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The tradition continues as alumni of our Evnin Rising Stars mentoring program serve up an afternoon of chamber music inside the newly air-conditioned Music Room of the Rosen House.
Paul Huang, violin
Tessa Lark, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Zoë Martin-Doike, viola
Edward Arron, cello
Alexander Hersh, cello
Mozart String Quintet in C Minor, K. 406
Shulamit Ran Lyre of Orpheus
Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70
Paul Huang, violin
Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang is celebrated for his eloquent music making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity. The Washington Post proclaimed Mr. Huang as “an artist with the goods for a significant career” following his recital debut at the Kennedy Center.
This summer, Mr. Huang made highly acclaimed debut at Bravo!Vail Music Festival stepping in for violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin. Recent and forthcoming engagements include his recital debut at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland as well as appearances with Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev (St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival), Berliner Symphoniker with Lior Shambadal (Philharmonie Berlin debut), Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, Houston Symphony with Andres Orozco-Estrada, Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Carlos Miguel Prieto, Seoul Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony and Grant Park Festival Orchestra with Markus Stenz, North Carolina Symphony and Charlotte Symphony with Gemma New, Buffalo Philharmonic with JoAnn Falletta, Pacific Symphony with Carl St. Clair, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan with ShaoChia Lu and Taipei Symphony with Jahja Ling (both in Taipei and on a U.S. tour). The 2019–20 season will see Mr. Huang giving the German premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto Fire Ritual with Nuremberg Symphony with Kahchun Wong and appearances in the U.S. with Tucson Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Brevard Symphony, and Mobile Symphony.
Recital and chamber music performances this season will include Mr. Huang’s recital debut for People’s Symphony Concerts in New York, a recital tour across North America and Taiwan with pianist Helen Huang, as well as his debut at Wolf Trap. He will also return to Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for three separate tours in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East.
Mr. Huang’s recent recital engagements included Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” series and a return engagement at the Kennedy Center where he premiered Conrad Tao’s Threads of Contact for Violin and Piano during his recital evening with pianist Orion Weiss. He also stepped in for Midori with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony to critical acclaim. Mr. Huang has made debuts at the Wigmore Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and the Louvre in Paris.
His first solo CD, Intimate Inspiration, is a collection of favorite virtuoso and romantic encore pieces released on the CHIMEI label. In association with Camerata Pacifica, he recorded Four Songs of Solitude for solo violin on their album of John Harbison works. The album was released on the Harmonia Mundi label in fall 2014.
A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he has performed at the Seattle, Music@Menlo, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, La Jolla, Moritzburg, Kissinger Sommer, Sion, and Orford Musique music festivals, as well as the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea. His collaborators have included Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Nobuko Imai, Lawrence Power, Maxim Rysanov, Mischa Maisky, Jian Wang, Frans Helmerson, Lynn Harrell, Yefim Bronfman, and Marc-Andre Hamelin.
Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang made critically acclaimed recital debuts in New York and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Other honors include First Prize at the 2009 International Violin Competition Sion-Valais (Tibor Varga) in Switzerland, the 2009 Chi-Mei Cultural Foundation Arts Award for Taiwan’s Most Promising Young Artists, the 2013 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and the 2014 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist Award.
Born in Taiwan, Mr. Huang began violin lessons at the age of seven. He is a proud recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee. He plays on the 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Tessa Lark, violin
Violinist Tessa Lark, recipient of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time. She has consistently been praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. A budding superstar in the classical realm, she is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky, delighting audiences with programming that includes Appalachian and bluegrass music and inspiring composers to write for her.
Ms. Lark has been a featured soloist at numerous U.S. orchestras since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen. She performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2017 on Carnegie’s Distinctive Debuts series, and again the following year as part of APAP’s Young Performers Career Advancement showcase. Ms. Lark has appeared at such venues as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Perlman Music Program, San Francisco Performances, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Ravinia’s Bennett-Gordon Classics series, Troy Chromatic Concerts, Chamber Music Tulsa, Caramoor’s Wednesday Morning Concerts, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Australia’s Musica Viva Festival, and the Marlboro, Yellow Barn, Olympic, Bridgehampton, and Music@Menlo festivals.
Highlights of Ms. Lark’s 2019–20 season include debuts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Lincoln Center Great Performers Series; appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Performance Santa Fe; and concerto engagements with numerous orchestras including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Oregon Mozart Players, and the Delaware, Pasadena, Topeka, Tucson, and West Virginia symphonies. Three recordings featuring Ms. Lark were released in 2019: Fantasy, an album on the First Hand Records label that includes fantasias by Schubert, Telemann and Fritz Kreisler, Ravel’s Tzigane, and Ms. Lark’s own Appalachian Fantasy; SKY, an Albany Symphony Orchestra release on Albany Records whose title selection is a bluegrass-inspired violin concerto written for her by Michael Torke that she premiered with the ASO in January 2019; and Invention, a debut album of the violin-bass duo Tessa Lark & Michael Thurber that comprises arrangements of Two-Part Inventions by J.S. Bach along with non-classical original compositions by Ms. Lark, Mr. Thurber, and Eddie Barbash.
A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Lark has toured with musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Musicians from Marlboro. Her piano trio, Trio Modêtre (now known as the Namirovsky-Lark-Pae Trio), was awarded one of the top prizes in the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Lark has collaborated with such renowned artists as Mitsuko Uchida, Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Kim Kashkashian, Peter Wiley, and Ralph Kirshbaum. She joined Caramoor Virtuosi as a result of her participation in Caramoor’s Rising Stars Series.
Keeping in touch with her Kentucky roots, Ms. Lark performs and programs bluegrass and Appalachian music regularly and collaborated with Mark O’Connor on his album MOC4, released in June 2014. She also plays jazz violin, most recently performing with the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City. She premiered her own Appalachian Fantasy as part of her Distinctive Debuts recital at Carnegie Hall, where she also gave the world premiere of Michael Torke’s Spoon Bread, written specifically for her stylistic capabilities.
In addition to her busy performance schedule, Ms. Lark has served on the faculty of the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, and as an alumna of NPR’s From the Top she is active in that radio show’s arts leadership program as a performer and educator. Ms. Lark’s primary mentors include Cathy McGlasson, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Miriam Fried, and Lucy Chapman. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory and completed her Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Ida Kavafian, and Daniel Phillips. Ms. Lark plays a ca.1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Nicholas Cords, viola
For more than two decades, omnivorous violist Nicholas Cords has been on the front line of a growing constellation of projects as performer, educator, and cultural advocate. As newly appointed Co-Artistic director of Silkroad, founding member of Brooklyn Rider, and Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University, he is deeply committed to music from a broad variety of traditions and epochs, with a particular passion for the cross-section between the long tradition of classical music and the polyglot music of today.
Nicholas serves as violist, Programming Chair, and Co-Artistic director of Silkroad, a musical collective founded by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 with the simple belief that radical cross-cultural collaboration leads to a more hopeful world. This mission is poignantly explored by the recent Oscar-nominated documentary by Morgan Neville, The Music of Strangers, which profiles the individual stories of Ensemble members and makes a case for why culture matters in today’s world. In recent years, Nicholas has served as Silkroad Programming Chair, taking an active role presenting the Ensemble on the world’s major musical stages, in museum residencies such as at the American Museum of Natural History and the Freer-Sackler Museum, and also in educational contexts such as their long-standing residency at Harvard University. He has also been involved in bringing to life more than a hundred compositions and arrangements over the group’s relatively short history. Nicholas appears on all of the Silkroad Ensemble’s albums including Sing Me Home (Sony Music), which received a 2017 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Other albums include Silk Road Journeys, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities, Off the Map, and A Playlist a Without Borders. Most recently, the group is prominently featured in the soundtrack for Ken Burns’ searing ten-part documentary on the Vietnam War, with an accompanying release available on In A Circle Records.
Another key aspect of Nicholas’ busy musical life is as founding member of Brooklyn Rider, an intrepid group which NPR credits with “recreating the 300-year-old form of the string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.” In a short amount of time, Brooklyn Rider’s singular mission and gripping performance style have resulted in an indelible contribution to the world of the string quartet and has brought in legions of fans across the spectrum. Highly committed to collaborative ventures, the group has worked with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, ballerina Wendy Whelan, Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, and banjoist Béla Fleck, to name a few. Brooklyn Rider regularly commissions and champions new works, including those by Tyondai Braxton, Gabriel Kahane, John Luther Adams, Caroline Shaw, Evan Ziporyn, plus many more. Notable appearances in recent seasons include those at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, Opernhouse Zürich, A Prairie Home Companion, and the South by Southwest Festival. Their recordings, Silent City, Passport, Dominant Curve, Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass, Seven Steps, A Walking Fire, The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, and their most recent, Spontaneous Symbols, have received wide critical acclaim from sources ranging from Gramophone Magazine to Pitchfork.
As a soloist, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Bridgeport Symphony. Recent other highlights include performances at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg in works ranging from Feldman to Wuorinen (many heard in Russia for the first time) and the Vail International Dance Festival, where he participated in a revival of a long dormant Balanchine choreography set to Stravinsky’s Élegie for solo viola with the great Brazilian ballerina Carla Körbes. His highly acclaimed 2013 debut solo album, Recursions (In A Circle Records), features works ranging from Biber to Hindemith to Cords’ own Five Migrations. He has appeared frequently over the years on television and radio including a Chinese National Television broadcast from the Great Wall, the David Letterman Show, numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, Good Morning America, NHK Japan, and a four-year run as resident commentator and performer on WQXR New York’s Radio weekly On A-I-R. In addition, he has worked with many ensembles, including the Knights, the Caramoor Virtuousi, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, An Die Musik, and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert.
Beginning his musical education at the Juilliard School, Nicholas won top honors in the viola competition and subsequently gave the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall. He completed his studies at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers and mentors have included Karen Tuttle, Harvey Shapiro, Joseph Fuchs, and Felix Galamir. A committed teacher, Nicholas currently teaches at Stony Brook University in New York. Mr. Cords plays on an instrument made for him in 2014 by famed Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz, modeled on the ex-William Primrose Giuseppe Guarneri (filius Andrea) from 1697. He performs on bows from a wide variety of the world’s top modern makers including Charles Espey and Benoit Rolland.
Zoë Martin-Doike, viola
A top prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition and the Lennox International Young Artist Competition on viola and violin, respectively, Zoë Martin-Doike has appeared as a soloist with the Honolulu, Indianapolis, Richardson, and Bloomington Symphony Orchestras, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the World Youth Orchestra in Rome, Italy.
A founding violinist of the Aizuri Quartet, Martin-Doike is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She has performed with Symphony in C, Opera Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her festival appearances include the Marlboro Festival, Steans Institute at Ravinia, and the Sarasota, Norfolk, and Taos Chamber Music Festivals, and she has collaborated with such artists as Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss, Miriam Fried, Roberto Diaz, Timothy Eddy, and Peter Wiley.
Martin-Doike is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Pamela Frank and Steven Tenenbom. She served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and was selected to perform as part of Curtis on Tour in Europe, Korea and South America. Last spring, Zoë completed her master’s degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Mimi Zweig and Atar Arad. While in school, she performed both the Walton Viola Concerto and the Brahms Violin Concerto with university orchestras, and was a recipient of the coveted Kuttner Quartet Fellowship.
Edward Arron, cello
Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
The 2019–20 season marks Mr. Arron’s eleventh season as the artistic director and host of the acclaimed Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He is also the artistic director of the Festival Series in Beaufort, South Carolina, and is the co-artistic director with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. With violinists James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti, and violist Richard O’Neill, Mr. Arron tours as a member of the renowned Ehnes Quartet. He appears regularly at Caramoor, where he has been a resident performer and curated chamber music concerts for over a quarter of a century. In 2013, he completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Bravo! Vail, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Kuhmo, PyeongChang, Evian, Charlottesville, Telluride Musicfest, Seoul Spring, Lake Champlain Chamber Music, Chesapeake Chamber Music, La Jolla Summerfest, and Bard Music Festival. He has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project as well as Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron’s performances are frequently broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today.
Edward Arron began playing the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and continued his studies in New York with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. In 2016, Mr. Arron joined the faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst, after having served on the faculty of New York University from 2009 to 2016.
Alexander Hersh, cello
Having already performed as soloist with the Houston Symphony and the Boston Pops, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and versatile talents of his generation. He has received top prizes at competitions worldwide including the: 2019 Astral Artists National Auditions, National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Young Artists Competition, New York International Artists Association Competition, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, Ima Hogg, Schadt, Artist Concerts Series National Solo Competition, Luminarts Classical Music Fellowship, Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, Hellam Young Artist Competition, Boston Pops/New England Conservatory Competition, Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, Society of American Musicians, Saint Paul String Quartet, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music competition.
The Musiq3 critics of the RTBF Belgian Radio company gave Hersh’s performance at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium in 2017 a rave review: “With his scenic presence and charm, Hersh has everything to become the darling of the public.”
A passionate chamber musician, Hersh has performed the complete string quartets of Béla Bartok and Alban Berg and much of the rest of the chamber music canon at music festivals worldwide including: Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Music@Menlo, I-M-S Prussia Cove, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Amsterdam Cello Biennial, Kneisel Hall, Lucerne, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Domaine Forget, and the Meadowmount School of Music.
Hersh is co-artistic director of NEXUS Chamber Music, a collective of international artists committed to stimulating interest in serious chamber music. NEXUS presents a two week chamber music festival across the city of Chicago each August, featuring new and obscure works alongside standard works of the chamber music canon. NEXUS plays to unusual and intimate venues with the mission of breaking down the barriers that often separate performers from audience members.
A 4th generation string player, Alexander’s parents, Stefan and Roberta, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the WQXR and Stuyvesant String Quartets, and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Raised in Chicago, Alexander Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He studied with Steve Balderston and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. Hersh received his B.M. from New England Conservatory (with academic honors) where he was a student of Laurence Lesser and recipient of the Clara M. Friedlaender Scholarship. In May of 2017, he received his M.M. from New England Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Paul Katz and Kim Kashkashian. Hersh was a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin during the 2017 – 2018 academic year where he studied with Nicolas Altstaedt at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.