The Harlem Chamber Players is a collective of musicians. These are just some of the musicians who have performed in our series, and we continue to build our roster of the finest players available in New York.
Alvin McCall, Cello
Cellist Alvin McCall has distinguished himself as a recitalist, chamber musician and symphony orchestra performer. As a member of the McCall-Deats Duo he has performed recitals throughout the US, France and Germany. The Duo has recorded the Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich Sonatas and continues to perform recitals regularly.
McCall, having studied with one of the premier chamber musicians, Bernard Greenhouse, is very fond of chamber music and has performed national tours with the Alexandria Quintet and the Omega Ensemble. He has also performed chamber concerts at the Caramoor Music Festival, Utah Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, with New York New Music, the Amici Ensemble, the Atlantic Sinfonietta and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. With members of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, he has performed on the Symphony's Pulitzer concerts, Chamber Music St Louis, Discovery, Summerfest and various Community Partnership venues throughout the city.
A former member of the New York Chamber Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Alvin joined the St Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and has been a member of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra since 1986.
Amadi Azikiwe, Viola
Amadi Azikiwe, violist and conductor, has been heard in recital in major cities throughout the United States, such as New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., including an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Azikiwe has also been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He has appeared in recital at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, on the “Discovery” recital series in La Jolla, at the International Viola Congress, and at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since then, he has performed throughout Israel, Canada, South America, Central America, India, Japan, Hong Kong, and throughout the Caribbean.
As a chamber musician, Azikiwe has appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Chester, Miro, St. Lawrence, Anderson, Arianna, Harrington and Corigliano quartets. He was also a member of the Concertante Chamber Players, and is a former member of the Ritz Chamber Players. Among Mr. Azikiwe’s prizes and awards are those from Concert Artists Guild, the North Carolina Symphony, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with whom he still maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.
Mr. Azikiwe was previously the conductor of the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta University Center Orchestra. He was also a visiting faculty member of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN. Currently, he is on the faculty of James Madison University, and Music Director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted for the Intercollegiate Music Association, at the Gateways Music Festival, and the Trinity Opera Company. Mr. Azikiwe has appeared as artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Killington Music Festival, Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Yachats Music Festival, and the Aria International Academy in London, Ontario.
As an orchestral musician, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, principal violist of the SHIRA Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra, and as guest principal violist of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of conductors Lorin Maazel, James DePriest, Christoph Eschenbach, Gerard Schwarz, Marek Janowski, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Morgan, Pinchas Zukerman, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sixten Ehrling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Bernstein.
A native of New York City, Amadi Azikiwe was born in 1969. After early studies with his mother, he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts as a student of Sally Peck. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, receiving his Bachelor’s degree. Mr. Azikiwe was also awarded the Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, where he served as an Associate Instructor, and received his Master’s Degree in 1994 as a student of Atar Arad. You may find out more on his website www.amadiazikiwe.com.
Amy Fraser, Bassoon
Amy Fraser is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. Among her orchestral credits, she has performed with the New Philharmonic of New Jersey, Harrisburg Symphony, Soulful Symphony, Albany Symphony, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and New York Virtuosi. She is a teaching artist as part of an Arts In Education program funded by the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Ms. Fraser was a founding member of the West Harlem Winds, forerunner ensemble to The Harlem Chamber Players. She toured nationally with the Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, and toured Spain with the American Festival Orchestra and the Connecticut Chamber Orchestra. Choral engagements include the Greenwich Village Singers, New Jersey Chorale, and Ars Musica. For many years, she enriched the lives of public school children through "Music Outreach Educative Workshops," a program comprised of the art of storytelling, lecture, and musical demonstration. Ms. Fraser travels to the Washington, DC area to perform with Janel Leppin's avant garde ensemble, Volcanic Ash.
Andréa Bradford, Soprano
Soprano Andréa Bradford began her musical training with the study of the piano. Her vocal study began early, and she later earned degrees in vocal performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Boston University. She has studied and coached with Donald Palumbo, Allen Rogers, Larry Woodard, Wayne Sanders, Mary Davenport, Donna Roll, Sarah Caldwell and Leonard Bernstein.
She toured with Sarah Caldwell and The Opera Company of Boston for over a decade, performing throughout New England and Europe. She has also performed extensively as a recitalist and with such orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She has received particular acclaim for her work in 20th century operas and solo vocal compositions.
Ms. Bradford is a multi-faceted performer, having been a piano accompanist for other singers and instrumentalists, and she is comfortable in both the classical and jazz genres.
Anthony Morris, Double Bass
Anthony Morris has been Principal Auxiliary and has toured internationally with The New York Philharmonic from 1999 to 2006 under the batons of Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel. From 2007 to the present, Morris plays extensively with The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO). When he is not playing with NJSO, he is working on Broadway shows such as Beauty and the Beast and Phantom of the Opera along with other numerous orchestras in the Tri-State area. Mr. Morris is also an instructor at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. He holds a B.M.A. from Manhattan School of Music and an M.M.A. from The Juilliard School of Music. He has studied with internationally renowned musicians such as Eugene Levinson, Paul Ellison, and Bruce Bransby. As of September 2010, Morris has accepted the Low String Coach position at the InterSchool Orchestras of New York (ISO).
Ashley Horne, Violin
A native of Los Angeles, violinist Ashley Horne has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he is known for his “bright tone and fine overall sense of style” (Dennis Rooney of Strad Magazine). He performs regularly with American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Bard Festival Orchestra, Westchester Symphony, West-Park Chamber Society, Gateways Music Festival, Dance Theater of Harlem Orchestra and New York City Opera, as well as on Broadway’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Wild Party, Carousel, and the current smash hit, The Producers. He has been the featured soloist and concertmaster of numerous ensembles, including The New Black Repertory Ensemble, The Antara Ensemble of NY, Cascade Festival Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. His recording of Henry Cowell’s Fiddler’s Jig with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra can be heard on Koch International. Mr. Horne has been a recitalist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Solo and chamber music performances have taken him to many interesting parts of the globe, such as Spain, Portugal, the Azores Islands, Odessa and Istanbul. Filmgoers can see Mr. Horne in Le Mozart Noir, the PBS documentary of violinist and composer Chevalier de Saint George, as well as in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America.
Barbara Oldham, French Horn
Barbara Oldham is a founding member of the wind quintet Quintet of the Americas and has appeared with the Marlboro Music Festival, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Festival Brass Quintet, and Westchester Chamber Music Festival. She has toured in over 300 cities in the Western Hemisphere and Eastern Europe, performed at Carnegie Hall, the American Music Week Series at Weill Recital Hall; the Bermuda International Festival; the Chamber Music Northwest Festival; Festival Internacional de Música Contemporanea in Bogotá; Sala Teresa Careña in Caracas; the American Composers Orchestra Sonidos de Mexico and Sonidos de Cuba Festivals; the Chautauqua Festival; Bar Harbor Festival; the First International Congress on Women in Music; the Pan American Music Festivals at the Library of Congress and the O.A.S. in Washington, D.C.; the Inter-American Festival in Puerto Rico; two Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festivals; and a two-day Villa-Lobos centennial festival at Merkin Hall in NYC.
She has presented solo recitals at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and the American Landmark Festivals and is the recipient of a Brooklyn Arts Council Individual Artist Grant for solo recitals. She is a member of the Queens Symphony, former principal horn of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia, Opera Northeast, and guest principal horn with the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic. She has also performed with Brooklyn Philharmonic, Long Island Philharmonic, Radio City Music Hall, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and on Broadway. She has recorded on the CRI, MMC, Newport Classic, XLNT, Opus 1, and MSR labels. She serves on the faculties of Brooklyn College, New York University, and Summer Trios summer chamber music festival.
Brandee Younger, Harp
A versatile musician who continues to defy genres and labels, this young harpist has created a unique niche in both traditional and non-traditional harp arenas. Best-known for her limitless drive, Ms. Younger remains in high demand and attracts the attention of today’s most well-known artists, producers and groups.
A classically trained harpist, she has performed with an array of orchestras including the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Soulful Symphony, Ensemble du Monde, Camerata New York and the Red Bull Artsehcro, a “non-conformist” orchestra.
She has worked & recorded with a number of jazz luminaries including Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Wycliffe Gordon, Charlie Haden, Reggie Workman, Kenny Garrett, Rashied Ali, and Bill Lee, as well as a host of New York City’s top, young jazz musicians. In hip-hop, she has worked with several artists and producers, including Common, Ryan Leslie, Cassie, Talib Kweli and Drake. She effortlessly performs in many diverse genres, due to her proficiency as an artist and all around musician.
A native of Long Island, Ms. Younger grew up in Hempstead and Uniondale, where she began her harp studies as a teen. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance and Music Business at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford where she was also mentored by the faculty of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz and African American Studies. She received her Master of Arts in Harp Performance from New York University. Her formal instructors on the University level include harpists Rebecca Flannery, Susan Jolles, Emily Mitchell, and bassist, Nat Reeves.
Currently, she resides in New York where she maintains a rigorous performing and teaching schedule. She performs with her trio, as a soloist, and performs regularly as part of The Workman String Summit, led by bassist, Reggie Workman; the Laura Kahle Quintet, led by composer and trumpeter, Laura Kahle and with Bill Lee and the Natural Spirit Orchestra. Ms. Younger has a private teaching studio in New York and is on the harp faculty of the Hartt School, at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT; Adelphi University in Garden City, NY and The Greenwich House Music School in New York, NY. She is Vice President of the Long Island Chapter of the American Harp Society. Learn more about Ms. Younger on her website: http://brandeeyounger.com/.
Carl Jackson, Associate Director, Clarinet
Clarinetist Carl Jackson has received praise from peers as well as musical legends the likes of Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celebidache. By age 17, while attending the High School for the Performing Arts in New York City and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, Carl had already appeared as a soloist on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He later attended the Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Donald Montanaro and Anthony Gigliotti, both of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Carl has been a member of or has performed with numerous orchestras, including the New World Symphony, The Utah Symphony, The Glimmerglass Opera, The Sarasota Opera, The Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida, The American Symphony Orchestra, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The New York City Housing Symphony, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Solisti of New York, The San Francisco Symphony, The Grand Teton Music Festival, European Tours of "Westside Story" and "My Fair Lady", The Iris Chamber Orchestra, Broadway’s "Finians’ Rainbow", The American Ballet Theatre and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Carl is also the designer of Allpoint ligatures and the arranger of "The Big Bach Book" for clarinet quartet. Carl is a native of East Harlem.
Charlene Bishop, Violin
Charlene Bishop began her violin studies at the age of 6. She was accepted into the Music Advancement Program (MAP) at the Juilliard School. She furthered her studies at the Mannes Pre-College and College of Music with Ann Setzer where she received her BA in Violin Performance. Through the years, Charlene has performed at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany, Fiddlefest in Zurich, Switzerland, and has collaborated with artists such as Arnold Steinhardt, Wyclef Jean, Madonna, Beres Hammond in Jamaica, and many more. Currently, Charlene teaches at Opus 118-Harlem School of Music (where she is an alumni) and at the Thurnauer School of Music, and she continues to freelance throughout New York City.
Claire Chan, Violin
Claire Chan demonstrated a prolific talent for the violin at the age of eight when she first performed as a soloist with orchestra. As an avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with several award-winning groups. The Essex Quartet, managed by Columbia Artists, was supported by a grant from Chamber Music America and a residence at Rutgers University. The Beijing String Quartet won first prize in the China National String Quartet Competition. The Beijing Chamber Players performed in the auspicious venues of the Forbidden City Music Festival and the Beijing Concert Hall. The Kneisel Trio held summer residencies at the MidAmerica Chamber Music Institute and at the Troy Public Library Chamber Music Institute.
Ms. Chan, born in Detroit of Chinese parentage, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University, where she earned musical honors and a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She earned a full scholarship from The Juilliard School as a student of Joseph Fuchs, where she completed both her master's and doctoral degrees. She taught at the Juilliard School as an assistant to both Professor Fuchs and the Juilliard String Quartet. She also taught for several years in Beijing at the Central Conservatory and the Capital Normal University.
Ms. Chan performed as a member of the New York City Opera and continues to perform on Broadway with Phantom of the Opera. She teaches at Third Street Music School Settlement and at The Town School. She can be heard on recording labels of RCA Victor, Centaur, Annsam and ESS.A.Y Recordings.
Curtis Stewart, Violin
A New York City native and graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Curtis has performed as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, and at Lincoln Center with “Ljova.” He has made chamber music appearances in the Rochester International Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with the New York Chamber Virtuousi, holding his audiences “spellbound” with his “prodigious technique.” (New York Amsterdam News) An avid teacher, he currently teaches at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Curtis’ eclectic background has led him to concerts in many different realms of music from the avant-garde jazz Vision Festival and MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and Yo La Tengo, to stints at the Jazz Gallery with Jason Lindner and Edmar Casteneda. His ensembles PUBLIQuartet and The Mighty Third Rail perform frequently at many of New York’s illustrious venues including the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, the Stone, Cornelia Street Café, Lincoln Center’s Atirum, and “The Howl Festival” of the Lower East Side. Curtis has played with many great musicians including Henry Threadgill, Dick Oatts, Jason Lindner, Adam Rudolf, Jason Hwang, Edmar Casteneda, Linda Oh, Chris Dingman, Graham Haynes, Akua Dixon, Dave Liebman, Matt Wilson, Jerome Harris, among many others. A supporter and practitioner of many styles of music, Curtis is excited to continue expanding and blending all the elements of his stylistic and expressive range, developing a unique and relevant voice in New York’s boundless music scene.
David Berry, Piano
A native of Syracuse, New York, David Berry has been featured as soloist and chamber musician at venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Bechstein Auditorium, the FOCUS Festival, Jacoby Symphony Hall, as well as in live broadcasts of WQXR in New York. Mr. Berry has been a featured performer in the “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” and “Chopin, George Sand and Their Circle” Piano Series hosted by author David Dubal, and he recently performed in the world premiere of James Lee III’s piano quintet Night Visions of Kippur at the UW World Series (Seattle).
Mr. Berry was the Grand Prize Winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, as well as a prizewinner in the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition. Mr. Berry received his Bachelor of Music with High Distinction from the Eastman School of Music, and Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School. His primary piano instructors include Martin Canin, Douglas Humpherys, and George Skafidas, with additional chamber music studies under Seymour Lipkin, Jacob Lateiner and Jonathan Feldman. In addition to performing with the Harlem Chamber Players, Mr. Berry is a member of the Jacksonville, Florida based Ritz Chamber Players as well as the Core Ensemble. He has also served as Co-Coordinator of Chamber Music for the Gateways Music Festival, which is currently in residence at the Eastman School of Music.
David Byrd-Marrow, French Horn
Atlanta native David Byrd-Marrow received his Bachelor's degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with the late Jerome Ashby. For his Master's degree, David went on to study with William Purvis at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was then selected for fellowship in the Juilliard-Carnegie Hall Academy Ensemble ACJW. David has also played with groups such as Carnegie Hall's "Zankel Band," The Orchestra of St. Luke's, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Tokyo Symphony, The New York and Atlanta Operas and The New York Philharmonic.
David Miller, Bassoon
In the mid sixties bassoonist David Miller was the first Afro-American to integrate The National Symphony Orchestra and the U.S. Navy Band, both in Washington, D.C. As a freelance musician Mr. Miller has performed with organizations such as The Long Island Philharmonic, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The New World Symphony Orchestra, The Jupiter Symphony Orchestra, The Quebec Symphony Orchestra, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The New York City Housing Authority Orchestra, and The Whirlwind Quintet.
On sojourns to South America he played with Sinfonica de Columbia and taught bassoon in Venezuela’s Orchestra Juevenil. On and off Broadway Mr. Miller played in “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber,” “Into the Woods” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” He now teaches at the 92nd Street Y and the Harlem School of the Arts.
Graduate studies were pursued at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College of Music, and C.W. Post at Long Island University. Mr. Miller is thankful to Sue Palma of Orpheus for enabling his music performance skills.
Deryck Clarke, French Horn
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Deryck Clarke (French horn) is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts in New York City and the Curtis Institute of Music. He holds a BM from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a MM from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
His professional engagements include Soulful Symphony, the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to
Performance orchestra, Early Music New York, the Paula Kimper Ensemble, the Ray Chew Orchestra,
Imani Winds, Oregon Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Broadway productions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast. Throughout his career Deryck has performed with renowned artists including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Donnie McClurkin, Ashford and Simpson, Sir Andrew Davis, Aaron Copland, Paquito D’Rivera, James DePriest.
While in college, Mr. Clarke discovered his passion for teaching at the NY State Music Camp (now Hartwick College Music Festival). He was faculty member at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival, the Juilliard School's Music Advancement Program and the Mannes College preparatory division. Mr. Clarke also served as Interim Music Director of the Harlem School of the Arts. As a certified K12 music educator, Deryck received awards and recognition for his service as instrumental and vocal music teacher at the Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, NJ. He later served as Program Director of William Paterson University’s Music After School program in Paterson, NJ and Start the
Deryck is currently an artist-in-residence at the Cicely Tyson School of the Arts in East Orange, NJ. He is the founder and President of The Harmony Effect, a grassroots Arts advocacy and education organization. Deryck is also the educational and community outreach director for The Harlem Chamber Players, he is a member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, and the Education Committee for AFM local 802.
Eric Davis, French Horn
Hornist, Eric Davis, leads an actively diverse music career. He is the former Principal Horn of La Kamerata, Friends of Music Chamber orchestra in Athens, Greece, as well as the Philharmonic Orchestra of Queretaro in Mexico. Mr. Davis has also performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Princeton Symphony, the Vermont Symphony and the Westside Chamber Orchestra. The New York Times has stated that Mr. Davis plays “….with admirable poetry”.
Mr. Davis has performed with The Harlem Chamber Players, the Sylvan Winds, Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pops of Long Island, the Long Island Philharmonic. He has also worked with artists including Indina Menzel, Bernadette Peters, David Byrne and St. Vincent, Neil Sedaka, Jazz legend Wallace Roney, and Natalie Merchant. On Broadway, Mr. Davis was an orchestra member of the Tony award winning “Porgy and Bess” and the Candor and Ebb production of “Curtains.” Additional Broadway shows include the new production of “Les Miserables,” “Cinderella,” “The Lion King,” “Mary Poppins," and “Follies.” Some of his recordings include the Westside Chamber Orchestra on Naxos records, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings on their album “I Learned the Hard Way,” Dap Tone Records, “Love This Giant” with David Byrne and St. Vincent, Todo Mundo and the Harmonie Ensemble in “The Music for Peter Gunn,” Harmonia Mundi label.
Mr. Davis received his Masters of Music from Manhattan School of Music and his Bachelor degree in Music from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. He is currently finishing his Doctorate in Musical Arts at Rutgers University Class of 2015. His teachers include David Jolley, William Brown, and Douglas Lundeen.
Eric Malson, Piano
Eric Malson is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician whose activities have taken throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. As soloist, he has appeared with the North Carolina Symphony, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, Manhattan Mozart Orchestra, Orquestra da Fundação Gulbenkian, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Oak Ridge Symphony, and Prince William Symphony orchestras. As a collaborating pianist with the Steans Institute for Young Artists, he has appeared frequently at the Ravinia Festival, as well as the Tanglewood, Norfolk (Conn.), Wexford (Ireland), Caramoor (N.Y.), Scotia (Halifax), Chautauqua, Évora (Portugal), Semana Grande de Santander (Spain), and Verso il Millennio (Riva del Garda, Italy) festivals, and has appeared in concert with members of the Hagen, Vogler, Alexander, Lark, Cavani, and Chester quartets.
Mr. Malson works extensively with singers, and has appeared in concert with sopranos Deborah Voigt and Eva Urbanová, tenors Thomas Studebaker, Lawrence Brownlee and Charles Reid, basses Alfred Walker and David Pittsinger, and baritone Chistophoren Nomura, among many others, and his critically-acclaimed CD of the Brahms Magelone songs with tenor Paul Mow was recently released on the Lyrichord label. He has served on the musical staff of various opera companies, including the Bühnen der Stadt Köln, Teatro Nacional São Carlos (Lisbon), Seattle Opera (Ring cycle), Washington Opera at Kennedy Center, Opera Zuid (Netherlands), Theater der Stadt Heidelberg, The Dallas Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Cleveland Opera. He has served on the opera faculties of the Juilliard School of Music and the Mannes College of Music, as well as the accompanying staff of the Curtis Institute of Music, and the accompanying and chamber music faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Malson has served as official accompanist for various competitions, including the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition, Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions.
Mr. Malson resided for several years in Portugal, where he concertized throughout the country, as well as serving on the faculties of the Academia Nacional de Orquestra and the Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa. He participated in the Portuguese premieres of numerous works, including the Piano Concerto in A-flat Major, Op. 113 of Hummel, Roger Sessions' First Piano Sonata, Dohnanyi’s Sextet, Op. 37, and Wolfgang Rihm’s La Lugubre Gondola/Das Eismeer (Musik in memoriam Luigi Nono, for double orchestra and 2 pianos). He holds degrees from Indiana University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where his teachers included Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, and John Wustman.
Evelyn Golz, Piano
A native of Redlands, California, Evelyn Golz comes from a family of musicians going back several generations. She began her studies at age four with her mother Mary Evelyn Golz and went on to win top prizes in the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Competition, the Redlands Symphony Concerto Competition, the MTAC Young Artists Guild and the Southern California Junior Bach Festival. Ms. Golz continued her studies at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria, California State University at Northridge, the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music, where she received the Francis Dillon Hayward Memorial Prize in piano. Her teachers have included Han Graf, Jakob Gimpel, Seymour Lipkin and Bernard Rose.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Golz has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the St. Mark's Chamber and Opera Players, The Women of West Harlem Winds, the San Gabriel Symphony, The Canadian Ballet Orchestra, and the Redlands Symphony, and in such venues as Carnegie Hall, BAM, Saint Paul’s Chapel, Lincoln Center, St. Mark’s Church and the Schomberg Center in Harlem. As a member of the Golz Duo, with cellist sister Madeleine, she frequently presents recitals both in the New York area and on the West Coast. She has been the pianist with The Harlem Chamber Players since the group began its regular Music at St. Mary's series in 2008.
Ms. Golz is a busy and enthusiastic teacher whose students have earned awards in many prestigious competitions in the Metropolitan area. In addition to her private studio, she is on the piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music's Pre-College Division, and the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, NJ.
Gerard Reuter, Oboe
“Reuter clearly held the spotlight...richly earned...with a brilliant performance.” (Washington Post)
Gerard Reuter has enjoyed a varied and distinguished career as chamber musician and soloist, touring the United States, Europe, India and Africa. He is a founding member of An Die Musik, of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and of Chelsea Chamber Ensemble, as well as being a member of the Dorian Wind Quintet. His guest appearances at music festivals in the United States have included Caramoor, Marlboro, LaJolla, Round Top and the Chamber Music Festival of the Library of Congress; in Europe, the Flanders and Dartington festivals, as well as the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove. As a soloist, in New York he has appeared with the Jupiter Symphony, the Soviet Emigré Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Virtuoso and in Washington, DC with the National Chamber Orchestra.
He has been heard on major radio stations throughout this country and in Europe. He has recorded in concert for Sony, New World, Summit, Telarc, Columbia, Musical Heritage Society and the Voice of America. As a recipient of the Pro Musicis Foundation’s 1992 International Award, Mr. Reuter has been presented in recitals in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Boston as well as in major cities in Europe and Asia. Mr. Reuter serves on the faculty of New York University.
Hassan Anderson, Oboe
Hassan Anderson is a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music in New York City where he received his Master of Music degree in Oboe Performance under the tutelage of Nathan Hughes and additional studies with Pedro Diaz, Elaine Douvas and Linda Strommen. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Mr. Anderson received his Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University, studying with Ann Adams. An avid lover of chamber music, Mr. Anderson served as an oboe fellow at the Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro, Vermont for three consecutive summers on a full tuition scholarship. Mr. Anderson also currently serves as Oboist with the innovative New York based ensemble Shuffle Concert. Mr. Anderson currently enjoys a career as a top freelancer in New York City where he often performs as Principal Oboe with several ensembles. With a tremendous dedication to music education and pedagogy, Mr. Anderson is currently in his third year as a Teaching Artist with Jazz House Kids. In a partnership between Jazz House Kids and Link Community School of Newark, NJ Mr. Anderson teaches 7th and 8th grade classroom music. Mr. Anderson was also recently appointed to the prestigious Teaching Artist faculty of Carnegie Hall and serves as an Adjunct Professor at The City University of New Jersey. In his free time Mr. Anderson explores his passions of fitness, food, and enjoying the company of his wonderful friends and family.
Janinah Burnett, Soprano
Janinah Burnett’s artistry is profoundly carving her place as one of the most notable sopranos of our time, serving dramatic intent while producing exquisite sound. As Lolo in the revival of Harry Lawrence Freeman’s opera Voodoo, the New York Times stated that “Ms. Burnett, relishing Lolo’s cries of power and pain, was the performance’s highlight.” The Montreal Gazette wrote that she “brought a storytelling quality as well as soprano pyrotechnics to Violetta [in La Traviata].” As Mimì in Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of Puccini’s La bohème, Ms. Burnett received tremendous acclaim, winning the Los Angeles Stage Alliance’s “Ovation Award” with a record 82 consecutive sold-out shows.
Ms. Burnett joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in 2008 for their productions of Carmen and La bohème and has since returned for Parsifal, Le nozze di Figaro, La Rondine, The Enchanted Island, Iphigénie en Tauride, and Manon. She next returns to the Met for Elektra, and will reprise the role of Leila in John Adams’ I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky at the Rome Opera. Recently, Ms. Burnett participated in The Dream Unfinished, a concert in which classical musicians donated their time and talent in a concert honoring victims of social injustice, debuted the role of Harriet Tubman in the world premiere production of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Road to Freedom with American Opera Projects to much acclaim. She sang performances of Leila in John Adams’ I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky with Théâtre du Châtelet, Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Carolina, Marguerite in Faust with Opera Toledo, and Bess in Princeton Festival’s production of Porgy and Bess. Noted previous engagements include Lucy in Treemonisha in her debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Margru in Amistad at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.; Micaëla in Carmen with the Michigan Opera Theatre and Arizona Opera; Mimì in La bohème with Arizona Opera, Baltimore Opera, Manitoba Opera, and Nashville Opera; Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Cleveland; Violetta in La Traviata with OperaColumbus; Claire in William Grant Still’s Troubled Island with New York City Opera; and Bess in Porgy and Bess at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as with Cape Town Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Grand Rapids, and in concert with The Israel Symphony Orchestra in Tel Aviv and Rishon LeZion with Mo. Asher Fisc; Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi; Norina in Don Pasquale with Connecticut Opera; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and solo performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Burnett is also widely known for her versatility. A former member of the sister group to Three Mo’ Tenors, entitled Three Mo’ Divas, Ms. Burnett gave two performances of her own jazz arrangements with her band entitled The Janinah Burnet Quartet at the Cell Theater in NYC. She also gave a self titled, sold out solo jazz show at the Metropolitan Room in NYC and sang with the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra in Llívia, Spain. Ms. Burnett believes in giving all to her singing as well as giving back to the community with her own creative message. This belief led her to produce performances of her own writings juxtaposed with art songs, freedom songs, and spirituals entitled I, Too Sing America: An Artistic Tribute to the Maintenance of Social Justice, which seeks to provide quality performances rooted in education, activism, committed artistic expression, and healing. Ms. Burnett was named Artist of the Year in 2011 at Syracuse Opera for her revered role debut as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles and is a featured singer in the Spike Lee film "Red Hook Summer."
Jessica McJunkins, Violin
Known for her 'dynamic playing' and 'fearless artistry,' Charlotte, North Carolina native Jessica McJunkins performs and teaches in New York City and throughout the North and Southeast. As a classical musician she is currently concertmaster of the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra and has had concert engagements with The Harlem Chamber Players, Wordless Music Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Sherman Chamber Ensemble and Lake George Festival Orchestra, where she served as assistant concertmaster. She was a 2011 fellowship member of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and is currently a regular extra member of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. As a recording artist she has collaborated with noted artists The Roots, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens, Frankie Rose, Jazmine Sullivan, Hezekiah Walker, Yolanda Adams, the Four Tops and more. As a chamber musician she has toured internationally with the Beacon Street Trio and recently completed an educational quartet residency at the University of Massachusets, Lowell with Quatuor Mahogony. Internationally, Ms. McJunkins has performed on the stages of North America, Asia and Central America. She has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Trinity Wall Street, Le Poisson Rouge, Highline Ballroom, Gramercy Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Rockwood Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Center, Symphony Space, The Academy of Arts and Letters, the Palace Theatre and more. A lover of contemporary music, Jessica has most recently collaborated with famed composer Andy Akiho at the Lake George Music Festival.
While in New York, she has made appearances on Saturday Night Live with UK pop sensation Bastille, with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, in the pit for Broadway's On the Town, served as solo violinist for the Off-Broadway production Stars of David, and recorded the original cast album in this capacity. As an educator she is on the faculty at the Opus 118 School of Music and Harmony Program, maintains a thriving private studio and enjoys varied roles as teaching artist to inner city youth. Past credits include Broadway performances of South Pacific, Next to Normal, West Side Story, Shrek and White Christma, as well as performances with Max Richter and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre.
Jessie Montgomery, Violin
Violinist Jessie Montgomery was a core member of the Providence String Quartet from 2004 – 2009, quartet in residence of Community MusicWorks (CMW). The Providence String Quartet is dedicated to using music as a means of exploring possibilities for social change in underserved communities in the Providence area. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Sally Thomas. As a teacher, Ms. Montgomery has served on faculty at (CMW), The Apple Hill Center in New Hampshire, Music at Port Milford in Canada, and at her Alma Mater the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City. Ms. Montgomery has been affiliated with Sphinx, an organization which supports the accomplishments of young African-American and Latino string players, since 1999. She has been a two-time laureate in their annual competition and serves on the faculty of the Sphinx Performance Academy in Massachusetts. During her summers, Jessie has participated in the Spoleto Festival, the National Orchestra Institute, Meadowmount School of Music, and the Banff Center for the Arts. She is also founder and original member of the string quartet PUBLIQuartet. She is now a member of Catalyst Quartet of the Sphinx Music Organization.
Also a composer, Ms. Montgomery was in Residence at the Deer Valley Music Festival under the direction of American composer Joan Tower. She was the two-time recipient of the Composer’s Apprentice Award given by the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, and she has served as the resident composer for the Providence String Quartet. Her works have been well received by audiences in the New England area, and she was featured on a concert series presented by CMW during their 2007 – 2008 season.
Josh Henderson, Violin
Josh Henderson is enjoying a multi-faceted career as a cross-genre violinist, violist, and composer. As a classical musician, he has performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, China Performing Arts Broadcasting Troupe, The Starling Chamber Orchestra, Accent X Festival Orchestra, Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, Contemporaneous, Ensemble du Monde, the CCM Showcase Orchestra and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Munich's Gasteig, and The Forbidden City Concert Hall of Beijing.
He has additionally built a reputation for his high-energy electric violin performances in genres such as rock, jazz, hip-hop, and country-fiddle. A member of several nationally and internationally touring groups, he regularly tours with The Mayhem Poets, performing with the performance poets in major performing arts venues across the country, the indie-rock outfit Whale Belly, Chassidic Reggae group, The Moshe Hecht Band, contemporary classical music ensemble, Contemporaneous, and the newly formed string ensemble, Alkali. Josh is currently music director for the Emmy award-winning Damien Escobar (of Nuttin' But Stringz) and has performed at a number of events across the globe including a performance at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball hosted by Russell Simmons honoring Barack Obama. Other band leader positions include serving as music director to pop singer Zahra Universe on her South Korean tour and to the rapper Likwuid Stylez. A sought after freelance musician in New York City, Josh has performed, recorded and collaborated with popular artists such as Chris Brown, The Sugar Hill Gang, David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Palmer, Jherek Bischoff, and members of bands such as "Deer Hoof," "Blue Oyster Cult," and "The Eagles."
As a composer he has written for films and had several chamber works performed, including a recent Carnegie Hall premier of his A Bird Fell Today by Duo Anova. Larger works include a full length Ballet for Caliince Dance company, Marie: Embroidering Survival, which was premiered at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 2012, and the 2014 the premiere of his viola concerto by the Chelsea Symphony. Josh studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus and at New York University with Prof. Naoko Tanaka. He currently teaches a course on improvisation for classical string majors at NYU and is also on the Chamber Music Faculty for the contemporary music for youth program, "Face the Music." For more on Josh, please find him online at www.joshhendersonviolin.com.
Joyce Hammann, Violin
Equally at home on the concert stage, in a jazz club, or at a rock concert, Joyce Hammann's musical versatility and virtuosity remarkably distinguish her from the rest.
Her performances have been hailed as "splendid soloing" and as having a "sweet, rich tone" by the New York Times.
From early on, Joyce was recognized for her talent as after having begun her studies at age seven under Shinichi Suzuki, and by age ten she was selected by Conductor Leonard Slatkin to become the youngest member of St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. She went on to study at The Juilliard School of Music with the eminent pedagogues Ivan Galamian, Oscar Shumsky and Dorothy Delay, earning her BM and MM degrees. During this time she was artist-in-residence at Bargemusic and was winner of the Midland-Odessa Award, Peter Oundjian Award and The Berg Competition amongst others. After graduating she was concertmaster of many orchestras and continued her soloing and chamber music career. She was already choosing her eclectic path by being a member of Trio Con Brio and the jazz quintet Satin Dolls. Being drawn to new music she became a member of the Sirius String Quartet and formed a violin/cello duo (Hammann/Calhoun duo) where many new works were commissioned for them. She has recently appeared as soloist with The Scandia Symphony premiering three concerti.
Performing and recording with such artists as Paul McCartney, Sting, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, Joyce's discography includes John Zorn's String Quartets, Sam Zyman's Bashe, Uri Caine's Wagner and Venezia, Mozart Re-imagined and The Othello Syndrome, Michael Breckers' Grammy award winning Wide Angles, Gil Goldstein's Under Rousseau's Moon, Ted Nash's Double Quartet and Mark Feldman's Book of Tells.
Currently she is the concertmaster for the longest running show on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera. She continues to perform chamber music as a member of The Harlem Chamber Players, The Craftsbury Chamber Players (Vermont) and with The Meeting House Players (Cape Cod). Joyce will be touring Europe with Uri Caine as solo violinist with his jazz ensemble and as concertmaster for Fred Hersch's Coma Dreams, a jazz theater project.
Laurence Goldman, Double Bass
Laurence Goldman, double bassist and composer has performed as principal bassist with New York City Symphony, Jupiter Symphony and Mid-America Productions and abroad in Japan, Korea, China, Argentina and Brazil. He has performed as a soloist with American Composers Association and has had his music performed by the Lumières Ensemble in New York and in Normandy, France. He wrote music for the Boris Vian performance that took place in 2011.
Lawrence Zoernig, Cello
Lawrence Zoernig has been principal cellist of many New York symphony and chamber orchestras, including New York Chamber Orchestra, Bacchanalia and Opera Manhattan. Mr. Zoernig premiered Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for Cello and String Orchestra at Trinity Church with the New York Scandia Symphony, for which he is also principal cellist. As a chamber musician, he has performed frequently with the Goliard Ensemble and Bacchanalia. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in New York at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall and in Washington, D.C. at the Phillips Collection and the Kennedy Center. As an international artist, Mr. Zoernig has been presented at the Teatro Amazones in Manaus, Brazil and the World Expo in Seville, Spain.
Lawrence Zoernig received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Alan Harris, and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Harvey Shapiro.
Lisa Arkis, Flute
Flutist Lisa Arkis enjoys a varied career encompassing orchestral playing, chamber music, solo performances, and teaching. Orchestras she has performed with include the New Jersey Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Princeton Camerata, Greenwich Symphony, Fairfield Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Berkshire Bach Society at Tanglewood and Hudson Valley Philharmonic. She has participated in numerous summer festivals including Tanglewood, Colorado Music Festival, Loon Lake Live!, Washington Square Park Festival and as a featured soloist with the New York Bach Ensemble. Lisa has also recorded on the Sonic Muse label, twice toured Japan, was guest principal flutist with the Bermuda Bach Festival, and is a founding member of the chamber group Serio Divertimenti. She performs regularly with The Harlem Chamber Players as well as in duo concerts with her husband, cellist Peter Prosser.
Ms. Arkis’ Broadway credits include Peter Pan, Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, Flower Drum Song and Dance of the Vampires, and she has also played with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular both in New York and on tour. A graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music, Lisa was a student of the late Thomas Nyfenger. Other teachers include Harold Bennett, Trudy Kane, Keith Underwood and Bernard Goldberg. A faculty member of the Chamber Music Center of New York, adjunct faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege division from 2001 – 2004, Lisa has also taught at Brooklyn College and the Dalton School, and maintains private teaching studios in New York and Connecticut.
Liz Player, Founder, Artistic Director, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Clarinetist/bass clarinetist Liz Player has performed with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, New York City Housing Authority Orchestra, One World Symphony, Ensemble du Monde, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, The Harlem Festival Orchestra, The Manchester Music Festival Orchestra, The Bronx Opera, and on Broadway's Finian's Rainbow. As an avid lover of chamber music, Ms. Player has organized recitals and chamber music concerts in New Jersey and New York since 1990. She founded West Harlem Winds in 2004 and in 2008 started the acclaimed Music at St. Mary's chamber music series with The Harlem Chamber Players. As artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz has contracted chamber ensembles and orchestras for several other organizations, such as American Opera Projects, Opera Ebony, Columbia University, Harlem Opera Theater, the NYC Housing Symphony Orchestra and more.
She attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College as a Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellow and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor in Music. There she made her debut as soloist with the Queens College Orchestra in a performance of the Debussy Première Rhapsodie. She also appeared as a featured soloist with the Greenwich Village Orchestra in a performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and as a guest artist with Ensemble du Monde in a performance of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and strings. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, CAMI Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Brooklyn’s Forecast Music. Former instructors and master class coaches include David Krakauer, David Glazer, William Blount, Ayako Neidich, Stanley Drucker and Ronald Roseman.
Maurice Belle, Double Bass
Maurice Belle is an accomplished and versatile double bassist who has performed at major venues throughout the United States and abroad. In October of 2010, he had the opportunity to tour with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra as the principal bassist around the midwest. He has also attended the Spoleto USA in Charleston, South Carolina and National Repertory Orchestra as co-principal bass in Breckenridge, Colorado. In the summer of 2009, he attended the Pacific Music Festival in Japan where he performed in Sapporo, Osaka, and Tokyo. While in Japan, he worked with major conductors such as Christoph Eshenbach and Michael Tilson Thomas and performed with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Other music festivals Maurice attended were the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland and the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina.
A frequent participant in several New York-based orchestras, Maurice performed at Carnegie Hall numerous times and is principal bassist of One World Symphony, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, and New Amsterdam Symphony. He also performs with various chamber ensembles throughout the New York City area.
Maurice earned his undergraduate degree in double bass performance from The Manhattan School of Music and a graduate diploma from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Tim Cobb, principal bassist of the Metropolitan Opera. He also studied with the late Homer Mensch of the NBC Orchestra and Ralph Jones, principal bassist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Megan Weiss-Marolf, Oboe
Oboist Megan Marolf is an active orchestral, chamber, and solo musician throughout the New York City area and beyond. She performs and tours with the Philip Glass Ensemble as part of “Book of Longing,” a new piece based on the poetry of Leonard Cohen. Ms. Marolf has also performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Alarm Will Sound, DiCapo Opera Theater, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and Garden State Philharmonic, among numerous other ensembles, and at such events as the Tribeca Film Festival and Bang on a Can Marathon. A lover of chamber music, she performs with the West Harlem Winds (of which she is a founding member) and the woodwind quartet TetraWind. Ms. Marolf is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Stephen Taylor.
Monica Davis, Violin
After graduating from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in history, Monica Davis gained her masters degree in music performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career including traditional classical performances, television and recording projects, and Broadway appearances. Most recently she performed as a member of the Wordless Music Orchestra in concert with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood in a live performance of his score to the movie “There Will Be Blood.” Monica was chosen from a worldwide audition to be a member of the YouTube Symphony for performances in the Sydney Opera House under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.
On Broadway she has been a regular member of the orchestras of Honeymoon in Vegas and Rocky the Musical and is looking forward to her new off-Broadway musical Invisible Thread this fall. She can also be seen subbing with the orchestras of American in Paris, Fun Home, Matilda, Something Rotten, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon. This summer she was offered a position with the 2015 Tony Awards orchestra and appeared live from Radio City Music Hall in that broadcast.
New York has a rich recording industry and while living here it has been her privilege to record for film, television, and with artists including Michael Jackson, Billy Ocean, Darlene Love, and Alicia Keys. She has toured with pop icon Diana Ross, appeared on Saturday Night Live with Michael Buble and Pearl Jam, performed on the “Tonight Show” with Bette Midler, and the “Ellen Show” and “Good Morning America” with Grammy award winner Sam Smith.
Through all of this it is her abiding love of chamber music that has been her focus and pleasure. She is a longstanding member of The Harlem Chamber Players and recently accepted a position as the new first violinist of the Osso String Quartet.
In addition to her performance activities Monica also has a strong commitment to education. She serves on the faculty of the Diller Quaile School of Music and maintains a private teaching studio.
Orlando Wells, Violin and Viola
Orlando Wells attended the State University of New York at Purchase as a double major on violin and viola. His primary teachers were Yuval Waldman, and Emmanuel Vardi. He continued his studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers in New Jersey in the studio of Michael Tree.
Among the many ensembles with which he has played are: the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Bronx Opera (concertmaster), Orchestra of the Bronx (concertmaster), Antara Chamber orchestra (principal viola) and the Ritz Chamber Players in Jacksonville, Florida. He has appeared as soloist with Manhattan Virtuosi, the Harlem Symphony Orchestra and Antara Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Wells has performed and recorded with great artists such as Mariah Carey, John Legend, Rihanna, Harry Connick Jr., Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, and many others. He also performs with some of the greatest shows on Broadway.
Currently, he holds the violin/viola chair at Motown the Musical on Broadway and is the violist of the critically acclaimed Sweet Plantain String Quartet.
Philip Payton, Violin and Viola
Violinist Philip Payton enjoys an actively diverse career around the county and abroad. Mr Payton was a member of the New World Symphony where he was a concertmaster and principal violin under several prominent conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Marin Alsop and others. He was one of the first Americans to participate in the Nationaal Jeugd Orkest in the Netherlands where he was a concertmaster and has participated in the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Currently Mr Payton performs regularly with the Sarasota Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Gotham Chamber Opera and several others. As a chamber musician, Mr Payton has been intimately involved in the formation of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, a new summer festival in Washington state, performing on both violin and viola. He plays with Chamber Dance Project, Argento Chamber Ensemble and has performed recitals in St. Croix on the Candlelight Concert Series. An active Broadway musician, he has played on Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Spring Awakening (on violin, viola and electric guitar), West Side Story and is currently performing in Porgy and Bess. Mr Payton has also performed with a number of major performing artists including Smokey Robinson, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel and several others. Mr Payton attended the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music where he earned his B.M. and M.M. respectively.
Richard Alston, Piano
"North American Richard Alston's performance has a beautiful sound, sensitivity and solid technique which has made this a stupendous musical evening." Victor Burrel, Cinco Días, Spain
Richard Alston, pianist has appeared in recitals and performed as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. A native of East Orange, N.J., he received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School of Music.
After receiving a standing ovation at the Brevard Festival for his performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, Richard made his New York debut performing with the Symphony of the New World, under the direction of Everett Lee at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Over the years he has performed at the Weill Recital Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, as well as an outstanding portrayal of “Jasbo Brown” in the Metropolitan Opera revival of “Porgy and Bess.” Recently he repeated his portrayal of “Jasbo Brown” in the historic production by the New Jersey State Opera. A guest artist with the New Jersey Symphony in commemoration of the birth of William Grant Still, Richard has been the subject of a PBS television documentary “Classically Black,” in which he performs piano compositions by composers of African descent.
Recently, Alston performed “Rhapsody In Blue” with Ensemble du Monde at Merkin Concert Hall, New York City. The renowned Maestro Paul Freeman invited Richard to Europe to record the Arensky Piano Concerto with the Czech National Orchestra. The CD recording, which also included Etudes for Piano Op.74, by Arensky has been released by Centaur Records and is currently available in stores and online at amazon.com.
Presently Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of Essex County College’s Performing Arts Dept., Richard Alston, is also the founder and director of the Crossroads Music Academy . Maestro Alston is currently Minister of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montclair, NJ. Alston is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. You may visit Mr. Alston’s website www.richardcalston.com.
Richard Brice, Viola
Violist Richard Brice has been busy in New York’s freelance music scene since his high school days when he attended the famous High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, studying viola with Theodore Israel and Eugene Becker. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied viola with William Lincer and chamber music with Felix Galimir, Paul Doktor, and the members of the Juilliard String Quartet. He has toured throughout Germany, France, Italy and Spain as soloist and principal violist of the Munich Chamber Orchestra after making his debut as soloist with the orchestra in 1984. Mr. Brice was principal violist of the Southwest German Philharmonic and the Konzertverein St. Gallen, and he was associate principal violist of the Orquestra Sinfonica de Venezuela. As a chamber musician he was a founding member of the Quartetto National de Venezuela, he was the violist of the chamber music ensemble An die Musik from 1985 to 2002, and he has been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is currently a member of The Orchestra of St. Luke’s and was the principal violist of the Philharmonic Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He is equally at home in the realm of popular music, serving as principal violist for Barbara Streisand’s European Tours, Encores! at City Center, Patti Lupone’s Matters of the Heart for String Quartet and Piano, and many Broadway shows.
Steven Moran, Double Bass
A native of Long Island, New York, Mr. Moran began playing the bass at age fourteen. By age seventeen, he had gone on to perform orchestral and chamber music on five continents. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory and a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School, the latter where he was the teaching assistant to both New York Philharmonic Principal Bassist, Eugene Levinson and to the late renowned keyboardist/historian, Albert Fuller, all on full scholarship. As a chamber musician, Mr. Moran has been privileged enough to be a member of New York City’s esteemed Jupiter Chamber Players. He is also currently the solo bassist with the Manchester Chamber Orchestra and was solo bassist with the Philadelphia Virtuosi for four seasons. He served 22 years as a member of the Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota and is now a frequent guest of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony and the Harrisburg Symphony in Pennsylvania. He also works extensively with New York City’s Sonos Chamber Orchestra, Ossia Symphony Orchestra, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, the New Philharmonic of New Jersey and New Jersey’s Westfield Symphony.
Among his other titled positions, Mr. Moran's past appointments have included principal bassist of Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony and Florida’s Key West Symphony, as well as assistant principal bassist of the Sarasota Opera in Florida. Along with maintaining a private teaching studio in New York year-round, he spends his summers as the Professor of Double Bass at the New York Summer Music Festival at Oneonta and performing with Vermont’s Manchester Music Festival and Green Mountain Opera. Mr. Moran’s playing can be heard on major media soundtracks and he has also recorded with the rock band, They Might Be Giants. He plays on a 1922 double bass by the early 20th century Cremonese master, Romedio Muncher.
Sujari Britt, Cello
Cellist Sujari Britt showed her prodigious talent and uncanny devotion to and understanding of music from a very early age. She began formal study of the cello at age four, following her study on the violin, and piano.
Sujari was the 2009 – 2010 recipient of the Dianne Flagello Precollege Division Scholarship Endowment and the 2010 – 2011, 2011 – 2012, 2012 – 2013, and 2013 – 2014 recipient of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where she studies with noted pedagogue Marion Feldman. Sujari’s ability on the cello was rewarded when she won first place in the 2008 annual Associated Music Teachers League, Inc. scholarship competition. Sujari won the conservatory’s 2010 – 2011 concerto competition, culminating in a solo performance with the Symphony Orchestra in November 2011. Sujari was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award through From the Top; she performed on From the Top/WQXR radio program, which aired in Fall 2011, and she serves in the Arts Leadership Program. In February 2013 Sujari was the Grand Prize winner of the New York Concerti Sinfonietta Shining Stars competition and performed the first two movements of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor with the Sinfonietta at Carnegie Hall.
In November 2009 Sujari had the honor of performing with Alisa Weilerstein at the White House for President Obama, the First Lady, and their distinguished guests, where she was brought to the attention of many notables in the classical music industry. The following March she closed the 11th Annual International Tropical Baroque Music Festival of the Miami Bach Society in Coral Gables, Florida, and in April she performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a winner of the National Young Musicians Concerto Competition. In May Sujari was invited as a guest performer at the Fifth Annual Midori and Friends Children’s Music Festival where she shared the program with Midori and with the renowned clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. In May 2011 Sujari was the featured artist at the 28th Annual Children’s Concert for the Gary Historic and Cultural Society in Gary, Indiana. Sujari served as the featured guest performer for the Adrian Symphony Orchestra Casual Classic Concert in May 2012. Sujari was honored to perform at the United Nations for 2013 annual World Humanitarian Day on August 19. In October Sujari presented the fourth movement of the Elgar Concerto as a featured artist for the Shakespeare Company’s 2013 annual gala honoring Elizabeth McGovern at the Harman Arts Center in Washington, DC.
In February 2011 Sujari was featured as one of NBC TheGrio’s “100 History Makers in the Making” and her story was highlighted as a news item on the Today Show and on NBC news stations across the nation. In May 2012 Sujari was featured in Ebony.com. In September 2012, Sujari joined a host of prodigious young movers of the world on TEDx-Redmond of TED Talks. In 2013 Sujari is featured in an on-line THKR/RadicalMedia PRODIGIES and a TIME for Kids/Time Magazine article. In addition to being a member of JoSunJari*, a string trio (featured in a New York Times article) with her violinist sister Joelle and her violinist brother Sunnaj, Sujari enjoys a rigorous academic program through home instruction and expresses a variety of special talents and interests including acting, running, music composition, sketching, fiction writing, and painting!
Tali Makell, Conductor
Tali Makell, music director, Chamber Philharmonia of New York
A Fine New Conductor Emerges
"Tali Makell has a crystal-clear baton technique and a passionate, yet completely controlled commitment to music."
When Bill Zakariasen of the New York Daily News penned those remarks on the occasion of Tali Makell’s Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall, Mr. Makell had already attracted considerable attention for his large and unusual repertoire. Tali Makell served as principal conductor of the New York City Housing Authority Orchestra from 1981 to 1995. He has also served as music director of the Henry Street Settlement Opera Ensemble, co-founded the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Orchestra, and was a frequent guest conductor of the Washington Square Chamber Orchestra. With these ensembles he introduced the public to a number of lesser-known or seldom played works, including Beethoven’s "King Stefan Overture," and the Glazounov Saxophone Concerto. Mr. Makell was also an affiliate of the prestigious Exxon Artists Conducting Program . In recognition of his achievements, he was appointed an Associate Conductor of The Brooklyn Philharmonic for one season. In 1997 Mr. Makell was named Music Director of The Summer Opera Theatre held at the Brooklyn Music School. There he conducted fully staged and orchestrally accompanied performances of opera masterworks, including an acclaimed 2002 production of Rossini’s "La Cenerentola," performed complete, in its original version. In November of 2009, at the Arader Gallery in New York, Mr. Makell conducted the premiere concert of The Chamber Philharmonia of New York, an ensemble he founded which is dedicated to music composed by New Yorkers, both native and foreign-born.
In addition to his activities as a conductor, Mr. Makell serves as Executive Director for the Nietzsche Music Project, a non-profit arts organization founded in 1990. In this capacity he served as a producer of two critically acclaimed CDs, on the Newport Classic label, of the little-known musical compositions of the great German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.
In recognition of Mr. Makell’s authority on Nietzsche’s musical works and aesthetics, The International Nietzsche Colloquium invited his participation, along with members of NMP, in two of their annual symposia at The Nietzsche-Haus Sils Maria in Switzerland (1997 and 2000). In 2003 Mr. Makell oversaw a second set of recordings of the music of Nietzsche. Produced independently, this recording remains a best seller eight years after its initial release.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Makell began his musical studies at the Preparatory Department of The Peabody Conservatory. He is a graduate of The Oberlin College Conservatory, where he majored in conducting, composition, and voice. He continued his conducting studies in New York under maestros Semyon Vechshtein and the late Laszlo Halasz.
Tia Allen, Viola
Tia Allen has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Royal Opera House of Muscat, and the Teatro Nacional in Santo Domingo, and as a member of the Dayton Philharmonic in part of their diversity fellowship program. As a freelance artist in New York City she has performed with Seal, Cee-Lo, and Nikki Jean for the Late Show with David Letterman. She was the principal violist at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Music Festival and is a six summer veteran of the Aspen Music Festival and School where she performed Souvenir de Florence with Julia Fischer in the Benedict Music Tent. She has also performed at festivals in Graz Austria, and Nice France. She collaborated with the Contemporary Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music for a performance of Elliot Carter’s Asko Concerto.
Tia began playing the viola under the tutelage of Alice Young, and Miles Hoffman in her hometown of Columbia, Maryland. She is a two time Geraldine Gee Competition winner from University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she received her BM and MM in performance. After completing her studies in Cincinnati with Masao Kawasaki and Catharine Carroll she moved to New York City where she studied with Karen Dreyfus at the Manhattan School of Music and received a Professional Studies certificate in Performance and a Professional Graduate Diploma in the Orchestral Performance Program. In addition to Maazel, she has also performed under the baton of Paul Gemignani, George Manahan, and Phillipe Entremont.
Tia Roper, Flute
As a distinguished soloist and concert artist, Dr. Tia Roper has several credits to her name. They include holding the principal flute positions of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan. She also won grand prize in the Artists International Debut Recital Award and received critical acclaim for her Carnegie Hall recital debut. Dr. Roper has performed as a soloist with the Queens Symphony Orchestra and as a substitute player with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New England Philharmonic, and Westchester Philharmonic.
A winner of the New York Flute Club Competition, Tia was also awarded first-runner up in the Frank Bowen Young Artists Competition and was a finalist in the renowned Pappoutsakis Flute Competition. She has been a featured guest on Boston's cable television show "It's all about the Arts" as well as Houston's KUHF 88.7 radio station where her collaboration as a member of Aperio Music of the Americas has been broadcast. Her debut album, The Magic Flute, on the Albany Records label has received glowing reviews and was submitted by the head of Albany Records for Grammy nomination consideration. It successfully advanced to the first round ballot in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in collaboration with pianist Mitchell Vines. She can also be heard on singer/songwriter Jann Klose's album MOSAIC. Ms. Roper has given concert performances in Russia, Switzerland, the Barbados, Japan, Venezuela, and throughout the United States.
Tia Roper was a student at the Juilliard Pre-College where she graduated with honors. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, her Masters Degree in Music Performance from Boston University, and Doctorate of Musical Arts form Rutgers University. As an active music educator, Ms. Roper is on the faculty of the Bloomingdale School of Music and the Usdan Center for the Creative & Performing Arts. In addition, she has been recently appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York.
Wilmer Wise, Trumpet
Wilmer Wise, born and raised in Philadelphia, has had a magnificent career. From the beginning he was involved in all kinds of music, some of his fellow Philadelphians being Lee Morgan, Vince Penzarella, Ted Curson, Bobby Timmons, Tony Marchione (teacher of Randy Brecker), and Reggie Workman, to name a few. He has played with the Dick Clark Youth Band, The Intruders, the Club Harlem Band of Atlantic City, performed the Haydn Concerto (at age 23) with the Philadelphia Orchestra, played principal trumpet in the first Music from Marlboro tour of Europe, recorded with Pablo Casals, played lead trumpet in the only recording of West Side Story conducted by Leonard Bernstein, played five seasons with the Baltimore Symphony as assistant principal, served on the faculties of Morgan State and the Peabody Conservatory, performed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, (35 years as principal) recorded most of the Philip Glass movie soundtracks, and played lead trumpet in more than 30 Broadway Shows, including five Stephen Sondheim hits.