through his mentor Josef Suk, which resulted in many subsequent years of professional partnership, and culminated in a recording of the complete works of W. A. Mozart. Other collaborations include great artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Serge Baudo, Valery Gergiev and Neville Marriner.
Ivan Zenaty’s prolific output of over 40 CD’s includes the complete works of Telemann, Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Schulhoff, Dvořák and Grieg. His new recording of the complete works of Dvořák has attracted extraordinary attention, as has his recording of both violin concertos by J. B. Foerster with the BBC Symphony Orchestra London and its music director Jiri Belohlavek.
A natural counterbalance to Ivan Zenaty’s concert and recording activities is his work as an acclaimed teacher. Mr. Zenaty has taught at the Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden, and in the Fall of 2012 was invited to join the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Summer activities include teaching at the Meadowmount School of Music.
Thanks to the Harmony Foundation of New York, Ivan Zenaty plays a rare Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violin made in 1740.